Pronunciation: Aspects of
Phonology and Phonetics
M.Ed. Maria Luisa Mu - 2014
• Part 1: Aspects of Phonology and
• Part 2: Teaching Pronunciation
WHY teach pronunciation?
• English is not pronounced as
it is written: vowels and
consonants can be
pronounced in different ways
and there are no accents to
help you with stress
• Incorrect pronunciation is one
of the main reasons for
breakdown in communication
• The more help SS are given
with their pronunciation, the
more confident they feel when
• There’s no point in teaching
SS new words or phrases if
they can’t pronounce them
• Despite many irregularities,
there are also many rules
which can help
pronunciation. About 70% of
words in English follow a
regular pronunciation pattern
• If SS are taught to recognize
phonemic script, this will
enable them to check
pronunciation for themselves
The Phonemic Chart
• Introducing the chart and its sounds to
• Recognizing and producing sounds
• One or two-syllable words:
• Produce each sound aloud
• Connect the sounds with a single flow so it
becomes a word.
• Repeat the procedure for phrases
How are consonants produced?
• Plosives (Stops):
• When a complete closure is made
somewhere in the vocal tract.
• Produced with some obstruction but
without any stop so the sound can be
How are consonants produced?
• A combination of plosives and fricatives.
They begin as a plosive and then released
slowly into a period of fricative noise.
The consonant system
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive p, b t, d k, g
Affricates ʧ ʤ
Fricative f , v θ ð s, z ʃ ʒ
Nasal m n
Glides w j (w)
• Form two groups. One group will present the
vowel sounds and their characteristics. The
other group will present the consonant sounds.
• Think of different ways of presenting your tasks
so your students will understand how to produce
1. Perfection versus intelligibility
2. What students can hear versus what
students can say
3. To use or not to use phonemic symbols
4. When to teach pronunciation
• Vowels, consonants and individual sounds
• stress and intonation.
Which aspect ot pronunciation?
• Learner variables (age, proficiency, aptitude,
• Setting variables(access to target language)
• Institutional variables (experienced teachers,
• Linguistic variables (problems according to L1)
• Methodological variables (specific teaching
Possibilities of relationship
• Sounds modify each other when they meet.
• Ex: That /t/ and /b/ book
• Could you pass that book?
• Final /t/ from that becomes /p/ to approximate /b/
• /t/ becomes /p/ before /b/
• /d/ becomes /b/ before /b/
• /n/ becomes /m/ before /m/
• A sound disappears.
• Ex: next day /t/ elided between /ks/ and
/d/ so /nekst/ becomes /neks/
• Syllabic consonant. Ex: collect /klekt/
• It is indicated in print by an apostrophe
• Examples: isn´t, I´ll, ´cause, Cap´n´Cook
• When two vowel sounds meet
• Linking /r/ . Ex: Her English is good . /r/ is
• Her German is good. /r/ is not pronounced.
• Intrusive /r/ . Ex: I saw it.
• Morphological: Unlike suffixes , prefixes are
• Syntactic information: Some words change
their stress depending on whether they are
verbs or nouns (first syllable)
• Compound words usually have stress in the
• Content words (also called 'lexical words'),
namely nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and main
verbs because they carry a high information
• Function words (also called 'grammar words' or
'form words'), i.e. determiners (e.g. the, a),
conjunctions (e.g. and, but), pronouns (e.g. she,
them), prepositions (e.g. at, from), auxiliary
verbs (e.g. do, be, can), are not stressed.
Functions of intonation
• Emotional: attitude
• Grammatical: questions vs. Statements
• Information structure: what is known vs.
what is new
• Textual: larger stretches of discourse
• Psychological: easier to percieve or
• Indexical: markers of group membership
Intonation and sentence rhtyhm
• Short answers are normally stressed
• Auxiliaries in echo questions used to show
• Emphatic use of an auxiliary
• So do I, Neither do I ( auxiliary is not stressed,
the stress falls on the other two words
• Question tags
• Rhythm is the way a language sounds as
a result of the pattern of stressed and
unstressed syllables in speech.
• A stress-time language has the stressed
syllable in speech at more or less equal
• Ring Jack soon,
• Telephone Alison afterwards
1 2 3 4
1 and 2 and 3 and 4
1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4
1 and then a 2 and then a 3 and then a 4