Category Archives: Human Communication 101

Transcribing Speech Sounds

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Consider the following short text. Dan and Kathryn had a row in the park. What do you think actually happened here? Do you think that Dan and Kathryn spent some time propelling a boat with oars, rowing on a lake in the park? Or do you think they had an extended, noisy quarrel? The difficulty […]

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Age of Acquisition of Speech Sounds

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Normative data Normative data refers to data that characterize what is typical of a particular large group at a specific point in time. Such data provide summary descriptions of the group’s behavior. So, for example, in order to understand the order of acquisition of speech sounds, researchers have studied large groups of children and identified […]

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Making Speech Sounds

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All English speech sounds are made on an outgoing (egressive) airstream. The process begins as air from the lungs (pulmonic air) passes upwards through the windpipe (trachea) and through the larynx. Larynx Within the larynx are two vocal folds. These are almost triangular in shape and made of elastic tissue. They are approximately 17-22 mm […]

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Studying Speech

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Which variety of speech? The particular world language at the heart of this series of articles (English Speech Sounds 101), and this website, is English. There are, of course, many varieties of English: American English, Australian English, Caribbean English, Singaporean English, Nigerian English, and so on. Whilst all are recognizable as ‘English’, these different varieties […]

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What is a speech sound?

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Human beings are capable of uttering hundreds of sounds. If we fall and hurt ourselves, we may well let out a shriek or a pained, strangled sound of hurt – something akin to “Ow!” or “Argh!” However, not all uttered sounds such as these are speech sounds. That is to say, not all of the […]

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Human Communication 101 is a series of introductory texts providing high quality information on selected aspects of human communication, with particular emphasis on speech, language and communication needs.

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English Speech Sounds 101

Overview This series of articles from the Human Communication 101  series is entitled ENGLISH SPEECH SOUNDS 101. It introduces the reader to articulatory phonetics, the study of how the human vocal tract is used to produce speech sounds. In doing so, it identifies all sounds that are considered to be English speech sounds. These are […]

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