Linguistics 520: Phonetics I

Fall term, 2013

Instructor: Mark Liberman (email)

Phonetics Lab RA: Eric Doty (email)

Lectures are Mondays 10-12, and lab sessions are Wednesday 11-12. All class meetings will be held in the Phonetics Lab, 623 Williams Hall.

The concepts to be covered will include:

1. The nature of sound; vocal tract anatomy; vocal tract acoustics; basic source/filter models.
2. Speech motor control and the relationships to various higher levels of planning in speech production.
3. The lexical representation of the sound of words.
4. The anatomy and physiology of hearing; basic psychophysics; speech perception.
5. Syllables and other sound structures; prosody; tone.
6. Phonetic and phonological typology.

Skills to be taught will include:

1. The International Phonetic Alphabet and other transcription schemes.
2. Phonetic instrumentation and experimental design.
3. Interpretation of audio waveforms, spectrograms, F0 contours, and so on.
4. Basics of digital audio and digital signal processing.
4. Simple scripting and programming for phonetic research.

The detailed coverage will be adjusted to suit the backgrounds and interests of the course participants.

Course-related discussion forum at

All the lecture notes and reading material for this course will be linked to this schedule page, as we move through the semester -- it is just a skeleton to start with.


# Date Description Links
Lab 1 W 8/24 Introduction to the course Lab Assignment #1
  M 9/2 [Labor Day]  
Lab 2 W 9/4 Word-level segmentation of digit strings Lab Assignment #2
Lec 1 M 9/9 Lecture notes 1: The nature of sound  
  W 9/11 From Praat to R Lab Assignment #3 - and read
"The shape of a spoken phrase", LL 4/12/2006
Lec 2 M 9/16 Lecture notes 2:
How sounds are created and shaped in the vocal tract -- and why.
Read Chap. 1, "Articulation and Acoustics",
from Ladefoged's Course in Phonetics
Lab 3 W 9/18   Lab Assignment #4
Lec 3 M 9/23    
Lab 4 W 9/25   Lab Assignment #5
Lec 4 M 9/30    
Lab 5 W 10/2   Lab Assignment #5a --
and here are instructions for submitting your digit-string durations.
Lec 5 M 10/7 Qualitative Theory of Formant Values
"Automatic Measurement and Comparison of Vowel Nasalization Across Languages", ICPhS 2011
"investigating /l/ Variation in English through Forced Alignment", InterSpeech 2009


Lab 6 W 10/9    
Lec 6 M 10/14    
Lab 7 W 10/16   Design a speech perception experiment
Lec 7 M 10/21    
Lab 8 W 10/23    
Lec 8 M 10/28    
Lab 9 W 10/30    
Lec 9 M 11/4    
Lab 10 W 11/6    
Lec 10 M 11/11    
Lab 11 W 11/13    
Lec 11 M 11/18    
Lab 12 W 11/20    
Lec 12 M 11/25    
  W 11/27 [Thanksgiving]  
Lec 13 M 12/2    
Lab 13 W 12/4    
Lec 14 M 12/9