An evaluation on the modern IPA chart (post 2005)

Instruction & Requirements:
Evaluate how successful the main parameters of phonetic description on the IPA chart are in capturing linguistically relevant categories. You may illustrate your answer with reference to the followings: fricatives and airstream mechanism.

For fricatives: say why tongue shape matters in the production of fricatives. If tongue shape changes, what happens? Look up languages with interesting fricatives: Swedish, Toda, Polish, Mandarin (sound file used IPA handbook). Was there any useful material in our Faroese work?

For this essay, Lavers Principles of Phonetics is a very useful starting point, because it provides a good theoretical critique of the IPA. L&M is also an excellent resource here: they provide a lot of information that goes beyond what is captured on the IPA chart. You will need to understand well the aims and goals of linguistic phonetics, as articulated in classic texts: Henry Sweet, David Abercrombie, Daniel Jones, J C Catford and Peter Ladefoged are just a few of the people who have done this. You could illustrate your essay with material from the IPA handbook.

Ideal qualities to be demonstrated:

It will be well presented, with clear section headings, appropriately labelled diagrams, tables and figures, etc.

The question will be explored through the analysis of data. The essay will make a consistent argument, and consider and evaluate competing kinds of evidence, demonstrating critical engagement with the subject. The evidence presented will be relevant and will be related to ideas or theories in a way that shows understanding of those ideas or theories

The essay will communicate ideas clearly and articulately; in particular, you are invited to present your own opinion, and defend it. This need not be original, but a convincing case should be made.

It will refer to material beyond the basic reading for the module. Include references to primary literature from journals, chapters of books, etc., rather than just textbooks

It will provide evidence that you are able to work with speech in principled ways, e.g. good command of the IPA and phonetic notation, appropriate terminology, accurate and precise descriptions in terms that meet scientific norms for the discipline, examples from a range of languages, reference to theories of phonetics.

refer to

Peter Ladefoged & Ian Maddieson (1996). The Sounds of the Worlds Languages. Oxford, Blackwell. Chapter 3.2, 5, 8.

International Phonetics Association, 1999. Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge: cambridge University Press. pp.3-38 (attached)

International Phonetic Association, 1989. Report on the 1989 Kiel Convention. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 19(2), pp.67-80. (attached)

I have also attached a document with some thoughts I had on this topic.

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