PHONETICS

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PHONETICS. The science or study of the sounds of SPEECH. There are three kinds: (1) Articulatory phonetics, the oldest branch of the subject, which investigates the ways in which sounds are made. Here, the phonetician is trained to recognize, produce, and analyse speech sounds. During the 20c, phonetics has developed as a laboratory subject, in which instruments are used to study the production of speech in the vocal tract: for example, by monitoring the positions and movement of organs, or breath flow and air pressure. Electropalatography uses an artificial PALATE to record, display, and store data on articulatory movements inside the mouth. (2) Acoustic phonetics is concerned with the study of speech as heard: that is, its waveform. For the study of vowels and consonants, the waveform is presented as a spectrogram, on which sounds appear as recognizable visual patterns. For the study of INTONATION, the PITCH, or more precisely the fundamental frequency, usually called Fo (‘ef nought’), is extracted and displayed. A speech workstation is a machine, usually based on a computer, that analyses and displays speech, and allows the user to replay, edit, or annotate the waveform. (3) Experimental phonetics usually involves the manipulation of the waveform and makes psycho-acoustic tests to identify which aspects of sounds are essential for understanding, and for the recognition of linguistic categories. Major applications of phonetics have been made in such areas as LANGUAGE TEACHING, speech therapy, and automatic speech synthesis and recognition. See ACCENT, CONSONANT, INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET, INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ASSOCIATION, PHONEME, PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION, PHONOLOGY, PRONUNCIATION, RHYTHM, STRESS, SWEET, VOICE, VOWEL.

phonetic

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pho·net·ic / fəˈnetik/ • adj. Phonet. of or relating to speech sounds: detailed phonetic information. ∎  (of a system of writing) having a direct correspondence between symbols and sounds: a phonetic alphabet. ∎  of or relating to phonetics: phonetic training.DERIVATIVES: pho·net·i·cal·ly / -ik(ə)lē/ adv.pho·net·i·cism / -ˈnetiˌsizəm/ n.pho·net·i·cist / -ˈnetisist/ n.

phonetics

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pho·net·ics / fəˈnetiks/ • pl. n. [treated as sing.] the study and classification of speech sounds.DERIVATIVES: pho·ne·ti·cian / ˌfōnəˈtishən/ n.

PHONETIC

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PHONETIC.
1. Relating to speech sounds and their production: phonetic elements, phonetic change.

2. Corresponding to or representing pronunciation in written or printed form: phonetic as opposed to ideographic writing, a phonetic alphabet, a phonetic transcription, phonetic spelling.

3. Relating to PHONETICS; phonetic training. See PHONIC.

phonetics

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phonetics Study of the sounds of speech, divided into three main branches: articulatory phonetics (how the speech organs produce sounds); acoustic phonetics (the physical nature of sounds, mainly using instrumental techniques); and auditory phonetics (how sounds are received by the ear and processed). Linguists have devised notation systems to allow the full range of possible human speech sounds to be represented. See also linguistics

phonetic

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phonetic pert. to or representing vocal sounds; (sb. pl.) science of speech-sounds. XIX. — modL. phōnēticus — Gr. phōnētikós, f. phōnētós, ppl. formation on phōneîn speak, f. phōnḗ voice, rel. to L. fāma FAME; see -IC.
Hence phonetician XIX.