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Phonetics summary Phonetics summary Document Transcript

  • Lesson 10: L, R, and Syllabic ConsonantsThe sounds /l/ and /r/ are formed with more movement ofthe speech organs than most other consonant sounds.These two sounds are called liquids. They are characterizedby extensive movements of the speech organs from oneposition to another. Unlike other consonants that are madewith the speech organs in a fixed position, liquids aresometimes described as vowel-like consonants producedwithout friction. In English, /l/ is produced with the tip ofthe tongue moving to or away from the tooth ridge, and thesides are lowered so that the air goes out laterally. It is avoiced sound. The sound /r/ hardly seems to be pronouncedin certain places except at the beginning of a word orsyllable. Most English speakers, however, pronounce it withboth sides of the tongue touching the back part of the tooth
  • ridge and the back teeth. The tip does not touch anything.The middle of the tongue, including the tip, is lower thanthe sides, and the air goes out through the channel formedbetween the middle of the tongue and the roof of themouth. The lips are slightly open. This liquid sound is madeas the speech organs move to this position from a vowel(are) or away from this position to a vowel (red). Inwhatever direction it may end, it always begins by a motiontoward the back of the mouth, which is called retroflex.As we know, /iy/, /ɪ/ , /ey/ , /ε/ and /æ/ are front vowels. iy ɪ ey ɛ æ
  • The movements of /l/ and /r/, especially following a vowelsound, are produced far in the back of the mouth. So it ismore complicated to pass from a front vowel sound to /l/and /r/ than from a back vowel to either liquid. As thetongue moves back from the position of the front vowel, itpasses through the middle, central zone where /ə/ isformed. In doing so, it produces a centering glide that isheard as /ə/. We may say that,WHEN A FRONT VOWEL IS FOLLOWED BY /l/ or /r/, ANINTERMEDIARY /ə/ IS INSERTED./iy/ + /ə/ seal /siyəl/ /ɛ/ + / ə/ well /wɛəl//i/ + / ə/ fill /fiəl/ wear /wɛər/ fear /fiər/ /æ/ + / ə/shall /ʃæəl//ey/ + / ə/ tale /teyəl/
  • Most of us are accustomed to thinking that every syllablemust include at least one vowel, yet in words such as little,sudden, and wouldn’t there are only consonant sounds inthe final syllable. These are known as syllabic consonants,since they may make up a syllable without theaccompaniment of vowel.Syllabic consonants occur when a syllable ends in /t/, /d/, or/n/ and the next syllable is unstressed and contains an /l/ or/n/. This may be expressed by an equation:/t/ /l//d/ } + unstressed syllable containing { > syllabic consonant/n/ /n/
  • Three of the items in the following exercise are notpronounced with a syllabic consonant. 1. little 23. gardening 2. didn’t 24. certainty 3. student 25. penalty 4. couldn’t 26. finally 5. article 27. fertilize 6. tunnel 28. ordinary 7. Latin 29. ventilate 8. harden 30. monotonous 9. idle 31. bread and butter 10. important 32. bright and early 11. mountain 33. salt and peppe 12. hospital 13. travel 14. curtain 15. oriental 16. bottle 17. saddled 18. broadened 19. attention 20. battleship 21. suddenly 22. sentences
  • Lesson 13Consonant Substitution 1The sounds /θ/ and /ð/ make up a voiced – voiceless pairand neither is found in Spanish thus, they are oftensubstituted by /d/. Keep in mind that one of these twosounds will be present with the spelling –th.In the case of/ d͡ʒ/and/y/,the first one is often substitutedwith the second one by Spanish speakers.Classified as a semi-vowel, /y/ occurs after a vowel sound indiphthongs such as /ɔy/ and /ay/, where /y/ begins inposition of the first vowel then moves towards the front ofthe mouth. However, it also occurs before a vowel soundlike in young /yə ŋ/, where it is thought as consonantformed as a glide but moving in opposite direction: from thefront of the mouth toward the back taking the position ofthe following vowel.As the symbol indicates /d͡ʒ/ is a stop plus a continuant.This sound is classified as an affricate and it is voiced like thephonemes that compose it.On the other hand, /ʧ/ is also an affricate but it is voiceless,as is /ʃ /, the counterpart of /ʒ/.
  • Lesson 14Consonant Substitution 2Remember that /b/ is a voiced stop made between the lips,while /v/ is a voiced continuant made between upper teethand lower lip.The sound /hw/ is a consonantal glide and it is oftensubstituted by /w/. 1The nasal sounds are /m/, /n/ and / ŋ/ and the name comesfrom the fact that when making them, the air escapes fromthe nose and not the mouth as in the orals. It is the softpalate or velum that will determine which way the air willescape (by being drawn up or relaxed).It should be understood clearly that the g of the ending –ngis silent; the g changes the preceding /n/ to / ŋ/, but it is notitself pronounced. In the case of singer, the g not onlychanges the n, but it is also pronounced.The problem with /h/ is usually omission, probablyinfluenced by the fact that in a few common words inEnglish, the h should be left silent: heir /ɛər/, honor /´anər/,1See e-mail with infomation for this sound.
  • and hour /awr/. Furthermore, native speakers often omitthe /h/ is short words such as he, him, his, her, has, have.Lesson 15Consonant ClustersConsonant clusters are a sequence of two or moreconsonants within one syllable. The simplified formula ofsyllable structure of English is (C )(C )(C ) (V) (C)(C)(C )(C ).An example of this structure would be strengths /strɛŋkθs/Four of the clusters, which include an alveolar consonantfollowed by /y/ as part of diphthongal vowel /yuw/, areregularly heard in extensive regions of the United States,but not in other regions. These are /dy/ as in due, /ny/ as innew, /ty/ as in tune, and /sty/ as in stew. For a student ofEnglish, either pronunciation - /yuw/ or /uw/ is acceptable.In the pronunciation of words such as warmth, prince andamongst a voiceless stop /p/, /t/ or /k/ (that is not in thespelling) is inserted in the final cluster /wɔrmpɵ/, /prɪnts/,/əməŋkst/. These inserted stops seem to occur mostregularly when a voiced nasal continuant /m/, /n/ or /ŋ/ ispresent in a final cluster where it is followed by a voicelesssound, usually a continuant. In passing from the voice nasalto the voiceless sound, a speaker is almost forced to
  • produce the voiceless stop that corresponds to the voicenasal in its point of articulation.Phonetic syllabication can occur when a word ends in aconsonant sound and the following one begins with a vowelas in has it, hide ´em, give up. The final consonant of thefirst word can be pronounced at the beginning of the secondword: /hǽ-zɪt/, /hay-dəm/, /gɪ-vəp/.In the same way, the consonant of a final cluster can bemoved forward and pronounced with the vowel of thefollowing word: /sɪks-ϴǽvənyuw/ and /ʧeynd͡ʒ-dədrƐs/.The second way to make consonant clusters morepronounceable is simply to omit one of the consonantsounds:Arctic - /artɪk/Raspberry- /ræzbƐrɪ/Handsome- /hǽnsəm/Lesson 16The Sandhi of Spoken EnglishThe word Sandhi means “placing together” in Sankskrit andit refers to the differences in the pronunciation of words or
  • endings that depend on the environment in which theseoccur.Examples:  Insertion of /ə/ after front vowel and /l/ or /r/  articles a / an  ed endings in /t/, /d/ and /ıd/  s endings in /s/, /z/ and /ız  syllabic consonants: /t/, /d/, /n + unstressed syllable + /l/, /n/  medial /t/ that sounds like a /d/ between voiced sounds, usually vowels but not at the beginning of a stressed vowel: /lɛdər/, /pardɪ/ also in /hɪd ɪm/ and /rayd ər rɔŋ/.The basic reason for these phonological changesis that speakers tend to make the pronunciation ofwords easier.These are the main processes to do so:Assimilation: changing the voicing or the point of articulationto make the adjacent sounds more similarObscuration: pronouncing a sound with reduced clarityOmission: ignoring a sound present in spelling
  • Insertion: adding a sound that puts speech organs in a betterposition to pronounce the following soundHighly literate speakers with more contact with writtenlanguage tend to make less use of these processes. In formalsituations some forms are acceptable but others are less;however, these forms are natural and even essential.The reduction of unstressed function words is pervasive and itis accompanied by the obscuration or omission of somesounds that are heard when the words are fully stressed. Themain factors responsible for the degrees of reduction are thefollowing:Sentence stress: the less stress, the more reductionFrequency of use: the more often a word is used and themore its presence can be assumedSpeed of utterance: the faster a speaker talks, the morereductionFormality of situation: the more informal, the more reductionA great deal of formality is inappropriate in most other socialenvironments beside the classroom.The disappearing /t/In the following environment, the /t/ is omitted:Stressed syllable ending with nt + unstressed syllable-winner /wɪnər/
  • -winter /wɪnər/-twenty /twɛnɪ/-plenty /plɛnɪ/-Atlanta /atlænə/-county /kaunɪ/-quantity /kwanɪtɪ/In phonetic terms, the reason seems to be that the speakerpronounces the stressed /n/ then introduces the followingunstressed vowel by a nasal release of the consonant sound.The disappearing t is much more common in AmericanEnglish than in British English. And in American English it ismore informal than, for example, syllabic consonants. Youmay or may not want to incorporate this form into yourspeech, but you should certainly be prepared to recognizesuch forms and to understand words where they occur.Omission of toThe unstressed particle to is used frequently, so I can it oftenbe assumed which makes the word susceptible to reduction. 1. going to gonna /gənə/ or /gownə 2. got to gotta /gadə/ 3. has to hasta /hǽstə/ 4. have to hafta /hæftə/ 5. ought to oughta /ɔdə/ 6. used to usta /yuwstə/ 7. want to wanna /wanə/See processes on page 195.Palatalization
  • The hard palate is that part of the roof of the mouth justbehind and above the tooth ridge. The chief differencebetween /z/, /s/ and /ʒ/ /ʃ/ is that the first two are made just alittle farther back and higher up, with the blade of the tonguenear the hard palate. Another closely related sound /y/, ismade with the blade of the tongue approaching the hardpalate still farther back and higher up.With the above relationship in mind, it is instructive to considerthe historical changes in the pronunciation of –tion, a verycommon ending for nouns in a number of Germanic andRomance languages, including English. The –ti- of the endingwas once pronounced /ty/, which required the tongue to moveto all the way from the dental position for /t/ backward anupward through the position of /s/ and /ʃ/ , to the high palatalposition of /y/.In modern English the two distant sounds of /t/ and /y/ werereduced to the one intermediate sound /ʃ/, as in nation/neyʃən/ and position /pəsɪʃən/. This change fro /ty/ to /ʃ/ is atype of palatalization (the raising of the tongue toward thehard palate.The same type of palatalization also occurs across wordboundaries:-miss you /mɪʃuw/-loves you /ləvʒuw/-hit you /hɪʧuw/-did you /dɪʤuw/
  • The formulas are as follows:Final /-s/ + initial /y-/ give /-ʃ/Final /-z/ + initial /y/ give /-ʒ/Final /t/ + initial /y/ give /ʧ/Final /-d/ + initial /y/ give /ʤ/Although English teachers may sometimes be tooconservative about the use Sandhi-forms, there are indeedsome of these forms that are so informal as to beinappropriate on most occasions. Some may be interpretedas sings of inadequate education. Others label speakers ashaving a particular ethnic background or social status. Whenyou are talking with close friends, it may be very satisfying touse the special language of the social group to which youbelong. But there are surely many occasions on which itwould not be in your best interests to emphasize through yourspeech a particular ethnic or social background. There arefinally Sandhi- forms that are so reduced as to lessen theintelligibility of what is said:What did you do ? /wəʤə duw/Why don’t you say it? /wayownʧə seyɪt/Did you eat yet? / ʤɪyʧɛt/Surprisingly, native speakers of English often createunnecessary and unexpected consonant clusters by omittingsome unstressed vowel that are ordinarily heard:ballon /blown/
  • believe /bliyv/below /blow/collapse /klæps/correct /krɛkt/parade /preyd/It is suggested to avoid these pronunciations which do notmake the formation of words easier and hearers may labelyou as somewhat illiterate.*There are other words in which vowels that look as thoughthey should be pronounced are regularly omitted by even themost literate speakers:Average /ævrɪʤ/different /dɪfrənt/every /ɛvrɪ/natural /næʧrəl/separate /sɛprɪt/several /sɛvrəl/Prator, C. H. & Robinett, B. W. (1985). Manual of American English Pronunciation (4th Edition). Orlando, Fl: Harcourt Brace & Co.