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English Phonetics and Phonology ETB 2013/PLB3014 Course Synopsis This is a practical course and it is aimed to present information

in the context of a general theory about speech sounds and how they are used in language. This theoretical context is called phonetics and phonology. LEARNING OUTCOMES 1. To introduce students to what are the things that constitute English Phonetics and Phonology. 2. To familiarize students to the attributes of English sound system. Course Outline Topics:

1. The production of speech sounds

Using a Diagram elaborate on human speech organs of speech point of articulation manner of articulation mechanism

2. Long vowels, diphthongs and triphthongs

Using a diagram describe the segmental features in speech mechanism vowels consonants diphthongs

3. Voicing and consonants 4. The phoneme 5. Fricatives and affricates 6. Nasals and other consonants 7. The syllable 8. Consonant Clusters 9. Sentence and word level stress
Using relevant symbols describe the supra-segmental features in human speech mechanism stress pitch

10. Complex word stress

11. Weak forms 12. Problems in phonemic analysis

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Pronounce the English sounds correctly by taking into account the place and manner of articulation: the lips, teeth and tongue.

13. Aspects of connected speech

Recognize the correct word from a list of given words after listening to the pronunciation made.

14. Intonation
Reproduce the words based on the sounds and descriptions made.

15. Functions of intonation

Devise contexts for connected speech

Topic 1: The production of speech sounds

Learning outcome: Using a Diagram elaborate on human speech mechanism organs of speech point of articulation manner of articulation Phonetics is the study of the sounds made in the production of human languages. It has three principal branches. 1. Articulatory phonetics focuses on the human vocal apparatus and describes sounds in terms of their articulation in the vocal tract. 2. Acoustic phonetics uses the tools of physics to study the nature of sound waves produced in human language. For example, in using machines for interpreting speech patterns in voice identification. 3. Auditory phonetics studies the perception of sounds by the brain through the human ear. Phonology is the description of the systems and patterns of speech sounds in a language. The speaker of a language unconsciously knows about the sound patterns of the language. For example, the [s] sound in the words so, messy, pass and linguistics have the same phonology representation s but in actual speech, these [s] sounds are articulated differently. Also, these sounds must be distinct meaningful sounds, because they are what make the words messy, pass and linguistics meaningful. Thus, phonology is concerned with the abstract set of sounds in a language that allows us to distinguish meaning in the actual physical sounds that we say and hear.

Topic 4: The Phoneme

Phoneme refers to the meaning-distinguishing sounds in a language. It is in this sense that the phoneme /s/ is described as a sound type, of which all the different spoken versions of [s] are tokens. Note: The slash marks are used to indicate a phoneme, /s/, an abstract segment, as opposed to the square brackets, as in [s ], used for each phonetic or physically produced segment. One important property of a phoneme is that it functions contrastively. For example, the two phonemes /p/ and /b/ in English are the only basis of the contrast in meaning between the words, pat and bat, or, pet and bet.

Phones and allophones Phoneme is the sound type ('in the mind'), however, there are many different versions of that sound type or phones regularly produced in actual speech ('in the mouth'). Phones are phonetic units and appear in square brackets. When we have a group of several phones, all of which are versions of one phoneme, we add the prefix /allo/ (meaning one of a closely related set) and refer to them as allophones of that phoneme. For example, the [t] sound in the word tar is normally pronounced with a stronger puff of air than is present in the [t] sound in the word star. If you put the back of your hand in front of your mouth as you say tar, then star, you should be able to feel some physical evidence of aspiration (the puff of air) accompanying the [t] sound at the beginning of tar (but not in star). This aspirated version is represented more precisely as [t''] which is one phone. The crucial distinction between phonemes and allophones is that substituting one phoneme for another will result in a word with a different meaning (as well as a different pronunciation), for example, tab, tan, and tap. However, by substituting allophones only results in a different (and perhaps unusual) pronunciation of the same word, for example, She is the star of the carnival. Look for the largest star in the sky. Minimal pairs and sets Phonemic distinctions in a language can be tested via pairs and sets of words. When two words such as pat and bat are identical in form except for a contrast in one phoneme, occurring in the same position, the two words are described as a minimal pair. Other examples are fan-van, bet-bat, site-side. When a group of words can be differentiated, each one from the others, by changing one phoneme (always in the same position in the word), then we have a minimal set. For example, one minimal set based on the vowel phonemes of English could include: fate, late, date, gate; foot, loot, soot, hoot, and another minimal set based on consonant phonemes could have big, pig, rig, fig, dig, wig.gig. Human Speech Mechanism Phonetics refers to the general study of the characteristics of speech sound that is the study of how speech sounds are made, or articulated. To describe speech sounds it is necessary to know what an individual sound is, and how each sound differs from all others.

A speaker of English knows that there are three sounds in the word cat, the initial sound represented by the letter c, the second by a, and the final sound by t. Yet, physically the word is just one continuous sound. You can segment the one sound into parts because you know English. The ability to analyze a word into its individual sounds does not depend on knowledge of spelling. Speakers of English can separate keepout into the two words keep and out because they know the language. The lack of breaks between spoken words and individual sounds often makes us think that speakers of foreign languages run their words together, not realizing that we also do so. For example in pronouncing the following phrases and sentences: 1. Grade A and gay day 2. The sun's rays meet and The sons raise meat. Hence, knowing a language enables us to segment the continuous sounds or written language meaningfully. TakecareforyoumaynotbeabletodecipherthissentenceifyouarenotalinguistanEnglishoneto besure.

Manner of articulation

Hard Palate

Soft Palate



Nasal Cavity

Alveolar Ridge

Palate Velum/ Velar Postero Dorsal

Antero Laminal Dorsal

Pharyngeal / Pharynx

TONGUE Exo Labial Radical Epiglottal

Endo Labial Dental Apical Sub Apical VOCAL CORD / ADAMS APPLE (IN MEN)

` `

Glottal (Glottis takes place between vocal cords)

Thyroid cartilage Cricoid cartilage Tracheal rings


Larynx (female 7cm & male 8 cm long).

Figure 1 shows the organs of speech or articulators from head to neck of a person. Speech sounds also vary in the way the airstream is affected as it flows from the lungs up and out of the mouth and nose. It may be blocked or partially blocked; the vocal cords may vibrate or not vibrate.

The organs of speech start with pushing out air by the lungs up through the trachea (or `windpipe') to the larynx. Inside the larynx are vocal cords, which are in two basic positions: voiceless and voiced.

Topic 3: Voicing and Consonants

1. Voiceless sound occurs when the vocal cords are spread apart, and air from the lungs passes between them is unimpeded. 2. Voiced sound occurs when the vocal cords are drawn together, and air from the lungs repeatedly pushes them apart as it passes through, creating a vibrating effect. The distinction can be felt physically if you place a fingertip gently on the top of your `Adam's apple' (larynx and feel in your neck below your chin), then produce sounds such as Z-Z-Z-Z or V-V-V-V Because these are voiced sounds, you should be able to feel some vibration. Keeping your fingertip in the same position, now make the sounds S-S-S-S or F-F-F-F. Because these are voiceless sounds, there should be no vibration. Another trick is to put a finger in each ear, not too far, and produce the voiced sounds (e.g. Z-Z-Z-Z) to hear and feel some vibration, whereas no vibration will be heard or felt if you make voiceless sounds (e.g. S-S-S-S) in the same way. (a) Point of articulation The term is used to describe many sounds that occur at place of articulation: inside the mouth at which the constriction takes place. The air passes through the larynx and comes up/out through the mouth and/or the nose. Most consonant sounds are produced by using the tongue and other parts of the mouth to constrict, in some way, the shape of the oral cavity through which the air is passing. To describe the place of articulation of most consonant sounds, we can start at the front of the mouth and work back. We can also keep the voiced-voiceless distinction in mind and begin using the symbols of the phonetic alphabet for specific sounds. These symbols will be enclosed within square brackets [ ]. (c) Manner of articulation Bilabials These are sounds formed using both upper and lower lips (bilabial). The initial sounds in the words pat, bat and mat are all bilabials. They are represented by the symbols [p], which is voiceless, and [b] and [m], which are voiced. We can also describe the [w] sound found at the beginning of way, walk and world as a bilabial. Labiodentals These are sounds formed with the upper teeth and the lower lip. The initial sounds of the words flit and vat and the final sounds in the words safe and save are labiodentals. They are represented by the symbols [fl, which is voiceless, and [v], which is voiced. Notice that the final sound in the word cough, and the initial sound in photo, despite the spelling differences, are both pronounced as [f].

Dentals These sounds are formed with the tongue tip behind the upper front teeth. The initial sound of thin and the final sound of bath are both voiceless dentals. The symbol used

for this sound is [0], usually referred to as `theta'. It is the symbol you would use for the first and last sounds in the phrase three teeth. The voiced dental is represented by the symbol [] usually called 'eth'. This sound is found in the pronunciation of the initial sound of common words like the, there, then and thus. It is also the middle consonant sound in feather and the final sound of bathe. The term 'interdentals' is sometimes used for these consonants when they are pronounced with the tongue tip between (inter) the upper and lower teeth. Alveolars These are sounds formed with the front part of the tongue on the alveolar ridge, which is the rough, bony ridge immediately behind and above the upper teeth. The initial sounds in top, dip, sit, zoo and nut. The symbols for these sounds are - [t], [d], [s], [z], [n]. Voiceless: [t] and [s] Voiced : [d], [z] and [n] For example bus and buzz have to be [s] and [z]. Other alveolars are the [l] sound found at the beginning of words such as lap and lit, and the [r] sound at the beginning of right and write. Palatals Alveolar ridge is the hard part in the roof behind your mouth. Sounds which are produced with the tongue and the palate are called palatals. Examples of palatals are the initial sounds in the words shout and child, which are both voiceless. The sh sound is represented as [f] and the ch sound is represented as [tf]. So, the word shoe-brush begins and ends with the voiceless palatal sound [ f ] and the word church begins and ends with the other voiceless palatal sound [tf]. One of the voiced palatals, represented by the symbol [3], is not very common in English, but can be found as the middle consonant sound in words like treasure and pleasure, or the final sound in rouge. The other voiced palatal is [d3], which is the initial sound in words like joke and gem. George both begin and end with the sound [d3] despite the obvious differences in spelling. One other voiced palatal is the [j] sound used at the beginning of words like you and yet. Velars Even further back in the roof of the mouth, beyond the hard palate, is a soft area called the soft palate, or the velum. Sounds produced with the back of the tongue against the velum are called velars. There is a voiceless velar sound, represented by the symbol [k], which occurs not only in kid and kill, but is also the initial sound in car and cold.

Despite the variety in spelling, this [k] sound is both the initial and final sound in the words cook, kick and coke. The voiced velar sound heard at the beginning of words like go, gun and give is represented by [g]. This is also the final sound in words like bag, mug and, despite the spelling, plague. The velum can be lowered to allow air to flow through the nasal cavity and thereby produce another voiced velar which is represented by the symbol [0], typically referred to as 'angma'. This sound is normally spelled as the two letters 'ng'. So, the [U] sound is at the end of sing, sang and despite the spelling, tongue. It occurs twice in the form ringing. Be careful not to be misled by the spelling of a word like bang - it ends with the [tj] sound only. There is no [g] sound in this word. Glottals The sound [h] which occurs at the beginning of have and house and, as the first sound in who and whose, is described as a voiceless glottal. The `glottis' is the space between the vocal cords in the larynx. When the glottis is open, as in the production of other voiceless sounds, and there is no manipulation of the air passing out of the mouth, the sound produced is that represented by [h].

Topic 2: Vowels, dipthongs and tripthongs

The segmental features in human speech mechanism

The manner and place of articulations is precisely explained by referring to the Vowel Chart (refer Figure 2).

FRONT OF MOUTH CLOSE (height of tongue against roof of mouth)



: : 3: {

HALF-CLOSE (between mouth roof and tongue)

OPEN-MEDIUM / HALF-OPEN (between mouth roof and tongue)


OPEN (space between mouth roof and tongue)

Vowels allow airflow and its sound distributions therefore does not obstruct any airflow from a persons vocal apparatus, from the larynx to the lips. They are all typically voiced. Vowel sounds is produced when the tongue influences the `shape' through which the airflow must pass. To talk about a place of articulation, we think of the space inside the mouth as having a front versus a back and a high versus a low area. Thus, in the pronunciation of heat and hit, we talk about `high, front' vowels because the sound is made with the front part of the tongue in a raised position. In contrast, the vowel sound in hat is produced with the tongue in a lower position and the sound in hot can be described as a `low, back' vowel. The Vowel Sounds There are three groups of vowel sounds. The first group of vowels is called the front vowels because in order to produce them, the speaker moves the tongue toward the front of the mouth. The second group is known as the central vowels. They are


produced in the middle of the mouth. Finally, the last group is called the back vowels, because to produce them, the speaker moves the tongue towards the back of the mouth. The High Front Vowels [i] and [I] [i] is a tense, high front vowel. It is called a front vowel because to produce the sound, you raise the front of the tongue as high as you can. There should be only a very narrow space between the top surface of your tongue and the hard plate. The tip of your tongue should rest lightly against the back of your lower front teeth. Lower your jaw slightly so that your teeth are barely parted. Spread your lips apart and pull them back toward the corners of your mouth. [i] is called a tense vowel because the muscles of the tongue and of the lips, as well as the muscles at the corners of the mouth and just under the chin, are tense. [i] is a long sound. You can hold it as you have to breath. The vowel chart shows the tongue position used to produce the sound [i]. Listening exercises [i] Ease Seat Feel Feet Hes Hell [I] is sit fill fit his hill

1. Dont sit in that seat. 2. Hell climb the hill. 3. Well go if you will. 4. Hes eating his dinner.

The Mid-Front Vowels [ey] and [] The sound [ey]


[ey] is a tense, mid-front vowel. To produce the sound, push the blade of the tongue forward and raise it halfway between the hard palate and the bottom of the mouth. The tip of the tongue may touch the bottom of the front teeth. Pull the lips back and make them fairly tense. As you produce the sound [e y] move the tongue upward and forward toward the position used to produce the sound [I]. This gliding movement produces a sound which resembles a diphthong. Pronounce these words after listening to your instructor. Make sure you make the gliding effect by moving the tongue toward the front of the month. Day say pay late

Spelling hints a: ai: ay: ea: late, ache, nation, potato, patriot rain, mail pay, May steak, break [] is a lax, mid-front vowel. As in producing the vowel [e y], raise the tongue and push it forward in the mouth, slightly lower than for [e y]; however, there is no gliding effect. Relax the lips and keep them in a normal position. [] is a short, lax sound, while [ey] is a long, tense sound. The vowel chart shows the tongue position used to produce the sound [] Voiceless Bet Set Debt Peck Voiced bed said dead peg

The sound []

The Low Front Vowel [] and the Low Central Vowel [] [] is a low front vowel. To produce this sound, push the tongue forward and let it rest on the bottom of the mouth with the tip touching the base of the lower teeth. Arch the front of the tongue slightly. Open your mouth farther than for the [] and draw your lips back toward the corners of the mouth. The muscles at the corners of the mouth as well as those in the throat at the base of the tongue should be tense. [] is a long sound. (You can say it for as long as you can hold your breath.) [] is sometimes referred to as


the happy sound because you can smile while you say it. Try it and see. Smile and say the word happy. Voiceless Cap Cat Half Lack Listening Exercises [] Bet Pet Met Set Left [] Hat Cat Map Cap Tap [] bat pat mat sat laughed [] hot cot mop cop top Voiced cab cad have lag

The High Back Vowels [u] [u] is called a tense, high back vowel. To produce this sound, push the back of the tongue upward and backward toward the soft palate (the velum). The back of the tongue is higher for the [u] sound than for any other vowel. Round your lips and push them forward. The [u] is the most rounded vowel sound. The muscles of the lips and tongue should be tense. Voiceless Root Hoot Proof Loose Voiced rude whod prove lose


Listening Exercises 1. Only a fool would fill the tank so full. 2. Pull that man out of the pool. 3. Look at Luke play ball! 4. Theres black soot all over your white suit. The Back Vowels [ow] [ow] is a tense, mid-back vowel. In order to produce the sound [o w], push the lips forward and round them closely. At first, the position of the jaw should be lower than the position for [u]. But as you move the back of the tongue back and upward, raise the jaw slightly. This movement of the tongue and jaw produces a gliding effect. [o w] is a long sound. You can hold it as long as you have breath. Voiceless Coat Close (adjective) Rope Voiced code close (verb) robe

(Cont) Topic 2: The Dipthongs [I] A diphthong is the blending of two vowel sounds within a syllable. The tongue, the lips, and the jaw move from the position of the first vowel to the position of the second vowel in a smooth, continuous, gliding movement. The first vowel is accented. The diphthong [ I] begins with a low front vowel similar to the Spanish [] and ends with the lax, high front vowel [I]. Diphthongs They begin with a vowel sound and end with the glides [j] or [w]. In pronouncing the majority of single vowel sounds, our vocal organs assume one position (very briefly), but in pronouncing diphthongs, we move from one vocalic position to another as we produce the sound. [awl cow, doubt, loud


[aj] buy, eye, my 2. Your instructor will read some of the words from the following columns. Circle the words that you hear. Then repeat all the words after your instructor. [] Fond Blond Lot Not Top Lock Hot Spot [I] find blind light night type like height spite

Read the following sentences, making a clear distinction between the boldface words. I dont like that lock. The blond girl is blind. Those plants need a lot of light.

3. Describe the Bilabial Stops and give two examples. Answer: [p] and [b] are called bilabial stops because the articulators used to produce them are the two lips. To produce [p] and [b], close the lips completely, thus blocking the passage of air and creating a build-up of pressure. When you suddenly open your lips to produce the [p] sound, there is an explosion of air. This explosion is called aspiration. If you put your fingers in front of your mouth as you pronounce [p], you will feel this puff of air. In the production of [p], the vocal cords do not vibrate. Therefore, [p] is a voiceless sound. [b] is produced in exactly the same way, but the vocal cords vibrate, and there is no aspiration. Therefore, we say that [b] is a voiced sound. Both [p] and [b] appear initially as in pin, and be, medially as in simple and above, and finally as in top and cab.

ACTIVITY: Repeat the words after your instructor.


[p] Pie Pit Pay Pull Pet Mop Cup Rope Cap Simple

[b] buy bit bay bull bet mob cub robe cab symbol

1. Im so hungry I could eat a big (pear, bear). 2. I put a (punch, bunch) of grapes in the fruit (punch, bunch). 3. You need a bigger (pole, bowl). 4. The (palm, bomb) fell on the house. 5. The doctor gave her a (pill, bill). 4. Describe the Alveolar Stops [t] and [d] an give two examples. Answer: [t] and [d] are postdental, alveolar stops. [t] is voiceless, and [d] is voiced. To produce these sounds, place the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, and the curved border of the tongue against the entire alveolar ridge, thereby stopping the flow of the air stream. Then, suddenly release the air by pulling the tongue back, thus causing the sound to explode with a puff of air (aspiration). To make sure that you are aspirating the [t], put your fingers to your lips; if you are producing the sound correctly, you should be able to feel the puff of air with your fingers. [d] is produced in exactly the same way as the [t] except that when the air is released, the vocal cords vibrate, and there is no aspiration.

ACTIVITY: [t] Tear [d] dare


Tan Tip Town Heart Wrote Sat Cart

Dan dip down hard rode sad card

5. Describe the Velar Stops and give two examples. Answer: [k] and [g] are velar stops, [k] is voiceless, and [g] is voiced. [k] and [g] are called velar stops because the firm contact of the back of the tongue with the soft palate (velum) completely blocks the air stream. To produce the [k] sound, raise the back of the tongue against the soft palate. (The tongue tip usually rests slightly below the lower front teeth.) Suddenly release the air by pulling the back of the tongue away from the soft palate, thus causing an explosion of the air (aspiration). [g] is produced in exactly the same manner as [k] except that there is vibration of the vocal cords and no aspiration. Both [k] and [g] appear initially as in cold, and gold, medially as in become and begin, and finally as in pick and pig.

ACTIVITY: [k] Came Could Coat [g] game good goat

Everyone thought it was (cold, gold). We didnt get the (goal, coal) we needed. How did he get the (gash, cash) he has in his hand? 6. Describe the Fricatives and give two examples. [f] fish


[v] [] [s] [z] [h]

voice thin see zoo hello

Answer: [f] and [v] are labio-dental oral fricatives. The articulators involved in producing these sounds are the lower lip and the upper teeth; thus the term labio-dental. [f] is voiceless, and [v] is voiced. To produce these sounds, bring the lower lip in contact with the upper teeth. Then let a stream of air through the small opening made by the two articulators. In the case of [v], there is a vibration of the vocal cords together with the expulsion of air. There is no such vibration for the production of [f].

Important Hints Noun Proof Belief Relief Grief Safe Serf Life [f] Few Feel Face Safe Leaf Relief Verb prove believe relieve grieve save serve live [v] view veal vase save leave relieve

ACTIVITY: Distinguishing [f] from [v]

1. Only a few of us could see the view. 2. Dont you feel that veal is too expensive?


3. The vase had a face painted on one side. 4. Can you define the word divine? 5. What kind of rifle did his rival have?

Distinguishing [v] from [b] [v] Vote Vest Marvel Covered [b] boat best marble cupboard

1. This berry comes from a very rare plant. 2. Do you have a base for this vase? 3. She went to vote while I stayed on the boat. 4. This vest looks best with that shirt.

Frequently Used and Sometimes Troublesome Words with [f] and [v] Initial [f] defeat Feel Fear food foot affair Medial [f] Confse safe wolf beef Final [f]

Initial [v] Veal Van view vowel vil travel

Medial [v] service revise leave have

Final [v] love alive

ACTIVITY: Oral Practice


Read the following sentences carefully. Remember to pronounce [f] forcefully when it appears in final position or at the beginning of a stress syllable. Take your foot of the wall. Do you feel safe in here? Ill stay if the food here is good.

SELF CHECK Provide two examples of words that are produced by the front, central and back vowels.

Topic 5: Fricatives and Affricates

Fricatives The manner of articulation used in producing the set of sounds [f], [v], [0], [8], [s], [z], [ f ], [3] involves almost blocking the airstream and having the air push through the very narrow opening. As the air is pushed through, a type of friction is produced and the resulting sounds are called fricatives. If you put your open hand in front of your mouth when making these sounds, [fl and [s] in particular, you should be able to feel the stream of air being pushed out. The usual pronunciation of the word fish begins and ends with the voiceless fricatives [f]. The word those begins and ends with the voiced fricatives [o] and [z]. Affricates If you combine a brief stopping of the airstream with an obstructed release which causes some friction, you will be able to produce the sounds [tf] and [d3]. These are called affricates and occur at the beginning of the words cheap and jeep. In the first of these, there is a voiceless affricate [t f ], and in the second, a voiced affricate [d3]. Nasals Most sounds are produced orally, with the velum raised, preventing airflow from entering the nasal cavity. However, when the velum is lowered and the airstream is allowed to flow out through the nose to produce [m], [n], and [ ], the sounds are described as nasals. These three sounds are all voiced. The words morning, knitting and name begin and end with nasals. Liquids The initial sounds in led and red are described as liquids. They are both voiced. The [l] sound is called a lateral liquid and is formed by letting the airstream flow around the sides of the tongue as the tip of the tongue makes contact with the middle of the alveolar


ridge. The [r] sound at the beginning of red is formed with the tongue tip raised and curled back near the alveolar ridge. Glides The sounds [w] and [j] are described as glides. They are both voiced and occur at the beginning of we, wet, you and yes. These sounds are typically produced with the tongue in motion (or `gliding') to or from the position of a vowel and are sometimes called semivowels or approximants. The sound [h], as in Hi or hello, is voiceless and can be classified as a glide because of the way it combines with other sounds. The glottal stop and the flap There are two common terms used to describe ways of pronouncing consonants which are not included in the vowel chart . The glottal stop, represented by the symbol [ h ], occurs when the space between the vocal cords (the glottis) is closed completely (very briefly), then released. The sound Oh oh typically produce a glottal stop. Some people do it in the middle of Uh-uh (meaning `no'), and others put one in place of [t] when they pronounce Batman quickly. The words butter or bottle produce a glottal stop if pronounced without the saying [tt] part in the middle. ACTIVITY In front of a mirror try saying the words heat, hit, hat, hot. For the first two, your mouth will stay fairly closed, but for the last two, your tongue will move lower and cause your mouth to open wider. The terminology for describing vowel sounds in English (e.g. `high front') is usually based on their position in a chart, (refer Figure 2), which provides a means of classifying the most common vowel sounds. Following is a list of the sound that goes from a high front vowel through to a low back vowel. [i] eat, key, see [i] hit, myth, women [e] great, tail, weight [e] dead, pet, said [x] ban, laugh, sat [a] above, sofa, sport [A] blood, putt, tough [aj] boy, noise, void [u] move, two, too [u] could, foot, put [o] no, road, toe [a] ball, caught, raw [a] bomb, cot, swan

SELF CHECK As you read the description of each class of sounds, pronounce them and try to feel which articulators are moving and to where. Bilabials [p] [b] [m]


When we produce a [p], [b], or [m] we articulate by bringing both lips together. Labiodentals [f] [v] We also use our lips to form [f] and [v] as in fine [fajn] and vine [vajn]. We articulate these sounds by touching the bottom lip to the upper teeth, which is why these sounds are called labiodental, labio- referring to lips and dental to teeth. Interdentals In ordinary spelling, interdentals are represented by th, for example, thin and then. To articulate these interdental ("between the teeth") sounds, one inserts the tip of the tongue between the upper and lower teeth. However, for some speakers the tongue merely touches the teeth, making a sound more correctly called dental. Alveolars [t] [d] [n] [s] [z] [I] [r] Alveolar sounds are articulated by raising the front part of the tongue to the alveolar ridge. Pronounce the words do [du], new [nu], two [tu], sue [su], zoo [zu]. You should feel your tongue touch or almost touch the bony tooth ridge as you produce the first sounds in these words. For the lateral [1], the tip of the tongue rises to the alveolar ridge leaving the rest of the tongue down, permitting the air to escape laterally over its sides. You can feel it in the "la" of "tra la la." The sound [r] is produced in a variety of ways. Many English speakers produce [r] by curling the tip of the tongue back behind the alveolar ridge. In that case the [r] is a retroflex sound. In some languages, the [r] may be an alveolar trill, produced by the tip of the tongue vibrating against the roof of the mouth. Palatals [f]/[s] [3]/[z] [c] [j] To produce the sounds in the middle of the word measure [mezar], the front part of the tongue is raised to a point on the hard palate just behind the alveolar ridge. These are palatal sounds. The palatal region is also the place of articulation of [j], the sounds that begin and end the words church and judge. Velars [k] [g] [q] Another class of sounds is produced by raising the back of the tongue to the soft palate or velum. The initial and final sounds of the words kick [kik], gig [gig], and the final sounds of the words back [ba;k], bag [bxg], and bang [bxg] - [k], [g], and [g] -are all velar sounds. Uvulars [R] [q] [G]


Uvular sounds are produced by raising the back of the tongue to the uvula, the fleshy appendage that hangs down in the back of the throat. The r in French is often a uvular trill and is symbolized by [R]. Glottal [?] [h] The [h] sound that starts words such as house [haws], who [hu], and hair [her] is a glottal sound. Although classified as a consonant, there is no airflow restriction in pronouncing [h]. Its sound is from the flow of air through the open glottis. The tongue and lips are usually in the position for the production of the following vowel. If the air is stopped completely at the glottis by tightly closed vocal cords, the sound produced is a glottal stop. This is the sound sometimes used instead of [t] in button and Latin. It also may occur in colloquial speech at the end of words like don't, won't, and can't. ACTIVITY What distinguishes [p] from [b], or [b] from [m]? All are bilabial sounds. What is the difference between [t], [d], and [n], which are all alveolar sounds? Answer: The sounds [p], [b], and [m] are produced by stopping the airflow at the lips; [m] and [b] differ from [p] by being voiced; [m] differs from [b] by being nasal.The same oral/nasal difference occurs in dear [dir] and near [nir], rug [rAg] and rung [r]. The velum is raised in the production of [d] and [g], preventing the air from flowing through the nose, whereas in [n] and [tJ] the velum is down, letting the air go through both the nose and the mouth when the closure is released. The sounds [m], [n], and [rJ] are therefore nasal sounds, and [b], [d], and [g] are oral sounds. These phonetic features permit the classification of all speech sounds into four classes: voiced, voiceless, nasal, and oral.


Topic 6: Nasals and other Consonants

Nasal and Oral Sounds The voiced voiceless distinction differentiates the bilabials [b] and [p]. The sound [m] is also a bilabial, and it is voiced. What distinguishes it from [b]? The roof of the mouth divided into the (hard) palate and the soft palate (or velum). The palate is a hard bony structure at the front of the mouth. You can feel it with your thumb. As you slide your thumb along the hard palate back toward the throat, you will feel the velum, which is where the flesh becomes soft and pliable. The velum terminates in the uvula, which you can see in a mirror if you open your mouth wide and say "aaah." The velum is movable, and when it is raised all the way to touch the back of the throat, the passage through the nose is cut off and air can escape only through the mouth. Oral sounds are produced with the velum up, blocking the air from escaping through the nose since the air can escape only through the oral cavity. Most sounds in all languages are oral sounds. Nasal sounds are produced when the velum is not in its raised position, air escapes through both the nose and the mouth. The sound [m] is a nasal consonant. Thus [m] is distinguished from [b] because it is a nasal sound, while [b] is an oral sound.

ACTIVITY Draw a diagram to show the position of the lips and the velum when [m], [b], and [p] are articulated. SELF CHECK 1. On the given diagram draw to show the position of lips and velum for m (lips together, velum down), and b, p (lips together, velum up).


2. How are nasal consonants classified? Provide two examples. Answer: Nasal consonants in English are usually voiced. Both voiced and voiceless nasal sounds occur in other languages We now have three ways of classifying consonants: by voicing, by place of articulation, and oral vs. nasal. For example, [p] is a voiceless, bilabial, oral sound; [n] is voiced, alveolar, nasal sound.

3. Both [t] and [s] are voiceless, alveolar, oral sounds. What distinguishes them? After all, sack and tack are different words. Answer: In producing consonants, the air-stream may be completely stopped or just partially obstructed. Sounds that are stopped completely in the oral cavity for a brief period are, called stops. The sound [t] is a stop, but the sound [s] is not, and that is what makes them different speech sounds. 4. Are nasal consonants classified as stops? The final sounds in the words top [tap], bomb [bam], dude [dud], dune [dun], root [rut], rack [rxk], rag [rxg], and rang [rig] are stops that occur in English. In the production of the nasal stops [m], [n], [iJ], although the air flows freely through the nose, the airflow is blocked completely in the mouth; therefore, nasal consonants are stops.

Topic 7 The Syllable

Sounds are organized into syllables, and syllables are organized into words. Thus, each word consists of one or more syllables, and each syllable consists of one or more sounds. Example: English words


One Syllable Sail (sel)

Two syllables Writer (ray)

Three syllables Computer ( k m pyu - e )

A syllable is a phonological unit consisting of one or more sounds and that syllables can be divided into two parts- a rhyme and an onset. The rhyme consists of a nucleus and any consonants following it. The nucleus is usually a vowel, although a class of consonants called sonorants can also functions as a syllable nucleus. Phonotactic constraints The sequences of sounds that make up a syllable differ from language to language and are strictly limited within each language. The English syllables allow several patterns of consonants (C) and vowels (V). Note: We use dashes to separate syllables within a word. In a VC V la- ter CV -CVC li - fe CV- CV

Utterances are made of syllables and the syllables where the main pitch movements in the utterance occur are called tonic syllables (Harmer, 2000, p. 88). The syllables that establish a pitch that stays constant up to the tonic syllables are called onset syllables. In the following example comes is the onset syllable, while Tren is the tonic syllable. Example: 1. He COMES from TRENgganu. [One tone unit] 2. He COMES from TRENgganu and BUYS a house in Kuala Lumpur. [Two tone unit]

Topic 8: Consonant clusters

Consonants The consonant sounds are mostly articulated via closure or obstruction in the vocal tract. Stops The sounds [p], [b], [t], [d], [k], [g] are all produced by some form of `stopping' of the airstream (very briefly) then letting it go abruptly. This type of consonant sound, resulting from a blocking or stopping effect on the airstream, is called a stop (or a `plosive'). A full


description of the [t] sound at the beginning of a word like ten is as a voiceless alveolar stop. The word bed, for example, begins and ends with voiced stops. It is not very common in the languages of the world to have onset consonant clusters CC as in the English words try, twin and stop. Also, it is very uncommon to have onset consonant clusters of more than two consonants CCC as in scream, sprint, and stress.

Topic 9: Sentence and word level stress

Supra-segmental features (a) Stress Speech sounds that are identical in their place or manner features may differ in length (duration), pitch, or loudness. Tense vowels are generally longer than lax vowels, but only by a small amount, perhaps a few milliseconds. (A millisecond is 1/1000 of a second.) However, when a vowel is prolonged to around twice its normal length, it is considered in some languages a different vowel, and it can make a difference between vocalic words. When we speak, we also change the pitch of our voice. The pitch depends on how fast the vocal cords vibrate; the faster they vibrate, the higher the pitch. If the larynx is small, as in women and children, the shorter vocal cords vibrate faster and the pitch is higher, all other things being equal. That is why generally, women and children have higher pitched voices than men. In many languages, certain syllables in a word are louder, slightly higher in pitch and somewhat longer in duration than other syllables in the word. In speech, stress may be defined as the degree of intensity or loudness placed on a sound; that is, the amount of force one puts on a syllable or word to give it importance. Stress may also be referred to as accent. In some language accents are actually written over particular vowels to indicate where the intensity of the voice falls. Written English does not have stress or accent marks, nor are there any rigid rules of accentuation. Yet, stress is such an important feature of spoken English that it determines not only the rhythmic flow of words, but also the quality of the vowels. Correct words and sentence stress in spoken English can mean the difference between


good communication and no communication at all. Therefore, whenever you learn the meaning of a word, you must also learn its pronunciation. In English and in some other languages intonation is an important information-marking device. Generally, noun phrases representing new information receive stronger stress than noun phrases representing given information, and they are uttered on a slightly higher pitch than the rest of the sentence. This is called information stress. Example: A: Whose pants are these on my bed? B: Theyre Halims pants. English speakers also exploit stress to mark contrast. A: Are these your pants on my bed? B: No, theyre not mine, theyre Halims. Phonetically, new information stress and constrastive stress are very similar, but functionally they differ.

Topic 10 Complex word stress

The English language has three types of stress: primary (), secondary (`), and zero. The expression primary stress or accent describes the strong emphasis a speaker puts on the most important syllable of a particular word. Secondary stress refers to a less strong emphasis on the next most important syllable. Zero stress refers to any syllable that receives no stress. (A syllable with zero stress will be referred to as an unstressed syllable.) An unstressed syllable, therefore, receives no intensity or loudness at all. The frequent occurrence of unstressed syllables is one. Reflexive pronouns receive primary stress on the self syllable. Myslf Yourself himself herself itself ourselves yourselves themselves

Length, pitch, and the complex feature stress are prosodic, or suprasegmental, features. They are features over and above the segmental values such as voicing or place of articulation, thus the "supra" in suprasegmental. The term prosodic comes from


poetry, where it refers to the metrical structure of verse. One of the essential characteristics of poetry is the placement of stress on particular syllables, which defines the versification of the poem. Same spelling, different pronunciation Example: Practice pronouncing these words. Do they sound the same? Cough koff Tough tuff Bough bow Through thru Though tho Throughfare thurrafare

Topic 11 Weak Forms

Weak Forms In connected speech (mostly) function words, take on a different sound from the one listed in dictionary. A weak form is the pronunciation of a word or syllable in an unstressed manner. Importance of Weak Forms Speech using only strong forms sound unnatural and foreign. Foreign speakers/learners will have problems understanding native speakers. John thinks that man is evil. /..t/ This version of the sentence, with the weak (unstressed) form of that, means "John thinks all humans are evil." John thinks that man is evil. /t/ This version of the sentence, with the strong (stressed) form of that, means "John thinks a specific (male) individual is evil."

Weak Forms: 3 ways A vowel is reduced to a schwa (the neutral vowel / /) in function words, such as to, a, the, and, and of. function words: articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs. A final consonant is omitted from a function word, such as and. An initial consonant is omitted from pronouns, such as he, him, her, and them (except when the pronoun occurs at the start of a sentence). 29

The (e) Spelt with: a: attend, character ar: particular, ate: intimate, accurate, Strong pronunciation: {: application :: molar, lumbar :

Spelt with: a: attend, character ar: particular, ate: intimate, accurate, o: forget, opportunity e: settlement,

Strong pronunciation: {: application :: molar, lumbar : inanimate, : mentor, e: bet,

Spelt with: er: superman u: halibut, support, ough: thorough ous: gracious, callous,

Strong pronunciation: 3:: superb, : but, supplement

Exercise Think of as many realisations of the letter c in English: Ans:


/k/ /s/ //

cat, choc piece, cereal special, ocean

Stress Prominence Loudness Length Pitch Quality of vowels

Factors affecting stress Whether: Simple/complex/compound words Grammatical category nouns, verbs, etc No. of syllables Phonological structure of words

Stress pattern is not always fixed Stress position may change due to: The stress on other words next to the word in question. i. e.: bad-tempered but a bad-tempered teacher Not all speakers agree on the placement of stress in some words. i.e.: controversy, economics

Same pronunciation, different spellings Some English words are pronounced alike but spelled differently, such as in homophones ( homonyms). Example: bear-bare; led-lead; to-two; From the letters see that has same sound but different spelling. See/senile/sea/seize/scenic/siege/ceiling/cedar/cease/juicy/glossy/sexy See/se/sea/sei/cei/ce/cea/cy/sy/xy


Reasons for the discrepancy between the written representations and their actual pronunciation 1. Written English has diverse origins with different spelling conventions. 2. A spelling system established several hundred years ago is still used for a language that continues to change its spoken form. 3. English is spoken differently through out the world. 4. Word parts alter their pronunciation depending on the adjacent sounds and stress patterns. 5. Spoken forms differ from one set of circumstances to another, for instance in formal and informal situations.

Topic 12: Problems in phonemic analysis

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) The IPA is created to provide a unique written representation of every sound in all the languages of the world.

Majority of Malaysian students who are learning English as a second language have problems in understanding English spoken by native speakers, such as British and Australian English. Also, they have difficulty in understanding due to the distinct Malaysian slang, for example each race has their unique pronunciation features or Manglish English. Indeed, spoken English does have certain distinct features that require a great deal of practice in listening and speaking in order for a non-native speaker to master the language. The English sound system comprised of 27 consonant sounds, 12 vowel sounds and 3 diphthongs. English has more sounds than there are letters in the alphabet 21 consonants and 5 vowels. This alphabet, called the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), makes use of some of the letters of the English alphabet as well as a few new symbols of the IPA. In fact, the IPA alphabet is used in most foreign language dictionaries.

Topic 14 Intonation


The term intonation refers to the way the voice goes up and down in pitch when we are speaking. It is a basic part of the way we communicate our feelings and opinions, as well as it enables us to appreciate those of others. More importantly, the choices a speaker make with regard to intonation serve to determine the meaning of utterances. Word choice is not the only means of communicating feelings and attitudes toward utterances and contexts. A striking contrast is provided by sentences that differ only in terms of stress or intonation. This strings of words can be interpreted in several ways depending on its intonation. Example: My son is very intelligent. i. This sentence can be uttered in a matter-of-fact-way, without emphasizing any words in particular to denote a remark acknowledging her sons intelligence. ii. When the words son and intelligent are stressed in an exaggerated manner, the sentence may be interpreted sarcastically to mean the opposite. Intonation (often accompanied by appropriate facial expressions) can be used as a device to communicate attitudes and feelings, and it can override the literal meaning of a sentence. Consider another example. Suppose that Mary, happily married to Richard, addresses her husband as follows: A: Richard, how many times have I reminded you not to smoke in the house? Mary may address her husband to show her anger, frustration and annoyance. The level of meaning that conveys the language users feelings, attitudes and opinions about the ongoing context is called affective meaning.

Topic 15 Functions of Intonation

Intonation gives us clues about the attitude of the speaker, or how he feels about what he is saying. When listening to people speaking, we get clear messages


about their attitude from the way things are said. We know while interacting in a conversation, as to whether someone is concerned, bored stiff, being kind, being sincere or two-faced, and so forth.
A key feature of intonation is that, speakers can use it to indicate to our listeners what we think is new information in a conversation and what is old, or already shared information. ACTIVITY Instructions: Use arrows to mark the intonation pattern [fall-rise] that denotes the following functions of the sentence. What time is your flight to London? i. To show a question asking for new information. ii. To show a question asking for confirmation of something the speaker thinks he has already been told. Grammar and intonation

There are connections between intonation patterns and particular types of grammatical structures. Intonation patterns Grammatical structures Falling intonation (if being Information questions asked for the first time). Rising intonation Falling intonation Falling intonation Falling intonation Rising intonation Who, what, where Questions expecting Example Whats your name? Where do you live? a Have you got some coins? She sleeps on the couch in the hall. Put it in my bag.

YES/NO answer Statements. Imperatives

Keep quiet. Question Tags expecting Hes very kind, isnt confirmation Question Tags he? showing Youre from Perak,

less certainty Rising, rising and finally Lists of items

arent you? In her handbag she





pens, tissue, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, keys, credit spectacles, eraser. cards, and an

ACTIVITY Your instructor will pronounce each consonant sound and the word containing that sound. Listen carefully and then repeat the words after your instructor. [b] [d] [f] [g] [h] [k] [l] [p] [r] [s] [t] [v] [w] [z] [m] [n] ball, job, baby, probably dance, land, dead, candid fine, leaf, shift, frock go, bag, girl, swimming, bowling hat, catch, hotel, push, rush cap, keep, pick land, tail, balloon park, step red, hear, car, year, carry see, cease, pass time, hat, table, soft, plate voice, five want, bow zoo, boys custom, market, manner no, sunny, none,

Special symbols are used to represent the consonant sounds for which there is no corresponding letter in the English alphabet. [] [] [j] - ng- sing, think -th- thing, tooth yes,

The vowel sounds are represented by familiar symbols:


[i] [ey] [u] [o ] [] [I] [] []


feet make move no lot sit bed man

The following new symbols stand for the seven additional vowel sounds:

ACTIVITY: Voiced and Voiceless Sounds There are many ways to classifying the sounds of English. 1. One way is to speak of them as voice and voiceless. (a) Voiced sounds Put your hand lightly around your throat and pronounce a particular sound aloud. If you feel any vibration of the vocal cords in your throat, we say that sound is voiced. Take for example the sound [i] as in feet. Put your hand around your throat, take a big breath, and hold the sound [i] as long as you can. Do you feel the vibration? [i] is a voiced sound. In fact, all vowels are voiced sounds. Another way to tell whether a sound is voiceless or voiced is to pronounce the sound with your hands over your ears. If the sound you are pronouncing is voiced, you will be able to hear the vibration. Now make the sound [z] (like a mosquito). You should feel some vibration because [z] is the voiced partner of [s]. Here is a list of the voiced consonants in English as they are represented by their phonetic symbols. [m] [n] [] [l] [r] [w] [j] custom noon sing leg rear want year,


[b] [d] [g] [v] [z] [m]

bob did gag vivid, leave zoo, quiz mom (b) Voiceless sound

If you feel no vibration, the sound you produce is voiceless. Now, with your hand in the same position make the sound [s] (like a snake). You dont feel any vibration, do you? [s] is a voiceless consonant. Pronounce the sound with your hands over your ears. If the sound is voiceless, you will hear nothing except the rush of air as it passes through the parts of your speech mechanism. Here is a list of voiceless consonants in English as they are represented by their phonetic symbols. [p] [t] [k] [f] [] [s] [h] pop tot kick, cake fifty, knife thin, month sister, cent hat

ACTIVITY (a).Your instructor will read each sentence twice, the first time with the first word in the parentheses, and then with the second word. (b).Circle the word that ends in a voiced consonant sound. Listen carefully to the length of the vowel to help you identify the difference between the voiced and voiceless sounds. Remember that the vowel is lengthened before a voiced sound. 1. Please get me a (cab, cap) 2. He (hid, hit) my car.


3. That has already been (set, said) 4. Watch my (bag, back) 5. Farmer Jones bought a (pick, pig) 6. Can you hear the (buzz, bus)? 7. Whats the (price, prize)? 8. I got a new (batch, badge) 9. She stared at the (ice, eyes) 10. He (wrote, rode) all day long. 11. She hasnt made the (bed, bet) yet. 12. Thats a hard (seat, seed) SELF CHECK 1. Describe how a voiced sound is produced. Provide four examples. 2. Describe how a voiceless sound is produced. Provide four examples.

7. Describe the Lingua-Dental Fricatives and give two examples Answer: [] is lingua- dental fricatives, is voiceless. To produce these sounds, bring the lips nearly together leaving only a narrow space between them. Push the tongue forward so that the tip of the tongue touches the edges of both the top and bottom front teeth. When you look in the mirror, your tongue should be clearly visible between your lips. (To make sure your tongue is in the proper position, we say you should bite the tip of the tongue.) With the tongue in this position, the air is forced between the teeth with considerable pressure, thus causing a rushing sound. (If you place your fingertips in front of your lips, you can feel this rush of air.)


Distinguishing [ ] from [t] [ ] Theme Thin Thank Thought Thorn Death Tenth Bath Tooth Both Faithful [t] team tin tank taught torn debt tent bat toot boat fateful

1. The tin plate was so thin it bent easily. 2. The team has a new theme song. 3. Thank you for filling the tank. 4. I thought I taught you that sing last week. 5. Shes torn her skirt on a cactus thorn. Distinguishing [ r] from [tr] [ r] Three Through Thread Thrash Thrill Thrust [tr] tree true tread trash trill trust

1. There are three birds nests in that tree. 2. Is it true that youre through with your work?


8. Describe the Post-Dental Fricatives and provide two examples. Answer: [s] and [z] are post-dental fricatives sounds. The [s] is voiceless, and the [z] is voiced. To produce the [s] sound, bring your upper and lower teeth almost together, with the upper teeth protruding slightly over the lower. Open your lips slightly and pull them back a little toward the corners of your mouth. Place the tip of the tongue behind the lower teeth and arch the blade of the tongue up toward the alveolar ridge. The sides of the tongue should touch the upper back teeth. With the tongue in this position, a narrow groove is formed. The breath stream will flow through this groove and down toward the opening between the lips and front teeth. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, the air forced through the narrow groove makes a hissing sound as it passes over the cutting edges of your upper and lower teeth. If you put your fingers in front of your mouth, you will feel a rush of air hissing through the opening between your teeth. (The sound resembles that made by a snake.) To produce the [z], the vocal cords vibrate, producing a buzzing sound more like that made by a mosquito. You will notice that in producing the [z], you feel a much smaller amount of air against your fingers.

ACTIVITY: Listening Exercise and Oral Practice Your instructor will read one of the words from each of the following pairs. Circle the words that you hear. Your instructor will then read all the words and ask you to repeat them. Next, he or she will read the sentences aloud, making a clear distinction between the [p] and [b] in the boldface words. [p] Pie Mop Cup Pull Pet [b] buy mob cub bull bet


1. Please buy some pie for dessert. 2. Well have to mop up after that mob leaves. 3. The lion cub drank a cup of milk. 4. That bull will pull on the rope. 5. He bet ten dollars that his pet would win the contest. Your instructor will read the following sentences using one of the words in parentheses. Circle the word that you hear. 1. Youll find a (mop,mob) outside. 2. That (cup,cub) is very small. 3. Bob needs a (cap,cab) immediately. 4. Im so hungry I could eat a big (pear,bear). 5. Ill hang the (rope,robe) on a hook.

Frequently Used and Sometimes Troublesome Words Initial [p] Piece pool Pink Play Pear pull pole Paul Medial people pupil

Important Hints 1. Initial clusters [sp] [st] [sk] [sw] [sl] special stone skin swim slow


[sm] [sn] [str] [skr] [spl] [spr]

smoke sneeze street scream splash spread

[skw] square

2. Final clusters [s] Close(adj) Excuse [z] close excuse

A close friend will close the store for me. Excuse me for giving you such a poor excuse. I advise you not to take his advice. Theyll house the refugees in the firehouse. If the use of a certain tool is recommended, well use it. Distinguishing [s] from [] [s] Seem Sing Sink [ ] theme thing think

1. The girls faith was evident in her face. 2. The youth made good use of his strength. Recognizing the sounds [s] and [z] 1. She says the (rice, rise) is extraordinary. 2. The (president, precedent) was not unusual. 3. (Theses, Zs) are the last letters well write. 4. We asked him for the (price, prize).


5. At the moment he appears to be (sinking, thinking). 6. Please let me have some (peas, peace). 7. Who owns (this, these) sheep? 8. The new (plays, place) will open next week. 9. You can hear the (bus, buzz) two blocks away. 10. The (mouse, mouth) is very small.

9. Describe the Glides [j] and [w] and the Glottal Fricative [h]. Give two examples. Answer: [j] is a voiced, postdental glide. For details as to the production of this sound, refer to Lesson 11. In the words below, watch your instructors mouth as he or she pronounce them. Then, following your instructors directions, pronounce the pairs of words yourself. Notice how the mouth changes shape depending on the vowel that follows. [j] appears initially as in yeast and medially as in million. [j] never appears before consonants, and it never appears finally.

Frequently used and sometimes troublesome words Initial [h] Hes Health Huge Hell Horrible ACTIVITY Some of these sentences contain words in which the h is silent. Be aware of this fact as you read these sentences aloud. Make sure you use correct blending. 1. You look cold. Ill turn up the heat and make some hot chocolate. 2. Helen says her husband is in a hurry. Medial [h] behind behave perhaps


3. Hang your hat on that hook behind the door to the hallway.

10. Describe how the Liquid Sound [r] is produced. Why do they have the characteristics of both vowels and consonants? Answer: [r] and [l] are called: glides, liquids, approximants, or continuants. These sounds have characteristics of both vowels and consonants. That is, they have the resonance of vowels along with the obstruction inside the mouth needed for the production of consonants. For this reason, [r] and [l] are also called semi-vowels or semi-consonants. [r] is a voiced sound. To produce the sound, raise the tongue so that the sides contact the upper side teeth. The tongue tip does not touch anything. 11. Describe how the Liquid Sound [l] is produced. How do you distinguish [r] from [l]?

Answer: [l] is a voiced, alveolar liquid sound. To produce it, raise the tip of the tongue slightly so that it touches the upper alveolar ridge. The middle of the tongue is low in the mouth. The sides of the tongue are free; they do not touch the side teeth. The air escapes over the sides of the tongue. Distinguishing [r] from [l] [r] Rate Red Here Fair [l] late led hill fell

12. Describe how the Nasal Sounds [m], [n], and [] are produced. How do you distinguish [m] from [n] and [n] from [] ? Answer: The sounds [m], [n], and [] are called nasals because the sounds are released through the nose instead of through the mouth. [n] is a voiced, nasal sound; the nasal correlative of [b]. To produce the sound, close the lips and release the sound through the


nose. You can feel your lips vibrating as you produce the sound [mmm]. If you close your nose with your fingers, you will stop the sound from being produced. [m] appears initially as in me, medially as in famous, and finally as in same. [n] is a voiced, postdental nasal sound. To produce it, raise the tip of the tongue so that it is in contact with the entire alveolar ridge. Hold back the air and force it to escape through the nose. [n] appears initially as in near, medially as in dinner, and finally as in man. [] is a voiced, velar, nasal sound. To produce it, part the lips and teeth. Keep the tip of the tongue behind the lower front teeth and raise the back of the tongue against. [] does not appear initially in English. It does appear medially as in single, and finally as in ring. Distinguishing [m] from [n] [m] Met Mine Scream Tim Skim Came Them Ram Dumb Term Tomb Warm [n] net nine screen tin skin cane then ran done turn tune warn

Distinguishing [n] from [] [n] Been Sin Thin Wins [] Bing sing things wings


ASSESSMENT TASK 1. List four words that have (i) Same spelling, different pronunciation (ii).Same pronunciation, and different spellings. Answer: (i) Same spelling, different pronunciation - read (verb, past participle) - advocate (Verb and noun) - tear (a drop of water that comes from your eye when you cry) ( to damage something by pulling it apart or into pieces. - bow (an act of bowing) (a knot with two loose roundish parts and two loose ends that use when tying shoes) (ii).Same pronunciation, and different spellings - made, maid - beat, bit - to , two - sea, see

2. Draw a table to show the Phonetic symbol and the English Consonants arranged by position in word: initial, medial and final. Phonetic symbol p b t k g f v s z Initial pill bill till kill gill fill villa thin then silly zebra shell chill jelly mill nil hill yes rent lily will Medial caper labor petunia sicker dagger beefy saving author leather mason deposit rashes measure kitchen bludgeon dummy sunny singer ahoy beyond berry silly away Final Tap Tab Bat Lick Bag Chief Grave Breath Breathe Kiss Shoes Rush Rouge Pitch Fudge Broom Spoon Sing Toy Deer Mill cow

m n h J(y) l w


3. Draw a picture to show the human vocal tract. Describe the formation of speech sounds in the vocal tract.

Air coming from the lungs passes through the vocal tract, which shapes it into different speech sound, and the air then exits the vocal tract through the mouth or nose or both. 4. Describe how voicing is produced. Provide examples of words that are produced by voicing. 5. List the three types of stops. Provide two examples of voiceless velar stops. Briefly describe how they are produced. a) Bilabial stops [p] and [b] b) Alveolar stops [t] and [d] c) Velar stops [k] and [g] Examples of voiceless velar stops are kid and kill Those sound produce with the back of the tongue against the velum (soft palate). 6. Complete the table with the correct words according to the types of fricatives formed. Types of fricatives Labio-dental fricatives Interdental fricatives Alveolar fricatives Alveo-palatal fricatives Words Fine/vine; beefish/peevish Thigh/thy; ether/either Sink/zinc;bus/buzz Rush/rouge; fishin/vision [f] [] [s] Phonetic symbol [v] [z]


Glottal fricatives. SUMMARY

Here; ahoy


Allophone refers to the substitution of one phoneme for another will result in a different pronunciation of the same word. Consonants sounds are mostly articulated via closure or obstruction in the vocal tract. Phonetics is the study of the sounds made in the production of human languages. Phonology is the description of the systems and patterns of speech sounds in a language. Phoneme refers to the meaning-distinguishing sounds in a language. Voiceless sound occurs when the vocal cords are spread apart, and air from the lungs passes between them is unimpeded. Pitch depends on how fast the vocal cords vibrate, the faster they vibrate, the higher the pitch. Stress also referred as accent, is defined as the degree of intensity or loudness placed on a sound. Voiced sound occurs when the vocal cords are drawn together and air from the lungs repeatedly pushes them apart as it passes through, creating a vibrating effect. Vowels allow airflow and its sound distributions do not obstruct any airflow from the larynx to the lips. KEY TERMS Allophone Consonants Minimal pair Minimal set Phonetics Phonology Phoneme Pitch Stress Voiced sound Voiceless sound Vowels


REFERENCES Kelly,G (2000).How to Teach Pronunciation. Longman Pearson Edu. Ltd. Finegan, E. (1999). Language: Its Structure and Use. 3 rd Edition. Heinle & Heinle.Singapore.