LING 045 — Fall 2017
Phonetics and Phonology


The purpose of this exercise is to get you acquainted with using Praat for phonetic analysis. You should familiarise yourself with the basic guide to using Praat that I put together, and reference it as you do the assignment.

Section 1. Recording some speech

For this section, you should record yourself saying the words bit and bid, three times each. It doesn't matter how you order your utterances.

Save the recording as "words.flac" and upload it to the assignment on Moodle.

Section 2. Making printable waveforms

For this section, you should choose one of your recorded utterances of each "bid" and "bit", and make a printable waveform of each of the words. Name the waveforms "bid.pdf" and "bit.pdf" and upload them to the assignment on Moodle.

Section 3. Measurements

  1. Make a spreadsheet in any spreadsheet program (Google Sheets is easy to use, and available for free through your Swarthmore email account). Label three columns at the top (leaving the first column empty): "duration", "F1", and "F2". Label 6 rows down the first column (leaving the first cell empty), one for each word you recorded: "bid 1", "bid 2", "bid 3", "bit 1", "bit 2", and "bit 3".
  2. Measure the duration of the vowel in each of the six words you recorded, adding the measurement to the "duration" column for the appropriate word. Be sure to follow the guidelines I provide in the "measuring stuff" section for how many decimal places to include.
  3. Measure the first and second formants at the middle of the vowel in each of the six words you recorded, adding the measurements to the "F1" and "F2" columns, respectively, for the appropriate word. Again, be sure you take into account the guidelines for decimal places.
  4. When you're done with this step, you should have a 4-by-7 table, where the first row and first column are labels, and the rest is measurements.
  5. Leave an extra row under these measurements empty, and label rows 9 and 10 "bid adverage" and "bit average". Have your spreadsheet program calculate the average of the durations, F1, and F2 for each word type in the appropriate column. In many spreadsheet programs, for example, you can type e.g., =AVERAGE(B2:B4) to have it calculate the average of the contents of rows B2 through B4.
  6. When you're done with this step, you should have 6 additional numbers, in a 3-by-2 grid below your original measurements.
  7. Highlight in bold the average duration that is longer (i.e., for bid or bit?), and the F1 and F2 averages that are higher (i.e., which of the word types had a higher F1, and which had a higher F2?). You should have three of the six averages in bold when you're done, one in each of the three columns.

Make a pdf of the spreadsheet, naming it "measurements.pdf", and save a copy in .xls or .xlsx format, also with the name "measurements". Upload these two files to the assignment.

Check your submission

You should have uploaded the following files to the assignment:

Please check all your files and make sure they contain what they're supposed to! I.e., you should be able to open the .flac file in Praat, and the .pdf files in your PDF viewer.

If everything looks right, and you're happy with it, go ahead and submit the assignment!