1 Phonetics as a branch of linguistics

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ekz fonetika
Ex. Leave-live




This kind of mistakes isn’t admitted in teaching pronunciation to any type of language learner.

2. If the non-distinctive feature of the allophone is lost ( that is if a foreigner pronounces one allophone instead of another allophone of the same phoneme), the mistake is phonetic.

In this case the meaning of the word is not affected.

When the vowel i(долгий) is fully long in such a word as sheep for instance the quality of it remaining the same, the meaning of the word doesn’t change.

Ex. Speak (с аспирацией – неправильно)- speak (без аспирации – правильно)
(the sound p loses its aspiration because it follows the sound s)

Nevertheless language learners are advised not to let phonetic mistakes into their pronunciation. If they do make them the degree of their foreign accent will certainly be an obstacle to the listener’s perception.

ВСЁ! но так как это мало, можно блеснуть и рассказать ещё одну классификацию ошибок, которая как-то у нас встречалась в вопросах.
there is another classification of pronunciation mistakes in English learning.

Communication between the two language systems is the reason for the interference. Mother tongue dominates and influences the second language. According to the matter involved, there are two types of interference - interlanguage and intralanguage.

The most common mistakes occur in interlanguage interference. In this case, mistakes appear because of the negative transfer of habits from the native language (sometimes from the first foreign language that is supposed to be in very good command) to the second language.
Ex. Sink (сильно палатализованный - синк)
in Russian the consonants are fully palatalized before the front vowels, but in English they should be only slightly palatalized.
Also: we don’t have several English sounds in Russian and begin to mix them with likely Russian sounds
this (зис), term (тёёёём)

Intralanguage interference occurs when learners make mistakes under the influence of the already acquired language knowledge and established habits in the foreign language.

Ex. prison(в конце вместо зэн – зн)

We know that if only a plosive precedes the sonorant n we have nasal plosion, so no sound is pronounced between them.

11. The physical properties of a sound and their articulatory correlations and acoustic qualities

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1. Frequency. It is the number of vibrations per second and perception of these frequently repeated actions on the eardrum.

The similar phonetic characteristic is pitch

2. Intensity. It is produced by the amplitude of vibrations and perceived as variations in the loudness of the sound.

Loudness is a phonetic characteristic

3. Sound quality. It is achieved by varying the shape and the size of the cavities (pharyngeal, nasal and mouth), each of which functions as a resonator.

Timbre – phonetic characteristic

4. Quantity. It is the amount of the time during which the same vibratory movement is held.

Duration or length is a phonetic characteristic

По инэту

Frequency-in acoustics the measure of how many times per second a pattern of vibration is repeated. It corresponds to the fundamental frequency of a periodic sound. It is the lowest frequency that can be found in the periodic waveform. In speech, this is almost also the frequency of the vibration of the vocal cords.

Intensity-the amount of acoustic energy in a sound. Often used informally as a synonymous with amplitude to which it is closely related.

Loudness – the auditory property of a sound which enables the listener to place it on a scale going from soft to loud without considering the acoustic properties such as the intensity of a sound.

A sound spectrum is a representation of a sound – usually a short sample of a sound – in terms of the amount of vibrations at each individual frequency. It is usually presented as a graph of either power of pressure as a function of frequency. The power of pressure is usually measured in decibels and a frequency is measured in vibrations per second (or hertz). So sound spectrum is amount of frequency plus this amount of frequency etc until you have put together the whole complicated sound.

Pause- a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something(temporary inactivity)

The spectrum of speech sounds contains formants, which are stable groups of frequency components corresponding to certain phonetic elements. The energy parameter of sound vibrations id sound intensity, the subjective parameter, which is associated with the intensity, is loudness, which is dependent on frequency.
12. Classification of articulation transitions from sound to sound

In the process of speech, that is in the process of transition from the articulatory work of one sound to the articulatory work of the neighbour­ing one, sounds are modified. These modifications can be conditioned:

a) by the complementary distribution of phonemes, e. g. the fully back /u:/ becomes back-advanced under the influence of the preceding mediolingual sonorant /j/ in the words tune, nude. In the word keen /k/ is not so back as its principal variant, it is ad­vanced under (be influence of the fully front /i;/ which follows it:

b) by the contextual variations in which phonemes may occur at the junction of words, e. g. the alveolar phoneme /n/ in the combination in the is assimilated to the dental variant under the influence of /ð/ which
follows it;

c) by the style of speech: official or rapid colloquial. E. g. hot muffins may turn into
13. The aspects of a sound

The sound phenomena have different aspects:

(a) the articulatory aspect;

(b) the acoustic aspect;

(c) the auditory (perceptive) aspect;

(d) the functional (linguistic) aspect.

Now it is possible to show the correlation between the stages of the speech chain and the aspects of the sound matter.

Articulation comprises all the movements and positions of the speech organs necessary to pronounce a speech sound. According to their main sound-producing functions, the speech organs can be divided into the following four groups:

(1) the power mechanism;

(2) the vibration mechanism;

(3) the resonator mechanism;

(4) the obstruction mechanism.

The functions of the power mechanism consist in the supply of the energy in the form of the air pressure and in regulating the force of the air stream. The power mechanism includes: (1) the diaphragm, (2) the lungs, (3) the bronchi, (4) the windpipe, or trachea. The glottis and the supra-glottal cavities enter into the power mechanism as parts of the respiratory tract. The vibration mechanism consists of the larynx, or voice box, containing the vocal cords. The most important function of the vocal cords is their role in the production of voice. The pharynx, the mouth, and the nasal cavity function as the principal resonators thus constituting the resonator mechanism. The obstruction mechanism (the tongue, the lips, the teeth, and the palate) forms the different types of obstructions.

The acoustic aspect studies sound waves. The basic vibrations of the vocal cords over their whole length produce the fundamental tone of voice. The simultaneous vibrations of each part of the vocal cords produce partial tones (overtones and harmonics). The number of vibrations per second is called frequency. Frequency of basic vibrations of the vocal cords is the fundamental frequency. Fundamental frequency determines the pitch of the voice and forms an acoustic basis of speech melody. Intensity of speech sounds depends on the amplitude of vibration.

The auditory (sound-perception) aspect, on the one hand, is a physiological mechanism. We can perceive sound waves within a range of 16 Hz-20.000 Hz with a difference in 3 Hz. The human ear transforms mechanical vibrations of the air into nervous and transmits them to brain. The listener hears the acoustic features of the fundamental frequency, formant frequency, intensity and duration in terms of perceptible categories of pitch, quality, loudness and length. On the other hand, it is also a psychological mechanism. The point is that repetitions of what might be heard as the same utterance are only coincidentally, if ever, acoustically identical. Phonetic identity is a. theoretical ideal. Phonetic similarity, not phonetic identity, is the criterion with which we operate in the linguistic analysis.

Functional aspect. Phonemes, syllables, stress, and intonation are linguistic phenomena. They constitute meaningful units (morphemes, words, word-forms, utterances). Sounds of speech perform different linguistic functions.
14. Theory of phoneme.

The founder of the Phoneme Theory was the Russian scientist Boudoin-de-Courtenay who was the head of the Kazan Linguistic School. He defined the phoneme as a physical image of a sound. He also regarded phonemes as fictitious units and considered them to be only perceptions. This approach is called mentalistic/ physical.

Ferdinand de Saussure viewed phonemes as the sum of acoustic impressions and articulatory movements. He also viewed phonemes as disembodied units of the language formed by the differences separating the acoustic image of one sound from the rest of the units. Language in his opinion contains nothing but differences. This approach is called abstractional/ abstract.

Trubetskoy (the head of the Prague Linguistic School) defined the phoneme as a unity of phonologically relevant features. Relevant feature is the feature without which we can’t distinguish one phoneme from another. This approach is called functional.

Phonemes can be neutralized. In this case we receive an archi-phoneme. That is a unity of relevant features common to both phonemes (e.g. wetting – wedding in AmE). In case of archiphoneme we cannot distinguish one phoneme from another. Thus the distinctive function of the phoneme is lost.]

Another kind of approach to the nature of the phoneme was expressed by a British scholar, the head of the London School of Phonology, Daniel Jones. He defined the phoneme as a family of sounds.

The American Linguistic School (Blumfield, Sapir, etc) defined the phoneme as a minimum unit of distinctive sound features and as abstractional unit.

Academician L.V. Sherba defined the phoneme as a real independent distinctive unit which manifests itself in the form of its allophones.Summing up,a phoneme comprises material,real and objective features and at the same time abstractional and generalized. It exists in the material form of speech sounds(allophones).

The functions that phonemes perform in speech are:1)Constitutive(sounds constitute words,phrases and sentences);2)Distinctive(sounds help to distinguish words);3)Recognitive(allophones help to recognize words,sentences and phrases)

15. the notion of allophone. Classification

The various speech sounds that we actually pronounce are called phonetic variants or allophones.

I/ Allophones are classified into: typical or principal and subsidiary.The typical variant of the phoneme is free from the influence of the neighbouring sounds and it is the most representative of all allophones.

For example, the English consonant [k] as pronounced in the word "kite" [kait] has all the characteristic features included in the phonetic definition and description of the phoneme [k], namely: it is backlingual, plosive, aspirated and voiceless. Therefore it is the principal variant of the English [k] phoneme. In the word "fact" [fækt] the sound [k] lacks two of the characteristic features of the principal variant of the English [k] phoneme. It is not plosive and aspirated. Therefore it is a non-plosive, non-aspirated subsidiary variant of the English [k] phoneme.

II/ Allophones can be positional and combinatoryPositional allophones are used in certain positions traditionally. For example, the English [1] phoneme is always "clear" in the initial position and "dark" in the terminal position(feel-lost). Combinatory allophones are those which appear as a result of the influence of the neighbouring speech sounds (assimilation, adaptation, accommodation), e.g. dental variants of the alveolar phonemes /t, d, s, z, 1, n/ are due to the influence of the following interdental sounds [θ], [ð]; the mid-open [e] becomes more open when followed by the dark [ł]: tell - hell - sell vs. bet - let - set
16. functions of segmental and suprasegmental phonetic units

Segmental units consist of phonemes, they form phonemic strings of various status (syllables, morphemes, words, etc.). Supra-segmental units do not exist by themselves, but are realised together with segmental units and express different modificational meanings ( functions ) which are reflected on the strings of segmental units. To the supra-segmental units belong intonations (intonation contours), accents, pauses, pat-terns of word-order.
The segmental units of language form a hierarchy of levels. This hierarchy is of a kind that units of any higher level are formed of units of the immediately lower level. Thus, morphemes are decomposed into phonemes, words are decomposed into morphemes, phrases are decomposed into words, etc.
1) Phonemic level
It is formed by phonemes as the material elements of the higher-level segments. The phoneme has no meaning, its function is differential: it differentiates morphemes and words as material bodies. Since the phoneme has no meaning, it is not a sign. Phonemes are represented by letters in writing. Since the letter has a representative status, it is a sign, though different in principle from the level-forming signs of language.
2) Morphemic level. The morpheme is the elementary meaningful part of the word. It is built up by phonemes, so that the shortest morphemes include only one phoneme. The morpheme expresses abstract, "significative" meanings.
3) Level of words, or lexemic level.
The word, as different from the morpheme, is a directly naming (nominative) unit of language: it names things and their relations. Since words are built up by morphemes, the shortest words consist of one explicit morpheme only. Cf.: man; will; but; I; etc.
4) Level of phrases (word-groups), or phrasemic level.
To level-forming phrase types belong combinations of two or more notional words. These combinations, like separate words, have a nominative function, but they represent the referent of nomination as a complicated phenomenon, be it a concrete thing, an action, a quality, or a whole situation. Cf., respectively: a picturesque village; to start with a jerk; extremely difficult; the unexpected arrival of the chief.
5) Level of sentences, or "proposemic" level.
Naming a certain situation, or situational event, it expresses predication, i.e. shows the relation of the denoted event to reality. Namely, it shows whether this event is real or unreal, desirable or obligatory, stated as a truth or asked about, etc. In this sense, as different from the word and the phrase, the sentence is a predicative unit. Cf.: to receive — to receive a letter — Early in June I received a letter from Peter Mel« rose.
6) "Supraproposemic" level. The supra-sentential construction is a combination of separate sentences, forming a textual unity. The syntactic process by which sentences are connected into textual unities is analysed under the heading of "cumulation". Cumulation, the same as formation of composite sentences, can be both syndetic and asyndetic

.17. the problem of English diphthongs

Diphthongs are defined differently by different authors. One definition is based on the ability of a vowel to form a syllable. Since in a diphthong only one element serves as a syllabic nucleus, a diphthong is a single sound. Another definition of a diphthong as a single sound is based on the instability of the second element. The 3d group of scientists defines a diphthong from the accentual point of view: since only one element is accented and the other is unaccented, a diphthong is a single sound.

D. Jones defines diphthongs as unisyllabic gliding sounds in the articulation of which the organs of speech start from one position and then glide to another position.

N.S. Trubetzkoy states that a diphthong should be (a) unisyllabic, that is the parts of a diphthong cannot belong to two syllables; (b) monophonemic with gliding articulation; (c) its length should not exceed the length of a single phoneme.Scientists suggest applying 3 criteria:

1. Articulatory indivisibility (неделимость),

2. morphemic indivisibility,

3. syllabic indivisibility.

Most phoneticians (British) believe that diphthongs exist. But Am. phoneticians believe they are clusters (combinations) (Block, Tradger).

1. Artic. ind. - diphthongs are indivisible in their articulation.

2. morphemic ind. – neither a morpheme boundary nor the point of syllabic boundary.

3. Syll. ind. – division can separate nucleus from the glide of a diphthong. The syll. and morphemic ind-ty of a diphthong is also proved by the fact that in such languages where diphthongs are not found (eg. Russian) the elements of free sound combinations are easily separated from each other by the point of syllabic division and morpheme boundary eg. чай-чаю-чайный; стой-стоять-стою. The combinability of the elements of a diphthong like complex is very high. And it`s another proof that in Russian there are no diphthongs. But in E. the number of diphthong is limited to8.

We can classify them:
1.cetring d. - центростремительные eı aı oı ∂u au.

2. fronting diphthong n.

A diphthong in which the second element is farther front than the first, such as [oj]or [wi]. Ant. backing diphthong.

  1. backing diphthong n.

  2. A diphthong in which the second element is further back than the first, such as [ju]or [ew]. Ant. fronting diphthong

18. The problem of English africates
The problem of affricates is a point of considerable controversy among phoneticians. According to Russian specialists in English phonetics, there are two affricates in English: [t∫, dж]. D. Jones points out there are six of them: [t∫, dж], [ts, dz], and [tr, dr]. A.C. Gimson increases their number adding two more affricates: [tθ, tð]. Russian phoneticians look at English affricates through the eyes of a phoneme theory, according to which a phoneme has three aspects: articulatory, acoustic and functional, the latter being the most significant one. As to British phoneticians, their primary concern is the articulatory-acoustic unity of these complexes.

Before looking at these complexes from a functional point of view it is necessary to define their articulatory indivisibility.

According to N.S. Trubetzkoy's point of view a sound complex may be considered monophonemic if: a) its elements belong to the same syllable; b) it is produced by one articulatory effort; c) its duration should not exceed normal duration of elements. Let us apply these criteria to the sound complexes.

1. Syllabic indivisibility

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