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NHA TRANG UNIVERSITY


FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION
*********

ENGLISH PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY

Compiled by LE CAO HOANG HA M.A.


HOANG CONG BINH M.A

Updated January 2012

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
CHAPTER I PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY 3
1. Phonetics and its Main Branches 3
2. Phonetics and Phonology 4
Assignment 1 4
CHAPTER II THE PRODUCTION OF SPEECH 7
1. The Speech Chain 7
2. The Speech Mechanism 7
Assignment 2 10
CHAPTER III THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE ENGLISH SOUNDS 12
1. Speech sounds 12
2. Vowels 12
3. Consonants 15
Assignment 3 18
CHAPTER IV PHONOLOGY: THE SOUND PATTERNS OF LANGUAGE 23
1. The Phoneme 23
2. Types of Pronunciation 23
3. Phonetic Alphabet 28
4. Principles of Transcription 29
Assignment 4 30
CHAPTER V THE SYLLABLE 32
1. Definition 32
2. Syllable Formation 32
3. Closed and Opened syllables 34
4. Strong and Weak Syllables 34
Assignment 5 36
CHAPTER VI WORD - STRESS 39
1. The Nature of Stress 39
2. Levels of Stress 39
3. Placement of Stress within the Word 39
Assignment 6 43
CHAPTER VII ASPECTS OF CONNECTED SPEECH 46

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1. Sentence Stress 46
2. Rhythm 47
3. Assimilation and Accommodation 47
4. Elision 50
5. Weak Forms 51
6. Linking 52
Assignment 7 52
CHAPTER VIII INTONATION 54
1. Intonation 54
2. Basic Tones 54
3. Tone Unit 57
4. Pitch Possibilities in Simple Tone Units 58
5. Pitch Possibilities in Complex Tone Units 59
6. High and low heads 59
7. Functions of Intonation 60
Assignment 8 61
ENGLISH - VIETNAMESE TERMINOLOGY 64
REFERENCES 65

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CHAPTER I - PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY


1. Phonetics and its Main Branches
1.1. Definition of Phonetics
Phonetics is the study of human speech sounds. It is a branch of linguistics studying the
production, the physical nature, and the perception of speech sounds. A speech sound is a physical
event with three aspects: a - physiological (the production of speech sounds by the organs of
articulation), b - acoustic (the transmission of speech sounds), and c - auditory (the perception of
speech sounds).
Phonetics is the study of how speech sounds are produced, transmitted and perceived.
There are different areas of phonetics, three main areas of which are articulatory phonetics,
acoustic phonetics, and auditory phonetics.
1.2. Articulatory phonetics
Articulatory phonetics deals with the way in which the speech sounds are produced. It describes
speech sounds genetically - that is, with respect to the ways by which the organs of speech modify
the air stream in the throat, the mouth, and the nose in order to produce a sound. The production of
different speech sounds through the use of the organs of speech is known as articulation.
In describing articulation, it is important to know which articulators are involved in sound
production. An articulator is a part of the mouth, nose, or throat which is used in producing
speech. It is usual for the learners to distinguish between those parts that are immobile (passive
articulators) and those that can move under the control of the speaker (active articulators).
According to David Crystal (1994: 130), the passive articulators are a- the upper teeth, b- the teeth
ridge (the alveolar ridge), and c- the hard palate. The active articulators are a- pharynx, b- soft
palate or velum, c- lips, d- jaws, e- the tongue, and f- the vocal cords.
In addition, sounds produced within the larynx or vocal tract are influenced by the shape of the
pharyngeal, oral (mouth) and nasal cavities in the vocal tract through which the air stream passes.
These cavities give sounds the resonance. Several kinds of resonance can be produced because the
vocal tract is able to adopt many different shapes.
The vocal tract is the air passages which are above the vocal cords and which are involved in the
production of speech sounds. The vocal tract can be divided into the nasal cavity, which is the air
passage within and behind the nose, and the oral cavity, which is the air passage within the mouth
and the throat. The shape of the vocal tract can be changed, e.g. by changing the position of the
tongue or the lips. Changes in the shape of the vocal tract cause differences in speech sounds.
1.3. Acoustic phonetics
Acoustic phonetics deals with the transmission of speech sounds through the air. It is the study of
speech waves as the output of a resonator. A spectrograph may be used to record significant
characteristics of speech waves and to determine the effect of articulatory activities. Parts of this
record of speech waves can be cut out experimentally and the rest can be played back as sound in
order to determine which features suffice to identify the sounds of a language.
1.4. Auditory phonetics
Auditory phonetics deals with how speech sounds are perceived by the listeners.

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2. Phonetics and Phonology


As seen above, phonetics is the study of pronunciation, that is, the study of human speech sounds.
Besides having the physical properties, the speech sounds also have the distinctive function when
they are used as distinctive units of sounds in a language. According to I. J. Ohala (in R. E. Asher,
1994:3053), other designations for this field of inquiry include speech science or the phonetic
sciences and phonology. Some apply the term phonetics to the physical, including
physiological, aspects of speech; others prefer to reserve the term phonology for the study of the
more abstract, the more functional, or the more psychological aspects of the underpinnings of
speech.
Phonetics, as used in this course of study, is the study of all speech sounds and the ways in which
they are produced. The main aims of phonetics are to describe and to classify human speech
sounds. Phonology is the study and identification of the distinctive units of sound in a language.
This course of English phonetics and phonology is written for Vietnamese students of Nha
Trang University studying English phonetics. The type of the English pronunciation described in
the present textbook is known as Received Pronunciation (Standard British accent). Since RP is
easily understood in all English speaking countries, it is adapted as the teaching norm in the
schools and higher educational institutions.
This course of English phonetics and phonology will focus on the following theoretical aspects:
the production of speech, the classification of the English sounds, phonology: the sound patterns of
English, the syllable, English word stress, aspects of connected speech, weak forms and intonation.
Students completing this course will be able to have the basic theoretical knowledge of English
phonetics and phonology and will be able to improve their pronunciation, which will help them
teach English effectively after their graduation.
The present course of study has been given the title: English Phonetics and Phonology following
Peter Roach (1987) because at the comparatively advanced level, it is used to present the
information of English pronunciation in the context of a general theory about speech sounds and
how they are used in language. The theoretical context is called phonetics and phonology.
Recommended Reading:
Crystal ( 1994 : 124 - 131); Fromkin ( 1986 : 37 -41 ); Laderfoged (1982 : 1-5 ); Roach ( 1987 : 8
- 10 ).
ASSIGNMENT 1
I-Questions for Discussion
1- What is phonetics?
2- What are the three aspects of the speech sound as a physical event?
3- What is articulatory phonetics? What are the passive and active articulators?
4- What is the use of the shapes of the cavities in sound production?
5- What does acoustic phonetics study?
6- What is / are the main differences between phonetics and phonology?
7- What type of pronunciation is described in the present text book? What are the other types of
pronunciation we should pay attention to?

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8- What theoretical aspects of phonetics should we pay attention to?


II- True /False: Decide whether the following statements are true or false:
1- Phonetics is the study of human speech sounds.
2- Three aspects of a speech sound as a physical event are: a-structure, b-arranging and c- auditory.
3- Articulatory phonetics studies the ways in which speech sounds are produced.
4- In describing articulation, we should know which articulators are involved in sound production.
5- The tongue is a passive articulator.
6- Sounds produced are influenced by the shapes of the cavities.
7- Acoustic phonetics deals with how the speech sounds are produced by the listener.
8- Auditory phonetics studies the speech waves.
9- The main aim of phonetics is the study and identification of the distinctive sound unit.
10- RP is the standard New Zealand accent. It is the only accent studied. Other accents are not
important and, therefore, should not be taken into consideration.
III - Multiple choice: Choose the best answer
1-deals with how speech sounds are produced, transmitted, and perceived.
A- Grammar B- Phonotactics C- Phonetics D- Text linguistics
2- .................. phonetics deals with how speech sounds are perceived by the listener.
A - Articulatory B- Acoustic C- Experimental D- Auditory
3- .......... phonetics deals with the transmission of speech sounds through the air.
A- Articulatory B- Acoustic C- Experimental D- Auditory
4- Which of the following is not considered as (an) articulator(s)?
A- the tongue B- the lips C- the velum D- the ears
5- ... ....is the study or description of the distinctive sound units of a language and their relationship
to one another.
A- Phonetics B- Phonology C-Semantics D- Pragmatics
6-The production of different speech sounds through the use of the organs of speech is known as . .
......
A- assimilation B- dissimilation C- articulation D- syllabification
7- Which of the following is not an aspect of the speech sounds as a physical event?
A- Physiological B- Acoustic
C- Articulatory D- Comprehensive
8- Besides having the physical properties, the speech sound also have when they are used as
distinctive units of sounds in a language.
A- thematic function B- stylistic function
C- affective function D- distinctive function
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9- The term is applied for the study of the more abstract, the more functional, or the more
psychological aspects of speech.
A- phonetics B- phonology C- grammar D-semantics
10- Since . is easily understood in all English speaking countries, it is adapted as the teaching
norm in the schools and higher educational institutions.
A- Received Pronunciation B- Broad Australian
C- Narrow American D- New Zealand

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CHAPTER II - THE PRODUCTION OF SPEECH


1. The Speech Chain
Any manifestation of language by means of speech is a result of highly complicated series of
events as shown in the process of communication. For example a man looks out of the window and
see the rain coming down, he would say, "Its raining". Thus, such simple sentences as It's raining
involves a number of activities on the part of the speaker. In the first place, the linguistic
formulation of the sentence will take place in the brain. The first stage may, therefore, be said to be
psychological. The nervous system transmits this message to the so - called "organs of speech"
and they in turn produce a particular pattern of sound, the second important stage may thus be said
to be articulatory or physiological. The movement of our organs of speech will create
disturbances in the air. These sound waves constitute the third stage in the speech chain, the
physical or acoustic. Since communication generally requires a listener as well as a speaker, these
stages will be reversed at the listening end: the reception of the sound waves by the ears and the
transmission of the information along the nervous system to the brain where the linguistic
interpretation of the message takes place.
2. The Speech Mechanism

Figure 1. The articulators Figure 2. Inside larynx seen from above


2.1. The lungs
The immediate source of speech sounds in the human speech mechanism has developed and
perfected in the process of the historical development of man. The most usual source of energy for
our vocal activities is provided by an air stream expelled from the lungs. Our utterances are,
therefore, largely shaped by the physical limitations imposed by the capacity of our lungs and the
muscles which control the action. We are obliged to pause in articulation in order to refill our
lungs with the air.
2.2. The larynx
The air stream provided by the lungs undergoes important modifications before it acquires the
quality of a speech sound. First of all, in the windpipe, it passes through the larynx containing the
so - called vocal cords. The larynx is situated in the upper part of the wind - pipe. Its forward
position is prominent in the neck below the chin and is commonly called the "Adam's apple".

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2.2.1. Vocal cords


Housed from back to front are the vocal cords: two thick flaps of muscle rather like a pair
of lips. The action of the vocal cords consists in their role as a vibrator set in motion by lung air -
the production of voice (or phonotation). We are able by means of vibrations in pressure from the
lungs to modify the size of the puff of air which escapes at each vibration of the vocal cords; in
other words, we can alter the amplitude of the vibration, with the corresponding change of
loudness of the sound heard by a listener. The normal human being soon learns to manipulate his
speech mechanism so that most delicate changes of pitch and loudness are achieved. Control of his
mechanism is, however, very largely exercised by the air.
2.2.2. Glottis
We use the word glottis to refer to the opening between the vocal cords. If the vocal cords
are apart we say that the glottis is open; if they are pressed together we say that the glottis is
closed. According to Peter Roach, there would be four easily recognizable states of the vocal
cords:

Figure 3. Four different states of the glottis (adapted from Peter Roach)
a- Wide apart
The vocal cords are wide apart for normal breathing and usually during voiceless
consonants like /p/, /f/, /t/, /s/, /k/, etc.
b- Narrow glottis
If air is passed through the glottis when it is narrowed, the result is a fricative sound for
which the symbol is /h/. The sound is not very different from a whispered vowel. It is called a
voiceless glottal fricative.
c- Position for vocal cord vibration
When the edges of the vocal cords are touching or nearly touching, air passing through the
glottis will usually cause vibration which results in voiced sound, for example: /b/, /d/, /g/, etc. The
movement is not at all like the vibration of the string of a musical instrument; what usually
happens is that air is pressed up from the lungs and this air pushes the vocal cords apart so that a
little air escapes. As the air flows quickly past the edges of the vocal cords, the cords are brought

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together again by two forces acting together: firstly, the vocal cords are trying to return to the
shape and position they were in before they were pushed apart, and secondly, the rapid movement
of the air through the narrow glottis causes the edges of the vocal cords to be drawn together. This
opening and closing happens very rapidly and is repeated regularly - around one or two hundred
times per second in a mans voice and more in womens and childrens voices.
d- Vocal cords tightly closed.
The vocal cords can be firmly pressed so that air can not pass between them. When this
happens in speech we call it a glottal stop or glottal plosive.
The air - stream, having passed through the larynx, is now subjected to further modifications
according to the shape assumed by the upper cavities of the pharynx and mouth, and according to
whether the nasal cavity is brought into. Use or not. These cavities function as the principal
resonators of the note produced in the larynx.
2.3. The pharyngeal cavity
The pharyngeal cavity extends from the top of the larynx, past the epiglottis and the root of the
tongue to the rear of the soft palate.
2.4. Oral cavity
2.4.1. Roof of the mouth
It is convenient for our purposes to divide the roof of the mouth into three parts: moving
backwards from the upper teeth, first, the alveolar or teeth - ridge which can be clearly felt behind
the teeth; secondly, the bony ridge which forms the hard palate and finally, the soft palate (which
is capable of being raised or lowered), and at extremity of which is the uvula. All these parts can
be easily observed by means of a mirror. The main divisions will be referred to as: dental, alveolar,
hard palate, and soft palate.
2.4.2. Tongue
The tongue has no physical divisions like the palate. It is, however, convenient for the purposes of
phonetics to imagine the surface of the tongue to be divided into the parts (the tip, the blade, the
front, the middle and the back) corresponding to the roof of the mouth. The front is opposite the
hard palate. The back is opposite the soft palate.

Figure 4: Parts of the tongue


2.4.3. Lips
The lips constitute the final part of the mouth cavity. The shape which they assume will affect very
considerably the shape of the total cavity. They may form a complete obstruction to the air -

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stream, which may be momentarily prevented from escaping at all or may be directed through the
nose by lowering of the soft palate. They may be rounded or unrounded.

Recommended Reading:
Asher (1994 : 3051 -3053 ); Crystal (1994 : 124 -132); Lederfoged (1982 : 113 -133 ); Nesterov
(1976 : 17 - 19 ).
ASSIGNMENT 2
I- Questions for Discussion
1- How many stages are there in the speech chain?
2- Where does the most usual source of energy for our vocal activities come from?
3- What role do the cavities play in the production of sounds?
4- How important are the vocal cords? What is the shape of the vocal cords like when we produce
voiced sounds?
5- What kind of sound is produced when the soft palate is raised? Lowered?
6- What are the important parts of the roof of the mouth?
7- What are the important parts of the tongue?
8- How are the lips important in sound production?
II- True /False: Decide whether the following are true or false:
1 - It is said that there are four stages in the speech chain: a - psychological, b- articulatory, c-
acoustic, and d- interpretive.
2 - The larynx, which is situated in the upper part of the windpipe, contains the so-called vocal
cords.
3 - The action of the vocal cords consists in their role as a vibrator set in motion by lung air.
4 - When the edges of the vocal cords are touching or nearly touching, the air passing through the
glottis will usually cause vibration, which produces voiced sounds.
5 - When the vocal cords are wide apart, the sounds produced are voiced sounds.
6 - A vowel is a sound in the production of which there is a complete closure in the vocal tract.
7 - The most important parts of the tongue for producing vowel sounds are front, central and back.
8 - Nasal, oral and pharyngeal cavities function as the principal resonators.
9 - The lip shape is important in producing either rounded or unrounded vowels.
10 - The main division of the roof of the mouth are dental, alveolar, hard palate, and soft palate.
III- Multiple Choice: Choose the best answer
1-Which of the following is not a stage of the speech chain?
A- psychological B- articulatory C- acoustic D- synthetic
2-The . . . . . . . . . . . . . provide the most usual source of energy.

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A- lungs B- ears C- eyes D- lips


3-The larynx is situated in the upper part of the . . . . . . . . .
A- mouth B- windpipe C- eye D- ear
4- When the vocal cords are touching or nearly touching, the sounds they produced might be:
A- /p, t and k/ B- /s, k and t/ C- /p, s and k/ D- /a:, and i:/
5-The oral, nasal and laryngeal cavities function as.of the note produced in the larynx.
A-vibrators B- resonators C- joiner D- filler
6- Which of the following is/ arethe articulators above the larynx?
A- The lungs B- The stomach C- The tongue D- The eyes
7- The is between the teeth ridge and the soft palate.
A- hard palate B- tongue C- nose D- lungs
8- We use the word glottis to refer to the opening between . . . . . . . . .
A- the eyes B- the ears C- the vocal cords D- the mouth
9- The .. can be rounded or unrounded.
A- vibrators B- resonators C- joiners D- fillers
10- Which of the following states of the vocal cords is important in the production of vibration?
A- wide apart B- touching or nearly touching each other
C- narrow glottis D- half apart

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CHAPTER III - THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE ENGLISH SPEECH SOUNDS


1. Speech sounds
According to David Crystal (1994: 152), the description and classification of speech sounds is the
main aim of phonetic science, or phonetic sounds may be identified with reference to their
production (or articulation) in the vocal tract, their acoustic transmission, or their auditory
reception. The most widely used descriptions are articulatory because the vocal tract provides a
convenient and well - understood reference point. An articulatory description generally makes
reference to seven main factors: a- air stream, b- vocal folds, c- soft palate, d- place of articulation,
e- manner of articulation and f- tongue and g- lips. The following parts will present the description
and classification of the sounds in the English language.
Speech sounds are divided into vowels and consonants. Vowels and consonants differ in
distribution and production. In terms of distribution, the vowel is in the center of the syllable and
the consonant either precedes or follows the vowel. The following table shows major differences
between vowels and consonants in terms of production.
Vowels Consonants
Produced with relatively little obstruction Produced with a narrow or complete
in the vocal tract closure in the vocal tract
More sonorous Less sonorous
Voiced Voiced or voiceless
Syllabic Generally not syllabic
Table 1: Major Differences between Vowels and Consonants
2. Vowels
A vowel is a sound in the production of which the air passage through the mouth is free. All
vowels are voiced sounds. In the English language, vowels can be classified into Pure Vowels
(Monophthong) and Diphthongs (and possibly triphthongs).
2.1. Pure vowels
A pure vowel (monophthong) is an unchanging sound in the pronunciation of which the organs of
speech do not perceptibly change the position throughout the duration of the vowel in a syllable.
The first widely used system for classifying vowels was devised by the British phonetician, Daniel
Jones. The Cardinal Vowel Diagram is a set of standard reference points based on a combination
of articulatory and auditory judgments. The front, centre, and back of the tongue are distinguished,
as are four levels of tongue height. Once the cardinal vowel values have been learned, it is possible
to place the vowels of a speaker of any language on to the chart in a fairly precise way.

Figure 3: The primary cardinal vowels (Peter Roach, 1987)

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Front Central Back


Close
Mid-close

Mid-open

Open
Spread Rounded
Neutral
Figure 4: The Cardinal Vowel Diagram
In the production of the English sounds the tongue may move forward or backward or it may be
raised or lowered. Pure vowel sounds may be classified according to the following principles:
2.1.1. The raised part of the tongue
According to which part of the tongue is raised (i.e. according to whether the back, the front or the
middle of the tongue is raised towards the roof of the mouth), vowels can be front, central and
back.
a. Front vowels
There are four front vowels in the English language in the production of which the front of
the tongue is raised in the direction of the hard palate. The front vowels are: /i:/ (as in sea, teeth),
// (as in sit, lip), /e/ (as in head, met) and // (as in man, sand).
b. Back vowels
There are five back vowels in the production of which the back of the tongue is raised in
the direction of the soft palate. The back vowels are: /u:/ (as in shoe, fool), // (as in full, pull), /:/
(as in heart, hard), // (as in hot, shock), and /:/ (as in short, fork).
c. Central / Mid vowels
Then there are vowels intermediate between front and back. We call them central vowel
sounds. In the articulation of these sounds, the center (or middle) of the tongue is raised toward the
palate. The central vowels are /:/ (as in bird, shirt), // (as in again, along) and // (as in sun, run).
2.1.2. The height of the raised part of the tongue
According to the height to which the part of the tongue is raised, vowels can be close (or high),
mid-open/ mid-close, open (or low).
a. Close (or high) vowels:
There are 4 close (or high) vowels in the production of which one part of the tongue comes
close to the palate without touching it and the air passage is narrow, but not so much as to form a
consonant. The close vowels are /i:/, //, // and /u:/.
b. Open (or low) vowels:
There are 4 open (or low) vowels in the production of which one part of the tongue is very
low and the air passage is very wide, e.g. //, /:/, // and //.
13
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

c. Mid - open/ mid -close vowels


There are mid-open /mid - close vowels in the production of which the tongue is half-way
between its high and low position, e.g. /e/, //, /:/ and /:/.
2.1.3. The lip shape
According to the lip shape, vowels can be rounded, neutral or unrounded (spread);
a. Rounded vowels
There are rounded vowels in the production of which the lips are drawn together so that the
opening between them is more or less round, e.g. //, /u:/, //, /:/, and /:/.
b. Neutral vowels
There are neutral vowels in the production of which the lips are not noticeably rounded or
spread, e.g. //, //, /:/.
c. Spread vowels
There are spread vowels in the production of which the lips may be spread out so as to
leave a long narrow opening between them, e.g. /i:/, //, /e/ and //.
2.1.4. The vowel length
According to the length vowels may be long or short. The colon (:) is used with the phonetic
symbols for the vowels which are long, e.g. /i:/, /u:/.
Position of tongue
FRONT CENTRAL BACK
Height of tongue
/i:/ /u:/
CLOSE (high)
// / /
/e/ /:/ /:/
MID OPEN (mind)
//
// / / /:/
OPEN (low)
/ /
2.2. Diphthongs
A diphthong is a vowel in the production of which there is a change in quality during a single
syllable. According to Peter Roach (1987), a diphthong is a combination of two vowels
pronounced within one syllable. The first element of a diphthong is called the nucleus; the second
element is called the glide. In the English language, the nucleus is a strong, clear and distinct
vowel sound. The glide is weak in the articulation of a diphthong. The organs of speech start from
the position necessary for the first vowels and glide in the direction of the second vowels. The first
element in all the diphthongs is stressed and is stronger than the second. In some other languages,
the second element is louder, stronger and more distinct than the first.

14
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

Figure 4: Chart of English diphthongs


Diphthongs can be classified into a- retracting (ending in //, e.g. now, town, go, show), b-
fronting (ending in //, e.g. eye, why, say, day, boy, destroy), and c- centering (ending in //, e.g.
hear, near). Diphthongs can also be classified into a- closing (ending in either // or //, e.g. life,
like, say, waiter, phone, know) or b- centering (ending in //, e.g. here, near, hair, sure).
The following diagram shows the classification of the diphthongs in English according to the
ending elements.
Figure 5: DIPHTHONGS

Centering Closing

Ending in // Ending in // Ending in //

e e a a
3. Consonants
3.1. Definition
A consonant is a sound in the production of which an obstruction to the airstream is formed in the
mouth by the active articulators /organs of speech. The organs of speech are tense at the place of
obstruction. In the articulation of voiceless consonants the air stream is strong whereas in voiced
consonants it is weaker.
The particular quality of a consonant depends on the work of the vocal cords, the position of the
soft palate and the kind of noise that results when the tongue or the lips obstruct the air-passage.
3.2. Classification
There are two types of articulatory obstruction: complete and incomplete. A complete obstruction
is formed when two organs of speech come in contact with each other and the air-passage through
the mouth is blocked. An incomplete obstruction is formed when an articulating organ is held so
close to a point of articulation as to narrow, or constrict, the air-passage without blocking it.
According to David Crystal (1994: 155), consonants are normally described with reference to six
criteria:

15
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

a- the source of the air stream - whether from the lungs (pulmonic) or from some other
source (non - pulmonic),
b- the direction of the air stream - whether moving outwards (egressive) or inwards
(ingressive),
c- the state of vibration of the vocal cords - whether vibrating (voiced) or not (voiceless),
d- the position of the soft palate - whether raised (oral) or lowered (nasal);
e- the place of articulation in the vocal tract, and
f- the manner of articulation.
In the following part, the traditional classification of consonants will be presented based on the two
last criteria, viz.
a- according to the organs of articulation; and
b- according to the manner of articulation.
A. The organs of articulation
According to the organs of articulation, we can distinguish seven main classes of consonants:
a. Labial or lip sounds, which may be subdivided into:
-Bi-labial, namely sounds articulated by the two lips, e.g. /p/ (as in pen, put), /b/ (as
in best, bill), /w/ (as in well).
-Labio-dental, namely sounds articulated by the lower lip against the upper teeth, /f/
(as in fine, five), /v/ (as in very, van).
b. Dental, namely sounds articulated by the tip of the tongue against the upper teeth, e.g. //
(as in this, those); // (as in thick, thin).
c. Alveolar, namely sounds articulated by the tip or blade of the tongue against the teeth
ridge, e.g. /t / (as in ten, top); /d/ (as in did, do); /n/ (as in nose, not); /l / (as in letter, little); /r/ (as
in run, rest); /s/ (as in six, seen); and /z/ (as in zero, zoom).
d. Palato alveolar, namely sounds which have alveolar articulation together with a
simultaneous raising of the main body of the tongue towards the roof of the mouth, e.g. /t/ (as in
chair, choice), /d/ (as in bridge, just); // (as in shall, she ).
e. Palatal, namely sounds articulated by the tongue against the hard palate, e.g. /j/ (as in
yes, you).
f. Velar (soft palate), namely sounds articulated by the back of the tongue against the soft
palate, e.g. /k/ as in cut, kiss), /g/ (as in good, give), // (as in song, sing).
g. Glottal, namely sounds articulated in the glottis (the opening between the vocal cords is
known as glottis), e.g. /h/ (as in he, head).
B. The manner of articulation
According to the manner of articulation, we distinguish seven main classes, too:
a. Plosives (stop sounds/ explosive sounds)
It is so-called because the air stream is completely stopped for a moment, after which it is
allowed to rush out of the mouth with an explosive sound, e.g. /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/.
16
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

All plosives can occur at the beginning of a word (in initial position), between other sounds
(in medial position) and at the end of the word (in final position).
b. Nasal
A nasal is the sound in the production of which all the air from the lungs escapes down the
nose and not through the mouth at all, e.g. /m/, /n/ and //. /m/ and /n/ can occur initially, medially
and finally. // can occur only medially and finally (-ng).
A B
Finger /'fg/ Singer /'s/
Anger /'g/ Hanger /'h/
Within a word containing the letters ng, // occurs without a following /g/ if it occurs at
the end of a morpheme, if it occurs in the middle of a morpheme it has a following /g/.
c. Lateral
A lateral is the sound formed by the tip of the tongue firmly pressed against the teeth ridge
or the teeth so that the air can escape at one or both sides of the tongue, e.g. /l/. This sound occurs
initially, medially and finally. Initial /l/ (as in like) is called clear /l/. Final /l/ (as in little) is called
dark //.
d. Rolled
A rolled is the sound in the production of which the tip of the tongue vibrates in the stream
of air, e.g. /r/. /r/ only occurs before a vowel. In the words such as car, ever, hard, verse, there is
no /r/ in the pronunciation. However, most Americans and Scots pronounce /r/ in final position.
Accents which have /r/ in final position and before a consonant are called rhotic accents, while
accents in which /r/ only occurs before vowels are called non - rhotic.
e. Fricative
A fricative is the sound formed by a narrowing of the air passage at some point so that the
air in escaping makes a kind of hissing e.g. /f/, /s/ or buzzing e.g. /z/ sound. The fricatives in the
English language are /f/, /v/, //, / /, /s/, /z/, //, // and /h /. /f /, /v/, //, //, /s/, /z/ can be found in
initial, medial and final position. //can occur only medially. /h /occurs initially and medially.
f. Affricative
An affricative is a combination of a plosive consonant with an immediately following
fricative // or // sound, e.g. /t/ (as in chair, church), /d/ (as in judge, just). Affricatives can occur
initially, medially and finally.
g. Semi-vowel
A semi-vowel is a gliding sound in which the speech organs start at or near a "close" vowel
and immediately move away to some other vowels.
3.2.3. Other Terms:
a. Obstruent: Because stops, fricatives, and affricates share the phonetic property of
impeding the air flow by constricting the vocal passage, these three sets of sounds are together
referred to as obstruents.

17
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

b. Approximant: English has four sounds that are known as approximants because they are
produced by two articulators approaching one another as for fricatives but not coming close
enough to produce audible friction. They are /j/, /r/, /l/ and /w/.
c. Continuants: sounds which are not stops are continuants because the stream of air
continues without interruption through the mouth opening.
Table 5: The English Consonants
Place Bilabial Labio- Dental Alveolar Palato - Palatal Velar Glottal
dental alveolar
Voiced
- + - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
Manner
Plosive p b t d k g

Affricative t d
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Rolled r
Fricative f v s z h
Semivowel w j
Recommended Reading:
Crystal (1994: 123 - 159); Fromkin (1986: 35 - 71); Nesterov (1976-27); Roach (1987: 10 - 71);
Vassiliev (1980: 19 - 24).
ASSIGNMENT 3
I. Questions for Discussion
1- What are the differences between vowels and consonants?
2- What is a vowel? How can we classify the vowels in the English language?
3- What is a diphthong? Give 5 examples of the centering diphthongs and five examples of the
closing diphthong in English.
4- What is a consonant? How can we describe the consonants? What are the types of consonants
classified according to the manner of articulation/ organs of articulation in English?
5- What is the Cardinal Vowel Diagram used for?
II. True - False: Decide if the following statements are true or false:
1 - Speech sounds are divided into pure vowels and diphthongs.
2 - All vowels are voiced.
3 - A pure vowel is an unchanging sound in the pronunciation of which the organs of speech do not
perceptibly change the position throughout the duration of the vowel.
4 - The front vowel is the one in the production of which the front of the tongue is raised in the
direction of the hard palate.
18
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

5 - According to the height to which a part of the tongue is raised, vowels can be classified into
close and open vowels.
6 - A close vowel is the one in the production of which the tongue is as low as possible.
7 - A rounded vowel is the one in the production of which the tongue is as low as possible.
8 - Vowels can be long or short.
9 - /i:/ is a long vowel.
10 - /e/ is a long vowel.
11- A diphthong is a pure vowel.
12 - Diphthongs can be divided into centering and closing diphthongs according to the second
element of the diphthong.
13 - The word learn contains a diphthong.
14 - A consonant is a sound in the production of which no obstruction is formed in the mouth by
the active organs of speech.
15 - Consonants may be classified according to a -the organs of speech, and b - the manner of
articulation.
16 - If we classify the consonants according to the state of vibration of the vocal cords, they can be
voiced or voiceless.
17 - Labials are bi-labials and labio-dentals.
18 - Palatals are sounds articulated in the glottis.
19 - A plosive is a stop sound.
20 - A nasal is a sound formed by the tip of the tongue firmly pressed against the teethridge or the
teeth so that the air can escape at one or both sides of the tongue.
III. Multiple Choice: Choose the best answer
1- Speech sounds are divided into vowels and .
A- phonemes B- syllables C- words D- consonants
2- Which of the following is incorrect?
A- All vowels are voiced. B- Vowels are less sonorous than consonants.
C- All vowels are syllabic. D- Consonants are either voiced or voiceless.
3- ....... is an unchanging sound in the pronunciation of which the organs of speech do not
perceptibly change the position throughout the duration of the vowel.
A- A diphthong B- A pure vowel C- A consonant D- A trithong
4- In the articulation of the ..sound, the central of the tongue is raised toward the palate.
A- front B- back C- central D- open
5- A/ An.vowel is the one in the production of which one part of the tongue comes close to
the palate without touching it and the air passage is narrow, but not so much as to form a
consonant.

19
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

A- open B- mid-open C- mid-close D- close


6-Which of the following words contains a close vowel?
A- sand B- hard C- sit D- hot
7- Which of the following words does not contain an open vowel?
A- seen B- hat C- hot D- not
8- According to the ..............., vowels can be rounded or unrounded.
A- height of the raised part of the tongue B- raised part of the tongue
C- length of the vowels D- shape of the lip
9- . vowels are the ones in the production of which the lips are drawn together so that the
opening between them is more or less round.
A- Rounded B- Unrounded C- Long D-Short
10- vowels are the ones in the production of which the lips may be spread out so as to leave
a long narrow opening between them.
A- long B- spread C- rounded D- short
11- ............ is a combination of two vowels pronounced within one syllable.
A- A diphthong B- A consonant C- A front vowel D- An open vowel
12- Which of the following words contains a closing diphthong?
A- hear B- sure C-day D- very
13- Which of the following criteria can not be used as a classifying criterion for consonant
classification?
A- The position of the soft palate B- The manner of articulation
C- The place of articulation D- The shape of the lips
14- /:/ is a/ an . vowel.
A- open front short B- open central long C- close front long D- open back long
15- /s /is a .
A- diphthong B- consonant C- pure vowel D- syllable
16- /a/ is a . . . . . . . . .
A- diphthong B- consonant C- pure vowel D- syllable
17- Which of the following is true?
A- Vowels are produced with complete closure in the vocal tract.
B- Consonants are produced with no obstruction in the vocal tract.
C- Consonants are more sonorous than the vowel.
D- All vowels are syllabic.
18- Which of the following is not used as a criterion in vowel classification?

20
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

A- The height to which the tongue is raised B- The part of the tongue which is raised
C- The windpipe D- The vowel length
19- . .. . . . ..are sounds articulated, by the lower lip against the upper teeth.
A- Labio-dentals B- Alveolars C- Velars D- Glottals
20- The cardinal vowel diagramme is a ..based on a combination of articulatory and
auditory judgements.
A- a system of guessing B- a system of stress patterns
C- system of letters D- a set of standard reference points
IV- Gap- filling : Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:
1 - We can describe vowels by referring to the part of the tongue which is at the highest point in
the mouth. If the front of the tongue is at the highest point near the hard palate, we have a
______________ vowel.
2 - If the back of the tongue is at the highest point near the soft palate, we have a______________
vowel.
3--Vowels which are produced between the positions for a front and back vowel are called
______________ vowels.
4- One element in the description of vowels is the part of the tongue which is at the highest point
in the mouth. A second element is the ______________ to which that part is raised.
5- If the tongue is placed as low as possible in the mouth, the vowel which results is
an______________ vowel.
6- If the tongue is raised as high as possible in the mouth, without touching the roof of the mouth,
the vowel which results is a______________ vowel.
7- The vowel /i: /in /fi:d / and /u: /in /fu:d / are both ______________ and the vowel / a: /in /fa:
/-far is an______________ vowel.
8- The position of the lips also has an effect on vowel quality. If the lips are drawn together so that
the opening between them is round, we have a______________ vowel. And if the lips are not
drawn together the vowel is ______________ vowel.
9- According to the length vowels may be______________ or ______________.
10- A combination of vowels pronounced within one syllable is called a_____________.
11- If the organs of speech start in the position for one vowel and then immediately glide to the
position of another, the result is a______________.
12-Diphthongs are represented by two symbols in phonemic transcription, the first shows the
position of the organs of speech at the ______________ of the glide, and the second shows their
approximate position at the ______________ of the glide.
13-Labio-dental consonants are articulated by______________ lip against the ______________.
14-Alveolar consonants are articulated by the tip of the tongue against the ___________.
15-Consonants that have alveolar articulation together with a simultaneous raising of the main
body of the tongue towards the roof of the mouth are called ______________ consonants.

21
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

16- Affricative is a combination of a______________ consonant with an immediately following


______________ sound.
17- Semi-vowels are_______ sounds in the production of which the organs of speech start at or
near a______________ and immediately move away to some other ______________ sound.
18- ______________ are the sounds produced when the air stream is completely stopped for a
moment, after which it is allowed to rush out of the mouth with an explosive sound.
19-______________ are sounds articulated in the glottis.
20-______________ are the sounds formed by the tip of the tongue firmly pressed against the
teeth-ridge or the teeth so that the air can escape at one or both sides of the tongue.

22
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

CHAPTER IV - PHONOLOGY: THE SOUND PATTERNS OF LANGUAGE


Part of ones knowledge of a language is the knowledge of the sound system - the phonology of
that language. The phonology of the language includes the inventory of phones, the phonetic
segments that occur in the language, and the ways in which they pattern. It is this patterning that
determines the inventory of the more abstract phonological units, the phonemes of the language.
Phonemes are the segments used to differentiate between the meanings of words. These are
distinguished by distinctive features.
Phonetics, as discussed in the previous chapter, provides the means for describing speech sounds.
Phonology studies the ways in which speech sounds form systems and patterns in human language.
The phonology of a language is then the system and patterns in human language. Phonology is thus
used in two ways, either as the study of sound patterns in a language and the sound patterns of a
language.
In the following parts, we will look at the notion of the phoneme and related concepts.
1. The Phoneme
According to E.C. Fudge (in John Lyons, 1970: 79 -81), there have been many attempts and
approaches in the study of the phoneme. The French linguist, Dufriche - Degenettes, is said to have
been the first to use the term phoneme (phonme) in 1873, simply to refer to a speech sound.
Earliest theories of the phoneme have been formulated by Baudouin de Courtenay, J. Winteler,
Henry Sweet, Scerba, F.D. Sausure, Daniel Jones, Nikolai Trubetzkoy and Roman Jakobson. The
study of the phoneme was later carried out by the American structuralist phonologists such as
Edward Sapir, Leonard Bloomfield, Morrish Swadesh, W. Freeman Twaddel and Kenneth Pike.
The approaches to the phoneme have seen it as a psychological entity (Boudouin de Courteney,
Edward Sapir), as a family of physical sounds (with its principal and other subsidiary variants)
(Scerba & Daniel Jones) and as a functional unit to be identified by the oppositions obtaining
between it and other phonemes of the language in question (N. S. Trubetzkoy and R. Jakobson).
1.1. The phoneme theories
Views of the phoneme fall into four main classes:
1.1.1. The mentalist or psychological view
The mentalist or psychological view regards the phoneme as an ideal sound at which the
speaker aims (originated by the Polish linguist Jan Baudouin de Courtenay (1845-1929).
1.1.2. The physical view
The physical view regards the phoneme as family of sounds satisfying certain conditions, notably:
a-The various members of the family must show phonetic similarity to one another, in other
words be related in character.
b-No member of the family may occur in the same phonetic context as any other, this condition
is often referred to as the requirement of complementary distribution (propounded by Daniel Jones
in 1950).
e.g. The phoneme /l/ has the following phonetic properties:
+consonantal +alveolar
+voiced +lateral

23
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

When the phoneme /l/ is used in speech, its pronunciation may slightly change. It may have the
following variants as its realizations:
[ l ] devoiced variant after voiceless /p / as in play
[ l ] clear variant when used initially
o

[ ] dark variant when used finally, as in little.


Although these variants are slightly different, they still share the above phonetic properties as the
original phoneme. They occur in different phonetic contexts. They are variants of the phoneme /l/.
e.g. 2: The phoneme /t /has the following features:
+consonantal
-voiced
+plosive
+alveolar
When used in communication, /t /may have the following variants:
[th] (aspirated) (before a short vowel in stressed position, e.g. till [th].
[t] unaspirated (after a voiceless fricative ), e.g. still [stl].
These two variants still have the same phonetic properties. However, they occur in different
phonetic contexts. They are variants of the same phoneme /t/.
1.1.3. The functional view
The functional view regards the phoneme as the minimal sound unit by which meanings may be
differentiated (originated by N. S. Trubetzkoy and R. Jakobson).
e.g. beat - bought
sea - she
three - free
According to this view, the phoneme is defined as the minimal distinctive unit of sound in a
language. Its main function is to distinguish between the meaning of two morphemes or two
words.
1.1.4. The abstract view
The abstract view regards phonemes as essentially independent of the phonetic properties
associated with them.
1.2. Phoneme, phone, and allophone:
Let us look at the use of three terms: phoneme, phone, and allophone.
A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language which can distinguish 2 words. For
example, in English, the words tear and near differ only in their initial sounds /t/ and /n/;
hot and hat differ only in their vowels // and //. Therefore, /t/, /n/, // and // are phonemes
in English. The number of phonemes varies from one language to another. English has a maximum
of 44 phonemes in its phonological system.
24
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

Phones are individual sounds as they occur in speech. Phones are groups into distinctive sound
units (phonemes) of a language. For example, in English, the different ways of pronouncing the
vowel in the word can, e.g. long [:], shorter [], with nasalization [] are all phones of the
phoneme //. (Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics)
Allophones are phonemes derived from the same phoneme in different distribution or relation. An
allophone can be defined as a predictable phonetic variant of a phoneme. An actually pronounced
speech sound is always a variant (allophone) of a phoneme. Different allophones of one and the
same phonemes are speech sounds which have one or more articulatory and, therefore, acoustic
features in common and at the same time differ from each other in some ( usually slight) degree
because of the influence of their position, of the neighbouring speech sounds and of other purely
phonetic factors upon them. The allophones of one and the same phoneme are, therefore, incapable
of differentiating words or the grammatical forms of a word.
The sound pronounced by a native speaker of the language if he were asked to say the sound in
isolation is called the principal variant of the phoneme. All the other variants of the same
phoneme are called its subsidiary variants.
The allophones of a phoneme form a set of sounds that (a) do not change the meaning of a word,
b- are all very similar to one another, and c- occur in phonetic contexts different from one another
and d- have non -distinctive differences.
Thus, in addition to the principal variant, the phoneme /l/ has at least other 3 allophones [l], [l] and
[], /r/ has at least other four. All vowels may have a shortened variant (before a voiceless sound,
e.g. /i:/ in beat ) and a non - shortened variant (before a voiced sound, e.g. /i:/ as in bead)
The allophones of the same phoneme have phonetic differences which do not give rise to
corresponding phonemic differences. These phonetic differences between the variants of the same
phoneme are non-distinctive.
We noted that in some words two phonemes may occur interchangeably without changing the
meaning of a word, as in the initial sound of economics which people pronounce with an /i:/ and
others pronounce with an /e/. We said that these two phonemes were in free variation in that
particular word.
1.3. Distinctive features
As we have seen, where a particular phonetic difference does not give rise to a corresponding
phonemic difference, linguists say that this phonetic difference is non-distinctive. However,
differences which can give rise to a change of meaning are referred to as distinctive differences. In
English we have many pairs of distinctive words called minimal pairs. These are pairs of words
which are identical in every way except for one sound segment that occurs in the same place in the
sound sequence. Examples are:
Beat - bought
Bit - boot
Bat - bite
But - bot
Thin - tin
In the definition, the phoneme is defined as the minimal distinctive unit of sound in a language.
However, according to Trubetzkoy and his followers, the phoneme can be further analyzable into
25
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

distinctive features, which are particular characteristics distinguishing one distinctive sound of a
language from another or one group of sounds from another group. Consider, for example, the
differences between /p / and /b /:
/p/ /b/
+ bilabial + bilabial
- voiced + voiced
+ stop + stop
+ consonantal + consonantal
These two phonemes differ in only one respect: voice. This difference is significant or is of
functional value. Hence voice is a distinctive feature. Other examples are /p-g/ which differ in two
aspects (voiceless voiced; bi-labial velar). The following table will present further examples of
distinctive features of English stop consonants:
Table 1: Distinctive features of some English consonants
/k/ /g/ / / /p/ /b/ /m/ /t/ /d/ /n/
Labial + + +
Velar + + +
Dental + +
Voiced - + + - + + - + +
Nasal - - + - - + - - +
(From John Lyons, 1968)
Typically, distinctive differences recur in different parts of the inventory of phonemes of a
language. Voicing, for example, is a significant part of English /b/, /d/, /g/, /m/, //; and labiality, a
significant part of /p/, /b/, /f/, /v/, and /m/. All phonemes can be regarded as being made up of a
number of these simultaneous properties, which are known as distinctive features.
1.4. Segmental and suprasegmental phonemes
In the study of the phonemic system in a language, a distinction is made between the vowels and
consonants of a particular language, which are referred to as segmental phonemes, and such
phenomena as stress, pitch and intonation, which stretch over more than one segment as
suprasegmental phonemes.
Suprasegmentals make use of such parameters as loudness, pitch, and duration. From the
phonological point of view categories and phonetic parameters is not one-to-one.
e.g. 20 vowels and 24 consonants are segmental phonemes.
Record /'rek:d/ (n) and /r'k:d/ (v) are suprasegmental phonemes (stress).
The phonological categories to be dealt with the scopes of suprasegmentals are
a- Word-stress
b- Tone
c- Sentence stress

26
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

d- Intonation
e- Quantity (e.g. /i:/ in beat is somewhat different from /i:/ in bead)
1.5. Units larger than the phoneme
The phoneme has been defined as the smallest distinctive unit of sound in a language. There are
other units larger than the phonemes. These include:
a- Syllable
b- Word
c- Stress-group
d- Foot
e- Tone-group
Units a, b, c, and e form a hierarchy: a tone group consists of an integral number of stress-group, a
stress-group of an integral number of words, a word of an integral number of syllables, and a
syllable of an integral number of segments. These units have particularly important role to play in
connection with suprasegmentals.
2. Types of Pronunciation
English is spoken as the mother tongue in many countries such as Great Britain, America,
Australia, and New Zealand. Within each country a national standard is employed, which is
associated with a particular way of pronunciation or accent. Pronunciation distinguishes one
national standard from another most immediately and completely, and links in a most obvious way
the national standards to the regional varieties.
In British English, one type of pronunciation comes close to enjoying the status of Standard:
Received Pronunciation or RP RP is the type of British standard pronunciation which has
been regarded as the prestige variety and which shows no regional variation. A class dialect rather
than a regional dialect, it is based on the type of speech cultivated at such schools as Eton and
Harrow and as such of the older universities as Oxford and Cambridge. It is the British
pronunciation that is received (accepted as proper) at the royal court. RP has been popularly
referred to as BBC English because it was until recently the standard pronunciation used by most
British Broadcasting Corporation news readers. Nowadays, RP no longer has the unique authority
it had in the first half of the 20th century.
According to Peter Roach (1987), in talking about accents of English, the foreigners should be
careful about the difference between England and Britain; there are many different accents in
England, but the range becomes very much wider if the accents of Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland are taken into account. Within the accents of England, the distinction that is most
frequently made by the majority of English people is between Northern and Southern. This is a
very rough division, and there can be endless argument over the boundaries lie, but most people on
hearing a pronunciation typical of someone from Lancashire, Yorkshire or other countries further
north would identify it a Northern.
In American English, Network English has been the standard type of pronunciation. Standard
American English differs from RP in various ways. Celce Murcia et al in Teaching
Pronunciation: A Course for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (1996)
present the following differences between British English and American English: a- differences in
phonemic inventory, b- differences in allophonic variation, c- differences in pronunciation of
27
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

common words, d- differences in word stress and e- differences in sentence stress and f-
differences in overall sound and voice quality. Some examples of the difference between British
English and American English:
a- Pronunciation
British American
tune [tju:n] [tu:n]
dance [d:ns] [dns]
b- Word stress
SECretary secreTARY
dicTATE DICtate
c- Intonation
Variations in neutral and unemotional British & American English intonation are marked
enough such that speakers of both varieties seem to develop stereotype perceptions of the other
group. Americans tend to perceive British speakers as pretentious and mannered while British
speakers tend to perceive Americans as monotonous and mannered.
Australian English is one of the many languages spoken in Australia. There are, of course,
differences between British English and Australian English in many areas, pronunciation
included. One would be surprised when greeting [gu:da mat] = (Good day mate) by
Australians.
According to Fromkin, one pervasive characteristic of pronunciation of Australian English
which differentiates it from other English accents is the strong tendency to use the
indeterminate vowel / /in weakly stressed syllables. Thus in the following pairs of alternate
pronunciations, most Australians would use the latter
British (RP) Australian
emotive ['mtv] ['mtv]
horses ['h:sz ] ['h:sz ]
One consequence of this tendency is that Australian English has a considerable number of
homophones which do not occur in other English accents. Compare:
British (RP) Australian Standard- American
tended/ tendered ['tendd]/ ['tendd] ['tendd]/ ['tendd] ['tendd]/ ['tendrd]
races/ racers ['resz]/ ['resz] ['resz]/ ['resz] ['resz]/ ['resrz]
3. Phonetic Alphabets
In discussing the sounds of human language from the point of view of their articulation,
phoneticians have developed descriptive techniques to allow comparison across languages and to
avoid the difficulties inherent in describing sounds in terms of standard spelling practices. You
know that it is not possible to use customary orthographic representations to analyze sound
structure. Even within one language, some sounds correspond to more than one letter while some
letters correspond to more than one sound. In the case of English, the discrepancies between

28
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

spelling and sounds do exist. Different letters may represent a single sound (e.g. to, too, two,
through); a single letter may represent different sounds (e.g. dame, dad, father). A
combination of letters may represent a single sound (e.g. Shoot, character, Thomas, physics);
some letters have no sounds at all; and some sounds are not represented in the spelling. As a result,
a completely separate system of alphabet to present the actual sounds of human language was
created.
In scientific discussion, the requisite characteristics of symbols to represent sounds are clarity and
consistency. The best tool is a phonetic alphabet, and the one most widely used is the
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) developed by the International Phonetic Association in
1888. IPA is a system of symbols for representing the pronunciation of words in many languages
according to the principles of the International Phonetic Association. Symbols consist of letters
and diacritics. Some letters are taken from the Roman alphabet. Others are special languages of the
world, one that is independent of the orthographies of particular languages. Linguists mix, match
and modify from different systems to suit specific purposes in sound description.
4. Principles of Transcription
Transcription is the use of symbols in IPA to show sounds or sound sequences in a written form. A
distinction is made between two types of transcription: a- phonemic transcription and b- allophonic
or (phonetic) transcription.

4.1. Phonemic Transcription


Phonemic transcription (or linguistically broad transcription) is used to show only the distinctive
sounds of a language. It is based on the principles one symbol per phoneme. It does not show
the finer points of pronunciation. Phonemic transcription is written within two parallel slanting
lines. For example, the English word foot may appear in phonemic transcription as /fu:t/. /f/, /u:/
and /t/ are phonemes of English. Phonemic transcription may be used, for example:

29
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

a- For languages which have no writing system of their own.


b- For teaching purposes, to show differences in pronunciation
4.2. Allophonic Transcription
Allophonic Transcription (also phonetic /linguistically narrow transcription) used allophonic
symbols for various sounds, including symbols to show in detail how a particular sound
pronounced. An allophonic, or linguistically narrow transcription is based on the principle one
symbol per allophone It is to show finer points of pronunciation. Phonetic transcription is
written in square brackets [ ]. For example, the English word pin may appear in phonetic
transcription as [pin] with the raised h showing the aspiration of the [p]. In phonemic
transcription, pin would be transcribed as /pn/. Phonetic transcription maybe used, for example:
a- to show the different pronunciation of closely related dialects
b- to show the pronunciation of individual speakers or groups of speakers.
Recommended Reading:
Fromkin (1986: 72-113)
ASSIGNMENT 4
I. Questions for discussion:
1. What is a phoneme? An allophone?
2. Discuss the functional view and the physical view of the phoneme.
3. What is a distinctive feature? Does an allophone have both distinctive and non-distinctive
features?
4. How do you understand the two terms: segmental and suprasegmental phoneme?
5. What is the phonemic transcription? The allophonic transcription? What kind of
transcription should be used in the teaching of English at secondary school?
II. T /F: Decide whether the following statements are true or false
1- Phonology studies the phonemic system of a language.
2- The approaches to phoneme have seen it as a psychological entity, as a family of sounds
and a functional unit.
3- The functional view regards the phoneme as a family of sounds.
4- The phoneme is a distinctive unit of sounds in a language.
5- The allophones of a phoneme are concrete realizations of that phoneme. The phoneme is an
abstract unit.
6- Al phonemes can be regarded as being made up of a number of distinctive features.
7- All allophones are made up of only non-distinctive features.
8- The allophones of a phoneme are predictable phonetic variants of that phoneme.
9- RP is the type of pronunciation employed in America.
10- Phonemic transcription is based on the principle One symbol per phoneme

30
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

III- Multiple Choice: Choose the best answer


1- Which of the following is not true?
A- The phoneme is the smallest distinctive unit of sound in a language.
B- The phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language which can distinguish two
morphemes or two words.
C- The allophones of the same phoneme must show phonetic similarity to one another.
D- The allophones of the same phoneme must occur in the same phonetic context.
2-. regards the phoneme as the minimal sound unit by which meanings may be
differentiated.
A- The mentalist view B- The physical view
C- The functional view D- The abstract view
3- Allophones are known as ..
A- the predictable syllabic B- the predictable phonetic
C- the predictable morphological D- the predictable textual
4. Which of the following is not a segmental phoneme?
A- the vowel B- the stress C- the consonant D- the diphthong
5- Which of the following words form a minimal pair?
A- bat-bite B- thin-free C- bat-she D- ship-three
6- Which of the following pairs of phoneme differs in two distinctive features?
A- /p b/ B- /t d/ C- /k g/ D- /p z/
7- How many phonemes are there in the word teaching?
A- 2 B- 3 C- 4 D- 5
8- The initial vowel of economics could be either /i:/ or /e/ according to the variation in the
pronunciation of different speakers. These sounds are said to be in that particular
word.
A- free variation B- positional variation
C- distinctive variation D- significant variation
9- A/ An transcription is based on the principle one symbol per phoneme.
A- allophone B- phonemic C- narrow D- non distinctive
10- When the word meat is transcribed as [m:t], transcription is used.
A- allophonic B- phonemic C- narrow D- morphophonemic
IV. Trancribe the following words:
1. bake 4. bought 7. bored
2. goat 5. tick 8. guard
3. doubt 6. bough 9. pea
31
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

CHAPTER V - THE SYLLABLE


Native speakers tend to recognize a unit intermediate between the segment and the word, that is,
the syllable. The functions of the syllable appear to be threefold: a-to carry the phonetic
manifestations of the suprasegmentals, b-to be the chief domain of patterns of arrangement of
phonemes, or phonotatics, and c- and to act as a unit of organization in the process of speech
production.
Perhaps the most likely theory is that the syllable arises from the alternating opening and closing
of the vocal tract during speech, resulting in an alternation of vowel-like and consonant-like
articulations. The consonantal articulations, especially plosives, are often signaled phonetically as
modifications to the vowel-like ones, and this results in the typical structure of the syllable-
consonants grouped around a vowel. All languages have syllables of the form CV, in addition,
many languages have patterns of greater complexity, with CVC being the most frequent.
The central position of the syllable, occupied by the V(owel) element, is normally referred to as
the peak (sometimes the nucleus). Most of consonants are marginal. The sound which forms
the peak or the center of a syllable is called syllabic sound. All vowels and some of the consonants
are syllabic. Most of the consonants are non-syllabic.
1. Definition:
The syllable may be defined as one or more speech sounds forming a word or part of a word,
containing one vowel sound, with or without a consonant or consonants, and uttered at a single
effort, e.g. man, mor-ning.
2. Syllable Formation.
2.1. The internal structure of a syllable
e.g. spring /spr/
S

Onset (O) Rhyme (R)

Nucleus (N) Coda (C)


/spr/ // //
A complete description of a syllable requires four sub-syllabic units. The nucleus (N) is the
syllables only obligatory member. It is a vocalic segment that forms the core of a syllable. The
coda (C) consists of those segments that follow the nucleus in the same syllable. The rhyme (R) is
made up of the nucleus and coda. The onset (O) is made up of those segments that precede the
rhyme in the same syllable.
2.1.1. Onset: 4 cases
a. Zero onset: Any vowel may occur at the final position, though // is rare.
b. One consonant: Any consonant may occur, except //, and // is rare.
c. Two consonants (called consonant cluster):

32
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

Pre-Initial Initial
s p, t, k, f, m, n, l, w, j
e.g. spin /spn/, stand /stnd/, skin /skn/, sphere /sf/, smell /smel/,
snake /snek/, slow /sl/, sweat /swet/, suit /sju:t/.

Initial Post-Initial

p, t, k, b, d, g, f, v, , , h, m, n l, r, w, j

- /p, b, f/ + /l, r, j/: play /ple/, pray /pre/, pure /pj/, black /blk/, bring /br/,
beauty /'bju:ti/, fly /fla/, fry / fra /, few /fju:/
- /t, d/ + /r, w, j/: tray /tre/, twin /twn/, tune /tju:n/, drip /drp/, dwell /dwel/, dew /dju:/
- /k/ + /l, r, w, j/: clay /kle/, cry /kra/, quick /kwk/, cue /kju:/
- /g/ + /l, r/: glue /glu:/, green /gri:n/
- // + /r, w/: through /ru:/, thwart /w:t/

- // + /r/: shrewd /ru:d/, shriek /ri:k/


- /h, v, m, n/ + /j/: huge /hju:d/, view /vju:/, music /'mju:zk/, new /nju:/
d. Three consonants:
Post-Initial
Pre-Initial Initial
l r w j
p splay spray * spew
s t * string * stew
k sclerosis screen squeak skewer
2.1.2 Coda: 3 cases
a. Zero: no consonant at the end of a syllable.
b. One consonant: any consonant may be a final consonant, except /h, r, w, j/.
c. Consonant cluster: where two, three or four consonants at the end of a syllable.
- pre-final /m, n, , l, s/ + final: bump, bent, bank, belt, ask, etc.
- final + post-final /s, z, t, d, /: bets, beds, backed, bagged, eighth, etc.
- pre-final + final + post-final: helped, banks, bonds, twelfth, etc.
- final + post-final 1 + post-final 2: fifths, next, lapsed, etc.
- pre-final + final + post-final 1 + post-final 2: twelfths, prompts, etc.
- final + post-final 1 + post-final 2 + post-final 3: sixths, texts, etc.

33
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

To sum up, we may describe the English syllable as having the following maximum phonological
structure:
Pre- Post- Pre- Post- Post- Post-
Initial VOWEL Final
Initial Initial final final 1 final 2 final 3
e.g. blouse, spring, texts
blouse /blaz/ Syllable

Onset Rhyme

Initial Post-Initial Nucleus Coda


/b/ /l/ /a/ /z/
2.2. Syllable formation
The sequences of sounds that can make up a syllable differ from language to language and are
strictly limited within each language. In the case of the English language there is a wide variety of
syllable types, the two main types of which are C + V + C and C + syllabic C. In the first type
there must be a vowel as the center of the syllable, it is the syllabic sound. In the second, there is a
syllabic consonant as the syllabic sound. Thus, in English, the syllable is can be formed by:
a- any vowel (V), e.g. or, are, I.
b- one vowel proceeded by one consonant (CV), e.g. core, car.
c- one vowel followed by one consonant (VC), e.g. ought, art.
d- one vowel sound both preceded and followed by one consonant (CVC),e.g. hit, man.
e- a word-final syllabic lateral /l/ or nasal /m, n/ immediately preceded by a consonant, e.g. /pl/
in people, /dn/ in garden.
Not every language allows so wide a variety of syllable types as English does. In fact, the preferred
syllable type among the worlds languages is CV, then CVC and V. Different languages have
different preferred structures of the syllable.
The rules that characterize permissible syllable structures in a language are called phonotactic
constraints, and they determine what constitutes a possible syllable.
3. Closed and Open Syllables
A syllable which ends in a vowel is called an open syllable, e.g. he, writer.
A syllable which ends in a consonant is called a closed syllable, e.g. it, man.
4. Strong and Weak Syllables
What do we mean by strong and weak syllables? In the present context, we are using these terms to
refer to phonetic characteristics of syllables. The most important thing to note at present is that any
strong syllable will have as its center one of the vowel phonemes (or possibly a trithong), but not
//. Weak syllables, on the other hand, as they are being defined here, can only have four types of
center:
a - the vowel // (schwa)
34
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

b - /i/ (or //) (a close front unrounded vowel in the general area of /i:/ and //)
c - /u/ (or //) (a close back rounded vowel in the general area of /u:/ and //)
d - a syllabic consonant.
When we compare weak syllables containing vowels with strong syllables, we find the vowel in a
weak syllable tends to be shorter, of lower intensity and different in quality. For example, in the
word father /'f:/, the second syllable is shorter than the first, less loud, and has a vowel that can
not occur in strong syllables.
4.1. The // vowel (schwa)
The most frequently occurring vowel in English is //, which is always associated with
weak syllables. Following are some spellings that are pronounced // in weak syllables:
- Spelt with a : attend /'tend/, character /'krkt/
- Spelt with ar : particular /p'tkjl/, molar /'ml/, monarchy /'mnki/
- Adjectival endings spelt ate : intimate /'ntmt/, accurate /'kjrt/
(though there are some exceptions: private /'pravt/)
- Spelt with o : tomorrow /t'mr/, potato /p'tet/
- Spelt with or : forget /f'get/, ambassador /m'bsd/
- Spelt with e : violet /'valt/, postmen /'pstmn/
- Spelt with er : perhaps /p'hps/, stronger /'strg/
- Spelt with u : autumn /':tm/, support /s'p:t/
- Spelt with ough : thorough /'r/, borough /'br/

- Spelt with ous : gracious /'gres/, callous /'kls/


4.2. Close front vowel i/
We find i/ occurring in the following cases:
- Spelt with y or ey at the end of a word or a morpheme: happy /'hpi/, valley /'vli/,
hurrying /'hri/, etc.
- In prefixes such as re, pre, de which precede a vowel and are unstressed: react /ri'kt/,
preoccupied /pri'kjpad/, deactivate /di'ktvet/, etc.

- In suffixes spelt iate, ious when they have 2 syllables: appreciate /'pri:iet/, hilarious
/h'leris/, etc.
- In the following words when unstressed: he, she, we, me, be, and the when it
precedes a vowel.
It can be seen that this vowel is most often represented in spelling by the letters i and e.
4.3. Close back vowel u/
We find u/ in the following cases:

35
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

- In the words you, to, into, do, when they are unstressed and not immediately preceding
a consonant.
- In the words through and who in all positions when they are unstressed.

- Usually u/ is found with a preceding /j/, as in computation /kmpj'ten/, and often with
another vowel following, for example, evacuation /vkj'en/. An example of such vowel
without a preceding /j/ is influenza /nfl'enz/.
4.4. Syllabic consonants:
Most English syllables contain one vowel. However, there are syllables in which no vowel is
found. In these cases, a consonant, either /l/, /r/ or a nasal, stands as the center of the syllable
instead of the vowel. It is usual to indicate that a consonant is syllabic by means of a small vertical
mark (,) put under the consonant, for example: cattle ['ktl]. Words containing syllabic consonants
are bottle, muddle, garden, happen, thicken, history ... The syllabic consonants are l, m, n, , r.

Recommended Reading:
Roach (1987: 53 -71); Vassilyev ( 1980 : 86 - 88)
ASSIGNMENT 5
Questions for discussions:
1- How is the syllable defined?
2- What is the internal structure of an English syllable?
3- What is an English syllable formed by?
4- What syllable is called phonetically open syllable? Closed syllable?
5- What is the difference between weak and strong syllables?
II-T /F: Decide whether the following statements are true or false:
1- The syllable may be defined as one or more speech sounds, forming a word or part of a word,
containing one vowel sound, with or without a consonant or consonants, and uttered at a single
effort.
2- The full internal structure of a phoneme consists of onset and coda.
3- In the word spring, /i:/ is the nucleus.
4- Sun is a word of two syllables.
5- The syllable structure of learn is CVC.
6- Voiceless is a word with the point of syllable division after the sound /s /.
7- A weak syllable is the one which might end in a syllabic consonant.
8- Or is a syllable made up of one phoneme.
9- A syllable which ends in a vowel is called a closed syllable.
10- Correct syllable division is very important in communication.
III- Multiple Choice: Choose the best answer
36
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

1- may be defined as one or more speech sounds forming a word or part of a word, containing
one vowel sound, with or without a consonant (or consonants), and uttered at a single effort.
A- The syllable B- The phoneme C- The intonation D- The morpheme
2- Which syllable is formed by a vowel?
A- sky B- seem C- or D- hit
3- Which syllable is formed by a vowel + a consonant?
A- she B- eat C- sit D- or
4- Which syllable is formed by a consonant + a vowel?
A- she B- eat C- it D- eye
5- Which syllable is formed by a consonant + a vowel + a consonant?
A- he B- eat C- sit D- eye
6- Which word contains a syllabic consonant?
A- meat B- seat C- run D- little
7- In English, a syllable is generally not formed by .....
A- a vowel B- one consonant + one vowel
C- one vowel + one consonant D- two stops
8- How many syllables are there in the word garden?
A- 1 B- 2 C- 3 D- 4
9- Which of the following syllable is an open syllable?
A- she B- it C- at D- eat
10- Which of the following syllable has the structure of V?
A- talk B- learn C- or D- at
11- Which of the following syllable has the structure of CV?
A- learn B- sea C- sit D- at
12- Which of the following syllable has the full structure of onset-nucleus-coda?
A- sit B- are C- or D- I
13- Which consonant cluster is the coda in the word streets?
A- /sr/ B- /tr/ C- /str/ D- /ts/
14- How many syllables are there in the word ordinarily?
A- 2 B- 3 C- 4 D- 5
15- Which of the following words contains a syllable of the type C + syllabic C?
A- little B- read C- can D- eye
16- Which of the following syllables is an open syllable?
A- meet B- reach C- do D- sit
37
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

17- Which of the following syllables is a closed syllable?


A- me B- hear C- oh D- sit
IV- Analyze the structure of the following one-syllable English words
1. squealed 2. eighths 3. splash 4. texts

38
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

CHAPTER VI WORD - STRESS


1. The Nature of Stress
Stress is the pronunciation of a word or syllable with more force than the surrounding words or
syllables.
Word - stress is defined as the prominence given to certain syllable(s) in a word by the use of
greater breath force.
The prominence can be produced by four main factors: loudness, length, pitch and quality.
Generally, these four factors work together in combination, though syllables may sometimes be
made prominent by means of only one or two of them.
2. Levels of Stress
Three levels of word - stress may be identified: a- tonic strong (or primary) indicated by the sign
(') put before the stressed syllable, b- non-tonic strong (or secondary) indicated by (,), and c-
unstressed. One example is representation /,reprzen'ten /.
3. Placement of Stress within the Word
English is not one of those languages where word - stress can be decided simply in relation to the
syllables of the words, as can be done in French ( where the last syllable is usually stressed), Polish
(where the syllable before the last - the penultimate syllable - is stressed) or Czech ( where the first
syllable is stressed). Many writers have said that stress is difficult to predict and the best approach
is to treat stress placement as a property of the individual word.
According to Peter Roach, in order to decide on stress placement, it is necessary to make use of
some or all of the following information:
a- Whether the word is morphologically simple, or whether it is complex as a result of
containing one or more affixes or of being compound words.
b- The grammatical category to which the word belongs (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.)
c- The number of syllables in the word.
d- The phonological structure of those syllables (whether those syllables consist of long or
short vowels, consonants or diphthongs).
3.1. Single-syllable words: if they are pronounced in isolation they are said with tonic-strong
stress (or primary stress).
3.2. Two-syllable words
3.2.1. Verbs and adjectives
- If the second syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong, or if it ends with more than one
consonant, it is stressed,
e.g. support /s'p:t/ divine /d'van/ apply /'pla/ arrive /'rav/
attract /'trkt/ assist /'sst/ direct /d'rekt / correct /k'rekt/
- If the second syllable contains a short vowel and one (or no) final consonant, or if it contains
//, the first syllable is stressed:
e.g. enter /'ent/ open /'pn/ lovely /'lvli/ equal /'i:kwl/
39
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

follow/'fl/ borrow /'br/ narrow /'nr/ hollow /'hl/


- Exceptions: + Verbs whose structure is morphologically complex:
e.g. permit /p'mt/ = per+ mit
submit /sb'mt/ = sub+ mit
commit /k'mt/ = com+ mit
+ Adjectives:
e.g. honest /'nst/ perfect /'p:fkt/
Note: Other two-syllable words such as adverbs and prepositions seem to behave like verbs and
adjectives.
3.2.2. Nouns
- If the second syllable contains a short vowel, the stress will usually come on the first syllable.
Otherwise it will be on the second syllable.
e.g. money /'mni/ larynx /'lrks/ product /'prdkt/
balloon /b'lu:n/ estate /'stet/ design /d'zan/
3.3. Three-syllable words
3.3.1. Verbs
- If the 3rd syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong, or ends with more than one consonant, it is
stressed, e.g. entertain /ent'ten/, resurrect /rez'rekt/.
Exception: calculate /'klkjulet/, concentrate, testify,
- If the 3rd syllable contains a short vowel and ends with no more than one consonant, the 2nd
syllable will be stressed. e.g. encounter /'kant/, determine /d't:mn/.
3.3.2. Nouns
- If the 3rd syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong and/ or ending with more than one
consonant, the 1st syllable receives primary stress and in some cases the 3rd receives secondary
stresss. e.g. intellect /'ntlekt/ marigold /'mrgld/
alkali /'lkla/ stalactite /'stlktat/.
- If the 3rd syllable contains a short vowel or //:
+ and if the 2nd syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong, or if it ends with more than
one consonant, the 2nd syllable is stressed:
e.g. disaster /d'za:st/ mimosa /m'mz/
potato /p'tet/ synopsis /s'npss/
+ and if the 2nd syllable contains a short vowel and ends with not more one consonant, the
st
1 syllable is stressed:
e.g. quantity /'kwntti/ cinema /'snm/

40
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

emperor /'empr/ custody /'kstdi/


3.3.3. Adjectives: seem to follow the same rule.
opportune /'ptju:n/ insolent /'nslnt/
derelict /'derlkt/ anthropoid /'nrpd/
3.4. Complex words
According to Roach (P, 1987) complex words are of two major types: words made from a basic
stem word with the addition of an affix, and compound words, which are made of two (or
occasionally more) independent English words (e.g. ice - cream, arm - chair).
3.4.1. Affixes
Affixes will have one of the three possible effects on word - stress:
i. The affix itself receives the primary stress
e.g. semicircle /'sems:kl/ personality /p:sn'lti/
ii. The word is stressed just as if the affix is not there
e.g. pleasant /'pleznt/ -- unpleasant /n'pleznt/
market /'ma:kt/ -- marketing /'ma:kt/
iii. The stress remains on the stem, not the affix, but is shifted to a different syllable
e.g. magnet /'mgnt/ -- magnetic /mg'netik/
3.4.1.1. Suffixes
1. Suffixes carrying the primary stress themselves:
-ain e.g. entertain /,ent'ten/ ascertain /,s'ten/
-ee e.g. refugee /,refj'di:/ evacuee /,vkju'i:/
-eer e.g. volunteer /,vln't/ mountaineer /,mant'n/
-ese e.g. Japanese /,dp'ni:z/ journalese /,d:nl'i:z/
-ette e.g. cigarette /,sgr'et/ launderette /,l:ndr'et/

-ique, -esque, e.g. unique /ju:'ni:k/ picturesque /,pkt'resk/


2. Suffixes that do not affect stress placement:
-able e.g. comfort /'kmft/ comfortable /'kmftbl/
-age e.g. anchor /'k/ anchorage /'krd/
-al e.g. refuse (v) /r'fju:z/ refusal /r'fju:zl/
-en e.g. wide /wad/ widen /'wadn/
-ful e.g. beauty /'bju:ti/ beautiful /'bju:tfl/
-ing e.g. amaze /'mez/ amazing /'mez/

41
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

-ish e.g. devil /'devl/ devilish /'devl/


-like e.g. bird /b:d/ birdlike /'b:dlak/
-less e.g. power /'pa/ powerless /'pals/
-ly e.g. hurried /'hrd/ hurriedly /'hrdli/

-ment e.g. punish /'pn/ punishment /'pnmnt/


-ness e.g. yellow /'jel/ yellowness /'jelns/
-ous e.g. poison /'pzn/ poisonous /'pzns/
-fy e.g. glory /'gl:ri/ glorify /'gl:rifa/
-wise e.g. other /'/ otherwise /'waz/
-y e.g. fun /fn/ funny /'fni/
3. Suffixes that influence stress on the stem
The primary stress is shifted to the last syllable of the stem:
-eous e.g. advantage /d'v:ntd/ advantageous /,dvn'teds/
-graphy e.g. photo /'ft/ photography /f'tgrfi/
-ial e.g. proverb /'prv:b/ proverbial /pr'v:bil/
-ic e.g. climate /'klamt/ climatic /kla'mtk/

-ion e.g. perfect /'p:fkt/ perfection /p'fektn/


-ious e.g. injure /'nd/ injurious /n'dris/
-ity e.g. tranquil /'trkwl/ traquility /tr'kwlti/
-ive e.g. reflex /'ri:fleks/ reflexive /r'fleksv/
3.4.1.2. Prefixes
Stress in words with prefixes is governed by the same rules as those for words without prefixes:
friendly /'frendli/ unfriendly /n'frendli/
happy /'hpi/ unhappy /n'hpi/
possible /'psib()l/ impossible /m'psib()l/
3.4.2. Compound words
When is primary stress placed on the first word of the compound and when on the second? Both
patterns are found. According to P. Roach (pp. 83 - 84) a simple rule can be used, though not
completely reliable.
- If the first part of the compound is (in a broad sense) adjectival, the stress goes on the second
element, with a secondary stress on the first element. For example:
loudspeaker /,lad'spi: k/ bad - tempered /,bd 'tempd/

42
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

second-class /,sekn 'kl:s/ three-wheeler /,ri:'wi:l/


There are many exceptions to this rule. The majority of these exceptions have in common the fact
that they have become more like simple words and less like compounds with the passage of time,
and their meaning is no longer easily derived from their constituent parts. For example,
greenhouse /'gri:nhas/ is derived from green and house, but a greenhouse is not green and is not
really a house. Other examples are:
gentleman /'dentlmn/ background /'bkgrand/
broadcast /'br:dk:st/ bluebell /'blu:bel/
- If, however, the first element is (in a broad sense) a noun, the stress goes on the first element. For
example:
typewriter /'tapwrat/ car ferry /'k:feri/ sunrise /'snraz/
suitcase /'sju:tkes/ tea cup /'ti:kp/
3.5. Varied Stress
It would be wrong to imagine that the stress pattern is always fixed and unchanging in English
words. Stress position may vary for one or two reasons: either as a result of the stress on other
words occurring next to the words in question, or because not all speakers of RP agree on the
placement of stress in some words. For example, controversy may be pronounced as /'kntrv:si/
or as /kn'trv:si/. Other examples are ice-cream, kilometre, formidable.
3.6. Word - class pair
There are several dozen pairs of two -syllable words with identical spelling which differ from
each other in stress placement, apparently according to word class (noun, verb or adjective). All
appear to consist of prefix + stem. In pairs of words as discussed above, the stress will be placed
on the second syllable of the verb but on the first syllable of the noun or adjective, e.g. abstract
/'bstrkt/ (adj), /b'strkt/ (v).

Recommended Reading:
Roach (1987 : 72 - 85 ); Vassyliev (89 - 94).
ASSIGNMENT 6
I. Questions for discussion:
1 - How is word - stress defined?
2 - Why is it difficult to trace any strict system of stress in English?
3 - What is the strong tendency in the English language concerning word-stress?
4 - What effects do affixes have on the placement of stress in a word?
5 -On what element does the stress fall on in the compound nouns?
6 - On what syllable do the two-syllable words have the main stress when (a) a noun, (b) a verb?

43
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

II-T /F: Decide whether the following statements are true or false:
1- Word-stress can be defined as the tendency to pronounce the stressed syllables at more or less
regular intervals of time.
2- The prominence in the word stress can be produced by the following factors: a-loudness, b--
length, c- pitch and d- quality.
3- There is a strong tendency in the English language to stress the initial syllable in a word.
4- English is a language which has fixed stress in the sense that the stress always falls on the last
syllable in a word.
5- If the second syllable of a two-syllable verb contains a long vowel or diphthong, or if it ends in
more than one consonant, that second syllable is stressed.
6- Three syllable simple nouns usually have the stress placed on the first syllable.
7- In three-syllable verbs, if the last syllable contains a short vowel and ends in not more than one
consonant, stress will be placed on the preceding syllable.
8- Suffixes such as -able, -age, -al, -en ....... change the place of stress in a word.
9- The difference between a compound and a phrase is that a compound usually has the
single-stress pattern
10- The stress falls on the initial syllable in the word family.
III-Multiple Choice: Choose the best answer:
1- ..... is defined as the prominence given to certain syllables) in a word by the use of greater
breath force.
A- Rhythm B- Word-stress C- Timbre D- Assimilation
2-Which of the following factors can not be used to produce word-stress?
A- Loudness B- Length C- Pitch D- Meaning
3- Which of the following is not true?
A- In English, the stress always falls on the last syllable of any word.
B- French is the language where the last syllable is usually stressed.
C- Polish is the language where the penultimate syllable is usually stressed.
D- Czech is the language where the first syllable is stressed.
4- Where does the stress fall on the words family, cinema?
A- on the first syllable B- on the last syllable
C- on the second syllable D- on the last but one.
5- Which of the following words has the stress not fallen on the first syllable from the beginning?
A- family B- cinema C- intellect D- advantage
6- Which of the following words has the stress on the suffix added to the word?
A- readable B- photography C- mountaineer D- speaking
44
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

7- Which of the following words has the place of stress unchanged when a suffix is added to the
word?
A- entertainment B- evacuee C- proverbial D- expensive
8- Which of the following words has the shifted stress when a suffix is added?
A- advantage - advantageous B- read - readable
C- govern - government D- wide - widen
9- Which of the words has the stress on the last syllable?
A- Mountaineer B- Teaching C- Photography D- Perfection
10- Which of the following word has the case of varied stress?
A- Widely B- Looking C- Ice-cream D- Climate
IV-Find 5 word pairs which are spelt identically but differ from each other in stress
placement (one is verb, another is noun or adjective). Transcribe those pairs.

45
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

CHAPTER VII - ASPECTS OF CONNECTED SPEECH


1. Sentence Stress
1.1. In connected speech, words are not treated as separate units. When a word becomes a member
of a sentence, word - stress may be either preserved or lost, weakened or strengthened, but it does
not remain unchanged as compared with the stress the word has when used in isolation. The degree
of prominence that a word has in a sentence is different. We can assume that there are three
distinct levels of stress in the sentence: a- primary (main) stress, b- secondary stress, and c- non -
stress (or unstressed).
E.g.: He will 'come in a`'day.
He, will, in, a: unstressed
Come : secondary stress
Day : primary/ main stress
Sentence stress is a prominence with which one or more words in a sentence are pronounced
(as compared with the other words of the same sentence).
Actually, any word in the sentence can receive the primary or secondary stress. However, as a
rule, words with a certain lexical meaning have an important semantic function in the sentence and
are, therefore, usually stressed. To such words belong nouns, adjectives, numerals, notional verbs,
adverbs, demonstrative, interrogative and absolute form of the possessive pronouns.
Words which serve to express certain grammatical relations or categories in the sentence are either
stressed or unstressed. These include auxiliaries, modals, prepositions, conjunctions, articles
particles, pronouns.
The normal tendency in English speech is for the primary stress to occur on the last stressed
syllable of the tone group, which corresponds to the principle of end - focus in communication.
1.2. Contrastive Stress
We can interfere with normal accentuation to highlight any word we please by means of
contrastive stress. It is not limited to sequences longer than the word : the normal accentuation
within the word can also be distorted at the speaker's will if he wants to make a contrastive point.
The sentence He reads the newspaper every evening.
E.g. He 'reads the newspaper every evening answers the question What does he do every evening?
He reads the 'newspaper every evening answers the question What does he read every evening?
He reads the newspaper every 'evening answers the question When does he read the newspaper?
1.3. The stress-group
In many languages, not all words in an utterance receive a stress. English is a case in point: in
uttering the sentence Bill was at a conference, a speaker is very likely to leave the words was, at,
and a unstressed. There will thus be two stresses in the sentence: on Bill and on the first syllable of
conference. The unstressed words can in this instance be associated with the stressed word next to
them to form a further phonologically relevant unit, a unit often referred to as a stress-group. In
this example, there are two stress-groups: Bill and was at a conference.

46
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

2. Rhythm
The notion of rhythm involves some noticeable event happening at regular intervals of time; one
can detect the rhythm of a heart - beat, of a flashing light or of a piece of music. It has often been
claimed that English speech is rhythmical, and that the rhythm is detectable in the regular
occurrence of stressed syllables; of course, it is not suggested that the timing is as regular as a
clock - the regularity of occurrence is only relative. The theory that English has stress - timed
rhythm implies that stressed syllables will tend to occur at relatively regular intervals of time
whether they are separated by unstressed syllables or not. In the following sentence the stressed
syllables are given numbers : syllables 1 and 2 are not separated by any unstressed syllables, 2 and
3 are separated by one unstressed syllable, 3 and 4 by two, 4 and 5 by three.
1 2 3 4 5
'Walk 'down the 'path to the 'end of the ca'nal.
The stress-timed rhythm theory states that the time from each stressed syllable to the next will
tend to be the same, irrespective of the number of intervening unstressed syllables. Another
example is:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
Some writers have developed theories of English rhythm in which a unit of rhythm, the foot, is
used; the foot begins with a stressed syllable and includes all following unstressed syllable. The
sentence given above would be divided into feet as follows:
Walk 'down the 'path to the 'end of the ca 'nal.
It follows from what was said above that in a stress - timed language all the feet are supposed to be
of roughly the same duration.
The theory also claims that while some languages (e.g. Russian and Arabic) have stress-timed
rhythm similar to that of English, others (such as French) have a different rhythmical structure
called syllable-timed rhythm. In these languages, all syllables, whether stressed or unstressed, tend
to occur at regular time-intervals and the time between stressed syllables will be shorter or longer
in proportion to the number of unstressed syllables.
3. Assimilation and Accommodation
3.1. Assimilation
3.1.1. Definition
e.g. (alveolar) (bilabial) (alveolar) (bilabial)
gd m:n gd b
assimilating sound assimilating sound
b similar b identical
(bilabial) (bilabial)

47
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

Two adjacent consonants within a word or at word boundaries often influence each other in such a
way that the articulation of one sound becomes similar to or even identical with the articulation of
the other one. This phenomenon is called assimilation. It is more likely to be found in rapid, casual
speech and less likely in slow, careful speech. We can construct a diagram like this:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ Cf Ci_ _ _ _ _ _ _ (Cf: final consonant, Ci: initial consonant)
word boundary
3.1.2. Types of assimilation
Assimilation may be of two types as far as the direction is concerned: regressive and progressive.
e.g. good morning would you
g d m:n wd ju

b d
Assimilation is regressive when the following sound assimilates the preceding sound and the
direction of assimilation is backward.
e.g. different forms IL, IM, IR of the same phoneme meaning not in illegal, impossible, irregular.
Assimilation is progressive when the preceding sound assimilates the following sound and the
direction of assimilation is forward.
e.g. plural form s can be pronounced /s/, /z/, or /z/ (in books /bks/, pens /penz/, roses /rzz/).
3.1.3. Degrees of assimilation:
Assimilation may be of three degrees: complete, partial and intermediate.
3.1.3.1. Complete:
Assimilation is said to be complete when the articulation of the assimilated consonant fully
coincides with that of the assimilating one.
e.g. good boy horse shoe
gd b /gb b/ h:s u: /h: u/
identical identical
b
3.1.3.2. Partial:
Assimilation is said to be partial when the assimilated consonant retains its main phonemic
features and becomes only partly similar in some features of articulation to the assimilating sound.
e.g. good morning five pence
alveolar, voiced bilabial, voiced labio-dental,voiced voiceless
gd m:n /gb 'm:n/ fav pens /faf pens/
similar similar
b bilabial f labio-dental,voiceless

48
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

3.1.3.3. Intermediate:
The degree of assimilation is said to be intermediate when the assimilated consonant changes
into a different sound, but does not coincide with the assimilating consonant.
e.g. this year gooseberry
alveolar palatal alveolar, voiceless voiced
s j / j/ gs bri /'gzbri/
intermediate intermediate
palato-alveolar z alveolar,voiced
.
Congress
alveolar, nasal velar, stop
kn gres /'kgres/
intermediate
velar, nasal
3.1.4. Rules of assimilation
3.1.4.1. Place of articulation
p + bilabial consonant: light blue [lap blu:], that person [p p:sn]
t t + dental consonant: that thing [t ], get those [get z]
k + velar consonant: that case [k kez], quite good [kwak gd]
b + bilabial consonant: hard path [h:b p:], good boy [gb b]
d d + dental consonant: rude thief [ru:d i:f], rode there [rd e]
g + velar consonant: bad cold [bg kld], red gate [reg get]

m + bilabial consonant: gone back [gm bk], gone past [gm p:st], ten men [tem men]
n n + dental consonant: ran themselves [rn mselvz], none theories [nn rz]
+ velar consonant: one cup [w kp], main gate [me get]

s + / j: this year [ j], this shoe [u:]

z + / j: those years [ jz], those shops [ ps]

3.1.4.2. Manner of articulation: Cf: stop Ci: fricative/ nasal

fricative/ nasal
e.g. that side [s sad/ , good night [gn nat]

49
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

3.1.4.3.Voicing Cf: voiced Ci: voiceless

voiceless
e.g. five pence /faf pens/
3.2. Accommodation
The modification in the articulation of a vowel under the influence of an adjacent consonant, or,
vice versa, the modification in the articulation of a consonant under the influence of an adjacent
vowel is called adaptation, or accommodation.
In accommodation the accommodated sound does not change its main phonemic features and is
pronounced as a variant of the same phoneme slightly modified under the influence of a
neighbouring sound. In modern English there are three main types of accommodation:
3.2.1. An unrounded variant of a consonant phoneme is replaced by its rounded variant under the
influence of a following rounded vowel phoneme, as the beginning of the following words:
Unrounded variants of consonant phonemes Rounded variants of consonant phonemes
/ti:/ tea /tu:/ too
/les/ less /lu:s/ loose
3.2.2. A fully back variant of a back vowel phoneme is replaced by its slightly advanced (fronted)
variant under the influence of the phoneme /j /e.g.
Fully back variant of /u:/ Front variant of /u:/
/'bu:ti/ booty /'bju:ti/ beauty
/mu:n/ moon /'mju:zk/ music
3.2.3. bell, tell more open than bed, ten because of /l/ after /e/.
4. Elision
Under certain circumstances sounds disappear. Phonologically speaking, in certain circumstances a
phoneme may be realized as zero, have zero realization or be deleted. Elision is typical of rapid,
casual speech. We will look at some examples of elision.
4.1. Loss of weak vowel after /p/, /t/, /k/.
In words like potato, tomato, canary, perhaps, today, the vowel in the first syllable may disappear;
the aspiration of the initial plosive takes up the whole of the middle portion of the syllable,
resulting in these pronunciation: /p'tet/, t'm:t/.
4.2. Weak vowel + /n/; /l/ or /r/ becoming syllabic consonant
e.g. tonight /t'nat/, police /p'ls/, correct /k'rekt/
4.3. Avoidance of complex consonant clusters
e.g. acts /k(t)s/, looked back /lk(t) bk/
4.4. Loss of final /v/ in of before consonants
e.g. lots of them /lts (v) m/, waste of money /west (v) mni/

50
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

4.5. Contraction of grammatical words


e.g. Had d
Is s
5. Weak forms
In English speech, there are certain words which have two forms of pronunciation: a- strong or full
form and b- weak, or reduced form. As an example, the word can can be pronounced as /kn/
(strong form) or /kn/, /kn/ (weak form). The words which have both strong forms and weak forms
belong to a category which might be called grammatical words. It is important to remember that
there are certain contexts where only the strong form is acceptable and others where the weak form
is the normal pronunciation. There are three degrees of the reduction of strong forms:
5.1. The reduction of the length of a vowel without changing its quality
Strong form weak form with qualitative reduction
You [ju:] [ju] [j]
He [hi:] [hi] [h]
Your [j:] [j] [j]
5.2. The second degree of reduction consists in changing the quality of the vowel
Strong form weak form with qualitative reduction
For [f:] [f]
Her [h:] [h]
5.3. The third degree involves the omission of a vowel or consonant at sound
Strong form weak form
Am [m] [m]
Of [v] [v]
Can [kn] [kn] [k]
There are the following groups of grammatical words which can be pronounced in their strong
forms and in their weak forms.
Articles (the, a, an), Prepositions (at, for, from, of, into, to, through), verbs (can, must, will, shall,
do, does, could, would, should, have, has, had, be, been, am, is, was, were), pronouns (you, he,
she, we, ,me, her, him, us, them, your, his, some, that, who), conjunctions (and, but, than, as, or,
that), particles (there, to), negatives (not, nor)
The strong forms are used in the following cases
1. When they occur at the end of a sentence:
e.g. Im fond of chips. Chips are what Im fond of.
/am 'fnd v 'tps. 'tps 'wt am 'fnd v/
Note: Pronouns such as she, he, we, you, him, her (object), them, us do occur in their weak forms
in final position.

51
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

2. When they are being contrasted with another word:


e.g. The letters from him, not to him.
/ 'letz 'frm im nt 'tu: im/
Or co-ordinated use of preposition:
e.g. I travel to and from London a lot.
/a 'trvl 'tu: n 'frm lndn 'lt/
3. When they are stressed for the purpose of emphasis:
e.g. You must give me more money.
/ju 'mst 'gv mi 'm: 'mni/
I do like it.
/a 'du: 'lak t/
4. When they are being cited or quoted:
e.g. You shouldnt put and at the end of a sentence.
/ju 'dnt pt 'nd t i 'end v 'sentns/
6. Linking
In natural communication, we sometimes link words together. The most familiar case is the use of
linking /r/. Final /r/ can only occur before a word beginning with a vowel, linking with that vowel.
For example: here are /hr /, four eggs /f:r egz/, etc.
Many RP speakers use /r/ in a similar way to link words ending with a vowel even when there is
no justification from the spelling, which is called intrusive /r/ as in:
formula A /'f:mjlr e/
Australia all out /'strelr :l at/
media event /'mi:dir 'vent/
Sometimes we should be careful when we link words together. For example, /matren /can be my
train or might rain.
Recommended Reading:
Roach (1987: 102 111); vassilyev (1980: 70 74; 95-99)
ASSIGNMENT 7
I. Questions for discussion:
1- What is sentence stress? What kinds of words are normally stressed in communication? What
kinds of words are not normally stressed in communication?
2- What is rhythm? What is the difference between syllable-timed rhythm and stress-timed
rhythm?
3- What is assimilation? Give examples of different types of assimilation in English.

52
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

4- What is accommodation?
5- What is elision? Give examples of different types of elision in English.
II T /F: Decide whether the following statements are true or false:
1. Lexical words are not normally stressed in communication.
2. Words which serve to express certain grammatical relations or categories in the sentence are
either stressed or unstressed.
3. The normal tendency in English speech is for the primary stress to occur on the last syllable of
the tone group.
4. English speech has the tendency of syllable-timed rhythm.
5. When horse shoe is pronounced as /h:u:/, assimilation takes place.
6. Assimilation is said to be complete when the articulation of the assimilated consonant fully
coincides with that of the assimilating consonant.
7. Assimilation is said to be regressive when the preceding consonant influences the articulation of
the following consonant.
8. In accommodation, the pronunciation of two consonants influences each other.
9. Elision is the case of a sound realized as zero in casual, rapid speech.
10. Grammatical words can have either strong forms or weak forms in speech.
III- Matching: Match A with B:
A B
1- Sentence stress is.. a- either strong forms or weak forms
2- Stress timed rhythm is b- a sound realized as zero
3- By assimilation . c- when the articulation of the assimilated
consonant fully coincides with that of the
assimilating one
4- When putting words together .. d- accommodation takes place
5- Assimilation may be of three degrees . e- a prominence with which one or more
words in a sentence are pronounced
6- Assimilation is said to be complete f- complete, partial and intermediate
7- Assimilation is of three types as far as g- we mean a modification in the
the direction is concerned . articulation of a consonant under the
influence of a neighbouring consonant.
8- Elision is a case when.. h- the tendency for the stressed syllables to
occur at relatively interval of time.
9- When potato is pronounced as i- contextual assimilation takes place.
[p'tet],
10- Grammatical words can have j- progressive, regressive and double

53
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

CHAPTER VIII - INTONATION


1. Intonation
When speaking, people generally raise and lower the pitch of their voice, forming pitch patterns.
They also give some syllables in their utterances a greater degree of loudness and change their
speech rhythm. They can use special colouring of their voice (timbre or voice quality) to show
their emotions and attitudes. These phenomena are called intonation.
Intonation can, thus, be said to be the combination of
a- speech melody,
b- sentence stress,
c- tempo (rhythm and pausation), and
d- timbre (voice quality, or special colouring of the voice to show your feelings, attitudes
and emotions).
1.1. Speech melody
Speech melody, or the pitch component of intonation is the variation in the pitch of the voice
which takes place when voiced sounds are pronounced in connected speech. The relative height of
speech sounds as perceived by a listener is called pitch. The pitch of speech sounds is produced by
the variations of the vocal cords. Pitch produced depends on how fast the vocal cords vibrate; the
faster they vibrate, the higher the pitch. The way pitch is used linguistically differs from language
to language. Pitch variation or pitch movement is called tone.
1.2. Tone language and intonation language
Tone can be considered to be the height of the pitch and change of the pitch which is associated
with the pronunciation of syllables of words and which affects the meaning of the word. For
example, in Vietnamese when you say ga, it means railway station, when you say g, it means
chicken. Languages that use the pitch of individual syllables to contrast meanings are called tone
languages.
Tone (pitch movement) can also be understood as a change in pitch which affects the meaning and
function of utterances in discourse. Languages that use pitch syntactically (for example, to change
a sentence from a statement to a question) or in which the changing pitch of a whole sentence is
otherwise important to the meaning are called intonation languages. Intonation does not happen at
random but has definite system patterns.
2. Basic Tones
In this section we will consider the use of the five basic tones within the limited context of the
words Yes and No. The symbol \ is used to denote a fall; / is used to denote a rise; V to denote a fall
- rise; and to denote a rise fall.
2.1. Fall \Yes \No
This tone consists of a fall of the pitch of the voice from a fairly high note to a very low note.
The fall is used for:
a. Completeness, finality, and definiteness:
+ Im from \Canada.

54
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

+A: Are you /John Smith?


B: \No.
+ Thats the end of the \news.
b. Most WH- questions:
+ What are you \reading?
c. A repeated question:
+ A: Are you a /foreigner?
B: Pardon?
A: Are you a \foreigner?
d. Calling an agreement for a tag question:
+ You are a \student, \arent you?
e. A strong command:
+ \Shut up!
f. Strong exclamation and greeting:
+ What a nice sur\prise!
g. Correcting other peoples information:
+ A: Her birthday is on the tenth of December.
B: \No, its on the \fifth of December. (The voice falls on the correct word to emphasize it.)
or B: Her birthday isnt the tenth of December. Its the \fifth. (The voice falls and rises on
the incorrect information, then falls on the correct information to emphasize it.)
2.2. Rise /Yes /No
This tone consists of a rise from a very low note to a fairly high note. The rise is used for:
a. Indicating more to follow:
+ A: (wishing to attract B's attention) Excuse me.
B: /Yes? (B's reply is perhaps equivalent to what do you want?)
+ A: Have you seen Ann?
B: /No. (Why are you looking for Ann?)
+ You must do it a/gain (and this time get it right).
b. A soothing and encouraging statement:
+ Youll be OK /later.
+ It wont /hurt.
+ /Try it.
c. Yes-No questions:
+ Are you a /teacher?
55
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

d. Question tags: uncertainty, request for more information:


+ You are a \student, /arent you?
e. Casual and formal greetings:
+ Good /morning.
f. The interest in both the listener and the subject of conversation:
+ Whats your /name?
+ Is she your /daughter?
g. Echo questions: The speaker repeats something said by another person:
+ to show surprise:
A: I was late for the examination.
B: /Late
+ while he/she thinks what to reply:
A: Have you 'got any /postcards?
B: /Postcards? \Yes, they are in the \drawer with the envelopes.
+ to ask for further information:
A: 'Every 'cook should 'have a computer.
B: Com/puter?
A: Yes, to 'keep a 'record of /menus and \recipes.
+ because he/she did not hear, understand or believe what was said:
A: The 'new /manager is 'coming to\morrow. His 'name is \Sport.
B: Whats his /name?
2.3. Fall-Rise Yes No
This tone consists of a fall from a fairly high note to a very low note and after that from the low
note to a higher one again. The fall-rise is used a lot in English and has some rather special
functions.
a. Disagreement to the other speakers opinion:
+ A: You are on holiday, arent you?
B: No, Im not.
b. Hesitation:
+ A: Shall we be late?
B: We might be.
+ You may be right.
c. Correction of what has been said:
+ He is going to London to\day. To/morrow.

56
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

2.4. Rise-fall Yes No


This tone consists of a rise from very low note to a fairly high note and then a fall from the high
note to a very low one. It is used for:
a. Strong feelings of approval, disapproval or surprise:
+ A: You wouldnt do an awful thing like that, would you?
B: No.
+ A: Isnt the view lovely?
B: Yes.
b. Statement or question with OR
+ Do you want /milk or \coffee?
+ Shes going to study either /math or \physics.
c. Making a list:
+ He bought a cup and a pen.
+ Effective 'study re'quires not only /effort but \skill.
+ We 'have to 'pay for tu/ition and 'also for \books.
d. Complex sentences:
+ When he /came, I 'asked him to \wait.
+ If Fred /laughs, he looks \funny.
e. Non-final phrase and a main clause:
+ One /day, our teacher asked us to write a \story.
2.5. Level - Yes - No
a. Something routine, uninteresting or boring:
+ A: Helen Wilson?
B: -Yes.
+ A: Ill have to pay a 50-dollar member fee per month.
B: -Practically.
3. Tone-Unit
We have introduced 5 tones found on English one-syllable utterances. However, in continuous
speech we find that these tones can only be identified on a small number of particularly prominent
syllables. Therefore, a unit generally greater in size than the syllable is needed, and this unit is
called the tone-unit. Tone-unit is the basic unit of intonation in a language.
e.g. One-syllable tone-unit: /you
More than one syllable tone-unit: is it /you
A tone-unit is usually divided into several parts. The ways in which linguists have divided the tone
unit into different parts and the terms they have used for these parts are not always the same. The

57
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

simplified diagramme below shows the main parts of a tone unit together with different divisions
and terms which have been used.
Table 6: The structure of the tone unit
Unstressed Onset Tonic syllable where Continuation and
syllables First stressed major pitch completion of
syllable(s) movement begins pitch movement
Crystal 1969 prehead head nucleus tail
Halliday 1967, 1970 pretonic tonic
Brazil et al 1980 proclitic tonic segment enclitic segment
segment
Roach 1983 prehead head tonic syllable tail
e.g. It's a VERy STO ry
INteresting
According to Roach (1983), the most important part containing the syllable on which a change of
pitch begins is the tonic syllable. A tonic syllable is a syllable which carries a tone. Each simple
tone-unit has one and only one tonic syllable; this means that the tonic syllable is an obligatory
component of the tone-unit. In a tone-unit, the head is all part of a tone-unit that extends from the
first stressed syllable up to (but not including) the tonic syllable; the pre-head is composed of all
the unstressed syllables in a tone unit preceding the first stressed syllable; the tail is all the
syllables that follow the tonic syllable. For example:
and then 'nearer to the front on the /left theres a 'bit of \fo rest 'coming 'down to the
PH H TS PH TS PH H TS T H
\ wa terside and then a 'bit of a /bay
TS T PH H TS
In communication, the speaker has to make choice of the place in an utterance where the
movement in pitch begins (choice of tonic syllable). The choice depends on what the speaker
wishes to emphasize. For example, in she came last Saturday the change in pitch would often be
placed on the SAT of Saturday but in a dialogue such as:
A: She never comes on Saturdays.
B: But she came LAST Saturday.
A change in pitch would start on LAST.
4. Pitch Possibilities in Simple Tone Units
It has been stated that tone is carried by the tonic syllable but intonation is carried by the tone unit.
It means that not only the tonic syllable but also other parts in a tone-unit carry intonation.
- In one syllable utterance, the single syllable must have one of the five tones described above.
e.g. /you \yes John no -yes
- In a tone-unit of more than one syllable, the tonic syllable must have one of those tones.
+ If the tonic syllable is the final syllable, the tone will not sound much different from that
of a corresponding one syllable tone unit.
e.g. /here shall we sit /here

58
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

+ If there are other syllable following the tonic syllable (i.e. a tail), we find that the pitch
movement of the tone is not completed on the tonic syllable, and the syllable(s) of the tail will
continue the pitch of the tonic syllable. For example:
/What did you say \Why did you go

5. Pitch Possibilities in Complex Tone Units


- If the tail consists of only 1 syllable:
+ Fall-Rise: the fall part is usually carried by the first syllable and the rise part by the second.
Some men Some chairs

+ Rise-fall: the rise part is on the


^ no one ^ No, sir.

- If the tail consists of two or more syllables:


+ Fall-Rise: The pitch falls on the tonic syllable and remains low until the last stressed syllable in
the tail (or until the last if there is no stressed syllable in the tail). For example:
I might have thought of buying it. most of it was for them

+ Rise-fall: The syllable immediately following the tonic syllable is always higher and any
following syllables are low.
all of them went thats a nice way to speak to your mother

6. High and low heads


- In the case of the high head, the stressed syllable which begin the head is high in pitch; usually it
is higher than the beginning pitch of the tone on the tonic syllable.
The 'bus was \late. Is 'that the /end

- In the low head, the stressed syllable which begins the head is low in pitch. It is lower than the
beginning pitch of the tone on the tonic syllable. For example,
The ,bus was \late. Is ,that the /end

59
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

- It is usual for unstressed syllables to continue the pitch of the stressed syllable that precedes them
We 'asked if it has \come. We ,asked if it has \come.

- When there is more than one stressed syllable in the head


+ For a falling tone, the stressed syllable in a high head step downwards progressively to approach
the beginning of the tone while successive stressed syllables in a low head will tend to move
upwards:
The 'rain was 'coming 'down 'fairly \hard. ,I could have ,bought it for ,less than a ,pound.

+ For a falling tone, the stressed syllable in a high head step downwards progressively to approach
the beginning of the tone while successive stressed syllables in a low head will tend to move
upwards:
'Will there be a'nother 'train /later ,Thats ,not the ,story you ,told in /court

7. The Functions of Intonations


7.1. David Crystal
David Crystal (1994:171) assumes that intonation perform the following functions : (a) emotional,
(b) grammatical, (c) information structure, (d) textual, (e) psychological and (f) indexical.
7.1.1. Emotional
The most obvious function of intonation is to express a wide range of attitudinal meanings -
excitement, boredom, surprise, friendliness, reserve, and many hundreds more. Here, intonation
works along with other prosodic and paralinguistic features to provide the basis of all kinds of
vocal emotional expression.
7.1.2. Information structure
Intonation conveys a great deal about what is new and what is already known in the meaning of an
utterance - what is referred to as the information structure of utterance. If someone says I saw a
BLUE car, with maximum intonational prominence on blue, this pronunciation means that s /he
saw a blue car not a red or yellow car and it is an answer to the question Which car did you see?
7.1.3. Textual
Intonation is not only used to mark the structure of sentences; it is also an important element in the
construction of larger stretches of discourse. Prosodic coherence is well illustrated in the way
paragraphs of information are given distinctive melodic shape in radio news reading. As the
newsreader moves from one item of news to the next, the pitch level jumps up, then gradually
descends, until by the end of the item the voice reaches a relatively low level.
7.1.4. Psychological

60
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

Intonation can help to organize language into units that are more easily perceived and memorized.
Learning a long sequence of numbers, for example, proves easier if the sequence is divided into
rhythmical chunk. The ability to organized speech into intonational units is also an important
features that is often absent in cases of language disorder.
7.1.5. Indexical
Suprasegmental features also have a significant function as markers of personal identity - an
indexical function. In particular, they help to identify people as belonging to different social
groups and occupations.
7.2. Peter Roach
Peter Roach (1987: 136-139) assumes that intonation has the following functions:
7.2.1. Attitudinal function
Intonation enables us to express emotions and attitudes as we speak, and this adds a special kind of
meaning to spoken language. This is often called the attitudinal function of intonation.
7.2.2. Accentual function
Intonation helps to produce the effect of prominence on syllables that need to be perceived as
stressed, and in particular the placing of tonic stress on a particular syllable marks out the world to
which it belongs as the most important in the tone - unit. This has been called the accentual
function of intonation.
7.2.3. Grammatical function
The listener is better able to recognize the grammar and syntactic structure of what is being said by
using the information contained in the intonation: for example, such things as the placement of
boundaries between phrases, clauses and sentences, the difference between questions and
statements and the use of grammatical subordination may be indicated. This has been called the
grammatical function of intonation.
7.2.4. Discourse function
Looking at the act of speaking in a broader way, we can see that intonation can signal to the
listener what is to be taken as new information and what is already given, can suggest when
the speaker is indicating some sort of contrast or link with material in another tone - unit and, in
conversation, can convey to the listener what kind of response is expected. Such functions are
examples of intonations discourse function.
Recommended Reading:
Roach (1987: 112 - 150; 126 - 165); Vassilyeve (1980)
ASSIGNMENT 8
I- Questions for discussion:
1 - How do you understand the term intonation? What is a tone language? An intonation
language?
2 - What are the uses of the five basic tones (Fall, Rise, Fall - rise, Rise - fall, Level) in English?
3 - What is a tone unit?
4- What are the functions of the English intonation?

61
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

1- Find examples of the functions of intonation from Peter Roach (1987:136 -139) and David
Crystal (1994 :171).
II- T /F: Decide whether the following are true or false:
1- When speaking, people generally raise and lower the pitch of their voice, forming pitch patterns.
This phenomenon is called intonation.
2- Intonation is a combination of speech melody, sentence stress, tempo, and timbre.
3- The sentence It is a very interesting book has the structure of Prehead - head -tonic syllable -
tail.
4- Speech melody is the loudness of the voice.
5- The Fall is usually used to denote finality.
6- The Rise is used in general questions, requests, greetings, a series of special questions in an
interview.
7- The Fall-rise can be used for limited agreement, politeness, apology, concern, uncertainty
8- The Level is used when saying something that is strong in emotion.
9- A tone unit is the basic unit of intonation in a language. It always has many tonic syllables.
10- According to Peter Roach, intonation has the following functions: a-attitudinal, b-accentual, c-
grammatical, and d- discourse.
III- Multiple Choice: Choose the best answer
1- Speech melody, a component of intonation, is the variation in
A- tempo of speech B- sentence stress
C- the pitch of the voice D-special colouring of the voice.
2- Vietnamese is a..language.
A-tone B-intonation C-inflectional D-agglutinating
3-..consists of a fall of the pitch of the voice from a fairly high note to a very low note.
A- The Fall B-The Rise C- The Fall -Rise D-The Rise-Fall
4- W/H questions are usually spoken with.
A- The Fall B-The Rise C- The Fall -Rise D-The Rise-Fall
5- .is said to give an impression of finality.
A- The Fall B-The Rise C- The Fall -Rise D-The Rise-Fall
6-.is used in simple statements of fact, special questions, commands, exclamation, or offers to
do something.
A- The Fall B-The Rise C- The Fall -Rise D-The Rise-Fall
7- . expresses politeness, apology, concern, uncertainty, disagreement.
A- The Fall B-The Rise C- The Fall -Rise D-The Rise-Fall
8- . might be used to express attitudes both pleasant and unpleasant, ranging from irony to
admiration.
62
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

A- The Fall B-The Rise C- The Fall -Rise D-The Rise-Fall


9- A tonic syllable is a syllable where major change in .occurs.
A- rhythm B- pitch C-assimilation D-pronunciation
10- Which of the following is not a function of intonation?
A- Emotional B-Grammatical C- Textual D- None of the above.

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY


1- What is phonetics?
2- How can we classify the vowels? Diphthongs? Consonants?
3- How is the phoneme defined according to the functional view? What is an allophone?
4- What are the supra-segmental phonemes in the English language?
5- What is a syllable? How can syllables be formed?
6- What factors contribute to the production of word-stress?
7- What kinds of words in the sentence are normally stressed?
8- What is assimilation? What are the types of assimilation?
9- What is intonation? What are its functions?

63
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

ENGLISH - VIETNAMESE TERMINOLOGY


1 Accommodation ng ha 45 Pharynx Hng
(Nguyn m/
Ph m)
2 Acoustic Ng m hc m 46 Phone m t li ni
phonetics hc
3 Acoustics m hc 47 Phoneme m v
4 Affricative / m tc xt 48 Phonemic Phin m theo m v
affricate transcription
5 Allophone Bin th hnh v, 49 Phonemics m v hc
hnh v nhnh
6 Allophonic Phin m theo 50 Phonetic Bng ch ci ng m
transcription bin th hnh v Alphabet
7 Alveolar m li 51 Phonetic Ng cnh ng m
Context
8 Approximant m tim cn 52 Phonetic Phin m ng m
Transcription
9 Articulator C quan cu m 53 Phonetics Ng m hc
10 Articulatory Ng m hc cu 54 Phonology m v hc
phonetics m
11 Assimilation Hin tng ng 55 Physical event S kin vt l
ha
12 Assimilation rule Quy tc ng 56 Physiological Thuc sinh l hc
ha
13 Bi-labial m mi - mi 57 Pitch S ln xung ging
(m hai mi)
14 Cardinal vowel H thng 58 Progressive ng ha xui
system nguyn m assimilation
chnh
15 Closed syllable m tit ng 59 Prominence S nhn m
16 Complementary Th phn b b 60 Pure vowel Nguyn m thun
distribution sung ty, nguyn m n
17 Complete ng ha hon 61 Regressive ng ha ngc
assimilation ton assimilation
62 Tone language Ngn ng thanh iu

64
F T ra n sf o F T ra n sf o
PD rm PD rm
Y Y
Y

Y
er

er
ABB

ABB
y

y
bu

bu
2.0

2.0
to

to
re

re
he

he
k

k
lic

lic
C

C
w om w om
w

w
w. w.
A B B Y Y.c A B B Y Y.c

References
Asher, R. E., (1994). The Encyclopedia Of Language And Linguistics, Pergamon Press.
Dang Chan Lieu, (n.d.). English Phonetic Drills (Unpublished Coursebook), Hanoi Foreign
Language Teachers College.
Crystal, D., (1994). The Cambridge Encyclopedia Of Language, Cambridge University Press.
Fromkin, V. et al, (1988). An Introduction to Language. Australian ed, Holt, Rinehart and
Winston, New York.
Gimson, A.C., (1980). An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English, The English Language
Book Society and Edward Arnold, London.
Jones, D., (1956). An Outline of English Phonetics, ( 8th ed. ), Heffer, Cambridge, England.
Laderfoged, P., (1982). A Course in Phonetics, (2nd Ed.), Toronto: Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich.
Lyons, J., (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics, Cambridge at the University Press.
Lyons, J., (1970). New Horisons In Linguistics, Hazell Watson & Viney Ltd., Aylesbury, Bucks,
Great Britain.
Ly Thi Ngoc Thoa & Nguyen Thi Thuy Nga, (1996). Giao Trinh Ngu Am Hoc Tieng Anh,
HoChiMinh City Junior Teachers College.
Nesterov, (1976). English Phonetics, Hanoi Foreign Language Teachers College.
Nguyen Thu Suong, (2002). English Phonetics and Phonology. Quy Nhon University.
OGrady, W. et al., (1993). Contemporary Linguistics, (2nd ed.), St. Martins Press.
Richards, J. et al., (1985). Longman Dictionary Of Applied Linguistics. The Chaucer Press, Bunay,
Suffolk, Great Britain.
Roach, P., (1987). English Phonetics and Phonology, Cambridge University Press.
Roach, P. (2001). English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course. Cambridge University
Press.
Vassilyev. V.A., (1980). English Phonetics, Moscow.

65