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English Phonetics and Pronunciation Copyright © 2018 Tang-On Srirak All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. First Printing, July 2017 Second Printing, April 2018

500 copies 1,500 copies

จัดพิมพ์โดย: สำ�นักพิมพ์อินทนิล

Pu b lis h e d b y : In th an in P res s

Advisors: Chen Songsomphan, Suthathip Moralai Legal Advisors: Pol. Capt. Wisit Chennanon Administrative Editor: Pakpoom Hannapha Editors: Thanya Sankhaphanthanon, Apiradee Chansaeng Arts: Patipat Sinpiboon Cover and graphic design: Phongsak Sangkhamanee Proofreader: Pimprapai Supareee Public Relation: Viraya Tasawang Printed at: Maha Printing Co. Ltd. 77/261 Moo 4 Bangkhurat Sub-Distict, Bangbuatong District Nonthaburi Province 11110, Thailand


Preface English Phonetics and Pronunciation is designed as a self-study reference and pronunciation practice book for intermediate learners of English and teachers of English. The book focuses on English sound production, word stress, sentence stress, rhythm, and intonation. It also provides vocabulary written in IPA transcriptions, making it easier for students and teachers for their pronunciation practices. The author hopes that by completion of using this book, both learners and teachers of English have sufficient knowledge and a lot of practices in pronunciation for their better and effective communication in English. The body of knowledge in this book can definitely be applied to their real-life situations. Finally, the author would like to take this opportunity to extend her appreciation towards any comments the users of this book can kindly offer.

Tang-On Srirak


Acknowledgements English Phonetics and Pronunciation has been successfully written with the encouragement and inspirations from the hundreds of students and teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The students enrolled in English Phonetics and Phonology courses of which I was the instructor found learning phonetics and pronunciation useful and they got privilege at work from having good pronunciation. The teachers who did not major in English but had to teach English to primary school students also found phonetics and pronunciation training of which I was a trainer valuable. Though pronunciation is one of the required skills speakers must have for communication, Thai education does not give it a focus. Teachers rather teach grammar, vocabulary, and other skills. It is so because to teach pronunciation, teachers need some knowledge in phonetics. However, phonetics alone is far too complicated and difficult for those who do not major in English. Thus, they recommended I write this book. I especially owe much to my mentor, Assistant Professor Dr. Somkiet Poopatwiboon whose feedbacks and comments were certainly fruitful. Special thanks go to my colleagues in the Department of Western Languages and Linguistics who were very supportive. I am grateful to The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahasarakham University for their financial support and professional management making the completion of this book possible. Lastly, I would like to express my love and appreciation to Samrauy, my mother, Chalermpol, my husband, Pattarawadee, my daughter, and Pattarapol, my son.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation English Phonetics and Pronunciation is a self-study reference and pronunciation practice book aimed at intermediate learners of English and up. Teachers of English will also find the book invaluable. The book focuses on English sound production and pronunciation. It provides vocabulary written in IPA transcriptions, making it easier for students and teachers for their pronunciation practices. This first edition contains 7 chapters and covers: • Introduction to English Phonetics and Sound System • Production and Articulation of English Consonant Sounds • Production and Articulation of English Vowel Sounds • English Word Stress • English Sentence Stress and Rhythm • English Intonation • Teaching English Phonetics and Pronunciation


About the Author Tang-On Srirak, currently English for International Communication (International Program) Program Director, is a lecturer in the Department of Western Languages and Linguistics, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahasarakham University. Ajarn Tang-On obtained her Master’s Degrees in English from Mahasarakham University, and in Applied Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Her main interests are in English Phonetics and Phonology, especially English intonation and phonological processes in connected speech. She has been teaching these two courses for the students of English, Business English, English for International Communication (International Program), and English Education majors for almost ten years. Ajarn Tang-On can be contacted at tangon.s@msu.ac.th.


TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION: PHONETICS AND ENGLISH SOUND SYSTEM 1. Introduction 2. Definition of Phonetics 3. Branches of Phonetics 4. English Sound System 5. Phonetics Alphabets and Phoneme Representations 6. Conclusion CHAPTER 2: PRODUCTION AND ARTICULATION OF CONSONANT SOUNDS 1. Introduction 2. The Organs of Speech and the Production of Sound 3. The Articulation and Classification of English Consonant Sounds 4. The Articulatory Description of English Consonant Sounds 5. The Varieties of English Consonant Pronunciations 6. Conclusion

9 9 9 10 15 16

17 17 19 28 29 31

CHAPTER 3: PRODUCTION AND ARTICULATION OF VOWEL SOUNDS 33 1. Introduction 2. The Production and Articulation of English Vowel Sounds 33 33 3. The Classification of English Pure Vowels (Monophthongs) 4. The Articulatory Descriptions of English Monophthongs 38 39 5. English Diphthongs 40 6. Vowel Digraphs 53 7. Differences between RP and GA Vowels 54 8. Conclusion


CHAPTER 4: ENGLISH WORD STRESS 1. Introduction 2. Word and Stress 3. Word Stress Rules 4. Conclusion

57 57 60 67

CHAPTER 5: SENTENCE STRESS ABD RHYTHM IN ENGISH 1. Introduction 2. Stressed-timed Rhythm 3. Content and Function Words 4. Speech Units 5. Conclusion

69 69 71 72 76

CHAPTER 6: INTONATION IN ENGLISH 1. Introduction 2. Intonation Contour 3. Specific Patterns of Intonation 4. Conclusion

77 77 78 84

CHAPTER 7: TEACHING ENGLISH PHONETICS AND PRONUNCIATION 1. Introduction 2. Recent Theory: the Lingua Franca Core 3. Raising Students’ Phonological Awareness 4. Tips for Teaching English Word Stress 5. Tips for Teaching English Rhythm and Sentence Stress 6. Tips for Teaching English Intonation 7. Conclusion

85 86 87 88 89 91 92

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: PHONETICS AND ENGLISH SOUND SYSTEM 1. Introduction This chapter sets out to provide a brief overview of phonetics and English sound system. The knowledge elaborated is aimed at giving definition of phonetics, classifying its branches, explaining English sound system including consonant blends, digraphs and silent letters, as well as familiarizing readers with the phonetic alphabets. 2. Definition of Phonetics Phonetics is a discipline of linguistics that focuses on the study of the sounds used in human speech. Phonetics is not concerned with the meaning of these sounds, the order in which they are placed, or any other factor outside of how they are produced and heard, and their various properties. Generally, phonetics deals with physical and physiological aspects of speech production. Moreover, phonetics is also interested in how children learn the sounds of their first language, what can be done in cases of speech and hearing defects, and how speech is perceived and produced. In addition, phonetics also deals with investigating ways of successful foreign language pronunciation teaching and designing means of speech synthesis. In summary, phonetics is the study of how the speech sounds of human languages in the world are produced, transmitted, and perceived. 3. Branches of Phonetics Phonetics is divided into three branches: articulatory, auditory, and acoustic phonetics. 3.1 Articulatory Phonetics Articulatory phonetics deals with the processes that take place in the vocal tract when humans produce speech sounds. The important point is the use of the vocal organs, muscle contractions, the airflow and pressure in the vocal tract, as well as various manners of articulation. The book focuses mainly on this branch of phonetics. 3.2 Auditory Phonetics Auditory phonetics studies how speech sounds are perceived by listeners, how they are heard, and interpreted. When listening, listeners focus on pitch, loudness, and speech tempo. The term ‘pitch’ refers to how high or low of the sound a listener perceives. ‘Loudness’ is how loud or soft of the sound a listener hears. Finally, ‘speech tempo’ is about how fast or slow a listener perceives a speech signal.

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3.3 Acoustic Phonetics Acoustic phonetics is the study of the physical properties of speech and analyzes sound wave signals that transmit within speech through frequencies, amplitudes and durations. Acoustic phonetics also looks at how articulatory and auditory phonetics link to the acoustic properties. To sum up, the subfield of phonetics which studies how individual speech sound is articulated is called articulatory phonetics. Another branch that studies how a listener perceives and understands a sound is auditory phonetics. Lastly, the branch that studies physical properties of sound transmission is called acoustic phonetics. Articulatory phonetics is the only branch that this book focuses on. 4. English Sound System 4.1 Spelling and Pronunciation in English An understanding of the sound system of English and its connection to the English spelling system is necessary for teachers and learners of English. Undoubtedly, there is a relationship between the English sound system and its spelling system. Nevertheless, the relationship between sound and spelling is not straightforward. If it were, English learners would spell more easily and accurately. In English, very often that a word is not pronounced the way it is spelled. The following words are the examples how learners encounter with the spellings and their pronunciations. Item

Spelling

Pronunciation

1

though

/DoU/

2

through

/Tru/

3

cough

/kAf/

4

rough

/rf/

5

plough

/plaU/

6

bought

/bt/

Table 1 Same ending sounds but different pronunciations It is clearly shown above that although all of the words contain ‘-ough’, they are pronounced differently. The examples below present different spellings of vowels but give the same pronunciations of sounds:


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Did he believe that Caesar could see the people seize the seas? The silly amoeba stole the key to the machine.

Some are even more complicated as the words shown in bold. They are spelled the same but pronounced differently and vice versa. Heard looks like Beard but sounds like Bird Dead looks like Bead but sounds like Bed Meat looks like Great but sounds like Sweet Moth looks like Mother but sounds like Cloth Dear looks like Pear but sounds like Beer. Some letters appeared in spellings but are silent in pronunciations. The silent letters in the examples below are bold letters. mnemonic whole resign ghost psychology debt gnaw know which receipt etc. 4.2 Consonant and Vowel Blends, Digraphs and Silent Letters 4.2.1 Consonant Blends and Digraphs A consonant blend or cluster refers to two or more consonants that are put and pronounced together and each sound may be heard in the blend. Blends occur at the beginning and end of the words. The following lists are the common beginning blends in English. 1) The -l family consists of bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, spl - blend, bland, blue, black, blanket, bleach, blood, blast, bless, blame, bluebird, bleak, blaze, blind, block, etc. - claim, clap, clash, class, clay, clip, clock, close, clothes, cloud, clown, clone, club, clue, clumsy, etc. - flip, flow, fly, flash, flea, flesh, flight, flip, float, floor, flower, florist, flour, flourish, fluffy, flute, flush, etc. - glad, glass, glue, glamor, glaze, glide, glimmer, glitch, glitter, globe, gloves, glow, glossary, etc. - plan, place, plain, plane, planet, plant, plate, plastic, play, plea, please, pleasure, plot, plug, plumber, plenty, etc. - slow, slim, slender, sleigh, sleep, sleeves, slice, slip, slippers, slave, etc. - splash, splendid, splendor, split, splat, splatter, etc.

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2) The -r family consists of br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, - brace, bracelet, bracket, brain, brake, brand, branch, brave, bread, breach, breed, breeze, bride, bridge, bright, bring, brought, broad, etc. - crab, crack, craft, cramp, crash, crazy, crave, crawl, crayon, cream, crease, create, creek, creep, cricket, etc. - drink, draw, drown, dream, drip, drive, drop, drift, dress, dry, drowsy, etc. - fry, frame, frank, fragile, friction, fraud, freeze, frozen, fresh, frighten, friend, French, frog, from, front, fruit, etc. - grow, grew, grown, grumpy, grip, green, gray, grandparents, grass, grapes, gravy, grateful, great, grave, grease, greeting, greedy, etc. - pride, proud, pray, price, press, president, prince, princess, problem, project, private, prison, prize, probably, proceed, prime, etc. - try, tram, train, trap, trim, trousers, trouble, trick, trial, true, trunk, triumph, track, trace, trauma, trip, trekking, tree, etc. 3) The s- family consists of sc, sk, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, scr, spr, str - scaffold, scale, scallop, scalp, scam, scamper, scan, scandal, scapegoat, scar, scarf, scarlet, scary, scared, scratch, scatter, scavenger, scrape, screw, etc. - skill, skull, skate, skeleton, sketch, skeptic, ski, sky, skim, skip, skin, etc. - small, smell, smile, smooth, smoke, smack, smuggle, etc. - sneaker, snail, snake, snap, snare, sneeze, sniff, snooze, snow, snuggle, etc. - speak, spy, spin, speech, speed, specify, spider, spice, spicy, spill, spine, spatial, special, speculate, spiral, spike, spectacle, spectator, spinach, etc. - style, steam, still, stand, stood, stamp, stomp, sticker, stay, steep, storm, story, stove, student, stun, stem, stone, stomach, step, stop, stall, statistic, star, etc. - swim, swam, swum, sway, swear, sweater, sweep, sweat, swing, switch, swirl, swollen, swallow, etc. - scream, scramble, scrapbook, scrape, scratch, scrawl, screen, scribe, scripture, screw, scrub, scrutiny, scrutinize, etc. - spring, sprain, spray, spread, sprinkle, sprint, sprite, sprout, springboard, spruce, etc. - stream, stray, strip, stripe, stripper, strong, string, stride, strung, straight, strange, street, stress, stroke, etc.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

4.2.2 Consonant Digraphs A digraph is a group of two letters following each other that represent a single sound or phoneme. Common consonant digraphs in English include ch, sh, th, ph, ng, and wh. The following lists are some examples of common digraphs in English. 1) –CH- sound is represented by /tS/ - chip, cheap, champ, chain, chair, challenge, chance, change, chant, chapter, chapel, charge, charity, chart, chase, chat, check, cheer, cheese, chest, chick, chicken, chief, child, children, chili, chin, chew, church, etc. 2) –SH- sound is represented by /S/ - ship, shop, show, shade, shadow, shake, shall, should, shampoo, shape, sheep, shell, shepherd, shelf, shine, shirt, shock, shoot, shot, short, shoulder, shut, shore, shout, etc. 3) –TH- sound is represented by /T/ and /D/ the /T/ sounds: - thank, think, thought, through, thorough, thumb, theme, three, thick, thaw, thief, thigh, thin, thing, third, thirsty, thirteen, thirty, Thursday, thorn, thunder, etc. - tooth, teeth, booth, with, cloth, bath, path, smith, width, beneath, birth, mouth, breath, length, death, depth, earth, faith, filthy, growth, health, mammoth, month, south, truth, warmth, worth, wreath, youth, zenith, fourth, fifth, twentieth, eightieth, etc. the /D/ sounds: - than, them, this, these, those, there, that, therefore, they, though, although, thus, etc. - booth, with, clothe, bathe, smooth, breathe, brother, father, mother, soothe, wreathe, youths, etc. 4) –PH- sound is represented by /f/ - phone, phoneme, philosophy, phenomenon, photo, phase, phrase, phantom, pharaoh, pharmacy, pharynx, graph, photograph, phonograph, pheasant, phonetics, phonology, the Philippines, phobia, phoenix, physic, photosynthesis, etc, 5) –NG- and -NK- sounds are represented by /N/ and /Nk/ - sing, song, exciting, interesting, according to, among, bang, belong, boring, bowling, king, string, bank, blank, frank, link, chunk, drink, drank, drunk, ink, junk, pink, think, thank, rank, shrink, sink, tank, wink, etc.

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6) –WH- sound is represented by /w/ - what, when, where, why, whack, whale, while, whilst, wheat, wheel, whether, which, whiskey, whisper, whistle, white, whoops, etc. 7) –WH- sound is represented by /h/ - who, whole, whom, whose, etc. 4.2.3 The Silent Letters in English As discussed earlier, silent letters are the letters that appear in spellings but are not articulated or heard in pronunciation. Below is the list of the words with silent letters. Silent –b-

climb comb thumb plumber bomb crumb dumb lamb limb numb tomb womb catacomb debt doubt subtle

Silent –c-

science scissors fascinated

Silent –d-

handkerchief handsome Wednesday

Silent –g-

sign high light through though campaign assign gnat design align gnaw gnome reign foreign phlegm consignment

Silent –h-

hour honor honest ghost ghetto ghastly rhinoceros rhyme rhythm exhibition exhaust

Silent –i-

suit

Silent –j-

marijuana

Silent –k-

knock knife knuckle knot

Silent –l-

walk chalk talk half palm calm folk salmon could should would calf yolk balm

Silent –m-

mnemonic

Silent –n-

Autumn hymn column solemn damn

Silent –o-

colonel jeopardy leopard people

Silent –p-

pneumonia psalm psyche psychology corps coup receipt

Silent –s-

aisle apropos debris isle island

acquire

indict muscle scene ascend descend

resign benign

spaghetti heir Thai

know knew known knee knob knight knobby knitting knickers knowledge knapsack

bourgeois


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Silent –t-

listen mortgage watch

Silent –w-

wrap write wrong wreck wrestle wrap wrist wrack wraith wrangle wreath wren wrench wrinkle writ wrought

Silent –u-

guess guide guidance guitar guest guard guarantee build catalogue colleague laugh league tongue dialogue

Silent –z-

chez

ballet castle whistle

rendezvous Table 2 List of the words with silent letters

When learners understand the English sound system, it becomes easier for them to recognize the spelling and pronunciation system of English. It can also make teachers see the problems the students may have learning to spell and pronounce English. 5. Phonetic Alphabets and Phoneme Representations A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another. The set of all phonemes makes up its sound system. Since sounds cannot be written, letters are used to represent the sounds.  A grapheme is the written representation of a sound. In this book, we are using 46 English phonemes as shown in the following charts. In the English language, the writing system does not reflect the pronunciation of words. Therefore, a very useful tool for language learners is phonetic transcription Phoneticians of the International Phonetics Association created the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as a standardized representation of the sounds of oral language. Dictionaries use the IPA to show how the English words are pronounced. The IPA is not just an alphabet but also a set of principles for transcription, so the same utterance can be transcribed in different ways. The IPA is designed to represent the qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation, and the separation of words and syllables. It is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, and translators (MacMahon, 1996). The following charts show the IPA for English consonant and vowel sounds. /d/ dip

/k/ scan

game

/Z/

/tS/

/dZ/

vision

chip

jeep

/h/ how

/f/ fan

/v/ van

/m/ man

/n/ name

sing

/p/ spend

/b/ bin

/t/ stem

/s/ some

/z/ zoo

/S/ ship

/l/ love

/r/ ray

/w/ win

/j/ yes

/T/

/D/

/?/

thin

then

button

/g/

Chart 1 IPA representing English consonant sounds

/N/

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/i/ bee

/I/ bin

/u/ food

/Iǝ/

/eI/

/eǝ/

foot

fear

bay

fair

/E/

/e/ bed

/ɜ/ hurt

//

/aI/

/aU/

/«U/

get

for

fly

hour

go

//

/Q/

hut

man

/U/

/ǝ/

/A/

/ɒ/

/I/

/Uə/

teacher

car

not

boy

tour

Chart 2 IPA representing English vowel sounds 6. Conclusion In this chapter the definitions of phonetics and its three branches are reviewed. The sound system of English on how spellings and pronunciations work in English language is discussed. The final section shows phonetic alphabets and the phoneme representations according to the International Phonetics Association. To sum up, phonetics is the discipline of linguistics dealing with the sounds of human oral languages. It is a study of physical and physiological aspects of speech production. There are three areas that phonetics focuses on-articulatory, auditory, and acoustic. Phonetics is very important to the teachers and learners of any languages because it is related to the teaching and learning of pronunciation of the language. Phoneticians use IPA symbols as a standardized representation of the sounds of oral language in their transcriptions. Therefore, it is very important that English majors study English phonetics for the improvement of their pronunciation and effective communication.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 2 PRODUCTION AND ARTICULATION OF CONSONANT SOUNDS

1. Introduction This chapter presents the production and articulation of consonant sounds in English. It starts with the organs of speech, how each consonant sound is produced, the classification of consonant sounds, description of each sound using its descriptive parameters and articulatory dimensions, and the chapter ends with the variations of English consonant sound pronunciations. 2. The Organs of Speech and the Production of Sound 2.1 The Organs of Speech To understand how sounds are produced, it is helpful that learners start with the speech organs and their positions. Sound production starts from lungs. The air stream released by the lungs goes through the trachea and comes to the larynx which contains the vocal cords. The V-shaped opening between the vocal cords is called the glottis. The air stream coming out of the larynx goes pass through the pharynx. The pharyngeal cavity extends from the top of the larynx to the soft palate or velum, which directs the air stream either to the oral or nasal cavity. When the velum is in a lower position, the air goes up into the nasal cavity and then out through the nose. When the velum is raised, the uvula (at the very end of the velum) forms a full contact with the pharynx and the air stream goes through the mouth cavity. The upper part of the speech organs includes the upper lip and the upper teeth. The hard part is the palate. This hard and fixed part of the palate is divided into 3 sections: the alveolar ridge, alveopalatal area, and hard palate. The innermost part of the palate is soft and called velum. The lower and upper lips also take roles in sound production. They can be brought firmly together, kept apart, rounded, or extended forward. The other most important organ of speech is the tongue. There are 4 divided parts: the tip or apex, the front part, the central part, and the back part or dorsum. To give clearer pictures of the organs for sound production, Figure 1 demonstrates each organ’s name and its position in the mouth and the vocal tract.

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Soft Palate (Velum) Alveopalatal Area

Dorsum

Figure 1 The speech organs required for sound production 2.2 The Production of Sounds As mentioned earlier, speech sounds are produced by an air stream from the lungs, which goes through the trachea and the oral and nasal cavities. It can be said that there are four processes involved in the production of sounds: initiation, phonation, oral-nasal process, and articulation (Giegerich, 1992). 1) The initiation process starts when the air flows from the lungs. 2) The phonation process occurs at the larynx. The larynx has two straight folds of tissue in the air passageway and is called vocal folds. The gap between these folds is called the glottis. The glottis can be closed and then no air can pass or it can have a narrow opening which can make the vocal folds vibrate producing the “voiced sounds”. Otherwise, it can be wide open, as in normal breathing. Consequently, the vocal folds have less vibration or no vibration; the “voiceless sounds” are produced. 3) The oral-nasal process occurs after the air has gone through the larynx and the pharynx. The velum is in control for that occurrence. The air goes up into the nasal cavity when the velum is in its lower position. When the velum is raised, the air stream goes through the mouth cavity. Through the oral-nasal process we can differentiate between the nasal and oral consonant sounds. 4) The articulation process takes place in the mouth where the organs move and contact with one another. Through this process, most speech sounds can be differentiated.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3. The Articulation and Classification of English Consonant Sounds 3.1 The Articulators and Points of Articulation The speech organs take roles in the consonant sound articulation. Without them, sounds cannot be articulated. These speech organs are divided into two parts: 3.1.1 The articulators, the moving parts are the lower parts of the organs in the mouth comprising: 1. The lower lip 2. The apex 3. The front of the tongue 4. The dorsum 5. The glottis 3.1.2 The points of articulation, the unmoving parts are the upper parts of the vocal tract consisting of: 1. The upper lip 2. The upper teeth 3. The alveolar ridge 4. The hard palate 5. The alveopalatal area 6. The velum A good start for learners learning pronunciation is to be acquainted with each organ of speech. When a speaker moves the articulator upward to contact the point of articulation, a particular sound is articulated. The next section presents the English consonant sounds articulated through each articulator and point of articulation. 3.2 English Consonant Sounds and the Place of Articulation Each consonant sound is produced when the articulator moves and interacts with the point of articulation. The place where the articulator and point of articulation meet is called the place of articulation. The table shows the English consonant sounds and how they are produced through the use of the articulators and points of articulation.

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Word Sound

Articulator

Point of Articulation

Initial/ Medial Position

Final Position

/p/

Lower lip

Upper lip

pine, people

map, gap

/b/

Lower lip

Upper lip

bond, brief

cab, tube

/m/

Lower lip

Upper lip

moon, more

zoom, dorm

/w/

Lower lip

Upper lip

well, why

wow, law

/f/

Lower lip

Upper teeth

file, fee

if, off

/v/

Lower lip

Upper teeth

very, via

of, wave

/t/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

trend, text

comfort, route

/d/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

define, draft

food, made

/n/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

norm, note

none, sun

/s/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

school, son

nice, points

/z/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

zip, zoom

quiz, eyes

/l/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

love, legal

fall, pull

/r/

Apex

Alveolar ridge

road, rigid

more, their

/T/

Apex

Upper Teeth

thin, thank

teeth, breath

/D/

Apex

Upper Teeth

them, there

with, breathe

/k/

Dorsum

Velum

king, queen

clock, dark

/g/

Dorsum

Velum

girl, glow

dog, bag

/N/

Dorsum

Velum

singing, bingo

song, thing

Alveopalatal area

shop, shine

fish, wash

Alveopalatal area

vision, pleasure

mirage, beige

Alveopalatal area

chop, change

watch, which

Alveopalatal area

join, George

bridge, age

Hard palate

yes, year

boy, day

/S/ /Z/ /tS/ /dZ/ /j/

Front of Tongue Front of Tongue Front of Tongue Front of Tongue Front of tongue

/h/

Glottis

-

hello, hope

-

/?/

Glottis

-

football, utmost

Oh! Uh-uh!

Table 3 English consonant sound, the articulator, point of articulations, and example of the word containing the sound


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.3 The Classification of English Consonant Sounds Producing a consonant sound involves making a constriction by narrowing the vocal tract at some location. Which consonant is being articulated depends on where in the vocal tract the constriction is and how narrow it is. It also depends on other dimensions, such as whether the vocal cords are vibrating and whether the air is flowing through the mouth or nose. English consonant sounds are classified accordingly to the three major dimensions: 1. The state of the vocal cords or voicing 2. The place of articulation where the articulator and point of articulation meet 3. The manner of articulation 3.3.1 The State of the Vocal Cords (Voicing) The air from the lungs flowing past the vocal cords will cause them to vibrate against each other. This process is called voicing. Sounds which are made with vocal cord vibration are said to be voiced. Sounds made without vocal cord vibration are voiceless sounds. There are pairs of sounds in English which are the same in terms of places and manners of articulation. They differ only in voicing. Voiceless Sound

Voiced Sound

/p/

/b/

/t/

/d/

/k/

/ɡ/

/f/

/v/

/θ/

/ð/

/s/

/z/

/ʃ/

/ʒ/

/tʃ/

/dʒ/ Table 4 Pairs of English sounds differing in voicing

The other sounds of English do not come in voiced and voiceless pairs. - /h/ and /?/ are both voiceless and do not have voiced counterparts. - /m/, /n/, /N/, /r/, /l/, /w/, and /j/ sounds are all voiced. It is also possible for some sounds as –s, -es, and –ed endings to become voiceless or voiced under the influence of their neighbors, but this occurrence will never change the meaning of the word.

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The following sections present the pronunciation rules for the –s, -es, and –ed endings. 3.3.1.1 The Pronunciations of –s and –es Endings As discussed, the letters ‘s’ and ‘es’ positioned at the end of the words are pronounced as voiceless /s/ or voiced /z/ and /Iz/ depending on the sounds that precede them. The explanation and examples are displayed in the table below. /s/

/z/

/Iz/

The –s and –es following the voiceless consonant sounds: /p/, /t/, /k/, /f/, /T/ are pronounced /s/. For examples: makes = /meIks/ fights = /faIts/ graphs = /grAfs/ cloths = /klTs/ etc.

The –s and –es following the voiced consonant sounds and all vowel sounds: /b/, /d/, /g/, /v/, /D/, /l/, /r/, /w/, /m/, /n/, and /N/ are pronounced /z/. For examples: ends = /endz/ rules = /rulz/ shows = /SoUz/ cries = /kraIz/ etc.

The –es following the words that end with /s/, /z/, /Z/, /dZ/, /S/, /tS/, / ks/ are pronounced /Iz/. For examples: boxes = /bksIz/ classes = /klAsIz/ washes = /wASIz/ bridges = /brIdZIz/ churches = /tSrtSIz/ etc.

Table 5 Pronunciation rules for –s and –es endings 3.3.1.2 The Pronunciations of –ed Ending When the letters ‘ed’ positioned at the end of the words, they are pronounced as voiceless /t/ or voiced /d/ and /Id/ depending on the sounds that precede them. The explanation and examples are presented in the following table. /t/ The –ed following the voiceless consonant sounds are pronounced /t/. For examples: picked /pIkt/ focused /foUkǝst / searched /srtSt/ wished /wISt/ etc.

/d/ The –ed following the voiced and all vowel sounds are pronounced /d/. For examples: ruled /ruld/ served /svd/ showed /SoUd/ displayed /dIspleId/ etc.

Table 6 Pronunciation rules for –ed endings

/Id/ The –ed following the /t/ and /d/ are pronounced /Id/. For examples: landed /lQndId/ wanted /wAntId/ crowded /kraUndId/ decided /dIsaIdId/ etc.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

PRONUNCIATION PRACTICE Read the following sentences. Pay attention to the underlined endings of the words. Apply the pronunciation rules into your reading. 1. The police officers arrested three boys in red shirts and the other four girls in black skirts two days ago. 2. The students decided to purchase ten English books because they wanted to make their parents pleased and surprised. 3. I was expected to have added more points in my research articles. The professors asked me many questions until they felt satisfied with my advanced answers. 4. These dogs and cats are picked to be introduced and raised at the farm where is consideredone of the most fantastic places in this town. 5. One of my old friends who has escaped from home for five years called me a few hours ago to let me know that he was disappointed and frustrated. He cried and asked if he could borrow some money and other stuffs. I agreed to lend him five hundred dollars. Then, I decided to stop my friendship with him. The next section shows how the sounds are categorized. 3.3.2 Consonant Categories The consonant sounds are categorized accordingly to their places of articulation. ‘The place of articulation’ refers to the area in the mouth at which the constriction or the consonantal closure occurs. It also means the two parts of the speech organs that contact each other to produce the sound. The active articulators are the organs that can be raised, lowered, thrust forward or retracted, rolled back, and moved. The points of articulation or the passive articulators are the unmoving parts of the organs. They are the upper organs in the vocal tract. The categories of the consonant sounds are: 1. Labial sounds are the sounds made with closure or near-closure of the lips. 1.1 Bilabial sounds are the sounds articulated with the use of both lower and upper lips. English bilabial sounds are /p/ /b/ /m/ and /w/.

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

1.2 Labiodental sounds are articulated using the lower lip and the upper teeth. English labiodental sounds are /f/ and /v/.

Figure 3 Labiodental sounds: /f/ /v/ 2. Dental or Apicodental or Interdental sounds are produced with the tongue placed against or near the upper teeth or between the teeth. In English, these sounds are /T/ and /D/.

/T/ /D/

Figure 4 Dental sounds: /T/ /D/ 3. Alveolar or Apicoalveolar sounds are articulated when the tip of the tongue touches or is brought near the alveolar ridge. The sounds are /t/ /d/ /s/ /z/ /l/ /r/ and /n/.

Figure 5 Apicoalveolar sounds: /t/ /d/ /s/ /z/ /l/ /r/ /n/ 4. Alveopalatal or Frontoalveopalatal sounds are produced with the front of the tongue brought against the alveopalatal area. The sounds in this category include /S/ /Z/ /tS/ and /dZ/.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

/S/ /Z/ /tS/ /dZ/.

Figure 6 Frontoalveopalatal sounds: /S/ /Z/ /tS/ /dZ/ 5. Palatal or Frontopalatal sound is produced with the front of tongue brought against the hard palate. There is only one English sound in this category: /j/ from the letter ‘y’.

Figure 7 Frontopalatal sound: /j/ 6. Velar or Dorsovelar sounds are produced with the back of the tongue touching the velum or the soft palate. The sounds are /k/, /g/, and /N/.

/k/ /g/ /N/

Figure 8 Dorsovelar sounds: /k/ /g/ /N/ 7. Glottal sounds are produced using the vocal cords in the glottis as primary articulators. The opening between the vocal cords is narrow enough to create some turbulence in the airstream flowing past the vocal cords. The sounds are /h/ as in ‘hence’ and /?/ as the middle sound in ‘button’ in British English.

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

/h/ /?/

Figure 9 Glottal sounds: /h/ /?/ In sum, the articulator and point of articulation together make up the place of articulation and are involved in producing and categorizing the consonant sounds. When the lower and upper lips are put against each other, the bilabial sounds are produced. The labiodental sounds are articulated by raising the lower lip against the upper teeth. While the apicodental sounds are created from the apex and the upper teeth, the apex with the alveolar ridge together produce apicoalveolar sounds. The following chart concludes the category of the consonant sounds in accordance to their articulator and point of articulation. Articulator

Point of Articulation

Consonant Category (Place of Articulation)

Lower lip

Upper lip

Bilabial

Lower lip

Upper teeth

Labiodental

Apex

Upper teeth

Apicodental

Apex

Alveolar ridge

Apicoalveolar

Front of tongue

Alveopalatal area

Frontoalveopalatal

Front of tongue

Hard palate

Frontopalatal

Dorsum

Velum

Dorsovelar

Glottis

-

Glottal

Table 7 The consonant category in accordance to the articulator and point of articulation The section below discusses the manner of articulation of each English consonant sound. 3.3 The Manner of Articulation The manner of articulation describes how closely the speech organs approach one another and how the airflow is obstructed when the sounds are produced. The table


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

displays the manners of articulation, the explanation, and the sounds that belong to each manner. Manner of Articulation Stop

Nasal Stop

Fricative Affricate

Liquid

Glide (Semi-Vowel)

How sounds are articulated

Sounds

Completely blocking the flow of air and then releasing it - Aspiration -the stronger puff of air on releasing the bilabial stop

/p/ /b/ /d/ /t/ /k/ /g/

Completely blocking the air from leaving the mouth, and releasing it out through the nose Constricting the vocal tract, causing friction as the air passes through it Fully stopping the air from leaving the vocal tract, then releasing it through a constricted opening The tongue produces a partial closure in the mouth resulting in a resonant, vowel-like consonant. • /r/is a central liquid. • /l/ is a lateral liquid because it is produced by putting the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, then letting the airstream flow around the sides of the tongue.

[pH] [tH] [kH] /m/ /n/ /N/  /f/ /v/ /s/ /z/ /∫/ /ʒ/ /θ/ /ð/ /h/ /ʧ / /ʤ/

/r/ /l/

/w/ /j/ • The sound with little or no obstruction to the airstream in the mouth • Beginning a sound from a vowel position and ending it in a consonant’s

Table 8 The manners of articulation, their explanation, and the sounds produced Up to this point, you should be able to articulate the sounds by applying the knowledge presented above. For more details, learners of English also need to be able to describe the sounds using the descriptive parameters as will be discussed in the next section.

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

4. The Articulatory Descriptions of English Consonant Sounds To describe each sound, the descriptive parameters are taken into account. Those include the state of the vocal cords, the place of articulation, and the manner of articulation. The chart below provides the descriptive parameters used to describe each of the English consonant sounds. Chart 3 Phonetic symbols and the descriptive parameters of English consonant sounds State of the Vocal Cords

Bilabial

Labiodental

Apicodental (Interdental)

Apicoalveolar

Frontoalveopalatal Frontopalatal

Dorsovelar Glottal

Voiceless Voiced

/p/

/t/

/k/

/b/

/d/

/g/

Voiced

/m/

/n/

/N/

Voiceless Voiced

/f/

/T/

/s/

/S/

/v/

/D/

/z/

/Z/

Voiced

/l/ / r/ /w/

FRICATIVE

AFFRICATE

/dZ/

Voiced

STOP (Plosive) NASAL STOP

/h/

/tS/

Voiceless Voiced

/?/

Manner of Articulation

LIQUID /j/

GLIDE (Semi-Vowel)

According to the descriptive parameters, the English consonant sounds can be described as follows: 1. /p/ is a voiceless bilabial stop sound 2. /b/ is a voiced bilabial stop sound 3. /t/ is a voiceless apicoalveolar stop sound 4. /d/ is a voiced apicoalveolar stop sound 5. /k/ is a voiceless dorsovelar stop sound 6. /g/ is a voiced dorsovelar stop sound 7. /?/ is a voiceless glottal stop sound 8. /m/ is a voiced bilabial nasal stop sound 9. /n/ is a voiced apicoalveolar nasal stop sound 10. /N/ is a voiced dorsovelar nasal stop sound 11. /f/ is a voiceless labiodental fricative sound 12. /v/ is a voiced labiodental fricative sound 13. /T/ is a voiceless apicodental fricative sound 14. /D/ is a voiced apicodental fricative sound 15. /s/ is a voiceless apicoalveolar fricative sound 16. /z/ is a voiced labiodental fricative sound 17. /S/ is a voiceless frontoalveopalatal fricative sound


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

18. /Z/ is a voiced frontoalveopalatal fricative sound 19. /h/ is a voiceless glottal fricative sound 20. /tS/ is a voiceless frontoalveopalatal affricate sound 21. /dZ/ is a voiced frontoalveopalatal affricate sound 22. /l/ is a voiced apicoalveolar lateral liquid sound 23. /r/ is a voiced apicoalveolar central liquid sound 24. /w/ is a voiced bilabial glide sound 25. /j/ is a voiced frontopalatal glide sound In conclusion, to have perfect pronunciation of English consonant sounds, it is recommended that speakers pay attention to the speech organs and how they work together to produce the sounds, the vibration of the vocal cords, and how the airflow is obstructed. The final section of this chapter presents the major accents of English consonant pronunciations. 5. The Varieties of English Consonant Pronunciations The major difficulty the Thai learners encounter when learning English pronunciation is the variety of accents. The term ‘accent’ refers to differences in pronunciations which can vary with cultures, regions and speakers. Since English is spoken in so many countries and by so many people, it has extensive variation in pronunciation. Regardless of its wide variation, two English accents are taken as standard English pronunciations: The Received Pronunciation (RP), also known as Oxford English or BBC English, is the standard pronunciation of British English represented in the pronunciation schemes of most British dictionaries; and The General American (GA) English is the standard accent in North America, and it is the pronunciation used in most of American movies, TV series, and national news. As it is not the focus of this book, the main differences between GA and RP consonant pronunciations briefly presented as follows: 5.1 Pronunciation of the Consonant ‘R’ The main difference between GA and RP is that GA has a rhotic accent which the /r/ is pronounced in all positions. Scottish and Irish English, Canadian and American English, south-west and north-west of England, some varieties of Caribbean English and a small number of New Zealand accents are included in the rhotic accents of English (Nordquist, 2018). On the other hand, RP is a non-rhotic accent as the /r/ is dropped if it follows the vowel. It is, however, pronounced when it does not follow the vowel. The other rule for /r/ pronunciation is that it is pronounced if it locates at the end of a word and if the next word starts with a vowel. The table below shows examples of the words

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

containing the letter ‘r’ in different positions and how they are pronounced by the rhotic and non-rhotic accent speakers. Word

Pronunciation Rhotic Accent

Non-Rhotic Accent

board

/bɔ:rd/

/bɔ:d/

word

/wrd/

/wd/

pork

/pɔ:rk/

/pɔ:k/

dark

/dɑ:rk/

/dA:k/

chapter

/tSQptǝr/

/tSQptǝ/

speaker

/spi:kǝr/

/spi:kǝ/

number

/nmbər/

/nmbǝ/

neighbor

/neIbər/

/neIbǝ/

far away

/fA:rǝweI/

/fA:rǝweI/

chapter eight

/tSQptǝreIt/

/tSQptǝreIt/

poor old man

/pɔroUldmQn/

/pɔroUldmQn/

The car is black.

/DǝkArIzblQk/

/DəkArIzblQk/

Table 9 Pronunciation of rhotic and non-rhotic accents 5.2 Pronunciation of the Consonant ‘T’ 1) For GA speakers, the letter t is pronounced as a tap or flap [ɾ] when it is placed in the medial position or between vowels as in letter [ˈleɾǝ], or water [ˈwRǝ]. The flap is produced when the tip of the tongue strikes the alveolar ridge as it passes across it and it sounds like a /d/ sound. In RP, it is pronounced as a normal /t/. 2) It is pronounced as a glottal stop [ʔ] when the letter t is placed at the end of a word, as in foot [fU?] or report [rɪˈpɔ:rʔ], and also in the presence of a stressed syllable followed by patterns [t+vowel+n] or [n] as in curtain [kHr?ǝn] or [kHrt?ǝn] by both GA and RP speakers. 3) The RP speakers tend to omit the [t] sound in the presence of the pattern formed by a stressed vowel followed by the letters nt, as in winter [ˈwɪnə] or center [ˈsenər].


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Those are the brief major differences of the consonant pronunciations between General American English and British English pronunciations. 6. Conclusion In this chapter, the production and articulation of consonant sounds in English were presented. The organs of speech including the articulators and points of articulation provided foundation of articulation of sounds. The knowledge of the place of articulation was given in order to classify the sounds and categorize them. For full understanding, the description of each sound using its descriptive parameters and articulatory dimensions were offered. The chapter ended with the two standard variations of English consonant sound pronunciations, namely GA and RP accents. Recommended websites for the practice of consonant sound productions and pronunciations of both GA and RP pronunciations: • Phonetics: The Sound of American English http://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/resources/english/english.html • Learning English: The Sound of English (British) http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/pronunciation

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

NOTES ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 3 PRODUCTION AND ARTICULATION OF VOWEL SOUNDS 1. Introduction This chapter presents the production and articulation of English vowel sounds. The classification and description of the pure vowel or monophthongal vowel sounds are described. Also, the diphthongal vowel sounds are discussed. The words containing the single and double vowel letters are collected for pronunciation practice. The final section of this chapter discusses the variations of English vowel pronunciations. 2. The Production and Articulation of English Vowel Sounds Vowels are different from consonants. All vowels are oral sounds and they are voiced. In the production of vowel sounds, the articulators do not come very close together. They are made with the vocal tract more open than it is for consonants. To articulate a vowel sound, the tongue, jaw and lips are placed to create a tube between larynx and lips. The airstream from the vocal cords to the lips is to some degree unobstructed. Therefore, vowels are considered to be open sounds. Different vowel sounds or vowel qualities are produced by varying the placement of the body of the tongue and the shape of the lips. The tip of the tongue is placed behind the lower teeth. Vowels can be tense or lax depending on the degree of vocal tract constriction during their articulation. English vowels are divided into two major types: pure vowels or monophthongs and diphthongs. Monophthongs remain qualitatively the same throughout their entire production. Diphthongs are vowels in which there is a change in quality during their duration. In other words, the organs of speech remain in a given position for a time for a pure vowel and there is a glide for a diphthong. 3. The Classification of English Pure Vowels (Monophthongs) English monophthongs are classified according to the four major characteristics: 1. The height of the tongue 2. The part of the tongue raised 3. The shape of the lips 4. The degree of vocal tract constriction

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.1 The height of the tongue can classify the vowels into high, mid, and low vowels. 1) High vowels are produced with the top of the tongue close to the roof of the mouth. 2) Mid vowels are produced with the tongue in a middle position. 3) Low vowels are produced with the tongue in a low position. 3.2 The position of the tongue gives three groups of vowels. 1) Front vowels are produced with the tongue body extended toward the front and raised in the direction of the hard palate. 2) Central vowels are produced with no extension but a concentration on thecentral part of the tongue. 3) Back vowels are produced with the back of the tongue raised in the direction of the soft palate. The figure shows the heights and positions of the tongue.

Figure 10 The heights and positions of the tongue From the figure shown above, it can be explained as follows: 1. ‘High front’ means the front part of the tongue is raised to a high position. 2. ‘High back’ means the back part of the tongue is raised to a high position. 3. ‘Mid central’ means the central part of the tongue is in the middle position in the mouth. 4. ‘Low central’ means the central part of the tongue is in a low position. Besides the height and part of the tongue, the shape of the lips is also involved in producing a vowel sound.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.3 The shape of the lips can classify vowel sounds into the followings. 1) Rounded vowels are produced with the lips rounded. 2) Unrounded vowels are produced without lips rounding.

Figure 11 Rounded lips

Figure 12 Unrounded lips

Figures above show the different shapes of the lips when producing the vowel sounds. For example, the lips are rounded when producing the vowel sound in ‘moon’ and the lips are unrounded when producing the vowel in ‘man’. Finally, in classifying the vowel sound, the degree of the vocal tract constriction is also taken into account. 3.4 The degree of the vocal tract constriction is used to classify the English vowel sounds into two groups. 1) Tense vowels are produced with a great degree of muscular tension of the tongue. The tense vowels are long vowel sounds such as the ones in ‘car’, ‘free’, ‘zoo’, ‘for’, etc. 2) Lax vowels produced without muscular tension of the tongue are short vowel sounds as in ‘bin’, ‘fan’, ‘book’, etc. The elaboration of all English vowel sounds is elaborated in the next section.

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

The vowel graphemes referred to by linguists are presented in the table below: Vowel Graphemes (IPA Symbols)

Name

/i/

small-cap I

/I/

-

/e/

-

/E/

epsilon

/Q/

ash

/ǝ/

schwa -a reduced vowel sound in an unstressed syllable

//

-

//

caret

/U/

horseshoe

/u/

-

//

open o

/A/

script a

/ɒ/

-

/a/

print a

Table 10 The vowel graphemes and their sounds

Sound of the Symbol as in Words me, free, bleed, sea, receive, grieve bin, print, grid, click, script, since men, bed, red, peg, hem, beg bet, get, set, kept, let, neck, debt man, cap, gap, hand, dam, camp fashion, people, paper, manner, among, alone, general , etc. burn, earn, learn, earth, dirt, first, flirt, nurse, bird, hurt, thirsty fun, hunt, jump, none, gun, hub, stunt, plum, sun, son, cup, gum foot, good, wood, hood, full tooth, food, mood, booth, flue, blue, glue, zoo, boom, soup, loop horse, bought, jaw, fought, taught car, far, alarm, smart, guard, cart, card hot, not, got, dog, sock, frog (in GA) hot, not, got, dog, sock, frog (in RP) -


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

The diagrams below show all the pure vowel sounds spoken by the speakers of English. The IPA symbols are used to represent each vowel sound which is positioned accordingly to the characteristics of vowel classification presented earlier.

Diagram 1 Pure vowel sounds spoken by speakers of English The next diagram presents the pure vowel of GA English.

Diagram 2 Pure vowel sounds spoken by GA speakers

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Diagram 3 shows the vowel sounds in Received Pronunciation of English

Diagram 3 Pure vowel sounds spoken by RP speakers There are 15 vowel sounds in English, though the /a/ sound is never used in a transcription for a monophthong; it is used as the first sound in diphthong. However, some vowel sounds occurring in GA does not appear in RP as /E/ and /o/. Likewise, some RP vowels like /ɒ/ and /:/ do not appear in GA. Therefore, when RP speakers pronounce the words ‘bet’ and ‘bed’, the transcriptions will be /bet/ and /bed/ (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary) and GA’s transcriptions will be /bɛt/ and /bEd/ (Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary). The other sounds are not different in use. The next section demonstrates the articulatory description of each vowel sound. 4. The Articulatory Descriptions of English Monophthongs Each vowel sound is described on the basis of the following descriptors: 1. The height of the tongue 2. The position of the tongue 3. The shape of the lips 4. The degree of the vocal tract constriction


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

According to the descriptors above, the articulatory descriptions of all vowel sounds in English are presented in the following table. No.

Vowel Sound

Articulatory Description

1

/i/

High front unrounded tense vowel

2

/I/ /e/

High front unrounded lax vowel

// /æ/ /a/ /ə/

Mid front unrounded lax vowel

// /ʌ/ (GA) /ʌ/ (RP) /u/

Mid central unrounded tense vowel

High back rounded lax vowel

12

/U/ /o/

13

//

14

// /ɑ/

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

15

Mid front unrounded tense vowel Low front unrounded lax vowel Low front unrounded tense vowel Mid central unrounded lax vowel Mid back unrounded lax vowel Low central unrounded lax vowel High back rounded tense vowel

Mid back rounded tense vowel Low back rounded lax vowel Low back rounded tense vowel

Table 11 Articulatory descriptions of English vowel sounds In sum, pure vowels are single vowel sounds. When they are produced, the tongue, jaw and lips are placed to create a tube between larynx and lips. The airstream from the vocal cords to the lips is unobstructed. Different vowel sounds are produced by different parts of the tongue with different heights and different shapes of the lips. Vowels can be tense or lax depending on the degree of vocal tract constriction during their articulation. The short vowel sound is a lax vowel and the long sound is a tense vowel. Besides pure single vowel sounds, English also have diphthongs or gliding vowels. More details of English diphthongs are presented and illustrated in the next section. 5. English Diphthongs A diphthong is also known as a gliding vowel. It is a sound formed by the combination of two vowels in a single syllable, in which the sound begins as one vowel and moves towards another. That is to say, it starts at or near the articulatory position

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

for one vowel and moves toward the position of another vowel. The diphthongs of GA and RP accents are presented below. 5.1 General American (GA) Diphthongs 1. /eI/ as in day, say, bay, clay, make, cake, lake, aid, aim, claim, rain, eight, etc. 2. /I/ as in boy, coin, oil, foil, moist, soy, soil, boil, noise, toy, etc. 3. /aI/ as in buy, guy, die, cry, sky, fly, mine, ride, drive, white, high, wine, etc. 4. /aU/ as in found, south, crowd, now, how, scout, sprout, town, house, etc. 5. /oU/ as in go, no, flow, clone, phone, home, dough, show, bows, though, etc. More words are presented in the next section. 5.2 Received Pronunciation (RP) Diphthongs 1. /eI/ 2. /I/ 3. /aI/ These diphthongs are also present in GA accent. 4. /aU/ 5. /ǝU/ 6. /Iǝ/ as in ear, fear, clear, dear, rear, tear, gear, near, beer, deer, here, sphere, etc. 7. /Uə/ as in poor, sure, tour, etc. As can be seen above, /Iǝ/ and /Uǝ/ are not present in GA accent. According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary RP speakers pronounce ‘fear’ as /fIǝ/, but GA speakers pronounce it /fIr/. The word ‘sure’ is pronounced by GA speakers as /SUr/ and as /SUǝ/ by RP speakers. The rest of the diphthongs are not different in both accents. For example: ‘town’ is pronounced as /taUn/ by both RP and GA speakers and so on. The last section of this chapter provides words with vowel digraphs that give both monophthongal and diphthongal vowel sounds. 6. Vowel Digraphs Vowel digraphs refer to: 1) The doubled vowel letters, such as the oo  and the ee. These digraphs do not give the same sound as it does when it is a single letter. That means, they sound different from when they stay alone. For examples: ‘hoot’ is pronounced as /hut/ while ‘hot’ is /ht/ ‘feed’ is /fid/ while ‘fed’ is /fed/.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Learners of English may find it challenging because some vowel digraphs can represent more than one sound, such as the –oo- in ‘foot’ is pronounced differently from the –oo- in ‘food’. 2. The two different vowel letters that together produce a single vowel sound, such as –ea- as in ‘mead’ or -au- as in ‘sauce’. 3) Some digraphs represent diphthongs, such as the vowel digraphs –ou- as in ‘sprout’, –oi- as in ‘coin’, –ay- as in ‘say’, or –ow- as in ‘flow’. The following charts are the collection of vowel digraphs and their pronunciations that are very useful for the learners of English and the English teachers may as well find it useful. 6.1 Vowel Digraphs Creating a Single Vowel Sound 6.1.1 –EE- Gives an /i:/ Sound Spelling

Pronunciation

Spelling

Pronunciation

see

/si/

bleed

/bliːd/

seed

/sid/

queen

/kwiːn/

weed

/wid/

creep

/kriːp/

cheek

/tik/

sweet

/swiːt/

feel

/fil/ OR [fi]

screen

/skriːn/

bee

/bi/

street

/striːt/

been

/bin/

speech

/spiːtʃ/

deep

/dip/

screech

/skriːtʃ/

breeze

/briz/

coffee

/ˈkɒfi/ OR /ˈkɑːfi/

freeze

/friz/

degree

/dɪˈɡriː/

squeeze

/skwiz/

decree

/dɪˈkriː/

/btwin/ /ˌθɜːˈtiːn/ OR /ˌθɜːrˈtiːn/ /ˌfɔːˈtiːn/ OR /ˌfɔːrˈtiːn/ /ˌrefjuˈdʒiː/ /əˈɡriː/

absentee

/ˌæbsənˈtiː/

committee

/kəˈmɪti/

referee chimpanzee guarantee

/ˌrefəˈriː/ /ˌtʃɪmpænˈziː/ /ˌɡærənˈtiː/

between thirteen fourteen refugee agree

41


42

English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.1.2 –OO- Gives an /uː/ Sound Spelling food mood soon zoom roof proof loose moose noose hoot goose bamboo kangaroo shampoo tattoo noon tooth noodle pool croon choose hoof stool

Pronunciation /fuːd/ /muːd/ /suːn/ /zuːm/ /ruːf/ /pruːf/ /luːs/ /muːs/ /nuːs/ /huːt/ /ɡuːs/ /ˌbæmˈbuː/ /ˌkæŋɡəˈruː/ /ʃæmˈpuː/ /təˈtuː/ /tæˈtuː/ /nuːn/ /tuːθ/ /ˈnuːdǝl/ /puːl/ /kruːn/ /tʃuːz/ /huːf/ /stuːl/

Spelling

Pronunciation

cool tool boom gloom spoon scoop doodle

/kuːl/ /tuːl/ /buːm/ /gluːm/ /spuːn/ /skuːp/

poodle

/ˈpuːdəl/ [ˈpHuːdə] /bəˈbuːn/ /bæˈbuːn/

baboon raccoon balloon cartoon lagoon monsoon snooze room shoot caboose loot scoot cocoon school fool

/ˈduːdəl/ [ˈduːdə]

/rəˈkuːn/ [ræˈkHuːn] /bəˈluːn/ /kɑːˈtuːn/ [kɑːrˈtHuːn] /ləˈɡuːn/ /ˌmɒnˈsuːn/ /ˌmɑːnˈsuːn/ /snuːz/ /ruːm/ /ʃuːt/ /kəˈbuːs/ /luːt/ /skuːt/ /kəˈkuːn/ /skuːl/ /fuːl/

[fuː]

6.1.3 –OO Gives an /ʊ/ Sound Spelling

book took hook cook look sook (inf) foot wool stood

Pronunciation /bʊk/ /tʊk/ /hʊk/ /kʊk/ /lʊk/ /sʊk/ /fʊt/ /wʊl/ /stʊd/

Spelling

shook chook brook crook nook room wood hood good

Pronunciation /ʃʊk/ /tʃʊk/ /brʊk/ /krʊk/ /nʊk/ /rʊm/ /wʊd/ /hʊd/ /ɡʊd/


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.1.4 –EA- Gives an /i:/ Sound Spelling

Pronunciation

wreathe

/riːtʃ/ /tiːtʃ/ /riːd/ /diːl/ /hiːl/ /kriːm/ /stiːm/ /striːm/ /tʃiːt/ /wiːt/ /liːst/ /pliːz/ /ɡriːs/ /briːð/ /liːv/ /driːm/ /miːn/ /ɡliːm/ /liːk/ /əˈniːl/ /fiːt/ /fliː/ /tʃiːp/ /kliːn/ /diːn/ /biːd/ /riːθ/ /riːð/

guinea

/ˈɡɪni/

conceal

/kənˈsiːl/ /piːs/

reach teach read deal heal cream steam stream cheat wheat least please grease breathe leave dream mean gleam leak anneal feat flea cheap clean dean bead wreath

peace leader beneath beaver

/ˈliːdə/ /ˈliːdər/ /bɪˈniːθ/ /ˈbiːvə/ /ˈbiːvər/

Spelling beneath decrease defeat disease increase ordeal reason season reveal repeat treat appeal east Easter squeak steal ease heal peak bean beat leap each bleach seat beacon wreaths feature heap meal mead beach bereave squeal

Pronunciation /bɪˈniːθ/ /dɪˈkriːs/ /dɪˈfiːt/ /dɪˈziːz/ /ɪnˈkriːs/ /ɔːˈdiːl/ OR [ɔːrˈdiː] /ˈriːzǝn/ /ˈsiːzǝn/ /rɪˈviːl/ /rɪˈpiːt/ /triːt/ /əˈpiːl/ /iːst/ /iːstǝ/ /skwiːk/ /stiːl/ /iːz/ /hiːl/ /piːk/ /biːn/ /biːt/ /liːp/ /iːtʃ/ /bliːtʃ/ /siːt/ /ˈbiːkən/ /riːðz/ /ˈfiːtʃə/ /ˈfiːtʃər/ /hiːp/ /miːl/ /miːd/ /biːtʃ/ /bɪˈriːv/ /skwiːl/

43


44

English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.1.5 –EA- Gives an /e/ Sound Spelling head bread dead death deaf dealt breast spread breadth breath health meant measles mileage

Pronunciation /hed/ /bred/ /ded/ /deθ/ /def/ /delt/ /brest/ /spred/ /bredθ/ /breθ/ /helθ/ /ment/ /ˈmiːzlz/ /ˈmaɪlɪdʒ/

Spelling ahead ready already dread measure pleasure instead endeavor feather heaven heavy jealous leather meadow

Pronunciation /əˈhed/ /ˈredi/ /ɔːlˈredi/ /dred/ /ˈmeʒə/ /ˈpleʒə/ /ɪnˈsted/ /ɪnˈdevə/ /ˈfeðə/

/ɪnˈdevər/ /ˈfeðər/

/ˈhevn/ /ˈhevi/ /ˈdʒeləs/ /ˈleðə/ /ˈmedəʊ/

/ˈleðər/ /ˈmedoʊ/

/ˈmeʒər/ /ˈpleʒər/

6.1.6 –AU- Gives an /:/ Sound Spelling sauce haul maul Paul daub taut fraud cause pause fault vault daunt gaunt haunt jaunt launch paunch staunch

Pronunciation /sɔːs/ /hɔːl/ /mɔːl/ /pɔːl/ /dɔːb/ /tɔːt/ /frɔːd/ /kɔːz/ /pɔːz/ /fɔːlt/ /vɔːlt/ /dɔːnt/ /gɔːnt/ /hɔːnt/ /dʒɔːnt/ /lɔːntʃ/ /pɔːntʃ/ /stɔːntʃ/

Spelling August autumn auction augment caution exhaust laundry author authority authentic autograph automatic automobile autopilot audio audible audience audition

Pronunciation /ˈɔːɡəst/ /ˈɔːtəm / /ˈɔːkʃn/ /ɔːɡˈment/ /ˈkɔːʃən/ /ɪɡˈzɔːst/ /ˈlɔːndri/ /ˈɔːθə/ /ɔːˈθɒrəti/ /ɔːˈθentɪk/ /ˈɔːtəɡrɑːf/ /ˌɔːtəˈmætɪk/ /ˈɔːtəməbiːl/ /ˈɔːtəʊpaɪlət/ /ˈɔːdiəʊ/ /ˈɔːdəbǝl/ /ˈɔːdiəns/ /ˈɔːdɑ/

/ˈɔːθər/

/ˈɔːdioʊ/


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.1.7 –AW- Gives an /:/ Sound Spelling raw claw draw thaw straw hawk squawk dawn fawn lawn pawn yawn drawn prawn spawn crawl trawl shawl

Pronunciation /rɔː/ /klɔː/ /drɔː/ /θɔː/ /strɔː/ /hɔːk/ /skwɔːk/ /dɔːn/ /fɔːn/ /lɔːn/ /pɔːn/ /jɔːn/ /drɔːn/ /prɔːn/ /spɔːn/ /krɔːl/ /trɔːl/ /ʃɔːl/

Spelling scrawl awning awful awkward dawdle drawer hawthorn law strawberry tomahawk trawler brawl scrawny saw paw jaw

Pronunciation /skrɔːl/ /ˈɔːnɪŋ/ /ˈɔːfəl/ /ˈɔːkwəd / /ˈdɔːdəl/ /drɔː/ /ˈhɔːθɔːn/ /lɔː/ /ˈstrɔːbəri/ /ˈtɒməhɔːk/ /ˈtrɔːlə/ /brɔːl/ /ˈskrɔːni/ /sɔː/ /pɔː/ /dʒɔː/

/ˈɔːkwərd/ /drɔːr/ /ˈhɔːθɔːrn/ /ˈstrɔːberi/ /ˈtɑːməhɔːk/ /ˈtrɔːlər/

6.1.8 -EI- Gives an /i:/ Sound Spelling

deceive receive perceive ceiling protein seize either neither

Pronunciation /dɪˈsiːv/ /rɪˈsiːv/ /pəˈsiːv/ /pərˈsiːv/ /ˈsiːlɪŋ/ /ˈprəʊtiːn/ /ˈproʊtiːn/ /siːz/ /ˈiːðə/ /ˈiːðər/ /ˈaɪðə/ /ˈaɪðər/

Spelling

Pronunciation

receipt deceit conceited conceive forfeit leisure

/rɪˈsiːt/ /dɪˈsiːt/ /kənˈsiːtɪd/ /kənˈsiːv/ /ˈfɔːfɪt/ /ˈfɔːrfət/ /ˈleʒə/ /ˈliːʒər/

45


46

English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.1.9 –EY- Gives an /i:/ Sound Pronunciation

Spelling

Pronunciation

Spelling

key

/ki/

chimney

/tmni/

money

/mni/

alley

/li/

honey

/hni/

valley

/vli/

parsley

/psli/

/prsli/

pulley

/pli/

donkey

/dki/ /dki/

/dki/

trolley

/trli/

abbey

/bi/

monkey

/mki/

volleyball

/vlibl/

/vlibl/

medley

/medli/

attorney

/tni/

/tni/

turkey

/tki/

bailey

/beli/

kidney

/kdni/

barley

/bli/

hockey

/hki/

/hki/

galley

/li/

bogey

/bi/

/trki/

jockey

/dki/

/dki/

journey

/dni/

/dni/

/trli/

/brli/

6.2 Vowel Digraphs Creating a Diphthongal Vowel Sound There are also digraphs representing diphthongs, or two vowel sounds combined and pronounced a distinct one vowel sound. A number of common vowel digraphs of English are exemplified below. 6.2.1 –AI– Gives an /e/ Sound Spelling

Pronunciation

Spelling

Pronunciation

aid

/eId/

faint

/feInt/

aim

/eIm/

waist

/weIst/

paid

/peId/

plain

/pleIn/

fail

/feIl/

[feI]

strain

/streIn/

mail

/meIl/

[meI]

brain

/breIn/ /breId/

[pHeId]

sail

/seIl/

[seI]

braid

tail

/teIl/

[tHeI]

train

/treIn/

snail

/sneIl/

[sneI]

again

/əgeIn/ /əgeInst/ /əfreId/

claim

/kleIm/ [kHleIm]

against

main

/meIn/

afraid

[pHleIn]

[tHreIn]


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Spelling

Pronunciation

Spelling

Pronunciation

pain

/peIn/ [pHeIn]

entail

/InteIl/

chain

/tSeIn/

explain

/IkspleIn/ /kəmpleIn/ [kəmpHleIn]

gait

[IntHeI]

/geIt/

complain

gain

/geIn/

contain

/kənteIn/

wait

/weIt/

detail

/diteIl/ /əbteIn/

stain

[kəntHeIn] [dItHeI]

/steIn/

obtain

rain

/reIn/

maintain

/meInteIn/

paint

/peInt/ [pHeInt]

remain

/rImeIn/

[əbtHeIn] [meIntHeIn]

6.2.2 –AY- Gives an /e/ Sound Spelling

day lay pay array say hay may ray way away okay (OK) hooray always display decay delay relay betray essay dismay

Pronunciation /deɪ/ /leɪ/ /peɪ/ /əˈreɪ/ /seɪ/ /heɪ/ /meɪ/ /reɪ/ /weɪ/ /weɪ/ /əʊˈkeɪ/ /oʊˈkeɪ/ /huˈreɪ/ /ˈɔlːweɪz/ /dɪˈspleɪ/ /dɪˈkeɪ/ /dɪˈleɪ/ /rɪˈleɪ/ /bɪˈtreɪ/ /ˈeseɪ/ /dɪsˈmeɪ/

Spelling

clay gray pray play tray slay stay sway spray stray satay crayon portray Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Pronunciation /kleɪ/ /ɡreɪ/ /preɪ/ /pleɪ/ /treɪ/ /sleɪ/ /steɪ/ /sweɪ/ /spreɪ/ /streɪ/ /ˈsæteɪ/ /ˈsɑːteɪ/ /ˈkreɪən/ /pɔːˈtreɪ/ /ˈsʌndeɪ/ /ˈmʌndeɪ/ /ˈtjuːzdeɪ/ /ˈwenzdeɪ/ /ˈθɜːzdeɪ/ /ˈfraɪdeɪ/ /ˈsætədeɪ/

/ˈtuːzdeɪ/ /ˈθɜːrzdeɪ/ /ˈsætərdeɪ/

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48

English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.2.3 –EI- Gives an /e/ Sound Spelling

vein rein sheikh beige veil reign deign feint stein feign

Pronunciation /veɪn/ /reɪn/ /ʃeɪk/ /beɪʒ/ /veɪl/ /reɪn/ /deɪn/ /feɪnt/ /staɪn/ /feɪn/

/ʃiːk/

Pronunciation

Spelling

neigh eight weigh weight freight neighbor (GA) sleigh inveigh skein unveil reindeer

/neɪ/ /eɪt/ /weɪ/ /weɪt/ /freɪt/ /ˈneɪbər/ /sleɪ/ /ɪnˈveɪ/ /skeɪn/ /ˌʌnˈveɪl/ /ˈreɪndɪə/

/ˈreɪndɪər/

6.2.4 –EY- Gives an /e/ Sound Spelling

Pronunciation

grey

/reɪ/

prey

/pHreɪ/ /kənˈveɪ/

convey survey obey

/srveɪ/ /əˈbeɪ/

Pronunciation

Spelling

fey hey ley they trey whey

/feɪ/ /heɪ/ /leɪ/ /ðeɪ/ /treɪ/ /weɪ/


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.2.5 –EW- Gives /uː/ and / juː/ Sounds Spelling

blew brew crew grew shrew threw chew cashew jewel drew ewe flew Jew lewd

Pronunciation /bluː/ /bruː/ /kruː/ /ɡruː/ /ʃruː/ /θruː/ /tʃuː/ /ˈkæʃuː/ /ˈdʒuːəl/ /druː/ /juː/ /fluː/ /dʒuː/ /luːd/

/ljuːd/

Spelling

nephew interview hew dew few new knew view curfew curlew review phew mew pew

Pronunciation /ˈnefjuː/ /ˈɪntəvjuː/ /hjuː/ /djuː/ /fjuː/ /njuː/ /njuː/ /vjuː/ /ˈkɜːfjuː/ /ˈkɜːljuː/ /rɪˈvjuː/ /fjuː/ /mjuː/ /pjuː/

/ˈnevjuː/

6.2.6 –OI- Gives an /ɔɪ/ Sound Spelling

boil foil soil spoil toil coin join joint void avoid hoist joist moist choice

Pronunciation /bɔɪl/ /fɔɪl/ /sɔɪl/ /spɔɪl/ /tɔɪl/ /kɔɪl/ /dʒɔɪn/ /dʒɔɪnt/ /vɔɪd/ /əˈvɔɪd/ /hɔɪst/ /dʒɔɪst/ /mɔɪst/ /tʃɔɪs/

Spelling

voice noise appoint moisture ointment poison poisonous rejoice tabloid toilet turquoise turmoil broil android

Pronunciation /vɔɪs/ /nɔɪz/ /əˈpɔɪnt/ /ˈmɔɪstʃə/ /ˈɔɪntmənt/ /ˈpɔɪzən/ /ˈpɔɪzənəs/ /rɪˈdʒɔɪs/ /ˈtæblɔɪd/ /ˈtɔɪlət/ /ˈtɜːkwɔɪz/ /ˈtɜːmɔɪl/ /brɔɪl/ /ˈændrɔɪd/

/ˈmɔɪstʃər/

/ˈtɜːrkwɔɪz/ /ˈtɜːrmɔɪl/

49


50

English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.2.7 –OY- Gives an /ɔɪ/ Sound Spelling

boy joy toy buoy foyer oyster convoy coyote envoy

Pronunciation /bɔɪ/ /dʒɔɪ/ /tɔɪ/ /bɔɪ/ also /ˈbuːi/ /ˈfɔɪeɪ/ /ˈfɔɪər/ /ˈɔɪstə/ /ˈɔɪstər/ /ˈkɒnvɔɪ/ /ˈkɑːnvɔɪ/ /kɔɪˈəʊti/ /ˈkaɪoʊt/ /ˈenvɔɪ/ /ˈenvɔɪ/

Pronunciation

Spelling

annoy employee enjoy destroy loyal royalty soya voyage oyster

/əˈnɔɪ/ /ɪmˈplɔɪiː/ /ɪnˈdʒɔɪ/ /dɪˈstrɔɪ/ /ˈlɔɪəl/ /ˈrɔɪəlti/ /ˈsɔɪə/ /ˈvɔɪɪdʒ/ /ˈɔɪstə/

/ˈlɔɪəl/ /ˈrɔɪəlti/ /ˈsɔɪə/ /ˈɔɪstər/

6.2.8 –OU- Gives an /aU/ Sound Spelling

Pronunciation

about abound ground account noun afoul house

/əˈbaʊt/ /əˈbaʊnd/ /ɡraʊnd/ /əˈkaʊnt/ /naʊn/ /əˈfaʊl/ /haʊs/

houses aloud arouse amount announce lousy (inf) cloud announce-ment around voucher

/ˈhaʊzɪz/ /əˈlaʊd/ /əˈraʊz/ /əˈmaʊnt/ /əˈnaʊns/ /ˈlaʊzi/ /klaʊd/ /əˈnaʊnsmənt/ /əˈraʊnd/ /ˈvaʊtʃə/ /ˈvaʊtʃər/ /maʊθ/ /maʊðz/ /maʊs/ /ˈbeɪlaʊt/ /faʊl/ /spaʊs/ /spaʊz/

mouth mouths mouse bailout foul spouse

Spelling blouse bough bounce boundary pouch founder compound couch council counselor doubt crouch drought fountain gout grouchy hour lounge route

Pronunciation /blaʊz/ /baʊ/ /baʊns/ /ˈbaʊndri/ /paʊtʃ/ /ˈfaʊndə(r)/ /ˈkɒmpaʊnd/ /ˈkɑːmpaʊnd/ /kaʊtʃ/ /ˈkaʊns«l/ /ˈkaʊnsələ(r)/ /daʊt/ /kraʊtʃ/ /draʊt/ /ˈfaʊntən/ /ɡaʊt/ /ˈɡraʊtʃi/ /ˈaʊə/ /ˈaʊər/ /laʊndʒ/ /raʊt/ (GA)


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

6.2.9 –OW- Gives an /aU/ Sound Spelling

owl down eyebrows brown allow now vow howl growl prowl scowl clown frown gown lowered mellow powder vowel shower

Pronunciation

/aʊl/ /daʊn/ /ˈaɪbraʊz/ /braʊn/ /əˈlaʊ/ /naʊ/ /vaʊ/ /haʊl/ /ɡraʊl/ /praʊl/ /skaʊl/ /klaʊn/ /fraʊn/ /ɡaʊn/ /ˈləʊərd/ /ˈloʊərd/ /ˈmeləʊ/ /ˈmeloʊ/ /ˈpaʊdə/ /ˈpaʊdər/ /ˈvaʊəl/ /ˈʃaʊə/ /ˈʃaʊər/

Spelling

town crowd avow fowl flower bow bowel cow coward towel dowry drowsy endow how howl mallow power prow window

Pronunciation

/taʊn/ /kraʊd/ /əˈvaʊ/ /faʊl/ /ˈflaʊə/ /ˈflaʊər/ /baʊ/ /baʊ/ /ˈbaʊəl/ /ˈbaʊəl/ /kaʊ/ /ˈkaʊəd/ /ˈkaʊərd/ /ˈtaʊəl/ /ˈtaʊəl/ /ˈdaʊri/ /ˈdaʊri/ /ˈdraʊzi/ /ˈdraʊzi/ /ɪnˈdaʊ/ /ɪnˈdaʊ/ /haʊ/ /haʊl/ /ˈmæləʊ/ /ˈmæloʊ/ /ˈpaʊə/ /ˈpaʊər/ praʊ/ /praʊ/ /ˈwɪndəʊ/ /ˈwɪndoʊ/

6.2.10 –OW- Gives an /oU/ Sound Spelling

blow flow show throw arrow below bellow elbow fellow follow hollow meadow narrow pillow

Pronunciation

Spelling

/bləʊ/ /bloʊ/ /fləʊ/ /floʊ/ /ʃəʊ/ /ʃoʊ/ /θrəʊ/ /θroʊ/ /ˈærəʊ/ /ˈæroʊ/ /bɪˈləʊ/ /bɪˈloʊ/ /ˈbeləʊ/ /ˈbeloʊ/ /ˈelbəʊ/ /ˈelboʊ/ /ˈfeləʊ/ /ˈfeloʊ/ /ˈfɒləʊ/ /ˈfɑːloʊ/ /ˈhɒləʊ/ /ˈhɑːloʊ/ /ˈmedəʊ/ /ˈmedoʊ/ /ˈnærəʊ/ /ˈnæroʊ/ /ˈpɪləʊ/ /ˈpɪloʊ/

shadow sorrow swallow bungalow tomorrow glow sow borrow snow bestow bowl burrow crow

Pronunciation

/ˈʃædəʊ/ /ˈʃædoʊ/ /ˈsɒrəʊ/ /ˈsɑːroʊ/ /ˈswɒləʊ/ /ˈswɑːloʊ/ /ˈbʌŋɡələʊ/ /ˈbʌŋɡəloʊ/ /təˈmɒrəʊ/ /təˈmɔːroʊ/ / təˈmɑːroʊ/ /ɡləʊ/ /ɡloʊ/ /səʊ/ /soʊ/ /ˈbɒrəʊ/ /ˈbɑːroʊ/ /ˈbɔːroʊ/ /snəʊ/ /snoʊ/ /bɪˈstəʊ/ /bɪˈstoʊ/ /bəʊl/ /boʊl/ /ˈbʌrəʊ/ /ˈbɜːroʊ/ /krəʊ/ /kroʊ/

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Spelling

Pronunciation

know known mow row

/nəʊ/ /noʊ/ /nəʊn/ /noʊn/ /məʊ/ /moʊ/ /rəʊ/ /roʊ/

rainbow

/ˈreɪnbəʊ/ /ˈreɪnboʊ/

Pronunciation

Spelling

own gallows grow growth owe

/əʊn/ /oʊn/ /ˈɡæləʊz/ /ˈɡæloʊz/ /ɡrəʊ/ /ɡroʊ/ /ɡrəʊθ/ /ɡroʊθ/ /əʊ/ /oʊ/

stow

/stəʊ/ /stoʊ/

tow

/təʊ/ /toʊ/

6.2.11 Other Sounds Spelling

Pronunciation

acoustic court course rouge though thought through

/əˈkuːstɪk/ /kɔːt/ /kɔːs/ /ruːʒ/ /ðəʊ/ /ðoʊ/ /θɔːt/ /θruː/

ought to

/ˈɔːt tə/ /ˈɔːt tu/ /ˈbʌrə/ /ˈbɜːroʊ/ /brɔːt/ /kɒf/ /kɔːf/ /dəʊ/ /doʊ/ /ɪˈnʌf/ /nɔːt/ /ˈbuːləvɑːd/ /buˈkeɪ/ /buːˈtiːk/ /ˈkæntəluːp/ /ˈkʌrɪdʒ/ /ˈkɜːrɪdʒ/ /ˌkærəˈsel/ /tʌtʃ/ /ˈkɒŋkɔːs/ /ˈkɑːŋkɔːrs/ /ˈkɒntʊə/ /ˈkɑːntʊr/ /mɔːn/ /mɔːrn/ /muːs/

borough brought cough dough enough nought boulevard bouquet boutique cantaloupe courage carousel touch concourse contour mourn mousse

Spelling

Pronunciation

cougar could would coup coups coupon country cousin

/ˈkuːɡə/ /ˈkuːɡər/ /kʊd/ /kəd/ /wʊd/ /wəd/ /kuː/ /kuːz/ /ˈkuːpɒn/ /ˈkjuːpɑːn/ /ˈkʌntri/

couple

/ˈkʌpl/

double soul wound four fourth

/ˈdʌbl/ /səʊl/ /soʊl/ /wuːnd/ /fɔː/ /fɔːr/ /fɔːθ/ /fɔːrθ/

fourteen

/ˌfɔːˈtiːn/

gourmand

/ˈɡʊəmənd/

gourmet

/ˈɡʊəmeɪ/

pour

/pɔː/

route

/ruːt/ (RP & GA)

group journal

/ɡruːp/

/ˈkʌzn/

/ˌfɔːrˈtiːn/ /ˈɡʊrmɑːnd/ /ˈɡʊrmeɪ/ /pɔːr/

nourish

/ˈdʒɜːnl/ /məˈstɑːʃ/ /ˈmʌstæʃ/ /ˈnʌrɪʃ/

/məˈstæʃ/ /ˈnɜːrɪʃ/

mould

/məʊld/

/moʊld/

moustache

/ˈdʒɜːrnl/


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

The words collected and presented above are very useful for pronunciation practice. The diagraphs can either represent a monophthong or a diphthong. The next section shows differences between the GA and RP vowels 7. Differences between RP and GA Vowels 7.1 Change of Diphthong [əU] to [oU] Word

GA

RP

No

[noU]

[nəU]

Flow

[floU]

[fləU]

Home

[hoUm]

[həUm]

Promote

[pHrəmoUt]

[pHrəməUt]

Don’t

[doUnt]

[dəUnt]

Component

[kHəmpHoUnənt]

[kHəmpHəUnənt]

7.2 The Use of Vowels[A]and [] Word

GA

RP

Not

[nAt]

[nt]

Clock

[kHlAk]

[kHk]

Jot

[dZAt]

[dZt]

Consonant

[kHAnsənənt]

[kHənsənənt]

Approximately

[əpHrAksmətli]

[əpHrəksəmətli]

7.3 The Use of Vowels [Q] and [A] Word

GA

RP

can’t

[kHQnt]

[kHAnt]

graph

[grQf]

[grAf]

class

[kHlQs]

[kHlAs]

half

[hQf]

[hAf]

pass

[pHQs]

[pHAs]

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This is only a short and brief example of the vowels in GA and RP accents. But learners should have sufficient knowledge to apply in their everyday pronunciation. 8. Conclusion The chapter presents how the vowel sounds are produced and articulated. The vowels are classified in line with the characteristics of the height of the tongue, the part of the tongue being raised, the shape of the lips, and the degree of vocal tract constriction. The vowels are in two groups: monophthongs and diphthongs. Monophthongs are single pure vowels and diphthongs are gliding vowels. The vowel diagraphs are the two vowels letters that represent either one single sound or gliding vowel sounds. The lists of the words containing vowel diagraphs together with their phonetic transcriptions can be useful for learners and teachers to some extent.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

NOTES ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

NOTES ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 4 ENGLISH WORD STRESS

1. Introduction In the previous chapters, we have focused on the segment level. That is, we have concentrated on the features of vowel and consonant sounds and how they are articulated. In this chapter, the focus is on the words and their stress. 2. Words and Stress Word stress is part of English spoken language. Fluent English speakers use word stress to communicate rapidly and accurately, even in difficult conditions. If, for example, you do not hear a word clearly, you can still understand the word because of the position of the stress. Mistakes in word stress are a common cause of misunderstanding in English. Stressing the wrong syllable in a word can make the word very difficult to hear and understand. Stressing a word differently can change the meaning or type of the word. Even if the speaker can be understood, mistakes with word stress can make the listener feel irritated, or perhaps even amused, and could prevent good communication from taking place. Native speakers of English can tell which syllable in a word receives most stress, even though they do not have any conscious knowledge of exactly what stress is. Similarly, for native English listeners, the most important syllable in a word is the stressed syllable because it is the primary cue for identifying the word. Basically, stressing means to emphasize a sound. Every word in English has just one syllable with a primary stress or emphasis. For example, most native English speakers agree that, in the word ‘photography’, the antepenultimate syllable is the most stressed. Therefore, if you want to be understood when speaking English, and if you want to understand native speakers, it is essential that you improve your stress in your English speaking. 2.1 Levels of Stress in Words In every English word has a stress pattern. The syllable in a word which receives most stress has primary stress. It is the most prominent syllable. The remaining syllable in the word will have secondary stress or is unstressed. For example: In the word ‘Japanese’, the last syllable has primary stress, the first syllable has secondary stress, and the penultimate syllable is unstressed.

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Stressed and unstressed syllables can be distinguished by differences in length, pitch, and loudness, or vowel quality. We can represent primary stress by placing a superscript diacritic (  ) immediately before the start of the syllable that receives primary stress. We use the subscript diacritic ( )in front of the syllable that receives secondary stress and put nothing at the unstressed syllable. For examples: Japanese = /  dZQpǝni:z/ Kangaroo = /  kQNgǝru:/ Telephone = /telǝ foUn/ The table below shows the characteristics of the levels of stress in English words. CHARACTERISTICS OF LEVELS OF STRESS IN WORDS: communication /k mjunIkeISn`/

Primary Stress

Secondary Stress Unstressed

Vowel length

Longest

Long

Short

Pitch level

High

Low

Low

Loudness

Loud (Clear)

Loud (Clear)

Softer

Vowel quality

Full vowel sound

Full vowel sound

Reduced

Adapted from: Lane, Linda. (2010).Tips for Teaching Pronunciation: A Practical Approach. New York: Pearson Longman, p. 18.

Table 12 The characteristics of the levels of stress in ‘communication’ 2.2 Stress Placement and General Principles Misplaced stress can make a word unrecognizable and completely disrupt the speaker’s message. The rules for English stress placement are complex because English has borrowed many words from other languages, especially French, Latin, Spanish, and Greek, with different rules of assigning stress. Here are some general principles of English word stress: Principle 1: The End-based Principle The placement of primary stresses in English words is calculated by counting from the end of the word: the primary stress in a word tends to fall on either the final syllable, the penultimate syllable, or the antepenultimate syllable.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

Principle 2: The Rhythmic Principle While it is possible for English words to end with as many as four unstressed syllables, English words cannot begin with more than one unstressed syllable. Principle 3: The Derivational Principle There is a tendency to place the secondary stress on the syllable which has primary stress in the deriving word. For examples:  character  nation

= =

characterization nationality

2.3 Specific Features of Word Stress and English Word Stress Patterns English is a Germanic language which has borrowed a huge amount of vocabulary from Latinate languages, such as French and Latin. Many of the borrowed words contain Latinate suffixes and prefixes making the word stress patterns more complex. Monosyllabic words are unproblematic because there is only one syllable for the primary stress to fall on. For bisyllabic words and polysyllabic words, there is considerable regularity in English words stress patterns. There are points to remember about word stress: 1. A word can only have one main (primary) stress. In a very long word there can be a secondary stress but it is always a much smaller stress. 2. Only vowels are stressed, not consonants. Common English word stress patterns are illustrated below. 2.3.1 Primary stress When speaking English, a word is divided into syllables. A syllable is a vowel sound and consonant sounds that go with it. Thus, if a word has two vowel sounds, there are two syllables for that word. For examples: Day /deI/ = one syllable Today /tHǝdeI/ = two syllables Saturday /  sQtǝdeI/ = three syllables Beautifully /  bjutǝfli/ = three syllables Vowels with primary stress are longer and louder than unstressed vowels. In citation form, the stressed vowel is also pronounced on a higher pitch. 2.3.2 Secondary stress Vowels in syllables with secondary stress have full vowels, length, and loudness. The major difference between secondary stress and primary stress is pitch. Vowels with secondary stress are pronounced at a lower pitch than vowels with primary stress. Secondary stress is often predictable.

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

2.4 Unstressed Syllables and Vowel Reduction Unstressed vowels are shorter, softer, and pronounced at a lower pitch than stressed vowels. Most vowels in unstressed syllables are reduced to a centralized vowel, usually /ə/. For example, the underlined vowels in ‘again’, ‘nation’, and ‘evidence’ are unstressed. Because of its role in unstressed syllables, /ə/ is the most common vowel sound in English. In addition, native speakers drop internal unstressed vowels in some common words. The dropped vowel is often followed by /r/ or /l/ For examples: family is pronounced as [fmli] every is pronounced as [evri] interesting is pronounced as [IntrstIN] Or in some words, when an unstressed syllable ending in a vowel is followed by another unstressed syllable beginning with a vowel, the two syllables may merge into one. Those words include: Casual = /kQZ.u.el/ becomes Virtual = /vr.tSU.ǝl/ becomes Actual = /Qk.tSU.ǝl/ becomes Adverbial = /ǝd.vr.bi.ǝl/ becomes Colonial = /kǝ.loU.ni.ǝl/ becomes Studious = /stu.di.ǝs/ becomes Obedient = /ǝ.bi.di.ǝnt/ becomes Ingredient = /In.gri.di.ǝnt/ becomes

/kQZ.Uǝl/ /vr.tSUǝl/ /Qk.tSUǝl/ /ǝd.vr.bIǝl/ /kǝ.loU.nIǝl/ /stu.dIǝs/ /ǝ.bi.dIǝnt/ /In.gri.dIǝnt/

3. Word Stress Rules 3.1 Two-syllable Nouns and Adjectives In most two syllable nouns and adjectives, the stress is on the first syllable. They take ●○ pattern. For examples: samples = [smpz] dinner = [dInr] village = [vIlIdZ] rainy = [reIni] lovely = [lvli] famous = [feIms] *NOTE: About 80% or more of two-syllable nouns and adjectives get their stress on the first syllable. There are exceptions to this rule. Most foreign borrowing nouns get the stress on the last syllable. These words take ○● pattern. For examples: ballet = [bleI] buffet = [bəfeI] champagne = [tSQm|peI)n] machine = [məSi:n]


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

garage = [gərAZ] AE [gQrAZ] RP massage = [məsAZ] AE [mQsAZ] RP antique = [Q)ntHik] technique = [teknik] superb = [supH(r)b] asleep = [slip] mistake = [mIsteIk] alone = [loUn] / [ lUn] 3.2 Two-syllable Verbs and Prepositions 3.2.1 In most two syllable verbs and prepositions, the stress is on the second syllable. They take ○● pattern. For examples: relax = [r lQks] designed = [d zaI)nd] pronounced = [pHr naUst] among = [mN] before = [bIf(r)] beside = [bI saId] 3.2.2 Verbs and prepositions usually get the stress on the second syllable, but there are exceptions to this too. For examples: fasten = [ fQsn`] travel = [tHrQv] harden = [ hA:rdn`] straighten = [ streItn`] offer = [fr] study = [stdi] answer = [ Q)nsr] / [Ans] borrow = [ broU] / [brU] visit = [ vIzIt] More examples of the verbs with the ●○ pattern include cancel, copy, answer, enter, listen, happen, and open. 3.2.3 Some words are both nouns and verbs. The words record, contrast, desert, export, object, present, produce, protect, rebel. *NOTE: There is not always a change of stress in words that are both nouns and verbs. For example, answer, picture, promise, reply, travel, and visit have stress on the same syllable whether they are verbs or nouns.

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3.3 Words Starting with Prefixes Usually, prefixes do not change the stress of the words. Here is the list of the words with prefixes. Prefix

Transcription

Word

British

American

Un-

Unforgettable

[ n.f. get.b`]

[ n.fr.geR.b`]

Im-

Impossible

[ I)m|. pHs..b`]

[ Im|. pHAs..b`]

In-

Incompatible

[ IN.km|. pHQt..b`]

Re-

Redo

[ri  du:]

Dis-

Dislike

[dIs  laIk|]

Sub-

Subordinate

[s  b.dI.nt|]

Pre-

Preview

[pHri.  vju]

Pro-

Proactive

[ pHrU  Qk|.tIv8]

[pHroU  Qk|.tIv8]

Under-

Undertake

[ n.d  tHeIk|]

[ n.dr  tHeIk|]

Up-

Upgrade

[p|  grIed8|]

Ex-

Ex-lover

[eks  lv]

[eks  lvr`]

Out-

Outbid

[oUt|  bId8|]

[oUt|  bId8|]

Over-

Overtake

[ U.vtHeIk|]

[ oU.vr  tHeIk|]

[s  br.dn.t|]

Transcription is taken and adapted from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary

Table 13 Words starting with prefixes


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.4 Words Ending with Suffixes The stress is placed on the penultimate syllable (second syllable from end). This applies to words of all syllable lengths. The list of the words is shown in the following table. Suffix

-ial

-ian

-ic -ics

-ion

-ium

Word

Transcription British American

- judicial

[dZu:dI.S`]

- social

[ sU.S`]

- initial

[InIS]

- musician

[mjuzISn`]

- physician

[fIzISn`]

- clinician

[kHInISn`]

- realistic

[ rI lIs.tIk]

[ rI lIs.tIk]

- photographic

[ fU.t grQf.Ik]

[ fU.t grQf.Ik]

- diabetics

[ daI.bet.Ik]

[ daI.bet.Ik]

- mathematics

[ mQT mQt.Iks]

[ mQT mQR.tIks]

- classification

[ kHlQs.I.fIkHeI.Sn`]

[ kHlQs..f kHeI.Sn`]

- nation

[neI.Sn`]

- vision - helium

[soU.S`]

[vIZ.n8|] [hi.lim8|]

- aluminum

[Ql.jmIn.i.m8|]

- premium

[pri.mI.m8|]

*Transcription is taken and adapted from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/

Table 14 Words ending with suffixes and get the stress on the penultimate syllable

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.5 Words Ending with Suffixes The stress is placed on the antepenultimate syllable. Suffix -ble

-ary

-ery -graphy

- ical

-y

-imum

-logy

-tal

Word - durable - accessible - portable - visible - terrible - capable - primary - diary - library - bakery - scenery - calligraphy - bibliography - photography - magical - logical - critical - community - democracy - photography - minimum - maximum - chrysanthemum - biology - cardiologist - radiology - capital - hospital - political

Stress Pattern ●○○ ○●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ○●○○ ○○●○○ ○●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ○●○○ ○●○○ ○●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ○●○○ ○●○○ ○○●○○ ○○●○○ ●○○ ●○○ ○●○○

Table 15 The list of the words which stress on the antepenultimate syllable


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.6 Words Ending in -ee, -ese, -ique, -ette, and -aire Words that use the suffix -ee, -ese-eer, -ique, -ette, or –aire, the primary stress is placed on the endings. This applies to words of all syllable lengths. Suffix -ee

Word - agree - jamboree - warrantee - volunteer - puppeteer - Japanese - Chinese - gazette - banquette - unique - physique - technique - questionnaire

-eer -ese - ette - ique

-aire

Stress Pattern ○● ○○● ○○● ○○● ○○● ○○● ○● ○● ○● ○● ○● ○● ○○●

Table 16 Words Ending in -ee, -ese, -ique, -ette, and –aire 3.7 Words Ending in Suffixes that do Not Change the Stress of the Word The following list of the words contains the suffixes that do not change the stress of the original word. Suffix -ful -ness -ment -ship -less - ish - er -hood -ing -ise / -ize -tive -ly

Word - wonderful - happiness - employment - friendship - colorless - childish - player - childhood - answering - analyse / analyze - active - productively

Stress Pattern ●○○ ●○○ ○●○ ●○ ●○○ ●○ ●○ ●○ ●○○ ●○○ ●○ ○●○○

Table 17 Words Ending in Suffixes that do Not Change the Stress of the Word

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.8 Word Stress for Compound Words 3.8.1 Compound Nouns A compound noun is a noun made out of two nouns in order to form one word. In a compound noun, the first word usually takes on the stress. For examples: seafood, whiteboard, toothpaste, railway, and hotdog. These words take ●○ pattern. 3.8.2 Compound Adjectives A compound adjective is an adjective composed of at least two words. Often, hyphens are used in compound adjectives. In compound adjectives, the stress is placed within the second word. For examples: hot-hearted ○●○ open-minded ○○●○ two-year-old ○●○ 6-page ○● fat-free ○● short-sighted ○●○ environmentally-friendly ○○○●○○●○ 3.8.3 Compound Verbs Sometimes a single verb is a combination of multiple words. Both words might be verbs or one of the words might be a descriptor word. The words may run together as one word or they may be joined by a hyphen. Regardless of the spelling, when used together, the words function as a single verb. The primary stress is on the second part of the word. For examples: babysit ○○● outsmart ○● overdue ○● understand ○○● dry-clean ○● daydream ○● 3.9 Stress switching The stressed syllable is fixed in most words. However,, in some words where secondary stress is followed by word-final primary stress, the two stresses can switch syllables. For examples: I’m sixteen [aIm sIkstin] BUT in 1610 [InsIkstin tHen] New York [nujrk] BUT New York City [nujrk sIti] Stress switching creates more rhythmically pleasant phrase.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

4. Conclusion Most English words have one syllable pronounced louder and clearer than the other syllables. As discussed previously, there are patterns in word stress in English but, there are no fixed rules. Exceptions can usually be found. Here are some general tendencies for word stress in English: Word

Type of Word

mango window hungry

two-syllable nouns and adjectives

present report

words which can be used as both nouns and verbs

toothbrush football

compound nouns

conditions quality illegible statistics

Words with suffixes: -ic; -ical; -ity; -tion; -graphy; -ia; -ial; -ian; -ible; -inal; -ious; -logy; -nomy; -sion

congratulate itemize vocabulary

Words with suffixes: -ary; -ate; -ize; -tude

engineer guarantee employee career

Words with suffixes: -arily; -ee; -eer

Rules stress on the first syllable ●○ mango ˃ the noun has stress on the first syllable ●○ "Give me the present!" ˃the verb has stress on the second syllable ○● "I present my report." ˃ fairly equally balanced but with stronger stress  on the first part ●○ toothbrush ˃ Stress on the syllable before suffix ○●○ statistics ˃ Stress on the second syllable before suffix ○●○○ congratulate ˃ Stress the suffix ○○● employee

Table 18 The general tendencies for word stress in English

Exceptions hotel ballet

answer witness

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NOTES ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 5 SENTENCE STRESS AND RHYTHM IN ENGLISH 1. Introduction Sentence stress is the governing stress in connected speech. All words have their individual stress in isolation. When words are connected into thought groups and they are connected into sentences, content words keep their stress, and function words lose their stress. The most important words in the thought group receive stronger stress. The last stressed word in the thought group receives the strongest stress with the help of a fall or a rise or intonation, which will be discussed in the next chapter. Sentence stress is not just a phonetic distinctiveness of English. It has a very important function of marking the words that are necessary for understanding an utterance. When native speakers of English listen to their interlocutors, they listen for stressed words, because stressed words provide important information. It is often difficult to understand the meaning of the sentence in which even one content word is missing. It is also difficult to understand the sentence in which an important word is not stressed or a function word is stressed. Sentence stress is the main means of providing rhythm in speech. Rhythm is the key to fluent English speech. English rhythm is characterized by an alternation of meaningful words, which are long in duration and stressed, and grammatical words, which are short and unstressed. That is to say, natural English rhythm requires the use of length and loudness to distinguish more prominent words from less prominent words, as well as the ability to link words together smoothly and pronounce them in meaningful units. 2. Stress-Timed Rhythm English is a stress-timed language, so English rhythm is described as stresstimed rhythm. The characteristics found in English include the presence of a large variety of syllable types – open and closed syllables. There are also heavy and light syllables; heavy syllables, which attract stress, are those that have long vowels and/or end in consonant clusters. Additionally, unstressed syllables are shorter than stressed syllables, and vowels in unstressed syllables may be reduced. Stress-timed rhythm contrasts with syllable-timed rhythm found in languages like Spanish, Italian, Korean, Cantonese, and Thai. In syllable-timed languages, stressed and unstressed syllables are of approximately equal length; the variety of syllable types is limited; and vowel reduction in unstressed syllables is unlikely. In a stressed time

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language, speakers try to make the amount of time to say something the same between the stressed syllables. If there are three or four unstressed syllables between the stressed syllables, the unstressed syllables will be spoken faster, so that the speaker can keep the rhythm. Also, in order to keep the rhythm, if there are no unstressed syllables between stressed syllables, the stressed syllables are stretched out to space them equally. The time it takes to say something in English depends on the number of stressed syllables, not the number of syllables. Rhythm is both a feature and product of the phonological structure of English. The two components of the system which have the greatest influence on rhythm are sentence stress and the various features of connected speech, i.e. what happens to words when we put them in an utterance. 2.1 The Rhythm Rule When English is spoken, the speaker changes between stressed and unstressed syllables in regular intervals, with the stresses falling within content words. This is called the Rhythm Rule. The Rhythm Rule is more of a guideline than a rule because it is often not followed exactly. The main idea is that stresses in spoken English happen in regular intervals, or beats. The stressed syllables create the beats. The beat refers to the sound unit. Every beat takes the same amount of time to pronounce. A beat may have one syllable, ten syllables, one word or five words, but it still takes the same amount of time. At normal speaking speed, every beat takes about half a second or one second to pronounce, and it does not matter how many things are in that beat. It means that the more syllables we have in a beat, the faster we have to pronounce them, because the global time is not going to change. To practice getting the beat and rhythm of English, try counting from one to twenty. Tap with your finger on a table as you count the numbers. Keep the tapping evenly spaced. The beginning of each number should occur on the tap. one six eleven sixteen

two seven twelve seventeen

three four five eight nine ten thirteen fourteen fifteen eighteen nineteen twenty

Now, practice saying the following phrases. ● = stressed syllable ○ = unstressed syllable ●●● ●○● 121 One to one 123 One to three T42 Tea for two Wait four hours Wait for hours


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3. Content and Function Words Words which are stressed in English are called content words. Content words are usually the nouns, main verbs, adjectives, adverbs, question words, and contractions with not. These words are important because they carry meaning of the sentence. Function words are usually unstressed. These include articles, auxiliary verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, determiners, and pronouns. Content Words (Stressed) Noun

Main Verb Adjective

Adverb

Suda, school, Surin, air, love, decision walk, understand, recommend, divide interesting, critical, crucial, exhausted, mere aloud, consequently, fortunately, fast, incredibly, completely, very, extremely, always, often

Function Words (Unstressed) Auxiliary verbs Prepositions

Conjunctions Determiners - Articles - Possessives -Demonstratives - Numerals - Ordinals - Quantifiers

Question Words

what, where, Pronouns when, who, why, which, how Contractions with don’t, doesn’t hav‘not’ en’t, aren’t, isn’t Table 19 Content words and function words

verb to be, verb to do, verb to have, modals to, for, in, on, at, and, or, but, so, for, nor, after, because - a, an, the - my, your, his, her, their, our, its - this, that, these, those - one, two, three, 4, 5, 6, …. - first, second, next, last - many, few, some, every, much, a lot of, any, less I, you, we, theirs, ours, mine, they, us, him

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4. Speech Units In spoken English, the words are divided into units or groups depending on meaning and emphasis. The symbol // is used to divide the speech units. By changing the way a message is divided into speech units, the meaning of the message can also be changed. Look at the sign below.

The message above may be pronounced into two different ways. 1. // CHILDREN DRIVE CAREFULLY // = ‘When children drive cars, they usually drive slowly’. 2. // CHILDREN // DRIVE SLOWLY // = ‘There are children around here, so you should drive slowly’. Speech units are often shown by punctuation in writing. Study the difference between the pairs of messages given below. A: It is cold outside. There is snow on the ground. B: It is cold. Outside, there is snow on the ground. A: Was that the question he asked? B: ‘Was that the question?’ he asked. A: I got up, quickly got dressed, and went downstairs. B: I got up quickly, got dressed, and went downstairs. 4.1 Main Stress in Speech Units 4.1.1 The main stress is on the last content word in the speech unit, or one of the syllables in it if it is a longer word. This is often the last word of the speech unit. // I was waiting for AGes // // and the music is so reLAXing // // Is that why you’re lying across the DESK? // // that’s because of the WIND // // I was just making a PHONE call //


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

4.1.2 The main stress is not on the last word or phrase if it is a function word or phrase. // Sorry to disTURB you //

// so that’s why I’m lying on TOP of them //

// That was very CLEver of you //

4.1.3 Sometimes, the main stress is not on the last content word. ▪ When the end of the speech unit is a vague word or phrase, not important to the meaning, e.g. // I thought you were aSLEEP or something //

// and they put me on HOLD you see //

▪ When the speech unit ends with the name or title of the person being addressed e.g.

// MORning Sam //

// THANK you Mr. Seymore //

// YES sir // ▪ When the last content word is simply repeating something the other person just said, e.g.

A: // I was calling head OFfice // and they put me on HOLD you see // B: // NO // I DON’T see //

A: // NO // that’s because of the WIND // B: // WHAT wind //

4.2 Emphasizing a Contrasting Opinion In conversation, speakers can choose to put the stress anywhere. They do this so that the listener will pay attention to the emphasized word. To emphasize a word, each speaker makes it higher, louder, and longer.

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Study the following conversation and focus on each speaker who is trying to show that their opinion is the opposite of the other speaker’s. A: // he won’t win // B: // WHO won’t // A: // HE won’t // B: // he WILL win // A: // he WON’T win // B: // he WILL // A: // he WON’T // B: // I HOPE he wins // A: // I hope he LOSes // B: // He WON’T lose A: // he WILL lose // B: // you’re WRONG // A: // YOU’re wrong // B: // he’s WON // A: // WHO’s won // B: // HE’s won // A: // oh no // More examples are shown below. Unmarked (Normal) Form I’m ill. You’re right. She’s late. I like you.

Marked Form I AM ill. You ARE right. She IS late. I DO like you.

Tables 20 Marked and unmarked forms of verbs Unmarked (Normal) Form I enjoyed it. I’ve finished. He’ll win. I can swim.

Marked Form I DID enjoy it. I HAVE finished. He WILL win. I CAN swim.

Tables 21 Marked and unmarked forms of verbs In the conversation and the table above, it can be stated that: 1. Auxiliary verbs are normally unstressed, but when the speakers emphasize them, they are stressed. 2. Pronouns are normally unstressed, but when the speakers emphasize them, they are stressed. 3. The auxiliary do is not normally said in positive statements. However, it may be stressed to give emphasis.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

4.3 Main Stress for Contrasting Information Normally, speakers put the main stress on the last content word in a speech unit. However, speakers may emphasize a word to contrast it with another word. For example: A: // exCUSE me // I think you’re in MY seat // B: // SORry // but it says seven A on my boarding card // A: // OH // er … RIGHT // I asked for a WINdow seat you see // B: // YEAH // so did I // what’s YOUR seat number // A: // let’s SEE // OH // it’s EIGHT A // B: // so I guess you’re in the seat beHIND me // A: // oh YES // SORry about that // Listeners often decide what is in the speaker’s mind from the emphasis. If a speaker emphasizes the wrong word by mistake, a listener may misunderstand him/ her. Study the conversation below and analyze the purpose of speaking. A: // would you like another DRINK // B: // I’d like a HOT coffee please // A: // I’m SORry // was the last one COLD // B: // NO // it was very GOOD // 4.4 Emphasizing Corrections When we hear an error and we correct it, we emphasize the correct information. Study the examples below and practice. EXAMPLE 1 A: // let’s meet UP tonight // B: // OK // when and WHERE // A: // how about sweet me CAFE// B: // sweat me CAFE // don’t LIKE that place // A: // no, SWEET me cafe // in Thankhon Yang VILlage // B: // where’s Thanong Yang VILlage // A: // not THANONG YANG village // THAKHON YANG village // you know // B: // ah YES // OK // what TIME // A: // how about nine fifTEEN // B: // five fifTEEN // that’s too early // A: // no, NINE fifteen // what’s wrong with your EARS today // B: // ☺ ☺ //

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EXAMPLE 2 A: // my niece’s fifTEEN // B: // sixTEEN // A: // NO // FIFteen // EXAMPLE 3 A: // you must be more CAREful // B: // CAREless // A: // NO // careFUL // EXAMPLE 4 A: // his room is really unTIdy // B: // TIdy // A: // NO // UNtidy // EXAMPLE 5 A: // I saw a BLACKbird // in the GArden // B: // a BLACKboard // A: // NO // a blackBIRD //

5. Conclusion English is a stress-timed language. This means that stress in a spoken sentence occurs at regular intervals and the length it takes to say something depends on the number of stressed syllables rather than the number of syllables itself. The content words are stressed and the function word is unstressed. However, functions words are stressed when the speaker wants to show different opinions, to contrast information, and to correct information.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 6 INTONATION IN ENGLISH SPEECH

1. Introduction Intonation is the meaningful use of pitch on a word or phrase. It contributes to the interpretation of discourse meaning, grammatical meaning, and affective meaning. In discourse, intonation identifies important information for the listeners, shows how different pieces of information relate to each other, establishes a level of engagement between the speaker and the listener, and manages conversational turns. In grammar, particular intonation patterns are common with particular structures, helping to distinguish statements from questions or direct object nouns from direct address nouns. In its affective function, intonation reflects the attitudes and emotions of speakers. Every syllable is spoken with a particular level of pitch but only pitches that are noticeably higher or lower than others are important. These occur on the stressed syllables of words that the speaker wants to make prominent and highlight. English intonation is traditionally presented as having three or four levels of pitch: low, mid, high, and extra high, which is used to show strong emotions such as disbelief or joy. 2. Intonation Contour Utterances are stretches of speech set off by silence. In a quick exchange, they can be as short as a word. In extended discourse, they can be several sentences long. Longer utterances are broken into shorter units of information (intonation units) or thought groups), each of which has its own intonation contour (melody or tune). For example, the sentence below would be broken into 2 thought groups as // it was a problem // from the start // These units of information are referred to by various names: intonation units, intonational phrases, intermediate phrases, tone groups, tone units, thought groups, chunks, and phrase groups. In our book, we use ‘intonation units’ and //…………// as one unit. Each intonation unit contains at least one PROMINENT word, has its own intonation contour, and often sets up a grammatical phrase, for example, a short clause or prepositional phrase. The PROMINENT word will be written in BLOCK letters.

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Study the dialogue below: Dialogue 1

The first sentence has one intonation unit and because it is a yes-no question, the speaker ends the unit with a high pitch. The answer is divided into two intonation units. The answer ‘No’ and the explanation. Dialogue 2:

The sentence “I think it went well,” consists of two intonation units, each with its own intonation contour. At the end of the first clause, intonation does not fall to a low tone, signaling that “I think” is not the end of the utterance and should be understood with what follows. In the second intonation unit, pitch rises over the highlighted word ‘well’ and then falls to the bottom of the speaker’s range, showing that the utterance is complete. 3. Specific Features of Intonation 3.1 Final intonation patterns Final falling and final rising intonation patterns in English are traditionally linked with different types of sentences. 1. Declaratives, commands, information questions usually end with falling intonation (also called rising-falling). 2. Yes-No questions end with rising intonation. 3. WH-questions can end with either falling or rising intonation. When the question is a true information, intonation falls. 4. When WH-questions are used to ask for a repetition or clarification, intonation rises.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

5. In discourse intonation, rising intonation at the end of an intonation unit signals that information in the intonation unit is shared between the speaker and hearer. 6. Rising intonation can also be an invitation for the listener to make a comment, i.e., indicating the end of a turn. 7. In some situations, yes-no questions pronounced with rising intonation are ‘making sure’ questions. The question which the hearer knows the answer and the speaker assumes to be true. Study the dialogue below and pay attention to the use of rising → and falling A: // Shh // → B: // WHAT // A: // SNAKE → // B: // SNAKE →// A: // SNAKE → // B: // WHERE→ // → A: // THERE // B: // FAR →// A: // NO→ // B: // NEAR →// → A: // YEAH // B: // RUN →// A: // RUN→ //

→ tones:

A speaker’s choice of a falling or rising intonation often reflects the grammar of the sentence. However, a speaker may choose to use any kind of tone in any kind of sentence, and this can give a special meaning to an intonation unit. The above conversation can be written in complete sentences:

A: // Shh // → B: // what IS it // → A: // there’s a BEAR // B: // did you say BEAR →// → → A: // YES // there’s a BEAR // → B: // where IS it // → A: // it’s over THERE // B: // is it FAR →// → → A: // NO // it ISN’T // B: // is it NEAR →// → → A: // YES // it IS // B: // shall we RUN →// → → A: // YES // let’s RUN //

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NOTES: 1. The falling or rising intonation begins on the prominent word and continues → to the end of the intonation unit. In the intonation unit // where IS it //, the falling tone begins on is and continues across it to the end. → →, or just 2. In a rising intonation, the voice may fall first and then rise rise →. 3.2 Intonation with Lists and Choice Questions 3.2.1. Listing Intonation When speakers say a list, they often use → to show that the list is to be continued and useÍ to show that it is complete. For examples:

// the KITCHEN →// the GARDEN →// and the GROUNDS

// we visited BEIJING →// SHANGHAI →// and HONG KONG

//

//

In lists, there are often repeated or are part of a routine, each item is often said with a level tone (→), except the last choice, which has a falling tone. → // there are THREE sizes available // →SMALL // →MEDIUM // and LARGE // // when I RAISE my HAND // I WANT you // to →STOP TALKing// →STAND → up STRAIGHT // →CONcentrate on ME // and get READy to SING // 3.2.2 Choice Question and Questions with or All choice questions have an ‘or’ in them and can either be open or closed questions. Open and closed choice questions have different intonation patterns and require a different kind of answer. 3.2.2.1 An open question is a kind of yes- no question. An open choice question has two possible intonation patterns. 1. Rising intonation is used after both choices. 2. Rising intonation is only used after the second choice. Example 1: Question: // does he like CHICken →// or PORK →// → → Answer: //YES // he likes PORK // Example 2: → Question: //does he eat MEAT // or VEGETABLES →// → → Answer: //NO // he does NOT eat MEAT //


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.2.2.2 A closed choice question has limited choices. It may not be answered with a yes or no, but with one or the other choices or neither. Example 1: Question: // do you WANT to go on FRIDAY →// SATURDAY →// or → SUNDAY // → // Answer: // SATURDAY Example 2: → Question: // do you FEEL like PIZZA → // SALAD →// or SPAGHETTI // → Answer: //NOTHING // 3.3 Comprehension Checks and Question Tags Question tags are short questions added to the end of a statement, usually to create a response from a hearer. 1. Falling intonation is used for question tags when a speaker expects the hearer to acknowledge what he/she just said is correct, for example when an opinion is given: → → // they DIDN’T DO it WELL // DID they //

// GREAT SHOW

// WASN’T it

// he’s QUITE HANDsome

2. Falling intonation is used when the statement is obviously correct:

// you’re NOT WELL

// HOT

// ISN’T it

//

// ISN’T he

// ARE you

//

//

//

3. Falling intonation is used when speakers want the hearers to admit that something they may not have accepted before is, in fact, correct:

// TOLD you she was PRETty

// LATE again

// DIDN’T I

// WEREN’T you

//

//

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exclamations!:

4. Falling intonation is used with question tags that follow

// what a riDIculous thing to SAY

→ // WASn’t it→ //

→ // ISN’T it→ //

// WONderful

5. Rising intonation is used when a speaker invites a hearer to say whether what he/she has just said is correct or not, for example, when a speaker is not confident that something is true: → // ISN’T she →// // she’s from THAIland

// NOT on a DIet again

// ARE you →//

6. Rising intonation is used on the question tag showing when both the statement and the question tag are positive:

// DID you →//

// came by CAR

// you’ve FINished

// HAVE you →//

7. Rising intonation is used when a speaker thinks that the issue is critical or sarcastic. Those sentences often begin with ‘so….’ or ‘oh ….’

// so you THINK you’re CLEver

// oh you AREN’T SORry

// DO you →//

// ARE you →//

8. Rising intonation is used with the question tags to add to soften a request or command:

// SHALL we →//

// let’s GET the EARlier train

// TAKE care of THESE →// WOULD you →//


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

3.4 Functions of Intonation The following table illustrates the functions of intonation that are accepted by the researchers and linguists. Function

Perspective

Explanation

Grammatical structure

Speaker’s perspective

Contrast sentence types: statements, questions, commands

Affective, attitudinal meaning

Speaker’s perspective, attitude toward partner and / or situation and toward content of statements

Express attitudes, emotions, e.g., sarcasm, anger, puzzlement, excitement, happy, etc.

Information structure

Speaker’s perspective, based on presuppositions about hearer and about hearer’s sentence-level knowledge

(1) Provide sentence- level focus, emphasis; old vs. new information (2) Mark sentence boundaries

Table 22 Functions of Intonation It can be concluded that in English, intonation plays an important role in language use. It is necessary and it carries meanings. It is used to indicate turn-taking in conversational interactions, types of utterances such as questions and statements, and to signal people’s emotions and attitudes (O’Connor, 1980; Yallop, 1995; Tench, 1996). It is very important to recognize the meaning behind the pitch changes in everyday speech in order not to misunderstand the speaker. It is true that incorrect intonation in speech has particular significance in producing misunderstandings just as mispronounced segments do (Kenworthy, 1987; Hewings, 1998). However, it has been claimed that mistakes in pronunciation of sounds can be overlooked, but mistakes in intonation make a lasting impression and “if they occur constantly they may result in judgements about the attitudes, characters, ways of behaving, etc. of a particular speaker” (Kenworthy, 1987: 19). It is so because listeners obviously pay attention to prosodic cues in the process of perceiving and understanding spoken language. Therefore, if Thai speakers of English do not want to make mistakes and misunderstanding in communication with the native speakers, they need to pay attention to their use of intonation in their English speech.

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4. Conclusion The role of intonation in both structuring and interpreting a speaker’s meaning makes it a crucial component of pronunciation. It is also the most communicative aspect of pronunciation: Alone, without words, it can communicate meaning. Intonation is the use of falling and rising pitch. Falling intonation is used with general statements, commands, and information questions, while rising intonation is for yes-no questions, repetitions, and unsure statements. It is recommended that intonation should be taught at school as its importance is obvious in communication. Thai teachers teaching English should focus on intonation in their English conversation or pronunciation classes.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

CHAPTER 7 TEACHING ENGLISH PHONETICS AND PRONUNCIATION 1. Introduction Pronunciation is said to be one of the key elements which supports the communicative competence or intelligibility of the speakers. But, phonetics and pronunciation are perceived as the most difficult area of language learning. It is, therefore, neglected in English language classrooms. The problem is that teachers are embarrassed because of this lack of instruction strategies. According to Dalton (2002) teachers are comfortable teaching reading, writing, listening and general oral skills, but when it comes to pronunciation, they often lack the basic knowledge of articulatory phonetics to teach their students. The English teachers, thus, should have knowledge of phonetics and teaching techniques to offer their students in English pronunciation classes. Pronunciation research and pedagogy have been influenced by two contradictory principles, the nativeness principle and the intelligibility principle. Traditionally, pronunciation teaching has been based on the nativeness principle (Levis, 2005).The nativeness principle confirms that it is both possible and desirable to achieve native-like pronunciation in a foreign language. The nativeness principle was the main model in pronunciation teaching in the history, but it was weakened research indicating that nativeness in pronunciation was biologically conditioned to occur before adulthood only (Scovel, 1995) leading to the conclusion that wanting to have native-like pronunciation was not possible for both teachers and learners. Motivation, amount of first language use, and pronunciation training are positively related to have native-like pronunciation, but no other factors appear to overcome the effects of age. The other principle is the intelligibility principle. It believes that learners only need to be understood. The intelligibility principle states that there is no clear relationship between accent and understanding (Munro and Derwing, 1999), and that some pronunciation errors do not have a role in destroying comprehensibility of the speakers. The intelligibility principle indicates that different features of pronunciation have different effects on understanding. Therefore, pronunciation instruction need to focus on those features that are most advantageous for understanding and give less emphasis to those that are not helpful. According to Avery & Ehrlich (1992), pronunciation instruction should focus on suprasegmental features such as stress, rhythm, and intonation. It is believed that focusing on the suprasegemental features leads to better and quicker intelligibility than focusing on segmental features.

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The next section reviews briefly one of the recent teaching theories, the Lingua Franca Core which the author accepts that it is an effective pronunciation teaching theory. 2. Recent Theory: the Lingua Franca Core Jennifer Jenkins’ Lingua Franca Core (2000) is a theory which has had a great impact on teachers of English pronunciation recently. She found that the main issue for intelligibility in international contexts was pronunciation. She identified key areas which needed to be addressed if information was to be exchanged effectively. 1. The full consonantal inventory of English, with the following conditions: 1.1 Rhotic (in GA) [ɻ] is desired rather than other types. 1.2 Intervocalic /t/ should be used rather than a tap [ɾ]. 1.3 Most substitutions of /θ/, /ð/, and dark /l/ are acceptable. 1.4 Fricative sounds to core consonants are generally acceptable. 1.5 Certain approximations are not accepted, i.e., where there is a risk that they will be heard as a different consonant (e.g., Spanish use of [β] for /b/, which can be heard as /v/ in e.g. habit, sounding instead like have it.) 2. Phonetic requirements 2.1 Aspiration following /p t k/ is required. For instance, top [tHp] and stop [stp] or pray [pHreI] and spray [spreI] 2.2 Pre-fortis clipping and pre-lenis lengthening phenomenon are necessary. Vowels are produced shorter (‘clipped’) if followed by fortis (voiceless consonants) within the same syllable. On the other hand, the pre-lenis lengthening refers to a vowel that is produced longer before lenis or voiced consonants. For examples, the lengths of the vowels in spent and spend or in feet and feed are different. 3. Consonant clusters 3.1 Initial clusters are important. 3.2 Medial and final clusters can be simplified only according to English rules of elision, e.g., lecture becomes [lektSǝ] or asked becomes [Askt]. 4. Vowel sounds 4.1 Maintenance of vowel length contrasts is needed. 4.2 L2 regional qualities are permissible if they are made consistently, but an /ɜː/ sound needs to be preserved. 5. Nuclear stress production and placement and division of speech stream into tone units or word groups are important.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

The aim of the above list, which is referred to as the LFC (for “Lingua Franca Core”), is to specify which features of English pronunciation make a difference in communication in international situations using English as a lingua franca, i.e., between non-native speakers. It is to show that LFC defines the features of English pronunciation which will make speakers from a variety of first language backgrounds more intelligible to one another. From that perspective, it has obvious application to pronunciation teaching pedagogies. However, there are pros and cons of this theory. In conclusion, the current attention of pronunciation teaching focuses on intelligibility rather than nativeness. But would it be perfect, if language curriculum can make learners have both native-like and intelligibility? In the following section, it discusses how to raise learners’ phonological awareness and some useful techniques in teaching English phonological areas are provided. 3. Raising Students’ Phonological Awareness Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and identify the sounds in spoken words. It is necessary for teachers to help raise the students’ phonological awareness as early as possible because it helps children to be able to learn to speak and read in an early age. Research studies show that children who learn phonological awareness before kindergarten demonstrate the greatest success with learning to read (e.g. Adams et al., 1998; Fitzpatrick, 1997; Griffith, and Olson, 1992.). Phonological awareness is also a good foundation for learning phonics, word analysis, and spelling. English teachers can teach them how sounds in oral language work in order to develop their ability to notice, identify, and employ important parts of the spoken language. Having phonological knowledge, students will be able to: 1) isolate and identify the sounds in a spoken word 2) recognize the words that begin or end with the same sound 3) create new words by changing and manipulating sounds 4) take words apart and put them back together again 5) break sentences into words, words into syllables, and syllables into individual sounds 2.1 Tips for Applying Pronunciation into the Classroom 1. Check your pronunciation. Make sure you pronounce each sound correctly. 2. Study how English sounds are made. Make sure to apply the knowledge of articulatory phonetics into use. You need to know different parts of the vocal tract to make the sounds. 3. Connect and differentiate the English and Thai sounds. You can help Thai speakers to learn English sounds by making connections with similar sounds in Thai

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and explicitly teach distinct English sounds using the appropriate speech organs for accurate pronunciation. 4. Prioritize pronunciation as required. Your goal is to make sure that your students can produce clear speech and can be understood by others. Mispronunciation has a greater effect on the meaning of the message. As a teacher, you must prioritize and focus on pronunciation skills as needed, so your students can make themselves understood and comprehended. 5. Target phonological awareness. Activities need to be brought to the classroom including, oReading nursery rhymes and rhyming picture books. Recommended websites are ▪ http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/nursery-rhymes-for-little ones/ ▪ http://blog. allaboutlearningpress.com/rhyming-picture-books/ o Playing clapping and rhyming games o Singing silly songs by changing the first sound in some of the words o Playing games that encourage students to identify words that begin with a specific letter sound. For example: you can start with “I spy with my little eye a color that starts with /b/.” 4. Tips for Teaching English Word Stress The following tips are taken and adapted from https://www.teachingenglish. org.uk/article/word-stress 1. Raise Awareness and Build Confidence Some students love to learn about the ‘technical’ side of language, while others like to ‘feel’ or ‘see’ the language more, hearing the music of word stress or seeing the shapes of the words. Try to use a variety of approaches. Helping your students to engage with English in different ways will help them become more proficient users of the language. You can build your students’ confidence by drawing their attention to the tendencies and patterns in word stress that do exist. 2. Mark the Stress Use a clear easy-to-see way of marking stress on the board and on handouts for students. The big circle - small circle (O o) method is practical. It is very easy to see and has the added advantage of identifying the number of syllables in the word, as well as the stressed syllable. Students also need to be aware of the way dictionaries usually mark stress - with a mark before the stressed syllable, e.g. ‘apple. By knowing this, students will be able to check word stress independently. 3. Cuisenaire Rods These different sized, small coloured blocks are great for helping students to ‘see’ the word stress. The students build the words using different blocks to represent stressed and unstressed syllables.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

4. Integrate Word Stress into your Lessons It is not necessary to teach separate lessons on word stress. Instead, you can integrate it into your normal lessons. The ideal time to focus students’ attention on it is when introducing vocabulary. Meaning and spelling are usually clarified for students but the sound and stress of the word can all too often be forgotten. Quickly and simply elicit the stress pattern of the word and mark it on the board. Ask the students to repeat the word over again and again. 5. Troubleshooting A useful strategy to practice word stress is to focus on one word putting the stress on its different syllables in turn. For example: o o 0 computer 0 o o computer o 0 o computer Say the word in the different ways for the students, really exaggerating the stressed syllable and compressing the unstressed ones. Ask the students which version of the word sounds ‘the best’ or ‘the most natural’. By hearing the word stressed incorrectly, students can more easily pick out the correct version. 5. Tips for Teaching English Rhythm and Sentence Stress The following tips are taken from http://busyteacher.org/6213-how-to-teach-sentence-stress.html 1. Start by Discussing Stress Read a sentence aloud from the textbook without stressing content or main idea words. Ask students if they think it sounds right. They will have to say no. Then read the same sentence with the correct stress pattern. Ask them what they think now. This will raise their consciousness about stress. 2. Introduce Syllables Stress in English interacts with syllables: that is, syllables alternate between stressed and unstressed within a sentence. Select a sentence from a dialogue in your textbook and model “beating out” the syllables on the desk. Have students do the same. Have them count the syllables in the sentence. 3. Elaborate on Stress Explain the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables. Explain the stressed syllables are louder and longer. Stressed syllables tend to occur in content words such as nouns and verbs; structure words such as articles and prepositions are usually unstressed. 4. Provide Examples Model stressed and unstressed syllables by selecting a sentence from your book and writing it on the board, marking the stressed syllables with a dash or a dot. Then read the sentence aloud, emphasizing the stressed syllables. Have students practice with you.

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5. Define Schwa Explain that most unstressed syllables in English are reduced and pronounced as a “schwa”. Teach the schwa sound. Modeling the expressions “Uh-huh” (for “yes”) and “huh-uh” (for “no”) is a humorous way to teach this sound. 6. Practice Sentence Stress Practice the sample sentences on the board again, emphasizing the stress pattern, making the stressed syllables louder and longer and reducing the unstressed syllables. Ask students about the content and structure words and which are stressed and unstressed. 7. Mark Have students on their own pull sentences from the same dialogue in their books and mark the stress patterns. 8. Compare Students can then compare their markings with a partner. 9. Practice in Pairs Practice the dialogue in pairs, focusing on the stress patterns. 10. More Advanced Activities 10.1 Teach specialized use of stress and how meaning can shift based on the stress pattern and what the speaker wants to emphasize. “I love my sister,” “I love my sister,” “I love my sister” and “I love my sister” all carry different meanings. 10.2 Give out a dialogue with the content words deleted. Have students listen to a recording of the dialogue for the content words and fill them in. They can then practice the dialogues in pairs. 10.3 An alternative to this, for more advanced students, is to have them predict the content words that belong in the blank spaces. Have them fill in the dialogues, check them against the recording, and then students can practice. 10.4 Play “telegrams”: explain a telegram was something like a precursor to a text message—a message in which all the structure words or were deleted: “Mom sick. Come home.” Give out a page of “telegrams.” Have students add the structure words and practice reading with appropriate sentence stress. 10.5 The above activities can also be done with popular songs. Play the song and hand out the lyrics, with content words or structure words deleted. Have students listen to the song and fill in the words. 10.6 Poetry is also a great way to practice sentence stress as poetry is actually based on regular stress, or meter, patterns. Teach students a simple poem, such as Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Have them practice reciting it. They may try writing their own similar poems after, imitating Frost’s style and stress/meter patterns. 10.7 Humor is often based on the stress pattern, or “delivery” as comedians call it. Tell a well-known joke and show how the humor is affected by the way the speaker uses stress by delivering it first with the correct stress and then without.


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

10.8 Give out index cards with content words students are currently learning written on them. Have students line the cards up into “sentences,” adding structure words as necessary, and mark the correct stress pattern then practice saying the sentences. 10.9 Do a “drawing” activity by handing out a dialogue and having students “map” the stress of each sentence in the dialogue over the sentence, with high peaks representing stressed syllables and dips unstressed. 10.10 Have students bring in idioms that they have heard or want to learn about and go over the stress patterns. 6. Tips for Teaching English Intonation http://busyteacher.org/16149-teaching-english-intonation-tips.html 1. Teach it Intonation is not the most popular topic of instruction in ESL programs. Whether it is because teachers have so much other material to cover or because students do not think it is important, stress is often ignored. The first step to teaching your students correct and effective sentence stress is to bite the bullet and teach it in the first place. 2. Explain it Help your students understand that stressing different words in a sentence gives the sentence different meanings. You can do this by using a simple sentence and showing how stress can change the meaning. Start with the following sentence: You think I saw the monster. Discuss with your class what this sentence means. Then stress one word in the sentence at a time. As you do, talk about how the meaning of the sentence changed. You think I saw the monster. (You are the one who thinks this is true.) You think I saw the monster. (This is your belief, but you are not correct.) You think I saw the monster. (Maybe someone saw it, but it wasn’t me.) You think I saw the monster. (I did something with the monster, but I may not have seen it.) You think I saw the monster. (I saw something, but it may not have been the monster.) 3. Question it With close examination, you and your students will find that the word which is stressed is the idea which is in question. By stressing a particular word, the speaker implies that part of the sentence isn’t or may not be true. Go back through the different examples of word stress and show your students how the stressed word is the idea in question.

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4. Guess at it Having your students practice sentence stress is the next step in perfecting its use. Have pairs take turns stressing each word in the example sentence. Each person should listen for the word his partner is stressing and then point to that word on a piece of paper. The speaker should then say whether their partner is correct. 5. Use it Once every person in class has had a chance to practice stressing different words in the sentence, it is time to see if they understand what it means. In the same pairs, have one person say the sentence stressing the word of her choice. Her partner must then give a reply that is appropriate based on the stressed word. For example, if the speaker says, “You think I saw the monster?” her partner might answer, “You didn’t see it? Then who did?” Pairs should continue until each person has had a chance to stress each word and give an appropriate response. 6. Listen to it Using a short dialogue, have students listen for stressed words while reading a transcript of the dialogue. After listening to the dialogue once, have students listen again this time marking the words they think are stressed by the speaker. Give students a third listen to check their answers. Then have small groups of students work together to compare answers. If your groups find they disagree, give them another listen before pointing out which words the speaker is indeed stressing. 7. Have fun with it What can a speaker communicate with only one word? More than you might think. To see, give each student in your class a card with one word on it. The words should be a random collection of familiar words. Then put your students in groups of three and give them a scenario. You are getting ready to take a vacation. It is one of the student’s birthdays. Someone in the classroom is a thief. The groups then have a conversation, but they are only allowed to use one word at a time, and it must be one of the words on the group’s cards. Students should use stress and intonation to communicate their meaning with one of the three words. This game is good practice as well as good fun for your students. 7. Conclusion The earliest stage of teaching English pronunciation is to raise learners’ phonological awareness because they need to have the ability to hear and identify the sounds in spoken words. The sooner they aware of the sounds they hear, the better they speak and read. Therefore, teachers should starting teaching pronunciation by getting students to know how sounds are produced and articulated. Then they will be able to hear and identify the sounds. After segmental features of spoken language are taught, learners can start having their lessons on the suprasegmental features as word stress, sentence stress, rhythm, and intonation. As these components of English have great


English Phonetics and Pronunciation

effects on communication and the impressions native speakers have with the non-native speakers, Thai teachers teaching English should take them into English pronunciation classrooms together with the other skills.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Adams, M. J., Foorman, I. L. , and T. Beeler. (1998). Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum. Baltimore, Md.: P.H. Brookes. An Encyclopedia Britannica Company. (-, - -). Merriam-Webster Laerner’s Dictionary. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from Learnersdictionary.com: learnersdictionary. com Avery, P., & Ehrlich, S. (1992). Teaching American English pronunciation. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. British Council. (2005, January -). Teaching English. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from Word Stress: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/word-stress Cambridge University Press. (-, - -). Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from Cambridge Dictionary: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary Dalton, D. (2002, - -). The Internet TESL Journal. Retrieved February 7, 2016, from The Internet TESL Journal: http:/iteslj.org/Techniques/Dalton_Pronunciation/ html Fitzpatrick, J. (1997). Phonemic Awareness: Playing With Sounds to Strengthen Beginning Reading Skills. Cypress, CA: Creative Teaching Press. Giegerich, H. J. (1992). English Phonology: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Griffith, P.L., and Olsonn M.W. (1992). “Phonemic Awareness Helps Beginning Readers Break the Code.” The Reading Teacher 45(7), 516–23. IDM. (-, - -). Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from Oxford Learner’s Dictionary: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com Jenkins, J. (2000). The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Kenworthy, J. (1987). Teaching English Pronunciation. London: Longman. Lane, L. (2010). Tips for Teaching Pronunciation: A Practical Approach. New York: Pearson Longman. Nordquist, R. (2018, March 26). ThoughtCo. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from ThoughtCo.: https://www.thoughtco.com/rhoticity-speech-4065992 O’Connor, J. D, & Arnold, G.F. (1973). Intonation of Colloquial English. 2nd edition. London: Longman. Tench, P. (1996). The intonation Systems of English. London: Cassell. Hewings, M., & Goldstein, S. (1998). Pronunciation Plus: Practice Through Interaction: North American English. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.

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Levis, J. (2005 ). Changing Contexts and Shifting Paradigms in Pronunciation Teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), 369-377. Levy, S. (2017). yes Yes YES! How to Teach Sentence Stress. Retrieved June 5, 2017, from Busy Teacher: http://busyteacher.org/6213-how-to-teach-sentencestress.html. Scovel, T. (1995). Differentiation, Recognition, and Identification in the Discrimination of Foreign Accents. In J. Archibald (Ed.), Phonological Acquisition and Phonological Theory (pp. 169–181). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. MacMahon, Michael K. C. (1996). Phonetic Notation. In P. T. Daniels and W. Bright (Eds.). The World’s Writing Systems (pp. 821–846). New York: Oxford University Press. Munro M., & Derwing, T. (1999). Foreign Accent, Comprehensibility, and Intelligibility in the Speech of Second Language Learners. Language Learning, 49 (Supp. 1),285–310. Verner, Susan. (2017). Stress About It: 7 Tips for Teaching English Intonation. Retrieved June 5, 2017, from Busy Teacher: http://busyteacher.org/16149-teachingenglish-intonation-tips.html

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English Phonetics and Pronunciation  

English Phonetics and Pronunciation by Tang-on Srirak Mahasarakham University

English Phonetics and Pronunciation  

English Phonetics and Pronunciation by Tang-on Srirak Mahasarakham University

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