Phonetics can be understood as a study of sounds of human speech. It is notable that phonetics is the study of the sound and not the message. Just like the ‘message’, the ‘sound’ too is an important and integral aspect of human speech. It is a broad field and contains 3 sub-fields: Articulatory, which is concerned with the study of organs of speech in the body and their use to produce sound. Auditory, concerned with how we receive and perceive speech sounds. Acoustic, related to the science and technology of reproducing speech sounds and study of their transmission from a speaker to a listener. A child’s first experience of human speech is largely through its sound. In his initial months, the child depends solely on sounds to communicate his emotions. Gradually, he learns to produce meaningful sounds from what he observes in his surroundings. Phonetics play an important role in child’s language development through the ages even when structured learning starts.
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