Suprasegmentals and Segmentals

Suprasegmentals (Nonsegmentals)

Suprasegmentals or nonsegmentals are what make the English language sound like English.

They include:

These nonsegmentals are the foundation of speech intelligibility.   Nonsegmentals carry meaning.   For example, the stress and pitch used can determine if a child's utterance is a statement or a question. Vowels and diphthongs used in speech carry the nonsegmental information.  

As a person talks, sounds are resonated in the vocal tract.   The acoustic features of sounds are called formants.   The formants are where the chunks of energy are clustered together.   Each sound has different formants.   In vowels, the first two formants combine to create sound and are important for the intelligibility of that sound.   It is important to understand which formants a child is able to detect, especially for sounds with the same first formant.   

 

boys talking.jpg

 

Segmentals

Segmentals are the individual speech sounds, or phomemes.

They include:

Manner - How the sound is produced

      Manner Sounds

Plosives (Stops)

b, d, g, k

Nasals

n, m, ng

Fricatives

v, d, z, zh, h, f, t, s, z

Liquids

l, r

Affricates

ch, j ( judge)

Semi-Vowels

w, j (y)

For definitions of manner sounds, please run the cursor over the terms in the table.

 

Place - The place the sound is made

Place Sounds

Bilabial

b, p, m, w

Labiodental

v, f

Linguadental

d, t, th

Linguaalveolar

d, t, z, s, n, l, r

Linguapalatal

hz, sh, ng, ch ,j, y

Glottal

h

For definitions of place sounds, please run the cursor over the terms in the table.

 

Voicing - Whether or not the vocal cords are vibrating when the sound is produced

Voicing Sounds

Voiced

b, v, d

Voiceless

p, f, t

For definitions of voicing sounds, please run the cursor over the terms in the tables.