Welcome to SWPhonetics

Best wishes for 2018

Johann Sebastian Bach: Weihnachts-Oratorium
150th Anniversary
Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model
September 2017
1.  Tongue height and backness
2.  The double-resonance theory
3. Feeling tongue positions
4.  Is Cardinal 4 front or central?
 kentmapsedtownsdSound change in 19th c. Kent
The sound changes concern one consonant /r/, and nine vowels (FACE, PRICE, TRAP, STRUT, THOUGHT, GOAT, MOUTH, LOT and BATH) …. continue
HGWellsH G Wells (1866-1946) had acquired four out of six 19th century sound changes in Kent and his accent was thus just halfway to Estuary English (read more, PDF or slideshow)
Regional Accents
Dialects and accents, standard accents, regional differences and sound change … Continue reading
Southern British English (SBE)
Estuary English before Rosewarne, Southern British English, The RP accent, How many speak RP?  … Continue reading
MOUTH and GOAT diphthongs in RP SBE and Home Counties SBE
These diphthongs distinguish the two accents … Continue reading
RP SBE vowel formants
Potential differences between RP SBE and Home Counties SBE, THOUGHT LOT STRUT and GOOSE vowels … Continue reading
Home Counties SBE vowel formants
More home counties data, confirming the THOUGHT, LOT, STRUT and GOOSE tendencies already seen … Continue reading
Nineteenth century
sound changes in Kent

The speech of eight informants, born in the closing decades of the 19th century, is reviewed, and analysed with respect to ten sound changes present in their Kentish accents … (continue reading)
Rhoticity in Lancashire
1: Liverpool and Manchester
2. Southport to Rochdale
lancashirepreston2colne3. Preston to Colne
Vowel articulation
1. The Bell vowel model
bellandvowel03a250Alexander Melville Bell’s model for vowel articulation, published in Visible speech in 1867, will see its 150th anniversary in 2017. Bell recounts how he got the idea of the the tongue not only being raised to the hard or soft palate but also medially between them. This was the birth of the tongue arching model, as Oscar Russell called it in 1928 … Read more
2. The throat-tongue-lip modelthroattonguelipandbellBefore Alexander Melville Bell introduced his new vowel model, vowel production had been conceptualized as a tree: a tongue (or palatal) branch for [i e]-like vowels, and a lip (or labiovelar) branch for [u o]-like vowels, splitting from a throat node for [a]. This model was inherited from the times of Panini in ancient India, spreading east to China and Japan and west to Arabia through cultural contact with Buddhism and Islam, before reaching Greece and Rome and the rest of Europe … Read more
Tbilisi 1990
Posted 4 September 2013
Lund linguistics excursion

Old Georgian script at Sioni Ateni

Read here
Posted 1 Dec 2012
Maikop 1992
Maikop town centre
The 6th Colloquium of the Societas Caucasologica Europaea was held at Maikop, the capital of the Republic of Adygeia, on 23-25 June, 1992. The colloquium was organized by Asker Gadagatl of the Univer … Read more
Posted 26 July 2012
The Societas Caucasologica Europaea organized biennial meetings on Caucasian linguistics and literature for about 20 years … Read more
3. Acoustic weaknesses of Bell’s vowel model
bellacweakn250fig1The single resonance theory had already been flawed before Bell’s book was even published. Helmoltz had reported two resonances for nonrounded vowels … Read more
4. Interpreting vowel articulation
from formant frequencies
Southern British English 2: formants and articulation
Since the 1950s, it’s been customary to interpret F1 as tongue height, and F2 as tongue position, with reference to the Bell vowel model, but recall that the Bell vowel model was already flawed before it was launched in 1867. The relationship between vowel articulation and formant frequencies is much more complex …Read more
Correlation and causality
Acacias favour tone languages?
Promiscuity fosters sonorance?
High altitudes stimulate ejectives?
georgialabelsb500Lowland Kartvelian ejectives in Georgia.
Posted 17 August 2013
Postscript added 8 Sep 2013
Read here
Sound recording technology
Posted 25 April 2013
piskophonautograph200The first apparatus for recording and playing back sound was Thomas Edison’s Phonograph. Before that, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville had perfected a method for making graphic records of sound waveforms, patented in 1857 as the Phonautograph ... Read more
Posted 27 March 2013
Is ogooglebar ungoogleable?
The Swedish Language Council, under pressure from the owners of a web search engine, has submitted to self-censorship and removed an entry from its current list of new Swedish words … Read more

Formants and resonance explained
Read more
Speech articulator manoeuvres
gesturesaSpeech is produced by organized movement of various parts of the mouth and throat (speech articulators) in order to create a continuously changing acoustic filter of the airway (or vocal tract) that shapes the basic buzzing or hissing sounds … Read more
A short sequence of stills from an X-ray movie of speech, annotated to show which articulators were active for which phoneme at any moment. Read more
Praat for Beginners:
Praat tutorial:  Speech waveforms
Listen to Purcell at 128kb/s:
Listen to Purcell at 192kb/s:
Read about MP3
Posted 10 March 2012:
Praat tutorial: Understanding waveforms
Four basic waveforms:
sine, triangle, sawtooth and pulse
played in that order
Listen and compare:
The sinewave has no overtones
The others have progressively stronger overtones:
 What coarticulation is about, with examples. Read more
SLP site of the month June 2011
Thank you Speechwoman
See the full list since 1998
Caroline Bowen
wins award for the
Best educational site
carolinebowenPosted 16 Dec 2012

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