Since linguistics is the scientific study of speech and language, audio files can be an important technology, especially for phonetics. Below are some sample audio files in the .wav format demonstrating the pronunciation of Welsh letter "ll" or 'voiceless L'. These were recorded directly onto a Macintosh and can be played in most media players including Quicktime, Windows Media Player and Real Player.
Visuals can be used to demonstrate the mechanics and acoustics of pronunciation. Below are two examples of visuals I created for my course in phonology.
The first is a screen capture of a spectogram which shows a visual of acoustic signals for two similar consonants - /s/ and /š/ ("sh"). The spectrogram shows that both are fairly loud (black areas are louder than gray areas), but that /s/ has a higher pitch than /š/.
Sounds are made by moving the tongue or lips into different positions. Understanding how the anatomy of "vocal tract" is a key to understanding the nature of sound change or mispronunciations. Most textbooks include a copy of the vocal tract, but I made my own so I could edit it as needed.
Last Update: July 19, 2006