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    Macalester College
  Jan 17, 2018
College Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LING 104 - The Sounds of Language

Nearly all natural languages are spoken. Biological properties of the human ear, pharynx, larynx, tongue, and lung impose limits on the sounds of human languages, which can be studied from both a biological and an acoustic point of view. In this course you will be trained to produce and recognize (almost) all the sounds which human languages make use of, and to develop a systematic way of analyzing and recording them. Since sounds are perceived as well as produced, you will also be introduced to the acoustic analysis of speech, learning how acoustic signals of frequency, amplitude, and duration are translated into visible, quantifiable images. You will learn the art of decoding these spectrograms into sounds and words and sentences. The linguistics laboratory contains several different programs for practicing and listening to sounds from many of the world’s languages. This course is recommended for students of foreign languages, drama, music and anyone who wants to become more aware of their (and other people’s) pronunciation. Every fall. (4 Credits)