Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Voiced & Spoke

The first class last night went really well, so I'm quite glad I get to take it. The instructor is fun and likeable, and seems very student-focused in terms of paying attention to what we all want to get out of the class. So I think it will all be good. Last night was mostly introductions, overviews, and some basic vocal relaxation and warmup stuff (including a quick lesson on the proper way to clear one's throat). Tonight I went back to campus to pick up the course reader and read the first part that we were assigned. (It's a small reader, so there's not going to be a lot of reading.) It had an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet, and it was pretty interesting to see all the sounds in English classified based on how the sound is produced, and each given their own symbol. And some of it surprised me. It would never have occurred to me, for instance, that we pronounce the th's differently in thigh and thine, but I can hear it once I pay attention. I'm still trying to figure out the difference between the a's in pat and pass, though.

3 comments:

Lacey said...

I have to memorize all the symbols and sounds of the IPA for my linguistics class this quarter. Funny coincidence that we both run into it at the same time. :) I'm glad the class looks like it's going to be fun. You can have some of my course readings if you're feeling deprived. :P

Miriam said...

Yay IPA! I'm so glad you're in this class. We did some work in IPA in the collaborative piano classes I took, and that and having a mother who studied drama has given me a little familiarity with it. I *think* that the a of pat is flatter (use your best Wiscansin accent, or think of a duck quacking) and the a of pass is a more aerated, but I'm not sure. While you're struggling with that I'll be trying to practice the difference in pronunciation between an aleph (a glottal stop) and an ayin (another glottal stop, but with a bonus laryngeal contraction...or something). It takes a while, but that's what showers are for.

Graham said...

Hmm. I guess I can kind of find a difference between those two a's if I think about it that way. But I still think I generally pronounce them the same. Oh well. We haven't gotten to "bonus laryngeal contractions" yet, though. :-)