a phonetic feature related to whether the consonant sound comes out of the
mouth or the nose. For example, the words “mat” and “bat” start with a nasal
/m/ and a non-nasal /b/ respectively. Difficulty hearing the nasality feature
makes these words sound alike.
a low-frequency phonetic feature related to tongue height for vowels. For
example, the words “court, curt, kit” have low, mid, and high vowels
respectively and if they sound alike then you are having difficulty hearing the
vowel height cues.
a phonetic feature related to how consonants are produced, with the acoustic
information spread across a wide range of frequencies. For example, the
consonant /p/ is a stop, /L/ is a glide, /ch/ is an affricate, /n/ is a nasal
and /f/ is a fricative.
a low-frequency phonetic feature related to whether your vocal folds are
vibrating when you produce consonants. For example, the words “tough” and
“duff” have unvoiced and voiced consonants at the start. If they sound alike
then you are having difficulty hearing voicing.
a mid-frequency phonetic feature related to tongue movement. For example, when
you say the words “bout” and “bait” the highest point of the tongue moves
backward or forward in the mouth. Difficulty hearing the formant transitions or
contour of sounds makes these words harder to tell apart.
a mid-frequency phonetic feature related to tongue position for vowels. For
example, the words “hoard, hard, heed” have back, central, and front vowels
respectively. Difficulty hearing vowel place makes these words sound alike.
a phonetic feature related to the duration of vowels. For example, the words
“hit” and “heat” have short and long vowels and if they sound alike then you
are having difficulty hearing vowel length.
a mid-to-high frequency phonetic feature used to classify noisy sounds such as
/f/ or /s/ or /v/ that are produced by air rushing through a small constriction
in the mouth. If “fin” and “tin” sound alike, for example, this would be an
affrication error because the fricative /f/ is confused with the non-fricative
a high-frequency phonetic feature to characterise the /s, z, sh, zh, ch, dzh/
consonants. If you can’t hear these consonants clearly then you will have
trouble telling whether words are singular or plural, particularly over the
phone where high frequencies are diminished.
a high frequency phonetic feature related to where consonants are produced in
the mouth. In English there are seven different places of articulation:
glottal, velar, palatal, alveolar, linguadental, labiodental, bilabial.
Examples are /h, g, sh, t, th, v, b/. Difficulty hearing consonant place makes
the words “gut” and “but” sound alike. We use a simplified version with only
three categories – back, central and front.