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Exam Question Checklist

Exam 1998 Question 4

" Use the model of the speech chain to discuss the processes involved in the communication of the identity of a phonological vowel (e.g. /æ/ in ‘cat’) from speaker to hearer."

20 things you should mention:

  • Articulation
    • phonological vowel / æ / = mental representation
    • choice of articulatory target
    • movement of articulators from consonant to vowel etc
    • different accents give different articulations
    • articulation also affected by rate / stress / consonantal environment
  • Acoustics
    • given articulatory configuration defines tube shape
    • tube shape affects v.t. frequency response
    • response shapes noise generated by larynx vibration
    • 2-tube model for /a/ or /a/ vowels
    • formant positions most important
  • Hearing
    • formant frequencies for 1st and 2nd formants most relevant for vowel quality
    • plot in F1/F2 plane
    • diagram
    • hearing mechanism performs spectral analysis
    • resolution of energy in formant regions => formant frequencies
  • Perception
    • normalisation of formant frequencies
      • w.r.t. speaker's range of F1/F2 realisation
    • identify phonological vowel
      • taking into phonetic context
      • and e.g. accent

© 2000 Mark Huckvale University College London