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III The subdivision according to segments.

The branches of Phonetics.



scheme 1



-> General phonetics – общая фонетика (studies phonetic laws, problems and principles in any language/ common of all phonetics/ general for any language)

-> Special phonetics – частная фонетика (English theoretical phonetics vs. Russian –||- and etc. Studies phonetics of a particular languages/ compares it to other languages) Our theme is English phonetics.


II Subdivision according to the speech production:

The drawing “How human noises are produced”


We call it the chain of eventswhich takes places when one person is speaking and the other one is listening.

The process of speech production is realized in the folowing scheme:

1) the message is formed and incoded in the brain of the speaker (linguistic/ psychological level)

2) it is transmitted to the organs of speech and some sounds are articulated (physiological stage)

3) the movement of the organs of speech produces sound waves (physical/ acoustic stage)

4) the sound waves are perceived, identified and decoded by the listener (NB stages 4 and 5 in the picture)


The reason is that each of these stages correlate to different branches of phonetics (is studied by a particular branch…):

- articulation phonetics studies the mechanisms of speech production;

- acoustic phonetics is concerned with the physical characteristics of speech sounds and uses special techniques to measure these sounds;

- auditory phonetics studies the perception of speech

- the linguistic interpretation is given by phonology


Phonology studies the system of sounds units (фонетические единицы) and their function. Phonology is quite a controversial subject, because some schools think that it’s a separate discipline. But we observe it as a part of Phonetics:

Phonetics stands for physical aspect, Phonology stands for the meaning of a word.

Phonetics focuses on the physical characteristic of a sound, and phonology – on its meaning.


III The subdivision according to segments.

scheme 2



Phonetics studies:

- the sound system;

- syllabic structure;

- word-stress;

- intonation


è segmental phonetics studies sounds, i.e. segments of speech.

è suprasegmental (сверхсегментная) phonetics studies bigger units of connected speech (words, phrases)


There are more subdivisions:



scheme 3

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