Terms to Remember
• Phonology :Branch of linguistics which deals with the study of speech sounds used in
a language . It comprises of :
Phoneme : It is the smallest contrastive unit of speech which may bring
a change of meaning of a word.
Prosody : It includes stress, rhythm and intonation.
• Phonemic symbols:They are used to represent sounds and provide visual aid.
Need of Correct Pronunciation
To speak English
language is a
But knowledge of
how language works
is still of great value.
e.g. plane and plan
What makes pronunciation difficult ?
Lack of confidence
Lack of vocabulary
The teachers did not focus on the pronunciation
Influence by the surrounding
Influence of mother tongue
Inability to hear certain sounds
Things to remember
• In English , alphabets are 26 but sounds are 44.
• Spellings are not reliable guide to pronunciation.
• Some letters have more than one sound.
• Some letters are silent.
• Same sound may be represented by different symbols.
• 19 out of 44 symbols have same sound as they are represented.
• Sometimes syllables are not pronounced at all.
parts into which a
word is naturally
divided when it is
/e/ have the same sound when it is used in a word e.g. “pet” .
special attention to symbols like /j/ , which has the initial sound of
“yellow” , not that of “judge” .
When ’ea’ comes in a word , it is pronounced differently e.g. /e/ in head
and /i:/ in bead.
Pronounce /r/ only if a vowel sound follows directly as in “near” and
“heir” otherwise it is omitted as in “bird”.
Sometimes ‘s’ is pronounced as /z/ e.g. calls
pronounced as “callz”.
some letters are silent e.g. “debt” pronounced as det.
Many same spellings have different sounds e.g. <ough> is used as though ,
ought, cough, enough etc.
Many same sounds have different spellings e.g. though, foe, bow, slow.
Sometimes ‘c’ is pronounced as /k/ as in “cat” and /s/ as in “face”.
Special attention must be given to SCHWA.
The sound of SCHWA
• Schwa is the name for the most common sound in English. It is a weak,
unstressed sound and it occurs in many words. It is often the sound in
grammar words such as articles and prepositions(as the usual sound of
the first and last vowels of the English word America).
Getting the schwa sound correct is a good way of making your
pronunciation more accurate and natural.
The phonemic symbol for this sound is (∂)
• “man ” (mæn) and “postman” (postm∂n)
• “vitamin” , “event” ,”campus” , “brother” , “for” etc.
• “This present is for my brother. It's a book about a boy wizard.”
Phonemic symbols chart
• There are two very simple rules about word stress:
• One word has only one stress.
• We can only stress vowels, not consonants.
a. Stress on first syllable if nouns and adjectives:-HAPpy, EXport, CHIna,
b. Stress on last syllable if verbs to preSENT, to exPORT, to deCIDE, to
Should use the correct pronunciation during the conversation.
People would easily misunderstood because of the intonation that we use.
Good situation – low pitch and not use the high pitch.
Try to use all articulators.
How to overcome ?
• Practise a lot.
• Keep a dictionary with you.
• Tuition centre.
• Online courses are available.
• Solve quizzes and play games.
• Watch videos and try to copy instructors.
• Read more and more quality newspapers.
• Use audio materials.
• Read phonology books.