The three types of phonetics

Phonetics studies the physical properties of sound, as opposed to phonology which studies the abstract and mental representations of speech sounds. Phonetics falls into three main types:

  • articulatory phonetics
  • auditory phonetics
  • acoustic phonetics

In this article I hope to give you a brief introduction about the different categories of phonetics.

articulatory phonetics

Articulatory phonetics deals with how speech sounds are produced. Some things that are examined in articulatory phonetics are the different types of airstreams used in speech production and how the vocal tract adjusts to make different speech sounds.

auditory phonetics

Auditory phonetics examines the perception of speech sounds.

acoustic phonetics

Acoustic phonetics looks at the physical properties of sound waves such as frequencies.

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