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Reviewed by:
  • The handbook of phonetic sciences
  • Zahir Mumin
William J. Hardcastle, John Laver, and Fiona E. Gibbon, eds. 2010. The handbook of phonetic sciences. 2nd ed. Oxford/Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. xi + 870. $39.95 (hardcover).

Hardcastle, Laver, and Gibbon permeate the field of phonetic sciences with a collection of revised and brand-new papers that employ a multidisciplinary approach to examining speech production. They contend that major scientific developments in research methodology practices and instrumental and auditory analyses during the past decade necessitate an in-depth exploration of the phonological, phonetic, and physiological factors that help explicate speech processes. The editors underpin this argument through the contents of the five parts of the volume by integrating speech-related areas such as aerodynamics, speech acquisition, and prosody to highlight effective techniques used to analyse language behaviour.

Part I (“Experimental phonetics”) commences with Stone’s (Chapter 1) illumination of useful imaging (Cinema-Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or Cine-MRI) and point-tracking measurement techniques (Electromagnetic Articulometer, or EMA) employed to analyse the oral vocal tract. The author points to the advantages of direct (fast tracking of simultaneous articulatory movement) and indirect (capturing images of internal vocal tract structures) measurement techniques in order to endorse integrated analyses of the vocal tract which examine points of articulatory behaviour over time and the deformation of jawbone and tongue tissue during speech production. In Chapter 2, Shadle explores aerodynamic models that simulate air/fluid motion: Maeda’s (1987) model of coherent and friction sources of voiced and voiceless stops and Gunter’s (2003) finite element model of the interaction of vocal folds during the speech production of trills. The author applies mathematical formulas to these and other similar models to demonstrate the difficulty in generating quantitative results that closely resemble the properties of air/fluid motion during speech production. In Chapter 3, Harrington analyses the acoustic transitioning of vowel and consonant sounds (F1, F2, and F3) while considering factors such as duration, spectral tilt, and vowel targets. The author compares spectrograms and line graphs of centralisation, coarticulation, and assimilation processes so as to contend that lengthening, voice onset time (VOT), and spectral shape are all major factors that affect the syntagmatic distribution of acoustic variation. Chapter 4 (Hirse) focuses on laryngeal electromyography (EMG) — the examination of muscle fiber activity — in order to detail the physiological functioning of the larynx. The author argues that the reciprocation activity of the abductor muscle (posterior cricoarytenoid, or PCA) and the adductor muscle (interarytenoid, or INT) does not clearly demonstrate how the autonomic nervous system controls the movement of the vocal folds and glottis.

Beck (Chapter 5) begins Part II (“Biological perspectives”) by shedding light on the relationship between the organic development of the vocal apparatus and speech output. The author explicates environmental (nutrition) and genetic factors (rate of growth) that affect inter- and intra-speaker organic characteristics so as to bolster the meticulous analysis of organic variation in phonetic variation studies. In Chapter 6, Ackermann and Ziegler review how primary brain components (basal ganglia, [End Page 474] cerebellum, and sensorimotor cortex) manage the hemodynamic activation of speech motor control. They explicate prearticulatory and prephonetic speech processes of neurophysiological disorders (verbal apraxia and dysarthria) in order to establish that the stimulation of vocal tract muscles substantially impacts speech production. Smith vivifies Chapter 7 by describing the speech motor development of infants, adolescents, and adults. The author asserts that underdeveloped neural network fiber connections — not underdeveloped physiological characteristics — account for slow rates of velocity exhibited in children and young adults’ orofacial speech output patterns.

Part III (“Modeling speech production and perception”) starts with Davis’s (Chapter 8) discussion of the theoretical background of phonological and phonetic approaches used to examine speech acquisition. The author argues for the integration of formalist/phonological and functionalist/phonetic paradigms so as to develop cohesive theories of speech acquisition. In Chapter 9, Fornetani and Recasens address how articulatory gestures impinge on connected speech processes: assimilation and anticipatory and carry-over coarticulation. They contest Lindblom’s (1990) adaptive variability theory by aligning themselves with gestural phonology theory, which supports the examination of gestural overlap as a non-categorical phonetic process of speech production. Löfqvist (Chapter...


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