By Peter Ladefoged
The straightforward to appreciate procedure builds at the fundamentals, starting with technical phrases required for describing speech and transcription symbols prior to relocating directly to the phonetics of English and different languages.
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Additional info for A Course in Phonetics, Fourth edition
The pathway that has been described for sound traveling through the auditory system is known as air conduction and is the most efficient method for sound transmission. There is a second route for sound transmission that requires sound to be transmitted to the inner ear via vibrations of the bony structures of the skull. This latter process is known as bone conduction, and it can be used to test hearing (as described in Chapter 3). Because bone conduction is extremely inefficient—it results in an enormous loss of energy—it does not contribute much to audition under typical hearing conditions.
CENTRAL AUDITORY SYSTEM Information flows through the auditory nerve via a chain of nuclei in the brainstem and then proceeds to the auditory cortex. The brain interprets the signal (frequency and intensity) based on the configuration (more on this later) sent from the cochlea and by the number of nerve impulses received. Needless to say, this interpretation is much more complicated than is presented here. Obviously, a better and deeper understanding of the structure and function of the cochlea (in the inner ear) should result in the development of a more efficient cochlear implant that can aid the brain in its interpretation of the electrical signal.
Qxd 3/3/10 1:34 PM Page 15 Suggested Activities 5. According to the authors, why are speech and hearing important? Can you relate this to the development of English literacy skills? Was the connection between hearing and speech and reading new for you? 6. In this chapter, we mentioned that phonology represents the building blocks of a language. What does this mean? 7. Select and describe three major concepts that are discussed in this text. 8. How would you describe the authors’ framework for discussing the contributions of speech and hearing to the development of English?
A Course in Phonetics, Fourth edition by Peter Ladefoged