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Fontica i Fonologia Anglesa II

(Codi: 203211)

Notes and exercises 2006 Teachers: Joan Carles Mora, Brian Mott
Contents Page Phonetic transcription ................................................................................................ 1 Interview with ETERNAL......................................................................................... 3 Continuous-speech phenomena ................................................................................. 6 The phoneme revisited............................................................................................... 8 Phonemic analysis......................................................................................................10 Length ........................................................................................................................15 The syllable................................................................................................................20 Stress ..........................................................................................................................27 Word stress.................................................................................................................28 Stress: prefixes and suffixes.......................................................................................30 Stress: compound nouns and syntactic units..............................................................31 Rhythm.......................................................................................................................34 Sentence stress ...........................................................................................................41 Intonation ...................................................................................................................45 Sound change .............................................................................................................57 Model exam ...............................................................................................................70

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students must attend class with and do the exam of the group in which they are matriculated. Failure to comply with this requirement may lead to students not having their final mark transferred to the acta. Any student wishing to change group must do so officially and inform the teachers involved.

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION Although phonetic transcription is only the basis of your courses in Phonetics and Phonology, it does have to be learned accurately. A phonetic symbol, like a chemical formula, is either right or wrong. The following notes will serve to help you recall what you learned in Fontica I Fonologia Anglesa I, and to introduce you to some new symbols that you will need in order to make a narrow transcription of a text. Introduction Phonetic transcription is used to write down human speech sounds systematically. Two main kinds of transcription are recognized: (i) Broad, phonemic or phonological transcription, in which only phonemes are noted down broad transcription, therefore, represents sequences of abstract, functional units. In broad transcription symbols are placed between slants, as in /pl/ (pill). (ii) Narrow or allophonic transcription, in which the allophones or variants of phonemes are notated narrow transcription, therefore, provides more precise information about the concrete realization of the segments. Narrow transcription places symbols between square brackets, as in [p] (pill). Broad and narrow transcription: some illustrative examples from English:

mutton doll little proud pin water better shoot rocking /mtn/ /dl/ /ltl/ /prad/ /pn/ /wt/ /bet/ /u:t/ /rk/

[mtn] [d] [lto] [prad] [pn] [w] [bet] [ u:t] [rkn]

[n]: syllabic nasal consonant []: velar realization of post-vocalic [l] (dark [l]) [o]: vocalization of post-vocalic [l] [r] [d]: devoicing of voiced consonants [p]: aspirated plosive before a stressed vowel []: realization of /t/ as a glottal stop [t]glottalling) [t]: voiced and tapped intervocalic [t] [w]: labialization of the post-alveolar consonant [n]: alveolar realization of the final velar nasal consonant




[]: half-long vowel before unvoiced consonant


mean cow this year

/min/ /ka/ /s j/

[mn] [ka ] []

[]: nasalized vowel between nasal consonants [ao]: uncompleted diphthongal glide [s] + [j] > []: coalescent assimilation at word boundaries

four hours /f az / I saw it must go EXERCISES /a s t/ /mst /

[fr az ] [fr]: linking [r] [a sr t] [sr]: intrusive [r] [ms ] [t] > : elision of [t] in clusters

Exercise 1. Broad transcription. Circle the errors in the transcriptions below, and then write
the correct transcription in the space provided: Consonants wishing wives these chipping sixty passed English clauses /wsh / /wavs/ /i:s/ /tpp/ /sxti/ /psd/ /nl/ /klzs/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ umbrella manage divorce bulldog semantic bleeding bamboo judges Vowels /mbrl /mnd/ /dvs/ /bld/ /smntk/ /blidi/ /bmbu/ /ddz/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/ /................/

Exercise 2.
Listen to the following text on the recording that your teacher will provide. Then transcribe part of it, as instructed. First make a broad transcription of the extract with the careful pronunciation which is recommended to foreign learners of English. Afterwards, listen to the extract as many times as necessary (with headphones, if possible) in order to make a narrow transcription indicating such features as: glottalling intrusive [r] elisions and contextual assimilations (i.e. at word boundaries) use of [n] for [] in the gerund [l]-vocalization

[t]-tapping monophthongization of the pronoun I reduction of you /ju/ and your [j] to [j]. Interview with ETERNAL The group ETERNAL have established themselves as a premier British pop act with two successful albums and a string of hit singles. The girls Esther, Kelly, Verney, and Louise began singing together three years ago and their soulful good-time pop was an instant success. ETERNALs debut album Always and Forever was a permanent fixture in the UK album charts throughout 1994, and the group enjoyed six hit singles. Surprisingly though, the following year Louise decided to leave ETERNAL for a solo career. Undaunted, the three remaining members regrouped to redefine their image and music. The next album,

Power of a Woman, was a more soulful-sounding collection of songs. Since its release it has
spent four months in the UK album chart and the girls have enjoyed two major hit singles from it. ETERNAL have certainly been working hard over the last couple of months playing a series of concerts across Europe, including a special performance at the Vatican, for His Holiness the Pope John Paul II. Richard Bevan met up with Kelly and Verney of ETERNAL and asked them about that meeting with the Pope, their career so far and the departure of Louise. Louise wanted to move on and try a solo career. I think in everyones life, whether it be a nine-to-five job working in a bank, you always want to move up, you want to try something else. I think basically that is what- how Louise felt, she wanted to move onwards and try something else. So thats why she actually left. Now how has it actually affected you, though, in terms of your work? I think, from a work point of view, not really; from a personal point of view, you are kind of missing a friend, that is where we feel we have lost there. Lets talk about Power of a Woman. Now just how different is that from the... from your previous album? I just think it is that bit more funky; it has got a lot more of us on this new album, with us songwriting a bit more; it has g- we have expressed ourselves a lot better on this album. Its got a better groove... . I wouldnt say its a better album because I still think that

Always and Forever has got a lot going for it, its still selling loads now, but Power of a Woman is what we are on now.
Weve been able to write the majority of the songs; therefore youve got three extra different styles in this album, whereas before we were only able to write like three songs because we were all busy at college and uni. So therefore its more..., so the way how

we see it or we want to sing it. You are going to have to tell me: what was it like to get an audience with the Pope? And how did you get it in the first place? One of our EMI reps were like saying to us that every year the Pope has like a Christmas party and itd be great for us to be on it, and were like yeah well, itd be nice for us to be on it too. So we had to send in- the words to our songs but translated, and then they went through it, they vetted everything and they like saw what ETERNAL was about and I think because the- the song I am blessed was so much- so spiritual and were very sort of church-going girls, I think maybe thats what contributed to the fact that we were able to do it. We met the Pope the day before the performance, and he was- hes such a sweet guy, it was like Merry Christmas and Do you speak English? and he said thank you for doing the concert for him, because basically its a charity to- either buy another church or refurbish a church. So, it was good. Were first and foremost a group that is out there making music. This is a business for us. Our Christianity is something that is very personal to us; we dont actually go out there preaching the word. Its not what we are about. If you ask me about my Christianity, Ill tell you because Im not afraid of that, but this is not what I am about. Your actual image is very sexy, its quite sensual. Do the two go together, sort ofsort of sexuality and gospel? No, I dont think the two go together. I think the sexuality side is something that shines out on us, and I think thats what people are picking up. But I dont think we go out there to look sexy, or were saying right, I wanna wear that because that makes me look sexy. Thats just the way we come over. Relationships. I mean, do you have time for boyfriends? Not really. Wed like the time. Like Kelly says, were open to offers. Really? But what type of men are you looking for? I think personalitys got definite bonuses. I dont think looks say a lot about a person. Inner beauty is the most important. Yeah, you need a guy thats very understanding. When you were fledglings, when you were sort of struggling, unknown, its- just what was the shock like to suddenly move into the realms of fame? Gosh, the way you say that makes it sound like we were struggling to- . It was never ever like that. It was a matter of- the four of us came together, it was us, it was me, Kelly, Esther, and Louise and we spent a year getting to know each other, the following year was making the album and, as soon as the first release was out, we were top five. It was just literally straight in. I dont actually recall ever having to struggle to get into the charts.

Like Verney says its like straight in. Six consecutive top twenties. Its like most people only release maybe four songs off their album. But I think our manager wanted us to work hard. A bit of a difficult question this. In terms of moving on and going on, where do you actually see yourself in five years time? Like you said, a difficult question this. I think we would like to be still in the music business writing and singing. Groups dont stay together all the time but we hope our music will go on. So even if we are not together as a group, still, Im sure wed like to be doing something in the business each individual, songwriting, musicals, producing, doing something which is still in the business. And possibly with some boyfriends in a coach at the back. That would be nice. It would be, wouldnt it?


Longman Pronunciation Dictionary: Assimilation, Compression, Elision, Glottal stop,

R-liaison, T-voicing. A. Cruttenden, Gimsons Pronunciation of English, chapter 12. Place assimilation Great Britain, sad boy, bad guess, wont go, I cant believe it, in Kenya, Im going to .... [grep brtn, sb b, b es, wk , a km bliv t, kenj, a gn ...] Coalescent assimilation assimilation (palatalization) This year, Ive got your washing, Mind your head, actually, usually. [, av t w, mand hed, kli, juli] Elision Last time, last drink, postman, months, sixths, you must go, empty, friends, I wanna go, I dont know, cyclists. [ls tam, ls drk, psmn, mns, sks, j ms g, emti, frenz, a wn , a dn/dn, sakls] Compression (loss of a syllable) Irish, pirate, powerful, they are there, radio, piano, influence, hes gonna try, history, national, I suppose, for instance, because, actually. [ar, part, pfl, e e, redj, nflns, hiz n tra, hstri, nnl, a spz, fr nstns, kz, kli] Liaison (linking and intrusive [r], glide insertion) daughter-in-law, here and there, drawing, I saw it, perhaps, the spa at Bath, how are you?, higher and higher. [dtrnl, hr n e, drr, a sr t, prps, spr t b, haw ju, hajr n haj] [l][l]-vocalization a little while, all right, a bottle of beer. [ lto wao, rat, btow v b] [t][t]-tapping Better, city, a lot of letters. [bet, st, lt v letz]

Glottalization (glottalling) little, bottle, a lot of letters, better, voted, football, what time? that day. [lo, bo, l v lez, be, vd, fb, w tam, de] Velar nasal > alveolar nasal ((-ing > in) Rockin n rollin, writing, hoping. [rkn n rln, ratn, hpn] 1) Mind your arm. /mandr m/ [mandr m] 2) Whats that? /wts t/ [ws ] 3) a short fat man / t ft mn/ [ f mn] 4) To hire a car, you must produce a passport and a current driving license. /t har k / ju ms prdjus pspt / n krnt drav lasns/ [t har k / j ms prdjus psp / n krn dravn lasns] 5) Youd better go now. /jud bet na/ [jd bet] ~ [be na] 7) Take your umbrella in case it rains. /tek jr mbrel n kes t renz/ [tel jr mbrelr kes renz] 9) I dont know what you said. /a dnt n wt ju sed/ /a dn n w j (wt) sed/ 11) Its maddening, isnt it? /ts mdn / znt t/ [ts mdn / zn (n)] 6) a little bit of butter / ltl bt v bt/ [ lto bt v bt] ~ [ lo b v b] 8) a lot better / lt bet/ [ l bet] ~ [ l be] 10) My cameras jammed. /ma kmrz dmd/ /mi kmrz dmd/ 12) Dont be so devious. /dnt bi s divis/ [dm (dn) bi s divjs]

THE PHONEME REVISITED See textbook chapter 13; Phonetics I notes (2005), pp. 30-31. PHONE: any speech sound, irrespective of its linguistic status. ALLOPHONE: one of the members of a phoneme; a particular way of realizing a phoneme in a particular environment. PHONEME: the minimal distinctive unit of a language that serves to distinguish meaning. Definition of the phoneme (Daniel Jones): A family of sounds in a given language which are related in character and are used in such a way that no one member ever occurs in a word in the same phonetic context as any other member. Note the requirements of phonetic similarity (English // v. /h/) and complementary distribution (Compare a man with two jobs, never seen by neighbours in the same place at the same time, but the two look alike, so they might be assumed to be the same person). Free variation also exists. However, free variation is not entirely free, but usually linked to some other stylistic or sociolinguistic variable like context, speed of delivery, age, sex. The phoneme: examples Thai /paa/ cloth, /paa/ aunt, /baa/ crazy. Hindi /pal/ edge of knife, /pal/ take care of; /kan/ mime, /kan/ ear. Italian: CLOSE V OPEN V pesca fishing pesca peach tema fear tema topic legge law legge he reads venti twenty venti winds re king re musical note torta cake torta twisted corso course corso Corsican fosse were fosse holes Note lack of opposition in Spanish: fuerte (open e) mes (close e). Cf. Portuguese pode (open stressed V) can, pde (closed stressed V)could . Italian casa house, cassa box; fuga flight, fugga may he flee. In Korean [l] and [r] are allophones. In Indonesian [k] and [] are allophones Russian clear [l] (stol so) and dark [l] (stol table) are phonemes (/l/ v. //) In OE [f, v], [, ], [s, z] were allophones. Brazlian Portuguese [t] and [t] are allophones (tal, parte). Cf. Eng. part, parch. Cf. Russian /brat/ brother, /brat/ to take. In Dutch [k] and [] are allophones. Aboriginal language of Central Australia: Warlpiri, Warlbiri. Note allophones of /l/ in French: aller, loup (fully voiced), simple, peuple (devoiced). Neutralization and defective distribution Neutralization is loss of phonological opposition between phonemes.

1) Only one of the sounds may surface: final obstruents of Catalan. Or variation according to context: archiphoneme /N/ realized as /m/, /n/ or //. 2) There may be free variation: Spanish final [r], as in comer Eng. cow v. cower (encogerse de miedo), but cowering /kar/. Cf towel, Ireland. 3) New sound: English and Catalan schwa. Not classed as allophone because of biuniqueness problem: to which phoneme should the sound be assigned? Defective distribution: no Spanish initial [ ;]no English initial [tl, dl]. Problems in the assignment of allophones to phonemes Eng. // and /h/: see above. Schwa. No vowel phoneme is a better candidate than any other to admit schwa as a member. Moreover, there are a few cases of opposition of schwa to other phonemes: Lennon, Lenin; teacher, teaches; conquered, Concord; mattered, matted (enmaraado). Daniel Jones hypothetical language: [d], [z] before [a, e, i, o], [dz] before [u]. [l] & [d] are allophones in Setswana (Botswana); [d] + high Vs. Either could be underlying. SPELLING very often determines our decision: unaspirated [p, t, k]. Why is Sp // not assigned to //? Why is the tap in English city assigned to /t/? Note different kinds of [r]s front and back. Unified by traditional spelling. How do we know // and // are different phonemes? Aleutian, allusion; pressure, pleasure. // v. //: ring: rim, room:rouge. Free variation among phonemes (Daniel Jones diaphones) yesterday, accomplish, constable, involve, direct, again, either, Ireland, dowry. AmE // v. BrE //. French uvular trill v. uvular fricative. Does the phoneme exist? We do not really speak in segments. Speech does not consist simply of a string of target articulations linked together. The organs adopt certain GESTURES for a relatively long or short period of time, and a feature is often spread over more than one segment. This spreading, which may be progressive or regressive, is what we call ASSIMILATION. Consider the following words: Lulu lip-rounding throughout wander labialized and nasalized stressed V twelve rounding and backing of V as in Sp luego time onset of voicing of the vowel is delayed because [t] is unvoiced Our alphabets encourage us to ignore the continuous nature of speech. Speech is really a continuous flow with various peaks and troughs of energy or movement, which listeners can process as segments. However, it is convenient from a descriptive point of view to refer to discrete units, whether these be segments, syllables, words, etc. Dissatisfaction with the phoneme theory led to DISTINCTIVE FEATURE THEORY.

PHONEMIC ANALYSIS As an example of phonemic analysis, examine the following data from PAPAGO and determine determine the status of dental [t] and [t] ([] is an unrounded close central vowel). The data that you are given consists of just a few words, but the examples are representative of the distribution of the phones you have to examine and the data contain enough information for you to carry out the phonemic analysis. 1. [ta:pam] split 2. [tkid] vaccinate 3. [atwid] shoot 4. [tuku] become black 5. [toha] become white 6. [tiha] hire 7. [toi] become hot 8. [widut] swing 9. [ta:tad] feet 10. [ki:tud] build a house for 11. [ta:tam] touch. We will start the phonemic analysis by looking for minimal pairs. In this case there are no minimal pairs for [t] and [t]. In order to show that [t] and [t] are allophones belonging to the same phoneme they must share some phonetic properties. [t] and [t] satisfy the condition of phonetic similarity because they are voiceless coronal obstruents. If we assume that [t] and [t] are allophones belonging to the same phoneme we have to state their distribution. A good strategy to find out the distribution of allophones is to list all the relevant contexts (usually the preceding and following phonetic context) in the words you are given. The contexts where [t] and [t] occur are the following:
Phonetic Contexts Example no. 1 3 5 7 8 9 11 [t] # __ a: # __ w # __ o # __ o u __ # # __ a: and # __ a # __ a: and # __ a [t] [t] # __ I # __ u # __ i i: __ u Example no. 2 4 6 10

[t] and [t] are allophones in complementary distribution because they never occur in the same environment: [t] occurs before [a:, w, o, #, a], whereas [t] occurs before [, u, i], so that we never find [t] where [t] occurs and vice versa. In this case two arguments suggest considering [t] as the basic form: 1. [t] occurs in a wider variety of contexts than [t] and the occurrence of [t] before [a:, w, o, #, a] cannot be explained on phonetic grounds. 2. The occurrence of [t] before [, u, i] can be explained on the basis of phonetic principles. [t] shares with [, u, i] the phonetic property of being [+ HIGH] (in actual fact, we say [ ANTERIOR] for consonants which shift up and back away from the dentalveolar

region), i.e. [t] as well as [, u, i] are all articulated by raising the body of the tongue towards the palate. On the basis of 1 and 2, the statement of the distribution of [t] and [t] would be as follows: [t] occurs before [+ high] vowels, whereas [t] occurs elsewhere. We can also express this distribution by means of a phonological rule describing a phonological process of palatalization: /t/ [t] / [, u, i] or /t/ [ ANT] / [+ HIGH]

Exercises Provide answers to the following phonology problems, first in prose, then using symbols and/or features, as appropriate: 1. Study the following data from TOJOLABAL (Mexico). Determine the status of plain [k] and glottalized or ejective [k] . Are they phonemes or allophones? 1. [kisim] my beard 2. [taka] chop it down 3. [koktit] our feet 4. [kak] flea 5. [pakan] hanging 6. [kaem] sugar cane 7. [sak] white 8. [kiin] warm 9. [skutu] he is carrying it 10. [kuutes] to dress 11. [snika] he stirred it 12. [ak] read. 2. Study the following data from FINNISH. Examine the pairs of sounds [s], [z] and [t], [d] and determine their status as phonemes or allophones. 1. [ku:zi] six 2. [kadot] failures 3. [kate] cover 4. [katot] roofs 5. [kade]

envious 6. [ku:si] six 7. [li:sa] Lisa 8. [madon] of a worm 9. [maton] of a rug 10. [ratas] wheel 11. [li:za] Lisa 12. [radan] of a track. 3. Study the following data from KOREAN. [s], [] and [z] are allophones in complementary distribution. State the distribution. 1. [su] number 2. [inza] greeting 3. [pazk] cushion 4. [ihap] game 5. [sosl] novel 6. [mziktm] restaurant 7. [eke] world 8. [sae] new 9. [satan] division 10. [inpu] bride.


4. Study the following data from VENDA (South Africa). Determine the status of [n] (alveolar) and [n] (dental). Are they phonemes or allophones. ([] is a voiced labiodental approximant; [zw] is a strongly labialized voiced alveolar fricative). 1. [hanu] at your place 2. [lino] tooth 3. [mune] master 4. [nari] buffalo 5. [pfene] baboon 6. [ana] four 7. [ene] he 8. [hana] childhood 9. [khouno] there 10. [atanu] five 11. [onani] see! 12. [ zino]now. 5. Study the following data from TOJOLABAL (Mexico) and determine the status of [t] and [t]. 1. [titam] pig 2. [tatat] kind of plant 3. [nahat] long 4. [makton] patch 5. [tinan] upside down. 6. [mut] chicken. 6. Study the following data from BURMESE and state the contexts in which voiced and voiceless nasals occur. 1. [a] five 2. [mji] river 3. [hmi] to lean against 4. [mwei] to give birth 5. [hmwei] fragrant 6. [hmjai] to cure 7. [ne] small 8. [hne] slow 9. [nwe] to bend flexibly 10. [he] bird. 7. Study the following data from BIBLICAL HEBREW and determine the status of [p] and [f]. 1. [p] mouth 2. [pol] bean 3. [pil] elephant 4. [paa] to open 5. [mipaa] family 6. [af] even 7. [lifnei] before 8. [sfr] book 9. [ksf] money 10. [yaf] beautiful. 8. Study the following data from BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE and determine the status of [d] and [d]. 1. [dadu] given 2. [madria] godmother 3. [modenu] modern 4. [unidu] united 5. [gwada] guard 6. [dieiu] money 7. [odiu] hate 8. [verdi] green 9. [vedadi] truth 10. [grdi] big.


9. Study the following data from BIBLICAL HEBREW and determine the status of [t] and []. 1. [tea] nine 2. [tafar] sew 3. [taim] two 4. [tannur] stove 5. [tamid] always 6. [ba] daughter 7. [oax] you 8. [safo] languages 9. [ii] with me 10. [raia] you saw. 10. Study the following data from CREE and determine the status of [t] and [d]. 1. [tibai] ghost 2. [meuat] meanwhile 3. [namuat] no way 4. [timan] canoe 5. [midiuin] food 6. [uidiheu] he helps him 7. [adimou] he tells 8. [midihti] hand 9. [kodiu] he tries 10. [madiu] he hunts. 11. Study the following data from TOTONAC (Mexico) and determine the status of the voiced and voiceless pairs of vowels. A subscript circle = voiceless. 1. [tsaps] he stacks 2. [tsilinks] it resounded 3. [kasitti] cut it 4. [kuku] uncle 5. [kak] peppery 6. [miki] snow 7. [snapap] white 8. [stapu] beans 9. [umpi] porcupine 10. [taqhu] you plunged 11. [tihai] he rested 12. [tuki] it broke. 12. Study the following data from GERMAN and determine the status of the voiceless velar fricative [x] and the voiceless palatal fricative [] . 1. [axt] eight 2. [i] I 3. [lln] to smile 4. [lx] hole 5. [hox] high 6. [maxn] to make 7. [vai] soft 8. [aux] also. 13. Study the following data from TURKISH and determine the status of [t] and [d]. 1. [dan] soul 2. [stl] culprit 3. [sidak] hot 4. [adi] bitter 5. [at] hungry 6. [utak] aeroplane 7. [atik] deficit 8. [dep] pocket 9. [dami] mosque 10. [tatal] fork. 14. Study the following data from MALAY and determine the status of [k] and []. 1. [kapa] axle 2. [buka] open 3. [takpi] but 4. [kta] a fold 5.[boo] rough 6. [boo] black butterfly 7. [kran] small stove 8. [tapa] palm of the hand 9. [gla] laugh 10. [kara] reef.


15. Study the following data from CZECH and determine the status of [a] and [a] . 1. [palanda] bunk bed 2. [rada] advice 3. [kava] coffee 4. [lano] rope 5. [pali] burns 6. [maso] meat 7. [rano] morning 8. [sadlo] lard. 16. Study the following data from JAPANESE and determine the status of [ts], [t] and [t]. 1. [tizu] map 2. [kutsu] shoe 3. [tsuri] fishing 4. [hati] bee 5. [tsuti] earth 6. [te] hand 7. [ita] board 8. [ti] blood 9. [to] door 10. [tsuku] arrive. 17. Study the following data from CREE and determine the status of [t] and [d]. 1. [tahki] all the time 2. [mihtet] many 3. [nisto] three 4. [tagosin] he arrives 5. [mibit] tooth 6. [medaueu] he plays 7. [kodak] another 8.[adim] dog 9. [adihk] caribou 10. [iskodeu] fire. 18. Study the following data from RUSSIAN and determine the status of [e] and []. The superscript [] indicates that the preceding consonant is palatalized. 1. [iest] there is 2. [fs] all 3. [jl] he ate 4. [st] gesture 5. [dver] door 6. [dl] affaire 7. [den] day 8. [pet] to sing 9. [r] era 10. [ist] he eats. 19. Study the following data from PENINSULAR PORTUGUESE and determine the status of [o] and [] on the one hand, and [e] and [] on the other. 1. medo [medu] fear 2. av [vo] grandfather 3. corra [ko] he runs (subj.) 4. peso [pezu] weight 5. mulher [mur] woman 6. av [v] grandmother 7. corre [ko] he runs (indic.) 8. castelo [ktlu] castle 9. saber [ser] to know 10. peso [pzu] I weigh. 20. Study the following data from ITALIAN and determine the status of [p] (p) and [p] (pp). 1. passare to pass 2. copia copy 3. coppa cup 4. piacere pleasure 5. papa pope 6. pipa pipe 7. ruppe he broke 8. mappa map 9. rupe rock 10. pappa baby food.


LENGTH Introduction Introduction We use the term LENGTH in Phonetics to refer to the physical duration of sounds. Some sounds are naturally longer than others; for example, vowels, liquids and nasals are noticeably longer than plosives. However, all segments, whether they be vowels or consonants, can be made longer or shorter. The crucial consideration for linguists is whether different lengths in particular languages are phonologically significant, i.e. whether length is used contrastively, as in English words like sheep /ip/ and ship /p/, in which the vowels are distinctive. There are languages like English and German that have a series of long vowels alongside a series of short vowels, but which do not have distinctive consonant length. On the other hand, there are languages like Italian, Norwegian and Swedish that make use of phonological differences in consonant length but not vowel length. For instance, Italian has contrasts like the following: short consonant fato [fato] fate topo [tpo] rat sono [sono] I am, they are long consonant (geminate) fatto [fatto] done toppo [tppo] stump sonno [sonno] sleep

Similarly, Norwegian tak roof, ceiling contrasts with takk thanks. In cases like these, the length of the vowels tends to be influenced by that of the following consonants, so that the first Norwegian word is phonetically [tak], i.e. with a longish vowel, because the following consonant is short, while the second one is [tak], with a shortish vowel, because the following consonant is long. Note also how the consonant length is represented in transcription. In the Norwegian word for thanks we use the same length mark [] as for vowels (sometimes the colon is substituted as a more readily available alternative). On the other hand, in the Italian words, it is more accurate to use double consonants in the transcription of the long consonants because they are really sequences of identical adjacent segments (geminates), the first of which belongs to a different syllable to the second: the first is implosive and the second explosive. Nevertheless, these conventions are often interchanged, so for all practical purposes it does not really matter which way you indicate length. Apart from the types of language mentioned so far, there are others that use both vowel and consonant length independently in order to form contrasts. One of the best known of these is Finnish. With the help of your teacher, try pronouncing the following paying close attention to the length of the vowels and consonants (Dont worry about the

meanings.): 1. [mt] 5. [mtt] 2. [mtn] 6. [mttn] 3. [mtn] 7. [mttn] 4. [mtt]

Estonian also makes use of long and short vowels and consonants with the added complication that. instead of two degrees of distinctive length, which is more usual, it has three: short, long and over-long (extra-long). These three degrees of length, or chronemes, can be exemplified with the following words: [koli] trash [lina] flax [koli] of school [linna] of town [koli] into school [linna] into town

Phonological length differences in vowels In languages which contrast short and long vowels, the short ones are usually more open and centralized than the long ones. This is the case, for example, of Czech, which shows the distribution shown below of segments in its vowel system. From your earlier classes on Phonetics, you will remember that the short vowels are more open and centralized in English, too, and that this is so because the long vowels are tense, i.e. they involve greater muscular effort as the tongue is further away from its position of rest, and the short vowels are lax. Revise the English vowel diagram to make sure that you remember the relative positions of the pairs of long and short vowels.

u a Czech

i e

u English


Pronounce the following pairs of English words and make an adequate length distinction between the vowels in each case: heed /hid/ shooed /ud/ mad /md/ wad /wd/ foreword /fwd/ hid /hd/ should /d/ marred /md/ ward /wd/ forward /fwd/

Phonetic length differences in English vowels PrePre-fortis clipping In the previous section, we drew a distinction between phonologically long and short vowels. It was seen that some languages, like English, oppose long and short vowels in their systems and have minimal pairs like English heat /hit/ and hit /ht/, Luke /luk/ and look /lk/, etc. This means that in identical contexts the English vowels like /i/ and /u/ are longer than the others. However, as the context in which sounds occur is very variable, we find that the length of both long and short vowels adjusts to it, so that it is possible for long vowels to be longer or shorter, and for short vowels to be longer or shorter, too. One notable influence on vowel length in English is the postvocalic consonant. If this consonant is voiced, the preceding vowel is noticeably longer than if the consonant is unvoiced. As unvoiced consonants are also called fortis, this process is often referred to as PRE-FORTIS CLIPPING. Thus, in SSB the vowel of greed is longer than the vowel of greet: greed greet Other pairs of this kind are: booed [bud] card [kd] bird [bd] ford [fd] boot [but] cart [kt] Bert [bt] fort [ft] | gri | gri |t |d| |

Note that half-length or reduced length is indicated in narrow transcription by using the mark [], so that the broad and narrow transcription of booed is the same as far as the

vowel is concerned (/bud/, [bud]), but for boot we have the broad representation /but/ and the narrow representation [but]. All the examples above contain a long vowel. As differences of length are more difficult to detect in short vowels, these need not concern us here. In the narrow transcription of the diphthongs, which are long vowels involving a change of quality during their articulation, we mark the variable length on the first of the two vowel symbols that are used to indicate the extremes of the glide: wade/Wade/weighed [wed] road/rowed [rd] slide [slad] proud [prad] joys [dz] wait/weight [wet] wrote [rt] slight [slat] Prout [prat] Joyce [ds]

As nasals and liquids behave the same way as vowels in these contexts, both the vowel and the [n] of burned are longer than in burnt, and both the vowel and the [l] of bold are longer than in bolt. Other factors determining phonetic length variation in English Vowels are longer when stressed than when unstressed. Thus the [] of Norway /nwe/ is longer than that of Norwegian /nwidn/, and the [] of herb /hb/ is longer than that of herbaceous /hbes/, whose first syllable may in fact reduce to /h-/. Stressed vowels are longer in final syllables than in other positions. Thus the stressed vowels of go and turn are longer than those of going and turning. Release consonants are much shorter than arresting ones, so that the initial consonant of cook, being followed immediately by a vowel, is much shorter than the final one. Although we still describe it as phonologically short, vowel no. 4, //, is often longish in SSB, and is perhaps going through a process of lengthening in order to distinguish itself more clearly from vowel no. 10, //. (For further details, see Mott, 2000: Some varieties of English are characterized by a general lengthening of stressed vowels, which is popularly referred to as drawling and makes the speech sound slow, lazy and sometimes rather bovine and unintelligent. This effect is noticeable in a few American accents, and is also typical of Cockney, the lower-class speech of London. Length and weight The term LENGTH should be distinguished from WEIGHT. Whereas we refer to

vowels or consonants as having a certain length, i.e. as being long or short, the term weight is applied to syllables, so syllables may be heavy or light. A heavy syllable is one that contains a long vowel (or diphthong) or a short vowel plus at least two consonants, the first of which belongs to the same syllable as that vowel. All other syllables are light. (See Mott, 2000: 9.2.3-9.2.5.) The syllables in capitals in the following words are heavy and the others are light: BAR-ce-LO-na, COM-pre-HEN-sive, LU-di-crous, re-LIN-quish. Note the close association between heavy syllables and stress in English: /bsln, kmprhensv, ludkrs, rlnkw/. Exercises

Exercise 1. Transcribe the following pairs of English words, first in broad transcription,
then in narrow transcription to indicate the difference in length in the vowels. EXAMPLE: feed rave /fi:d/ [fid] /rev/ [reiv] feet/feat Ralph 2. curs curse 5. Hague/Haig hake 8. lied light /fi:t/ [fit]. /ref/ [ref] 3. believe belief 6. robe rope 9. purge perch

1. carve calf 4. broad brought 7. slayed/Slade slate 10. bays base/bass

Exercise 2. The distribution of long and short vowels is not the same in Scottish
accents as in SSB. Examine the following data and decide in which environments certain vowels are long in Scottish speech (Aitkens Law): 1. beat [bit] 2. beed [bid] 3. beer [bi:r] 4. rogue [ro] 5. rove [rov] 6. proof [pruf] 7. nose [noz] 8. go [go] 9. peel [pil] 10. moon [mun] 11. teeth [ti] 12. teethe [ti] 13. more [mor] 14. bee [bi] 15. peace [pis] 16. two [tu] 17. food [fud] 18. smooth [smu] 19. goose [gus] 20. leave [liv]


THE SYLLABLE Introduction There is little doubt that syllables exist as phonological units. Intuitively, speakers know that a syllable is at least a vowel or diphthong which can be optionally preceded and/or followed by one or more consonants. Speakers will therefore generally assume that a word or utterance has as many syllables as it has vowels or diphthongs. Thus, all English speakers would agree that computer has three syllables /km.pju.t/. But evidence supporting the psychological reality of syllables is not only provided by the ability of speakers to count the number of syllables in words and utterances; many phonological processes take the syllable as their domain of application. For example, the English voiceless oral stops (/p/, /t/ and /k/) are aspirated at the beginning of stressed syllables, and unaspirated at the end, e.g. pot [pt], talk [tk], keep [kip], and after [s], as in stop [stp]. Why do speakers equate the number of vowels with the number of syllables in a word? It would seem that consonants are completely irrelevant for the purpose of counting the number of syllables. One-syllable words consisting of one single vowel or diphthong (e.g. I /a/) are possible, but there are no words consisting of one single consonant in English, nor words consisting of a sequence of four vowels. Most words consist of a combination of vowels and consonants. For example, happily /hpli/, combines three consonants and three vowels (CVCVCV) and has three syllables. This suggests that long strings of segments are not pronounceable unless they alternate vowels and consonants. This alternation is in fact based on the main articulatory difference between vowels and consonants: vowels are always articulated with a stricture of open approximation, on an unobstructed air stream, whereas consonants are articulated with varying degrees of stricture and always present some type of obstruction to the airflow in the oral cavity. The different degrees of stricture with which a sound segment is articulated is the main factor involved in determining its sonority. The sonority of speech sounds correlates with their degree of stricture, so that the less obstruction to the air-flow, the more sonorous a sound will be. On the basis of this correlation between degree of stricture and sonority, one can work out a sonority scale where vowels rank highest and oral stops lowest, other sounds occupying intermediate positions. A sonority scale of the English sound units will be very helpful for understanding the universal principles underlying the structure of English syllables and the combinatory possibilities of sound units in words.


The Sonority Scale and the Sonority Sequencing Generalization (SSG) A simple functional sonority scale of the English vowels and consonants would be one based exclusively on the different manners of articulation among consonants and vowels as regards their degree of stricture. The following seven-level sonority scale does not take into account sonority differences among vowels. Close vowels are less sonorous than open vowels because the former present a closer degree of open approximation. The fact that (all else being equal) voiced sounds are more sonorous than voiceless sounds is not taken into account either. Sonority Level 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
sonority level 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 + + + + + l + + + + + + + a

Manner of Articulation Vowel Glide Liquid Nasal Fricative Affricate Plosive

sonority level 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 + + + + + + +

English Phonemes i, , e, , , , , , u, , , j, w l, r m, n, f, v, , , s, z, , , h t, d p, b, t, d, k,

+ b

+ + + + n

+ d

+ k

+ + + + n

+ + + f

+ + + + + + +

+ d

+ + + + + + +

+ + + + n

+ t

The sonority hierarchy above can be used to outline the sonority profile of syllables and words. The number of syllables in the words blind and confident can be determined on the basis of their sonority profiles. The word blind is monosyllabic because it contains one single sonority peak. The sonority peak corresponds to the diphthong /a/, which is the most sonorous segment in the word. The word confident has three sonority peaks, and therefore three syllables, corresponding to the three vowels in the word ([, , ]). We can therefore conclude that a word has as many syllables as sonority peaks. A sound segment constitutes a sonority peak if it is preceded and followed by less sonorous segments or no segment. The sonority peak is the nucleus of the syllable.


It is clear from sound sequences like mitten /mtn/ and mint /mnt/ that the number of syllables in a word does not necessarily depend on the type of sound segments that make up the sequence but, more importantly, om their position relative to one another. Both mitten and mint are made up of the same sound units, but whereas mitten has two syllables, mint is monosyllabic. The difference lies in the position of the alveolar nasal. In mint, where the [n] precedes the [t], there is only one sonority peak, whereas in mitten, where the [t] precedes the [n], there are two sonority peaks, [] and [n], because [t] is less sonorous than [n]. If a segment qualifies as a sonority peak (i.e. as a syllabic nucleus) when it is preceded and followed by less sonorous segments, the segments preceding and following the sonority peak must not only rank lower in sonority than the sonority peak, their sonority must increase the closer they are to the nucleus of the syllable. This universal principle of syllable formation is known as the Sonority Sequencing Generalization (SSG), which defines an optimal syllable as a sonority peak optionally preceded and followed by segments that decrease in sonority the further they occur from the nucleus. The syllable structure of a word like blind (see above) is a good example of an ideal syllable as defined by the SSG. Syllable structure and English phonotactics Syllables may consist of four sub-syllabic units. The Onset (O), the Nucleus (N), the Coda (C) and the Rhyme (R). The Onset is formed by any consonants preceding the sonority peak or nucleus, whereas any consonants following the nucleus form the Coda. The Rhyme is formed by the Nucleus and the Coda. In English, both the Onset and the Coda are optional. When a syllable has no Coda, the Nucleus, which is the most sonorous segment in a syllable, is the only constituent within the Rhyme. syllable

R O b l a N n C d

Phonotactics studies the restrictions on the ability of segments to stand next to one another. Such co-occurrence restrictions do not only affect the internal composition of onsets and codas; they can also affect sound sequences across sub-syllabic constituents. For

example, a coda with three consonants is only possible if the preceding nucleus contains a short vowel, as in glimpse /glmps/ (*/glamps/). Co-occurrence restrictions between nuclei and codas are in fact restrictions that define permissible sound sequences within the rhyme, so that whereas a VCCC sequence is a possible rhyme in English, a VVCCC is not. Phonotactic constraints can also affect coda-onset clusters in polysyllabic words. For instance, coda nasals must be homorganic with the following onset consonant, as in winter /wn.t/ (so that */n.p/ and */m.t/ are not possible coda-onset clusters) provided the nasal occurs in a stressed syllable (cf. concur /knk/) and it is not followed by a morpheme boundary (cf. un+bend). There are no phonotactic contraints in English involving onsets and nuclei. Phonotactics is based on the underlying phonological form of morphemes and consequently co-occurrence constraints cannot apply across word boundaries. For example, whereas the coda in a word-internal coda onset cluster, as in winter /wn.t/ and poultry /pl.tri/, cannot have more than one consonant (according to traditional theories of syllabification), codas and onsets may combine freely across word boundaries and produce complex coda-onset clusters which are not allowed inside words, as in the phrase act

bravely /kt.brevli/.
Language-specific phonotactic constraints defining possible syllable structures in English are intramorphemic, and are not applicable to words to which suffixes have been added. Thus, when we say that the maximum number of consonants in English codas is three, as in glimpse, consonants which may be appended through suffixation are not considered. If consonantal suffixes were to be included in the structure of possible underlying syllables, word-final codas would contain up to five consonants, as in two sixths /tu skss/. Inside onsets, codas and rhymes, phonotactic constraints may be of two types:
i. Phonotactic constraints on the number of segments allowed within the Onset, the

Coda or the Rhyme.

ii. Phonotactic constraints affecting the nature of the segments that are allowed to co-

occur within the Onset, the Coda and the Rhyme. The maximum number of positions in an English onset is three, but the first consonant in a three-member onset in English is always [s], as in spring /spr/. The maximum number of consonants in codas is also three, as in the last syllable of instinct /nstkt/. The fact that onsets in English cannot have more than two positions unless they begin with an [s] explains why flew /flu:/ is not pronounced */flju:/, but stew is pronounced with a yod (/stju:/).


The second type of phonotactic constraint is very often conditioned by universal and language-specific sonority restrictions. For example, the definition of an optimal syllable according to the SSG predicts that in a two-member onset, the first segment cannot be more sonorous than the second, as in play /ple/, or great /gret/. However, [ml-] and [tl-] do not break the SSG and they are not possible onset sequences in English. These sequences appear to violate two different language-specific constraints of English. The sequence [ml-] violates a language-specific sonority constraint: within two-member onsets, there must be a minimum sonority distance, so that whereas [fl-] is acceptable, [fm-] is not. The sequence [tl-] is not allowed because the two members of an onset cannot be homorganic in English (unless the first one is an [s], as in stay). Syllabification The sonority hierarchy determines the number of syllables in words, but may also be useful for locating syllable boundaries. Although syllable boundaries always lie between sonority peaks, their location is not always predictable through the sonority level of the intervening consonant(s). For example, in the English word although /l/, the syllable boundary between the first and the second syllable cannot be placed after the first vowel (*/.l/) because the [l] is more sonorous than the [] and would have to constitute a sonority peak itself. There remain two possibilities that conform to the SSG: /l./ and /l./. The second of these syllabifications, however, is not possible because /-l/ is not a permissible coda in English, so */l./ would violate a language-specific phonotactic constraint. The only possible syllabification is /l./, but the syllable boundary has not been located on the basis of sonority constraints alone; language-specific phonotactic constraints have also been necessary. When a single consonant appears in intervocalic position, as in happy /hpi/, the SSG cannot predict the location of the syllable boundary. Both /hp.i/ and /h.pi/ are correct as far as sonority is concerned, but /h.pi/ is wrong because stressed syllables in English must contain either a long vowel or diphthong (i.e. VV) or a short vowel followed by a consonant (i.e. VC). The correct syllabification would therefore be /hp.i/, although this has the disadvantage of being counterintuitive for the native speaker of English. In a word like winter /wnt/, however, the SSG together with the stress-based constraint mentioned above would not predict the location of the syllable boundary. Out of the following three hypothetical syllabifications /w.nt/, /wn.t/ and /wnt./, the first one can be discarded because /nt/ is not a possible onset in English and violates the SSG, and also it would leave a stressed open syllable with a short vowel. However, neither of these constraints are violated by /wnt./ and /wn.t/. Two principal competing theories of syllabification have been proposed for English:

i. The Maximal Onset Principle + Ambisyllabicity: the Maximal Onset Principle

(i.e. always assign as many consonants as possible to the syllable onset) is applied to the extent allowed by English phonotactics. Then, in order not to violate the constraint that requires stressed syllables to be heavy, any consonant following a short stressed vowel is ambisyllabic (i.e. it belongs to both the coda and the onset of two adjacent syllables). According to this approach, the words happy, winter and petrol would be syllabified as hap.py, win.ter, and pet.trol, respectively (note that the spellings p.p and t.t of the first and third words do not represent geminate consonants).
ii. John Wells theory of syllabicity (see Mott, 2000:14.3.2): consonants are

syllabified with the more strongly stressed adjacent vowel, except when a consonant is between two equally stressed syllables, in which case it syllabifies to the left. Within this approach, which is supported by allophonic distribution at syllable boundaries, phonotactics must also be respected, and word and morpheme boundaries in compounds must coincide with syllable boundaries. According to this approach, the words happy, winter and petrol would be syllabified as /hp.i/, /wnt./ and /petr.l/, respectively. Exercises

Exercise 1. Determine the sonority profile of the following English words by assigning
sonority values to segments according to the sonority scale. Identify the sonority peaks (long vowels and diphthongs count as single segmental units) and hence the number of syllables in each word. 1. about /bat/ 3. woman /wmn/ 5. convenient /knvinjnt/ 7. button /btn/ 9. secretary /sekrtri/ 2. city /sti/ 4. happier /hpi/ 6. lump /lmp/ 8. common /kmn/ 10. general /denrl/

Exercise 2. Think of ten English words that do not conform to the SSG and explain why.
Make another list with ten English words with syllable structures that do not conform to the definition of an ideal syllable as defined by the SSG.


Exercise 3. In English two-member onsets (C1C2-) and codas (-C2C1) that conform to the
SSG, C1 cannot be more sonorous than C2. Is there a minimum sonority difference required between C1 and C2. Illustrate with examples.

Exercise 4. Carry out a syllable structure analysis of the following words on the basis of the
tree-structure representation of the syllable above. To decide on the syllabification, apply the Maximal Onset Principle and ambisyllabicity. 1. police 3. biscuit 5. shoulder 7. little 9. centre 2. secretary 4. opinion 6. slowly 8. chapter 10. extra

Exercise 5. Syllabify the following words according to the two syllabification theories
explained above: 1. happy 3. attract 5. understand 7. retract 9. redo 2. winter 4. infra-red 6. compensation 8. constraint 10. elegant


STRESS Stress is one of the so-called prosodic or suprasegmental features, along with rhythm, intonation and (sometimes) length. Suprasegmental means superimposed on the basic sound segments. Stress is the degree of force with which a sound or syllable is uttered. It gives prominence to some syllables, and hence words, and in combination with intonation helps to avoid monotony and make speech more interesting for the hearer. Stressed syllables are more prominent than unstressed ones, but stress is really only one of the factors involved in making syllables more prominent. Syllables may be perceived as being more prominent because (i) they are louder, (ii) they are longer, (iii) they are higherpitched than others or have a pitch change, (iv) they contain a vowel of a different quality from the others (/ba:ba:bi:ba:/). Experimental work has shown that the effect of PROMINENCE is achieved first by pitch and stress, and then by length; loudness and quality have less effect. Stress is increased air pressure from the lungs (what Catford calls INITIATOR POWER). Stress is vital to intelligibilty. You may pronounce perfectly well but, if your stress is wrong, you will not be understood. For example, if Spanish infinitives like poder and nadar are given initial stress by a foreign speaker, they are rendered unintelligible. Distinguish (i) static stress, (ii) kinetic stress (Kingdon)/accent (OConnor). KS = stress + pitch change. The languages of the world are divided into (i) free/dynamic stress languages (ii) languages with a fixed place for the stress in words. Type (i) languages are English, Spanish, Catalan, German and Russian. The following are type (ii) languages: French, Turkish, Persian: the stress is on the last syllable of a word. Hungarian, Finnish, Czech: the stress is on the first syllable of a word. Polish, Swahili, Welsh: the penultimate syllable receives the stress. Latin: the stress was either on the penultimate syllable (paroxytone: CANTRE, AMRE) or on the antepenultimate syllable (proparoxytone: FCERE, CRRERE). Stress placement in English There are no simple rules for knowing which syllable of an English word is stressed. We have a combination of Germanic and Romance principles in English. The G principle says leave the stress where it is when you add a suffix (wnder, wnderful). The R principle depends basically on V length: the long V (or short V + C) is stressed (laughable, mended) and there is a stress change when a suffix is added: ccident accidntal, stpid stupdity, lcohol alcohlic, mthod methdical, Elzabeth Elizabthan, rcognize recogntion. In languages like English and Spanish, stress has little delimitative (demarcativa) function, and scarcely any distinctive function (pairs like English sbject subjct and Spanish tmo tom are rare), but it can have a culminative function (i.e. it can tell us how many words to segment the message into): cf. Sp. sta v rindo v. estba rindo (or est barriendo).


WORD STRESS FACTORS IN WORD STRESS 1. Origin The Germanic Stress Principle: no stress shift with suffixation. The Romance Stress Principle: stress shifts onto the suffix. Greek prefixes + one syllable: keep the stress on the prefix. Greek prefixes + more than one syllable: move the stress up one place. 2. Morphology and grammar Stress patterns in English are frequently affected by morphological structure or grammatical category. Cf. Dminic v. demnic; N v. V: digest; why pervrt for V and prvert for N? Because Vs are inflected: pervrting is more comfortable than prverting. N v. Prep: billow, below. Stress-neutral and stress-shifting suffixes: devlop-ing, econmic, refuge. Compound noun v. syntactic unit: bluebell, redskin, hotbed. 3. Phonology In many languages, including English, a syllable will tend to attract stress if it is heavy. A stress system of this sort is called QUANTITY SENSITIVE. In English, a heavy syllable is one containing EITHER a long vowel (or diphthong) OR a short vowel (not schwa) + 2 consonants (the first of which belongs to the same syllable as this vowel): compter, dely, lnesome, succed, elction, consnt, tmporary, lbatross. EXERCISE. Identify the heavy and light syllables: pretend, selective, Albany, attractive, efficacious, Barcelona, active, enigma, corrupt, prevention, epileptic, conclusion, interruption, ludicrous, relinquish, reluctant, Renaissance, effect. Generalizations about stress in English Stress is generally nearer the beginning in English words: cf. talento - talent; diccionario dictionary; enemigo - enemy; poltica - politics; calendario - calendar; biologa - biology. Final stress is not too common in English, especially in nouns of 3 syllables or more: canoe, bamboo, hotel, cadet, fricassee, degree, July, gazette, balloon, ravine, champagne, ellipse, lampoon, Penzance, Bucarest, arcade, lemonade, brigade (BUT marmalade), magazine, afternoon, cigarette, guarantee. Final stresses are commoner in verbs: interfere, supersede, underpay, overwork, BUT not in -ize (-ise) and -ate verbs: realize, contemplate. Stress has been fronted historically in these verbs and in the following, which have aligned with noun or adjectival forms: increase, decrease, forecast, comment, offset, suffix, process, combat, essay, retail, exile, index, interview, concrete, abstract, presage, prefix.


Words of 1 syllable These words are either grammatical and unstressed or lexical and stressed. Words of 2 syllables Stress on the heavy syllable nearest the end: affect, report, common, evil, father, protect, cement, adopt, obscene, merit, oval, detect, assign, massive, robust, July, manure, patrol (BUT petrol), lament, attire, overt, usurp, molest, obey, deny, atone, divine, discreet/discrete. But note that inflections do not count (mrit-s NOT merts), and the endings //, /i/ and /ju/ are extrametrical: yellow, scenery, rescue. Words of 3 syllables Verbs: if the final syllable is heavy (not -ize or -ate), it is stressed; otherwise, the penultimate is stressed: comprehnd, intervne, devlop, astnish. Nouns and (suffixed) adjectives: Latin Stress Rule. If the penultimate syllable is heavy, it is stressed (the final syllable is always extrametrical); otherwise, the antepenultimate is stressed. Examine the following: torpedo, ludicrous, allowance, camomile, ellipsis, vertebral, agenda, hesitant, complacent, politics, discipline, eloquent, catapult. MANY EXCEPTIONS: Wellington, calendar, cylinder, nightingale, vanilla, confetti, Madonna, character. The commonest patterns of stress in English words are the trochee and dactyl. SECONDARY STRESS If the primary stress is on the third syllable or later, there will be secondary stress two syllables before it. Pronounce the following words: Supersede, efficacious, Jubilee, curiosity, economic, continuation, authenticity, incapacitate, aristocracy, insubordination, inferiority, incompatibility, negotiation, telegraphic, automatic, serendipity, obligation, effervescent, afternoon, interrupted. RHYTHMICAL VARIATIONS (EURHYTHMICITY, THE RHYTHM RULE) English tends to avoid having two strong stresses together. Secondary stresses can become primary: Shes nemplyed an nemployed tacher furten furteen cndidates grund-flor grund-floor tilets Hathrw Hathrow irport Hes Jpanse a Jpanese shp-owner Dnde Dndee marmalade weknd a wekend prty nknwn the nknown sldier

Unstressed syllables can also take the primary stress if they are heavy: hotl a htel crpark Princss Prncess Mrgaret excss xcess bggage convx a cnvex srface

Rightward movement of the primary stress is not permitted, so Nw Zaland cannot become Nw Zealnd.

STRESS: PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES PREFIXES do not affect the tonic stress of the word they are attached to, but they may acquire primary stress themselves (re-, pre-, post-, pro-, anti-, half-, ex-), or secondary stress if they mean not and the word to which they are attached is not stressed on the first syllable (dis-, il-, in-, im-, ir-, un-: dsillsion, llegtimate, napprpriate, mpolte, rresponsble, nbelevable). Whether SUFFIXES move the stress in words or not depends partly on whether they are Romance or Germanic (see introductory notes to stress). (i) These suffixes do not affect the stress: -cy, -er, -(e)s, -(e)d, -ing, -ish, -ism, -ist, -ize (-ise), -oid, -ment, -ship, -ty, -y. (ii) These suffixes take the primary stress: -ade, -ee, -eer, -esce(nt), -ese, -esque, -ette, -ique,-oon. (Note: commttee. In American English not all these suffixes bear stress.) (iii) Some suffixes shift the stress onto a different part of the word: ial, -ic, -ical, -ics, -ity, -ive, -ious (-eous), -graphy, -logy, -tion. (Ctholic is irregular.) Examples for transcription Unstressed prefixes: become, deride, prevent, return, select, express, effect, employ, enjoy, exist, protect, collapse, commercial, connect, corrupt, suggest, surprise. Negative prefixes: dishonest, illegal, impatient, injustice, irregular, unhappy; disappear, immaterial, inconvenient, irreligious, unemployed. (Note to dislke, but lkes and dslikes.) Prefixes with primary stress: re-cover (cf. recover), pre-war, post-dated, pro-British, antiAmerican, half-empty, ex-president. Suffixes group (i): relishes, pivoted, borrowing, murderer, yellowish, asteroid, celibacy, certainty, positivism, geologist, generalize, venerable, leverage, wonderful, civilizing, devilish, serpent-like, powerless, hurriedly, happiness, government, liquefy, venomous, delivery, treacherous, adventurous, clockwise, peppery. Suffixes group (ii): serenade, refugee, auctioneer, coalesce, fluorescent, picturesque, cigarette, antique, saloon, magazine, Japanese, unique, physique, technique, baboon, monsoon, submarine, sustain, entertain, ascertain (-ain, verbs only). Suffixes group (iii): economic, political, genetics, elevation, navigation, contamination, inaudibility, impecuniosity, validity, proverbial, reflexive, injurious, advantageous, photography. HOMEWORK ON SUFFIXES. Divide the following words into three lists according to their suffixes. Use dictionaries to help you if necessary. Outrageous, detrimental, monsoon, predictability, celluloid, furnishes, Arabesque, astrology, periphrastic, illiteracy, generalize, definitive, orangeade, Sudanese, certainty, circularity, determinism, paralize, penniless, professorship, excrescent, Arabian, Arabist, stylistics, sentiment, accidental, descriptivism, purplish, federation, betterment, repartee, serviette, foolishness, purposeful, courageous, Latinist, heavenly, pioneer, Cameroons, Florentine.


STRESS: COMPOUND NOUNS AND SYNTACTIC UNITS Note the difference between CNs and Sus as regards stress and meaning: rdneck an ignorant, opinionated, reactionary person (US) rd nck a neck that is red in colour (burnt by the sun, etc.) lght year an astronomical unit of measurement lght yar a year with little work or few happenings or problems sleping(-)bag a warmly lined bag for sleeping in sleping bg an ugly old lady who is sleeping The following also have different stress patterns and meanings according to whether they are used as compound nouns or syntactic units: bluebell, paperboy, working-clothes, bricklayer, paperback, hotpot, parking-space, longboat, greenhouse, paper-weight, blackberry. There are also double-stressed CNs (late nucleus compounds): Town Hall, bowler-hat, top-hat, big top, double-bass, elderberry-wine, cherry brandy, peach brandy, Xmas pudding (BUT Xms cake), level-crossing. Coordinative relationships: bass-guitar, bed-sitter, king-emperor, tenant-farmer. CNs do not admit insertion of other words between their components: SU: red flag CN: redneck red and white flag red and white neck (now a SU with a literal meaning)

Many CNs are completely LEXICALIZED forms. LEXICALIZATION = treating complex forms as though they were MONOMORPHEMIC (unalysable, unmotivated). Such forms become institutionalized and fossilized. Few speakers of Modern English think of hedgehog as being a hog or pig that lives in a hedge, or handlebars as bars used as a handle. Small children may not associate orange and orange-juice. MEANINGS OF CNs B used for A: washing-machine, dish-washer, walking-stick, bathing-suit, wire-cutters, keyhole, alarm-bell, wall-paper, bottle-opener, bookmark. Locative: swimming-pool, call-box, ale-house, boot camp (training camp for US army). B acts as A or B is A: gear-wheel, handlebars, conveyor-belt, fighter-plane, refresher-course, roller-skate, ozone-layer. Tautology is often involved: page-boy, pine-tree, pathway, alleyway, cobblestone, courtyard, foodstuffs. There may be implicit contrast: tea-pot (v. coffee-pot, etc.), train station (v. coach station, etc.), daytime (v. night-time), sunlight (v. moonlight).


MEANINGS OF SUs B made of A: stone wall, silk dress, leather trousers, rubber gloves, diamond ring. Time: afternoon tea, summer excursion, evening walk, April showers. When SUs and CNs are used attributively, they de-stress the following element: arly-wrning system, ble-lght district, ht-wter bottle, blckboard eraser, grenhouse effect, brthday party, tilet-paper holder, crdit-card case duble-bss stand, lvel-crssing gates, Nw Yar party, havy mtal recording Combinations of CNs and SUs retain the stress patterns of their components: Lbour Party fnance committee arly-wrning sstem error rts Faculty ntrance test Mdern Lnguistics curse requirements

English allows much longer combinations. Try and work out the stress of: music practice room booking form linguistics summer school administration problems executive class business card printing-machine design competition Ethnic Caterers Food Hygiene Initiative Participant (Chinese restaurant, Cottingham) The Surrey Police dangerous offenders investigation unit (Guardian Weekly, 22/4/04) COMPOSITION OF COMPOUND NOUNS NOUN + NOUN: cement-mixer, oil-slick, egg-head, sugar-daddy, couch potato NOUN + ADVERB: hanger-on, passer-by ADJECTIVE + NOUN: greengage, blackleg, easy-chair, blueprint VERB + NOUN: pickpocket, passport, stopgap GERUND + NOUN: weighing-machine, spinning-wheel, sewing-machine, knitting-needle ADVERB + NOUN: off-print, by-stander, onlooker ADVERB + VERB: outbreak, outcast, by-pass VERB + ADVERB: take-over, sit-in, lay-by, hang-over. OTHER: mther-in-law, stck-in-the-mud, jck-of-ll-trades


STRESS: COMPOUND NOUNS AND SYNTACTIC UNITS Exercises Exercise 1. Form compound nouns or syntactic units (collocations) to express the following and note whether there is one strong stress or two: 1. a knife for opening letters 2. the headquarters of the police 3. a box for holding matches 4. a place where toys are made 5. an imaginary man said to bring children Christmas presents 6. a system for cooling the air in a building 7. a new version of an old film 8. a competitive attempt between two or more nations to have more and more weapons 9. movement of the earth caused by seismic waves 10. the place where you wait for the train in a station 11. a complete set of keys, as on a piano, computer, etc. 12. duvet (a bedcover used in place of a top sheet and blanket) 13. bleached, sterilized cotton used for surgical dressings and cleaning 14. an arrogant person who thinks s/he knows everything 15. a small device for storing large amounts of computer data 16. a series of parallel luines that store the price on products 17. a large lake in Scotland, believed to shelter a monster 18. influenza transmitted by birds 19. a card issued by banks enabling the holder to buy goods 20. a mass of floating oil on the sea. Exercise 2. Explain the difference between: 1. a grmmar school; a schol grmmar 2. a plying-card; crd-playing 3. an ye-glass; a glss ye 4. a vllage gren; a gren vllage 5. a huse guest; a gusthouse 6. lwn tnnis; a tnnis lawn 7. the bs station; the sttion bus 8. a flwer garden; a grden flower 9. an il lamp; lmp oil 10. a tobcco pipe; ppe tobacco


RHYTHM Introduction If you listen to a stretch of speech, you get the impression of movement, and this feeling that the language is flowing, at times more regularly and at times more irregularly, is what we call RHYTHM. So what is it that creates rhythm? Rhythm is produced by a number of factors. First, there is the speed at which the speaker delivers his or her message. Then, more importantly, there is the fact that some syllables are heard as more prominent than others. In English, this is because these syllables are produced more forcefully than the others: there is greater muscular effort in their articulation, and more air is expelled from the lungs when they are enunciated. The result is that they are louder than the other syllables. Syllables with this greater degree of prominence are called stressed, while the others are relatively unstressed, although these are not all completely unstressed. It is possible to perceive several different degrees of stress. In our phonetics classes, we usually identify three levels of stress: primary stress, secondary stress and no stress. Thus, in the word nderstnd, we can say that the last syllable has primary stress, the first syllable has secondary stress, and the second syllable is unstressed. Another factor that is relevant to the rhythm of English is the duration of syllables. In English, stressed syllables are noticeably longer than unstressed ones. Therefore, if we take the word nderstnd again, we can say that the last syllable is the longest, the first syllable is the second longest, and the second syllable is the shortest. Finally, we could mention the fact that there are often pauses between groups of words, and the length of these will naturally make a difference to the rhythm of an utterance. Writing also has rhythm. Once again, we have to take into account the occurrence and arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables. Writers, in fact often adjust their syntax, the order of words, so that the stressed syllables occur in a particular place or at more regular intervals. This sort of accommodation is commonest in poetry. Choice of words also plays a role whether the words are monosyllabic, disyllabic or longer and, of course, punctuation in writing is the graphic counterpart of pauses in speech. In speech or writing, when sound and tempo vary, so that first there is a slowing down, then a speeding up, and so on, we often refer to this by using the word CADENCE. A varied pattern of melody and rhythm, for example, can be heard in the following sentence: The whole afternoon, from lunchtime to teatime, not a breath of fresh air stirred the long white curtains, which were drawn across the now fully open French doors.


Such welcome variation, which is the hallmark of a good writer, is entirely lacking from the following sentence: Mr Johnson does not let his disability cause him to treat everyone around him in the bad-humoured way that one might expect from a person in his unfortunate situation. There is not a single place to pause in this long sentence in order to introduce some upward or downward movement that would break the monotony. Stress-timed and syllable-timed languages If you listen to an utterance in English or Spanish, you will notice that some of the syllables are more prominent than others. Usually, when talking about such syllables, we say that they are more stressed than the others. Thus, in the following English sentence and its Spanish translation we would probably hear the syllables marked with an acute accent as being more salient than the others: If you dnt cme and se me, Ill nver spak to you agin. Si n vines a vrme, n te hblo ms. In these sentences, the strong stresses, which, as you may remember from your classes on stress, may not all coincide with those placed on words in isolation, form the basis of the rhythm. However, if you compare the English sentence with the Spanish one, what immediately strikes the ear is that despite their having an equal number of stresses, the rhythm is not the same. This due to the fact that the stresses in the English sentence occur at equal periods of time while the stresses in the Spanish sentence do not. In the Spanish sentence, the timing depends on the number of syllables between the stresses, whereas in the English sentence, this is not so. A consequence of this is that some syllables in English will be much shorter than others. If we take the English sentence again, we can divide it into RHYTHM UNITS or FEET, i.e. units consisting of one strongly stressed syllable and the unstressed syllables that attach themselves to it. The tendency seems to be for feet to begin on a stressed syllable (though the two clauses in our sentence have unstressed leading syllables, which we naturally group with the following strong stress). If we analyse the English sentence, we get the following pattern: | If you dnt | cme and | se me, | Ill nver | spak to you a- | gin. | (3 sylls.) (2 sylls.) (2 sylls.) (3 sylls.) (4 sylls.) (1 syll.)


The first foot contains three syllables, the second and third contain two, the fourth contains three, the fifth contains four, and the last has only one, but each of these units is said in approximately the same amount of time. Naturally the penultimate foot with four syllables is much more rushed than the last unit, which has just one syllable and plenty of room for itself as there is nothing following it. Spanish presents the opposite state of affairs to this. Analysis of the Spanish sentence also yields six feet of varying numbers of syllables: | Si n | vines a | vrme, | n te | hblo | ms. | (2) (3) (2) (2) (2) (1)

However, whereas the English feet are isochronous, i.e. they take the same amount of time, the length of the Spanish feet varies. These facts could be summarized thus: English Regular occurrence of stress Irregular syllable length Spanish Irregular occurrence of stress Regular syllable length

Because of this situation, we call English a STRESS-TIMED LANGUAGE and Spanish a SYLLABLE-TIMED LANGUAGE. Other stress-timed languages are German, Dutch, Greek and Russian, while French and Japanese are syllable-timed. Portuguese undergoes massive vowel reduction in unstressed syllables, and so is rhythmically much more like English than Spanish. Italian, on the other hand, is closer to the Spanish syllabletimed rhythm, but does not show the same degree of regularity in this respect because of contrastive consonant length (cf. sono I am with sonno sleep). The preceding examples underline the fact that stress-timing and syllable-timing are a relative rather than an absolute distinction, and it is still debatable how many languages fit into this rather simplistic scheme. Even English itself, though generally regarded as a good example of a stress-timed language, does not manifest perfect isochrony. We said above that feet of one, two, three or four syllables will all be said in the same amount of time but, of course, the longer feet will always be a bit longer than the shorter ones. Four syllables will not occupy exactly the same amount of time as one. It is probably true to say, nevertheless, that two syllables can be compressed to take up the same time slot as one syllable. Ultimately, the rhythm of English will depend a great deal on the distribution of syllables with full vowels and reduced vowels. The reduced vowels, /, , /, are very short in unstressed syllables and make compression much easier than the full vowels. Therefore, the rhythm of servitude /svtjud/, with only one reduced vowel is not exactly the same as that of benefit /benft/, with two.

The rhythm rhythm of English poetry Poetry is characterized, on the one hand, by the concentrated use of sound effects (note the consonants in immemorial elms and buzzing bees) and imaginative figures of speech (consider Byrons simile: The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold), and on the other hand by use of a regular rhythm, for which it is often necessary to change the order of words to make them fit the desired pattern. Highly regular patterns, as found in the more traditional kinds of poetry, are called METRICAL, and when we talk about these metrical patterns, we refer to the METRE of poetry. Although we have a whole range of terms at our disposal to classify the different metrical patterns that poems are said to display, on the whole, Classical metrics is rather awkward when applied to English with its stress-timed rhythm that leads to drastic vowel reduction in unstressed syllables. A great deal of time has been wasted over trying to fit lines of English poetry into categories such as iamb, trochee, anapaest and dactyl. Very often the classification is arbitrary. For example, consider the following line of English verse: The plughman hmeward plds his wary wy. Traditional analysis tells us that this is an iambic pentameter, i.e. a line consisting of five feet with the pattern UNSTRESSED + STRESSED. But, if there were no unstressed syllable at the beginning of the line, providing the other lines of the poem followed the same pattern, STRESSED + UNSTRESSED, we would say it was trochaic, and that the last foot was incomplete or had a silent beat after way. Now, surely this is just juggling with terminology? Over and above all this, what really counts in English is the strong beats, and the intervening weak syllables do not make a great deal of difference. Use of terms like dactyl for STRESSED + UNSTRESSED + UNSTRESSED sequences makes it sound as if we are dealing with a completely different rhythm to STRESSED + UNSTRESSED, while what we have underlyingly is something very similar.


Exercise 1. Divide the following sentences up into rhythm units on the assumption that the
individual clauses are said without a pause. Separate the units with vertical lines and mark the stressed syllables as in the following example:


Why dont you try and be a bit more sociable? | Wh dont you | tr and | b a | bt more | sciable? | 1. I was going to write to you, but Im afraid I didnt find the time. 2. If you ever come to London, why dont you look me up. 3. Lets go and walk round the garden. 4. Im not going to do it again. 5. The only reason he wants to see you is to ask you for money. 6. I was walking along minding my own business when, all of a sudden, somebody tried to rob me. 7. If thats your attitude, you can do it yourself. 8. Its always a pleasure to see you. 9. Personally, Ive had enough of getting up early. 10. The best things in life are free.

Exercise 2. Scan the following lines of verse. Mark the strong stresses and try and establish
the foot boundaries on the basis of the repeated patterns: 1. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds. (Thomas Gray, 1716-1771) 2. Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night. (William Blake, 1757-1827) 3. The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs. (Tennyson, 1809-1892) 4. Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die... (Tennyson, 1809-1892) 5. But lo, the old inn, and the lights, and the fire And the fiddlers old tune and the shuffling of feet; Soon for us shall be quiet and rest and desire, And tomorrows uprising to deeds shall be sweet. (William Morris, 1834-1896)



Just for a handful of silver he left us, Just for a riband to stick in his coat Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us, Lost all the others she let us devote. (Robert Browning, 1812-1889)


Released from the noise of the Butcher and Baker. (Matthew Prior, 1664-1721)


Here we go off on the London and Birmingham, Bidding adieu to the foggy metropolis! (John Betjeman, 1906-1984)


When Eve upon the first of Men The apple pressd with specious cant, Oh, what a thousand pities then That Adam was not Adamant. (Thomas Hood, 1799-1845)


Crabbed age and youth Cannot live together; Youth is full of pleasance, Age is full of care. (Shakespeare, 1564-1616)


A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness. (Robert Herrick, 1591-1674)


Where the bee sucks, there suck I: In a cowslips bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry. On the bats back I do fly After summer merrily. Merrily, merrily shall I live now Under the blossom that hangs on the bough. (Shakespeare, 1564-1616)



He says the early petal-fall is past When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers On sunny days a moment overcast. (Robert Frost, 1874-1963)


Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean. (Tennyson, 1809-1892)


The garden flew round with the angel, The angel flew round with the clouds, And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round And the clouds flew round with the clouds. (Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955)


She lived in storm and strife, Her soul had such desire For what proud death may bring That it could not endure The common good of life. (W. B. Yeats, 1865-1939)


As I was walking on iambic feet At dusk, as is my wont, along a street Of fine poetic structures, old but meet, Terrible Dactyl came beating around, Clumsily pounding with hideous sound. I mustered my forces and gave the sign To an army of anapests manning the line. (Edward Proffitt, 1977)


SENTENCE STRESS (1) The relative stress of words in a sentence depends on their relative importance. The most important words are: nouns, adjectives, principal verbs and adverbs (also demonstratives and interrogatives): Were rally enjying the fne wather. Wht are thse pople ding?

In the case of verb plus adverb, both elements are stressed: gt p, g awy, trn rund. But not in the case of verb plus preposition: g to the dor, wrk with enthsiasm, g up the stirs. EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE 1) When it is desired to emphasize a word for contrast, its stress is increased, while the stress of the surrounding words may be diminished: Those are MY things! What do THEY want? 2) When a sentence contains a word which has been used just before, that word is not generally stressed. For example: Hw many tmes have you ben there? Thre times. 3) Exclamatory what is often unstressed: What a bautiful mrning! What lvely fatures! 4) The word street in names of streets is never stressed: xford Street, BUT Prk Lne, Nw Rad. 5) In phrases of a parenthetical nature the words are often unstressed: Hw do you d, Mr Smith. 6) The verb to be is generally unstressed, except in final position: The trin was lte. Hre we re. SENTENCE STRESS (2) A) Exceptions to the NUCLEAR STRESS RULE in BROAD FOCUS SENTENCES. 1. The stress is often on the subject in EVENT SENTENCES (The bs is coming. Theres a strm brewing.), though stress may also be on the subject of verbs + preposition + object if they have a fairly predictable object (A tle came off the roof. The trins run off the rails.) If there is a pronoun in subject position, the nucleus will be on the predicate (Its flling ff), as a pronoun indicates that the subject is no longer part of the focus. Compare sentences which do not describe sudden happening: (Why cant we play some records?) Because your fthers wrking. (Why was your mother so angry?) Because my brther shuted. 2. Accent on verb or noun? I have instrctions to leave. (Cf. I have instrctions to lave.) You have a dty to perform. (Cf.You have a dty to perfrm.) Note also: Something col to drink; a cr for hire; a huse for sale; clthes to mend, etc. I have a pint to make (Cf. a pint to mphasize). There are a lot of tpics to cover (Cf. tpics to elcidate).


A syntactic analysis of these sentences with the accent on the noun would say that this stress is the result of movement transformations between deep and surface structure (object moved from post-verb position). However, such a syntactic analysis will not account for cases like That huse is on fire. Bolinger says that it is the semantically richer verb that gets the accent, but note that non-semantically rich verbs can take accents, too. A more promising grammatical approach looks for a hierarchy of accentability: full words versus form words, and within the full-words category, nouns tend to take first place. In nuclei counts, the majority are found to be nouns or noun phrases. This also applies to many other languages in declarative sentences. German is a good example: Ich habe meine Tasche verloren (Literally: I have my bag lost.) 3. Unaccented final adverbials: Were ging to Majrca in May. I lways have crnflakes for breakfast.

4. Accent on noun in WH- sentences in which the WH- word is adjectival: What cr has your brother got? B) Examples of NARROW FOCUS SENTENCES: It was a lusy film. (In answer to What was the film like?) This is a pisonous snake. (Taking a snake out of a bag) C) Special cases of the distinctive use of stress: Dty to perform (2 possible patterns see 2 above) An (English) English teacher. A (Spanish) Spanish student. A big one v. a big 1. For Ptes sake, George ought to stop seeing Petes wife. (Cf. For Petes ske, ...) This is the man I was tlling you about. (If accented, man would be opposed to woman.) This is the dctor I was telling you about. (Unaccented doctor in a hospital.) Id gve the mney to Mry, but I dont trst Mary. (The second Mary is anaphoric.) I knw whos standing in frnt of Mry, but I dnt know who Mrys in front of. Jhn called Mry a Repblican, and thn she inslted hm / and thn she inslted him.


WHERE DOES THE NUCLEUS GO? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39: 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. I want to open an account. I want to open an account, please. Hes done it. Shes the only one I confide in. Ive just received a letter from her. Tell me about it. He did better in the exam than I thought he would. We werent as lucky as Jim was. Its well past your bedtime. Wheres the dishwasher. He was shut up in a concentration camp. Be careful on the level crossing. A: Would you like some gin? B: Yes, Id like a gin and tonic. A: How about a gin and tonic? B: Oh, Id prefer a vodka and tonic. Do you mind cats? I adore cats. Do you like animals? I adore cats. What a nice lady! What a lovely day! A: Shall we wash the clothes. B: Oh, I hate doing the laundry. Lecturer to guest lecturer: Most of my students are females. Guest lecturer: Good, I like girls! Hes studying the incidence of malaria and other tropical diseases. A: Do you like dogs? B: Oh, I like all animals. A: I want to speak to the manager. B: Mr. Harris is much too busy. Now whats the idiot done? A: Who brought the champagne? B: Dick brought the champagne. You may have started mending the car, but have you finished mending the car? You know what I think. Now, what do you think? It wasnt inside the bag, but actually hanging out of it! Football results: Arsenal three, Fulham one. Football results: Arsenal two, Fulham two. I dont know what youre complaining about. The cats have had their food, but when do I get some? If you ask me ... If you want to know what I think ... In my opinion ... From my point of view ... Lets go back to my place. A: Ive passed! B: Good for you! (B: Well, blow me!) A: My hammers broken. B: Use mine. Ive just seen a friend of mine. Canadas a long way away. How long will it take to get there? Hold it right there! Put it on the table there. Ill write to him myself. Have you hurt yourself? The business pays for itself. Dont go and make a fool of yourself! People should help one another. Would you like a drink of anything? (Can I get you anything?)

50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92.

I thought I heard someone. His name was Billy, or Jimmy, or something. Stop pestering me! Ask Danny or someone. I cant see anything. She just sat there and didnt say a thing. I got her a birthday present. I got her a birthday present, but I didnt get her a birthday card. A: How many were there? B: Fifteen. A: Fifteen or sixteen? A: Was it red? B: Well, reddish. You wont hurt me; youll hurt yourself. A: You took my purse. B: I didnt take your purse. A: Im thinking of organizing a collection for cancer research. B: Well, Ill make a donation if you do. A: Have some more tea. B: I dont want any more tea. My! You have done well! You were good, werent you. A: Are you religious. B: I used to be religious. The doorbell rings. A: Answer it, will you? B: Theres a man at the door. A: Shes got fat again. B: Well, she was trying to lose weight. A: Do you think theyll appeal? B: Im afraid they might. A: Are you coming to the dinner on Friday? B: Im afraid not. A: Im going to have another piece of cake. B: Oh, are you? A: Ive been out with two girls this week. B: Oh, have you? You dont know, do you? It could happen to you. A: Who wants some more ice-cream. B: I do. Whats it for? Whats that for? A: John! B: What is it? A: How are you? B: Fine, thanks. How are you? Hows it been? Daves in the choir, and Im singing, too. A: I cant sing very well. B: I cant either. You must be seeing things. Have a word with the guy. For some reason, this handle always sticks. A: This wine tastes nice. B: Ill get you a bottle. A: Could I borrow some sugar? B: I havent got any. A: Have you locked all the doors and windows? B: Yes, dear. Chocolate, anyone? A: Its hot! B: You can say that again! Im going to the party, but I havent got anyone to go with, though. Look at that coat shes wearing! A: Why are we going to Majorca again? B. Were not going to Majorca!


INTONATION Introduction English is not spoken on a monotone; during the course of any utterance the voice rises and falls to give a characteristic melody, which is called intonation. By way of definition, then, we could say that Intonation is the variations which take place in the pitch of the voice in connected speech, i.e. the changes in the pitch of the musical note produced by the vibration of the vocal folds. Unvoiced sounds have no intonation. They therefore interrupt the melody which is being produced. For example, if the word writer is said on a falling tune, the [t] momentarily discontinues the melody. However, the interruption is so brief as to be imperceptible and, in actual fact, the tune is heard as continuous, just like the tune of rider, in which all the segments are voiced. The pitch range of the human voice varies from person to person, the most significant variables being sex and age, and the usual range in speech is about half an octave, discounting emotional situations, in which the voice is likely to rise and fall more markedly. Note also that the intonation of speech is rather different to that of singing: the rises and falls of speech are of a gliding nature, not effected in defined steps, while singing involves pitch changes resulting in intervals in mathematical ratio. Try and play a speech melody on a piano or a guitar, and you will not be able to do it because the keys or frets, as the case may be, limit you to a specific number of pre-set notes. The intonation of a foreign language is so hard to imitate because we begin learning our native intonation at a very early stage of acquisition, even before we start to learn the sounds, and it is therefore very deep-rooted and difficult to abandon. In some languages, such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Zulu and Yoruba, variations of pitch are used to create new words. For example, in Mandarin Chinese the form yi has four different meanings depending on the pitch or pitch change with which it is said: WORD yi yi yi yi TONE high level rising falling-rising falling MEANING one lose already idea

Similarly, in Toisanese Chinese the word-form hau said on a high level pitch means

mouth, but articulated on a low falling tune it means behind. Languages like Chinese that use pitch in this way so that tone is a property of single words are said to have lexical tone, and we call them tone languages. English, Spanish and Catalan, and many other languages of western Europe are not tone languages. In these languages, tone is spread over stretches of speech ranging from a single word to a group of words that we call tone units, tone groups or intonation units, and its basic function is to transmit the attitude of the speaker. Thus, in English, the interrogative what? said on a low fall sounds rather cold and irritated, while the same word said with a high rise expresses great surprise or disbelief. Languages like English, in which intonation gives a different interpretation to utterances rather than individual words are called intonation languages. A small number of languages, like Swedish and Norwegian, make a limited use of lexical tone. In Swedish, for example, there are about forty pairs of words whose meaning changes according to whether they are articulated with a single fall or a fall on both syllables. Thus, tomten with a single peak of prominence means the site, but with two it means Father Christmas. Likewise, fallen with the first pattern means waterfalls, and with the second it means fallen. Languages like these are labelled pitch-accent languages. Every language variety has its own characteristic intonation contours, and these very often give away a persons origin. Spanish people can usually pick out a Galician speaker, and in Britain the Welsh are often identifiable by their lilting intonation. In Italy, it is the speech of Naples that is said to show marked falls and rises, while in Sweden it is the Dalarna region, in the centre of the country, that has the most sing-song dialects. English is characterized by frequent use of the fall-rise pattern and by falls in WHquestions, like Where are you going? How did you do it?, etc. Americans often use rises when answering questions, so that they seem to be saying Do you follow me?, Do you understand what Im saying?, Have you heard of the person or place Im referring to?, etc. For example: Where are you from? New York. This seems to be a standard way of checking the addressees understanding in American English which, until recently at least, was unknown in British English.


The functions of intonation in English There are four main functions of intonation in English: 1. the attitudinal function 2. the grammatical function 3. the accentual function 4. the discourse function.

1. The attitudinal function of intonation

One of the purposes of intonation is to convey the speakers attitude. Thus, intonation can express friendliness, hostility, indifference, surprise, surprise, irony, anger, etc. Consider possible responses to a statement like Karens going to have a baby. If given this piece of news, we might respond by saying Is she? and different intonations would express a variety of attitudes, like the following: low fall (Is she?) low rise (Is she?) high rise (Is she?) high fall (Is she?) lack of interest, coldness, discouraging further information polite interest, inviting further details extreme surprise, excitement fascination.

Attitude is not mediated by intonation alone; other factors also play a role. For example, anger is associated with loudness or raising the voice, secrecy or taboo with lowering the voice, etc. Tension and excitement may manifest themselves through increased speed. Voice qualities, pitch range (wide or narrow) and key (exclusive use of the upper, middle or lower part of the pitch range) also contribute to revealing the speakers frame of mind, and to these we must add facial expressions, gestures and body movement.

2. The grammatical function of intonation

Intonation divides utterances up into their major constituents and may serve to distinguish between statements, questions and exclamations. Note the following examples:

Clause Clause division

A clause very often corresponds to an intonation unit; thus, rises and falls in the voice can signal the number of clauses that an utterance contains and where the clause boundaries are. For example, the first of a sequence of two clauses often ends on a rise or fall-rise to

show that the utterance is not finished, while the second will generally have a fall at the end denoting completion: / Before the night was over, / we were all quite drunk. / Phrases may also be separated from the main body of a sentence in the same way: / Slowly but surely, / the sun sapped our energy. / / Throughout the night / we were bitten by insects. / Subject and predicate division A subject may be separated from the predicate by intonation in order to draw more attention to the subject or because the subject is long and it is therefore convenient to pause after it: / My wife / woke up with a headache. / (Instead of: / My wife woke up with a headache. /) / The only sensible thing to do / was to make our way back to the car. / Defining versus non-defining relative clauses Consider the following: / The soldiers who had been demobbed / were retrained. / / The soldiers / who had been demobbed / were retrained. / In the first sentence, with two intonation units, the relative clause who had been

demobbed is defining, and the meaning is only those who had been demobbed were
retrained. In the second sentence, with three intonation units, the relative clause is nondefining and the meaning is all the soldiers were retrained. In this case, the relative clause is additional information inserted into the sentence and it is therefore given its own intonation unit.


Questions versus exclamations

An utterance may be either a question or an exclamation depending on whether the voice rises or falls at the end: Arent their children good? Arent their children good!

Questions versus statements

An utterance may be either a question or a statement depending on the intonation: Her uncles died. Her uncles died?

Any = absolutly any versus any = chosen chosen at random

Compare: Shes not in the habit of talking to anybody. Shes not in the habit of talking to anybody. The first sentence with the fall at the end implies that she does not usually speak to anybody at all, while the second sentence with the fall-rise at the end means that she only condescends to speak to special people that she considers worthy of her attention.

Direct object, object of one verb or two?

Consider the difference between: / She dressed and fed the baby. / (She performed both these actions on the baby.) / She dressed / and fed the baby / (She dressed herself and then fed the baby.)

Appositional phrases
Like relative clauses, appositional phrases may be of two kinds: defining or descriptive. The defining kind do not have their own intonation unit, whereas the other kind do: DEF: / Do you mean John Harris the guitarist / or John Harris the pho`nologist? / DES: / Do you know John Harris, / a Reader in Linguistics at UCL? /

Differentiation of sentences not distinguishable in writing The following sentence, which is ambiguous in its written form, is disambiguated in its spoken form by the intonation: His business improved because of his sleeping partner. His business improved because of his sleeping partner. With a fall on partner, the compound noun refers to a partner who is inactive but provides capital. With a fall on sleeping, the compound noun refers to a person the businessman slept with.

3. The accentual function of intonation

By producing a pitch change on a particular syllable, we are highlighting the word to which it belongs and making it stand out from the other words and information in the tone unit. In a broad focus sentence, in which no particular word is emphasized, the stressed syllable of the last important word will be accented (see Mott, 2000:9.4.1), as in the following example: Place the broken glass in the bin. But any of the other words, with the exception of the article in this particular instance, might be accented to give a narrw focus interpretation: Place the broken glass in the bin. (= not all round it on the floor.) Place the broken glass in the bin. (= not the broken cup, etc.) Place the broken glass in the bin. (= not the other glass or glasses.) Place the broken glass in the bin. (= dont throw it in!) Note also that even the broad focus accentuation with the fall on bin can be given a narrow focus interpretation, so that bin might mean not any other receptacle. In English the accent is particularly versatile and can be moved up and down a sentence in order to change the focus. Such versatility may not be a feature of other languages, in which it may be necessary to play with word order to achieve the same effect.

4. The discourse function of intonation


By accenting a particular syllable, we are not only highlighting the word it belongs to, but also presenting this word as new information. In the conversational exchange A: Ive just bought a new car. B. What sort of car? first mention of the word car requires it to be accented but, when it is repeated, it is deaccented; otherwise, it will appear to be new information and confuse the hearer. For the Anaphora Rule, see Mott, 2000:9.3.4 and 10.4. Another discourse function of intonation is the use of a lower key to subordinate less important parts of an utterance, like the initial comment clause in the following sentence: As far as I know, he didnt have any money on him. On as far as I know, there is not only a drop to a lower key, but increased speed, a narrower pitch range (i.e. less rise and fall of the voice), and less volume, too. Finally, note that another important function of intonation in English is to signal to the hearer when it is his or her turn to speak. A fall, for example, with its implication of completion, is a good clue that the speaker is offering us the floor, while a rise in the voice may mean that the speaker intends to continue and is discouraging any interruption. The meaning of the tunes The following sections are an attempt to systematize the main uses of each of the basic tunes used in English. There are seven basic tunes that occur or begin on the accented syllable (nucleus) of an English intonation unit (see 8.2.3.): The low fall The high fall The low rise The high rise We will make a four-way distinction between the fall, the rise, the fall-rise and the rise-fall, and ignore the mid-level tone, which is of limited use. Of our four categories, it is the first three that are most important for foreign learners of English. The fall-rise The rise-fall Mid-level


1. The fall
Bald statements: Jeans a nurse. She works in Birmingham. WH- questions: Whats the date? Why are you crying? Commands: Get on your feet! Listen carefully! Dont answer back! Exclamations: What a racket! How strange! What a lot of people! Question tags expecting agreement: Its a lovely day, isnt it? The pizza tastes nice, doesnt it?

2. The rise
Yes/no questions: Are you a secretary? Do you need any help? WH- questions to show interest or sympathy: How much did your house cost you? When are you taking your test? Reassurance, encouragement: Dont be afraid. I wont hurt you. NOTE ALSO: Yes, please. No, thank you. Disagreement: (We dont need a new car.) Yes, we do. (The toilet wont flush.) Yes, it will. Question tags not necessarily expecting agreement: Shes from Austria, isnt she? You play the piano, dont you? Listing: Potatoes, cabbage, carrots and peas.

Note that a routine thank you is said on a rise, while a fall on this item sounds more sincere.

3. The fallfall-rise
The commonest meaning of the fall-rise is reservation, and it implies that there is something in the speakers mind beyond the words which have been used. Because of this implicit meaning, it is used with many everyday expressions like the following: I hope not. I think so. I cant help it. It isnt my fault. Im sorry.

Furthermore, the implication of incompletion, i.e. that there is more to be said, probably explains its use as an alternative to the rise at clause and phrase boundaries (see Other uses of the tune are:


Correcting someone: The ninth, not the tenth. The Serbians, not the Bosnians. Expressing differences of opinion: Well, I dont think so. Expressing irony: It isnt the best film Ive seen. Introducing new information, highlighting, contrasting, etc: As far as your parents are concerned, (you can do what you like). Questioning the appropriateness of what has been said: Is he ambitious? (No, he only got the chair of the department when he was 27!) Expressing indignation: Me? Unkind? Pleading: Please make an effort to come early.

Final adverbials and comment clauses are often said on a rise after a fall, thus forming part of a fall-rise pattern: Well be seeing your aunt on Sunday. Its awful, if you want my opinion.

4. The riserise-fall
To show you are impressed: You did it all by yourself! You are clever! Complacency: (Are you sure?) Certain! (Youve won again!) Naturally! I always win! Censoriousness: Have you heard about Michael? Hes got divorced a)gain! Challenging and ironical: (Your sisters such a bitch!) Arent we all!

The intonation unit The intonation unit is a unit of information, corresponding to a phrase, clause or sentence, in which there is usually one inflection of the voice (rise or fall or both). Thus, according to the way they are said, the following utterances may be composed of either one or two intonation units: / Jill is a nurse. / /Jill / is a nurse. /

/ The boy on the right is Jills brother. // The boy on the right / is Jills brother. /


Internal analysis of the intonation unit The essential part of the intonation unit is the NUCLEUS (nuclear tone, accent, accented syllable). This is the syllable on which a pitch change takes place. Any stressed syllables preceding the nucleus constitute the HEAD. Any unstressed syllables before the head are called the PRE-HEAD; any syllables following the nucleus are called the TAIL, as in the following example: PRE-HEAD HEAD So why is she always spending NUCLEUS monTAIL ey, then.

Note that the only essential part of the intonation unit is the nucleus. Any or all of the other parts may be missing. A single-word utterance like Why? And? Dont! or Yes is the nucleus. Exercises

Exercise 1. Divide the following sentences into intonation units, and then analyse the
intonation units into nucleus [N] and any other parts (head [H], pre-head [P] and tail [T]) which are present, as in the example: In fact, theres nothing we can do about it. In fact theres nothing we can do about it P N P H N T

1. It was so hot that I decided to go into the water again. 2. I know its early, but couldnt we start lunch now? 3. I sold the television today. 4. Look. Theres the Prime Minister. 5. I cant give it away. It cost a lot of money. 6. We havent got anything to open it with. 7. It was a dark starlit night, and the moon was shining bright. 8. I dont want to hear any noise at all.

9. Sorry. I cant stop. My cakes are burning. 10. Itll soon be summer again.

Exercise 2. Try and read the sentences in exercise 1 with the correct intonation, and then
attempt an explanation of the meaning of each of the patterns displayed.

Exercise 3. The fall-rise is commonly used as an alternative to the rise at clause boundaries.
Try and read the following sentences, which all contain an embedded non-defining relative clause, as fluently as possible: 1. Daniel Jones, who was a famous phonetician, worked at London University. 2. The BBC, which is world-famous, spends millions of pounds every year. 3. Swimming, which is a good sport, makes people strong. 4. Budapest, which is on the Danube, is a beautiful city. 5. Whisky, which is very expensive, is the national drink of Scotland. 6. Oxford Street, which is near Charing Cross Road, is a famous shopping centre. 7. George Washington, who became President of the USA, never told a lie. 8. Park Lane, which is near Marble Arch, has some beautiful buildings. 9. Chess, which possibly originated in Hindustan, is a complicated game. 10. The elephant, which lives more than a hundred years, is an animal that never forgets.

Exercise 4. Listen to your teacher reading the following passage and annotate it with stress
and intonation marks. Only four marks are required: before stressed syllables, for falls, for rises, for fall-rises. Fall-rises which are spread over more than one word can be written with separate falls and rises (e.g. on the other hand ~ on the other hand). Southampton is a port in Britain. It is situated on the south coast, on the estuary of the River Itchen, which flows into the English Channel. The population of the city is two hundred thousand. The distance from London, the capital of the country, is about eighty miles.

Exercise 5. Instructions as for exercise 4.

Roberts flat, in which he has lived for the last three years, is on the third floor. It looks on to a square. It has five rooms, of which the biggest is a study. Robert is a writer and works at home.


Exercise 6. Instructions as for exercise 4.

Frank is a cashier who works in a bank. His working hours are 9am to 5pm. He earns 200 pounds a week. At weekends he plays golf or goes riding. In his spare time he is studying economics, and in ten or twelve years he hopes to become a bank manager.

Exercise 7. Instructions as for exercise 4.

Broad Street is one mile long. It begins at the market and ends at the church. There are shops on both sides, and a theatre at a point one-third of the way along. Where High Street crosses it, there are traffic-lights, and where another road joins it, there is a telephone-kiosk. It is a very busy street, and difficult to drive along.

Exercise 8. Instructions as for exercise 4.

Today Im going shopping. First, I want to buy some sugar and a little cheese. At the chemists I can buy a film and finally, if I have enough time, Id like to visit the local market and get some fresh meat. When I return home, I hope to be able to have a cup of tea and watch a football match on television. Its going to be a really exciting event.

Exercise 9. Instructions as for exercise 4.

Do you want to live to be a hundred? Here are some rules for success. First, choose your parents and grandparents carefully. If they lived to an old age, so will you. Second, live in the right place. People who live in the mountains are healthier than city people. Third, choose the right job. Doctors and dentists die young; farmers and musicians live longer. And dont forget the old saying: you are what you eat.

Exercise 10. Instructions as for exercise 4

An extremist group has claimed responsibility for a bomb which exploded within yards of the main police station on Tuesday night. The explosion took place just after midnight when few officers were on duty, and only one passer-by was slightly injured. Nearby buildings suffered considerable damage and local residents were evacuated from their homes as bomb disposal experts searched for further bombs. Witnesses reported seeing two men acting suspiciously in the area a short while before the explosion. Both were wearing dark overalls and carrying large rucksacks on their backs. In a phone call to the Daily News, a spokesman for the group stated that the bomb had been placed in protest at the councils decision to ban all political demonstrations in the area.


Is sound change regular or irregular?

The Neogrammarians, a school of linguists that originated in Leipzig in the 1870s, believed that sound changes were mechanical and exceptionless (the Regularity Principle). Thus, if sound A developed into sound B in the history of a particular language, this change would affect all words which had this sound in a particular environment. Any exceptions were to be attributed to non-physical forces like analogy or linguistic borrowing. However, we now know that not all words necessarily come under the influence of a particular change because, as changes have a limited life-span, eventually they cease to become operative and die out: therefore some words may be excluded. Moreover, changes spread gradually through the lexicon from word to word (lexical diffusion), which is another reason why they may not have time to reach all the items that could possibly be modified. This was no doubt the case of words like gas, mass and crass, which, contrary to expectation, have the vowel [] instead of [] in Modern English. Examples of other factors that have been adduced to account for irregularity in predominantly regular sound change are:
i. Phonetic pressure. pressure The famous Russian linguist Malkiel has suggested that the

Spanish adjective feo did not lose its initial [f] because, by doing so, it would have consisted only of a vowel, which would not have made it sufficiently salient for a lexical word. Phonetics may also have played a part in the development of Late Latin DRAPPU into Spanish trapo, since initial [dr-] was unusual in words derived from Latin.
ii. Semantic pressure pressure. essure Taboo looms large in the history of language. Thus, English ass

donkey is normally pronounced /s/ rather than /s/ in Standard Southern British to avoid confusion with the taboo word arse backside, and Americans avoid the word entirely and use the synonym donkey for similar reasons.
iii. Paradigmatic pressure. pressure At a certain stage in its history, English had a paradigmatic

alternation between [s] or [z] and [r]. In the modern language this is manifest in verb forms like was v. were, lose v. forlorn. However, the alternation in Old English

ceozan, curon was regularized to choose, chose, both with [z], while Modern German
shows generalization of [r] in similar paradigms that had a sibilant v. [r] alternation in Old High German: war, waren was, were, kren, kor choose, chose, frieren, fror freeze, froze. See also Analogy.
iv. Sociolinguistic pressure. pressure Words may be formal or informal, technical or non-

technical. Common, less formal, non-technical words are more likely to undergo

sound change than ones of a higher register, whose use in more formal contexts and situations puts a brake on their natural phonetic erosion. Thus, the word canton /kntn/, denoting a political division, has a full vowel in the second syllable, while the everyday adjective handsome /hns()m/ shows the expected vowel reduction in the unstressed syllable. When sound change takes place, it is usually limited to particular contexts. For example, consider the development of Latin [a] into French and note how the various resolutions depend on the context of the vowel:
i. [] when in an open stressed syllable: MA-RE > mer sea, PA-TRE > pre

ii. [] in an open syllable followed by a nasal: MA-NU > main hand, FA-ME >

faim hunger
iii. [a] in a closed syllable: PAR-TE > part part, VAC-CA > vache cow iv. [] in a syllable closed by a nasal: CAM-PU > champ field, AN-NU > an

v. [] or [a] when unstressed: CAMISIA > chemise /miz/ shirt, AMICU >

ami /ami/ friend

vi. [e] in an open syllable after loss of a final consonant: CLAVE > cl key,

PRATU > pr meadow Note also the vocalization of AL, giving [al] > [au] > [o]: ALTERU > autre other, VALET > vaut it is worth.

Is sound change gradual or abrupt?

Sound changes may be either gradual or abrupt: they may develop slowly over a period of many years or even centuries or they may be immediate. Vowel shifts in which there is a change from a more open position to a closer one, or vice versa, or from back to front, or vice versa, are obvious cases of gradual phonetic modification. On the other hand, metathesis is a change that can only take place abruptly, as a sound abandons one position to adopt another. In the Great English Vowel Shift (see Mott, 2000:15.3.1) the vowel [i:] went through a number of intermediate stages between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries ([i] > [ij] > [ei] > [i] > [a]) before it ended up as /a/, while the reversal of the nasal plus velar in Catalan sagnar to bleed (cf. sang blood), for example, can only have taken place in one jump. Remember, however, that when it comes to movement of sound change through the

lexicon that not all words having the required conditions for the change are affected at once (see 9.1.1); nor are all speakers and all speaking styles affected at the same time. In this sense, sound change is always gradual.

Is sound change conditioned or unconditioned?

All sound change is conditioned in one way or another, whether we know the causes or not. Even if changes are not conditioned by the phonetic environment (e.g. palatalization of sounds in the vicinity of yod, as in English creation, [tj] > []), there may be an internal structural motivation (e.g. [] > [x] in Spanish words like caja, flojo because of the proximity of [] to [s]), or an external influence like that of a substratum, whereby a population that takes over a new language retains its original articulatory habits (e.g. voicing of Spanish intervocalic consonants, as in CAPU > cabo, through Celtic influence). The causes of a change may be unknown, as is the case of the Great English Vowel Shift and the First Germanic Consonant Shift, whose origins are open to surmise, but somewhere, somehow, these alterations of the existing linguistic situation were set in motion.

Is sound change phonetic or phonological?

Sound change is both phonetic and phonological. Some sound changes have no impact on the phonological system, but others can change the phonology by increasing or reducing the number of phonemes or introducing some kind of rearrangement. Nasalization of English vowels contiguous with nasal consonants, as in man [mn], long [l], etc, makes no difference to the system, as English has no contrast between nasal and non-nasal vowels. This change is therefore non-systemic, as is the change from dental to alveolar place of articulation of /t/ and /d/ in the history of English When the number of phonemes is increased by an existing phoneme dividing into two or more because of a change in status of its allophones, we talk of a SPLIT. This is the case of English /n/, which split into /n/ and // when the // was lost in words like sing, thing and

tongue. As the //, which had conditioned the velar nasal allophone, was no longer pronounced, // now contrasted with /n/ in minimal pairs like sing and sin, thing and thin, tongue and ton, and thus acquired phonemic status.
When the number of phonemes decreases through reduction of phonemic contrast, we talk of MERGER. In modern English, there have been important reductions in the vowel system. The diphthong // has merged with /:/, so that for many speakers bored and board are homophones. And now the diphthong // is merging with /:/, too, so that poor, for example, can be pronounced either as /p/ or /p:/. In Cockney, // and // have merged

completely with /f/ and /v/, respectively, so that Smith is pronounced /smif/, and brother is pronounced /br/. When several phonemes are replaced systematically by others, as in the First Germanic Consonant Shift or Grimms Law (see Mott, 2000:15.3.2), we talk of a SHIFT. By Grimms Law, Indo-European [p, t, k] are shifted to [f, , h] in the Germanic languages, but not in the Latin languages, as can be seen by comparing certain words in Modern Spanish and English:

pez Processes of change






The following section is an attempt to summarize the types of sound change process that may affect consonants and vowels.

Changes affecting consonants

In the history of language, consonants may change as regards voice, place and manner.

Change in the voicing of consonants

It is common for [p, t, k] to become [b, d, g] between vowels, as in Spanish, and for final voiced consonants to be voiceless, as in Catalan, German and Russian. Examples: L CAPERE > Spanish caber L METU > Spanish miedo L PACARE > Spanish pagar Catalan sap s/he knows

veritat truth

fstic nuisance.

Change Change in the place of articulation of consonants

Dentals and alveolars may be backed to palatal and velars fronted to palatal in the process called palatalization: [sj] > [] in English tension, [tj] > [] in English ignition; [k] > [t] from Latin to Spanish in a number of words like OCTO > oito > ocho, LACTE >

laite > leite > leche. Similarly, the [d] of bad is labialized in bad business [-bb-], postvocalic [l] is velarized in words like mill and hold in SSB, and postvocalic [t] is often glottalized in various varieties of English (e.g. bat [b]).

Change Change in the manner of articulation of consonants

Spirantization or weakening can occur, as when intervocalic [b, d, g] become [, , ] in Spanish, as in lobo, codo, pago. The opposite, strengthening, is found in Black English, as in business [bdns] and wasnt [wdnt]. German has developed an affricate [ts] from an original [t] in zu to, Netz net and Pflanze plant, etc, while English has marginal affrication in the odd form like tsetse fly. Both English and German aspirate [p, t, k] before stress (English [pap, t, km], etc). Prenasalization occurs in Andalusian muncho mucho, while the opposite process has taken place in English five < Proto-WestGermanic finf and Spanish asa < ANSA. Rhotacization is found in Latin *ASENA > ARENA sand and HONOS honour, accusative singular HONOREM. See also 9.1.1 (iii).

Changes affecting vowels

Vowels may undergo the following changes
i. Raising. Raising English end < Germanic andja-; French -er < Latin -ARE in verbs like

aimer < AMARE, parler < PARABOLARE. ii. Lowering Lowering. ng French par by < PER, English parson < person. Fronting. Fronting German Gte /gyt/ goodness < gut good (the schwa in the second syllable was
originally a high front vowel).
iii. Backing. Backing Spanish luego often sounds more like [lwo()o] because of the influence

of the velar [g] and [o].

iv. Rounding. Rounding In the history of English, [a] following [w] has rounded to []: what

/wt/, want /wnt/, etc.

v. Unrounding. Unrounding This change is important in the history of English, too, as the back

vowels in words like *musiz mice and fulljan to fill were fronted and unrounded to give their Modern English forms.
vi. Lengthening. Lengthening Note the lengthening of short vowels in open syllables of disyllabic

words in Middle English: na-me > Modern English /nem/ (see Mott, 2000:11.3.1).
vii. Shortening. Shortening English long vowels are typically shortened in derivatives, as is

manifest in place names like Stembury < Old English stnen of stone + -bury and Sheppey, literally sheep island.
viii. Diphthongization. Diphthongization One of the sound changes that sets Spanish off from the other

Romance languages in the vicinity is the diphthongization of stressed short Latin E and O, as in PEDE > pie, HORTU > huerto.
ix. Monophthongization. Monophthongization Latin AU becomes [o] in Spanish, as in AURU > oro, and

the pronunciation [bente] for veinte is quite common today. French shows monophthongization of [ai] in words like aimer to love and traiter to treat. Note that labialization on the whole is a rather unstable feature. The semi-vowel [w] is pronounced in Portuguese tranquilo, but not in Spanish. English word has an initial semivowel, but the Swedish cognate ord does not. The same semi-vowel is lost in unstressed syllables in British English in names like Warwick /wrk/ and Greenwich /rnd/, while Spanish has lost the initial labial consonant of Latin VOS in the object form os, and some Catalan dialects reduce vuit eight to uit. English has cast off the labio-velar semi-vowel in

two, but retained it in twice, twain, betwixt and between. Irregular sound change
The following is a list of the types of sound change that are normally labelled as irregular. Despite this classification, some of them, like assimilation and metathesis, can show considerable regularity in particular environments in particular languages.
i. Assimilation. Assimilation For a complete explanation of the types of assimilation, see Mott,

2000, chapters 6 and 15.

ii. Dissimilation. Dissimilation A process by which two identical or similar sounds are made more

different. Dissimilation of nasal consonants is common, as in Latin LUMINOSU > Spanish lumbroso, in which MN, after loss of the pretonic vowel, becomes MR and acquires a homorganic oral stop to give [-mbr-]. Liquids often undergo the same process, as in Latin SARTOR hoer, weeder > Catalan/Spanish sastre, whereby the two Rs have dissimilated to [s]-[r] (although this could also be seen as the result of assimilatory pressure from the first [s]). Dissimilation of adjacent vowels or the extremes of diphthongal glides, as in French foi < fei faith, loi <

lei law is sometimes referred to as DIFFERENTIATION. Dissimilation of

adjacent syllables, as in Latin STIPIPENDIUM > STIPENDIUM soldiers pay or Spanish *Nadividad > Navidad is called HAPLOLOGY.
iii. Metathesis. Metathesis Change of position of sounds, as in Spanish en cuclillas < en

cluquillas < Latin CLOCCA broody hen, Portuguese gaivota < Latin GAVIA seagull, English copse < cosp, anenome < anemone.
iv. Acoustic equivalence. equivalence Sounds may interchange because they have similar acoustic

properties. This is the case of bilabial and velar plosives, the liquids and the nasals: Spanish vomitar, dialectal gomitar; Spanish yugo, Aragonese yuba; Latin GULA throat > Rumanian gur mouth, Catalan nos, dialectal mos. Sometimes, nasals are changed to liquids or vice versa: Latin HISPANIONE >

Spanish espan > espaol; Arabic azm al-fil bone of elephant > Portuguese

marfim ivory.
v. Metanalysis. Metanalysis Misdivision of words. The most well known example is English an

orange < a norange (cf. Spanish naranja), hence the orange, the big oranges, etc.
Both Spanish and English have many nouns from Arabic, whose definite article has been reanalysed as forming part of the noun (English alkaline, Spanish

alcalino, etc.), and reinterpretations of this kind are common in place names: Lecina (Huesca) < la encina, Laspua (Huesca) < la espuena narrow piece of land at the edge of a field, Riding former administrative division of Yorkshire < Thriding third (cf. German Drittel).
vi. Hypercorrection. Hypercorrection Correction of an already correct form in an attempt to avoid a

stigmatized form. In English, people often add intial [h]s to words that do not have them in their prestige pronunciation because [h]-dropping is frowned upon. Thus, they may say h-edible for edible or h-armful for armful. Spanish people sometimes insert a [d] in the ending ao because the ending ado is often pronounced without the consonant in the everyday language: bacalado = bacalao,

cacado = cacao, etc.

vii. Folk etymology. etymology Also called popular etymology. Replacement of unfamiliar words

or parts of words with more familiar ones through false association. Round about the time of the eclipse of the sun in August 1999, many Spanish people were unfamiliar with the word eclipse and distorted. it into a form like clisis, perhaps thinking of crisis or other abstract nouns ending in is. Likewise, excedencia may be reshaped as excelencia, which is commoner. Sometimes, change is limited to spelling alone, as in hairbrained for harebrained crazy in English (note, interestingly enough, that a fairly close Spanish equivalent is descabellado).
viii. Analogy. Analogy An extremely strong binding force in language that imposes regularity

on the system. Old English had more than one way of forming the plural of nouns: the plural of sunu son, for example, was suna. Modern English, however, has sons, because through analogical levelling, nearly all nouns (except sheep,

goose, mouse, etc.) started to form their plurals with -(e)s, which came to be the commonest plural ending. The older Catalan form pits chest < Latin PECTUS was taken to be plural and therefore a new analogical singular, pit, was created.
Irregular verbs often realign with regular ones in the history of language. The English verb dream has the analogical past form dreamed alongside the older irregular form dreamt. Sound change may involve omission or addition of segments:


Omission: Omission Omission at the beginning of words (aphaeresis aphaeresis): aphaeresis English fend < defend. Omission in the middle of words (syncope syncope): syncope English dictionary /dk()n()ri /. Omission at the end of words (apocope apocope): apocope English las(t) time. Addition: Addition Addition at the beginning of words (prothesis prothesis): prothesis Spanish escala < Latin SCALA. Addition in the middle of words (epenthesis epenthesis): epenthesis English timber < Old English timr. Addition at the end of words (paragoge paragoge): paragoge Swahili hoteli < English hotel. On the dating of sound change Precise dating of sound change is very difficult. Written records from a period may be few and far between and, even if a word is found in print at a certain time, this is not necessarily evidence of first appearance in that form: it may well have existed with the same pronunciation for a long time in the spoken language. Moreover, its written form may not be a faithful reflection of its pronunciation, nor of the phonological status of particular sounds. If an American writes heredical for heretical because [t] can be flapped in American English if stress does not immediately follow, presumably this does not mean that the intervocalic consonant is phonologically /t/. Nevertheless, the relative chronology of changes can provide some clues to the approximate date of their implementation. One case in point is that of rhotacism in Rumanian in words like ln wool, which in some varieties takes on the form lr. We know that this rhotacism preceded the period of extensive Slav borrowings because Slav words like ran wound do not show the change. Likewise, we know that the early palatalization of [k] in English in forms like shirt preceded the Scandinavian invasions, which began in the seventh and eighth centuries, since these brought words like skirt into English without their undergoing the consonant shift. Shirt and skirt are actually from the same Indo-European root *(s)ker- to cut and, as so often happens in the history of language, they form a doublet with different applications. Consider also Spanish directo and

derecho, both from Latin DIRECTU; librar and liberar, both from Latin LIBERARE, etc.
English has a number of words with [i] in their stressed syllable where [a] would be more expected, words like latrine, prestige, physique, technique. These forms must have been introduced into English from French after the change from [i] to [a], which forms part of the Great English Vowel Shift (see 9.1.2.), was still operative. As it happens, the first two items came into English in the seventeeth century, and the last two in the nineteenth century.


9.4. The importance of linguistic change for the student student of language First of all, it is necessary for the student of language to be aware that language does change and that the changes that take place are substantial and also natural. Millions of people all over the world are under the impression that language ought not to change and that any alteration of the existing order is somehow perverse. This attitude normally stems from a fear that the world as they know it is being swept away from under their feet and that they will not be able to cope with novelty. But of course it is futile to expect any kind of system to ever be stable and suspended in a kind of limbo. Some languages change more slowly than others the archetype is Icelandic, which, owing to its isolated geographical position and the conservative force of the saga literature of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, has undergone relatively little change over the past thousand years. However, all languages exhibit some modification of their phonological, grammatical and semantic systems. Rather than express surprise at the fact that language changes, it would be more pertinent to ask why it changes in such an orderly fashion. How come it does not just drift into chaos? More importantly, different languages change in remarkably similar ways. In 9.1.4. we noted that Indo-European [p] became [f] in the Germanic languages, but was unshifted in the Latin languages thus English for, Latin PER, etc. Now, we will find that this very same change has taken place in other unrelated language groups. One example is the FinnoUgrian language family, in which Hungarian has developed [f] from an original [p], retained in Finnish, which is more conservative. Compare Finnish puu, Hungarian fa tree, Finnish

poika, Hungarian fi boy. Because [p] is labial, we might also expect to find languages in
which it has shifted to [w], for example. And this is precisely what we do find. In the Uradhi language of northern Queensland, we encounter forms like winta arm < *pinta and wilu hip < *pilu, and in the completely unrelated Palauan language of Micronesia we have wa? leg from an earlier form *paqi. Of course, we can be sure that [p] has other possible resolutions like [b] and [v] so, if we look at the worlds languages, sooner or later we will come across developments of this kind. What we are unlikely to run into are languages in which a [p] has evolved into an [s] or [l] or [i]. Thus, a knowledge of phonological processes can be a very useful aid in language learning. It helps us to see relationships between words in individual languages (e.g. Spanish imberbe and barba) and also words in different languages (e.g. Spanish puerto, English ford). Any associations that we can attach to words will help us to remember them. Lexical items learnt in isolation are forgotten much more quickly than words that are seen as forming part of a web.



Exercise 1. Grimms Law. For each of the Latin words in group A, find the English cognate
in group B.



GROUP B (English): faith, fathom, horn, corn, court, wheel, thick, plant, tea, the, for,
flake, heart, through, father, tan, fear, flat, thin, place.

Exercise 2. Assimilation. The prefixes in the following exercises have all undergone
regressive assimilation. In each case, join the prefix to the stem to form an English word. (Be careful with the spelling!). Then transcribe the word to show that you know exactly how it is pronounced. 1. OB+position 4. COM-rupt 7. SUB+press 13. SUB+ceed 16. DIS+fuse 22. SUB+fix 25. AD+nounce 28. AD+pear 2. SUB+pose 5. DIS-fer 8. COM+mit 14. DIS+rect 17. IN+mature 23. IN+relevant 26. IN+regular 29. AD+tract 3. IN+mortal 6. AD+breviate 9. OB+cur 12. AD+claim 15. IN+legal 18. COM+memorate 21. AD+quire 24. COM+mend 27. AD+sociate 30. COM+rect

10. IN+responsible 11. AD+range

19. AD+knowledge 20. SUB+fer

Exercise 3. Add a prefix to the following stems to form an English word and then transcribe
it. 1. -company 2. -grieve 3. -lapse 4. -press 5. -point 6. -quit 7. -lect 8. -proximate 9. -pose 10. -custom 11. -cur 12. -nihilate 13. -casion 14. -respond 15. -nate

Exercise 4. What English word(s) can be formed by combining the following Latin roots?
1. COM- + -FERRE 3. IN- + -POSSIBILIS 5. AD- + -LOCARE 7. EX- + -FUNDERE 2. IN- + -APTUS 4. POST- + -PONERE 6. COM- + -LOCARE 8. E(X)- + -JACERE

Exercise 5. Comment on the phonetic form or development of the words in bold type by
comparing them with any other word(s) or information given. Try to decide in each case whether the sound change involved is regular or irregular. 1. Latin CORONA > Rumanian cunun. cunun 2. Latin PILU > Rumanian pr. pr 3. English slide [slad]. 4. English fat boy [fp b]. 5. Latin MINIMARE > Spanish mermar. mermar 6. Latin OBLITARE > Spanish olvidar. olvidar 7. French primerole English primrose. primrose 8. Latin CLAMARE > Portuguese chamar. chamar 9. English possiblely > possibly. possibly 10. Early Middle English [mis] > Modern English [mas] (mice mice). mice

Exercise 6. Comment on the phonetic form or development of the words in bold type by
comparing them with any other word(s) or information given. Try to decide in each case whether the sound change involved is regular or irregular. 1. Old English hennes > Modern English hence. hence 2. Latin TRACTU > Spanish trecho. trecho 3. English despite > spite. 4. Latin AD+FRONTEM > English affront. affront 5. Latin SECURU > Catalan segur. segur 6. Latin VIGINTI > Spanish veinte. veinte 7. Latin BIFERA > Spanish bevra > breva. breva 8. French cariole > English carrycarry-all covered carriage. 9. Old English hlaf > Modern English loaf. loaf 10. English kitchen > kitching. kitching

Exercise 7. Comment on the phonetic form or development of the words in bold type by
comparing them with any other word(s) or information given. Try to decide in each case whether the sound change involved is regular or irregular. 1. Old English hund > Modern English hound. hound 2. Old French esches > Modern English chess. chess 3. Middle Latin TREMULARE > English tremble. tremble 4. English heave, hove > heave, heaved. heaved

5. Latin GRAECU > Catalan grec. grec 6. Latin CADIT > Catalan cau. cau 7. Latin CAESARA(U)GUSTA > Spanish Zaragoza, Zaragoza Catalan Saragossa. Saragossa 8. Latin MODULU > Spanish molde. molde 9. English automobile Swedish bil. bil 10. Middle English berfrey > Modern English belfry. belfry

Exercise 8. Comment on the phonetic form or development of the words in bold type by
comparing them with any other word(s) or information given. Try to decide in each case whether the sound change involved is regular or irregular. 1. English skin > Tok Pisin sikin. sikin 2. Standard French petit /pti/, Quebec French /ptsi/ /ptsi/. tsi/ 3. Old English drencan > Modern English drench. drench 4. Latin PORTA > Rumanian poart gate. 5. Afrikaans /sxo:n/ > /sko:n/ clean. 6. Icelandic *findan > finna to find. 7. English map > Maori mapi. mapi 8. Bislama kuk + im (verbal suffix) > kukum to cook. 9. Toba Batak (Sumatra) *pintu > pittu door. 10. English down below > Tok Pisin tamblo down.

Exercise 9. Comment on the phonetic form or development of the words in bold type by
comparing them with any other word(s) or information given. Try to decide in each case whether the sound change involved is regular or irregular. 1. Old English win > Modern English wine [wan]. 2. Standard English bring, brought, brought; American dialect bring, brang, brang brung. brung 3. Spanish pelcula > peli. peli 4. Czech [pjivo] beer > dialectal [tivo]. 5. Latin VINEA > Spanish via. via 6. Latin AREA > *aria > Spanish *aira > era. era 7. English brother, brethren > brother, brethren, brothers. brothers 8. Pre-Greek *amrotos > Modern Greek ambrotos immortal. 9. Latin COLOBRA > Portuguese cobra. cobra 10. Latin GRAVIS, LEVIS > GRAVIS, GREVIS, GREVIS LEVIS.


Exercise 10. Give one example of each of the following types of sound change that is not in
your notes or set textbooks. Either quote from your personal experience of Spanish, Catalan, English, etc, or consult books in the library. 1. dissimilation 2. metathesis 3. acoustic equivalence 4. metanalysis 5. hypercorrection 6. folk etymology 7. analogy 8. aphaeresis 9. syncope 10. apocope 11. prothesis 12. epenthesis 13. paragoge.

Exercise 11. Many British place names have spellings that bear little relationship to their
present-day pronunciation. Consider the following, which all have a spelling that reflects an older pronunciation, and try and decide what sound changes have taken place. 1. Salisbury /slzbri / 3. Berwick /berk/ 5. Shaftesbury /:fsbri/ 7. Holborn /hbn/ 9. Haulgh /hf/ 11. Dronfield /drnfld/ 2. Leceister /lest/ 4. Edinburgh /ednbr/ 6. Tottenham /ttnm/ 8. Guildford /glfd/ 10. Draughton /drtn/ 12. Manchester /mntst/.

Exercise 12. From your knowledge of phonetics and phonology, say what development
would very likely or could potentially take place in the following sequences of sounds in the history of a language. 1. [we] 2. [nm] 3. [ndz] 4. [a] 5. [ea] 6. [ai] 7. [an] 8. [sj] 9. [ng] 10. [pl]


UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA DEPARTAMENT DE FILOLOGIA ANGLESA I ALEMANYA FONTICA I FONOLOGIA ANGLESA II (Joan C. Mora) 9th September 2005: R. 113, 11.30-14.30 Label all the questions clearly (for part II copy the questions you choose). Read the questions carefully and answer them precisely using relevant material only. Always use examples in your answers. Part I. Answer the following questions 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) Transcribe the following sentence in broad phonemic transcription:Why didnt you tell me you couldnt make it for tonight?. Transcribe the sentence in (1) above in semi-narrow phonetic transcription, showing any casual speech features that might be used. What relationship is there between aspiration and the devoicing of liquids in English. What does the inherent sonority level of a segment mainly depend on? What is a rhythm unit? Illustrate with an example form English. How does the immediately following phonetic context affect vowel length? What English phonemes are identified by the following combination of distinctive features? [+cons, -syll, -cont, +son]. Describe one morphophonemic alternation in English? Is the word-final nasal in common syllabic? Why? or Why not? Carry out a syllable structure analysis (MOP+Ambisyllabicity) of the English word contract.

Part II. Write in detail on THREE of the following: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Is sentence stress predictable in English? Are sound length differences useful to distinguish word meaning in English? To what extent is English phonotactics determined by universal sonority constraints? How is pitch change used in English to express grammatical meaning? To what extent are place of articulation distinctive features useful in the description of the English phonological system?

Part III. Provide answers to the following two phonology problems: 1) Study the following data from CAMPA (Peru) and determine the phonological status of [i] and [] (close central unrounded vowel). 1. [kattori] ant; 2. [thampi] butterfly; 3. [ompiki] dead limb; 4. [swa] fish; 5. [ ti ] salt; 6. [iitha] rope; 7. [piinto] your daughter; 8. [etri] blind; 9. [ski] corn; 10. [ithoki] egg; 11. [nokihotat] I doubt; 12. [tikat] nothing; 13. [itoki] on his head; 14. [iko] small gourd; 15. [akntii] we chase. Study the following data from CLASSICAL ARABIC and determine the phonological status of [k] and [q] (unvoiced uvular stop). 1. [karim] noble 2. [kis] sack 3. [kba] meatloaf 4. [kds] heap 5. [qisa] measured 6. [qarib] near 7. [qds] sanctity 8. [qalb] heart 9. [qbba] dome 10. [kalb] dog. Part IV. Sound change Comment on the phonetic form or development of the words in bold type by comparing them with the other word(s) or information given. Identify and explain the type of sound change or other phonetic/phonological processes or phenomena involved. 1) the police / plis/ > [ plis] 2) stir [st]; but stir it [str t] 3) oven /vn/ > [vn] 4) Catalan roba /rb/ > [r] 5) youngster /jst/ > [jkst] 6) AmE positive /pztv/ > [pzv]