November 2007
<A href=="../wav/wav0711.wav"> -->"Intimidating, we're not."

Such an interesting utterance. Inspired by a student's comment about the department. No, really. But we should be able to deal with a little fronting. I did warn you that this sentence was syntactically marked.

[ɪ], IPA 319
Small Capital I
There's nothing like starting with a nice clean vowel. There's really nothing in that first pulse that looks like a release, and obviously no VOT. No previoicing, no VOT, no murmur or even any glotalization that might call attention to the onset of the vowel. So this is just a vowel. A fairly high vowel, and very, very front. But tending to centralizing rather than, well, out-gliding. So this is an initial [ɪ].

[n], IPA 116
Lower-case N
Ah, a nice clear sonorant, judging by the voicing bar, but with precious little energy above. Must be a nasal (or a really, really odd-looking approximant). Although precisely which nasal is open to argument. The F2 transition is falling, but to a relatively high F2 frequency, suggesting an alveolar. Which would be a good guess even if it weren't, since alveolars are so much more common. Anyway, since there's cleary a stop following (check out the release at 375 msec or so) it's probably at least partially assimilated anyway. So leave it ambiguous and move on.

[tʰ], IPA 103 + 404
Lower-case T + Right Superscript H
Now, for about 50 msec starting before that release thing, something happens to the voicing. This suggests closure, if not devoicing and other things. The burst also tells us there has to be a plosive in here, since otherwise there's no way to develop any pressure for a release like that. So let's talk about the release. Very sharp. But one might also say broad-band. Let's look at the frication/VOT noise. "Tilted to the high frequencies" comes to mind. Almost...[s]-like. This, friends, is an alveolar release. And with a VOT like that, obviously aspirated.

[ɪ], IPA 319
Small Capital I
Shortish vowel, probably dismissable as reduced, but let's pretend it's not for the time being. In which case it looks like it as a mid-to-lowish F1, so it's moderately high, and a highish F2, indicating something quite front. Frontish and mid-to-highish. Okay. Turns out this is the highest pitch of the whole utterance, so it must be the stressed syllable.

[m], IPA 114
Lower-case M
Another obvious nasal, with more going on in it that previous ones. First of all, there's a pole or something at about 1200 Hz. That's a little low for an [n]. But then it's a little high for an [m]. So look at those F2 transitions into and out of it. F2 dives to the level of the pole, and rises again. Must be bilabial.

[ɨ], IPA 317
Barred I
Another shortish vowel. It's longer than the last one, but the last one was clearly the stressed one, so this one isn'.  If it were, it would probably be the same.  But for some reason it's alittle more central (as in a slightly lower F2), but whatever.

[d], IPA 104
Lower-case D
Plosive, probably, given the sudden loss of energy at all frequencies, and the absence of any energy above the voicing bar. The weak voicing in the voicing bar is consistent with voicing during closure. As for place, Note the rising F4, the ambiguous or falling F3, which together should give one pause. But cmoparing the F2 transitions on either side, both clearly point to about 1700-1800 Hz, the usual 'locus' of F2 transitions for alveoalrs (if you don't believe that, then at least convince yourself that the locus here is much higher than it was for the very clearly bilabial nasal.

[eɪ], IPA 302 + 319
Lower-case E + Small Capital I
F1 is middish, although at about 800 msec it seems to drop a little. F2 rises from the locus of the transition until about 800 msec or so, where it is clearly front. So we go from mid-to-high to higher and front to fronter. Not that many diphthongs do that.

[ɾ], IPA 124
Fish-Hook R
Short little plosive looking thing. Too short. This is a flap. Remember what these look like. They come up.

[ɪ], IPA 319
Small Capital I
Now, on the surface, this looks a lot like the pervious vowel, except the onset frequency is a little lower, and the offset frequency is a little higher. And that's true, but it's an illusion of the context. What we have here is a short little vowel whose edges are getting pulled out of whack by the surrounding consonants. So abstracting away from the transitions we've got something that is moderately high, and on average, extremely front.  Could be [i] actually, but then the transitions wouldn't be as smooth. I guess.

[ŋ], IPA 119
But notice how the F3 and F2 kind of meet each other?  Easy to miss, but that's velar pinch, folks. So we're headed into a velar. Note the strong voicing bar and the limited (but present) energy above. Most be another nasal. Woo hoo. Three nasals in one utterance! Are you thrilled? Now take a moment and compare them. They come up too.

[w], IPA 170
Lower Case W
So by my reckoning (you know we're in trouble when I start reckoning things), the nasal lasts a good long while, but 'something' happens just before the 1100 msec mark. The voicing bar, or whatever suddenly gains a little energy, suggesting the sudden de-coupling of the nasal channel. At that moment, F1 is so low (or so weak) to not matter much, F2 is as low as F2 ever gets, considering that by the time we definitely get F2 energy it's clearly raising from about 700 Hz or so. F3 is nowhere to be seen, but isn't particularly low. So what do we know that has an incredibly low F2 (indicating back, round, or given the extremity, both), but doesn't have a raised or particularly lowered F3? Right!

[i], IPA 301
Lower-case I
Well, that's what it seems like to me, but it's so coarticulated with the following sound it's hard to tell. Definitely heading to a very front position. And fairly high.

[ɹ], IPA 151
Turned R
So here's the thing. F3 is plunging below 2000 Hz. That is, into F2 territory. Must be an [ɹ].

[n], IPA 116
Lower-case N
Oooh, another nasal. Knowing what ew know now, what do we know about this one?

[ɒ], IPA 313
Turned Script A
I'm developing quite a repetoire of low back vowels. This one just looks like it has a lower F2 than I'm used to, which is why I thought it might be round. It's certainly typically round, or rounded, or whatever, than I'm used to around here. Canadians, you know. Anyway, the F1 is just about as high as it can get, and the F2 is about as low as it can get considering the F1, so this has to be low and back somewhere.

[t], IPA 103
Lower-case T
So there's some glottalization, or perhaps just low pitch at the end. So that's not a really good clue, but there's not a lot happening from the last pulse, which is I guess at about 1750 msec, and the release. See the release?  At about 1850 msec? Slightly doubled, but don't let that fool you. Look at that frication in the high frequencies. Must be an avleolar. Sorry but that's just how it is.