No calculators may be used for this exam. You may leave your answers in the form of fractions (or do simple calculations by hand).
Basic structure of the exam
- The exam will be designed to take about 120 minutes to complete, but you may stay for the whole three hours if needed
- The exam is cumulative; the three sections of the course will be represented approximately equally [...but this can only be an approximate description, since much of the material in this course builds on prior material anyway]
- Reminder: You need to be able to use the terms waveform, spectrum, and spectrogram correctly; these are all different types of displays that give us different types of information
Study guide for the third section of the course
A. New classes of speech sounds
- Phonation types
- Be able to explain the articulatory differences between breathy, modal, and creaky phonation
- Understand the relationship between the "open quotient", the shape of the waveform, and the glottal source spectrum; be able to use these properties to distinguish the different phonation types
- Be able to distinguish among modal, breathy, and creaky phonation (during the production of a vowel) on a waveform or waveform+spectrogram display
- Airstream mechanisms
- Be able to name the six logically possible airstream mechanisms
- Know which four airstream mechanisms are actually used for speech sounds, and know the one-word terms that are also used to describe sounds (usually oral stops) produced with the non-pulmonic airstream mechanisms
- Be able to explain what causes air to move for each of the four attested airstream mechanisms
- Know how the four attested airstream mechanisms interact with other phonetic properties, such as voicing, nasality, and place of articulation
- Given a waveform and/or spectrogram:
- Be able to distinguish ejectives from voiced implosives
- Be able to distinguish ejectives from voiceless plosives
- Be able to distinguish voiced implosives from voiced plosives
- There won't be a waveform/spectrogram question about clicks
- IPA symbols
- Know how to transcribe ejectives, implosives, and breathy and creaky phonation (see full IPA chart for more information)
- You do not need to know the IPA symbols for clicks
- You do not need to know the IPA diacritic symbols for ATR/RTR vowels
B. Applying phonetics knowledge in linguistics research
- Case studies where we can use phonetics knowledge to answer broader questions
- ATR/RTR versus tense/lax vowel systems — how are they acoustically different? Why is this interesting?
- Sociophonetics — using phonetic analysis to diagnose differences among language varieties, social groups, or speaker behavior in different situations
- What is the reason for using the Wells lexical sets in discussing English phonetics?
- What is a vowel shift?
- Be prepared to use your knowledge of phonetics to comment on or describe some other kind of language phenomenon
- Basic concepts in speech perception
- What are some of the factors that cause perceptual properties of speech sounds to differ from their acoustic properties?
- What is the perceptual distance between speech sounds? How does it relate to confusability data, or to subjects' similarity judgments? (No formulas required — just the concept.)
- What are some ways of determining whether an acoustic property of speech sounds is perceptually relevant for listeners?
- What is categorical perception?
- What do the results of identification and discrimination tasks look like when perception is categorical?
- Experimental phonetics and DSP
- Be able to bring your knowledge of phonetics to bear in thinking critically about an experiment — for example, be able to state a hypothesis on the basis of phonetic facts or facts about a language, design materials to probe a particular research question, or critique how well a given experimental design relates to a particular research question
- Understand the difference between continuous (analog) and discrete (digital) representations of a sound wave; know what sampling rate is, and what factors should be considered in setting this value
General study suggestions
- Use class outlines along with readings and handouts to get a
sense of what material will be emphasized most. Look over the readings
again to see how the various concepts we have covered fit together.
- Be able to solve a problem that is like any of
the problems that have appeared on homework assignments or
midterm exams. You may want to try doing the homework
and exam problems again without
looking at the answers. Try to understand
the general concepts behind the problems.
- Be able to answer "application questions" using your knowledge of the material — for example, be able to propose an explanation for a fact about the sounds of some language based on what you know about articulation or acoustics.