Stresses and pauses. Make sure that you also indicate as many weak forms


Characterize the vowels/diphthongs in terms of tongue position, height, frontness, roundness



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Characterize the vowels/diphthongs in terms of tongue position, height, frontness, roundness of the following words:

‘old’ /əʊld/ The diphthong /əʊ/ is among the closing diphthongs which glides towards ʊ, so that the tongue moves closer to the roof of the mouth, with a rounding movement of the lips occurring simultaneously.This movement is not a large one, again because the second part of the diphthong is weak. The vowel position for the beginning of /əʊ/is the same as for the “schwa” vowel /ə/. The lips may be slightly rounded in anticipation of the glide towards ʊ, for which there is a noticeable lip-rounding.


‘grandmother’ /ˈgræn(d)ˌmʌðə/
æ This is a near-open (or near-low) front unrounded vowel which means the tongue is positioned similarly to an open vowel, but is slightly more constricted.
ʌ low central unrounded vowel formed by a partially depressed position of the mandible with the tongue position being located halfway between the palatal area and the floor of the mouth.
ə Close-mid central unrounded vowel, is produced with a middle position of the mandible with the tongue being in central position of the palatal area and the floor of the mouth.

‘used’ /ˈjuːst/


uː is a phoneme which is usually classed as long vowel. It is pronounced with something of a diphthongal glide. It's a close back rounded vowel, and it It is made with rounded lips. Back vowels are shaped with the back of the tongue raised towards the soft palate (velum) Close vowels use a closed mandible position and a high tongue position. The tongue actually resting on the alveolar ridge.

‘say’ /seɪ/ closing diphthong /eɪ/, consisting of the mid-front vowel /e/ plus the short vowel /ɪ/. It ends with a glide towards /ɪ/. It begins with a vowel that is made slightly higher in the mouth than the mid-low front unrounded vowel /ɛ/ and it is transcribed as /e/. It is made in with the tongue elevated to the mid-high front position and it is, like all front vowels, unrounded. It ends with a glide towards mid-high front unrounded /ɪ/. The resultant diphthong is, therefore, /eɪ/. This is a close vowel because the second part of the diphthong is weak, they often do not reach a position that could be called close. The important thing is that a glide from a relatively more open towards a relatively closer vowel is produced.

‘haven’t /hævnt/
æ This is a near-open (or near-low) front unrounded vowel which means the tongue is positioned similarly to an open vowel, but is slightly more constricted.

You may first transcribe the words and then characterize them.




  1. Provide a complete phonetic, narrow, allophonic characterization of the following sounds as they appear in the text. Briefly explain your characterization:

1. /l/ in ‘old’ L1 [ˈəʊɫd] This is a dark, velarized [ɫ] as it appears at the end of a word and immediately after it, there is a consonant.

2. /d/ in ‘used /ˈjuːst/. It's pronounced in this way as it is part of a modal verb phrase (sometimes called quasi-modal along with 'ought to', 'want to' etc), rather than an adjective 'used' which is pronounced /ju:zd/, and meaning 'accustomed or habituated to'. We use it when we refer to things in the past which are no longer true, and it is pronounced /t/ after voiceless consonants other than /t/.

3. /ɜː/ in: ‘worseL1 /'wɜ:s/ is an open-mid central unrounded vowel. All central vowels are produced in an intermediate position between front and back vowels, with the body of the tongue raised towards the roof of the mouth in the area where the hard and soft palates fuse. It is similar to the /ə/ sound, but the two little dots mean that it is a long sound. /ɜ:/ not /ə/.
4. /l/ in ‘lightL3 /'laɪt/ is a clear, voiced alveolar lateral approximant as it occurs in word-initial position.

5. /k/ in ‘keepingL3 /ˈkʰiːpɪŋ/ Here /ˈkʰ/ is aspirated as it occurs at the beginning of the word and the beginning of a stressed syllable.

6./ t/ in ’thought’ L5 /'θɔ:t/ it is unaspirated here as it occurs finally.
7./ t/ in ‘gettingL5 /'getⁿɪŋ/ it is unaspirated here as it occurs at the end of a stressed syllable

8. /d/ in ‘good’ L7 /'gʊd ̚ / This is inaudibly released (or unexploded) [d ̚ ]. / d / is released without an explosion when it occurs finally, i.e. before silence as in head, road, pleased; and it is followed by another plosive or affricate as in headgear.

9. /p/ in ‘exceptL8 /ɪk'sep o t/ This is a Stop which is unexploded when it occurs before plosive or affricate

10 /l/ in ‘usually/'ju:ʒəlɪ/ This is a clear [l] is realized when the lateral is followed by a vowel or a semi-vowel.



GOOD LUCK WITH THIS 3RD ASSIGNMENT AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!


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