A. Theory # Organs of speech



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UNIT 3 ENGLISH VOWELS



Note: - vowel with the mark “:” means long vowel, and also tense vowel

- beside four round vowels (u:, , :, , :), there are three neutral vowel (, :, ) and the rests are unround vowels.



# Definitions:

  • Vowels are speech sounds where the airstream escapes the vocal tract unobstructed.

  • Monothong is a pure vowel sound which is pronounced without changing of the position of the organ of speech throughout the duration of the vowel articulation.

  • Dipthong is a complex sound consisting of two vowel elements pronounced so as to form a single syllable. In the pronunciation of dipthong, the position of organ of speech starts in the position of one vowel and glides gradually to the other one.

Description of English vowel:

Monothong: Height  Position  Shape  Length  Degree (of articulation).

Diphthong: Height + Pisition (1st vowel) glides to Height + Position (2nd vowel).

A. Theory

1. What is monophthong / diphthong?

- Monophthong: is a pure vowel sound which is pronounced wothout changing of the position of the organ of speech throughtout the duration of the vowel articulation.

- Diphthong: is a complex vowel sound consisiting of two elements pronounced so as to form a single syllable. In the pronunciation of the diphthong, the position of the organ of speech starts in the position of the first vowel and glides to gradually to the other one.

2. What are the differences between a monophthong and a diphthong? Give example

- Monophthong: is a pure vowel sound which is pronounced without changing in the position of the organ of speech throughout the duration of vowel articualtion.

- Diphthong: is a complex vowel sound consisting of two elements pronounced so as to form a single syllable. In the pronunciation of the diphthong, the position of the organ of speech starts in the position of the first vowel and glides gradually to the other one.

The differences of monophthong and diphthong lie in the number of vowel element and the position of the organ of speech during the articulation:

Criteria

Monophthong

Diphthong

Number of vowel element:

One

Two

Position of organ of speech

Unchange

Glides gradually from the position of the first vowel to the other.

Eg.

Hat /ht/ - is a monothong, a low front vowel.

Nation /nen/ -  is a diphthong consisiting of and , mid front glides to high front.

3. How are English monophthong classified? Give example

a. Definition

b. Classification

English monophthong can be classified according to the followings criteria:

 Position of the tongue: front, central and back vowels


  • Front vowels: the front of the tongue raises towards the hard palate

:, , , 

  • Central vowels: the centre of the tongue raises towards the junture of the hard palate and the soft palate

:, , 

  • Back vowels: the back of the tongue raises towards the soft palate

:, , , , :

 The height of the tongue in the mouth: high, mid and low vowels



  • High vowels: :, , :,

  • Mid vowels: (), :, ,

  • Low vowels: , , , :

 The shape of the lips: round, neutral and unround vowels

  • Round vowels: :, , ,

  • Neutral vowels: , :,

  • Unround vowels: :, , , , :

 The length of the sounds: long and short vowels

  • Long vowels: :, :, , :, :

  • Short vowels: , , , , , ,

 The degree of muscular tension: tense and lax vowels

  • Tense (long) vowels: :, :, , :, :

  • Lax (short) vowels: , , , , , ,

4. What makes an English front vowel different from ist back counterpart? Give example

An English front vowel differs from its back counterpart is due to the position of the tounge in the mouth or the raising part of the tongue.

In the pronunciation of an front vowel: the front of the tongue raises towards the hard palate, but in the articulation of the back vowel the back of the tongue raises towards the soft palate.

5. List all the diphthong. How are they classified into different groups according to their direction of glide?

a. Definition, list

There are 8 diphthongs in the English language, including: , , , , , , , 



b. Classification

English diphthongs can be classified according to the direction of glide:



  • Diphthongs gliding to (centring group): , , 

  • Diphthongs gliding to (closing group): , , 

  • Diphthongs gliding to (closing group): , 

6. What are the differences between a vowel and a consonant in the English language? Give example

a. Definition

- Consonants are speech sounds produced by creating an obstruction to the airstream during the articulation.

- Vowels are speech sounds where the airstream escapes the oral tract (organ of speech) unobstructed.

b. Differences

Criteria

Consonants

Vowels

Airstream movement:

The airstream is obstructed during the articulation of the speech sound

The airstream passes freely through the vocal track

Voicing

Consist of voiced and voiceless sounds

Consist of voiceless sounds only

Eg.

/p/, /b/

, , 

B. Practice

1. Write the symbol that correponds to each of the following phonetic description and then give an English word contaning the sound:

a. high front unround lax vowel: bit /bt/, hit

b. mid front unround lax vowel: bet /bt/, get

c. low front unround lax vowel: hat //, bad

d. low back unround tense vowel: : farm /:m/, after /:/

e. low back slightly round lax vowel: top //, cough // (it can be )

f. mid back round tense vowel: cot /kt/, hot/ht/, pour /p/

g. mid central neutral lax vowel: the //, about //

h. mid central neutral tense vowel: : her /h:/ nurse /n:/

i. low central lax vowel: current /n/, done //



2. Underline the word that:

a. contains a diphthong:

A. peep B. quay C. tie D. grease



b. begins with a central vowel:

A. university B. utterance C. Oxford D. eat



c. contains a high vowel:

A. sat B. meet C. got D. much



d. does not contain diphthong:

A. duration B. station C. smooth D. crime



e. contains a central low monothong:

A. superd B. supper C. stupid D. swear



f. does not contain a monophthong:

A. twice B. headlight C. funny D. fine



g. contains a round short vowel:

A. spoon B. understood C. good D. food



3. Place the member of the following vowel inventory in an appropriate place on a vowel quadrangle: [, :, , , , , :, :, , ]

See vowels chart



UNIT 4 INTRODUCTION TO PHONOLOGY

A. Theory

1. What is phonology?

Phonology is the description of the systems and patterna of sounds that occur in a language.



2. What is a phoneme / allophone? Prove your point of view

- Phonemes are the smallest segments of sound that can be distinguished by their contrast within words.

(Segments: are the smallest pieces of sound that are divided from a speech)

- Allophone are phonemes derived from the same phoneme in different distribution.

Eg. stop talking /= /

[] and [=] are allophone of phoneme []



3. What are the differences between phonemic transcription and allophonic (phonetic) transcription? Give example

- Transcription is the use of a set of symbols representing sounds to show the sounds in written form.

There are two kinds of transcription: phonemic (broad) transcription and allophinic (phonetic or narrow) transcription.

Criteria

Phonemic transcription

Allophonic transcription

Symbols

Uses slanting bracket

Uses square bracket

Feature

Shows different phonemes that make up word. It does not show any extra features, no detail of pronunciation; therefore, we can’t look at this transcription to pronounce the word

Shows how sounds are pronounced including phonetic details (allophones)

Eg

Car /:/ - shows the phonemes involved in the word only.

Car /:/ - show both phonemes and phonetic detail. The symbol [] indicates that phoneme [k] is aspirated.

4. What can be stated as necessary conditions for forming a minimal set? Give set of words to illustrate

In order to form a minimal set, we must have more than two words which are different in meaning, but they have the same number of segments and only one different segment in the same position/distribution.

Eg. bat //, but //, bet //

pad //, pat //, pan //



5. What is a minimal pair / set? Give example

- Minimal pair: is a pair of words which are different in meaning, having the same number of segments with only one different segment in the same position/distribution.

Eg. hat //, cat // - the different segment is the first one.



- Minimal set: is a set of more than two words of different meaning which have the same number of segment and only one different segment in the same position/distribution.

Eg. bat //, but //, bet // - the different segment is the middle one.



B. Practice

1. Which of the followings is a minimal pair?

A. cater – better B. round – bound C. rock – box

// - // // - // // - //

2. Which of the following is not a minimal pair?

A. time – mine B. table – cable C. teacher – richer

// - // // - // /:/ - /:/

A. road – load B. back – bad C. sea – saw

// - // // - // /:/ - //



UNIT 5 RULES FOR ENGLISH ALLOPHONES

A. Rules

Note: [+ voiced: voiced sound], [- voiced: voiceless sound]

[+ aspirated: aspirated], [- aspirated: unaspirated]

1. Aspiration

a. Aspirated

Symbol: []



[- voiced, + plosive] [+ aspirated] when syllable initial.

Means: voiceless plosive sounds (/p, t, k/) will be aspirated as they are the initial syllable, or when they stand in initial position of a stress syllable.

Eg. car [:] important [/] top []

b. Unaspirated

Symbol: [=]



[- voiced, + plosive] [- aspirated] when standing:

+ after /s/ at the beginning of the syllable; or

+ in medial or final position of a syllable

Eg. sport [=] happy [=] map [=]



2. Unexploded articulation

Symbol: [ ]



[- voiced, + plosive] unexploded before another [+ plosive]

Eg. act [] adapt [] looked []



3. Dentalization

Symbol: [ ]



[+ alveolar] [+ dental] before [+ dental], means that alveolar (/t, d, s, z, l, n/) will be dentalized when it stand before a dental sounds (/,/).

Eg. eighth [] width //



4. Consonants:

[+consonantal) longer when at the end of the word.

Eg. mum [] - // is pronounced longer.



[-voiced] longer when at the end of the word.

Eg. cap [] cook [] - // and // are pronounced longer.



5. Devoicing

Symbol: [ ]



[+ approximant] devoiced after [+ aspirated, + plosive]

Approximant (/w, r, j, l/) will be devoiced when stand after aspirated plosive.

Eg. play [] cry [] between [:]

6. Syllabicity (forming syllable without vowel)

Symbol: [ ]



[+ nasal] [+ syllabic] when at the end of the word and after [+ obstruent] (plosive, fricative or affricate)

Eg. chasm [] mechnism []



[+lateral] [+ syllabic] when at the end of the word and after another consonant.

Eg. channel [] metal []



7. Velarization

Symbol: [ ]



[+ lateral] velarized when after a vowel and before another consonant; or at the end of the word.

Eg. milk [] file [] mill []



8. More front articulation

[+ velar] more front before more front vowels

Eg. key [] gap []

// and // become more front as they stand before front vowels

9. Vowel quality

a. [+vowel] longer in open syllables (no consonant after the vowel).

Eg. see [:] key []



b. [+ vowel] longer in stressed syllable.

Eg. populate [] population []



c. [+ vowel] shorter before voiceless sounds in the same syllable.

Eg. lap [] hit [] – the vowel is pronounced shorter.



d. [+ vowel] [+ nasal] before [+ nasal]

Symbol: [ ]

Eg. ban [] calm [:] bean [:]

5. [+ front vowel] [retracted] before syllable final //; or before velarized []

Eg. milk [] calory []



B. Exercises

1. Give some allophones of the phoneme /k/ that occurs in different distribution?

[] - /k/ is aspirated when it is initial syllable; or stands in initial position of stress syllable.

Eg. car [:] can []

[=] - /k/ is unaspirated when it stands aster /s/ in the beginning syllable; or in the medial or final position of the word.

Eg. scar [=:] book [=]

[] - /k/ is unexploded as it stands before another plosive.

Eg. act [] cooked []

[The same is applied to other voiceless plosive (/p, t/)].



2. What happens to an English fortis plosive when they are preceded by a voiceless alveolar fricative? Give one example for each plosive of this kind.

When an English fortis (voiceless) plosive (/p, t, k/) is preceded by a voiceless alveolar fricative (/s/), it will be unaspirated.

Eg.

Eg. sport [=] happy [=] map [=]



scar [=:] sky [=]

stop [=] stay [=]



3. Transcribe the word CONGRATULATION phonetically, then give the description of the transcribed consonants.

Congratulation []

: voiceless (aspirated) velar plosive (oral fortis)

n: voiced alveolar nasal lenis

: voiced velar plosive oral lenis

: voiced retroflex approximant (glide)

: voiceless alveolar plosive oral fortis

: voiced alveolar lateral oral lenis

: voiceless palato-alveolar fricative

4. Show the differences between the underlined sounds in the following pair of words

a. wide

[]


width

[]


The first one is longer, the second is dentalized.

f. quite

[]


sky

[=]



// in the first word is shorter, but // in the second is longer

b. quick

[]


skill

[]


/k/ in the first word is unaspirated as it stand at the final position, /k/ in the second is aspirated as stands after /s/.

g. good

[]


food

[:]


// in the first word is a short vowel, but /:/ is a long vowel

c.import

[]


shore

[]


// in the first word is shorten, but // in the second is longer.

h. truth

[:]


true

[:]


/:/ in the first word is shorter as standing before voiceless sound, but /:/ in the second is longer

d. bill

[]


plate

[p]



/l/ in the first word is velarized, but /l/ in the second word is devoiced

i. kilt

[]


led

[]


// in the first word is velarized, but // in the second word is unchanged

e.health

[]


love

[]


/l/ in the first word is dentalized, but /l/ in the second word is unchanged

j. cook

[k=]



key

[:]


/k/ in the first word is unaspirated, but /k/ in the second one is aspirated

5. What do the following formulas mean? Give example for each case.

a. [+ alveolar]  [+ detal] before [+ dental]

means alveolar (/, , , , , /) will be dentalized when it stands before a dental sound (/, /).

Eg. eighth [] width //

b. [+ approximant]  [- voiceless] after fortis plosive

means approximant (/, , , /) will be devoiced when it stands after fortis (voiceless) plosive (/, , /).

Eg. play [] cry [] between [:]

c. [+ vowels]  [+ nasal] before [+ nasal]

means vowel will be nasalized as standing before a nasal sound (/, , /).

Eg. ban [] calm [:] bean [:]



UNIT 6 ASPECTS OF CONNECTED SPEECH

A. Theory

1. What is assimilation in the English language? Give example

Assimilation is a process when one sound adapts itself to the neighbouring sound so that it becomes close to the assimilating one in one or more aspects.

Eg. in the [ ]  [ ]

right place [ ]  [ ]

2. What is elision / liaision? Give example

Elision is the missing out of a consonant or vowel or both in informal spoken English or in rapid speech in English.

Eg. acts [] - // will be disappeared in the articualtion of the word.

looked back [ ] - // will be disappeared in the articualtion of the word.

today [] - // is disappeared

potato [] - // is disappeared

Liaision is a phenomenon where a sound is linked to another in informal speech.

Eg. come in [] set up []



3. What is the difference between progressive assimilation and regressive assimilation? Prove it.

Consider a case where two words are combined, the first word ends with a single final consonant (Cf) and the second one starts with a single initial consonant (Ci).

We have the following construction: Cf  Ci

In progressive assimilation, the initial consonant (Ci) changes to become like the final consonant (Cf) in some ways, whereas (Cf) changes to become like (Ci) in some aspects in regressive assimilation.

Eg.


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