SPA 313 Chapter 8 Ferrand


1.  Know all diagrams in chapter 8


  1. The oral cavity is critical for many aspects of speech production.  Name three.







  1. The primary muscle making up the lips is the ________________________.


  1. Why are the lips so mobile?



  1. What speech sounds are dependent on the functioning of the lips?




  1. What functions other than speech are the lips important for?



6.  Where are the labial frenulums? 





7.  How many teeth do children have?


8.  Be able to label teeth as incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.


9.  What is the purpose of teeth for speech? 




10. Define occlusion



11. Describe each of the following occlusions:






b.      Distocclusion





12.  What is a normal bite? 



13.  What is an overjet? 



14.  What is an open bite? 



15.  What is an overbite? 



16.  What is a prognathic jaw?



17.  What is the palatal vault? 



18.  Where is the alveolar ridge?





19.  Where is the soft palate?  What is another name for it? 



20.  What are important functions of the velum






21.  What is the velopharyngeal port? Why is it crucial for speech production?







22.  Name some examples of when the velum is compromised and the effects.



23. What is hyponasality and what causes it?



24. What is the function of the following muscles of the velum?

      a.  Levator veli palatini:


      b. Tensor veli palatini:





c. Palatoglossus:



d. Palatopharyngeus:



25. Describe velopharyngeal closure




26. What are the functions of the tongue?





27. What is muscular hydrostat? 





28. What is the anatomy of the tongue?














29. What are the intrinsic muscles of the tongue and their general purpose? What is the general purpose of the intrinsic muscles of the tongue?









30.  What are the extrinsic muscles of the tongue and their general purpose? What is the general purpose of the extrinsic muscles of the tongue?








31.  Why might   /s/ and /r/  be difficult to produce until around the age of 6 or 7.





32.  What are the 3 cavities of the pharynx and where are they located?






33.  Describe the structures of the pharynx










34.  Describe the nasal cavity and its functions




35.  What are the valves of the vocal tract and their purposes?


313 Chapter 8 pt. 2

   1.  The consonants of a language are typically classified according to three major dimensions.  Describe them




  1. How are vowels described?




  1. Know each sound in terms of its place manner and voice.


  1. Know the muscles responsible for producing each manner:

levator veli palatini and pharyngeal constrictors: raise the velum  (for all oral pressure consonants: stops and fricatives)

            Obicularis oris: lips (Labio—bilabials and labiodental)

            Superior longitudinal – (tongue tip elevation sounds alveolar)

Styloglossus (elevating the tongue in the back for velars

Palatoglossus (lowering the tongue in the back velars/nasals)

            Genioglossus, geniohyoid: Jaw and tongue (alvealors/palatals)


  1. What are the two positions for the /s/ sound? For the /r/ sound



  1. Be able to identify cognate pairs.


  1. Be able to draw the vowel quadrilateral (p. 190).


  1. What are the two primary dimensions of vowel classification? What are some lesser important dimensions for classification? Be able to classify each vowel




  1. Which vowel is made with tongue in the neutral position?



  1. How long is the adult male’s vocal tract?  Woman’s? Child’s



  1. Describe the vocal tract:


















  1. Calculate the lowest RF and is next 2 formants for a female vocal fold of 15 cm in length.


Frequency = speed of sound/ 4X length of tube




  1. Resonant frequencies of the vocal tract are called __________________



  1. Which formants are considered in speech production? Why?





  1. Describe the source-filter theory of vowel production.

The source of the vowel is at the level of the vocal fold and produces the glottal sound, which consists of the Fo and the harmonics of the Fo producing the glottal spectrum. The glottal spectrum consists of the Fo being the greatest amplitude with the subsequent harmonics loosing amplitude at the rate of 12dB /octave.  The sound sounds like a buzz.  The vocal tract is considered the transfer function, which by its shape sets up the response curve or the resonant frequencies, which it will respond to and those that it will attenuate.  The sound that is heard at the level of the lips is called the output function.  It is the filtered sound with frequencies that are near the resonant frequencies of the vocal tract being amplified and those frequencies far away from the resonant frequencies being damped.


  1. What is the radiation characteristic?


Formant Frequencies Related to Oral and Pharyngeal /Volumes Chapt 8 pt3

 1.  What are the formant frequencies related to?




2.  To what is F1 most strongly related to? 





3.  To what is F2 most strongly related to? 





4.  What effect does lip rounding have on the resonant frequencies?







5.  Explain how F1 and F2 vary according to tongue height and tongue advancement.








6. How are the articulation of vowels related to the different formant patterns?







7.  How is the fundamental frequency related to the resonant frequency pattern? Explain.




8. Why are a man’s, woman’s, and child’s /i/ sound all perceived as /i/ when the F1 and F2 RF are progressively higher for each person above respectively?


9.  How are vowels chiefly characterized? 



10.  How is tongue constriction related to F1 and F2?





11. What is an F1/F2 plot?





12.  What is spectrographic analysis? 





13.  How are vowels characterized?






14.  How are diphthongs characterized?









15.  How are glides characterized?











14. How are the liquids characterized?


15.  How are stops different from vowels?





16.  How are the stops characterized? Define the acoustic characteristics.

There are four acoustic characteristics: the silent gap, the releases burst, formant transitions, and voice onset time.

Silent gap: the time in which the articulators are forming the blockage and oral air pressure is building up. For voiced stops, a band of low frequency energy, the voice bar is apparent.  The voice bar is an indication that vocal fold vibration is occurring during articulatory closure and pressure build up.

Burst: aperiodic sound which follows the silent gap seen as noise representing the broad range of frequencies (10-30ms in duration).  Bursts are usually seen for stops in initial and medial position, but may not occur for stops in the final position (unreleased). The burst for voiceless stops are longer in duration than voiced stops because the voiceless stops are characterized by aspiration (noise).  [Aspiration is generated by turbulence as air moves through the glottis during the time in which the vf are starting to close for the following voiced sound.  The turbulent air moving though the glottis delays vf closure. Voiced stops do not show this aspiration noise because the vf are already closed and vibrating during the initial part of the stop.

            /p/ and /b/ energy in the burst spectrum is between 500-1500Hz (or else the energy may be spread out over a wide range of frequencies (no front cavity space);Show a diffuse spectrum with energy spread out over a wide range of frequencies with more energy in the lower frequencies than in the higher.

            /t/ and /d/ have a small area in front of the constriction called the front cavity that acts as a high-pass filter emphasizing the higher-frequency components in the noise source. (high-frequency/intensity energy 2500-4000Hz); diffuse spectrum, with energy increasing toward the higher frequencies or spread out evenly.

            /k/ and /g/ have a larger front cavity in front of the constriction; Effect concentrating their energy in the midrange frequencies around 1500 to 4000Hz depending on the vowel following (based on male vocal tract);compact spectrum with energy concentrated in a relatively narrow frequency range.


Formant transitions:  Voiced stops have formants superimposed on the transient noise, reflecting voicing. Voiceless stops do not have any formant structure.  Both are associated with formants as the articulators move from the constricted position of the stop to a more open position of the following voiced sound.  Formant transitions can occur either from a voiced sound occurring before the stop, or from the stop to the following voiced sound.  Transitions last about 50ms.  The slope of the transition depends on the place of articulation of the stop and the vocal tract positioning for the following sound.


Very low F1 frequency signifies that the vocal tract is constricted. Because stops are constricted to the point of complete blockage, the transition for F1 always starts off extremely low infrequency, close to zero and therefore always increases in frequency to the appropriate frequency for the following vowel or voiced consonant; When moving the articulators from a vowel to a stop position, F1 will decrease in frequency to an almost zero for the stop. Therefore F1 transitions always fall in a vowel to stop situation.

Frequency of the F2 transition is related to the length of the oral cavity and reflects the movement of the tongue and lips. Therefore, F2 frequency transitions in stops are correlated with the place of articulation of the stop. 

            Bilabials show F2 frequency transitions increasing from their starting value of approximately 600-800Hz to the F2 of the following vowel (frequencies based on the male vocal tract).

            Alveolars is about 1800 Hz

            Velars start about 1300 Hz (if followed by a back vowel) 2300-3000 (if followed by a front vowel) Because F2 is correlated with the length of the oral cavity, the position of the following vowel determines the F2 frequency for the /k/. (When followed by a

back vowel, a larger front cavity is created which therefore resonates lower frequencies; when a front vowel follows a /k/, a smaller front cavity results, which resonates the higher frequencies.)


VOT: differences between voice and voiceless stops: VOT refers to the time between the release of the articulatory blockage (the beginning of the burst) to the beginning of the vocal fold vibration for the following vowel. It is measured in ms and is commonly taken as an indication of the coordination between the laryngeal and articulatory systems

VOT is usually measured in initial stops; its values can fall into one of four categories depending on the timing between the release of the burst and the onset of vf vibration.

            a.  negative value: vf are vibrating before the release (prevoicing VOT lead) and sometimes occurs for voiced stops

            b.  simultaneous voicing: Voice onset and release occur at the same time yielding a VOT of zero. (English)

            c.  VOT with a short lag: onset of vf vibration follows shortly after the release burst. (English)

            d.  voicless stops that typically show a long lag time; vf vibration is delayed after articulatory release


VOT for voiced stops range from about -20 ms o about +20 ms.  Voiceless stops have longer VOT that range from about 25ms to 100ms.


VOT increases as place of articulation moves backward in the oral cavity.


VOT is important in signaling the voicing distinction in the initial position.


In the final position, the duration of the vowel determines voicing rather than the stop.  Vowels are longer before voiced stops and shorter before voiceless stops.


17.  What are some acoustic cues that help speakers make the distinction between voiced and voiceless stops?




18.  How are other languages such as Spanish, Italian and French different from English in terms of VOT?



19.  What are some life-span differences regarding VOT?





20.  How are fricatives characterized?

The energy is much longer in duration than in stops because they are continuous sounds.

The specific range of frequencies and intensities of the aperiodic friction depends on the place of articulation. When airflow comes up against an obstacle (teeth), the amplitude of the noise increases.

Fricative noise is resonated most strongly in the front cavity, the area in front of the location of the narrow channel that forms the constriction.  The size of the front resonating cavity shapes the resulting spectrum; the smaller the size is the higher th RF of the cavity.  Fricatives produced most anteriorly the /f, v, and th sounds/ do not have a front resonating cavity and so they have a very low intensity spectrum spread out over a broad range of frequencies.  For /f/ (4500-7000Hz) and /voiceless th/ (5000Hz) the peaks of spectral energy are so high that they essentially do not play much of a part in how these sounds are perceived.


For the /s,z,sh,zh/ it is possible to calculate the RF of the front cavity.  The fornt cavity for the alvelolar fricative /s/ has been measured to be around 2.5 cm.  so using the formula   frequency=velocity divided by wavelength, the lowest RF of the front cavity is aroung 3400 Hz (2.5cm x 4=10cm; 34,000/10=3400Hz).  The lowest RF is the most important for the perception of fricative sounds.  Thus, the /s/ has its greatest amplitude at these very high frequencies.


Because sh, and zh have longer front cavities the RF is lower and if made with lip rounding, further lengthening the front cavity, it is even lower. Most of the energy for sh is concentrated around 2000Hz.


/s,z/ sh, zh are classified as stridents and have much more intense energy than nonstridents /f, v, and the th/. 


Voiced fricatives are aperiodic as well as periodic with a voicing bar on the spectrum.


21.  How are affricates characterized?

They have characteristics of both stop and fricative.  Silent gap followed by fricative portion.


22.  How are nasals characterized?

Two particular salient characteristics are the nasal murmer and the antiresonances or antiformants.


For nasals the oral and nasal cavities are coupled producing antiresonances or antiformants as well as the nasal murmur or nasal formant.

Antiresonants/antiformants are bands of frequencies in which the acoustic energy has been damped. (due to the nasal cavities being sound absorbent)An antiformant attenuates frequencies within its bandwidth and amplifies those outside its bandwidth. Nasals have antiformants and formants in their spectrum. 


The nasal formant is the most intense formant.  With a nasal the oral cavity is blocked and the velum is lowered.  This produces the nasal murmur.  The nasal murmur consists of extra resonances that are generated because the vocal tract now has two branches leading off the pharynx.  The murmur is strong in low-frequency energy of less than 500HZ (male).  The resonating characteristics of the nasal cavities remain essentially the same for all t he nasals because the nasal cavity does not change size or shape. Nasals have little intensity because the energy is absorbed by the mucous lining in the nasal cavity.

23.  What is co-articulation and what are suprasegmentals?

As sounds are produced to form syllables and words, the individual segments influence each other and modify the acoustic characteristics of the resulting sounds This process is called co-articulation.  In addition, as we form a sentence by combining segments we continually change many aspects of pitch, intensity, juncture, and duration.  Pitch, intensity, juncture (intonation and stress) and duration are known as suprasegmentals.


24.  Give some examples of co-articulation.








25.  Define the Suprasegmentals and give an example.


Intonation:  the way in which speakers vary their Fo levels to signal linguistic aspects of speech such as type of utterance (declarative/questions).  The variation is referred to as the Fo contour or pitch contour. (English it is a rise-fall Fo contour)


Stress: varying the frequency, intensity and duration of a syllable or word.  A stressed syllable has a higher Fo higher intensity and longer duration than an unstressed syllable and it is usually the vowel that carries the increased stress. Non native speakers have problems with stress.


Duration:  refers to the length of time of a speech sound.  Duration varies with degree of stress on a syllable or word. 

a.  Duration can cue voicing; vowels are longer before a voiced consonant i.e., “hit/hid”;  b.  Some sounds are just longer than others ie. plosive vs fricative;

c.  The last word in a phrase or sentences tends to be longer than it would be within the sentence.


26.  Why do speakers drop their Fo at the ends of sentences and how do speakers compensate for this phenomena when producing question forms?





27.  What is lexical stress? Give examples. 




28.  Describe the function of stress at a discourse level.




29.  What does it mean to neutralize a vowel?  When does this occur?




30. Why are segmentals important?