communication culture essay ethnicity in our voice

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Communication culture essay ethnicity in our voice resume tips for school counselors

Communication culture essay ethnicity in our voice

It is assumed that difference between phonetic quality, voice quality, and tone of voice features lies primarily in how long the features are maintained. Tone of voice features are maintained for a duration intermediate between the quasi-permanent voice quality and the momentary phonetic quality features: for as long as the particular attitude is being conveyed.

The sections above have pointed out that when we speak, a lot of information is signaled. This information is informative: it makes the receiver aware of something of which they were not previously aware. But there are many other types of information, some of them intended, some not. The different types of information in speech are encoded in an extremely complex way. One aspect of this complexity that with different speakers traces, and different speakers acoustic vowel plots, is that the different types of information in speech are not separately and discretely partitioned, or encoded in separate bits of the message.

There is not one frequency band, for example, that signals the speaker's health, or one that signals emotion; the phonetic quality is not a frequency-modulated as opposed to an amplitude modulated voice quality. Such things are typically encoded in the same acoustic parameter. Unless the details of this encoding are understood, it is not possible to interpret the inevitable variation between forensic samples.

Let us take once again the example of average pitch to illustrate this. Unless we understand the details of this encoding, it is not possible to interpret the inevitable pitch variation between samples. An observed difference in pitch might reflect one speaker speaking differently on two occasions with a preponderance of questions on one occasion, and statements on the other , or two different speakers with different-sized cords speaking in the same way.

The principle involved here is this. Two samples from the same speaker taken under comparable i. In the same way, two comparable samples from different speakers are also likely to be correctly discriminated as a different-speaker pair. But non-comparability of samples can lead to incorrect discrimination. It can make two samples from different speakers more similar, thus resulting in evaluation as a same-speaker pair, or it can amplify the difference between two samples from the same speaker, thus favoring evaluation as a different-speaker pair.

This means that in order to understand how these speaker-specific bits of information are encoded in the speech signal, it is necessary to understand what the different types of information in speech are; what the different components of the voice are; and what the relationship is between the information and the components. To answer these questions now turn to:[ 1 ].

When we speak it is often because we have information to communicate. However, this information has to be processed through two channels: most obviously, the message has to be implemented by a speaker's individual vocal tract. But the message has to be given linguistic form too, and both these channels affect the form of the message.

The result of passing information we want to convey through these channels is the voice. When we want to communicate something in speech, we have to make choices within our linguistic system. But these choices have to be processed through our individual vocal tracts to convert them into speech and therefore are constrained by the physical properties of the individual's vocal tract.

This leads to Nolan's characterization of the voice as the interaction of constraints and choices in communicating information. A speaker's voice is the interaction of constraints imposed by the physical properties of the vocal tract and choices that a speaker makes in achieving communicative goals through the resources provided by the various components of his or her linguistic system.

This can be regarded as the picture of the components of a voice. It can be seen that the model consists of four main parts, the connections between which are symbolized by fat arrows. Two of these parts are inputs and two are mechanisms. The two inputs are labeled communicative intent and intrinsic indexical factors, and the two mechanisms are labeled linguistic mechanism and vocal mechanism.

The communicative intent maps onto the linguistic mechanism, and the intrinsic indexical factors map onto the vocal mechanism. The vocal mechanism accepts two inputs, from the intrinsic indexical factors and the linguistic mechanism. There is also a picture of a speech wave coming from the vocal mechanism. This represents the final physical, acoustic output of the interaction. This output can be thought of as both the thing that a listener—perhaps best thought of as the forensic phonetician—responds to, and the acoustic raw material that is analyzed by the forensic phonetician.

As conceived in linguistics, language is a complex multilayered code that links sound and meaning by a set of abstract rules and learnt forms. A very simple model for the structure of this code is shown in Figure 1.

As can be seen, it has five components: semantics, syntax, morphology, phonology, and phonetics. Semantics has to do with the meanings conveyed in language; syntax with how words are combined into sentences. Morphology is concerned with the structure of words, and phonetics and phonology encompass aspects of speech sounds. In linguistics, all this structure is termed the grammar of a language, and thus grammar has a wider meaning than is normally understood. The voice's linguistic mechanism in Figure 1 can therefore be properly understood to comprise, in addition to the tone of voice, a large part of the speaker's grammar.

With one proviso described below, in addition to indicating the main components of linguistic structure, Figure 1 can be understood as representing the suite of processes involved when a speaker communicates a specific linguistic message verbally to a listener. Thus, the speaker has a meaning they want to convey, and the meaning is expressed in syntactic, morphological, and, ultimately, acoustic-phonetic form this is what the downward arrows imply.

It is this acoustic-phonetic form that reaches a listener's ears and that they decode, via their naturally acquired knowledge of the phonetics, morphology, syntax, and semantics of their native language, to reconstruct the meaning of the original message the implication of the upward pointing arrows. Figure 1 thus represents the linking of speaker's to listener's meaning via sound by showing semantics and phonetics peripherally, joined by the remaining three components of the linguistic code.

These five modules of linguistic structure traditionally constitute the core of any linguistics programmed and are the major categories in terms of which the grammar of a previously undescribed language is described in descriptive linguistics. Because they are also part of the voice, and because they may be referred to in forensic-phonetic reports, it is important to provide a brief characterization of each. One of the main differences in the way linguists view the structure of language has to do with the place of meaning: specifically, whether it is primary or not.

The view described here will simply assume that it is. That is, as described above, a speaker has meanings they want to communicate, and these are given syntactic, morphological, phonological, and phonetic structure. This is why semantics is placed at the top of the model in Figure 1. Semantic structure comprises firstly the set of meanings that are available for encoding in language in general and the meanings that have to be encoded in a specific language.

For example, all languages allow us to refer to objects and to their location in space. We do not have to refer to the book's location being uphill or downhill from the speaker nor to whether the location is near you, or away from you; nor whether the object is visible to me, or you; nor to the source of my knowledge about the book's location, and my consequent belief in its truth.

All these are semantic categories that have to be encoded in some languages. The second type of meaning is structural semantics or the meaning of grammatical structures. As an example of structural meaning, take the two sentences: The man killed the burglar, and The burglar killed the man. The two sentences clearly mean something different, yet they have the same words, so their semantic difference cannot be a lexical one.

Preverbal position, at least with this verb in this form, is associated with a semantic role called agent: that is the person who prototypically does the action indicated by the verb. Postverbal position encodes the semantic role patient. This is prototypically the person who is affected by the action of the verb in these two sentences the degree of affectedness is extreme, with the patient undergoing a considerable, indeed irreversible, and change of state. The third kind of linguistic meaning, pragmatic meaning, has to do with the effect of extralinguistic context on how an utterance is understood.

As an additional example, pragmatics has to be able to explain how the sentence That's very clever can be understood in two completely opposite ways, depending on the context. Although semantics is clearly part of linguistic structure, meaning in the voice model is probably best thought of as a part of one of the inputs to the system the part labeled communicative intent, which is the meaning that the speaker intends to convey , rather than as a part of linguistic structure.

Syntax functions as a framework on which to hang the structural and pragmatic meanings. Obviously, linguistic meanings have to be conveyed in sequences of words. However, words are not simply strung together linearly, like beads on a string, convey a meaning. They are hierarchically combined into longer units such as phrases, clauses, and sentences, and it is this hierarchical structure that syntax describes. Syntactic structure is described in terms of constituents, which are words that behave syntactically as a single group.

First, the group of words has a particular internal structure, expressed in terms of word class, typical of noun phrase constituents. It consists of an article the , an adverb exceedingly , an adjective ferocious , and a noun. Second, the group can be substituted by a smaller item, for example, the pronoun it, and still yield a grammatical sentence It bit the man. Third, their constituent status is shown by the fact that they can be moved as a group to form, for example, the related passive sentence: The man was bitten by the exceedingly ferocious dog.

The hierarchical combination of syntactic constituents such as noun phrases into higher order constituents is shown by the fact that the noun phrase the exceedingly ferocious dog forms part of the prepositional phrase by the exceedingly ferocious dog. The smallest meaningful unit in a language is called a morpheme, and words may consist of one or more morphemes.

Vietnamese has on average very few morphemes per word; English has on average somewhat more. The different types of morphemes and the ways they combine to form words are the subject of morphology. The reader might like to consider how many morphemes are present in the word oversimplification. It consists of four morphemes: A basic adjectival root morpheme simple; a suffix that functions to change an adjective simple into a verb simplify ; a prefix over- that attaches onto a verb or adjective cf.

It is not clear whether the -c- in oversimplification is a part of the morphemeify or the morphemeation. Phonology deals with the functional organization of speech sounds. One aspect of phonology central to forensic phonetics, namely phonemics recalled that phonemics describes what the distinctive sounds, or phonemes, of a language are, what the structure of words is in terms of phonemes, and how the phonemes are realized, as allophones.

It is one of the interesting structural features of human language that its meaningful units i. Which of these forms or allomorphs is chosen is predictable and depends on the last sound in the noun. This is another example of the predominantly rule-governed nature of the linguistic code. The area of linguistic structure that is concerned with relationships between the morphemes meaningful units and their allomorphs realizations in sound is called morphophonemics.

It is usually considered as another aspect of phonology. Phonetics deals with the actual production, acoustic realization, and perception of speech sounds. We now turn to the main input to the system, namely all the information that a speaker intends to convey. This is termed communicative intent. What sorts of things can and do speakers deliberately encode in their voices? The first that springs to mind is the linguistic message itself: a proposition an utterance with a truth value perhaps, or a question, or a command.

However, speakers also deliberately express emotion; convey social information; express self-image; and regulate conversation with their interlocutor s , and these also constitute different components of communicative intent. The communicative intent box thus contains five smaller boxes, which refer to these five possible different types of information.

These different types will now be described. Because we are dealing with linguistic meaning, changes in cognitive content will have consequences for all the components of linguistic structure. We can choose to signal an emotional state when we speak. Affective intent refers to the attitudes and feelings a speaker wishes to convey in the short term.

One change will almost certainly be that the angry utterance will be louder, and perhaps the overall pitch will be higher. So another way in which speech samples can differ is in affective intent. How different emotions are actually signaled in speech is very complicated. More commonly, perhaps, different emotions are signaled linguistically in sound.

This occurs primarily by the control of intonational pitch. We can also signal differences in emotion non-discretely, by for example altering our pitch range. Yes, said with a pitch falling from high in the speaker's pitch range to low signals more enthusiasm than a yes said on a narrower pitch range, with a pitch falling from the middle of speaker's pitch range to low. In these cases, there is a more direct relationship between the actual realization and the degree of emotion signaled, with the degree of involvement reflected in the size of the pitch fall, or the width of the range.

Emotion is also commonly signaled in sound by phonation type—the way our vocal cords vibrate. Speakers are primates. They interact socially in complex ways. Part of this social interaction is played out in language and is responsible for both between-speaker and within-speaker variations. It is often assumed that the primary function of language is to convey cognitive information. However, a very important function of language is to signal aspects of individual identity, in particular our membership of a particular group within a language community.

This group can be socioeconomically defined. The idea here, then, is that speakers typically choose to signal their membership of social, ethnic, or regional groups by manipulating aspects of linguistic structure. That is part of what is meant by the social intent sub-part of communicative intent. We all talk to ourselves or the computer, or dog from time to time, but most[ 14 ] involves verbal interaction, usually conversation, with other humans.

Conversation is not haphazard: It is controlled and structured, and the conventions underlying conversational interaction in a particular culture are part of the linguistic competence of all speakers who participate in that culture. In traditional Australian aboriginal societies, for example, in contrast to Anglo-Australian culture, it is not normal to elicit information by direct questions.

The obvious implications of this for aboriginal witnesses in court have often been pointed out. The sub-discipline of linguistics that investigates how speakers manage conversations is called conversation analysis. Regulatory intent has to do with the conventional things you deliberately do to participate in a conversation in your culture. It is known that little boys and girls, although they are too young to show differences in vocal tract dimensions associated with peripubertal sexual dimorphism, nevertheless choose to exploit the plasticity of their vocal tract in order to sound like grown-up males and females.

Little boys have been shown to use lower F0 values and little girls higher. Ricardo Guthrie and community artists and residents. Is the Ethnic Studies program right for you? Take our quiz to find out. Connect with us! Ethnic studies is … … the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity, as understood through the perspectives of major underrepresented racial groups in the United States. The beginning Ethnic studies emerged in universities across the nation during the s as a result of social reform movements for equity and empowerment of racial minorities.

Why ethnic studies? The ethnic studies program will enhance your major and professional options by: enhancing your skill base and career potential challenging you to think in more complex ways about identity and history and avoid cultural stereotyping strengthening your understanding of diversity, equity, and justice, which may provide a competitive advantage in future employment preparing you for a more globalized world But more importantly, a background in ethnic studies will: teach you to value and appreciate diversity make you more aware of global experiences and opportunities give you skills for working with a variety of people prepare you to make a difference Ethnic Studies-related videos The Mural at Murdoch Oct.

The film trailer captures the spirit, energy and perspectives of the high school students who benefited from the classes that increased student retention and graduation rates at Tucson High School. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice—and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Ethnic Studies. Location Room Building Contact Form.

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Learn more. Relationships are powerful. Our one-to-one connections with each other are the foundation for change. And building relationships with people from different cultures, often many different cultures , is key in building diverse communities that are powerful enough to achieve significant goals.

Whether you want to make sure your children get a good education, bring quality health care into your communities, or promote economic development, there is a good chance you will need to work with people from several different racial, language, ethnic, or economic groups. And in order to work with people from different cultural groups effectively, you will need to build sturdy and caring relationships based on trust, understanding, and shared goals.

Because trusting relationships are the glue that hold people together as they work on a common problem. As people work on challenging problems, they will have to hang in there together when things get hard. They will have to support each other to stay with an effort, even when it feels discouraging. People will have to resist the efforts of those who use divide-and-conquer techniques--pitting one cultural group against another.

Regardless of your racial, ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic group, you will probably need to establish relationships with people whose group you may know very little about. Each one of us is like a hub of a wheel.

Each one of us can build relationships and friendships around ourselves that provide us with the necessary strength to achieve community goals. If each person builds a network of diverse and strong relationships, we can come together and solve problems that we have in common. But first let's talk about what culture is. Culture is a complex concept, with many different definitions.

But, simply put, "culture" refers to a group or community with which we share common experiences that shape the way we understand the world. It includes groups that we are born into, such as race, national origin, class, or religion. It can also include groups we join or become part of.

For example, we can acquire a new culture by moving to a new region, by a change in our economic status, or by becoming disabled. When we think of culture this broadly we realize we all belong to many cultures at once. Do you agree? How might this apply to you? It may seem odd that in order to learn about people in other cultures, we start by becoming more aware of our own culture. But we believe this is true.

If you haven't had a chance to understand how your culture has affected you first hand, it's more difficult to understand how it could affect anyone else or why it might be important to them. If you are comfortable talking about your own culture, then you will become better at listening to others talk about theirs.

Or, if you understand how discrimination has affected you, then you may be more aware of how it has affected others. Even if you don't know who your ancestors are, you have a culture. Even if you are a mix of many cultures, you have one. Culture evolves and changes all the time. It came from your ancestors from many generations ago, and it comes from your family and community today. In addition to the cultural groups we belong to, we also each have groups we identify with, such as being a parent, an athlete, an immigrant, a small business owner, or a wage worker.

These kinds of groups, although not exactly the same as a culture, have similarities to cultural groups. For example, being a parent or and an immigrant may be an identity that influences how you view the world and how the world views you. Becoming aware of your different identities can help you understand what it might be like to belong to a cultural group.

Try listing all the cultures and identities you have: This is just a list of suggestions to get you started. Add as many as you think describe you. Did this help you think about your identities and cultures? How have these different cultures and identities affected your life?

There are many ways that people can learn about other people's cultures and build relationships at the same time. Here are some steps you can take. They are first listed, and then elaborated upon one at a time. Make a conscious decision to establish friendships with people from other cultures. Making a decision is the first step.

In order to build relationships with people different from yourself, you have to make a concerted effort to do so. There are societal forces that serve to separate us from each other. People from different economic groups, religions, ethnic groups, and races are often isolated from each other in schools, jobs, and neighborhoods.

So, if we want things to be different, we need to take active steps to make them different. You can join a sports team or club, become active in an organization, choose a job, or move to a neighborhood that puts you in contact with people of cultures different than your own. Also, you may want to take a few minutes to notice the diversity that is presently nearby. If you think about the people you see and interact with every day, you may become more aware of the cultural differences that are around you.

Once you have made the decision to make friends with people different from yourself, you can go ahead and make friends with them in much the same way as with anyone else. You may need to take more time, and you may need to be more persistent. You may need to reach out and take the initiative more than you are used to.

People who have been mistreated by society may take more time to trust you than people who haven't. Don't let people discourage you. There are good reasons why people have built up defenses, but it is not impossible to overcome them and make a connection. The effort is totally worth it.

Put yourself in situations where you will meet people of other cultures; especially if you haven't had the experience of being a minority, take the risk. One of the first and most important steps is to show up in places where you will meet people of cultures other than your own. Go to meetings and celebrations of groups whose members you want to get to know. Or hang out in restaurants and other gathering places that different cultural groups go. You may feel embarrassed or shy at first, but your efforts will pay off.

People of a cultural group will notice if you take the risk of coming to one of their events. If it is difficult for you to be the only person like yourself attending, you can bring a buddy with you and support each other in making friends.

At these events, it is important to participate, but make sure you do not become the center of the event in order to lift up the voices and actions of the people leading the event. Examine your biases about people from other cultures. We all carry misinformation and stereotypes about people in different cultures. Especially, when we are young, we acquire this information in bits and pieces from TV, from listening to people talk, and from the culture at large.

We are not bad people because we acquired this; no one requested to be misinformed. But in order to build relationships with people of different cultures, we have to become aware of the misinformation we acquired. An excellent way to become aware of your own stereotypes is to pick groups that you generalize about and write down your opinions. Once you have, examine the thoughts that came to your mind and where you acquired them.

Another way to become aware of stereotypes is to talk about them with people who have similar cultures to your own. In such settings you can talk about the misinformation you acquired without being offensive to people from a particular group. You can get together with a friend or two and talk about how you acquired stereotypes or fears of other different people. You can answer these kinds of questions:.

People, for the most part, want to be asked questions about their lives and their cultures. Many of us were told that asking questions was nosy; but if we are thoughtful, asking questions can help you learn about people of different cultures and help build relationships. People are usually pleasantly surprised when others show interest in their cultures. If you are sincere and you can listen, people will tell you a lot.

It helps to read about and learn about people's cultures and histories. If you know something about the reality of someone's life and history, it shows that you care enough to take the time to find out about it. It also gives you background information that will make it easier to ask questions that make sense.

However, you don't have to be an expert on someone's culture to get to know them or to ask questions. People who are, themselves, from a culture are usually the best experts, anyway. It is easy to forget that the basis of any relationship is caring. Everyone wants to care and be cared about. Caring about people is what makes a relationship real. Don't let your awkwardness around cultural differences get in the way of caring about people. If you get an opportunity to hear someone tell you her life story first hand, you can learn a lot--and build a strong relationship at the same time.

Every person has an important story to tell. Each person's story tells something about their culture. Listening to people's stories, we can get a fuller picture of what people's lives are like--their feelings, their nuances, and the richness of their lives.

Listening to people also helps us get through our numbness-- there is a real person before us, not someone who is reduced to stereotypes in the media. Additionally, listening to members of groups that have been discriminated against can give us a better understanding of what that experience is like.

Listening gives us a picture of discrimination that is more real than what we can get from reading an article or listening to the radio. You can informally ask people in your neighborhood or organization to tell you a part of their life stories as a member of a particular group. You can also incorporate this activity into a workshop or retreat for your group or organization.

Have people each take five or ten minutes to talk about one piece of their life stories. If the group is large, you will probably have to divide into small groups, so everyone gets a chance to speak. Notice differences in communication styles and values; don't assume that the majority's way is the right way.

We all have a tendency to assume that the way that most people do things is the acceptable, normal, or right way. As community workers, we need to learn about cultural differences in values and communication styles, and not assume that the majority way is the right way to think or behave. You are in a group discussion. Some group members don't speak up, while others dominate, filling all the silences. The more vocal members of the group become exasperated that others don't talk.

It also seems that the more vocal people are those that are members of the more mainstream culture, while those who are less vocal are from minority cultures. In some cultures, people feel uncomfortable with silence, so they speak to fill the silences. In other cultures, it is customary to wait for a period of silence before speaking.

If there aren't any silences, people from those cultures may not ever speak. Also, members of some groups women, people of low income, some racial and ethnic minorities, and others don't speak up because they have received messages from society at large that their contribution is not as important as others; they have gotten into the habit of deferring their thinking to the thinking of others. When some people don't share their thinking, we all lose out.

We all need the opinions and voices of those people who have traditionally been discouraged from contributing. In situations like the one described above, becoming impatient with people for not speaking is usually counter-productive. However, you can structure a meeting to encourage the quieter people to speak. For example, you can:. A high school basketball team has to practice and play on many afternoons and evenings. This leads to Nolan's characterization of the voice as the interaction of constraints and choices in communicating information.

A speaker's voice is the interaction of constraints imposed by the physical properties of the vocal tract and choices that a speaker makes in achieving communicative goals through the resources provided by the various components of his or her linguistic system. This can be regarded as the picture of the components of a voice.

It can be seen that the model consists of four main parts, the connections between which are symbolized by fat arrows. Two of these parts are inputs and two are mechanisms. The two inputs are labeled communicative intent and intrinsic indexical factors, and the two mechanisms are labeled linguistic mechanism and vocal mechanism.

The communicative intent maps onto the linguistic mechanism, and the intrinsic indexical factors map onto the vocal mechanism. The vocal mechanism accepts two inputs, from the intrinsic indexical factors and the linguistic mechanism. There is also a picture of a speech wave coming from the vocal mechanism. This represents the final physical, acoustic output of the interaction. This output can be thought of as both the thing that a listener—perhaps best thought of as the forensic phonetician—responds to, and the acoustic raw material that is analyzed by the forensic phonetician.

As conceived in linguistics, language is a complex multilayered code that links sound and meaning by a set of abstract rules and learnt forms. A very simple model for the structure of this code is shown in Figure 1. As can be seen, it has five components: semantics, syntax, morphology, phonology, and phonetics.

Semantics has to do with the meanings conveyed in language; syntax with how words are combined into sentences. Morphology is concerned with the structure of words, and phonetics and phonology encompass aspects of speech sounds. In linguistics, all this structure is termed the grammar of a language, and thus grammar has a wider meaning than is normally understood.

The voice's linguistic mechanism in Figure 1 can therefore be properly understood to comprise, in addition to the tone of voice, a large part of the speaker's grammar. With one proviso described below, in addition to indicating the main components of linguistic structure, Figure 1 can be understood as representing the suite of processes involved when a speaker communicates a specific linguistic message verbally to a listener.

Thus, the speaker has a meaning they want to convey, and the meaning is expressed in syntactic, morphological, and, ultimately, acoustic-phonetic form this is what the downward arrows imply. It is this acoustic-phonetic form that reaches a listener's ears and that they decode, via their naturally acquired knowledge of the phonetics, morphology, syntax, and semantics of their native language, to reconstruct the meaning of the original message the implication of the upward pointing arrows.

Figure 1 thus represents the linking of speaker's to listener's meaning via sound by showing semantics and phonetics peripherally, joined by the remaining three components of the linguistic code. These five modules of linguistic structure traditionally constitute the core of any linguistics programmed and are the major categories in terms of which the grammar of a previously undescribed language is described in descriptive linguistics.

Because they are also part of the voice, and because they may be referred to in forensic-phonetic reports, it is important to provide a brief characterization of each. One of the main differences in the way linguists view the structure of language has to do with the place of meaning: specifically, whether it is primary or not.

The view described here will simply assume that it is. That is, as described above, a speaker has meanings they want to communicate, and these are given syntactic, morphological, phonological, and phonetic structure. This is why semantics is placed at the top of the model in Figure 1. Semantic structure comprises firstly the set of meanings that are available for encoding in language in general and the meanings that have to be encoded in a specific language.

For example, all languages allow us to refer to objects and to their location in space. We do not have to refer to the book's location being uphill or downhill from the speaker nor to whether the location is near you, or away from you; nor whether the object is visible to me, or you; nor to the source of my knowledge about the book's location, and my consequent belief in its truth. All these are semantic categories that have to be encoded in some languages.

The second type of meaning is structural semantics or the meaning of grammatical structures. As an example of structural meaning, take the two sentences: The man killed the burglar, and The burglar killed the man. The two sentences clearly mean something different, yet they have the same words, so their semantic difference cannot be a lexical one. Preverbal position, at least with this verb in this form, is associated with a semantic role called agent: that is the person who prototypically does the action indicated by the verb.

Postverbal position encodes the semantic role patient. This is prototypically the person who is affected by the action of the verb in these two sentences the degree of affectedness is extreme, with the patient undergoing a considerable, indeed irreversible, and change of state.

The third kind of linguistic meaning, pragmatic meaning, has to do with the effect of extralinguistic context on how an utterance is understood. As an additional example, pragmatics has to be able to explain how the sentence That's very clever can be understood in two completely opposite ways, depending on the context.

Although semantics is clearly part of linguistic structure, meaning in the voice model is probably best thought of as a part of one of the inputs to the system the part labeled communicative intent, which is the meaning that the speaker intends to convey , rather than as a part of linguistic structure.

Syntax functions as a framework on which to hang the structural and pragmatic meanings. Obviously, linguistic meanings have to be conveyed in sequences of words. However, words are not simply strung together linearly, like beads on a string, convey a meaning. They are hierarchically combined into longer units such as phrases, clauses, and sentences, and it is this hierarchical structure that syntax describes. Syntactic structure is described in terms of constituents, which are words that behave syntactically as a single group.

First, the group of words has a particular internal structure, expressed in terms of word class, typical of noun phrase constituents. It consists of an article the , an adverb exceedingly , an adjective ferocious , and a noun. Second, the group can be substituted by a smaller item, for example, the pronoun it, and still yield a grammatical sentence It bit the man.

Third, their constituent status is shown by the fact that they can be moved as a group to form, for example, the related passive sentence: The man was bitten by the exceedingly ferocious dog. The hierarchical combination of syntactic constituents such as noun phrases into higher order constituents is shown by the fact that the noun phrase the exceedingly ferocious dog forms part of the prepositional phrase by the exceedingly ferocious dog.

The smallest meaningful unit in a language is called a morpheme, and words may consist of one or more morphemes. Vietnamese has on average very few morphemes per word; English has on average somewhat more. The different types of morphemes and the ways they combine to form words are the subject of morphology.

The reader might like to consider how many morphemes are present in the word oversimplification. It consists of four morphemes: A basic adjectival root morpheme simple; a suffix that functions to change an adjective simple into a verb simplify ; a prefix over- that attaches onto a verb or adjective cf. It is not clear whether the -c- in oversimplification is a part of the morphemeify or the morphemeation. Phonology deals with the functional organization of speech sounds.

One aspect of phonology central to forensic phonetics, namely phonemics recalled that phonemics describes what the distinctive sounds, or phonemes, of a language are, what the structure of words is in terms of phonemes, and how the phonemes are realized, as allophones.

It is one of the interesting structural features of human language that its meaningful units i. Which of these forms or allomorphs is chosen is predictable and depends on the last sound in the noun. This is another example of the predominantly rule-governed nature of the linguistic code. The area of linguistic structure that is concerned with relationships between the morphemes meaningful units and their allomorphs realizations in sound is called morphophonemics.

It is usually considered as another aspect of phonology. Phonetics deals with the actual production, acoustic realization, and perception of speech sounds. We now turn to the main input to the system, namely all the information that a speaker intends to convey. This is termed communicative intent. What sorts of things can and do speakers deliberately encode in their voices?

The first that springs to mind is the linguistic message itself: a proposition an utterance with a truth value perhaps, or a question, or a command. However, speakers also deliberately express emotion; convey social information; express self-image; and regulate conversation with their interlocutor s , and these also constitute different components of communicative intent. The communicative intent box thus contains five smaller boxes, which refer to these five possible different types of information.

These different types will now be described. Because we are dealing with linguistic meaning, changes in cognitive content will have consequences for all the components of linguistic structure. We can choose to signal an emotional state when we speak. Affective intent refers to the attitudes and feelings a speaker wishes to convey in the short term.

One change will almost certainly be that the angry utterance will be louder, and perhaps the overall pitch will be higher. So another way in which speech samples can differ is in affective intent. How different emotions are actually signaled in speech is very complicated. More commonly, perhaps, different emotions are signaled linguistically in sound. This occurs primarily by the control of intonational pitch.

We can also signal differences in emotion non-discretely, by for example altering our pitch range. Yes, said with a pitch falling from high in the speaker's pitch range to low signals more enthusiasm than a yes said on a narrower pitch range, with a pitch falling from the middle of speaker's pitch range to low. In these cases, there is a more direct relationship between the actual realization and the degree of emotion signaled, with the degree of involvement reflected in the size of the pitch fall, or the width of the range.

Emotion is also commonly signaled in sound by phonation type—the way our vocal cords vibrate. Speakers are primates. They interact socially in complex ways. Part of this social interaction is played out in language and is responsible for both between-speaker and within-speaker variations.

It is often assumed that the primary function of language is to convey cognitive information. However, a very important function of language is to signal aspects of individual identity, in particular our membership of a particular group within a language community. This group can be socioeconomically defined. The idea here, then, is that speakers typically choose to signal their membership of social, ethnic, or regional groups by manipulating aspects of linguistic structure. That is part of what is meant by the social intent sub-part of communicative intent.

We all talk to ourselves or the computer, or dog from time to time, but most[ 14 ] involves verbal interaction, usually conversation, with other humans. Conversation is not haphazard: It is controlled and structured, and the conventions underlying conversational interaction in a particular culture are part of the linguistic competence of all speakers who participate in that culture.

In traditional Australian aboriginal societies, for example, in contrast to Anglo-Australian culture, it is not normal to elicit information by direct questions. The obvious implications of this for aboriginal witnesses in court have often been pointed out. The sub-discipline of linguistics that investigates how speakers manage conversations is called conversation analysis.

Regulatory intent has to do with the conventional things you deliberately do to participate in a conversation in your culture. It is known that little boys and girls, although they are too young to show differences in vocal tract dimensions associated with peripubertal sexual dimorphism, nevertheless choose to exploit the plasticity of their vocal tract in order to sound like grown-up males and females.

Little boys have been shown to use lower F0 values and little girls higher. By their voice, speakers can project themselves as, for example, feminine, confident, extrovert, macho, diffident, and shy. To the extent that this self-image changes with the context, and one might very well encounter such a change between the way any suspect speaks with his mates and the way he speaks when being interviewed by the police, we will find within-speaker variation.

Any changes in health that affect the size or shape or organic state of the vocal tract, or its motor control, will alter its acoustic output, thus contributing to within-speaker variation. A speaker's state of health is thus also imprinted on their acoustic output.

These intrinsic health-related changes can range from temporary e. An instance of the common health factors that affect the acoustic output is a temporary head cold, which might cause inflammation and swelling in the nasal cavities or sinuses, thus altering their volume and compliance and resonance characteristics.

Inflammation and swelling associated with laryngitis might make it painful to stretch the cords too much, and this will temporarily alter a speaker's fundamental frequency values, restricting their range of vibratory values, and making it uncomfortable to reach target values.

Accommodatory changes in tongue body movement associated with different dentures will also affect the resonance pattern of vowels which can result in all sorts of errors in the execution of the complex articulatory plan for the correct realization of linguistic sounds.

The tongue might not achieve closure for a [d], for example, and some kind of [z]-like fricative might result, or there may be local changes in the rate and continuity of speech. Other factors that interfere with normal motor control and feedback are stress and fatigue.

This article has described what a voice is from a semiotic perspective, that is, in terms of the information it conveys. It was motivated by the necessity to understand what can underlie variation in a single speaker's vocalizations in order to correctly evaluate differences between forensic voice samples. It has shown that variations in a speaker's output are a function of two things: their communicative intent itself a combination of what they want to convey and the situation in which they are speaking and the dimensions and condition of their individual vocal tract which impose limits, but not absolute values, to the ranges of phonetic features their language makes use of.

The point has been made elsewhere, and it is worth repeating here, that if the internal composition of a voice appears complex, that is because it is. The voice is complex because there are many things that humans choose to communicate; because the linguistic mechanism used to encode these things is immensely complex; because the mapping between the linguistic mechanism and the communicative intent is complex; because the vocal tract used to implement the complex message involves an enormous number of degrees of freedom; and finally because individual vocal tracts differ in complex ways.

All these complexities must be understood if we are to be able to accurately estimate whether differences between forensic samples are between-speaker or within-speaker. I want to give my sincere gratitude and acknowledgement to Philip Rose in preparing this article. Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of Interest: None declared.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Nat Sci Biol Med. Manjul Tiwari and Maneesha Tiwari. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Address for correspondence: Dr. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

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