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1. Sound Waves
Sound waves are the vibrations that require medium like air or water to pass through. Mechanical, longitudinal, and transverse waves are differentiated in physics. Sound has such properties as frequency and amplitude. Frequency, also called pitch, is the speed of waves’ vibration. High or low pitch depends on the wavelength. When frequency increases, the wavelength decreases and vice versa. Amplitude is the same as loudness, and it shows how big the waves are. The human ear perceives the sound waves thanks to its structure. The range of human hearing includes sound frequency from 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz and sound amplitude from 0 Decibel to 130 Decibels.
2. The Respiratory System
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The main function of the respiratory system is to supply the body with oxygen and to expel carbon dioxide. The respiratory system of worms, insects, and fish are different. A worm absorbs oxygen through the skin, and its skin has to be moist. An insect uses the spiracles, and a fish uses the gills for this purpose. As for the human respiratory system, it consists of the lungs and other organs. When a person breathes, oxygen through the nose gets into a trachea, then into bronchus, bronchioles, and alveoli. The lining of a human respiratory system is covered with cilia. The diaphragm muscle is responsible for the human process of breathing.
The larynx plays the main role in the sound production. The lecture describes the anatomical structure of the larynx and its basic functions such as protective, respiratory, and linguistic. A model of phonation includes the following steps: adduction, elongation, and airflow. The most widespread model that explained the vocal cord vibration is the aerodynamic-myoelastic model of phonation. It combines aerodynamic factor, like air pressure and flows with muscle force, and tissue elasticity to highlight voice production. As to the vocal cords vibration, phonation is classified into no voice, normal voice, whisper, breathy voice, creaky voice, and falsest. The larynx takes part in production of glotal airstream that is divided into egressive and ingressive.
4. Basic Segments of Speech (Vowels).
This lecture contains the detailed information about articulation and the classification of vowels that are produced by the pulmonic airstream. For the development of Cardinal Vowel Chart, parameters of the tongue position and lip rounding are used. According to the tongue position, the vowels can be front, central or back. Concerning the tongue height, the vowels are high, mid-high, mid-low, and low. The lip rounding divides the vowels into rounded and unrounded. Besides, primary and secondary sets of the cardinal vowels are presented in the lecture.
5. Basic Segments of Speech (Consonants).
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This lecture focuses on the classification of the pulmonic consonants as well as describes the anatomical details of the vocal tract structure. Passive and active articulators are involved in the sounds production. Passive articulators are the organs that do not move during the speech. They include lower teeth, upper teeth, alveolar ridge, palate, velum, or pharynx. Active articulators are presented by the movable organs such as lips, tongue, uvula, and glottis. In the consonants classifications, two main parameters are considered. According to the first parameter, the place of articulation, consonants are divided into bilabial, labio-dental, dental, alveolar, post-alveolar, retroflex, palatal, velar, uvular, pharyngeal, and glottal. The second parameter is the manner of articulation that helps identify plosive, nasal, trill, tap, fricative, lateral fricative, approximant, and lateral approximant. Moreover, considering glottal state, consonants can be voiced or voiceless.
6. Prosodic Features.
This video provides the information about the prosodic features of speech that play
a crucial role in human communication. Stress, pitch, intonation, pauses, loudness, pace, paralinguistic features and vocal effects are the types of prosodic features. The definition and the functions of each type are explained in the video. Stress emphasizes the syllable ass well as the word whereas the person speaks. Thus, stress may serve to change the meaning of the sentence. Pitch shows high or low vocal range that is inherent in person’s mouth. Pauses mark the end of the sentence or individual’s hesitation. Paralinguistic features include body language and facial expressions that give extra information about the interlocutor.
7. Auditory Transduction.
This video contains the description of human ear structure and shows how each part of the ear works in order to perceive the different sounds. Human ear transforms the mechanical vibrations into electrical impulses that reach the brain for interpretation. This process begins when the sound enters the ear and passes through the auditory canal to the tympanic membrane. The vibration of the tympanic membrane goes to the auditory ossicles that consist of three bones such as the malleus, incus, and stapes. As soon as the vibration reaches the cochlea, it is transferred to the organ of Corti, inside of which the hair cells are. The hair cells through the cochlear nerve send the information to the brain.
8. Phonetics – Speech Analysis.
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Various techniques are used for the acoustic analysis of speech. They are the waveform view, the frequency spectrum, and the spectrogram. The lecture focuses on the spectrogram as the most effective way for the speech analysis. Also, the lecture includes a brief history of the first spectrograph and the demonstration of its usage. Nowadays, the computer technology is perfect for making the spectrogram. The specifics of reading the spectrogram is given in this lecture in detail.
9. Speech Perception.
Speech perception is responsible for how the person understands the speech sounds and recognizes them in the spoken language. In this lecture, the main principles of speech perception are explained. It is based on the following principles: acoustic cues, perceptual units, and models. The latter are divided into active theories, like motor theory and analysis-by-synthesis, and passive theories such as template matching and feature detectors.
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