How to do Static Palatography

Static palatography is a well-known traditional method of obtaining articulatory data. It is a low-tech, inexpensive tool that can be easily used in the field for phonetic description, both qualitative and quantitative. It records contact with one, sometimes two, articulatory surfaces. palatogram is a record of contact on the palate. linguogram is a record of contact by the tongue.Less common is the dentogram, labiogram, gingogram, ad lib. The basic principle is that an articulator either deposits dark material onto, or wipes it off of, the contacted surface.

The method presented here is what is currently used here at the UCLA Phonetics Lab. It is a much improved process developed from an earlier method that had many drawbacks. The previous way of doing palatography involved chocolate powder dusted onto the surface of the palate, creating both a palatogram and linguogram at the same time. While the present method requires that the palatogram and linguogram be created separately, it is much less messy and creates high-contrast images that photograph well. Also, the absence of chocolate powder in the current method eliminates the possibility of increased salivation which decreased the contrast of the earlier palatograms.

Material presented here has been adapted from:
Ladefoged, P. (2003). Phonetic Data Analysis.  Oxford: Blackwells.  (due out summer 2003)

Anderson, V. (2000) Giving Weight to Phonetic Principles: The Case of Place of Articulation in Western Arrente.  UCLA Ph.D. dissertation.

Keating, P. (2002). Class Handout for Linguistics 251 Phonetics Seminar, Spring 2002.

Web Page originally designed and implemented by Victoria Anderson in connection with her Ph.D. dissertation.
Updated and Revised Summer 2002 by:
Patrick Barjam

Robert Bowen

Katya Pertsova

and last updated July 2003