1. Introduction to Phonetics

Phonetics is derived from the Greek word which means ‘sound’ or voice’. It is defined as the branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs.


Phonology is concerned with the abstractgrammatical characterization of systems of sounds or signs.

There three basic areas of study in the field of phonetics:

  • Articulatory phonetics: It is defined as the study of the production of speech sounds by the articulatory and vocal tract by the speaker.
  • Acoustic phonetics: It is defined as the study of the physical transmission of speech sounds from the speaker to the listener.
  • Auditory phonetics: It is defined as the study of the reception and perception of speech sounds by the listener.

Phonetics plays an important role because it is necessary that listener understands what one says. Incorrect sounds lead to mis-communication, So to be able to understand the sounds correctly, it is necessary to sounds of English in detail.

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