There are three different physical aspects of a sound. These are the articulatory aspect of the speaker, the acoustic aspect of the channel, and the auditory aspect of the hearer.  

There are three different physical aspects of a sound. These are the articulatory aspect of the speaker, the acoustic aspect of the channel, and the auditory aspect of the hearer.

Articulatory phonetics researches where and how sounds are originated and thus carries out physiological studies of the respiratory tract, trying to locate precisely at which location and in which manner a sound is produced.
Acoustic phonetics examines the length, frequency and pitch of sounds. Special instruments are required to measure and analyze the sounds while they travel via the channel.
Auditory phonetics studies what happens inside the ear and brain when sounds are finally received. It also interested in our ability to identify and differentiate sounds.


Articulatory phonetics researches where and how sounds are originated and thus carries out physiological studies of the respiratory tract, trying to locate precisely at which location and in which manner a sound is produced.

Acoustic phonetics examines the length, frequency and pitch of sounds. Special instruments are required to measure and analyze the sounds while they travel via the channel.

Auditory phonetics studies what happens inside the ear and brain when sounds are finally received. It also interested in our ability to identify and differentiate sounds.

By phonetics is meant the science of speech sounds, their production by means of lips, tongue, palate, and vocal cords, their acoustic qualities, their combination into syllables and other sound groups, and finally quantity, stress and intonation. Phonetics thus may be called that part of linguistic science which deals with the outward aspect of language as opposed to the inner or psychological side of language, or it may be lookеd upon as that part of physics and of physiology which deals specially with sounds as used by human beings to communicate thoughts and feelings to one another. Among those who have contributed to the development of phonetic science we find physicists like Helmholtz, physiologists like Brücke, and philologists like Sievers, Storm and Sweet.

But what is the use of this science of speech sounds? The true man of science pursues his inquiries without asking at every point about the use of examining this or that. A zoologist will not be deterred from examining the habits of ants or the muscular structure of their hind legs by the cry of the man in the street that it is no use knowing all these things; he will go on patiently observing his animals in exactly the same conscientious and laborious way as if each little step in advance meant so much money saved or gained for mankind, or so much food for the poor. The truly scientific mind does not ask about profit or use, but tries by every accessible means to add to human knowledge and to our intelligent understanding of the wonderful world that surrounds us.



Still, the question about utility is not quite futile; only it should not be urged in the first place, and it should never stand in the way of scientific research, however useless it may seem in the eyes of the uninitiated. Science is useful; but often it is so in a roundabout or indirect way. When Ousted discovered that an electric current influenced the movements of a magnetic needle, he made a great step forward in science. He immediately saw the immense importance of his discovery for knowledge of the great mystical powers of electricity and magnetism; he did not stop to ask himself about the practical usefulness of such knowledge; his concern was exclusively with the theoretical side of the question, and joyfully he sent out the message to his brother scientists that here was one important problem solved. But then Morse seized upon this theoretical discovery and turned it to practical account: the electric telegraph came into existence, and everybody saw the use of Oersted's discovery. In the same manner purely scientific investigations may unexpectedly lead to some great practical result: the observation of the habits of mosquitoes leads to the diminution of malaria and other diseases, and research work in chemistry may eventually benefit mankind in some way not at all anticipated by the original initiator.

Practical usefulness thus often comes in at the back door, it should not be our primary object in scientific pursuits. But on the other hand, if it is possible to point out some practical advantages, this can do no harm, and may even be valuable in inducing people to take up some line of study which has not hitherto been thought necessary to average students. And this applies with especial force to phonetics, which, besides presenting great interest to the inquisitive spirit, offers also no inconsiderable practical advantage to the student.


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