English vowels 2012 plc

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Diction for Singers - Fall 2012. Presentation in class.

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English vowels 2012 plc

  1. 1. English Vowel Triangle Fall 2012
  2. 2. How many vowel sounds do you think are instandard American English?
  3. 3. How many vowel sounds do you think are instandard American English? 22 !
  4. 4. English Pure Vowels - Guess
  5. 5. English Pure Vowels i u I Ʊ e o Ɛ Ɔ æ ɑ
  6. 6. Joan Wall, International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers (1989), p. 15
  7. 7. Joan Wall, International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers (1989), p. 15Its approximate present form came from Daniel Jones ofUniversity College. London. and is known as the VowelDiagram. It was developed by superimposing X-rayimages of the position of the tongue when articulatingvarious vowels. The Vowel Diagram indicates theposition of the high point of the tongue during thearticulation of each vowel.
  8. 8.  Forward vowels: [i] beet [ɪ] bit [e] chaotic [ɛ] bet [æ] bat [a] bright ah (mostly used in diphthongs) Back vowels: [u] boot [ʊ] book [o] obey (pure [o] seldom used) [ɔ] saw [ɑ] father Central vowels: [ʌ] up (stressed uh) [ə] about (unstressed uh, schwa) [ɝ] herd (stressed, r-colored vowel) [ɜ] herd (NOT r-colored) [ɚ] butter (unstressed, r-colored vowel) Diphthongs: [eɪ] bait [difθɔŋ] [oʊ] boat [aɪ] bite [aʊ] ouch [ɔɪ] boy [ju] use
  9. 9. We begin with vowels because they are harder tocomprehend and execute than consonants!Remember: a pure vowel = one soundBut in English we have diphthongs too!!A pure vowel sound consists of only one distinct vowelsound; a diphthong is a distinct vowel until made up oftwo pure vowel sounds.
  10. 10. Joan Wall, International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers (1989), p. 14
  11. 11. Description of Vowels They are unrestricted  They can be sustained The teeth, tongue, and lips As long as you have breath, do not prevent airflow you can sustain a vowel sound They are normally voiced  They have shape or form It has ‘pitch’ – and can be And they are the core of whispered. the syllable
  12. 12. Four Factors thatAffect Shaping andCoupling ofResonators1. Jaw position – opening of mouth and throat2. Lip position – spreading or rounding3. Tongue position – arching forward or backward4. Raised Soft Palate
  13. 13. Raised soft palate1. Resonates: enhances the vibration and magnifies the sound2. Resonator of Human voice is oral cavity, pharynx, throat, and chest3. (resonator of violin is the box)
  14. 14.  Back pure vowels: tongue is thickened in the back while producing these sounds
  15. 15.  Front pure vowels: tongue is thickened in the front while producing these sounds
  16. 16. English Pure Vowels i u I Ʊ e o Ɛ Ɔ æ ɑ
  17. 17. English Back Pure Vowels u Ʊ o Ɔ ɑ
  18. 18. English Back Pure Vowels u blue Ʊ Brown o sugar opaque Ɔ auburn ɑ aqua
  19. 19. English Front Pure Vowels i I e Ɛ æ
  20. 20. English Front Pure Vowelsgreen i indigo I grey e red Ɛ black æ
  21. 21. Things to note from the reading:Feel/hear the difference in similar words:pin [pɪn] and pen [pɛn] or marry [mærɪ] and merry [mɛrɪ]Look to pages 14 and 15 for a discussion on how the vowel trianglewas created. Cool right?Okay, so I still pronounce alveolar not quite right. Look to page16 to help me out! [ˌ ˌæl viəlɚ]Also, get = [gɛt] not [gɪt]Fun practice (from pg 17):[i] [ɪ] [eɪ] [ɛ] [æ]beet bit bait bet batmeet mitt mate met matDean din dane den Dan
  22. 22. [i]  Potential Problems  Diphthongs created by adding a schwa [ə]: feel, meal, yield  Spellings: Feel = [fil] not [fiəl] 1. Quay Meal = [mil] not [miəl] 2. She Yield = [jild] not [jiəld] 3. Breathe (this problem usually occurs when 4. Green an [i] is followed by an “l”) 5. Conceive 6. People  Practice phrases: 7. Key  He shall speak peace unto the heathen 8. believe  Free to be me, God, I really am free.  Beautiful dreamer, wake unto meEnglish Pure Front Vowels
  23. 23. [I]  Spellings:  Potential Problems 1. indigo  Substitution of [i]: been, 2. Busy beautiful, pretty, eternal 3. behold  Vowel reduction: When this sound is unstressed, sometimes American singers Practice phrases: turn it into a schwa [Ə]  Because I have been given much, I  Before “ng” “m” or “n”, an too must give “i” is almost always pronounced [I], as in bring,  That her iniquity is pardoned simple, and thin.  Sure on this shining night Sometimes the [I] becomes over nasalized.English Pure Front Vowels
  24. 24. [e] [e] rarely appears in English by  Potential Problems itself. It is almost always part of the diphthong [eɪ]  Creating triphthongs where you only want diphthongs  Examples for [e]: chaotic, wait = [weɪt] not [wɛeɪt] vacation, fatality sail = [seɪl] not [seɪəl]  Examples for [eɪ]: male = [meɪl] not [meɪəl] 1. aim 2. Came 3. bay 4. made  Practice phrases: 5. ate  Embraceable You 6. Ale  I‟ll Build a Stairway to Paradise 7. sail  Who Cares?English Pure Front Vowels
  25. 25. [ɛ]  Potential Problems  Substitution of [ɪ] for [ɛ]  Substitution of [ɝ] for [ɛ]  Examples: (as in ‟Amuhrica‟) 1. red  Insertion of [ə] between [ɛ] and [l] 2. death (as in [wɛəl] for ‟well‟) 3. twenty  Substitution of [eɪ] for [ɛ] (as in [heɪd] for head, 4. head or [leɪg] for leg) 5. get 6. treasure 7. guess  Practice phrases:  Let‟s Kiss and Make Up  The Best of Everything  Heaven on Earth [hɛvən ɑn ɝθ]English Pure Front Vowels
  26. 26. [æ]  Potential Problems  The insertion of a schwa [ə] after [æ] before a final  Examples: consonant. As in [hæət] for 1. add „hat‟ 2. lamb  Nasalizing [æ] when it proceeds m, n, or ng. (This 3. sang is my main problem!) 4. Pan 5. plaid 6. black  Practice phrases: 7. Sad  Sam and Delilah  Little Jazz Bird  Fascinating RhythmEnglish Pure Front Vowels
  27. 27. Reminder of Vowel chart: i u I Ʊ e o Ɛ Ɔ æ ɑ
  28. 28. [u]  Spellings:  Potential Problems 1. grew  (see p. 56 in book) 2. you  Nasal 3. too  Insufficient lip rounding 4. to  Insertion [kul] vs. [kuəl] 5. two 6. blue  Practice phrases:  Were you there when they crucified my Lord?  I love you, truly.  In a sentimental mood.English Pure Back Vowels
  29. 29. [ʊ]  Spellings:  Potential Problems 1. sugar  Substitution (diphthong) 2. took [ə, u] 3. could  Practice phrases:  The crooked straight.  My faith looks up to Thee.  Man is made for the woman and the woman for the man.English Pure Back Vowels
  30. 30. [o]  Spellings:  Potential Problems 1. Violet  Substitution (diphthong) 2. Opaque  Practice phrases:  For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth  Come, every soul by sin oppressed.  Memory, hither come and tune your merry notes. In American English, the sound [o] is only used in unstressed, rhythmically short syllables.  “Soul” and “notes” do not contain the [o] sound because they only have one syllable, and therefore, are stressed.English Pure Back Vowels
  31. 31. Joan Wall, International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers (1989), p. 65
  32. 32. [Ɔ]  Spellings:  Potential Problems 1. Auburn  Insertion of diphthong 2. Moss  Inadequate mouth opening 3. Fall 4. Awkward  Practice phrases:  That they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness  I saw the cross of Jesus  Autumn leaves are now fallingEnglish Pure Back Vowels
  33. 33. [ɑ]  Potential Problems  Insufficient lowering of jaw  Spellings:  Spreading lips, as in a grin 1. aqua  Retracting the body of tongue 2. got  Substitution of briɡht [a] for back [ɑ]  Practice phrases:  Sing alleluia to the Lord  Stir thy church, O God, our Father  Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la . . . . .English Pure Back Vowels
  34. 34. Vowel Reduction  Vowel reduction: This sound is typically a schwa [ə], although there are other vowels that can be unstressed or reduced. A reduced vowel is a vowel that can only occur in unstressed syllables, like schwa, and an unstressed vowel is a vowel that can be stressed but is not. Before “ng”, “I” {I} is pronounced [I], as in bring, sing, and think  Typical spellings for vowel reduction of [I] is -ly, -y, -ies, and –ing.  Any words with these suffixes have reduced vowels
  35. 35. [ʌ] This sound occurs only in stressed syllables. This includes those instances where “un” is a prefix emphasizing negation of the root word Spellings: above, us, plum, fuzzy, undone, blood, trouble Potential problems: substitution of [ɑ] ̤ fuzzy/fozie, was, love, one, son PRACTICE PHRASES  Unto us a Son is given  What wondrous love is this  I wonder as I wander out under the sky  Above = [Ə.bʌv] 
  36. 36. [Ə] This sound occurs only in unstressed syllables. This includes those instances where “un” is a prefix emphasizing negation of the root word Spellings: magenta, angel, evil, a, of the, cotton, passion, upon The sound only occurs in unstressed syllables or words Because in singing every syllable must have a vowel sound, [Ə] is used in singing certain syllables which are spoken without a vowels sound, as in little and people The schwa is a variable, weakly-defined sound. Other sounds in unstressed ɪ syllables: [ ] happiness, prepare, remember, receive, rejoice PRACTICE PHRASES  Unto us a Son is given  Hark! The herald angels sing  When I think upon the maidens
  37. 37. Angel and Evil Angel: Evil:
  38. 38. ɛɚƏ ʌ
  39. 39. [3] Spellings: bird, purple, ever, counselor, forward, earth, journey, timbre, martyr Potential problems: Some authorities avoid this sound, preferring [ʌ] in stressed syllables and [Ə] in unstressed syllables: Bud-bird; but-Bert Bird = [b3d] vs. bud = [bʌd] Bert = [b3t] vs. but [bʌt] Practice phrases:  Wonderful Counselor, the everlasting Father  Let all the world in every corner sing  I wonder as I wander out under the sky
  40. 40. [3] Spellings: bird, purple, earth, journey, service, word, purse [bɜrd] [pɜrpl] [ɜrθ] [jɜrni] [sɜrvɪs] [wɜrd] [pɜrs] This sound only appears in stressed syllables! This sound is called the “r-less” ur. It is preferred by many singing teachers, and they substitute the sound often instead of [ɝ]. The main difference between an “r-colored” ur [ɝ] and an “r-less” ur [ɜ] is that the [ɝ] is produced with the tip of the tongue raised and suspended in the center of the mouth and the [ɜ] is produced with the tip of the tongue down behind the bottom front teeth. Southerners sometimes even drop the r‟s out of words: Bird = [b3d] Herd = [hɜd] Learn = [lɜn] (look to board)
  41. 41. [ɚ] Spellings: giver altar murder actor summer [gɪvɚ] [ɔltɚ] [mɝdɚ] [æktɚ] [sʌmɚ] This sound only appears in unstressed syllables! Although the unstressed ur [ɚ] has the same sound as the stressed ur [ɝ], it is more lax and shorter in duration, and used only in unstressed syllables. Sometimes it is called a hooked schwa. Some voice teachers will have you transcribe like this (kenning): giver altar murder actor summer [gɪvər] [ɔltər] [mɜrdər] [æktər] [sʌmər]

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