ERIC Number: ED252821
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Spectograms: A Search for the Physical Evidence between Written and Spoken Language.
Spectographic analysis of speech calls into question two common assumptions of reading teachers: (1) that words are independent units of speech, and (2) that phonemes, the minimal speech sounds needed to change meaning, actually exist. Spectographs reproduce the physical sounds made in speech without any human or psychological interpretation. When a short sentence is spoken into the machine, it shows clearly that words are not physically separated. Similarly, phonemes do not show up on the spectograph as independent units. This paper does not argue that "words" and "phonemes" do not exist; rather, it argues that they do not exist in a pure or unambiguous state in physical reality. Teachers need to be aware of this lack of physical separation for spoken words and phonemes, and of the fact that the separation occurs in the receiver's mind, not in the physical sound. This phenomenon may well explain some of the difficulties encountered in teaching reading to young children, adults, and second language students. (RBW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (34th, St. Petersburg, FL, December 6-8, 1984).