1. History of phonetic development 2. Subject of Phonetics 3. Branches of Phonetics 4. Connection of Phonetics with other sciences 5. Methods and devices of phonetic investigation
1. History of phonetic development
The “birthplace” of phonetics is considered to be Ancient India. The idea of studying sounds was brought about by the need to understand Veda (1500 BC), i.e. sacred songs (brahmans) sang during religious ceremonies. The principal question for the priests was correct reading of brahmans, as those texts were believed to come from gods and so could no way be distorted or mispronounced. Ultimately, the interest to sounds and pronunciation is explained by the fact that in those times speech was thought to be a magic phenomenon and sounds were ascribed some magic features. For instance, all ancient sacred songs, spells and incantations were based on special use of sounds, certain rules of their placing and ordering.
The first description of a language was suggested by Panini (Ancient India, 300 or 400 BC). Panini’s grammar was mainly focused on phonetics and morphology of Sanskrit. It included a most detailed and accurate description of sound physiology and articulation. Besides, the book touched upon some principles of versification.
As a science in its own right phonetics began to develop in Western Europe and in Russia only in the 2nd half of the 19th century.
Here are some data connected with the history of phonetic development:
1829 – laryngoscope was invented;
1852 – first observations of the vocal cords were made;
1877 – gramophone was invented;
1886 – International Phonetic Association (IPA) was founded.
IPA started publications of a special phonetic magazine “Le Mattre Phonetique”. It stated phonetic symbols for sounds of many existing languages.
2. Subject of Phonetics
Phonetics is a special science, which stands apart from other linguistic disciplines, such as lexicology, grammar, stylistics,