This site provides the students and scholars in prosody with an internet adaptation of William S. Smalley’s Manual of articulatory phonetics (Ann Arbor 1963). The sound tapes of this book provide useful examples for various prosodic features from a wide range of languages.

Theoretical notions trained by the drill exercises

Students will be confronted with 5 types of learning activities


Lesson 1 Hearing pitch distinctions
Lesson 2 Identifying pitch movements’ direction
Lesson 3 Finer distinction in hearing pitch: level vs. glissando – short vs. long
Lesson 4 Identifying glided tones – one direction or two?
Lesson 5 Identifying various contours

Some technical notes

Each lesson consists of numerous exercises, which are made of 10 to 20 items. Javascript has to be enabled. All exercises are generated dynamically from a database-like source file, that was converted from a Praat TextGrid. This make it easy to import new exercises. In each exercise, click on will play the sound file by opening a media play (e.g. Media Player Classic). Exercise item can be presented in the original order from Smalley's book or in randomized order. Answers have to be entered by selecting the radio buttons. A response will be given, wether the answer is correct or not. For people who are interesed in the acoustic structure of the exercise items, we provide two acoustical representations in the collumn Hints: (1) An automatic f0-extraction is generated and shown by selecting the -icon [currently disabeld]. (2) It is also possible to open an detailed f0-analysis directly with Praat (click on ). In this case, a Praat manipluation object will be created remotely and send back to you local Praat software. In order to let Praat open a file from within an internet browser, you have to enter a new file format for .praat-files on your Windows system. In the System Control center, open Folder Settings, select File types and create a new file type. The name of the new file type has to be .praat. In the list of the file types, select the new created type .praat and click on Advanced.... Add a new action for this file type by clicking on New.... Fill the action-field with the command open. The field with Application for this action contains a link to the programme that is intended to open this file type. In this case enter the full path to Praat using the follwing example: "C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\peter\Desktop\praat.exe" %1 (replace C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\peter\Desktop\ with the full path to praat.exe on your machine; double quotes have to be used in the indicated way; don't omit the %1).


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© 02/04/2007 Peter Gilles (Universtšt Luxemburg) / Anne Catherine Simon (Centre de recherche VALIBEL, Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve) 2005. Permission to use the original sound files of William S. Smalley granted. Analog to digital conversion of audio tapes by Piet Mertens.