On the whole, very good and informative! A few things could be improved on, of course, as always.
The introduction is worded in a way that is a bit convoluted to understand. Perhaps it could begin with, “Acoustic phonetics is...”, rather than having the subject at the end of the sentence. In general, the phrasing in the introduction could be clearer, just to make it easier for one who was not well-versed in the topic to understand. Maybe check out a style manual to get a better sense of where the subject of a sentence should be within the sentence. Also, it might be a good idea to outline the points you will be discussing in the introduction, briefly, but just so that the reader is aware of the subtopics being presented. As is described in the grading rubric, the introduction should mirror the progression of topics in the chapter.
The body is good and definitely describes the main facts regarding acoustic phonetics, but there are no citations throughout and as such you need to give references to back up your points. All you need to do to solve this problem is provide the appropriate references for your facts and then it’s fine. There are some spelling errors throughout (one I saw was “verticle”, which should be “vertical”, in the section on fricatives), as well as some sentences that don’t make sense due to what appear to be typos, so you might want to proofread it a couple of times, or use a spell check or something. The paragraphs themselves seem to be well-organized, and no paragraph seems to me to be out of place. Also, your images are great, and are excellent for giving a visual representation of what the paragraphs are saying. My only problem was with the section on how to read a spectrogram, which I found to be a bit unclear, so you might want to explain it in a way that is as if you are describing it to someone who really has no idea. You don’t seem to have a conclusion, so you might want to write one up; the rubric suggests you summarize, integrate and discuss the implications: basically, just wrap up what was proposed in your introduction, with a wider scope, the big picture.
The information is put forth well, but if you wanted to add anything in the “human interest” vein, you could give some information on what certain things mean in the grand scheme of things, such as how acoustic phonetics relates to gender or whether or not there are differences in the production of formants from language to language. If you look into more sources you might find some neat stuff that you could add in which would make the chapter more creative. In general, more sources is a good idea, because you have both a bigger store of information to draw on as well as a multitude of research ideas and results to discuss. This would make the chapter more relevant and also more interesting. I’m not sure if that’s necessary in a chapter on a subject such as this, but it’s a suggestion. You do already cover a lot of ground on the topic of acoustic phonetics, though, so I’m not sure anything else is needed.
The flow is good, and I think all the important points are covered. It brings the reader through acoustic phonetics by building up from the most basic aspects (the characteristics of speech sounds, things like frequency) and concluding with the more complex components (transitions). The paragraph on voice onset time could be edited with regards to writing style, and perhaps a bit more information could be given. I feel that the section on transitions would be better placed with the sections on formants and F1 and F2, but that could be because that was how I learned about it in another class last year. In general, just go through the whole chapter several times and make sure the sections are in the appropriate place, as this gives the reader a greater sense of understanding the topic, and alleviates any potential confusion. Make sure that you start basic and build up from there in a way that is coherent to one who has no knowledge of this subject. Make it almost like a story, where each paragraph is placed so as to give the information needed to set up the next one. On the whole it is a good chapter, and very interesting to read.
Jennica Lounsbury 18:52, 26 February 2011 (UTC)