The Sounds of Language

The Sounds of Language : An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology

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The Sounds of Language is an introductory guide to the linguistic study of speech sounds, which provides uniquely balanced coverage of both phonology and phonetics.




Features exercises and problem sets, as well as supporting online resources at www.wiley.com/go/zsiga, including additional discussion questions and exercises, as well as links to further resources such as sound files, video files, and useful websites
Creates opportunities for students to practice data analysis and hypothesis testing
Integrates data on sociolinguistic variation, first language acquisition, and second language learning
Explores diverse topics ranging from the practical, such as how to make good digital recordings, make a palatogram, solve a phoneme/allophone problem, or read a spectrogram; to the theoretical, including the role of markedness in linguistic theory, the necessity of abstraction, features and formal notation, issues in speech perception as distinct from hearing, and modelling sociolinguistic and other variations
Organized specifically to fit the needs of undergraduate students of phonetics and phonology, and is structured in a way which enables instructors to use the text both for a single semester phonetics and phonology course or for a two-course sequence
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Product details

  • Paperback | 492 pages
  • 186 x 246 x 24mm | 1,061.4g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405191031
  • 9781405191036
  • 75,355

Back cover copy

The Sounds of Language is an introductory guide to thelinguistic study of speech sounds, giving equal weight to bothphonology and phonetics. Integrating these two disciplines allowsstudents to appreciate the relationship of phonology and phoneticsto each other, and to identify areas of overlap and mutualconcern.

Theoretically grounded, the book explores the range of data thatany theory must account for, and discusses important concepts andconstructs that emerge from the data, such as the interacting rolesof biology and cognition in creating sound inventories, perceptionas distinct from hearing, contrast, alternation, and markedness.Zsiga presents a critical overview of different approaches thathave been used in tackling these issues, with opportunities forstudents to practice data analysis and hypothesis testing. Data onsociolinguistic variation, first language acquisition, and secondlanguage learning are integrated throughout the text, along withvaluable exercises, problem sets, and online data and soundfiles.
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Table of contents

Preface xv
1 The Vocal Tract 1


1.1 Seeing the vocal tract: tools for speech research 2


1.2 Parts of the vocal tract 5


Chapter summary 11


Further reading 11


Review exercises 12


Further analysis and discussion 13


Go online 13


References 13


2 Basics of Articulation: Manner and Place in English 14


2.1 The dance of the articulators 15


2.2 Phonetic transcription 16


2.3 The building blocks of speech 20


Chapter summary 29


Further reading 29


Review exercises 30


Further analysis and discussion 32


Go online 32


3 A Tour of the Consonants 33


3.1 Exotic sounds and the phonetic environment 34


3.2 Pulmonic consonants 37


3.3 Non-pulmonic consonants 45


3.4 Positional variation in English 48


Chapter summary 51


Further reading 52


Review exercises 52


Further analysis and discussion 53


Go online 54


References 54


4 A Map of the Vowels 55


4.1 The landscape 56


4.2 Cardinal vowels 57


4.3 Building inventories: dimensions of vowel quality 59


4.4 Nasality and voice quality 66


4.5 Length and diphthongs 67


4.6 Tone 68


4.7 Positional variants of the vowels of English 70


Chapter summary 71


Further reading 71


Review exercises 72


Further analysis and discussion 73


Further research 74


References 74


5 Anatomy, Physiology, and Gestural Coordination 76


5.1 Anatomy and physiology of respiration 77


5.2 Anatomy and physiology of the larynx 79


5.3 Anatomy of the supralaryngeal vocal tract 85


5.4 Coordination of gestures 89


5.5 Palatography 91


Chapter summary 94


Further reading 95


Review exercises 96


Further analysis and discussion 97


Go online 98


6 The Physics of Sound: Pendulums, Pebbles, and Waves 99


6.1 What is sound? 100


6.2 Simple harmonic motion: a pendulum and a tuning fork 102


6.3 Adding sinuosoids: complex waves 105


6.4 Sound propagation 108


6.5 Decibels 110


6.6 Resonance 111


6.7 The vocal tract as a sound-producing device: source-filter theory 114


Chapter summary 116


Further reading 116


Review exercises 117


Further analysis and discussion 118


Go online 118


7 Looking at Speech: Waveforms, Spectra, and Spectrograms 119


7.1 Pre-digital speech 120


7.2 Digitization 122


7.3 Looking at waveforms 129


7.4 Spectra 131


7.5 Spectrograms 137


Chapter summary 142


Further reading 143


Review exercises 144


Further analysis and discussion 144


Go online 148


References 148


8 Speech Analysis: Under the Hood 149


8.1 Building sounds up 150


8.2 Breaking sounds down 160


Chapter summary 169


Further reading 170


Review exercises 170


Further analysis and discussion 171


Go online 172


References 172


9 Hearing and Speech Perception 173


9.1 Anatomy and physiology of the ear 174


9.2 Neuro-anatomy 181


9.3 Speech perception 186


Chapter summary 194


Further reading 195


Review exercises 195


Further analysis and discussion 196


Go online 197


References 197


10 Phonology 1: Abstraction, Contrast, Predictability 198


10.1 The necessity of abstraction 199


10.2 Contrast and predictability: phonemes and allophones 203


10.3 Some complicating factors 211


10.4 Biuniqueness, Behaviorism, and the decline of phonemic analysis 214


Chapter summary 216


Further reading 216


Review exercises 216


Further analysis and discussion 217


Further research 219


Go online 219


References 219


11 Phonotactics and Alternations 221


11.1 Phonotactic constraints 222


11.2 Analyzing alternations 225


11.3 Alternations: what to expect 232


Chapter summary 246


Further reading 246


Review exercises 246


Further analysis and discussion 248


Go online 250


References 250


12 What Is Possible Language?: Distinctive Features 253


12.1 Introduction 254


12.2 Distinctive features 257


12.3 How have our hypotheses fared? 270


Chapter summary 271


Further reading 272


Review exercises 272


Further analysis and discussion 272


Further research 274


Go online 274


References 274


13 Rules and Derivations in Generative Grammar 275


13.1 Generative grammars 276


13.2 Underlying representations 277


13.3 Writing rules 279


13.4 Autosegmental representations and feature geometry 284


13.5 How have our hypotheses fared? 298


Chapter summary 299


Further reading 299


Review exercises 300


Further analysis and discussion 300


Further research 303


Go online 303


References 303


14 Constraint-based Phonology 304


14.1 Constraints and rules in linguistic theory 305


14.2 The basics of Optimality Theory 309


14.3 Example problem solving in OT 314


14.4 Challenges and directions for future research 322


Chapter summary 324


Further reading 325


Review exercises 325


Further analysis and discussion 325


Further research 329


Go online 329


References 329


15 Syllables and Prosodic Domains 330


15.1 Syllables 331


15.2 The prosodic hierarchy 341


Chapter summary 348


Further reading 348


Review exercises 349


Further analysis and discussion 350


Further research 000


References 351


16 Stress 353


16.1 What is linguistic stress? 354


16.2 Cross-linguistic typology 356


16.3 A feature for stress? 360


16.4 Metrical structure 360


16.5 Stress in English 365


Chapter summary 370


Further reading 371


Review exercises 371


Further analysis and discussion 372


Further research 374


Go online 374


References 374


17 Tone and Intonation 375


17.1 Tone 376


17.2 Intonation 392


Chapter summary 397


Further reading 397


Review exercises 398


Further analysis and discussion 399


Further research 399


Go online 400


References 400


18 Diachronic Change 401


18.1 Languages change 402


18.2 Historical reconstruction 408


18.3 History of the sounds of English 415


Chapter summary 422


Further reading 422


Review exercises 423


Further analysis and discussion 423


Further research 423


Go online 425


References 425


19 Variation 426


19.1 Variation by place 428


19.2 Other sources of variation 437


19.3 Formalizing variation 441


Chapter summary 444


Further reading 445


Review exercises 445


Further analysis and discussion 446


Further research 446


Go online 446


References 446


20 Acquisition and Learning 447


20.1 Language Acquisition and Language Learning 448


20.2 Child language acquisition: the data 448


20.3 Theories of L1 acquisition 454


20.4 L2 Learning 457


20.5 Acquisition, Learning, and Linguistic Theory 461


Chapter summary 462


Further reading 462


Review exercises 462


Further analysis and discussion 464


Further research 464


Go online 464


References 464


Index 465
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Review quote

"This book covers the scientific study of speech sounds in impressive breadth and depth. There is enough material here for two sophisticated courses or a solid one-semester introduction to both phonetics and phonology. The writing style should please both instructors and students." - Maria Gouskova, New York University

"Thoroughly accessible, and filled with illuminating examples and exercises for students, The Sounds of Language is a comprehensive and stimulating introduction to both phonetics and phonology." ? Andrew Smith, University of Stirling
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About Elizabeth C. Zsiga

Elizabeth C. Zsiga is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University, where she has been a faculty member since 1994, teaching phonology and phonetics to both graduate and undergraduate students, with concentrations in theoretical, applied, and socio-linguistics. She has been published in numerous linguistics journals and books. Her research describes the sound systems of diverse languages including English, Igbo, Korean, Russian, Setswana, Serbian, and Thai.
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Rating details

25 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 36% (9)
4 36% (9)
3 12% (3)
2 12% (3)
1 4% (1)
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