Narrow transcription

Many, perhaps most people who come and take a Knight-Thompson workshop have already studied phonetics before in some form. Many have also done some phonetic transcription, though for the most part what people have done is quite broad (and even prescriptive in purpose!) and so is more like phonemic transcription than phonetic transcription. And then, of course, there are those who come to the workshops completely fresh, not having studied phonetics before in any form.
Though KTS is much more than just phonetics, of course, narrow, descriptive phonetic transcription is a key element of the work. A high degree of proficiency in it is a requirement for certification. Since opportunites to get feedback on transcription choices are usually pretty limited, we’re going to start occasionally posting short audio files here and asking anyone who wants to do so to post a narrow transcription in the comments. Though the clips will be short, don’t feel like you have to make a full and complete transcription in order to play. If there’s just one word or one little bit that intrigues you, have a go at that and put it up. The hope here is that we can have some rolicking good conversations, and that those who really want to get a better handle on transcription can use this as a forum for practice and learning. It’s very much the intention that this be a groupconversation, by the way, not one in which you offer your transcription and we critique it. Engage with each other down below in them thar comments—comment on other people’s transcriptions, ask questions, offer alternatives. You’re a pretty civilized bunch, by and large, so I think we ought to be able to do this in a respectful and supportive way.
I suppose there could be some fear of exposing oneself, so let’s just agree not to judge each other, shall we? I hereby declare this a safe environment (!), all participants are welcome, and no one is going to think less of anyone for offering a transcription that might be off the mark in some respect. After all, if we can’t have a go at things and risk making mistakes, how can we ever learn?
So: here is our first installment. Have at it!

0 thoughts on “Narrow transcription

  1. OK so this is moving back a post (and several months) but this is my attempt to finish (I picked up where Jane left off) the transcription of Erik’s initial sound sample. I await your gentle suggestions, all.

    təˑ tə bɪ̈ɡ̥ ˌɔ̜də.ˈtɔə˞.iʌ̟m | wɛə˞ | wi‿ɔ̜l̴‿ɡɒ̜t̚ tə l ɪ̈sn̩ tə̆̆̆u ˈsɪ̈m.fə.ni ˈɔ̜ə˞.kɛ̈sˌtɹə pɹə.fɔə˞ m‖

  2. Well, will you look at that. I never knew that was there. It’s an actual anchor, isn’t it? Cool. Looking at my character viewer, I realized I had actually found this one some time back: ⥿. A little plainer, perhaps a little closer to the way one would handwrite it (though not nearly so cool!). Of course, even if they’re both Unicode, we still have to get the IPA to accept one of them!

    1. OK, I know that this was posted in September, but I just found it this week. Looking at Jane’s transcription, I have some questions.

      1. what is going on under the /d/ in “kids”? I see a laminal box, I get that, and what I assume is a no-audible-release “corner” symbol. Is it just a unicode and the web thing that this appears as a diacritic under the symbol and not a superscript (above and to the right of the symbol)?

      2. the /s/ in kids that is marked with a voiced diacritic—to me I hear just a plain ole /s/ here. Phonemically, I would assume it is a /z/ that is devoiced to [s]. If this is devoiced, wouldn’t the preceding /d/ be a [t], too? Sounds like [kɪ̈t˭s] to me (that’s an unaspirated diacritic on the /t/).

      I don’t think I have the ability to discern the placement of the /t/ in “kids”, but I would probably assume that if you’re hearing /d/ as laminal here, it would also be laminal in the /s/ here, as it would also be in the /s/ in “school”—in other words, I’m reading into your transcription an oral posture of tongue-tip-down-behind-lower-teeth for most phonemes we expect to live in the alveolar place. Is that your intent? If so, success! If not, why am I getting that impression from the laminal boxes on /d/ and /t/?

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