Phonetics (/fəˈnetɪks/) is the study of the physical sounds of human speech.
It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones), along with the processes of their physiological production and reception.
There are three main branches in phonetics:
- Articulatory phonetics which is concerned with the articulation of speech: The position, shape, and movement of speech organs, such as the lips, tongue, and vocal folds.
- Acoustic phonetics is concerned with acoustics of speech: The properties of the sound waves, such as their frequency and harmonics.
- Auditory phonetics is concerned with how speech is perceived: How sound is received by the inner ear and perceived by the brain.