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Articles and Publication    Health care    Other illnesses and advices LAW OF ELEMENTARY ARTICULATION AND ITS APPLICATIONS.

 

LAW OF ELEMENTARY ARTICULATION AND ITS APPLICATIONS.

 

© Alexander K. Makeyev,

Free scientific researches and inventions,

 

Contact to the author: knowall@list.ru

 

 

 Abstract

 

The author has found solutions of fundamental problems existing at the intersection of such disciplines as speech physiology and phonology in the area of biology and medicine as well as phonetics in the area of linguistics. He also provides the wording of the previously unknown scientific law of elementary articulatory gestures and the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech as a unified "periodic table" of articulatory gestures of all thirty elementary vowel and consonant sounds-signs of speech. He introduces the new, original, intuitive and unified alphabet called Symmetric that can be accepted by all countries as their second national alphabet or as a common and sole alphabet all over the world some time in the future. The figure and short description of an intuitive, ergonomic keyboard with rotated key units are provided. The author also describes other possible applications of the Law and the "periodic table" of elementary articulatory gestures.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Key words: elementary sounds-signs of speech, law of elementary articulation, articulation zone, symmetric alphabet, keyboard, keyboard with rotated key units

  1. Introduction

Up to the present day, there has been no scientific evidence of any simple and general classification of sounds-signs of speech. Also, such notion as an “elementary sound-sign of speech” has not been introduced. A phoneme was considered a minimum acoustic speech unit. Not only elementary speech sounds but also speech sounds articulated with distortion were viewed as phonemes. For example, all soft consonant and vowel speech sounds were termed individual phonemes. The Law of Articulation as well as an intuitive and unique alphabet have not been developed and applied. All alphabets, which have been applied and are applied nowadays, have no logically clear rule of their arrangement. Not all elementary sounds-signs of speech were attributed to the individual letters.

 

At the same time, some elementary speech sounds had two or more letters representing them, while separate letters could represent two or more different elementary sounds-signs of speech. Some elementary speech sounds were incorrectly represented by those letters that were used for representation of other elementary speech sounds. For example, in the Russian language soft speech sounds “ts” and “dz” were considered soft sounds “t” and “d”, and were recorded as letters “T” and “D”, respectively. Therefore, recording of numerous words of oral speech had no uniform representation while registration of many words had no unique sound meaning.

 

The type of graphic forms of letters from all those alphabets had no unique and logical rule of linking with a certain type of articulation of sounds-signs of speech represented by them. The system of transcription symbols introduced by the International Phonetic Association did not include individual symbols of some elementary sounds-signs of speech. Up to the present, intuitive keyboards have not been developed. Everybody used QWERTY keyboards designed for mechanic typewriters by the American engineer Christopher Latham Sholes in 1870. QWERTY keyboards have horizontal slots with a right shift to the overlying slot. As a result vertical slots have 20° slant from top to bottom and from left to right, which is convenient for operations performed only by the right hand. Arrangement of letters on the keyboard for different alphabet layouts lacks general standard of sound meaning for alphabetic keys. This leads to some confusion, misprints in case of frequent shifts from one alphabet layout pattern to another. Keys are too large. There is no functional protection against stroke of several keys by one finger, which results in misprints. The keyboard also has other drawbacks.

 

This article includes a “periodic table” of elementary sounds-signs of speech and the law of elementary articulatory gestures. Some ways of application of these scientific achievements in writing, computer keyboards and programs as well as in speech and writing teaching are described.

     

2. Materials and Methods

Assumption and Discovery of Law of Elementary Articulation and Its Graphic Representation

In early February, 1984, I assumed that a variety of human speech sounds used in all languages on the Earth can be reduced to a relatively small number of elementary speech sounds. I also presumed that these elementary speech sounds can form a certain structure similar to that of a periodic table. Carrying out experiments on my own organs of speech I began to develop uniform and natural classification of elementary vowel and consonant speech sounds on the basis of the most common articulatory features. Two years later, I managed to build the first variant of the Natural System of Elementary Speech Sounds originally named the Natural System of Phonemes of Intellect. Then I formulated the first variant of the scientific Law of Articulation.

In 1986, I submitted an application for a scientific discovery to the USSR State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries. This application was rejected without inquiry mainly for formal reasons as it had more than one provision that required separate copyright protection of an intellectual product.

I continued independent work over a set of problems related to classification of speech sounds [1-4].

I developed uniform classification of all thirty elementary sounds-signs of speech on the basis of the following three fundamental and natural features of physiological biomechanics of human oral speech (See Table 1):

  • Sequence of articulation zones along the mouth section of human organs of speech.
  • Degree of closing in of the lower and upper areas of the organs of speech of the mouth cavities during articulatory gesture produced when we breathe out.
  • Overt participation or non-participation of the vocal cords in formation of vocal foundation of articulation.

 

Figure 1. Schematic representation of the mouth section of the human organs of speech. Articulation zones related to the upper part of the mouth section are marked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Areas of the lower jaw of the mouth section near the upper areas are marked 6, 7, 8. Articulatory gestures according to the articulation zones are marked with arrows: 6-1; 7-2; 7-3; 7-4; 8-5. Arrow 8-4 signifies the commonly accepted distorted articulation of “f” and “v” sounds. Arrow 7-Re signifies the commonly accepted distorted articulation of “r” sound in English.

 

 I defined all five articulation zones correlating them with the upper areas of the mouth section of the organs of speech. I numbered these five zones as far as they are moving away form the back wall of the larynx, inside-out. These five zones of articulation are as follows:

 

  • Soft palate – the back part of the tongue.
  • Hard palate at the bottom of the alveolar ridge – the front part of the tongue.
  • The alveolar ridge – the front part of the tongue.
  • The posterior surface of the upper teeth – the front part of the tongue.
  • The posterior surface of the upper lip – the top of the lower lip.

All six types of articulatory gestures, which can be distinguished according to the degree of closing of the lower and upper areas of the organs of speech in the mouth are well known.

  • Hard vowels are pronounced with minimum closing of the areas of the organs of speech of an articulation zone with the participation of the vocal cords.
  • When the areas of the organs of speech of the articulation zone are drown together and a narrow chink is formed between them while the vocal cords do not take an overt part in the course of this articulatory gesture, hard fricatives are pronounced. A sound-sign of the third articulation zone is peculiar. It can be characterized as a silent phase or pause and as a hard divider, which has no individual sounding. Any two speech sounds are divided by a silent phase or pause between them.
  • When the areas of the organs of speech of the articulation zone are drown together and a narrow chink is formed between them while the vocal cords take an overt part in the course of this articulatory gesture, hard voiced fricatives are pronounced. The sound-sign of the third articulation zone “j” (iota) is peculiar for it is always soft. The sound “j” always palatalizes the consonant immediately preceding it and (or) the vowel immediately following it in the course of continuous articulatory gesture if this immediately preceding or succeeding sound-sign of speech does not represent a silence phase, pause or a hard dividing sound. Upon this continuous articulation “j” loses its individual sounding.

 

  • When the areas of the organs of speech of the articulation zone stay drawn together up to the moment of their contact with further quick opening (accompanied by a rebound) in the course of this articulation gesture without overt participation of the vocal cords, hard voiceless plosives are pronounced.

 

  • When the areas of the organs of speech of the articulation zone stay drawn together up to their contact with further quick opening (accompanied by a rebound) in the course of this articulation gesture with the overt participation of the vocal cords, hard voiced plosives are pronounced.

 

  • When the areas of the organs of speech of the articulation zone stay drawn together up to their contact without further opening (not accompanied by a rebound) in the course of this articulation gesture with the participation of the vocal cords, hard occlusive consonants are pronounced.

Table 1. The Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech. Elementary speech sounds are marked by Latin letters and international transcription symbols. The table contains natural numbering of articulatory gestures.

 

 

 

 

Number and name of articulation zone

Without overt participation of the vocal cords in the formation of vocal base of articulation

Overt participation of the vocal cords in the formation of vocal foundation of articulation

Types of voiceless elementary sounds-signs of speech:

Types of “mid” elementary speech sounds:

Types of voiced elementary speech sounds:

Hard voiced plosives

Hard voiced fricatives

Hard vowels

Hard occlusive consonants

Hard voiced fricatives

Hard voiced plosives

5. The posterior surface of the upper lip – the top of the lower lip

 

28. P

[ p ]

 

26. F (ph, gh)

[ f ]

 

25. U (oo,)

[ u; u: ]

 

30. М

[ m ]

 

 

27. V (w, u)

[ v; w ]

 

29. B

[ b ]

4.The posterior surface of the upper teeth – the front part of the tongue

22. TS

[ ts ]

20. S (th, c, x)

[ s ]

19. О (a, aa; ir; er; ur; ear; augh; ough; u)

[ o; o:; ɔ; ə]

24. N

[ n; ŋ ]

21. Z (th, s, x)

[ z ]

23. DZ

[ dz ]

3. The alveolar ridge – the front part of the tongue

16. T

[ t ]

14. (-)

[ -; , ]

13. I; Y (e, ee; ia; u)

[ i; i: ]

18. L

[ l ]

15. ‘; Y; J

[ ’; j ]

17. D

[ d ]

2. Hard palate at the bottom of the alveolar ridge – the front part of the tongue.

 

10. CH

[ ʧ ]

 

8. SH (c, s)

[ ʃ ]

 

7. E (a;ai; ay)

[ e ]

 

12. R

[ r ]

 

9. (G; gz)

[ ʒ ]

 

11. J

[ ʤ ]

1. Soft palate – the back part of the tongue.

4. K (q; c; x)

[ k ]

2. H

[ h ]

1. A (o, oo; y; i; u)

[ a; a:; Λ ]

6. (R - Francis)

[ ȓ ]

3. (H; g)

[ ȟ ]

5. G

[ g ]

 

 

It is already known that human organs of speech are part of respiratory system and consist of the larynx with the vocal cords providing vocal foundation for articulatory gestures, oral pharynx cavities, nasopharynx, mouth section and nasal cavities. The mouth section where all speech sounds are produced by means of articulatory gestures is one of the most important sections.

Due to my Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech related to speech physiology, phonology, biology and medicine as well as phonetics and general linguistics I managed to formulate the following scientific law previously unknown:

In the mouth section of human organs of speech one of its three lower areas during each elementary and articulatory gesture is drawn together with one of five upper areas: the back part of the tongue - with the soft palate, or the front part of the tongue - with the hard palate, or the front part of the tongue - with the alveolar ridge; or the front part of the tongue - with the posterior surface of upper teeth, or the top of the lower lip - with the posterior surface of the upper lip. The vocal cords take overt part in the articulation of vowels, voiced fricatives, voiced plosives and occlusive speech sounds and are drawn together to provide vocal foundation for them.

All those articulatory gestures used in the articulation of speech sounds which differ from natural forms of articulation are considered to be distorted articulatory gestures. For example, sounds “f” and “v” are articulated by native Russian speakers with distortion, while native English speakers pronounce the sound “r” by touching the central palate with the front part of their tongue.

 

3. Results

    Symmetric Alphabet.

     

On the basis of the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech and the law of elementary and articulatory gestures I worked up intuitive, unified alphabet titled Symmetric. My alphabet has a symmetric structure which is similar to the structure of the representation area of articulatory gestures of the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech. Graphic forms of Symmetric letters are also created in accordance with the principles of symmetry (see Fig. 2). The Symmetric alphabet has only 12 original graphic characters. Their forms are definitely associated with the type of articulation of a represented elementary sound-sign of speech. Letters for representation of other 18 elementary sounds-signs of speech are left to right and (or) up and down symmetric and geometric mapping of the appropriate basic graphic sign. All Symmetric letters are logical, unified and interrelated in their form.

     

     

    Figure 2. Symmetric Alphabet

     

     

     

     

    Figure 3. Keyboard with Rotated Key Units.

     

    Keyboard with Rotated Key Units

     

On the basis of the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech and the law of elementary articulatory gestures as well as many other innovations I worked up intuitive and ergonomic Keyboard with Rotated Key Units (See Fig. 3). On June 10, 2007 I obtained a Patent of the Russian Federation to useful model RU 63948 U1.

This Keyboard has constructional protection against a stroke of more than one key by a finger. Each language layout has unified articulation layout for elementary sounds-signs of speech. This is very convenient in case of numerous and frequent shifts from one language layout to another.

The Keyboard has more comfortable arrangement of numeric keypad and other improvements.

With this Keyboard, any person will be able to blind type a text without prior training.

This Keyboard as well as the table of Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech can be used as a manual for teaching all letters of native or any foreign language.

4. Discussion

Scientific and Practical Importance of the Law of Elementary Articulatory Gestures.

The law of elementary articulatory gestures comprises a fundamental scientific knowledge on biomechanics of articulation of elementary sounds-signs of the World of verbal arrangement of information. A visual graphic representation of this law is the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech, a “periodic table” of elementary articulatory gestures. On the basis of this law, we can reconsider state articulatory standards of a national language all over the world in the future. These legislative measures are going to improve language teaching and its auditory perception through simplification of articulation by citizens.

The table of the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech can be used as a visual aid when teaching, training and correcting speech, as well as steady and accelerated learning of all the letters of any alphabet both by children and adults.

The Symmetric alphabet should be used for unambiguous writing of all the words of any language. Writing with Symmetric letters of all the words of any language should have unambiguous sound meaning. Without any exceptions from this rule, Symmetric letters can completely change all the symbols of modern international transcription. That is why the Symmetric alphabet can be accepted as the second national alphabet by all countries of the world. This alphabet can be used in various national and international documents for precise graphic symbol representation of a real sound structure of oral speech, as well as for computer program development in relevant new programming languages.

Automatic speech recognition software has nearly 1,000 basic acoustic images, a kind of independent speech sounds. This does not allow a computer to reliably distinguish acoustic images of sounds of oral speech similar in their form. If such software is based on 57 acoustic images only, 29 elementary sounds-signs of speech and 28 soft combinations of elementary sounds of speech with iota, the computer will easily reduce all the diversity of the sounds-signs of speech, which it interprets in the analyzed oral speech, to these 57 standard acoustic images. A miniature device inserted into an ear will identify speech of any language on-the-fly as a sequence of elementary sounds-signs of speech. It will identify what kind of language it is and, consequently, make on-the-fly translation of oral speech of any language into any other language necessary for a user.

I believe that the law of elementary articulatory gestures and the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech are indirect evidence of the fact that there is an indefinitely large number of Civilizations at different development levels in the Universe, because the Universe could not create such fully comfortable system of sounds-signs of speech and thinking for intellectual creatures of rather simple, underdeveloped and still non-unified civilization of the Earth, as well as indirect evidence of the fact that intellectual creatures of all Civilizations of the Universe are very similar internally and externally. Indeed, such organs of speech are required for articulation of all the elementary speech sounds, and such acoustic apparatus is required for perception of elementary speech sounds, and such brain is required for handling the information formed as a sequence of elementary sounds-signs of speech, and such hands are required for operating the keyboard representing elementary sounds-signs of speech according to the Law of Articulation, as a human being living on the Earth has.

     

References
  1. Makeyev (Heretic) A.K. Естественная система фонем интеллекта (ЕСФИ). В книге: Актуальные проблемы фундаментальных наук: тезисы докладов. Т. 12. Секции Эргономика и искусственный интеллект, иностранные языки, Семинар “Проблемы современной организации науки и производства. Инжиниринг. Маркетинг”. /Под ред. Федорова И.Б. –М.: Издательство МГТУ, 1991. с. 106. (Makeyev (Heretic) A.K. Natural System of Phonemes of Intellect (NSPI). The book includes: Topical Problems of Fundamental Sciences: Theses of Reports. Vol. 12. Ergonomics and Artificial Intelligence Section, foreign languages, Seminar “Problems of Modern Organization of Science and Production. Engineering. Marketing.” / under the editorship of I.B. Fedorov. – Moscow: Publishing office of BMSTU, 1991, p. 106.)
  2. Makeyev A.K. За горизонтом познанного. Новая картина Мира: единство микро- и макро- космоса, разума, поля и вещества! (Вселенная - это и есть истинный Бог!). –М.: АО СОЛИД, 1996. с. 14-22. (Makeyev A.K. Beyond the Horizon of the Cognized. New Worldview: Unity of Micro- and Macro- Cosmos, Mind, Fields and Substances! (The Universe is a true God). – Moscow, SOLID JSC, 1996. p. 14-22.)
  3. Makeyev A.K. “Вселенская азбука” или Закон периодичности артикуляционных и акустических свойств элементарных звуков речи и его графическое отображение в Естественной системе элементарных звуков-знаков речи-мышления (дата регистрации (открытия) 1998.05.26). В книге “Идеи. Гипотезы. Решения”. Информационный бюллетень. -Москва, ВНТИЦ №1 1999. с. 11. (Makeyev A.K. “Universal Alphabet” or the Law of Periodicity of Articulatory and Acoustic Features of Elementary Speech Sounds and its Graphic Representation in the Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech and Thinking (registration (opening) date May 26, 1998). The book includes: “Ideas, Hypotheses, Solutions.” Information bulletin. – Moscow, All-Russian Scientific and Technical Information Center No. 1 1999. p. 11.)
  4. Makeyev A.K. Законы фрактальных соотношений артикуляционных жестов и акустических свойств элементарных звуков-знаков речи. Естественная система элементарных звуков-знаков речи-мышления интеллектуальных существ Вселенной. http://www.sciteclibrary.ru/rus/catalog/pages/2541.html  11 декабря 2001. (Makeyev A.K. Laws of Fractal Correlations between Articulatory Gestures and Acoustic Features of Elementary Sound-Signs of Speech. The Natural System of Elementary Sounds-Signs of Speech and Thinking of Intellectual Creatures of the Universe. http://www.sciteclibrary.ru/rus/catalog/pages/2541.html  11 December, 11th 2001).

 

Publishing date: March 15, 2009
Source: SciTecLibrary.ru

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