Posted: Aug 22, 2012 1:41 pm
by Zwaarddijk
Errata and clarifications:

The sounds thus produced are fairly regular - they're tones. This contrasts with less regular sounds, e.g. sounds produced by friction. Some sounds exist in various languages that do not use pulmonary exhalation - clicks are one such type of sounds.

Note: (ir)regular here pertains to the wave form - the less regular sounds have more random components to the wave form.

Not only are the sounds we make affected by where in the mouth the closure is, there's a number of manners of articulation that are relevant. While introducing the nasal-oral passages as a tube, I already presented the stop. The stop is a full closure, behind which some pressure is allowed to build up and then released. The stop part of it is actually fairly silent, what gives away what sound it is in that case generally is an effect on the surrounding sounds' frequency distributions just prior to and after the stop. Depending on where along this tube it occurs, it'll affect the neighbouring sounds in subtly different ways, which we parse as different actual sounds.

The bolded part is unclear: we parse the effects it has on the surrounding sounds as though it were an actual sound in between or after or before the surrounding sounds.

Basically, if the first box here represents the time span for "a" and the second box is "t", and the third "o" (ish)',
[ a ][ t ][ o ][ m ]
things that actually happen in the a-box, especially towards the end, and in the o-box towards the beginning, will be parsed as though it actually were a t-sound we hear inbetween, even if the t-sound itself lacks very much in ways of distinct audible properties.

Consider the two words grave and crave. These are very similar, in fact there's only one sound distinguishing them from one another. /g/ and /k/. [khreIv] vs. [kreIv], though, are not considered distinct - we write both as /kreIv/, although the latter may sound slightly off to most speakers of English - the lack of aspiration (belated onset of voicing, and a slight puff of air on the k) cannot distinguish two words from each other - although in some dialects of English, it seems aspirationless [k] is more likely to be parsed as belonging to /g/.

I accidentally slipped into X-SAMPA there for a moment, the I in [khreIv] and [greIv] are supposed to be ɪ, hence [greɪv], [khreɪv]. The accident happened because of X-SAMPA, a one-to-one transliteration of IPA into ASCII symbols. This system was necessary until recently for ascii-based communication such as email, webpages, ... and still occasionally finds its use. I occasionally accidentally slip into X-SAMPA.