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PHONOLOGY

Compiled By:

MIA PERLINA, S.S., M.Hum.


BAMBANG IRAWAN, S.S., M.Pd.

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
FACULTY OF LETTERS
UNIVERSITAS PAMULANG
2018
Universitas Pamulang Sastra Inggris

PHONOLOGY
Compiled by:
Mia Perlina
Bambang Irawan

ISBN:

Editor:
Mia Perlina

Reviewer:
Djasminar Anwar

Cover and layout design:


Ubaid Al Faruq

Publisher:
UNPAM PRESS
Jl. Surya Kencana No.1
Pamulang – Tangerang Selatan
Tel. 021-7412566
Fax 021-74709855
E-mail: unpampress@unpam.ac.id

First printed, February 2018

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval


system, or transmitted in any form or by any menas, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior
permission of the publisher.

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Unpam Press Publication Data


Pusat Kajian Pembelajaran & E-learning Universitas Pamulang

Gedung A. R.211 Kampus 1 Universitas Pamulang


Jalan Surya Kencana Nomor 1, Pamulang Barat, Tangerang Selatan, Banten
Website: www.unpam.ac.id e-mail: unpampress@unpam.ac.id

Phonology/Mia Perlina– 1st ed.


ISBN –

Phonology/Mia Perlina
20172-Kode Prodi-SIGB03213
691/A/O/UNPAM/II/2018

Director of Unpam Press: Sewaka


Editorial Boards: Aeng Muhidin, Ali Madinsyah, Ubaid Al Faruq
Editor: Mia Perlina
Copyright Coordinator: R.R. Dewi Anggraeni
Production Coordinator: Pranoto
Publication and Documentation Coordinator: Ubaid Al Faruq
Cover Design: Ubaid Al Faruq
Cover Picture:

This module is for internal used only

ISBN –

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PHONOLOGY

Subject Identity

Study Program : S-1 English Literature


Course/Code : Phonology/SIG0212
SKS : 2 Credits
Prerequisite : Introduction to Linguistics
Course Description : This course is a compulsory subject in English
Department which provides an introduction to the
basic concepts in the field of phonetics and
phonology. It concentrates on some general
principles involved in speech production and how
to articulate and transcribe the sounds using the
IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) chart.
This course also gives students knowledge on
syllable structures, sound patterns,
suprasegmental features (stress and intonation),
and phonological rules.

Course Learning Outcomes : After completing this course, students are


expected to be able to describe the English
language sound systems and some common
phonological phenomena based on the applicable
scientific rules.

Prepared by : 1. Mia Perlina, S.S., M.Hum.


2. Bambang Irawan, S.S., M.Pd.

Head of Study Program Coordinator of Phonology course

Djasminar Anwar, BA,Pg.Dipl.,MA Mia Perlina, S.S., M.Hum.


NIDN. 8816420016 NIDN. 0403088603

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PREFACE

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Allah, the Almighty, who has
given us uncountable bounties and blessings, for completing this module entitled
“Phonology”.
Specifically, the intention for compiling this module is to ease students in
learning Phonology course. This book provides access to understand basic concepts in
the field of phonetics and phonology, including the production of sounds, the
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and prosodic features of the English language.
With the available online sources, practical skills and exercises for each topic, it is then
hoped that students will gain not only a better understanding of English sound systems,
but also a chance to recognize and describe some common phonological issues.
All in all, I realize that the completion of this module is not completely perfect,
either from the contents or methods. Therefore, any constructive criticisms and
suggestions are welcomed to get a better module in the future.

Tangerang selatan , 14 February 2018


Coordinator of Phonology course

Mia Perlina, S.S., M.Hum.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

COVER
PUBLISHER IDENTITY .................................................................. ii
MODULE ARCHIEVE DATA ......................................................... iii
SUBJECT IDENTITY ....................................................................... iv
PREFACE ......................................................................................... v
TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................... vi
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................. ix
LIST OF FIGURES ...........................................................................ix

MEETING 1 OVERVIEW OF PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 1
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................1
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 7
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 8

MEETING 2 CONSONANTS
A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 9
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................9
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 13
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 14

MEETING 3 ENGLISH STOPS


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 15
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................15
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 22
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 24

MEETING 4 ENGLISH FRICATIVES


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 25
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................25
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 39
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 41

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MEETING 5 ENGLISH AFFRICATES, NASAL, AND APPROXIMANTS


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 42
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................42
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 54
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 57

MEETING 6 DISTINCTIVE FEATURES, PHONOTACTIC RULES, AND


CONSONANT CLUSTERS
A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 58
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................58
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 65
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 66

MEETING 7 REVIEW OF MEETING 1 - MEETING 6


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 67
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................67
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 70
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 72

MEETING 8 VOWELS: MONOPHTHONGS


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 73
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................73
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 77
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 78

MEETING 9 FRONT VOWELS


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 79
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................79
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 85
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 87

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MEETING 10 CENTRAL AND BACK VOWELS


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 88
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................88
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 99
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 101

MEETING 11 DIPHTHONGS
A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 102
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................102
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 112
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 113

MEETING 12 ENGLISH SYLLABLE STRUCTURES


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 115
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................115
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 120
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 121

MEETING 13 STRESS, RHYTHM, AND INTONATION


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 122
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................122
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 142
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 144

MEETING 14 PHONOLOGICAL RULES


A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES ............................. 146
B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION ..........................................146
C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST ........................ 155
D. REFERENCES ................................................................ 156

REFERENCES ............................................................................... 158


COURSE OUTLINE (RPS) ............................................................. 159

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LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. The classification of consonants ........................................12
Table 2. Matrix of English distinctive features .............................. 59
Table 3. Initial consonant clusters in English ................................. 62

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. The Vocal Tract with
Velum Raised and Velum Lowered ................................. 4
Figure 2. Configurations of the larynx ............................................5
Figure 3. Creating a phonetic symbols in Ms. Word ...................... 6
Figure 4. Vowel chart ......................................................................73
Figure 5. The productions of high vowels ....................................... 74
Figure 6. The productions of mid vowels ........................................74
Figure 7. The productions of low vowels .........................................74
Figure 8. The productions of front, back, and central vowels ....... 75
Figure 9. The productions of lip rounding ......................................76
Figure 10. The productions of tense and lax vowels ....................... 76
Figure 11. Chart of English diphthongs ..........................................103
Figure 12. The syllable structure of the word
‘spring’ and ‘texts’ ......................................................... 116
Figure 13. The syllable structure of the word ‘giant’ ............... 116
Figure 14. The syllable structure of the word ‘about’ .............. 116
Figure 15. The syllable structure of the word ‘rigid’ ................ 117
Figure 16. The syllable structure of the word ‘origin’.............. 117
Figure 17. The syllable structure of the word ‘restrain’ ..........118
Figure 18. The syllable structure of the word ‘nasty’ ............... 118
Figure 19. The syllable structure of the word ‘emblem’ ..........119
Figure 20. The syllable structure of ‘I scream and
‘ice cream’ ....................................................................... 119

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MEETING 1
OVERVIEW OF PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are able to familiarize themselves with
some basic concepts, key terms, and ideas in the field of phonetics and
phonology.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
When we communicate, we produce sequences of sounds that join
together to make up words, phrases, and sentences for our partners of interaction
to listen to, make meaning out of, and respond thereafter. In linguistics, two major
branches of study investigate the diverse aspects in sound sequence: Phonetics
and Phonology.
Phonetics deals with individual speech sounds. In the study of Phonetics,
we learn about how each sound is produced in the organs of speech in the body
and how it is perceived by the hearer as a result of sound transmission (Sari, 2011;
Fromkin, Rodman, & Hyams, 2009; Roach, 2009 ). Phonetics is divided into three
types according to the production (articulatory), transmission (acoustic), and
perception (auditory) of sounds (Brinton, 2000; Carr, 1999). Related to phonetics,
phonology is the science of speech sound patterns. In the field of phonology, we
learn about how speech sounds behave in utterance and communication (Sari,
2011).
Throughout this course, then, we will experience a step-by-step process of
understanding phonetics followed by that of phonology in the English language.
The first step to examine sounds systematically is to look into each individual
sound: consonants and vowels, better known as the segmentals. The segmentals
are essential analysis of individual phonemes in English (Sari, 2011). A phoneme
is the smallest unit of language which distinguishes meaning; it is the
organizational unit of phonology. Phonemes are written in slashes / /. Examples of
phonemes are /k/ and /g/ in English (Brinton, 2000).
When we study the segmentals, we are going to find out about the
articulatory anatomy involved in the production of English consonants and vowels.
We are also going to learn further about phonetic alphabet system that is
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developed by language researchers to help us understand more about the


universal representation of sounds.
The next step after we learn all the consonants and vowels in modern
English, we will examine the aspects beyond the segmentals: stress and
intonation. Stress and intonation are known as the prosodic features of sounds, or
the suprasegmentals.
We need to understand that there are many varieties of English. Two major
English varieties are British English and American English. In this course we will
get to know more about contemporary American English. However, we will use a
combination of both British English and American English.
Let us now get to know about the mechanism of speech sounds. Most
languages of the world use egressive pulmonics system, but other air stream
mechanisms are possible. Egressive, as opposed to ingressive, refers to the fact
that sound is produced when air is exiting, not entering, the lungs. Pulmonic refers
to the use of the lungs as the power source (Brinton, 2000).
The production of speech sounds involves the movement of air stream.
First, the air produced from the lungs flows through the opening the vocal folds.
The air travels up the pharynx into the mouth or nose, depending on the sound to
be made. If the air travels into the mouth, it will have contact with different places
in the oral cavity, including the tongue, before it leaves the mouth and becomes
what we hear as an oral sound. Otherwise, if the air travels into the nose, it will
flow through the nasal cavity, before it leaves the nose and becomes a nasal
sound (Sari, 2011).
Keeping in mind the primacy of speech, we will now consider how we make
speech sounds. Speech sounds are produced using, but modifying, the respiratory
system. When speaking, the number of breaths per minute increases. The intake
of air (inspiration) becomes shorter while the period of exhalation (expiration)
increases. A greater amount of air is expelled, with a gradual decrease in the
volume of air and fairly constant pressure. Importantly for the production of sound,
the air is often blocked or impeded at some point or points on its way out.
Brinton (2000) stated that English and most languages of the world use the
egressive pulmonic system to generate speech sounds. The term “egressive”
refers to the fact that sound is produced when air is exiting, not entering, the lungs.
“Pulmonic” refers to the use of the lungs as the power source. In speaking, air is
expelled from the lungs by a downward movement of the ribs and upward

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movement of the diaphragm. The air travels up the bronchial tubes to the trachea,
or “wind pipe”, and through the larynx, or “Adam’s apple”. The larynx contains a
valve which functions to close off the trachea while you are eating. This valve has
been adapted for the purposes of speech; it is known as the vocal cords. The vocal
cords are two muscles stretching horizontally across the larynx, attached to
cartilage at either end that controls their movement. The vocal cords are relatively
open during normal breathing, but closed during eating. The space between the
cords when they are open is known as the glottis. The vocal cords of men and of
women are of different lengths: 1.7 cm for women, 2.3 for men. This, as we will
see later, accounts in part for the different vocal qualities of men and women. Air
continues past the larynx into the pharynx, whose only real function is as a
connector and resonator.
The air then moves into the vocal tract (see Figure 1), consisting of the oral
and nasal cavities. The oral cavity, that is, the mouth, is a resonator and a
generator of speech sounds via the articulators, which may be active (moving) or
passive (stationary). The active articulators include the following:
a. the tongue, divided into (1) the front (consisting of the tip or - “apex” and the
blade or “lamina”), (2) the back (or “dorsum”), and (3) the root: the tongue
modifies the shape of the cavity, acts as a valve by touching parts of the mouth
to stop the flow of air, and is shaped in various ways to direct the flow of air.

b. the lower lip: the lip may be placed against the upper teeth or, together with the
upper lip, may be closed or opened, rounded or spread.

The passive articulators include the following:


a. the teeth, both upper and lower.
b. the roof of the mouth, which is divided into (1) the alveolar ridge, which is 1 cm
behind the upper teeth, (2) the hard palate, which is the domed, bony plate, (3)
the soft palate, or velum, which is the muscular flap at the rear, and (4) the
uvula, which is the tip of the velum.
c. the pharynx, or back of the throat, which is used by some languages (but not
English) in producing speech sounds.

HINT: If you run your tongue back along the top of your mouth from your teeth, you
should be able to feel your alveolar ridge just behind the upper teeth and to

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distinguish your palate from your velum. As your tongue travels backwards
towards the velum, you should feel the membrane covering the roof of the mouth
become softer.

Figure 1. The Vocal Tract with (a) Velum Raised and (b) Velum Lowered (the
figure was originally taken from Brinton, 2000, p.21)

A useful feature of the velum is that it is movable. If it is raised against the


back of the pharynx (called “velic closure”) blocking the entrance to the nasal
passageway, then air passes out only through the oral cavity (see Figure 1a). The
result is known as an oral sound. If the velum is lowered (called “velic opening”),
then air can pass out through the other cavity, the nasal cavity, that is the nose
(see Figure 1b). If air passes out of the nose exclusively, a nasal sound is
produced, but if air passes out of both the nose and the mouth, a nasalized sound
is produced. People who have a “nasal quality” to their voice probably have
incomplete closure of the velum at all times, so that a little air is always able to
escape through the nose. Also, when you have a cold and your velum is swollen,
you will have imperfect velic closure and hence a nasal voice; you will also not be
able to produce exclusively nasal sounds since your nose is blocked and will
substitute oral sounds (e.g. the sound “b” for “m”).
Let us return, briefly, to the larynx and the vocal cords to see how they
function in producing sounds. When the cords are widely separated and fairly taut,
no noise is produced. This is known as an “open glottis” and produces a voiceless
sound (see Figure 2a). However, the vocal cords may also be set in vibration
(“phonation”), and this produces a voiced sound (see Figure 2b). They vibrate
open and shut as air passes through. Vibration is begun by initially closing the
vocal cords completely, but with the cords fairly relaxed. Air pressure builds up

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below the cords and blows them apart. Then the pressure decreases and the
cords close again; these events occur in rapid succession. Women’s vocal cords,
being smaller, vibrate more rapidly, normally 190–250 Hz (times/second) while
men’s larger vocal cords vibrate 100–150 Hz. When the vocal cords are vibrating,
you can feel a vibration and hear a buzzing.

HINT: To feel the vibration, place your fingers on your larynx or cup your hands
over your ears and say sa-za-sa-za. You should sense the vibration of the cords
with the “z” sound but not the “s” sound.

A “closed glottis” occurs when the vocal cords are brought completely
together once and the air stream is interrupted. This produces a speech sound we
will consider later called a “glottal stop”.
Whispering involves bringing the vocal cords close together, keeping them
fairly taut but not vibrating them. Air is restricted through a small triangular
passage between the arytenoid cartilages, and this produces a hissing sound (see
Figure 2c). To produce a breathy voice, the vocal cords never close completely
but are in vibration; hence, there is a murmuring sound. A creaky voice results
from voicing with slow, regular vibration, whereas a harsh voice results from
excessive tension in the vocal cords and irregular vibration. A hoarse voice usually
results from swelling of the vocal cords producing irregular vibration and
incomplete closure.

Figure 2. Configurations of the larynx: (a) voiceless (exhalation), (b) voiced,


and (c) whispered (the figure was sourced from Brinton, 2000, p.22)

Two other features of sound are loudness and pitch. Loudness is related
to the pressure and volume of air expelled; as these increase, the sound becomes
louder. Pitch is a matter of the quality of the sound, which is a consequence of the
frequency of the sound wave emitted. Every person has a natural frequency and
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range. Men’s voices tend to have a lower pitch than women’s due to the larger size
of their vocal cords, which vibrate more slowly. Pitch can be modulated by altering
the tension on the vocal cords and changing their length. Pitch decreases when
the vocal cords are elongated and tensed and increases when they are relaxed,
hence shorter. Most human voices have a range of about two octaves.
It is essential to distinguish between writing and sound. There are various
terms to characterize the relationship between the written and the spoken word
depending on what the match between the two is like: homophones ‘sameness of
sound’, e.g. meat and meet, homographs ‘sameness of writing’, e.g. lead and
lead, homonyms ‘sameness of sound and writing, e.g. bat and bat.
In 1888 members of the International Phonetic Association developed a
phonetic alphabet to symbolize the sounds of all languages. They utilized both
ordinary letters and invented symbols. Each character of the alphabet had exactly
one value across all of the world’s languages. Someone who knew this alphabet
would know how to pronounce a word written in it, and upon hearing a word
pronounced, would know how to write it using the alphabetic symbols. The
inventors of this International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA, knew that a phonetic
alphabet should include just enough symbols to represent the fundamental sounds
of all languages.
When you need to describe a word or phrase phonetically, you can use the
help of word processing. In regular Word document, you can find the insert button
usually placed on the toolbar in Microsoft Office Word 2007 (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Creating a phonetic symbols in Ms. Word

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After you click the insert button, find the option for symbol, represented by
Ω symbol, on the right corner of the insert button options (see Figure 3). Click the
Ω symbol button and a window will appear for selection of symbols. In Font, select
Lucida Sans Unicode. It is the font type that allows you to search and select
particular phonetic symbols. Once the font type is determined, you will be able to
scroll down the symbol selection and select the symbol you want to use in your
document. Click on the desired symbol and press Insert (see Figure 3).

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Describe the distinctions between phonetics and phonology?
2. Draw the arrow symbol (⇨) in the facial diagram to indicate airflow direction in
the vocal tract when producing an oral sound.

3. Draw the arrow symbol (⇨) in the facial diagram to indicate airflow direction in
the vocal tract when producing a nasal sound.

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D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Roach, P. 2009. Phonetics and phonology: A practical course (4thedition). UK:
Cambridge University Press.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Website
The University of Iowa the Phonetics Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 2
CONSONANTS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


After completing this session, students are able to recognize the phonetic
symbols of consonants and describe the 3 parameters of the production of
consonants.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
In this session, we begin our study of English sounds with the
understanding of consonants. A consonant is defined as a speech sound which is
articulated with some kind of stricture, or closure, of the air stream (Brinton, 2000).
To be able to describe a consonant, we must be able to tell how a consonant is
produced. This is where the conventions for consonant articulations can help us
accomplish such task. The conventions include three dimensions:
a. Voicing: the state of vocal folds in terms of whether or not they vibrate
b. The place of articulation: that decides which parts of the mouth and the rest of
the sound organs are in contact to produce a sound
c. The manner of articulation: that establishes the kind of constriction involved,
the direction where the air is flowing, and the circumstances affecting the
tongue when producing a sound (Sari, 2011).

1) Voicing
When the air from the lungs flows past the larynx causing the vocal folds to
vibrate against each other, the process is called voicing. If the vocal folds vibrate,
we call the sound voiced. If the vocal folds cause no vibration, on the other hand,
we call the sound voiceless. There are 8 pairs of consonants than we can tell
apart distinctively just by perceiving that one sound is voiceless, and the other
voiced.
Voiceless: p t k f θ s ʃ ʧ
Voiced: b d g v ð z Ʒ ʤ
The rest of the English consonants do not have ‘partners’ or are stand alone
voiced or voiceless. Stand alone voiced consonants are m, n, ŋ, l, r, w, and j.

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Stand alone voiceless consonants are ʔ and h.

Note: when you whisper, all speech sounds become voiceless

2) Point of articulation
When a consonant is produced, our brain focuses on specific places in the
vocal tract called points of articulation that best produce the sound. We will be
learning 8 places of articulation: bilabial, labiodentals, interdental, alveolar,
palatal, velar, glottal, and labial-velar (Sari, 2011).
a. A bilabial consonant indicates a full contact of the upper and the lower lips.
English bilabial consonants include p, b, and m, as in pie, bag, and seem.
b. A labiodental consonant involves the lower lip touching the bottom part of the
upper teeth. English labiodental consonants include f and v, as in football and
movies.
c. An interdental consonant requires the tip of the tongue to raise and touch the
bottom part, sometimes the back, of the upper teeth. English interdental
consonants are θ and ð, as in thank and others.
d. An alveolar consonant involves the tip or blade of the tongue touching the
alveolar ridge. English alveolar consonants include t, d, s, z, n, l, and r, as in
tennis, defense, mascot, amazing, near, line, and rules.
e. A palatal consonant involves the body of the tongue approaching the hard
palate. It is hard to picture how it is done, but if you read out loud the word (e.g.
yeah) repeatedly you will find that the body of your tongue is doing the work to
produce a palatal consonant. English palatal sounds include ʃ, Ʒ, ʧ, ʤ, and j,
as in shampoo, Asia, cheese, change, and yes.
f. Some linguists, however, categorized ʃ, Ʒ, ʧ, and ʤ as postalveolar (alveolo-
palatal) consonants, which indicate that the tip or blade of the tongue
approaches the area just behind the alveolar ridge that is a bit further back in
the mouth but not quite as far back as the hard palate.
g. A velar consonant requires the body of the tongue to approach of the soft
palate or velum. English velar consonants are k, g, and ŋ, as in catch, goal,
and bring.
h. A glottal consonant focuses on the glottis, where air being exhaled from the
lungs is stopped or released in the throat by a closure of the glottis. The
trapping of air by the glottis is called a glottal stop (ʔ), while the release a glottal
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fricative (h). Observe the following English interjection uh-oh and house.
i. A labial-velar consonant combines two points of articulation, the lips and the
soft palate area. Unlike a velar sound, a labial-velar requires the lips to be
almost in full contact before the air flows past the vibrating vocal folds and to
spread once the air is flowing out of the mouth. The English labial-velar sound is
w, as in warehouse.

3) Manner of articulation
After determining whether or not the vocal folds vibrate and establishing
where in the vocal tract focus is locked in for a specific sound, we need to clarify
which direction the air is flowing and the circumstances affecting the airflow when
producing a sound. We are now about to identify six manners of articulation: stops,
fricatives, affricates, nasals, and approximants.
a. A stop consonant indicates that the airflow in the oral cavity is in complete stop

at the point of articulation. English stop consonants are p, b, t, d, k, g, and ʔ.


b. A fricative consonant requires the airflow in the oral cavity to continue flowing
through the narrow opening between the articulators. English fricative sounds

include f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ∫, Ʒ, and h.
c. An affricate consonant indicates two manners of articulation, i.e. stops and
fricatives, to work together in producing an affricate sound. English affricates
are ʧ and ʤ.
d. A nasal consonant requires the air to flow past the nasal cavity, instead of the
oral cavity. English nasal consonants include m, n, and ŋ.
e. An approximant consonant indicates the airflow in the oral cavity to keep
flowing through the opening created by the articulators much like the fricatives.
The difference is that the opening is not too narrow for the air to flow quietly.

There are three different types of approximants (Brinton, 2000):


1. A lateral consonant involves complete closure of the central portion of the vocal
tract, with the lateral passage of air; the air may pass around the sides with no
stricture (open approximation). The English lateral approximant is l.
2. A retroflex consonant involves the underside of the tongue curling back behind
the alveolar ridge towards the palate. An English retroflex is r.
Lateral and retroflex are also known as liquids.

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3. A glide (or semivowel) consonant involves a glide to or from a vowel; this


sound is articulated like a vowel (with no stricture) but functions as a consonant.
English glides are w and j.

While the consonant l is described as a lateral approximant sound, the


consonants r, w, and j are sometimes called central approximants.
The classification of consonants is summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. The classification of consonants (adapted from Fromkin, et al, 2009)


Place Bilabial Labio Interde Alveola Palata Velar Glottal Labial
dental ntal r l -velar
Voiceless

Voiceless

Voiceless

Voiceless

Voiceless

Voiceless

Voiceless

Voiceless
Voiced

Voiced

Voiced

Voiced

Voiced

Voiced

Voiced

Voiced
Manner

Stop p b t d k g ʔ

Nasal m n ŋ

Fricative f v θ ð s v ʃ Ʒ h

Afficate ʧ ʤ

Glide j w

Liquid
(Lateral) l

(Central) r

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C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST

1. Complete the diagram by placing a check (√) under the appropriate


voicing column, marked by ‘voiceless’ and ‘voiced’ for each sound.
Consonant Voiced Voicel r
ess t
d ʧ
z p
v θ
b h
ð ʤ
f s
j k
n w
ŋ g
m ʒ
ʃ l

2. Draw a circle around each sound that matches with the corresponding
point of articulation.
Alveolar? m p l n ʃ t s
Interdental? t p g m ʃ θ ð
Labial-velar? g ʃ ʤ w ŋ ʧ b
Palatal? s f j ŋ θ ð ʧ
Velar? g l p ŋ k f s
Bilabial m l w ŋ k f b
Glottal Ʒ r ʔ ʧ ð h θ
Labiodentals v ʃ f l ŋ ʧ b

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3. Draw a circle around each sound that matches with the corresponding
manner of articulation.
Stops? m p ʧ k d ʔ l
Fricatives? s g f ʃ ʧ ð z
Approximants? l r t w j Ʒ ʔ
Nasals? m f j ŋ θ ð ʧ
Affricates? g ʤ p ŋ ʧ f s

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Roach, P. 2009. Phonetics and phonology: A practical course (4thedition). UK:
Cambridge University Press.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Websites
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).
Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m
The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 3
ENGLISH STOPS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are able to describe systematically
phonetic descriptions of the English stops using the IPA chart and recognize the
spelling patterns for each of the English stop sounds.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
English stops are defined as sounds which are produced with complete
closure at the place of articulation. There are seven English stop consonants: [p],

[b], [t], [d], [k], [g], and [ʔ]. Each of those sounds will be described in the
following.

1) [p] as in pay, apple, and stop


In terms of pronouncing [p], [p] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating,
with the lips closed temporarily then opened as the air comes out of the lungs
through the oral cavity and the airflow is stopped at the articulators (Dale & Poms,
2005; Sari, 2011). Therefore, [p] is described as voiceless bilabial stop.
This consonant is familiar to speakers of most languages. However, [p] is
much more explosive in English than it is in other languages. When speaking
English, [p] at the beginning of words must be produced with strong aspiration or it
might sound like [b].
Examples: pear will sound like bear
pat will sound like bat

When [p] follows [s] (as in spot, spy, spend), it is not aspirated. Practice
saying [p] by loosely holding a tissue in front of your lips! If you aspirate [p]
correctly, releasing a puff of air, the tissue will flutter.
So puff, puff, puff, and you’ll pronounce a perfect [p]!

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Practice 1.
The boldfaced words in the following phrases and sentences should be
pronounced [p].
a) Stop it!
b) Pencil and paper
c) A piece of pie
d) Proud as a peacock
e) Open up!
f) Practice makes prefect!
g) The apples and pears are ripe.
h) The ship will stop in Panama.
i) Wash the pots and pans with soap.
j) Her purple pants are pretty.

2) [b] as in boy, rabbit, and tub


[b] is made with the vocal folds vibrating, with the lips closed temporarily
then opened as the air comes out of the lungs through the oral cavity and the
airflow is stopped at the articulators (Dale & Poms, 2005; Sari, 2011). Such a
production makes [b] a voiced bilabial stop.
Although the consonant [b] is a simple sound to pronounce, you may
confuse it with the sound [v].
E.g. boat will sound like vote
When [b] is the last sound in a word, many speakers forget to make their
vocal cords vibrate. This will make [b] sound like [p] and confuse your listeners.
E.g. robe will sound like rope
cab will sound cap
The consonant [b] will be easy to say if you make your vocal folds vibrate
and firmly press your lips together.

Hint:
The letter b is always pronounced [b]. Exception: when b follows m in the same
syllable, it is not pronounced; it is silent
e.g. comb, lamb, bomb, plumber

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Be sure to say [b] with a boom and you’ll be at your best!

Practice 2.
Read the paragraph aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words containing the
sound [b]
The Heart
The heart is a powerful organ in the chest directly under the breastbone. It pumps
blood around the body. Beating is an automatic ability of the heart. It begins
beating in embryonic development before the baby is born. All body tissues
need oxygen, which is carried to them by the circulating blood. If a person’s heart
stops beating, death will occur. In 70 years, a human’s heart beats about 2
billion times. The heart is able to beat after its nerves have been cut. In fact, if it
is kept in the proper type of liquid, it will beat even when removed from the body.

3) [t] as in top, return, and cat


Consonant [t] is produced with the vocal folds not vibrating, the tip of the
tongue is in contact with the alveolar ridge, and the air comes out of the lungs
through the oral cavity as it is stopped by the articulators (Dale & Poms, 2005;
Sari, 2011). Thus, [t] is described as voiceless alveolar stop.
[t] is a common sound and, for many speakers, it does not cause much
difficulty. When pronouncing [t], your tongue tip should touch upper gum
ridge/alveolar ridge, NOT the back of your upper front teeth. [t] must be said with
strong aspiration and a puff of air or it might sound like [d].
Practice saying [t] while loosely holding a tissue in front of your mouth. If
you aspirate [t] correctly and say it with a puff of air, your tissue will flutter.

Hint:
a. When [t] is between two vowels and follows a stressed syllable (as in water,
butter, and city), it is NOT aspirated.
b. When [t] follows s (as in stop, stay, and stick), it is NOT aspirated with a puff of
air.
c. The letters -ed in past tense verbs are pronounced [t] when they follow a
voiceless consonant.

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So - be sure to practice all the time; you’ll make a terrific [t].

Practice 3.
Read the phrases and sentences aloud. Pay attention to the [t] sound in the
boldfaced words and phrases. Be sure to aspirate [t] at the beginning of words.
1. Tell the teacher
2. Tea and toast
3. To be or not to be
4. Take your time.
5. Today is Tuesday, October tenth.
6. Turn off the light.
7. Tim bought two tickets to the tennis tournament.
8. Pat wrote a poem.
9. The boat won’t return until eight.
10. Should we leave a fifteen percent tip?

4) [d] as in day, ladder, and bed


[d] is made exactly the same way as that of [t], except that vocal folds
vibrate when [d] is produced (Dale & Poms, 2005; Sari, 2011). Such a production,
then, makes a voiced alveolar stop.
The sound [d] should be produced with the tongue tip touching alveolar
ridge, NOT the back of your upper front teeth.
For instances: instead of saying [d], you say [ð]:
ladder will sound like leather
Breeding will sound like breathing
When [d] is the last sound in a word, many speakers of English forget to
make vocal folds vibrate. This will make [d] sound like a [t] and confuse your
listeners.
For example: if you say [t] instead of [d]: card will sound like cart
bed will sound like bet

Don’t forget to practice [d] every day!

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Practice 4.
Read the paragraph aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words containing the
consonant [d].
Daydreaming
Almost all people daydream during a normal day. They tend to daydream the
most during quiet times. Most people have said that they enjoy their daydreams.
Some have very ordinary daydreams, while others have unrealistic ones, such as
inheriting a million dollars. Men daydream as much as women do, but the subject
of their dreams is different. Men daydream about being daring heroes or good
athletes. Women delight in daydreaming about fashion and beauty. As
individuals grow older, they tend to daydream less, although it is still evident in
their old age. Children daydream, too. Psychologists believe daydreaming is an
important part of children’s development because it helps them to develop their
imaginations. Daydreaming has advantages and disadvantages. It can keep
people entertained under dull conditions. The downside is that, when
daydreaming, they need to divert their attention from their surroundings. When it
is important for people to pay attention to something like driving, daydreaming
can be a risky or dangerous diversion.

5) [k] as in cake, car, and book


[k] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating, with the tongue raising to
touch the velum as the air comes out of the lungs through the oral cavity stopping
at the articulators (Dale & Poms, 2005; Sari, 2011). Therefore, the consonant [k] is
described as voiceless velar stop.
[k] is an easy consonant for you to say. Just remember that [k] is very
explosive in English. When [k] begins a word, it must be said with strong aspiration
and a puff of air. When k follows s (as in sky, skin, and skate), however, it is NOT
aspirated with a puff of air.
The following are the common spelling patterns for the sound [k] (Dale & Poms,
2005)
[k] spelled
k c qu ([kw]) x ([ks])
kite coat quit six

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kill cone quick box


lake acre quiet wax
keep class quote exit
bake crime square mixture

Hint:
a. The most common spelling pattern for [k] is the letter k.
b. Less frequent spelling patterns for [k] consists of the letters ch
e.g. Chorus chrome mechanic Christmas
c. The letter qu are usually pronounced [kw].
e.g. queen quite require
d. The letter c before a, o, or u is usually pronounced [k].
e.g. cap because comb become cut
e. The letter k followed by n is usually NOT pronounced; it is silent.
e.g. knit knot know

Keep practicing. You can say [k] OK!

Practice 5.
The boldfaced words in the following phrases and sentences should be
pronounced [k].
1. Keep quiet.
2. Milk and cookies
3. Call it quits.
4. Cup of coffee
5. Can I come in?
6. Speak clearly.
7. I like black coffee.
8. Carol is working as a cook.
9. Pack your clothes for the weekend.
10. Can the bookkeeper keep accurate records?

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6) [g] as in go, begin, and egg


Consonant [g] is articulated exactly the same way as that of [k], except for
the vocal folds vibrating (Dale & Poms, 2005; Sari, 2011). This consonant, thus, is
described as voiced velar stop.
[g] should be an easy consonant for you to say. However, when [g] is the
last sound in a word, you might forget to add voicing or substitute [k] by mistake.
This will change the meaning of your words.
E.g. if you say [k] instead of [g]: bag will sound like back
if you say [ŋ], instead of [g]: rug will sound like rung
Always make your vocal cords vibrate for [g] at the end of words. Let your
[g] GO with an explosion.
The common spelling patterns for [g] are:
[g] Spelled
g x ([gz])
green beggar exact exhibit
glass egg exert example
hungry drug exam exist

Your [g] has got to be good!

Practice 6.
Read the phrases and sentences aloud. The boldfaced words should be
pronounced [g].
1. Good night.
2. I don’t agree.
3. Where are you going?
4. Begin again
5. A good girl
6. A big dog
7. Peggy is going to the game.
8. The dog dug up his bone again.
9. There’s a big bug on the rug.
10. All that glitters is not gold.
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7) [ʔ]

There is one further stop which we must mention, that is [ʔ]. This consonant

is very common in the speech of most speakers of English. [ʔ] is made with the
vocal folds not vibrating, with the air coming out of the lungs through the oral cavity

constricted in the glottis (Sari, 2011). [ʔ], thus, is described as voiceless glottal
stop.
This glottal stop is made instead of [t] in many Scottish and Cockney
pronunciations of, for example, the word “butter”.

Practice 7.
Go to the University of Iowa Sound animation Project
(https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english) to see and practice how
each English stop is produced.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Choose the correct word from the box to complete each of the sentences.
Then practice reading the sentences aloud.
Peacock peanut people peeled peach
Pete peace peeve peak P

a. A nickname for Peter is .


b. The opposite of war is .
c. Pam bought to feed the elephants.
d. The top of a mountain is called a .
e. The plural of person is .
f. A popular fruit is a .
g. A bird with bright feathers is a .
h. The potatoes should be washed well if they are not going to be .
i. The letter preceding Q is .
j. Something that annoys you is called a pet .

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2. Read the words aloud. Underline the ONE letter t in each word that is
pronounced [t].
Example: thought
a) Traction f) Tooth
b) That g) Presentation
c) Patient h) Arithmetic
d) Texture i) Subtraction
e) Temperature j) Together

3. Read the paragraph aloud. Circle all the words that should be
pronounced [k].
The American cowboy
Americans created the name cowboy for the men who cared for cattle. You
might recall the typical singing in the movies. He was kind, courageous, and
good-looking. He always caught the cow, colt, and of course the girl! But the
real cowboy was a hard worker who had many difficult tasks. He had to take
the cattle to market. These lonely cattle drives took many weeks through
rough country. The cowboy had to protect the cattle and keep them from
running off. In fact or fiction, the cowboy will continue to be likeable American
character. Ride ‘em cowboy!

4. Mr. and Mrs. Green are planning a menu for their guests. Only foods
pronounced with [g] will be served. Read the menu aloud and circle all
items pronounced with [g].
Breakfast
Grapefruit fried eggs grits sausage
Lunch
Hamburgers grilled onions gelatin vinegar dressing
Dinner
Lasagna leg of lamb green peas chicken gumbo
Dessert
Angel food cake glazed doughnuts grapes figs

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D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Websites

Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).


Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m

The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 4:
ENGLISH FRICATIVES

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are able to describe systematically
phonetic descriptions of the English fricatives using the IPA chart and recognize
the spelling patterns for each of the English fricatives

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
Let us now distinguish between complete closure and another, less
extreme, degree of constriction: close aproximation. Sounds which are produced
with this kind of constriction entail a bringing together of the two articulators to the
point where the airflow is not quite fully blocked: enough of a gap remains for air to
escape, but the articulators are so close together that friction is made as the air
escapes. Sounds of this sort are referred to as fricatives.
In English, There are nine fricative sounds. Among others are: [f], [v], [θ],
[ð], [s], [z], [ʃ], [Ʒ], and [h]. All nine fricative consonants are made by forcing air
through a narrow channel between the articulators. Each fricative sound, then, will
be described as follows.

1) [f] as in fun, office, and if


[f] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating and the lips parted temporarily
helping the mandible move to place the lower teeth just under the upper teeth, with
the air coming out of the lungs through the oral cavity unobstructed. The
consonant [f], then, is described as voiceless labiodental fricative (Dale & Poms,
2005; Sari, 2011).
Some students tend to keep their lips apart and produce a sound similar to
[h]. Others completely close their lips and make the sound [p].
For examples:
if you say [h] instead of [f]: fat will sound like hat
if you say [p] instead of [f]: cuff will sound like cup

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Here are the common spelling patterns for [f].


[f] spelled

f ph gh
fat phone rough
fine phrase tough
foot Philip laugh
first nephew cough
stiff physical enough
effect phonetics
careful telegraph

Hint:
a. The letter f is usually pronounced [f]. Exception: the letter f in the word of is
pronounced [v]
b. The letters ph are usually pronounced [f]
e.g. Photo telephone graph

Feel your lower lip touching the upper teeth and your [f] will be perfectly
fine!

Practice 1.
Read the following phrases and sentences aloud. Pay attention to the
pronunciation of the consonant [f] in the boldfaced words.
1. Half past four
2. Before or after
3. Face the facts
4. I’m feeling fine.
5. Do me a favor.
6. Answer the phone.
7. Are you free on Friday afternoon?
8. The office is on the first floor.
9. That fellow has a familiar face.
10. Do you prefer fish or fowl?
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2) [v] as in very, over, and save


[v] is produced with the vocal folds vibrating and the lips parted temporarily
helping the mandible move to place the lower teeth just under the upper teeth, with
the air coming out of the lungs through the oral cavity unobstructed. Thus, [v] is
described as voiced labiodental fricative (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al,
2009; Sari, 2011).
Students frequently substitute [b] for [v] when speaking English. This can
greatly confuse the listeners.
For instance:
if you say [b] instead of [v]: very will sound like berry
vest will sound like best

When [v] is the last sound in a word, many speakers forget to vibrate their
vocal folds. This will make [v] sound like [f] and confuse the listeners.
For example:
if you say [f] instead of [v]: save will sound like safe
leave will sound like leaf

Hint:
The letter v is always pronounced [v]. A less common spelling for [v] is the letter f
(e.g. of)
Keep practicing every day and your [v] will be very good!

Practice 2.
Read the pairs of words in the following. Pay attention to the pronunciation of the
consonant [v].
[v] [b] [v] [f]
1. Vest best 8. Vest fest
2. Vow bow 9. Leave leaf
3. Very berry 10. Very ferry
4. Marvel marble 11. Believe belief
5. Vase base 12. Vase face
6. Veil bail 13. Veil fail
7. Van ban 14. Van fan

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3) [θ] as in think, bathtub, and mouth


Consonant [θ] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating while the tip of
the tongue is in contact with bottom part of the back of the upper teeth, with the air
coming out of the lungs through the oral cavity without constriction. This
consonant, therefore, is described as voiceless interdental fricative (Dale &
Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The sound [θ] does not exist in most languages. Thus, it may not be easy
to produce the sound [θ]. Because it may be difficult for you to recognize, you
probably substitute more familiar sounds.
For instances:
if you say [s] instead of [θ]: thank will sound like sank
if you say [ʃ] instead of [θ] : thin will sound like shin
if you say [f] instead of [θ] : Ruth will sound like roof
if you say [t] instead of [θ] : path will sound like pat

Hint:
The consonant [θ] is always spelled th, but not all the letters th are pronounced
with [θ].
Keep thinking about [θ]!

Practice 3.
Read the phrases and sentences aloud. Pay attention to the pronunciation of the
consonant [θ] in the boldfaced words.
1. Thank you.
2. I think so.
3. Something else
4. Open your mouth.
5. Healthy and wealthy
6. A penny for your thoughts
7. Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday.
8. Do birds fly north or south in the winter?
9. Thank you for your thoughtful birthday card.
10. The baby got his third tooth this month.

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11. Thelma had her thirty-third birthday.


12. Brush your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
13. Good friends stick with you through thick and thin!
14. Beth walked back and forth on the path.
15. The oath is, “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

4) [ð] as in the, father, and smooth


[ð] is made with the vocal folds vibrating while the tip of the tongue is in
contact with bottom part of the back of the upper teeth, with the air coming out of
the lungs through the oral cavity without constriction. Hence, the consonant [ð] is
described as voiced interdental fricative (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al,
2009; Sari, 2011).
The sound [ð] is another unfamiliar sound. Therefore, it may be difficult for
you to recognize and produce. You probably substitute the more familiar sound [d],
or possibly [z] or [Ʒ]
For examples:
if you say [d] instead of [ð]: they will sound like day
if you say [z] instead of [ð]: bathe will sound like bays
if you say [ӡ] instead of [ð]: than will sound like Jan

Look in the mirror as you pronounce [ð]. Make sure that you can see the tip of your
tongue, and there won’t be a problem with these, them, and those.

Hint:
The letter th followed by e is usually pronounced [ð].
e.g. the them other bathe

[ð] is another sound that you can master, if you remember that the tip of
your tongue goes between your teeth.

Practice 4.
Read the weather report aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words containing
the consonant [ð].

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This is Heather Worthington, here to give you another weather report. The
weather is rather rainy in northern areas. Don’t bother with umbrellas or
heavy clothing in the southern region. There will be warm weather, although
there is a slight chance of either rain or storms. Seas are smooth, so you might
take those bathing suits out. Neither tornado nor hurricane warnings are in
effect this week, so everyone can breathe easy. That’s all for tonight.

5) [s] as in sit, basket, and kiss


[s] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating with the air coming out of the
lungs through the oral cavity and the closed velum to the opening caused by the tip
of tongue approaching the alveolar ridge. Thus, [s] is described as voiceless
alveolar fricative (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The consonant [s] is a common sound. Some speakers may incorrectly say
[ɛ] before [s] in English. Others may say [ʃ] instead of [s] before [i] and [I].
For examples:
if you produce [ɛ] before [s]: state will sound like estate
if you say [ʃ] instead of [s]: sip will sound like ship

As you say [s], keep airstream steady like the hissing sound of a snake (ssssss!)!

The common spelling patterns for [s] can be found in the following letter(s).
[s] spelled
s c x ss
Spy cell six kiss
Ski lace fix less
Smoke ice fox dresser
Steal cent tax message
Desk center oxen

Hint:
a. Less frequent spelling pattern for [s] consists of the letters z and sc
e.g. swaltz scene pretzel science

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b. The letter c followed by e, i, or y is usually pronounced [s]


e.g. cent place society fancy
c. The letter s in plural nouns is pronounced [s] when it follows most voiceless
consonants
e.g. books coats maps cuffs

So study and keep practice; you’ll soon have success with [s]!

Practice 5.
Read the paragraph below aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words containing
the consonant [s].
Silence is literally golden!
Thomas Edison was a great American inventor. This is a true story about
how silence really paid off for him. He invented a new ticker; the Western union
Company wanted to purchase it. Edison didn’t know how much to ask. He
requested several days to think about the selling price.
Thomas and Mrs. Edison discussed Western Union’s offer. Mrs. Edison
suggested that he ask twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). He was stunned by
this staggering price but accepted his wife’s advice.
When the Western Union officer asked Mr. Edison, “What price have you
decided to ask?” Mr. Edison started to state $20,000, but the amount got stuck
on his tongue. He stood there speechless. The Western Union negotiator
became impatient with Mr. Edison’s silence and asked, “Will you accept one
hundred dollars ($100,000)?” So, as you can see, silence can be golden!

6) [z] as in zoo, busy, and buzz


Consonant [z] is made with the vocal folds vibrating with the air coming out
of the lungs through the oral cavity and the closed velum to the opening caused by
the tip of tongue approaching the alveolar ridge. This consonant, then, is classified
as voiced alveolar fricative.
Many students pronounce the letter z in English as an [s] and [ʤ]. Also,
irregular English spelling patterns contribute to the problems with this consonant.

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Examples:
if you say [s] instead of [z]: zoo will sound like Sue
eyes will sound like ice
if you say [ʤ] instead of [z]: zest will sound like jest

Remember, [z] is a voiced sound; your voal folds MUST vibrate or you will say [s]
by mistake.

The common spelling patterns for [z] are:


[z] spelled
z s
zip has
size eyes
seize rose
lizard these
sneeze bruise

Hint:
a. The letter x is a less common spelling pattern for [z]
e.g. xylophone xerox
b. The letter s is usually pronounced [z] when between vowels and in a stressed
syllable.
e.g. deserve resign because
c. The letter s in plural nouns is pronounced [z] when it follows a vowel or most
voiced consonants
e.g. shoes legs beds cars
d. The vowel before [z] at the end of a word is prolonged more than before [s]
(Vowels are also prolonged before [b], [d], [v], and [g], at the end of a word.).
Prolonging the vowel before [z] helps to distinguish it from [s].
e.g. eyes breeze rise buzz

Think of the buzzing sound of a bee (bzzzzz) and you’ll say your Zs with
ease!

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Practice 6A.
Read the following phrases or sentences aloud. Pay attention to the pronunciation
of the consonant [z].
1. Easy does it.
2. Zero degrees
3. A cool breeze
4. A dozen eggs
5. Busy as a bee
6. Close your eyes.
7. The puzzle is easy.
8. Does Zachary raise flowers?
9. There are zebras and lions at the zoo.
10. His cousin comes from New Zealand.
11. The museum is closed on Tuesday.
12. My husband gave me a dozen roses.
13. I’m crazy about raisins and apples.
14. Zelda took a cruise to Brazil.
15. The jazz music is pleasant.

[s] vs. [z] in noun/verb homographs


Several nouns and verbs are the same in the written form. However, we
can distinguish between these word pairs in their spoken form.
The letter s in the noun form is usually pronounced [s]; in the verb form, it is
usually pronounced [z].
Nouns Verbs
s = [s] s = [z]
Excuse (a reason) excuse (to forgive)
House (residence) house (to shelter)
Use (purpose) use (utilize)
Abuse (mistreatment) abuse (injure)

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Practice 6B.
Read the following phrases or sentences aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced
words. Be sure to distinguish between the voiceless [s] in the nouns and the
voiced [z] in the verbs.
[z] [z]
1. Please excuse me.
[z] [s]
2. He has a good excuse.
[z]
3. May I use your car?
[z] [s]
4. The object has no use.
[z] [z]
5. The museum will house the painting.
[s]
6. We bought a new house.
[s]
7. Child abuse is a terrible thing.
[z] [z]
8. Please don’t abuse me.

7) [ʃ] as in shoe, nation, and wish


[ʃ] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating, with the air coming out of the
lungs through the oral cavity and the closed velum towards the body of the tongue
that is in contact with the hard palate/postalveolar area. The consonant [ʃ], thus, is
classified as voiceless palatal/postalveolar fricative (Dale & Poms, 2005;
Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The consonant [ʃ] may not be familiar to you. You may accidentally
substitute the more familiar [s] or [ʧ].
For examples:
if you say [s] instead of [ʃ]: she will sound like see
if you say [ʧ] instead of [ʃ]: shoe will sound like chew

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The sound [ʃ] will be easy to pronounce if you keep the airstream steady
and smooth. Be careful not to let your tongue touch your teeth or upper gum ridge
or you will say [ʧ] by mistake.
Here are the common spelling patterns for [ʃ]:
/ʃ/ spelled
Sh ti ci ss ch
Shelf option social issue chef
Shirt section special assure chute
Brush fiction musician depression machine
Crash mention physician profession Chicago
Shadow election conscious expression chauffeur

Hint:
a. The less spelling pattern for [ʃ] consists of the letter s, ce, and xi
e.g. sugar pension ocean anxious
b. The letters t, ss, and c before suffixes beginning with i are usually pronounced
[ʃ]
e.g. Nation profession social

[ʃ] is a steady, quiet sound. Shhhhhh.

Practice 7.
Read the paragraph aloud. Pay attention to the consonant [ʃ] in the boldfaced
words.
Fashion is a passion for every generation. Should skirts be short or
should we switch to long? That is always the question. Should men wear shirts
with button-down collars? Should they change to wider ties? What shade is in
style, charcoal gray or chartreuse green? Should shoes and handbag match?
Today’s purchase may be ancient history tomorrow! Despite future trends and
despite our shapes, we must look chic for that luncheon or social event.
Shopping is sure to be fun!

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8) [Ʒ] as in measure, vision, and rouge


[Ʒ] is made with the vocal folds vibrating, with the air coming out of the
lungs through the oral cavity and the closed velum toward the body of the tongue
that is in contact with the hard palate/postalveolar area. Therefore, the sound [Ʒ] is
described as voiced palatal/postalveolar fricative (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin,
et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
Pronunciation problems occur because of similarities between [Ʒ] and other
sounds, e.g. [ʃ] or [ʤ]
For instances:
if you say [ʃ] instead of [Ʒ]: vision will sound like vishion
if you say [ʤ] instead of [Ʒ]: pleasure will sound like pledger

Be sure your vocal folds vibrate when you say [Ʒ]. Put your hand on your throat to
feel the vibration.

The spelling patterns for [Ʒ] can be found in the letters si, su, or gi/ge.
/Ʒ/ spelled
Si su gi or ge
Lesion closure beige
Vision unusual regime
Explosion casual massage
Conclusion composure negligee
Collision camouflage
Illusion

Hint:
a. In English, [Ʒ] does not occur at the beginning of the words.
b. A less frequent spelling pattern for [Ʒ] consists of the letters zu.
e.g. azure seizure

It will be a pleasure to pronounce [Ʒ].

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Practice 8.
Read the following phrases and sentences. Pay attention to the pronunciation of
the consonant [Ʒ] in the boldfaced words.
1. Color television 10. We usually watch television.
2. Long division 11. Get a massage at your leisure.
3. That’s unusual! 12. The excursion was a pleasure.
4. Big decision 13. I heard an explosion in the
5. What’s the occasion? garage.
6. It’s a pleasure to meet you. 14. The collision caused great
7. A mirage is an illusion. confusion.
8. The azure skies are unusual. 15. She received a corsage for the
9. She bought a beige negligee. occasion.

9) [h] as in hat and behind


[h] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating, with the air coming out of the
lungs not constricted in the glottal region through the oral cavity (Dale & Poms,
2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The sound [h] is a familiar sound for many. However, in some languages it
is silent, and you may omit it when speaking English. Some speakers substitute [f]
or [ʃ] for h before the vowels[u] and [i].
For instances:
If you omit [h]: Hat will sound like at
Hand will sound like and
If you say [f] instead of [h]: hugh will sound like few.
If you say [ʃ] instead of [h]: heat will sound like sheet.

Relax your throat and tongue when you pronounce [h]. Gently let out a puff of air
as if you were sighing.

Hint:
a. The consonant [h] does not occur at the end of the words in English.
b. A less frequent spelling pattern for [h] is wh
e.g: who whom whose whole

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c. The letter h is silent when it follows k, g, or r at the beginning of words


e.g. ghost khaki rhubarb
d. The letter h is always silent in the words honest, hour, heir, honor, and herb
(AmE)

Work hard and you’ll be happy with [h]!

Practice 9.
Read the sentences below aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words
containing the consonant [h].
1. Hurry up.
2. Who is it?
3. Hand in hand
4. What happened?
5. How’ve you been?
6. Henry hit a home run.
7. Helen has brown hair.
8. Hank helped Herbert carry the heavy box.
9. I hate hot and humid weather.
10. Heaven helps those who help themselves.

Practice 10.
Go to the University of Iowa Sound animation Project
(https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english) to see and practice how
each English fricative is articulated.

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C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Choose the correct word from the box to complete each of the sentences.
Then practice reading the sentences aloud.
graph photograph phone phonetics prophet
philosopher pharmacy phonograph physician nephew

a. Find another name for a drugstore. .


b. Find another name for a doctor. .
c. Find another name for a snapshot. .
d. Find the name for a person who studies philosophy. .
e. Find the short form of the word telephone. .
f. Find another name for a record player. .
g. Find the name for a person who predicts the future. .
h. Find the name for the study of sounds. .
i. Find the term that refers to your sister’s son. .
j. Find the name for a chart showing figures. .

2. Read the words aloud. Circle the words that contain the consonant [θ].
Jim Thorpe
Do you know anything about Jim Thorpe? He was a Native American athlete.
He excelled in everything at the Olympics. Thousands were angry when
Thorpe’s medals were taken away because he was called a professional
athlete. In 1973, long after his death, Thorpe’s medals were restored.
Throughout the world, Jim Thorpe is thought to be one of the greatest male
athletes.

3. Read the words aloud. Circle the word in each group that is NOT
pronounced [ð].

Example brother mother broth father


a. Cloth clothing clothes clothe
b. Though although thought those
c. Then them themselves den
d. Feather father faith further
e. Bathing bath bathe breathe
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f. Thank than that then


g. Soothe sues soothing smooth
h. Dare there their theirs

4. Read the sentence aloud. In the brackets above each boldfaced word,
write [s] or [z].
[s] [s] [z]
Example Silence is golden.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
a. It’s raining cats and dogs.
[ ][ ] [ ] [ ]
b. Come as soon as possible.
[ ] [ ]
c. Strike while the iron is hot.
[ ] [ ]
d. Kill two birds with one stone.
[ ] [ ]
e. Misery loves company.

5. Read the words aloud. Circle the word in each group that is NOT
pronounced [ʒ].
Example composure exposure enclosure position
a. Leisure pleasure sure measure
b. Asia Asian Parisian Paris
c. Huge beige rouge prestige
d. Passion collision occasion decision
e. Massage mirage message corsage
f. Confusion conclusive contusion conclusion
g. Lesion profession explosion aversion
h. Vision version television visible
i. Seizure seize azure division
j. Treasury treasurer treason treasure

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D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.
Yule, G. 2006. The study of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Websites
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).
Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m
The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 5
ENGLISH AFFRICATES, NASALS, AND
APPROXIMANTS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this meeting, students are able to describe systematically
phonetic descriptions of the English affricates, nasals, and approximants using the
IPA chart, and recognize the spelling patterns for each of the English affricates,
nasals, and approximants.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
First of all, we are going to focus on English affricate sound. Sounds
produced with a constriction of complete closure followed by a release phase in
which friction occurs are called affricates. We might therefore think of affricates as
stops with a slow, fricative, release phase. There are two affricate consonants, [tʃ]
and [ʤ], and these two affricates occur in the speech of most speakers of English.
In affricate consonant, the tongue body approaches the postalveolar
region, while the air is constricted briefly and then released through the opening
created by the articulators. Each sound of affricates, then, will be discussed in turn
in the following.

1) [ʧ] as in chair, teacher, and witch


[ʧ] is made with the vocal folds not vibrating, with the air coming out of the
lungs through the oral cavity and the front of the tongue in contact with the palate
or post-alveolar area. Thus, [ʧ] is described as voiceless palatal/post-alveolar
affricate (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The sounds [ʧ] and [ʃ] are easily confused one another.
For example:
if you say [ʃ] instead of [ʧ]: chair will sound like share
which will sound like wish

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The spelling patterns for [ʧ]:


[ʧ] spelled
ch tu tch
Chop mature patch
Rich culture catch
Cheap posture butcher
Cheese picture kitchen
March fortune pitcher

Hint:
Less frequent spelling patterns for [ʧ] consist of t and ti
e.g. Righteous digestion question

[ʧ] is an explosive sound like a sneeze! Think of A-CHOO and you’ll meet the
challenge of pronouncing [ʧ]

Practice 1.
Read the following passage aloud. Pay attention to the pronunciation of consonant
[ʧ] in the boldfaced words.
Chubby checker
Children and teenagers in the 1960s were charmed by the performer known as
Chubby Checker. Chubby became “King of the Twist” and changed the future of
music forever. While he was working in a chicken store, Chubby’s boss
recognized natural talent and had him sing to the customers. His “catchy” name,
Chubby Checker, was chosen over his actual name, Ernest Evans. He actually
recorded the “Twist” while still in high school and was fortunate to hit the charts
immediately. His career was launched. His records reached people around the
world. Chubby was featured on TV and watched by millions in movies and
shows. Although Chubby is no longer the top-notch king of rock, he is still
everyone’s champion.

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2) [ʤ] as in jam, magic, and age


Consonant [ʤ] is made exactly the same way that of [tʃ], except that the
vocal folds vibrate when [ʤ] is produced. Then, [ʤ] is described as voiced
palatal/postalveolar affricate.
Confusing English spelling patterns and similarities between [ʤ] and other
sounds cause your pronunciation problems with [ʤ].
For examples:
if you say [j] instead of [ʤ] : Jell-O will sound like Yellow
if you say [Ʒ] instead of [ʤ]: legion will sound like lesion
if you say [tʃ] instead of [ʤ]: badge will sound like batch
if you say [h] instead of [ʤ]: jam will sound like ham

The consonant [ʤ] is normally found in the letter j, g, or dg.


[ʤ] spelled
j g dg
Jaw giant fudge
Joke gentle budge
Major ranger wedge

Hint:
a. Less frequent spelling pattern for [ʤ] consist of the letter du and di
e.g. educate graduate soldier cordial
b. The letter j is usually pronounced [ʤ]
e.g. Joke June January Just
c. The letter g before silent e at the end of a word is usually pronounced [ʤ]
e.g. age wedge village college

Just keep practicing! It will be a joy to say [ʤ].

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Practice 2.
Read the dialog with a partner. Pay attention to your pronunciation of [ʤ] in the
boldfaced words.
Uncle Jack : Hi, Jill, how is my favorite college student?
Jill : Hi, Uncle Jack, I’m a junior at Jackson University.
Uncle Jack : what are you majoring in?
Jill : Well, first I majored in engineering. But I wasn’t a genius.
Uncle Jack : So you changed majors.
Jill : Right. Then I majored in journalism. But I was just an
average writer, so I changed again.
Uncle Jack : Jill, you are a “Jack-of-all-trades”. But did you finally pick the
right subject?
Jill : Yes. Now I’m enjoying myself at the gym every day!
Uncle Jack : I’m disappointed in you, Jill! You are at college for an
education, not just for enjoyment.
Jill : But I am in education! I’m majoring in physical education and
I have a job at the gym to help pay my college tuition. I’m
graduating next June with honors!
Uncle Jack : I apologize, Jill. To make up for it, I’ll give you a large gift for
graduation.
Jill : I never hold a grudge, Uncle Jack. You are an angel. Just
come to my graduation and I’ll be happy!

Now we are going to discuss another classification of consonants: nasals.


Nasals refer to sounds produced with the velum lowered allowing air to escape
through the nose. Three consonants belong to nasals: [m], [n], and [ŋ].

1) [m] as in me, hammer, and swim


[m] is made with the vocal folds vibrating, with the lips closed helping the
air coming out of the lungs through the nasal cavity. Thus, [m] is described as
voiced bilabial nasal (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
[m] is a familiar sound; it will be easy to say in the beginning and middle of
words. However, you may substitute the more familiar [n] and [ŋ] at the end of
words in English.

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For examples:
if you say [n] instead of [m]: some will sound like sun
if you say [ŋ] instead of [m]: swim will sound like swing

Remember, make your lips come together in a “humming” position for [m].
Say “mmmmmmm” and your [m] will be marvelous!

Practice 3.
The boldfaced letters should be pronounced as [m]. Remember to keep your lips
together as you pronounce [m].
1. Arm in arm 9. What time is my appointment?
2. Lemon and lime 10. Tell them to come home.
3. Summertime 11. Tim is from a farm.
4. What’s your name? 12. Give Pam some more ham.
5. What time is it? 13. The home team won the game.
6. Don’t blame me. 14. The picture frame is made of
7. The poem doesn’t rhyme. chrome.
8. Sam is a common American 15. Mom makes homemade ice
name. cream

2) [n] as in no, money, run


[n] is made with the vocal folds vibrating, with the tongue in contact with
the alveolar ridge, and the air coming out of the lungs through the nasal cavity.
Thus, [n] is described as voiced alveolar nasal (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et
al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
Because of the similarity of the nasal consonants [m], [n], and [ŋ], many
speakers frequently confuse them in English, particularly at the end of words
For instances:
if you say [m] instead of [n]: sun will sound like some
if you say [ŋ] instead of [n]: ran will sound like rang

The letter n is almost always pronounced [n]. Exception: when n follows m


in the same syllable, it is usually NOT pronounced; it is silent.

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E.g. column solemn hymn

Practice this sound again and again; you’ll have a fine pronunciation of [n]!

Practice 4.
Read the sentences aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words that should be
pronounced [n].
1. Answer the phone. 9. The brown pony is in the barn.
2. Come again. 10. Ben will be on the ten o’clock
3. Rain or shine. train.
4. I don’t know. 11. Come down when you can.
5. Open the window. 12. Everyone has fun in the sun.
6. Leave me alone. 13. I need a dozen lemons.
7. Dinner is between seven and 14. Turn on the oven at noon.
nine. 15. John has a broken bone.
8. Dan is a fine man.

3) [ŋ] as in hungry and sing


[ŋ] is made with the vocal folds vibrating as the tongue relaxes, with the
velum lowered to allow the air coming out of the lungs through the nasal cavity. [ŋ]
is then described as voiced velar nasal (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009;
Sari, 2011).
Many international students are unaccustomed to pronouncing [ŋ] at the
end of words. Also, similarity between [ŋ] and [n] might confuse you.
For instance:
if you say [n] instead of [ŋ] : sung will sound like sun/son
rang will sound like ran

The key to pronouncing [ŋ] correctly is to raise the BACK of your tongue - NOT
your TIP!

Hint:
a. The consonant [ŋ] does not occur at the beginning of words in English
b. The letters ng and ngue at the ends of words are always pronounced [ŋ]
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e.g. sing wrong walking tongue


c. The letter n followed by g or k is usually pronounced [ŋ]
e.g. hungry single thank drink

Just keep studying, thinking, and practicing; everything will be OK with [ŋ]!

Practice 5.
Read the poem aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words with the
consonant [ŋ].
The Cataract of Lodore (Excerpt)
Robert Southey
Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling,
And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing
And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping
And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing,
And so never ending, but always descending,
Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending
All at once and all o’er, with a mighty uproar,
And this way the water comes down at Lodore.

Finally, we are going to describe English approximants. Approximant


consonants are made by placing two articulators close together to create a
sufficient opening for the air to flow through.
Three different types of approximants: lateral, retroflex, and glide (semi
vowel). The lateral and retroflex sounds are also known as liquids, which include
the sounds [l] and [r].

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The English approximants include the consonants [l], [r], [w], and [j], in
which the consonant [l] is called lateral approximant, while [r], [w], and [j] are called
central approximants.
To be more precise, each of the English approximants will be described as
follows.

1) [l] as in lamp, yellow, and pool


[l] is made with the vocal fold vibrating, with the tip of the tongue touching
the alveolar ridge, letting the air travels around the side of the tongue. Hence, [l] is
described as voiced alveolar lateral-approximant, or some scholars classify [l]
as voiced alveolar lateral liquid (Brinton, 2000; Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et
al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The consonant [l] may not exist in your language. The differences between
[l] and [r] may be difficult for you to hear, causing you confuse the two sounds.
For examples:
if you say [r] instead of [l]: flight will sound like fright
late will sound like rate

The consonant [l] will be easier for you to say if you concentrate on feeling
your tongue tip press against your upper gum ridge like [t].

Hint:
a. When an unstressed syllable begins with [t] or [d] and ends in [l], the [l]
frequently becomes its own syllable. It is formed by keeping your tongue tip on
your upper gum ridge without moving it from the position of the preceding [t] or
[d].
e.g. paddle little bottle saddle noodle
b. Speakers of other languages frequently produce [l]-blends incorrectly by
inserting a vowel between sounds (for example, plight becomes polite). When
saying words pronounced with [l]-blends, take care not to incorrectly insert a
vowel sound before the [l].

Learn your lessons well. You will say a perfect [l]!

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Practice 6.
Read the dialogue aloud with a partner. Be sure the tip of your tongue touches
your gum ridge as you pronounce the [l] sound in the boldfaced words.
Lillian : Allan, I just had a telephone call from Aunt Lola. Uncle Bill died.
Allan : Uncle Bill the millionaire?
Lillian : Yes. He lived alone in Los Angeles.
Allan : Did he leave us any money?
Lillian : Well, the lawyer is reading the will at 11:00. I really don’t believe he
left his family anything!
Allan : Uncle Bill ha to leave something to a relative.
Lillian : He lived with lots of animals. He didn’t like people.
Allan : Hold it! I’ll answer the telephone, (Allan hangs up the phone.) Well,
Lillian, you are out of luck! Uncle Bill left all his “loot” to the Animal
Lovers’ League.
Lillian : Do you think Lulu, our poodle, is eligible for a little?

2) [r] as in red, marry, and far


[r] is made with the vocal fold vibrating, with the tongue curled up just
behind the alveolar ridge. As opposed to the articulation of [l], when [r] is
articulated, the air escapes through the central part of the mouth. Thus, it is called
central liquid. Thus, [r] can be described as voiced alveolar central liquid.
[r] is also known as a retroflex sound. Hence, the consonant [r] is also
classified as voiced retroflex approximant.
The sound [r] as it is produced in English may not exist in your language.
Some speakers mistakenly produce [w] instead of [r]. Others substitute the [l]
sound. You see, the [r] in many languages is a blend of English [r] and [l] and is
produced by rapidly touching your tongue tip to the roof of your mouth.
Pronunciation problems occur when you attempt to say the English [r] by touching
the roof of your mouth with your tongue. This results in the substitution of [l].
For instances:
If you say [l] instead [r]: berry will sound like belly
Rice will sound like lice.

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If you say [w] instead of [r]: red will sound like wed
Right will sound like white

Hint:
As with [l]-blends, you may produce [r]-blends incorrectly by inserting a vowel
sound before the [r] (for example, bride becomes buride).

Remember to practice [r] carefully and your [r] will be right on target!

Practice 7.
Read the paragraph aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words containing the
consonant [r].
Rabbit
Rabbits represent some of our favorite characters in literature. Children enjoy
reading about Peter Rabbit and his adventures with Farmer McGregor. The
white rabbit was featured in the remarkable story of Alice in Wonderland by
Lewis Carroll. The fable about the tortoise and the hare (rabbit) describes the
rabbit as a fast runner who loses the race because he is too sure of himself. One
of the most renowned rabbits is Bugs Bunny, the cartoon character who
munches on carrots and asks, “What’s up, Doc?” Bugs Bunny is smart, but he
frequently gets into trouble. Even grown-ups like rabbits. The Broadway play
Harvey was about a man whose pal was an imaginary rabbit named Harvey. Of
course, the man was thought to be crazy, but in the end everyone believed in this
incredible rabbit. So let’s hear it for rabbits, our good friends!

3) [w] as in we and away


[w] is produced by both rounding the lips and simultaneously raising back
of the tongue towards the velum with the vocal folds vibrating. [w] is thus classified
as voiced labial-velar glide or voiced labial-velar approximant (Brinton, 2000;
Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).

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It is easy to confuse [w] and [v]. If you make this error, it can completely
change the meaning of the word you are saying.

For examples:
if you say [v] instead of [w]: went will sound like vent
wheel will sound like veal
Hint:
a. The consonant [w] does not occur at the end of words in English
b. The letter w is always pronounced [w] when followed by a vowel in the same
syllable
e.g. wood will backward highway
c. The letter w at the end of a word is always silent
e.g. How sew law know
d. Less frequent spelling patterns for [w] consist of the letters o and u
e.g. one anyone queen quit

Don’t worry; keep working away and your [w] will be wonderful!

Practice 8.
Read the poem aloud. Pay attention to your pronunciation of the consonant [w]
and [w]-blends in the boldfaced words.
When I was one-and-twenty
A. E. Housman
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free,”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and twenty


I heard him say again,

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“The heart out of the bosom


Was never given in vain;
‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ‘tis true, ‘tis true.

4) [j] as in yes and beyond


[j] is made with the vocal fold vibrating, with the blade of the tongue is
raised towards the hard palate in a position almost identical to that in producing the
vowel sound [i]. Hence, [j] is described as voiced palatal glide or voiced palatal
approximant.
The sound [j] may be difficult for you to pronounce. You may confuse it with
the similar sound [ʤ] or omit completely.
For examples:
if you say [ʤ] instead of [j] : yet will sound like jet
if you omit [j] : year will sound like ear

The common spelling patterns for [j] are:


[j] spelled
y i u
yet union amuse
your junior music
yawn senior united
yolk million usual
yellow familiar university

Hint:
a. In English, [j] does not occur at the end of words
b. The most common spelling patterns for [j] is the letter y followed by a vowel
e.g. yeast you canyon farmyard

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c. When y is the first letter in a word, it is always pronounced [j]; it is never


pronounced [ʤ]
d. Some English speakers add [j] after [n], [t], [d], and [s] in certain words: news,
Tuesday, duty, and suit.

You’ll get your [j] sound yet!

Practice 9.
Read aloud the paragraph about New York. Pay attention to pronunciation of
the boldfaced words containing the [j] sound.
New York
New York may be one of the most unique cities in the world. The largest city in
the United States, New York has a population of over eight million. People
commute to the city regularly, and visitors come from all over to view New
York’s beauty and confusion. Come to New York! Ride the ferry to the Statue of
Liberty. Enjoy museums of every kind. You’ll see huge skyscrapers. You can
attend Broadway musicals and previews. You don’t need an excuse to shop on
Fifth Avenue. Help yourself to the unusual ethnic foods in Chinatown and Little
Italy. There are even more amusements in the five boroughs. Visit some of the
fine universities. Young or old, you will be impressed with diversity of the city.

Practice 10.
Go to the University of Iowa Sound animation Project
(https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english) to see and practice how
each English affricate, nasal or approximant is articulated.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Write the correct phonetic symbols in the brackets above the boldfaced
letters.
[ʧ] [ʃ] [ʃ]
Example Too much milk makes mushy mashed potatoes.

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[ ] [ ] [ ]
a) The puppy shouldn’t chew the shoes.

[ ] [ ] [ ]
b) Shine the furniture with polish.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
c) The chef prepared a special dish.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
d) We should change the dirty sheets.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
e) Choosing a profession is a challenge.

2. Imagine you are taking a jet around the world. You will stop at all the
places with names that contain the sound [ʤ]. Circle the names of these
places.
Java Luxemburg Guatemala Jerusalem
Greece England Germany Algeria
Hungary Japan Greenland China
Egypt Belgium Argentina Jamaica

3. Read the paragraph aloud. Fill in the blanks with one of the words from
the list below. Remember to press your tongue tip firmly against your
gum ridge when you pronounce [n].
than then on in can
can’t into and down

When John got home, his wife Gwen was the kitchen. She
was the phone again. It was later he realized; it
was already ten o’clock! John was so tired he went to his bedroom.
He sat on his bed and took off his shoes socks. “
you get off that phone,” he called to Gwen. “Yes, I ,” she yelled
back. But by the time Gwen walked the room, John was fast
asleep!

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4. Read the sentences aloud. Fill in the blanks with the correct [l] country
or state.
Example If you live in Los Angeles, you also live in California.
a. If you live in Dublin, you also live in .
b. If you live in London, you also live in .
c. If you live in Lisbon, you also live in .
d. If you live in Lucerne, you also live in .
e. If you live in Milan, you also live in .
f. If you live in Baltimore, you also live in .
g. If you live in Brussels, you also live in .
h. If you live in Orlando, you also live in .
i. If you live in Sao Paulo, you also live in .
j. If you live in New Orleans, you also live in .

5. Read the hints aloud. Identify the creature described. The names of the
creatures all contain the consonant [r]
a. This creature has black and white stripes.
This creature is a .
b. This forest creature has long ears and is a celebrity at Easter.
This creature is a .
c. This creature has large antlers and is around at Christmas.
This creature is a .
d. This creature has spots and a very long neck.
This creature is a .
e. This creature lives in the arctic, is large, and is very hungry.
This creature is a .
f. This forest creature carries her babies in a pouch.
This creature is a .
g. This friendly creature “croaks” and says “ribbit, ribbit.”
This creature is a .

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D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell


Publishers Inc.

Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.


Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Websites

Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).


Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m

The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 6
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES, PHONOTACTIC RULES, AND
CONSONANT CLUSTERS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students enable to describe distinctive features,
phonotactic rules, and consonant clusters.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
In this meeting, we are focusing on three aspects, namely: distinctive
features, phonotactic rules, and consonant clusters. Each of these aspects then
will be discussed in turn in the following.

1) Distinctive features
Traditionally, a systematic description class, e.g. a vowel or consonant, is
described by an accurate measurement that belongs distinctively to the vowel or
consonant. Such an aspect is called a distinctive feature. The feature allows us
to get a more specific outlook of a sound. A sound then is illustrated by placing the
values of + or – ahead of the distinctive feature of corresponding sound (Brinton,
2000; Fromkin, et al, 2009).
A list of common distinctive features includes:
a. Labials: the class of consonants articulated with the involvement of the lips, i.e.
bilabial, labiodental, and labial-velar sounds
b. Coronals: the class of consonants produced by raising the tongue blade, e.g.
the alveolar, interdental, palatal sounds
c. Anteriors: the class of consonants articulated up to the alveolar ridge, i.e. the
labial, interdental, and alveolar sounds
d. Sibilants: the class of consonants articulated by friction of air, e.g. the alveolar
and palatal fricatives and affricate sounds
e. Continuants: the class of sounds produced with continuous air stream through
the oral cavity, e.g. ALL consonants EXCEPT for the stop and nasal sounds,
and ALL vowels

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f. Obstruents: the class of sounds produced with the airstream fully obstructed,
as in stops and affricates, or nearly fully obstructed, as in the production of
fricatives
g. Sonorants: the class of sounds articulated with continuous air flow through the
oral or nasal cavity (non-obstruents), such as nasals, liquids, glides, and all
vowels
h. Consonantals: the consonants produced with obstruction in the vocal tract, i.e.
all consonants EXCEPT for glides and glottal fricative

An example of a matrix of English distinctive features looks like the following table:

Table 2. Matrix of English distinctive features


Distinctive Sounds
feature
p n s r w ʊ æ

Labials + - - - + - -

Coronal - + + + - - -

Anterior + + + + - - -

Sibilant - - + - - - -

Continuant - - + + + + +

Obstruent + - + - - - -

Sonorant - + - - + + +

Consonantal + + + + - - -

2) Phonotactics
Phonotactics are the constraints on positions and sequences of sounds
in a language (Brinton, 2000). Phonotactics are always language-specific; that is,
combinations of certain sounds may be permitted in another language which is not
permitted in English, such as /pn/ beginning a word.

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When discussing the possible positions of sounds in a language, we need


to refer to word initial, medial, and final positions, as well as other positions, such
as syllable initial, or other factors, perhaps the occurrence of a sound in
monosyllabic or polysyllabic words.
In the previous, we considered some of the constraints on the positions of
sounds in English. Those constraints are as follows.
a. /ŋ/ is never word initial; it is word medial only after a stressed vowel as in anger
b. /Ʒ/ is very restricted word initially (occurring only in French words such as
gendarme). It is common word medially (as in pleasure) and fairly rare word
finally (again in French words such as rouge)
c. /h/, /j/, and /w/ are always syllable initial before a stressed vowel, as in hit, yes,
and wet.
d. /ð/ is word initial only in pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, demonstratives, and
the definite article, never in nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Otherwise, it occurs
freely word medially and word finally (Brinton, 2000).

Notice that certain consonants have a “syllabic” function; that is, they are
like a vowel in being able to stand alone in a syllable (without any other vowel).
These consonants include the liquids and the nasals. Then, the syllabic nasal [n̩]
and [m̩] and the syllabic liquids [l̩ ] and [r̩] are never word initial; and unreleased
stops only occur word finally, as in tap [p ̚ ], or before another stop, as in apt [p ̚ t].

3) Consonant clusters
When discussing the possible sequences or combinations of sounds in a
language, we are primarily concerned with the combinations of consonants, called
consonant clusters, which may begin or end a syllable. Careful production of
consonant clusters is necessary to convey your message correctly and to sound
like a native speaker of English.
Consonant clusters are difficult for many international speakers of English
to pronounce. Often, English speakers pronounce groups of consonants and one
vowel as a single syllable. Because this is different from most other languages,
you might omit one of the consonant sounds in the cluster or insert a vowel sound
between two of the consonants in the cluster. This will confuse your listeners and
they may not understand you.

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For examples:
You will not be saying your target word : asks will sound like ax.
fact will sound like fat.
Your speech or grammar will be
difficult to understand : asked will sound like ask it.
sport will sound like support.

Unlike many other languages of the world, English rather freely allows for
consonant clustering. In fact, it allows up to three consonants in an initial cluster
and up to four consonants in a final cluster configuration:
a. initial consonant clusters glow, spruce
b. final consonant clusters bird, ends, worlds
In English initial consonant clusters are much more restricted than final
consonant clusters. In initial position, the phonotactics of English do not allow the
following sequences:
1. stop + stop, such as /pt/
2. stop + nasal, such as /pn/
3. nasal + stop, such as /np/
4. stop + fricative, such as /ts/
5. fricative + stop, such as /ft/ (exception: it is where the fricative is /s/)

The only permitted syllable initial sequences are the following:


1. voiced or voiceless stop + approximant: play, price, bleed, break, clean, creek
2. voiceless fricative + approximant: fly, sled, three, shrew
3. /s/ + voiceless stop: spend, sting, scare
4. /s/ + nasal: snail, sneak, small, smile
5. There is only one possible combination of three consonants occurring initially:
6. /s/ + voiceless stop + approximant strong, split, scrape, spry, sclerosis.

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The results of these restrictions are summarized as follows.


Table 3. Initial consonant clusters in English (Brinton, 2000, p.61)

The gaps in Table 3 can be seen as either systematic or accidental:


a. Systematic gaps are those that can be explained by phonotactics, such as the
restriction against two labials occurring together.
This rules out the consonant clusters */pw/, */bw/, and */spw/ since all these
consonants are classified as labials. Similarly, the restriction against two
alveolars/dentals occurring together rules out the clusters */tl/, */dl/, */θl/, and
*/stl/.
b. Accidental gaps, on the other hand, include those sequences which do not
violate any general principle but which simply do not occur in contemporary
English, such as /stw/, /hl/, or /hr/.

You might have noticed that the approximant /j/ has been omitted from the
discussion. The reason for this is that it occurs following a consonant only in
combination with the vowel /u/ and is therefore not considered to participate in
consonant clusters.

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The following permissible sequences of consonant + /j/ are NOT


considered consonant clusters:

pj: pew tj: tune kj: cute

bj: beauty dj: duty gj: gules

mj: music nj : news *ŋj

fj: few θj: thew sj: sue *∫j

vj: view *ðj *zj *ʒj


There are some dialectal restrictions regarding the above consonant + /j/
sequences. For example, in some dialects /j/ is lost following alveolars. Thus in
many if not most dialects of North American English the word ‘news’ is pronounced
/nuz/ rather than /njuz/. The same is true for the pronunciations of tune, duty, and
sue in North American English, causing these words to be pronounced differently
than in British English.
Final consonant clusters are freer and more complex than initial clusters,
containing up to four consonants. Some possible combinations of two final
consonants are the following:
1. liquid + consonant : harp, harm, horse, hurl, help, helm, else
2. nasal + obstruent : bend, bent, pins, tenth, lamp, rink
3. obstruent + obstruent, e.g.
3.1. fricative + stop : lift, paved, disk, roast, bathed
3.2. stop + fricative : mats, lapse, grabs, cheeks
3.3. fricative + fricative : leaves, reefs, sheaths,
3.4. stop + stop : apt, ached, bobbed

Sequences of three consonants include:


1. three obstruents (stop + fricative + stop):
e.g. /dst/ in midst; /kst/ in boxed
2. nasal + two obstruents, e.g.
2.1. nasal + fricative + stop : /nst/ in rinsed; /mft/ in triumphed
2.2. nasal + stop + fricative : /mps/ in glimpse; /nts/ in dents
2.3. nasal + stop + stop : /mpt/ in prompt; /mbd/ in thumbed
3. liquid + two obstruents, e.g.
3.1. liquid + stop + fricative : /rps/ in corpse; /lps/ in gulps
3.2. liquid + stop + stop : /lpt/ in helped; /rpt/ in warped
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3.3. liquid + fricative + fricative : /lvz/ in shelves; /rfs/ in dwarfs


3.4. liquid + fricative + stop : /rst/ in first; /rvd/ in starved
3.5. liquid + nasal + fricative : /lnz/ in kilns; /rmz/ in terms

Sequences of four consonants occur, although more rarely:


/mpst/ : glimpsed /ndθs/ : thousandths
/ksθs/ : sixths /ksts/ : texts
/rlds/ : worlds /mpts/ : tempts
/lfθs/ : twelfths /ŋkst/ : jinxed

As we can see, the forth consonant is always an inflectional ending added


to a word ending in three consonants. Words ending in four consonants without an
inflectional ending are rare, if not impossible. In cases where the medial consonant
in a cluster is a voiceless stop or /θ/, native speakers tend to simplify the cluster by
omitting this consonant, saying [glimst] instead of [glimpst], [twεlfs] instead of
[twεlfθs], etc. Importantly, the inflectional ending cannot be omitted in the process
of consonant cluster simplification because of the grammatical information it
carries.

Practice 1.
Carefully pronounce all the consonant clusters and consonant + vowel
combinations in the boldfaced words.
1. I fixed the cracked masks.
2. Spray the strong perfume sparingly.
3. The squirrel had a splinter in its foot.
4. The strong man worked at the factory.
5. The public supports many sports teams.
6. He prayed that they wouldn’t cancel the parade.
7. We parked the car and strolled through the streets.
8. I hope that Clyde and I don’t collide during the race.
9. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
10. A strange insect crawled through a hole in the screen.

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C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Write down all the segments of your nick name in the matrix below.
Supply at least 3 additional distinctive features to complete the matrix,
and determine the features of each segment by providing the values +
and - .
Distinctive Segments
features […..] […..] […..] […..] […..] […..] […..] […..]
Anterior
Sibilant
Continuant
Consonantal
……………
……………
……………
……………
……………

2. Look at the scrambled words. Write the correct word in the blank. Use
the clues below each word to help you figure out the scrambled word.
a. E A L S T
It’s a crime to .
b. I P R A S E
To someone is to pay them a compliment.
c. S K A
To make a request is to .
d. S P W A
A is an insect that stings.
e. S P I R E P E R
To means to sweat.
f. P L M P U
The opposite of skinny is .
g. U S T E R C L
Be sure to pronounce each consonant clearly.

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h. R P S H A
Be careful when using an object with a point.
i. S T R A M E
The children went swimming in the .
j. E A S K S O U
Squeals, shrieks, screeches, and are all annoying sounds.

3. Think of ten words that contain with two/three-member consonant


clusters. Then try to use as many of those words as you can in the same
sentence. Practice saying your original sentences with a partner.
Examples : split pants started scream
When I split my pants, I started to scream.

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

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MEETING 7
REVIEW OF MEETING 1 - MEETING 6

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


In this meeting, we are going to review all the materials we have learned in
the previous, starting from Meeting 1 to Meeting 6. In the end, you are expected to
have competence to recount all the lessons covering Meeting 1 to 6.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
As defined at Meeting 1, phonetics is the study of speech sounds in
general without reference to their systematic role in a specific language. It has
three subdivisions:
1. the study of how sounds are made or the mechanics of their production by
human beings (“articulatory phonetics”);
2. the study of how sounds are heard or the mechanics of their perception
(“auditory phonetics”); and
3. the study of the physical properties of the speech waves which constitute
speech sound (“acoustic phonetics”).

Phonology, on the other hand, is defined as the study of the distinctive


sounds in a language. The concept of distinctiveness is captured by the notion of a
phoneme. A phoneme is a distinctive or contrastive sound in a language. What
“distinctive” means in this context is that the sound makes a difference in meaning
and has communicative value. Different phonemes make contrasts in words. For
example, /n/, /l/ and /t/ are all phonemes because they serve to make contrasts in
words, as in nab, lab, tab. Here we see how the phonemes of a language are
determined, by means of what are called minimal pairs. A minimal pair is a set of
different words consisting of all the same sounds except for one. The one sound
which contrasts is then determined to be a phoneme since it makes a difference in
meaning (it differentiates one word from another). For example, we could set up a
phonetic environment, or a sequence of sounds, such as an environment
containing the sound sequence /æt/. If we then establish a blank slot preceding

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this sequence, /_æt/, and substitute different consonants in this slot, we can see if
we get different words. If we do, then each of these consonants is a phoneme.
Examine the following:
/_æt/: pat, bat, sat, mat, gnat, fat, that, vat, cat …
We can conclude that /p/, /b/, /s/, /m/, /n/, /f/, /ð/, /v/, and /k/ are all phonemes.
Thus, bat and cat, for example, form a minimal pair, as do gnat and vat.

Phonemes are said to be unpredictable, since their occurrence depends on


what word you want to say rather than by any phonological rule. That is, whether
/b/ or /k/ occurs in the environment /_æt/ depends on whether you wish to refer to
the nocturnal flying mammal bat or to the family feline cat, not on whether the
sound occurs in the context of /æ/ or word initially or any other factor which is
solely phonetically determined. Phonemes are also said to be in parallel
distribution since they occur in the same (or ‘parallel’) phonetic environments. Note
that an ideal writing system would be phonemic, where each alphabetic symbol
stands for one and only one phoneme.
There is some debate about the nature of the phoneme. One view is that it
has some psychological validity; it is a concept in the mind. Another view is that it
is an abstraction, or an ideal sound. A third view is that it refers to a class of
sounds which are phonetically similar (but not identical) and have the same
phonological function. The last two views are probably the easiest to comprehend,
and they have the further advantage of incorporating the notion of the allophone.
An allophone (from allos ‘other’ phōnē ‘sound’) is a predictable variant of a
phoneme; it is written in a square bracket [ ]. Allophones are the individual
members of a class of sounds (a phoneme), or the pronounceable or concrete
realizations of an abstraction (a phoneme). We speak of the phonetically similar
variants of a sound as the “allophones of a (particular) phoneme”. To take a real
example from English, consider the aspirated [th] and the non-aspirated [t]; they
are phonetically very similar, but not identical. Allophones are non-distinctive (non-
contrastive) variants of a phoneme, since substituting one allophone for another
allophone of the same phoneme will not lead to a different word. Replacing [t h] with
[t] in top, or [t] with [th] in stop, will not lead to different words, just slightly odd-
sounding ones.
Allophones of a phoneme are predictable: they are conditioned by the
phonetic environment, which determines the appearance of one or another

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allophone. Thus, we can say that the aspirated version of /t/ is predicted by its
position word (or syllable) initially before a stressed vowel; the non-aspirated
version is predicted by all other phonetic environments. We can say that
allophones are positional variants, which are in complementary distribution,
meaning that where one occurs the other does not. They never occur in the same
environment, always in different environments. They never overlap in distribution;
rather, their distributions “complement” (or ‘complete’) one another. Our examples
[th] and [t] never occur in the same position: [th] occurs syllable initial, and [t] occurs
in all other environments. Thus, we can conclude that [th] and [t] are allophones of
the phoneme /t/. We enclose the phoneme in slashes to indicate that it represents
a class of sounds, or an abstraction, and thus cannot be pronounced.
Note that environment in the context of phonemes and allophones is limited
strictly to phonetic features, though it can refer to a number of such features; for
example, it can refer to the position of the sound in the word or syllable (e.g.
syllable initial or word final), the nature of the surrounding sounds (e.g. between
vowels, following a voiceless stop, before an approximant), or even the placement
of stress.
Occasionally, allophones are in “free variation”. For example, stops may or
may not be released word finally. A speaker will release or not release them
arbitrarily, and whether or not they are released makes no difference in meaning.
Phonemes and allophones are always language- (or dialect-) specific. For
example, in Japanese [l] and [r] are allophones of the same phoneme, hence the
difficulty many native Japanese speakers have with these two distinct sounds in
English.
Our study of English Phonology continued to the discussion of consonants
and their classifications. Recall that to name a consonant, we need to be able to
follow this order: (1) voicing; (2) place of articulation; and (3) manner of articulation
(see Meeting 2). Based on the manner of articulation, the consonants are
classified into: stops, fricatives, affricates, nasals, and liquids and glides
(approximants). Specifically, we have learned about the production of 7 English
stops, 9 English fricatives, 2 English affricates, 3 English nasals, 2 English liquids,
and 2 English glides, including the symbols and spelling patterns for each sound.
These consonants, then, were described systematically using the IPA
(International Phonetic Alphabet) chart.

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Furthermore, we have also learned that consonants may also be grouped


according to certain features to form larger such as labials, coronals, anteriors, and
sibilants. Such features are known as distinctive features (see Meeting 6). Then,
phonotactics is another feature that we discussed in the field of Phonology. This is
the area which is concerned with the possible sequences of sounds in a language.
For instance, there is a word ‘fact’ in English with a syllable-final /-kt/ but there is
no word ‘ctaf’ with a syllable initial /kt-/ (for more details, the constraints on
positions and sequences of sounds can be seen at Meeting 6). When two or more
consonants appear together in a word (or called consonant clusters), then, may
cause some second language speakers to struggle in the entire word.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Classify the following consonants according to their voicing, place, and
manner of articulations.
Example: n is described as voiced alveolar nasal.
a) ʤ c) ʃ e) f
b) ð d) z f) θ

2. Which symbols represent the contrastive sounds in the following word


pairs?
a) batch and badge d) thing and thin
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
b) train and drain e) face and phase
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
c) ghost and coast f) cheap and sheep
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
g) bound and pound / / vs. / /
h) bass and pace k) lot and rot
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
i) chunk and junk l) wet and yet
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
j) fine and vine m) ice and eyes
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /

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n) thrill and shrill q) grass and glass


/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
o) sun and sum r) dug and duck
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
p) leaf and leave s) cheer and jeer
/ / vs. / / / / vs. / /
t) Gutter and cutter
/ / vs. / /

3. Read the following dialogue with a partner. In the brackets above each
past tense verb, write the phonetic symbol representing the sound of the
-ed ending.
[ɪd]
Roberta : Karl, have you started your diet? I hope you haven’t
[d]
gained any weight.
[ ] [ ]
Karl : I boiled eggs and sliced celery for lunch.
[ ]
Roberta : Have you exercised at all?
[ ] [ ]
Karl : I walked five miles and jogged in the park.
[ ] [ ]
Roberta : Have you cleaned the house? Calories can be worked off
that way.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
Karl : I washed and waxed the floors. I even painted the bathroom.
[ ] [ ]
Roberta : Who baked this apple pie? Who cooked this ham?
[ ] [ ] [ ]
Karl : When I finished cleaning, I was starved. I prepared this food
for dinner.
[ ]
Roberta : Oh, no! I’ll take this food home so you won’t be tempted.

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[ ]
I really enjoyed being with you. Your diet is great!
[ ] [ ]
Karl : What happened? Somehow, I missed out on all the fun.

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell


Publishers Inc.

Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.


Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Yule, G. 2006. The study of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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MEETING 8
VOWELS: MONOPHTHONGS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are able to recognize the phonetic
symbols of the vowels and describe the 4 parameters of the productions of the
vowels.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
Now that we know how the consonants are produced, the next step is to
find out how vowels are made. Vowels are defined as speech sounds articulated
with no obstruction of the air stream, that is, with open articulation. We will learn
how to describe the 12 vowels systematically based on the circumstances affecting
the tongue, the lips, and the muscles of the vocal tract. Unlike consonants, the
vowels are not concerned with whether a vowel is voiceless or voiced. This is
because all English vowels are voiced. The conventions for describing a vowel,
thus, include four dimensions:
1. Tongue height
2. Tongue part/tongue
advancement
3. Lip rounding
4. The degree of tension in the
tongue muscles (tenseness
vs. laxness)

Figure 4. Vowel chart (adapted from


FFromkin, et al, 2009)

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1) Tongue height: High, Mid, or Low


Tongue height determines whether the vowel produced is a high, mid, or
low vowel. The high vowels [i], [ɪ], [u], and [ʊ] are made with the tongue raised
high, while the mid vowels [e], [ɛ], [o], [ɔ], [ʌ], and [ə] are made with the tongue
raised up to its mid height. The vowel [ʌ] is sometimes described as lower-mid
vowel because the tongue raised slightly lower than it is when producing mid
vowel. The low vowels [æ] and [a], then, focuses on the tongue raised low.
Focus on your own vowel production and locate your tongue when you
pronounce the high vowels [i] and [u] (see Figure 5). Then, try to visualize the
height of your tongue when you pronounce the mid vowels [e] and [o] (see Figure
6).

Figure 5. The productions of high vowels* Figure 6. The productions of


mid vowels*

Finally while maintaining the visualization, focus on the tongue height when
you pronounce [æ] and [ə] (see Figure 7).

Figure 7. The productions of low vowels*


*) The figures were sourced from Sari, 2011

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2) Tongue part: Front, Central, or Back


While tongue height informs the elevation of the tongue, tongue part follows
immediately to inform which part of the tongue that elevates. This particular vowel
identification determines whether the vowel produced is a front, central, or back
vowel.
The front vowels [i], [ɪ], [e], [ɛ], and [æ] are made with the body of the
tongue moving forward from its neutral position. The back vowels [u], [ʊ], [o], [ɔ],
and [a] are made with the body of the tongue moving backward from its neutral
position. The central vowels [ə] and [ʌ] are made with the tongue stays in its
neutral position.

(a) (b) (c)

Figure 8. The productions of front (a), back (b), and central (c) vowels
(taken from Sari, 2011)

3) Lip rounding: rounded vs. unrounded


The lips help shape the characteristics of a vowel. When we produce the
vowels [u], [ʊ], [o], and [ɔ], the lips are rounded. When we produce the vowels [i],
[ɪ], [e], [ɛ], [æ], [ə], [ʌ], and [a], the lips are unrounded or spread.

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Figure 9. The productions of lip rounding (taken from Sari, 2011)

4) Tenseness vs. Laxness


The state of tongue root determines the environment of the tongue that
causes it to become tense or relaxed. In the study of vowels, we learn that the
tension in the tongue muscles contributes to the vowel produced being tense or
lax. Tense vowels are generally longer than lax vowels. The contrast between
tense and lax vowels is the following four pairs of vowels that we can tell apart
distinctively.
Tense : [i] [e] [u] [o]
Lax : [ɪ] [ɛ] [ʊ] [ɔ]
The rest of English vowels: [æ] [ə] [ʌ] [a] are lax.

(a) (b)
Figure 10. The productions of tense (a) and lax vowels (b)
(taken from Sari, 2011)

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C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Supply the relevant vowels according to the tongue part that is raised to
produce the sound.
a) The front vowels : [….] [….] [….] [….] [….]

b) The central vowels : [….] [….]

c) The back vowels : [….] [….] [….] [….] [….]

2. Complete the diagram that indicates the height ad part of the tongue with
the rest of corresponding vowels.

3. Complete the diagram by placing a check () under the appropriate lip
rounding and tongue muscles for each sound.
Vowel Rounded Unrounded Tense Lax
/a/
/æ/
/i/
/ɔ/

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/ə/
/ʊ/
/ʌ/
/ɪ/
/o/
/u/
/ɛ/
/e/

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.
Yule, G. 2006. The study of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Websites

Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).


Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m

The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 9
FRONT VOWELS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


After completing this session, students enable to describe systematically
phonetic descriptions of the front vowels using the IPA chart and recognize the
spelling patterns for each of the front vowels.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
Front vowels refer to the sounds which are produced with the body of the
tongue moving forward from its neutral position. There are five English front
vowels: [i], [ɪ], [e], [ɛ], and [æ]. Each of those sounds will be described in the
following.

1) [i] as in eel, mean, and knee


In terms of pronouncing [i], it is articulated when the lips are unrounded
(tense and in a ‘smile’ position), the tongue is located as high as possible and as
front as possible, without causing friction, in the vowel space. Therefore, [i] is
described as high front unrounded tense vowel (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin,
et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
Pronunciation problems for the vowel [i] occur because of confusing
English spelling patterns and similarity of [i] and [ɪ] (the sound to be discussed
next).
Example:
If you say [ɪ] instead of [i]: sheep will sound like ship
Eat will sound like it

Remember to feel tension in your lips, tongue, and jaw. [i] is a long sound; be sure
to prolong it.

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The following are the common spelling patterns for [i]:


[i] spelled
e ee ea ie or ei
He see east niece
We deed lean brief
Me feel cheap piece
Scene heel team either
These need peach belief

Hint:
Less frequent spelling patterns for [i] consist of the letters i and eo
e.g. police people

Smile when you say [i]; we guarantee it’s easy to say [i]!

Practice 1.
The boldfaced words in the following phrases and sentences contain the vowel

[i].
a) See you at three.
b) See what I mean?
c) See you next week.
d) See you this evening.
e) Pleased to meet you.
f) Steve eats cream cheese.
g) Lee has a reason for leaving.
h) She received her teaching degree.
i) A friend in need is a friend indeed.
j) They reached a peace agreement.

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2) [ɪ] as in it and pin


[ɪ] is made with the body of the tongue fairly front and fairly high, and with
the lips unrounded and relaxed. Such a production makes [ɪ] a high front
unrounded lax vowel (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The vowel [ɪ] may be difficult for you to recognize and say; some learners
substitute the more familiar [i] sound.
Examples:
If you say [i] instead of [ɪ]: hit will sound like heat
Itch will sound like each

The common spelling patterns for [ɪ] can be found in the letter y, ui, or i.
[I] spelled
y ui i
Gym build sin
Syrup quick lips
Symbol quilt with
System guilty gift
Rhythm guitar differ

Hint:
a. The vowel [ɪ] does not occur at the end of words in English
b. The most common pattern for [ɪ] is the letter i followed by a final consonant
e.g. win this hit trip begin
c. Less frequent spelling patterns for [ɪ] consist of the letters o, e, u, and ee
e.g. Women pretty busy been

[ɪ] is a short, quick sound; your lips should barely move as you say it!

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Practice 2.
Read aloud the paragraph about the Olympics. All the boldfaced words
contain the vowel [ɪ].
The winter Olympics
Since 1924, the Winter Olympics have been an international event. Now these
activities are seen by millions on television. Men and women from distant
cities and countries participate in this competition. They all wish to be
winners. They ski downhill amidst pretty scenery. Figure skaters spin to victory.
Skill will make the difference. Some will finish with a silver medal, some with a
gold. But all will win our hearts and infinite respect.

3) [e]
The mid front vowel represented with a Roman alphabet lower case e [e] is
the sound in German ‘leben’ (to live), French ‘ete’ (summer), or Spanish ‘leche’
(milk).
If we compare the French and Spanish words with English ate or lay, we
find that the English sound is really a diphthong; the tongue is not in a constant
position, but moves to a glide at the end of the sound. Thus, this type of sound will
be discussed in the next topic: ‘diphthongs’.

4) [ɛ] as in egg, pet, and head

[ɛ] is made with the body of the tongue relaxed and located in midlevel
position in the mouth, and with the lips unrounded. Such a production, then, makes
a mid front unrounded lax vowel (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari,
2011).

Pronunciation problems for the sound [ɛ] occur because of confusing

English spelling patterns and similarity between [ɛ] and other sounds.
Examples:

If you say [eɪ] instead of [ɛ]: pen will sound like pain

If you say [æ] instead of [ɛ]: met will sound like mat

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When pronouncing [ɛ], open your mouth wider than for [eɪ], but not as wide
as for [æ] (the sound to be discussed next).

Here are the common spelling patterns for [ɛ]:

[ɛ] spelled

e ea
Yes head
Red lead
Sell dead
Seven meant
Never measure

Hint:
a. The vowel [ɛ] does not occur at the end of words in English
b. Less frequent spelling patterns for [ɛ] consist of the letters a, ai, ie, ue, and eo
e.g. any again friend guest leopard
c. The most common spelling for [ɛ] is the letter e before a consonant in a
stressed syllable
e.g. let amendment attended plenty
d. The letter e before l is usually pronounced [ɛ]
e.g. well telephone felt seldom
e. The letters ea before d are usually pronounced [ɛ]
e.g. thread ahead ready dead

Practice [ɛ] again and again, and reduce your errors when you say [ɛ]!

Practice 3.
Read aloud the paragraph about Peter Pan. Pay attention to the sound in the
boldfaced words.
Peter Pan
Do you remember the play Peter Pan? Who can forget the boy who never
ever wanted to grow up! When Wendy and her brothers met Peter Pan and the
fairy Tinker Bell, they flew to Never-Never Land. They had many adventures with

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Peter’s friends and enemies, but the play had a happy ending. Sir James Barrie,
the author, presented this play in 1911.
This sentimental treasure was his best work and made him very wealthy.
It was an even better success on Broadway. It was set to music and had special
effects. It is often said that no one can be young forever. But with the legend of
Peter Pan we get to pretend again and again.

5) [æ] as in at, pat, and happy


[æ] is articulated with the lips unrounded and with the body of the tongue
relaxed and located in the low position. Therefore, the vowel [æ] is described as
low front unrounded lax (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009; Sari, 2011).
The vowel [æ] might not exist in your language and may be difficult for you
to hear and produce. Also, irregular English spelling patterns are likely to cause
confusion.
Examples:
If you say [a] instead of [æ]: hat will sound like hot (AmE)
If you say [ɛ] instead of [æ]: bad will sound like bed

Hint:
a. The vowel [æ] does not occur at the end of words in English
b. A less frequent spelling pattern for [æ] consists of the letters au (AmE)
e.g. laugh laughter

Practice, practice, practice, and you’ll have [æ] down pat!

Practice 4.
Read the following letter aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced [æ] words.

Dear dad,

At last Carol and I are in San Francisco. It’s an absolutely fabulous


city! As we stand at the top of Telegraph Hill, we can see Alcatraz. We plan

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to catch a cable car and visit Grant Avenue in Chinatown. After that, we’ll
grab a taxicab to the Japanese Gardens. Yesterday, we traveled to Napa
Valley. We also passed through the National Park. After San Diego, our last
stop is Disneyland in Los Angeles. California is a fantastic state. We have
lots of photographs and packages for the family. We’ll be back Saturday
afternoon, January 1st.

Love,

Gladys

P.S. We need cash. Please send money as fast as you can!

Practice 5.
Go to the University of Iowa Sound animation Project
(https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english) to see and practice how
each English front vowel is produced.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Read the words aloud. Circle the word in each group that does NOT
contain the vowel [i].
Example keep lean fit piece
a. Bead lean leave tea
b. Eight great believe niece
c. Scene women these even
d. Need been sleep thirteen
e. Police thief machine vision
f. Pretty wheat sweet cream
g. People bread deal east
h. Tin teen steam receive
i. Leave live leaf lease
j. Steep Steve easy still

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2. Circle all the words pronounced with [i], and underline all the words with
[ɪ].
Jim : Hi, Tina! Do you have a minute?
Tina : Yes, Jim. What is it?
Jim : My sister is in the city on business. We will eat dinner out tonight. Can
you recommend a place to eat?
Tina : There is a fine seafood place on Fifth Street. The fish is fresh, and the
shrimp is great. But it isn’t cheap!
Jim : That’s OK. It will be “feast today, famine tomorrow”! I’ll just have to eat
beans the rest of the week!

3. Read the words aloud. Circle the word in each group that is NOT
pronounced with [ɛ].
Example Mexico America Egypt Texas
a. any crazy anywhere many
b. paper letter send pencil
c. seven eleven eight twenty
d. health wreath breath wealth
e. reading ready already head
f. present precious previous president
g. November February September April
h. Guess guest cruel question
i. Thread threat fresh theater
j. Mean meant mental met

4. Read the story of the titanic. Circle all the words that are pronounced
with the vowel [æ]. The number in parentheses represents the total
number of [æ] words in each sentence.
Example One of the great tragedies in the last century was
the sinking of the Titanic . (3)

a. The Titanic was travelling to New York across the atlantic in 1912. (3)
b. This grand and elaborate ship had over 2,200 passengers. (4)

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c. It crashed into an iceberg and sank in about two and a half hours. (3)
d. Telegraph warnings reached the Titanic too late. (2)
e. After the crash, upper and lower class passengers ran about in a
panic. (6)
f. Women and children had a chance to cram into small boats at the last
minute. (5)
g. The captain and other passengers could not abandon the ship. (3)
h. Actors and actresses reenacted the accident in an Academy Award
movie. (5)
i. The story of the Titanic remains a sad and tragic chapter in our past.
(5)

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Websites

Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).


Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m

The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 10
CENTRAL AND BACK VOWELS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are hoped to have competence to
describe systematically phonetic descriptions of the central and back vowels using
the IPA chart and recognize the spelling patterns for each of the central and back
vowels.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
After discussing English front vowels, now we will turn our lesson to the
central and back vowels.

Central vowels
Central vowels refer to the sounds which are produced with the tongue
stays in its neutral position. These vowels include [ǝ] and [Λ]. However, an
additional symbol, which is classified as central vowel, will also be introduced: [ɜ]
or [ɝ]. The following will be discussed each of the symbols in turn.

1) [ǝ] as in a, upon, and soda


The schwa vowel [ǝ] is a short, quick sound. Your lips should be completely
relaxed and barely move during its production. [ǝ] is the sound that results when
ANY vowel in English is unstressed in a word. The vowels in all unstressed
syllables almost sound like [ǝ]. The unstressed vowels should receive much less
force than other vowels in the word. Any letter or combination of letters can
represent the schwa [ǝ] (Dale & Poms, 2005).

Here are the examples:


[ə] spelled
a e i o u
arrive oven liquid occur upon
ashamed open humid obtain suppose

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asleep cement capital lemon circus


away jacket typical lesson column
signal belief cousin contain support

Hint:
a. Other spellings of [ǝ] include eo, ou, iou, io, and ai.
e.g: pigeon famous delicious nation certain
b. The schwa [ǝ] can occur more than once and can be represented by different
letters in the same word.
e.g: president elephant accident

Spend a few minutes every day practicing the schwa [ǝ], and progress is
possible.

Practice 1.
Read the following sentences. Be sure to pronounce the syllable with [ǝ]
with less force than other syllables.
a) How are you today?
b) See you tonight?
c) See you tomorrow.
d) Don’t complain.
e) I suppose so.
f) I suppose it’s possible.
g) Consider my complaint.
h) Complete today’s lesson.
i) Don’t complain about the problem.
j) My cousin will arrive at seven.

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2) [Λ] as in up, but and come


[Λ] is made with the body of the tongue relaxed and midlevel in the mouth,
and with the lips unrounded and relaxed (Dale & Poms, 2005; Fromkin, et al, 2009;
Sari, 2011).
The vowel [Λ] may not exist in your language and may be difficult for you to
hear and pronounce; it is easy to become confused by irregular English spelling
patterns and to substitute sounds that are more familiar to you.
For instances:

If you say [a] instead of [Λ]: color will sound like collar

If you say [ɔƱ] instead of [Λ]: come will sound like comb

If you say [ɔ] instead of [Λ]: done will sound like dawn

Remember, [Λ] is a short, quick sound. You shouldn’t feel any tension, and
your lips should barely move during its production.
The vowel [Λ] does not occur at the end of words in English. The vowel [Λ]
can be represented by the letters u and o. Here are the examples.
[Λ] spelled
u o
But love
Cut done
Sun some
Lucky mother
Funny Monday

Hint:
a. Less frequent spelling patterns for [Λ] consist of the letters ou, oo, and oe
e.g. Cousin trouble flood does
b. [Λ] is a vowel that occurs only in stressed syllables of words; it does not occur in
unstressed syllables.

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Just relax as you say [Λ] and you won’t run into trouble with [Λ]. And may
good luck be yours.

Practice 2.
Read the recipe aloud. Remember that all the boldfaced words should be
pronounced with [Λ].

Recipe for Fudge Brownies

Everyone loves mother’s fudge brownies. Just follow these easy-to-


understand instructions, and the brownies will come out wonderfully!
You’ll need:
One cup flour
One cup sugar
Two country fresh eggs
One-half cup butter
One cup nuts
Half-dozen tablespoons cocoa
One package chocolate fudge frosting mix
One package tiny marshmallows

Melt butter over low heat in double-boiler, uncovered. Beat eggs and
sugar until color is clear; add butter and cocoa. Stir in flour just until
smooth. Mix in nuts. Pour into ungreased eight-inch-square pan. Turn
oven up to three hundred degrees and bake one-half hour or until
done. Cover with marshmallows. Leave in oven until marshmallows
are runny. Once it is cool to the touch, top with fudge icing. Cut up
into square. Yum-yum!

3) [ɜ] or [ɝ] as in turn, first, and serve


The articulation for this vowel is pretty much the same as that for schwa: it
is central on both high/low and front/back dimensions, and is unrounded. Unlike
schwa, it appears in stressed syllables.

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The vowel [ɜ] or [ɝ] does not exist in most languages. Just remember that

[ɜ] or [ɝ] always receives strong emphasis and is found only in stressed syllables;
it is produced with slightly protruded lips and tense tongue muscles.

[ɜ] or [ɝ] spelled:

ir ur er
Bird hurt fern
Girl curl term
Firm curb German
Third purple stern
Circle turkey servant

Hint:
Less frequent spelling patterns for [ɜ] or [ɝ]consist of the letter ear, our, and or
Examples: heard journey work

Be sure to practice and you’ll be certain to learn [ɜ] or [ɝ]!

Practice 3.
Read aloud the paragraph about turkeys. Pay attention to your pronunciation

of the boldfaced words with the [ɜ] or [ɝ]sound.


The Turkey
Everyone learns about the early settlers who journeyed to America. These
pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving feast with the famous turkey. One
Native American name for turkey is “firkee”, and this may have been how the bird
got its name. Turkey is always served for Thanksgiving dinner on the fourth
Thursday in each November, but it is certain to please on other occasions. Age
will determine the taste of a turkey. An older male or younger “girl” turkey is
preferred. Turkeys are nourishing and can be turned into versatile meals. There
is some work involved in cooking a turkey, but it is worth the trouble. The world
concurs that Americans prepare the most superb turkeys.

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Back vowels
While central vowels are articulated with the tongue stays in its neutral
position, back vowels are produced with the body of the tongue moving backward
from its neutral position. The back vowels include: [u], [Ʊ], [o], [ɔ], and [ɑ]. The
vowel [ɒ], however, will also be introduced.

1) [u] as in you, too, and rule


The vowel [u] is pronounced when the tongue back is located as high as
possible, with the lips are tense and in a ‘whistling’ position (rounded).
Pronunciation problems for the vowel [u] occur because of confusing English
spelling patterns and the similarity of [u] and [Ʊ] (Dale & Poms, 2005).
For examples:
When you substitute [Ʊ] for [u]: pool becomes pull
suit becomes soot

Here are the spelling patterns for the sound [u]:


[u] spelled
u oo o ew ue
Rule cool do new due
Rude fool to drew blue
June too who stew clue
Tune noon tomb knew glued
Tuna stool lose news avenue

Hint:
a. The vowel [u] does not occur at the beginning of words in English (Exception:
ooze)
b. Less frequent spelling patterns for [u] consist of the letters ui, ou, oe, ieu, and
ough
e.g. fruit group shoe lieutenant through
c. The letters oo followed by l, m, or n are usually pronounced [u]
e.g. school boom moon
d. When the letter u follows t, d, n, or s, some Americans pronounce it [ju]
e.g. Tuesday duty new suit

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You can do it! If you remember to protrude your lips when producing [u],
you’ll never confuse “pull with “pool”!

Practice 4.
Read aloud the paragraph about New Orleans. Pay attention to the [u] sound
in the boldfaced words.
New Orleans
One of the most beautiful cities in the United States is New Orleans. This city on
the bayou is full of unique sights and sounds. New Orleans offers good food and
music. Famous chefs create soups and stews influenced by the Creole and
Cajun communities. Jazz and the blues started in New Orleans with musicians
like Louis Armstrong. Tourists come to Mardi Gras dressed in costumes to look
at the truly super homes on St. Charles Avenue. Whether you take a cruise
down the Mississippi or choose fine dining spots, you should visit New Orleans in
the future.

2) [Ʊ] as in cook and put


When pronouncing [Ʊ], the lips are relaxed and rounded with the tongue is
located high, but lower than for the vowel [u]. Remember NOT to protrude your lips
and tense them as you would for [u]. [Ʊ] is a short, quick sound; your lips should
barely move while saying it. The vowel [Ʊ] occurs ONLY in the middle of words in
English.
The vowel [Ʊ] can be represented by the letters u, oo, and ou.
[ʊ] spelled
u oo ou
Pull wool could
Put wood would
Push hook should
Bullet good
Pudding cookie

Hint:
a. A less frequent spelling pattern for [Ʊ] is the letter o.

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e.g. wolf woman


b. The letter oo followed by d or k are usually pronounced [Ʊ]
e.g. good hood wood book look
c. The letter u followed by sh is usually pronounced [Ʊ]
e.g. bush push cushion
Practice [Ʊ] as you should and you’ll be understood!

Practice 5.
Read aloud the paragraph about Little Red Riding Hood. Pay attention to the
boldfaced words containing the vowel [Ʊ]. Remember to relax your lips as
you say [Ʊ].
Little Red Riding Hood
One of our favorite childhood books is Little Red Riding Hood. Little Red Riding
Hood walked through the woods to bring a basket of cooked goods and sugar
cookies to her grandmother. Meanwhile, a wolf came from behind the bushes
into Grandmother’s house. He put the poor woman in the closet. He put her
clothes on, hoping Red Riding Hood would think he was Grandma. When Red
Riding Hood stood at the door; she looked at the wolf. (Now, we all know that the
wolf couldn’t “pull the wool over Red Riding Hood’s eyes.” Who wouldn’t
recognize a wolf in a woman’s clothing?) A hunter was walking through the
woods, and he heard Red Riding Hood’s screams. He shot a bullet and killed the
wolf. Moral of the story: A wolf by any other name or clothing is still a wolf!

3) [o]
The upper-mid back vowel represented by a Roman alphabet lower case
/o/ is the sound in German Boot ‘boat’ or French eau ‘water’, chaud ‘hot’. But it
does not exist as a monophthong in most dialects of English, only as the beginning
point of a diphthong, the sound found in, for example, boat.

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4) [ɔ] as in all, caught, and saw


Pronouncing [ɔ]:
Lips: in a tense oval shape and slightly protruded
Jaw: open more than for [ɔƱ]
Tongue: low, near the floor of the mouth
The vowel [ɔ] is another troublemaker; confusing English spelling patterns
can cause you to substitute more familiar vowels.
For examples:
If you say [a] instead of [ɔ]: caller will sound like collar
If you say [ɔƱ] instead of [ɔ]: bought will sound like boat
If you say [Λ] instead of [ɔ]: bought will sound like but

The vowel [ɔ] can be represented by the following letters: a, aw, and au
[ɔ] spelled
a aw au
Fall jaw auto
Call dawn fault
Mall lawn cause
Salt drawn taught
Stall awful auction

Hint:
a. Less frequent spelling patterns for [ɔ] consist of the letters oa and ou
e.g. broad thought
b. The letters aw are usually pronounced [ɔ]
e.g. Lawn draw awful
c. The letter a followed by ll, lk, lt, and ld is usually pronounced [ɔ]
e.g. Ball talk salt bald

Remember you ought to protrude your lips and drop your jaw whenever you
try to produce the sound [ɔ]! Practice often!

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Practice 6.
Read aloud the pairs of words. When you pronounce [ɔ] words, remember to
protrude your lips (note: These examples utilized American English).
I II III
[ɔ] [ʌ] [ɔ] [ɔʊ] [ɔ] [ɑ]
Dog dug saw so for far
Dawn done law low stalk stock
Long lung tall toll taught tot
Cough cuff bald bold caught cot
Bought but bought boat caller collar

5) [ɑ] as in arm and father


[ɑ] is made with the lips remain unrounded and the body of the tongue
remains as low as possible in the vowel space.
Irregular English spelling patterns are the main reason you may have
pronunciation problems with the vowel [ɑ].
For instances:
If you say [ɔʊ] instead of [ɑ]: not* will sound like note
If you say [Λ] instead of [ɑ]: not* will sound like nut
If you say [ɔ] instead of [ɑ]: cot* will sound like caught

*GA (General American)

If you have [ɒ] (the sound to be discussed next), it is likely that [ɑ] is
restricted to the position before [r], as in part, and to the word father.

The vowel [a] can be represented by the letter a* or o*.


[a] spelled
a o
Want fox
Wallet hot

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Dark spot
Father opera
Pardon follow

Hint:
a. The vowel [ɑ] does not occur at the end of words in English (exception: schwa)
b. The letter a followed by r is usually pronounced [ɑ].

We’re positive you’ll soon be on the top of [ɑ].

6) [ɒ] as in hot and bomb


[ɒ] is described as low back rounded lax vowel. Speakers of British and
Canadian English may have this sound, as in hot, bomb, shop, on, want, and
wallet. Like [ɑ], the vowel [ɒ] does not occur at the end of words.

English spelling patterns for both [ɑ] and [ɒ] consist of the letters a and o.
Examples: want off top option
watch odd block honest

Hint:
Say the above words and try to determine whether your vowel is the rounded
version [ɒ] or the unrounded version [ɑ].

Practice 7.
Read aloud the following phrases and sentences. The boldfaced words all
include the vowel [ɑ] or [ɒ].
1. Alarm clock
2. Stock market
3. Not far apart
4. Top to bottom
5. Cops and robbers
6. Did Father park the car?

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7. It was hard to start the car.


8. The doctor wants to operate
9. Honest politicians solve problems.
10. My watch stopped at five o’clock.

Practice 8.
Go to the University of Iowa Sound animation Project
(https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english) to see and practice how
each English central and back vowel is produced.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST

1. The boldfaced words in the following sentences contain the vowel [ɜ] or

[ɝ]. Read the sentences aloud, filling in each blank with a word from the
box.
Purse perfume curly church bird
Work desserts turkey verbs skirt

a. The girl wore a purple .


b. The Germans bake good .
c. At Thanksgiving we serve .
d. Some people worship in a .
e. I heard the chirping of the .
f. Another word for handbag is .
g. A permanent makes your hair .
h. I prefer the scent of that .
i. You should learn your nouns and .
j. A person collects unemployment when he is out of .

2. Write the phonetic symbol [u] or [ʊ] above each boldfaced word.
Example: [ʊ] [u]
Pull the raft from the pool.

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[ ] [ ] [ ]
a. Too many cooks spoil the soup!
[ ] [ ] [ ]
b. There should be a full moon.

[ ] [ ] [ ]
c. Mr. Brooks is good looking.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
d. June is a good month to move.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
e. The butcher cooked a goose.
[ ] [ ] [ ]
f. The news bulletin was misunderstood.
[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
g. Did you choose a pair of new shoes?
[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
h. Lucy had a loose tooth pulled.
[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
i. Students should read good books.
[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
j. The room is full of blue balloons.

3. Read the dialogue. Circle the words pronounced with the vowel [ɔ]
Audrey : Hi, Paula. Did you hear the awful news? Maude called off her
wedding to Claude!
Paula : Why, Audrey? I thought they were getting married in August.
Audrey : Maude kept stalling and decided Claude was the wrong man.
Paula : Poor Claude. He must be lost soul.
Audrey : Oh, no. he’s abroad in Austria having a ball!
Paula : I almost forgot. What about the long tablecloth we bought them?
Audrey : I already brought it back. The cost of the cloth will cover the cost of
our lunch today.
Paula : Audrey, you’re always so thoughtful!

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D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Websites
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).
Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m
The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 11
DIPHTHONGS

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are expected to able to describe the
productions of the diphthongs and recognize the spelling patterns for each of the
diphthongs.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
The vowels we have discussed so far are simple vowels, called
monophthongs. The other kind of vowels is diphthongs. A diphthong is made with
the tongue gliding from one vowel position to another within a single syllable
(Brinton, 2000). It is produced as one continuous sound, not as a succession of
sounds. By definition, a diphthong involves a change in the position of the tongue,
and it may involve a change in the shape of the lips as well. In articulating
diphthongs, we may make use of vowel positions not used in articulating
monophthongs. There is quite a large range of beginning and ending points for
diphthongs. Because of the movement of the tongue, the articulation of a
diphthong, unlike that of a monophthong, cannot be maintained; a diphthong is not
necessarily longer (does not take more time to articulate) than a monophthong,
though diphthongs are frequently, and erroneously, called “long vowels” in school.
Diphthongs always make use of one of the two semivowels, /j/ and /w/,
hence their name of “glide”; we will, however, transcribe the semivowels in
diphthongs using the symbols for their vowel equivalents /ɪ/ and /ʊ/, respectively.
The glide component of a diphthong is shorter and less sonorous (hence “lower”);
the vowel component is longer and more sonorous (hence “higher”).
There are two types of diphthongs: closing diphthongs and centering
diphthongs. Closing diphthongs (or rising diphthongs) are those whose last vowel
is near-high, where the only two possibilities are /I/ and /ʊ/. Secondly, Centering
diphthongs end in the vowel /ə/ (schwa). The phonetic symbols for the diphthongs
then include /aɪ/, /eɪ/, /ɔɪ/, /aʊ/, /ɔʊ/, /əʊ/, /ɪə/ /eə/, and /ʊə/. The diphthongs /aɪ/,
/eɪ/, /ɔɪ/, and /aʊ/ are present in both American and British English. However, the
diphthong /əʊ/ is only found in British English, while in American English it is

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always replaced by /ɔʊ/. Finally, the diphthongs /ɪə/ /eə/, and /ʊə/ as such do not
occur in American English.

Figure 11. Chart of English diphthongs (Gimson, 1970)

Each of the diphthongs above, then, will be described in the following.

1) [aɪ] as in I, five, and pie


In terms of pronouncing [aɪ], [aɪ] is articulated with the lips gliding from an
open to a slightly parted position, the jaw rising with tongue and closing, and the
tongue gliding from low to high near the roof of the mouth (Dale & Poms, 2005).
The diphthong [aɪ] is quite easy for you to pronounce. Just watch out for
irregular spelling patterns. Remember that [aɪ] is frequently represented by the
letter i or y.
Examples: ice my

The common spelling patterns for [aɪ] are:


[aɪ] spelled
i y ie igh
I my die high
Ice fly pie sight
Fire why tie night
Bite type cries delight
Nice style fried frighten

Hint:
a. The letter i followed by gh, ld, or nd is usually pronounced [aɪ]
e.g. sight wild find

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b. When i is in a syllable ending in silent e, the letter i is pronounced [aɪ] (the same
as the name of the alphabet letter i)
e.g. bite fine confine refinement

Keep trying. Your [aɪ] will be quite fine.

Practice 1.

Read the paragraph aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words containing
the diphthong [aɪ].

Lying!

Psychologists say that lying well is a special talent that is not easily acquired.
Good liars can be quite likeable, have a charming style, and can look you right
in the eye. Lie-detector tests are used about 1 million times a year by private
companies, police departments, and even the CIA. Some people insist that lie-
detectors tests are reliable. However, many experts find that lie-detectors can be
fooled by biting one’s tongue. From the beginning of time, people have tried to
detect lies. In Ancient India, suspected liars were sent by themselves into a hut
without any light. They were instructed to pull the tail of a donkey in the hut. They
were told the donkey would cry out if the person pulling its tail was lying. They had
no idea that the donkey’s tail was covered in soot. The real liars were identified
because they had no soot on their hands when they came out of the hut!

2) [eɪ] as in age, game, and they


Pronouncing [eɪ]:
Lips: spread and unrounded
Jaw: rises with the tongue and closes slightly
Tongue: glides from midlevel to near the roof of the mouth

The pronunciation problems of [eɪ] occur because of confusing English spelling

patterns and the similarity of [eɪ] and [ɛ].

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For instance:

If you say [ɛ] instead of [eɪ]: late will sound like let
paper will sound like pepper

The diphthong [eɪ] is commonly represented by the following spelling patterns:


[eɪ] spelled
a ai ay eigh
Late main day eight
Sane fail bay weigh
Safe wait hay sleigh
Hate grain ray freight
Lady raise play neighbor

Hint:
a. Less frequent spelling patterns for [eɪ] consist of the letters ea, ei, and ey
e.g. break great vein they grey
b. When a is in a syllable ending in silent e, the letter a is pronounced [eɪ] (the
same as the name of the alphabet letter a)
e.g. same name case lane bake
c. The letters ay, ai, and ey are usually pronounced [eɪ]
e.g. play away bait aim they
d. The letters ei followed by g or n are usually pronounced [eɪ]
e.g. weigh neighbor reign vein

Say [eɪ] the right way! Practice makes perfect!

Practice 2.
Read the following phrases and sentences aloud. The boldfaced words should be
pronounced with [eɪ].
1. Wake up!
2. Gain weight
3. What’s your name?
4. Late date
5. Take it away!
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6. Make haste, not waste!


7. April showers bring May flowers.
8. They played a great game.
9. The plane from Spain came late.
10. They made a mistake in today’s paper.

3) [ɔɪ] as in oil, noise, and boy


Pronouncing [ɔɪ]:
Lips: glide from a tense oval shape to relaxed, slightly parted position
Jaw: rises with tongue and closes
Tongue: glides from low position to a high position near the roof of the mouth

You should not have many problems with the diphthong [ɔɪ]. English words with
this diphthong are spelled oi or oy; there are virtually no exceptions to this rule.

You’ll soon enjoy pronouncing [ɔɪ]!

Practice 3.
Ask and answer the question with a partner.
1. A : Would you rather have broiled or boiled lobster?

B : I’d rather have .

2. A : Would you prefer to cook fish in oil or wrap it in foil and steam it?

B : .

3. A : Do you ever buy choice sirloin or pork loin?

B : .

4. A : Do you think noisy children are annoying or enjoyable?

B : I think noisy children are .

5. A : Which would you enjoy more – a trip to Detroit or a trip to Troy?

B : I’d like enjoy a trip to .


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4) [aʊ] as in out, house, and cow


The diphthong [aʊ] is produced with the lips gliding from an open position
to a closed one, the jaw rising with the tongue, and the tongue gliding from low to
high near the roof of the mouth (Dale & Poms, 2005).
[aʊ] should be easy for you to pronounce if you remember it is a diphthong,
which is combination of two vowel sounds. Be sure your lips glide from a wide,
open position to a closed one, or you might simply be pronouncing the vowel [a]
(AmE) or [ɒ] (BrE).
For examples:
If you say [a] or [ɒ]instead of [aʊ]: pound will sound like pond
down will sound like Don

The most common spelling patterns for the diphthong [aʊ]:


[aʊ] spelled
ou ow
Foul town
Sour crown
Cloud power
Thousand eyebrow
Announce clown

Hint:
Less frequent spelling pattern for [aʊ] consists of the letters ough
Bough drought plough

You won’t have many doubts about which words include the sound [aʊ]!

Practice 5.
Read the poem aloud. Be sure to pronounce the boldfaced words containing
the diphthong [aʊ] correctly.

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The hungry owl


Anonymous

The owl looked down with his great round eyes


At the lowering cloud and the darkening skies.
“A good night for scouting,” says he,
“A mouse or two may be found on the ground
Or a fat little bird in a tree.”
So down he flew from the old church tower,
The mouse and birdie crouch and cower,
Back he flies in an hour,
“A very good supper,” says he.

5) [ɔʊ] as in oh, boat, and no


In the production of the diphthong [ɔʊ] (BrE: əʊ), the lips are tense and very
rounded, the jaw rising with the tongue, and the position of the tongue gliding from
midlevel to high near the roof of the mouth (Dale & Poms, 2005).
Once again, your pronunciation problems in this sound occur because of
confusing English spelling patterns and similarity with the other vowels
For examples:
If you say [ʌ] instead of [ɔʊ]: coat will sound like cut
If you say [ɔ] instead of [ɔʊ]: bold will sound like bald
If you say [a] or [ɒ] instead of [ɔʊ]: note will sound like not

When producing the diphthong [ɔʊ], round your lips into the shape of the
letter o. [ɔʊ] is a long sound; be sure to prolong it. The diphthong [ɔʊ] is usually
represented by the following spelling patterns:

[ɔʊ] spelled
o oa ow oe ou
No soap know toe dough
Rope goat owe hoe though
Vote loan grow goes shoulder

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Home foam throw


Fold load bowl

Hint:
a. When o is in a syllable ending in silent e, the letter o is pronounced [ɔʊ] (the
same as the name of the alphabet letter o)
e.g. phone note home rope
b. The letters oa are usuallly pronounced [ɔʊ]
e.g. coal boat roasting toasted
c. The letter o followed by ld is usually pronounced [ɔʊ]
e.g. cold old soldier told

Practice 5.
Read the phrases and sentences aloud. Pay attention to the words in bold
containing the diphthong [ɔʊ].
1. Leave me alone!
2. I suppose so.
3. Only joking
4. Hold and phone
5. Open and close
6. At a moment’s notice
7. Tony Jones broke his toe.
8. Don’t go down the old road.
9. Repeat the [ɔʊ] words slowly over and over!
10. No one knows how old Flo is.

6) [ɪə] as in beer, pier, and hear


The diphthong [ɪə] starts with the tongue positioned [ɪ]. In the second part
of the pronunciation, the movement has two types. The first is the more open
variety of [ə] when [ɪə] is final in the words, while in the second type, in non-final
positions, the movement is not so extensive (Gimson, 1970, p. 142).
As discussed above, [ɪə] is one of the diphthongs which is absent in
American English. Its presence in British English results from the loss of [r] after
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vowels in the historical development of RP (Received Pronunciation). The schwa


[ǝ] is the only remaining trace of the [r] which once existed in the accents from
which RP evolved.

Practice 6.
Read the following sentences aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words
containing the diphthong [ɪə].
a) It cost a mere 20 dollars.
b) The atmosphere in the room was so stuffy hardly breathe.
c) I was standing just near enough to hear what they were saying.
d) He emphasized that all the people taking part in the research were volunteers.
e) Words could not convey the sheer terror of the experience.
f) Her boyfriend’s bit weird but he’s nice.
g) We’re contemplating going abroad for a year.

7) [eə] as in bear, pair, and hair


[eə] starts with the position of [e], as in egg or bed, with the tongue in the
midlevel position at the front of the mouth. To make this diphthong, using a small
controlled movement, pull your tongue slightly back from mid front to the mid
central position in your mouth (Gimson, 1970, p.142).
The diphthong [eə] is another diphthong which does not occur in American
English. The final schwa is substituted by retroflex approximant [r]. Therefore, in
American English the diphthong [eə] is converted into vowel [e] followed by [r], e.g.
fair [fer] instead of [feər].

Practice 7.
Read the following pairs of words aloud. Be sure to pronounce the listed
words on the left with the diphthong [ɪə] and those on the right with [eə].
[ɪə] [eə]
Here hair
Beer bear

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Deer dare
Fear fair
Pier pair
Ear air
Mere mare
Rear rare
Weir where
Leer lair
Spear spare
Sheer share

8) [ʊə] as in pure, furious, and tourist


The other diphthong which is also absent in American English is [ʊə]. Thus,
in American English this diphthong is transcribed into [ʊr]. Technically, then, it is
not a diphthong anymore as it is not composed of two vowels (Gimson, 1970).
In the production of [ʊə], the starting position is [ʊ] with the tongue pulled
back but small mouth aperture as in hook, book or look. To make this diphthong,
this time the small controlled tongue movement goes from the back position to the
mid central position, losing the lip rounding and relaxing your mouth from the tight
starting position.
The diphthong [ʊə] has “coalesced with [ɔ:] for most RP speakers”
(Gimson, 1970, p.145) and “[a] monophthongal pronunciation is … found regularly
before [r] in, e.g. alluring, furious, having the quality of the diphthong’s beginning
point” (O’Connor, 1973, p.172). Gimson (1970, p.145) also gives an overview of
the monophthongal pronunciation, such as in the words your, Shaw or sure, but
warns “that such lowering of monophthongization of [ʊə] is rarer in case of less
commonly used monosyllabic words such as moor, tour, dour”.

Practice 8.
Read the following sentences aloud. Pay attention to the boldfaced words
containing the diphthong [ʊə].
a) The characters in his early novels are a lot subtler than the overblown

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caricatures in his more recent work.


b) We had to endure a nine-hour delay at the airport.
c) The official statement was obscurely worded.
d) We’ve done everything we can to make house as secure as possible.
e) I was expecting him to be furious but he was very restrained.
f) She is the one of the few people in the English department who has tenure.
g) A bus took us on a sightseeing tour of the city.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Read the dialogue. Practice it with a partner. Circle all the words that
contain the diphthong [aɪ].
Mike : Hi, Myra. It’s nice to see you.
Myra : Likewise, Mike. How are you?
Mike : I’m tired. I just came in on a night flight from Ireland.
Myra : What time did your flight arrive?
Mike : I arrived at five forty-five in the morning.
Myra : I’m surprised the airlines have a late-night flight.
Mike : If you don’t mind, Myra, I think I’ll go home and rest for a while. I’m
really wiped out!
Myra : Why, Mike, I have a whole night lined up – dining out and going night-
clubbing!
Mike : Myra, are you out of your mind?
Myra : I’m only joking. You’re going right home. Sleep tight!

2. Read the names of the following household items circle the items
pronounced with the diphthong [ɔʊ].
a. Toaster frying pan bookcase freezer

b. Clock telephone faucet radio

c. Stove sofa lawn mower table

d. Doorknob window television coatrack

e. Can opener mixing bowl clothes dryer iron


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3. Decide whether the following words contain diphthongs by placing a


check [] under the ‘diphthong’ column and writing down the phonetic
transcription.
Examples of words Diphthong Phonetic transcription

a) Material
b) Taught
c) Cute
d) Slow
e) Author
f) Pedicure
g) Browse
h) Alloy
i) Analysis
j) Raise
k) Your
l) Ruin
m) Awesome
n) Aim
o) Injure

4. Find a poem or a song and write the phonetic transcriptions for the poem
or song you selected. Circle all the words containing any diphthongs.

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.

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Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Gimson, A. 1970. An introduction to the pronunciation of English (2nd edition).
London: Edward Arnold.
O’Connor, J. D. 1973. Phonetics. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

Websites
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).
Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m
The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english

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MEETING 12
ENGLISH SYLLABLE STRUCTURES

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this meeting, students are expected to able to identify the
elements of the English syllable structures.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
In this session, we will discuss the intermediate level between sounds
(meaningless segments) and affixes/words (meaningful segments), namely the
syllable, which is symbolized as σ. Syllables can be thought of as (meaningless)
'mini-words' into which longer words can be broken down. Each of these mini-
words contains a single vowel (or diphthong), together with any consonants that
can be grouped with that vowel. Thus, appendicitis, for example, can be broken
down into [ǝ.pɛn.dɪ.saɪ.tɪs] (Brinton, 2000, p.65).
The syllable represents a level of structure intuitively recognized by
speakers of the language; it figures importantly in the rhythm and prosody of the
language. A syllable consists obligatorily of a vowel (or syllabic consonant); this is
the acoustic peak or nucleus (N), of the syllable and potentially carries stress. A
syllable may optionally begin with one to three consonants - the onset (O) of the
syllable - and may close with one to four consonants - the coda (C) of the syllable:
(C) (C) (C) Vo (C) (C) (C) (C)

The nucleus and coda together form the rhyme (R). The syllable structure
can be represented in the form of trees, as in the diagrams below for spring and
texts.

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σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

s p r ɪ ŋ t ɛ k s t s

(a) (b)
Figure 12. The syllable structure of the word ‘spring’ (a) and ‘texts’ (b)
(adapted from Brinton, 2000)

With polysyllabic words, the question of syllable division arises. If there is


no medial consonant, the syllable division falls between the vowels, as in po.et or
gi.ant.
Σ

σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

ʤ aɪ ə n t

Figure 13. The syllable structure of the word ‘giant’ (adapted from Brinton, 2000)

Note: while the symbol σ is for syllable, Ʃ is for word.


If there is one medial consonant, and stress follows the consonant, the medial
consonant forms the onset of the second syllable, as in re.gard or a.bout.
Σ

σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

ə b aʊ t

Figure 14. The syllable structure of the word ‘about’ (adapted from Brinton, 2000)

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However, if stress falls on the initial syllable, speakers syllabify sometimes with the
consonant as coda of the first syllable, sometimes as onset of the second, as in
read.y/rea.dy, op.en/o.pen, or rig.id/ri.gid. The consonant is said to be
ambisyllabic (ambi - Greek for ‘both’), belonging to both syllables.
Σ

σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

r ɪ ʤ ɪ d

Figure 15. The syllable structure of the word ‘rigid’


(adapted from Brinton, 2000)

From Figure 15 it was shown that the consonant [ʤ] could form the coda of the
first syllable or the onset of the second syllable.
Ambisyllabicity may occur as well when the syllable preceding and
following the consonant are both unstressed, as in man.i.fest/man.if.est, or
or.i.gin/or.ig.in. Of course, the first consonant is also ambisyllabic (hence also
ma.ni.fest and ma.nif.est or o.ri.gin and o.rig.in).
Σ

σ σ σ
O R O R O R

N C N C N C

ɒ r ɪ ʤ ɪ n

Figure 16. The syllable structure of the word ‘origin’


(adapted from Brinton, 2000)

When a consonant cluster occurs word medially and stress falls on the
vowel following, the consonants form the onset of the second syllable (compare

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about above), as in su.blime or re.strain (not rest.rain, res.train or sub.lime;


*subl.ime would not be possible since *bl is not a possible final cluster).
Σ

σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

r ɪ s t r eɪ n
Figure 17. The syllable structure of the word ‘restrain’
(adapted from Brinton, 2000)

When stress falls on the vowel preceding the consonant cluster, the cluster
forms the onset of the second syllable with the initial consonant being ambisyllabic
(compare rigid above), as in mi.stress/mis.tress or na.sty/nas.ty (but not nast.y or
mist.ress).
Σ

σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

n ɑ: s t ɪ

Figure 18. The syllable structure of the word ‘nasty’


(adapted from Brinton, 2000)

However, if the consonant cluster is not a possible initial cluster in English, the
consonants are split between the two syllables, as in at.las (not *a.tlas) or on.set
(not *o.nset), with the longest possible sequence (according to phonotactic
constraints) forming the onset of the second syllable, as in em.blem (not emb.lem
or *e.mblem).

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σ σ
O R O R

N C N C

ɛ m b l ə m

Figure 19. The syllable structure of the word ‘emblem’


(adapted from Brinton, 2000)

A phenomenon similar to ambisyllabicity arises not at syllable boundaries,


but at word boundaries, in cases of apparent ambiguity, as in these well-known
examples:
my train/might rain this kid/the skid
mice fear/my sphere syntax/sin tax
that scum/that’s come not at all man/not a tall man
night rate/nitrate an aim/a name
Grade A/gray day we dressed/we’d rest
lighthouse keeper/ that’s tough/that stuff
light housekeeper

For example, the sequence of sounds /aɪskrim/ could be divided as follows:

(a) (b)
Figure 20. The syllable structure of ‘I scream (a) and ‘ice cream’ (b)
(adapted from Brinton, 2000)
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It can be seen from the diagram above that the consonant [s] could form the coda
of the first word or the onset of the second word, just as in ambisyllabicity, a
consonant can form the coda of the first syllable or the onset of the second.
Nonetheless, various phonetic features seem to permit disambiguation of
these sequences. For example, the /k/ in ice cream would be aspirated, whereas
that in I scream would not be. Vowel length would distinguish my train (with [aɪ‫)]׃‬
from might rain (with /aɪ/); nasalization and vowel quality would distinguish an aim
(with æ̃n] from a name (with /ə/); and stress would distinguish líghthòuse kéeper
from líght hóusekèeper.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Syllabify the following words, using periods to indicate syllable breaks.
Note ambisyllabicity.
a) Aroma e) Altitude i) Insinuate
b) Algebra f) Duplicate j) Already
c) Advocate g) Instrument
d) Kangaroo h) Integrity

2. Choose 5 out of ten words at number 1. Then draw the syllable


structures for each word you selected.

3. Draw the syllable structures for the pairs of phrases below.


a) Night rate vs. nitrate
b) Grade A vs. gray day
c) My train vs. might rain
d) An aim vs. a name
e) Mice fear vs. my sphere

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D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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MEETING 13
STRESS, RHYTHM, AND INTONATION

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students are able to identify the stress
placement of the English words, phrases, and sentences, describe the English
rhythm patterns, and identify the types of intonation.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
Thus far, you have been studying the individual sounds of English. The
sounds can be significantly affected by vocal features known as stress, rhythm,
and intonation. These vocal features help to convey meaning and must be used
correctly if you are to be completely understood.
Stress is the first vocal feature we will deal with. Speakers must stress
certain syllables in words; otherwise the words would be misunderstood or sound
strange. For example, improperly placed stress when pronouncing invalid (a
chronically ill or disabled person) may make it sound like invalid (null; legally
ineffective). Stress can also change the meaning of a sentence. "I saw a movie" is
different from "I saw a movie." "He won't go" implies a meaning different from "He
won't go". In English, proper use of stress enables you to clearly understand the
difference between such words as the noun present (a gift) and the verb present
(to introduce; to offer).
Rhythm is the second feature we will present. Rhythm is created by the
strong stresses or beats in a sentence. In many languages, the rhythm is syllable
timed. This means that all vowels in all syllables are pronounced almost equally.
Syllables are rarely lost or reduced as they are in English. For example, a three
word phrase in your language is not likely to become two words. In English, "ham
and eggs" is squeezed into two words, "ham'n eggs". This reduction results
because English has a stress-timed rhythm. This means that its rhythm is
determined by the number of stresses, not by the number of syllables. English
speakers slow down and emphasize heavily stressed words or syllables. They
speed up and reduce unstressed ones. For example, the five-word phrase "I will
see you tomorrow" may become I'll seeya t'morrow".
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Intonation is the final vocal feature you will learn about. Intonation patterns
involve pitch and are responsible for the melody of the language. Speakers
frequently depend more on intonation patterns to convey their meaning than on the
pronunciation of the individual vowels and consonants. For example, in English,
the same words can be used to make a statement or ask a question. If your vocal
intonation rises, you are asking a question: "He speaks English?". The sentence
"That's Bill's car" becomes the question "That's Bill's car?" when you raise the pitch
of your voice at the end. So now you can appreciate the common expression, "It's
not what you say, it's how you say it!".
Although your English grammar might be perfect and you might be able to
pronounce individual sounds correctly, you will still have a noticeable foreign
accent until you master the stress, rhythm, and intonation patterns of English.

1) Stress
Stress is a meaningful feature of speech in respect to both words and
phrases in English. It has functions in the province of morphology, syntax, and
discourse. Correct use of stress is essential for achieving proper pronunciation of
words. The following, then, will be discussed the stress within the word and the
sentence.

a. Stress within the word


Stress refers to the amount of volume that a speaker gives to a particular
sound, syllable, or word while saying it. Stressed sounds and syllables are louder
and longer than unstressed ones. The words accent, stress, and emphasis are
frequently used interchangeably (Dale & Poms, 2005).
Certain languages in the world have an accentual system based on pitch
differences, not stress differences. That is, syllables carry varying levels of pitch,
and pitch differences alone can distinguish words. These “tonal” languages include
Chinese, Thai, West African languages, and Amerindian languages. English, on
the other hand, belongs to the group of languages which have stress accent.
Traditionally, different degrees, or levels, of stress are differentiated at the
word level:
1. primary (level 1) marked by an acute accent (´)
2. secondary (level 2) marked by a grave accent (`)
3. unstressed (level 3) unmarked or marked by a breve (˘)

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For example, if you say computation in isolation or at the end of a sentence, the ta
syllable will carry the strong stress, but the com syllable will also carry a
seemingly weaker stress. What is actually happening here is superimposition of
an intonational pattern (discussed in the next section) called a tonic accent onto
the last stressed syllable. So we say that ta carries primary stress and com carries
secondary stress, thus còmputátion. Secondary stress is sometimes difficult to
hear, but generally it will be separated by at least one syllable - either before or
after - from the syllable carrying primary stress, as follows:
intérrogàte àccidéntal ínventòry
còncentrátion épilèpsy hallùcinátion
That is, secondary stress will occur in words where the stressed syllable is
followed by two or more syllables or where the stressed syllable is preceded by
two or more syllables.
In transcription, the IPA system of marking stress is the use of a superscript
tick before the primary stressed syllable and a subscript tick before the secondary
stressed syllable, e.g. eligibility [ˌelɪʤəˈbɪləti]. Alternatively, only primary stress is
indicated. Unstressed syllables are not marked.
There are NO consistent rules for accenting words in English.
Consequently, you may have difficulty when attempting to accent syllables
correctly.
a. If you place the stress on the wrong syllable:
Examples: désert (dry barren region) will sound like dessért (sweet foods)
Ínvalid (bedridden/ill person) will sound like inválid (void, null)

b. If you stress every vowel in a word equally and forget to reduce vowels in
unaccented syllables:
Examples: tomórrow will sound like tómórrów
becáuse will sound like bécáuse

The ideal way to learn about English stress is to listen to a native source
using words in English, but we can still learn about stress systematically if such a
source is not available to demonstrate.
First we must understand that a word contains syllables. Some words have
as few as one syllable; others may have as many as five syllables. Stress is placed
on the syllable depending on how short or long the word is.

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There are two ways to analyze stress placement (Sari, 2011). You can
count the syllables of a word from left to right. Thus, when you read the four-
syllable phonology, the first syllable is [fə], the second [nɔ], the third [lə], and the
last [ʤɪ].

Counting the syllables from left to right, we see:


fə nɔ lə ʤɪ
1st 2nd 3rd 4th

Otherwise, if you count the syllables from right to left, the last syllable is [ʤɪ], the
second from last is [lə], called the penultimate syllable, the third from last [nɔ],
called antepenultimate syllable, and the fourth from last [fə], called
preantepenultimate syllable.

Counting the syllables from right to left, we see:


fə nɔ lə ʤɪ
4th 3rd 2nd 1st
preantepenultimate antepenultimate penultimate last

Just like we write the phonetic alphabet, we need to be able to use the stress mark
in together with writing English words or sentences phonetically. As discussed
earlier, the stress mark is symbolized by [ˈ], and is placed just before the stressed
syllable. For example, the stress placement for the word phonology is [fəˈnɔləʤɪ].
Furthermore, some useful generalizations about stress at the word level
include the following:
Word stressed on the first syllable:
1. Stress on the first syllable is placed on any one-syllable word
e.g. sun come rude soon

2. The majority of two-syllable words are accented on the FIRST syllable.


e.g. Tuesday awful ever brother oven window

3. Compound nouns are usually accented on the FIRST syllable.


e.g. bedroom stoplight schoolhouse bookstore

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4. Numbers that are multiples of ten are accented on the FIRST syllable.
e.g. twenty thirty fifty sixty seventy

Word stressed on the second syllable:


1. Reflexive pronouns are usually accented on the SECOND syllable
e.g. myself yourself himself ourselves

2. Compound verbs are usually accented on the SECOND or LAST syllable.


e.g. Outrun outdo overlook outsmart

The stress placement of three-syllable words:


The following three-syllable words have a variety of stress patterns.
Primary stress on Primary stress on Primary stress on
FIRST syllable SECOND syllable THIRD syllable
áccident accéptance afternoón
stráwberry vanílla absolúte
séventy exámine seventeén
yésterday tomórrow recomménd
président políceman guaranteé
sálary emplóyer employeé
pérsonal repaírman personnél
tránslating translátion gasolíne
élephant gorílla kangaroó
Fébruary Decémber overloók

Stress on penultimate syllable is placed on words ending with [Ik] and [ʃǝn]
e.g. scientific diplomatic nation organization

Stress on antepenultimate syllable is placed on most words ending with [tɪ],


[sɪ], [fɪ] and [ʤɪ]
e.g. capacity democracy photography phonology

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Stress in noun/verb homographs


There are many two-syllable nouns and verbs that are the same in the
written form. We can distinguish between these word pairs in their spoken form
through the use of stress. In these pairs, the noun will always be stressed on the
first syllable and the verb on the second syllable.
For instances:
Nouns Verbs
Cónflict (controversy) conflíct (to clash)
Cónduct (one’s behavior) condúct (to lead or guide)
Cóntent (subject matter) contént (to satisfy)
Désert (barren region) desért (to abandon)
Dígest (synopsis) digést (to absorb)
Cóntest (competition) contést (to dispute or challenge)
Pérmit (written warrant) permít (to allow or consent)
Éxploit (notable act, explóit (to take advantage of)
adventure)
óbject (material thing) objéct (to oppose or disagree)
Íncrease (enlargement) increáse (to make larger)

Practice 1.
Read the sentences aloud. Carefully pronounce the stress pattern
differences between the boldfaced words in each sentence.
1. Please recórd the récord
2. Please don’t desért me in the désert.
3. We projéct that the próject will be good.
4. The sheik was fífty with fifteén wives!
5. His hairline began recéding récently.
6. The teacher was contént with the cóntent of the report.
7. He objécts to the ugly óbjects.
8. I mistrúst Míster Smith.
9. She will presént you with a présent.
10. He will contést the results of the cóntest.

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The prefix re-


a. When the prefix re- means "again", it receives strong stress.
e.g. redo rename re-sort remake
b. When the syllable re- begins a word, and it doesn't mean "again", it is
unstressed.
e.g. redeem remind reward require

Practice 2.
Read the following pairs of words and sentences. Remember to stress re- only
when it means ‘again’.
1. Ré-mark (to mark something again remárk (to comment)
2. Ré-press (to press r iron something again représs (to inhibit)
3. Ré-lay (to lay something down again) reláy (to pass on a message)
4. Ré-dress (to dress again) redréss (to correct a wrong)
5. Ré-sort (to arrange or organize again) resórt (to take action in order
to succeed)
6. Rédo this model, but redúce the size.
7. Remínd me to ré-sort the index cards.
8. Will he refúse to ré-press the shirts?
9. The teacher will reqúire you to réwrite the letter.
10. His mom remárked that she ré-marked the clothes.

There may be differences in the placement of stress in individual words.


For example, the following words typically receive different stress placement in
British and North American English, as indicated in the designation of primary
stress in the list below. However, there is a great deal of regional variation. Decide
which syllable is stressed for you:

North American English British English


Ánchovy anchóvy
Préparatory prepáratory
Garáge gárage
Laméntable lámentable
Ápplicable applícable
Mústache mustáche
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Mágazine magazíne
Advertísement advértisement

There is a fairly general rule in British English that secondary stress is


omitted on -ery/-ory/-ary. Compare the North American and British pronunciations
of battery /bætəri/ vs. /bætri/, respectively. As a consequence, the penultimate
syllable is lost in the British pronunciation of words ending in /‑əri/, as in secreta̷ry,
laboratøry, obligato̷ry, milita̷ry, and dictiona̷ry.

b. Stress within the sentence


You have already learned that word stress is a major feature of English.
Stress patterns go beyond the word level. Just as it sounds awkward to stress the
syllables in a word incorrectly or to stress them all equally, it sounds unnatural to
stress all the words in a sentence equally or improperly. Effective use of strong
and weak emphasis in phrases and sentences will help you achieve your goal of
sounding like a native English speaker.
English sentence-level stress patterns may not be used the same way as in
your language. In English, specific words within a sentence are emphasized or
spoken louder to make them stand out. (It's not his house; it's her house.) Your
language may use its grammar instead of word stress to convey the same
meaning. Consequently, you may be confused about when to use strong stress
(and when not to use it) in English sentences. Using the stress patterns of your
native language when speaking English will contribute to your foreign accent.
1. If you place the stress on the wrong word, you will:
1.1. completely change the meaning of your statement
e.g. He lives in the green house (the house painted green) will sound like
He lives in the greenhouse (where plants are grown).
1.2. distort your intended meaning of the sentence
e.g. Steve's my cousin (not Sam) will sound like
Steve's my cousin (not my brother).

2. If you give too much or equal stress to unimportant or "function words":


e.g. I’m in the house will sound like I’m in the house.
He’s at the store will sound like He's at the store.

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In sentence stress we are adding up the attention beyond syllables and


therefore looking for the word class. In English word class includes: Content words
and function words. Content words are the important words in a sentence that
convey meaning. We normally STRESS content words when speaking. Content
words include all the major parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, adjectives,
adverbs, and question words. On the other hand, function words are the
unimportant words in a sentence. They don't carry as much meaning as content
words. We normally do NOT stress function words when speaking. Function words
include the following parts of speech:
Examples
1. Articles the, a
2. Prepositions for, of, in, to
3. Pronouns I, her, him, he, she, you
4. Conjunctions but, as, and
5. Helping verbs is, was, are, were, has, can

Practice 3.
Read the following phrases and sentences aloud. Be sure to stress the content
words, NOT the function words.
1. Sooner or later
2. In a moment
3. An apple a day
4. To tell the truth
5. As soft as a kitten
6. Silence is golden.
7. Honesty is the best policy.
8. Truth is stranger than fiction.
9. A penny saved is a penny earned.
10. To err is human; to forgive is divine.

However, sometimes a speaker wants his or her sentence to convey a


special meaning that it wouldn't have in the written form. This can be done by
stressing a specific word in order to call attention to it. The word that receives the
stress depends on the personal motive of the speaker.
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For instances:
I bought ten ties. (I wasn't given the ties; I bought them.)
I bought ten ties. (I didn't buy shirts; I bought ties.)

Note:
a. In negative sentences, negative auxiliary verbs need to be stressed (e.g.
isn't, haven't, can't, don't, and won't).
Example: I can’t hear what you say.

b. In some situations, i.e. emergencies, all words need to be emphasized


e.g. watch out!

Practice 4.
Read the questions and responses. The boldfaced words should receive more
emphasis than the other words.
1. Who like candy? Sam likes candy.

2. What does Sam like? Sam likes candy.

3. Is that his car? No, that’s her car.

4. Will she stay? No, she’ll leave.

5. Where are you going? I’m going home.

6. Who’s going home? I’m going home.

7. When are you going home? I’m going home now.

8. Did Mary buy a book? No, Mary borrowed a book.

9. Did Mary buy a book? No, Sue bought a book.

10. Did Mary buy a book? No, she bought a pen.

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Practice 5.
Go to
http://www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m or http://www2.nkfust.edu.tw/~emchen/Pron/stress.htm to see and practice the
stress placement of word and sentence English.

2) Rhythm
The rhythm of conversational English is more rapid than that of formal
speech. Every spoken sentence contains syllables or words that receive primary
stress. Certain words within the sentence must be emphasized, while others are
spoken more rapidly. To keep the sentence flowing smoothly, words are linked
together into phrases and separated by pauses to convey meaning clearly.
Effective use of rhythm will help you to achieve more natural-sounding speech.
In many languages, all vowels in all syllables are pronounced almost
equally. Syllables are rarely lost or reduced as they are in English. It is likely that
you are using your language's conversational rhythm patterns when speaking
English. This habit will contribute to a noticeable foreign accent.
a. If you stress each word equally or too precisely:
e.g. He will leave at three will sound like He will leave at three.

b. If you avoid the use of contractions or reduced forms:


e.g. I can't go will sound like I can not go.
He likes ham'n eggs will sound like "He likes ham and eggs.

c. If you insert pauses incorrectly between the words of the sentence, you will
distort the meaning of your sentence and create a choppy rhythm.
e.g. I don't know Joan will sound like I don't know, Joan.

Contractions
Contractions are two words that are combined together to form one.
Contractions are used frequently in spoken English and are grammatically correct.
If you use the full form of the contraction in conversation, your speech will sound
stilted and unnatural.

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Contraction Full form


I'll I will
You’re you are
He’s he is
We've we have
Isn't is not

Practice 6.
Read the pairs of sentences aloud. The first sentence is written in full form; the
second contains a contraction. Listen to how smooth and natural the second
sentence sounds compared with the choppy rhythm of the first sentence.
1. I am late again. I’m late again.
2. Mary does not know. Mary doesn’t know.
3. You are next in line. You’re next in line.
4. We have already met. We’ve already met.
5. That is right! That’s right!
6. They will not sing. They won’t sing.
7. Steve has not eaten. Steve hasn’t eaten.
8. He is very nice. He’s very nice.
9. Please do not yell. Please don’t yell.
10. We will be there. We’ll be there.

Blending and Word Reductions


In conversational English, the words in phrases and short sentences are
often blended together as if they were one word.
For examples:
How are you? is often pronounced howaryou?
Do it now! is often pronounced doitnow!

When words are blended together in this manner, sounds are frequently
reduced or omitted completely. (The blending of words and the reductions and
omissions of sounds occur ONLY in conversational speech. They are NEVER
written this way.)
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For examples:
I miss Sam sounds like I misam.
Don't take it sounds like Don'take it.

This style of speaking (the use of contractions, blending, and word


reductions) is used by American English speakers in normal conversation and is
perfectly acceptable spoken language. Try to use these forms as often as possible
when speaking English. YOU'LL SOON GET THE RHYTHM!

Practice 7.
Read the following phrases and sentences. Be sure to blend the words together
smoothly and to use reduced forms.
1. Cream’n sugar (cream and sugar)
2. Bread’n butter (bread and butter)
3. Ham’n cheese (ham and cheese)
4. Pieceapie (piece of pie)
5. I gota school. (I go to school.)
6. He had a cupocoffee. (He had a cup of coffee.)
7. I wanna takeabreak. (I want to take a break.)
8. Seeyalater. (See you later.)
9. Leavmealone. (Leave me alone.)
10. Whatimeisit? (What time is it?)

Linking
Linking sounds while speaking is necessary to speak English smoothly and
to sound like a native speaker of English. Linking is the connecting of the last
sound in one word to the first sound of the next word. The amount of linking in a
person's speech varies from speaker to speaker. However, there are two situations
in which most native speakers of English use linking regularly.
When a word begins with a vowel sound, it is often pronounced as if it
began with the final consonant sound of the previous word.
For instances: don't ask sounds like don 'task.

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we've eaten sounds like we 'veaten.


When the same consonant sound that ends one word also begins the next
word, that sound should not be pronounced twice. It should be pronounced one
time but with a slightly lengthened articulation.
For instances:
Warm milk = war milk
Cold day = col day

Practice 8.
Read the phrases below. Be sure to pronounce the words beginning with vowel
sounds as if they begin with the last consonant sound of the previous word.
1. Take over (ta kover)
2. Look up (loo kup)
3. It’s open. (it sopen.)
4. Make a wish. (ma ka wish.)
5. Kiss aunt Alice. (ki saun talice.)
6. Leave him alone. (leave hi Malone.)
7. Let’s eat now. (let seat now.)
8. Call another friend. (ca lanother friend.)
9. Jump up and down. (jum pu pan down.)
10. Buy a red envelope. (buy a re denvelope.)

Phrasing and Pausing


When we speak, it is not a just a stream of continuous sound. We tend to
put speech unit boundaries, often marked with a pause, at clause boundaries
although they can go elsewhere, too. The use of this pause can help the speaker
to convey or emphasize meaning or simply to take a breath. When written text is
read aloud, speech unit boundaries are often placed at punctuation marks
(commas, full stops, etc.). However, speech unit boundaries may also be put in
other places. In particular, we tend to put speech unit boundaries:
a. between two clauses linked by and or but:
e.g. We have cut costs substantially // and will continue to invest.
This is only one view // but it's supported by recent research.

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b. before and after an adverbial clause (i.e. a clause that gives more information
about how, where, when, why, etc.):
e.g. Before she left school // she started h e r own business.
We'll be meeting at eight // to get to the airport by ten.

c. after a clause which is the subject of a sentence:


e.g. What they will d o next // is unclear.
How the process works // will be explained in the next lecture.

d. before and after a non-defining relative clause (i.e. a clause that gives more
information about a noun or noun phrase before it):
e.g. the head of the police force // who is to retire next year // has criticized
the new law.
I would like to thank the conference organizers // who have worked very
hard.

But notice that defining relative clauses are less likely to be separated from
the noun they refer to by a speech unit boundary:
For instances:
The number of people who are emigrating // is increasing steadily rather than
the number of people // who are emigrating // is increasing steadily.

We objected // to the recommendation that was put forward rather than


we objected // to the recommendation // that was put forward.

Note:
There may not be a speech unit boundary between clauses which are short:
e.g. we'll leave when we can rather than we'll leave // when we can.

Practice 9.
Read the following sentences. Be sure to pause between phrases (marked by the
slanted lines) and to blend the words in each phrase.
1. The phone book // is on the shelf.
2. Steve said // “Sue is gone.”

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3. “Please help me // Sally.”


4. Mr. White // our neighbor // is very nice.
5. I don’t agree // and I won’t change my mind.
6. Please finish your homework // before you got out.
7. Dr. Stevens // our new dentist // cancelled my appointment.
8. Do you prefer to eat // steak with French fries // or steak with rice?
9. I like to go for long walks // when the weather is sunny and cool.
10. My dog barks at people // when they knock on the door.

Using pauses in different places in a sentence can give different meanings.


For instances:
1. I know Ana. (You’re talking to someone else about Ana.)
I know // Ana. (You’re talking directly to your friend Ana.)

2. Please call me Mary. (You’re telling someone that your name is Mary.)
Please call me // Mary. (You’re asking your friend Mary to telephone you.)

3. Who will help Steve? (You’re making an inquiry about Steve.)


Who will help // Steve? (You’re directly asking Steve a question.)

4. Tammy said “the teacher is smart.” (Tammy says her teacher is smart.)
“Tammy”// said the teacher // “is smart.” (The teacher says Tammy is smart.)

5. Ricky thought his friend was lazy. (Ricky is thinking his friend is lazy.)
“Ricky” //thought his friend // “was lazy.” (The friend is thinking Ricky is lazy.)

3) Intonation
Intonation refers to the use of melody and the rise and fall of the voice
when speaking. Each language uses rising and falling pitches differently and has
its own distinctive melody and intonation patterns. In fact, babies usually recognize
and use the intonation of their native language before they learn actual speech
sounds and words.

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Intonation can convey grammatical meaning as well as the speaker's


attitude. It will "tell" whether a person is making a statement or asking a question; it
will also indicate if the person is confident, doubtful, shy, annoyed, or impatient.
Correct use of intonation is necessary to convey your message correctly and to
make you sound like a native English speaker.
English has several basic intonation contours. However, there are many
more possible variations that change with a speaker's intended meaning, attitude,
and emotional state of mind. Without realizing it, you can confuse your listeners by
using incorrect English intonation patterns.
1. If your voice rises when it should fall, you will:
1.1. change a declarative sentence into a question.
That's Bill's car will sound like that's Bill's car?
1.2. sound doubtful or annoyed.

2. If your voice stays level when it should either rise or fall, you will:
2.1. sound bored or uninterested.
2.2. confuse your listeners into thinking you didn't finish your sentence or
question.
I went home will sound like I went home ... and ...

Basically intonation deals with contours, represented by arrows that


indicate the ups and downs of speech volume. There are three most important
intonations in English:
1. The falling intonation (↘)
2. The rising intonation (↗)
3. The fall-rise intonation (↘↗)

The falling intonation


The falling intonation indicates straightforwardness and conclusiveness. It
also indicates that the speaker is certain about a piece of information, such as in a
declarative statement, or about getting a piece of information, such as in a wh-
question.

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For instances:
1. Declarative sentences:
e.g. Linda is my sister↘. He is not going ↘.

2. Questions that require more than a yes/no response (such question words
include who, what, when, why, where, which, and how)
e.g. Where is my book? ↘ (On the table. ↘)
When did he leave? ↘ (At three o'clock.↘)

The rising intonation


The rising intonation indicates inconclusiveness and that the speaker relies
on a forthcoming a piece of information. The rising intonation is mostly found in
yes-no questions, greetings, farewells, polite negations, or statements that express
doubt or uncertainty.
For instances:
1. Questions that ask for a yes/no response (such question words include can, do,
will, would, may, and is)
e.g. Will you stay? ↗ (No, I can't. ↘)
Do you like school? ↗ (Yes, I do. ↘)

2. Statements that express doubt or uncertainty


e.g. I'm not positive. ↗
I think he's coming. ↗

Practice 10.
Read the sentences below. Be sure your voice rises ↗ at the end of each question
and falls ↘ at the end of each response.
Yes/No Questions ↗ Responses ↘
1. Can you see? Yes, I can.
2. Does he play golf? Yes, he does.
3. May I borrow it? Yes, you may.
4. Will she help? No, she won’t.
5. Did he arrive? Yes, he’s here now.
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6. Is Susan your sister? No she’s my friend.


7. Have you eaten? Yes, they ate at two.
8. May I help you? Yes, please do.
9. Are we leaving? No, we’re staying.
10. Can my friends stay? Yes, they can.

As was already discussed, a falling pitch should be used at the end of


declarative sentences. It will help you sound confident and sure of yourself. On the
other hand, using an upward pitch at the end of the same sentences indicates that
the speaker is doubtful or uncertain about what he or she is saying.
For examples:
They have twenty children. ↘ (stated as a fact)
They have twenty children. ↗ (stated with doubt or disbelief)

The fall-rise intonation


The fall-rise intonation combines the falling and rising intonation and
usually suggests contrast.
A: Hello, are you busy?
↘↗
B: “Not really.”

Intonation also tells the listener whether a speaker has completed the
statement or question or whether he or she has more to say. Many sentences are
spoken with two or more phrases joined together with such connecting words as
and, if, so, or but.
Examples:
He can sing, but he can't dance.
We were hungry, thirsty, and tired.

If your voice drops after the first phrase, your listener will think you are
finished with the sentence. To make it clear that you have more to say, you must
keep your voice level → before the connecting word. There are three main types of
sentences:

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1. Declarative sentences with two or more phrases


Keep your voice level → before the connecting word and lower it at the end. ↘
e.g. I must buy coffee →, tea →, and milk. ↘
She speaks French → but not Spanish. ↘

2. Questions presenting two or more choices


This intonation pattern is the same as for declarative sentences with two or
more phrases. Keep your voice level → before the connecting word and lower it
when you finish your question. ↘
e.g. Would you like cake → or pie? ↘
Is he leaving tomorrow → or Sunday? ↘

3. Yes/No questions with two or more phrases


Keep your voice level → before the connecting word, and use a rising pitch ↗ at
the end of your question.
e.g. Will you come → if I drive you? ↗
Did he like the new belt → and gloves I bought? ↗

Practice 11.
Read the sentences aloud. The arrows are there to remind you to use the proper
intonation patterns.
1. May I leave now →, or should I wait ↘?
2. Did you buy a new hat → or pants ↘?
3. He missed his bus → but arrived on time ↘.
4. Call me later →, if it’s not too late ↘.
5. Will you visit us → if you’re in town ↗?
6. I’ll leave early →, so I won’t miss the plane ↘.
7. Do you like grapes →, pears →, and plums ↗?
8. He’s good at math → but not spelling ↘.
9. You may stay up late → if you finish your homework ↘.
10. He went sailing →, swimming →, and fishing ↘.

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Practice 12.
Go to
http://www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m to practice identifying intonation

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Read the sentences aloud. Fill in the blank with compound nouns formed
from the two boldfaced words. Be sure to stress the first syllable of each
compound noun.
Example a rack that holds coats is a coatrack .
1. Juice made from oranges is called .
2. A box used for storing bread is called a .
3. A store that sells books is called a .
4. A ball you kick with your foot is called a .
5. A hat you wear in the rain is called a .
6. A store that sells toys is called a .
7. A man that delivers the mail is called a .
8. A sign that signals you to stop is called a .
9. When you have an ache in your head, you have a .
10. A store that sells drugs is called a .

2. Read the words aloud. Circle the ONE word in each group that has a
stress pattern different from the others.
Example connect control contain constant
t
1. Agent annoy allow agree
2. Upon until undo under
3. Protect program pronoun protein
4. Token toaster today total
5. Supper sunken suffer support
6. Explain extra excite exam
7. Deepen deny devote degree
8. Repair reason recent reader
9. Invite invent inform instant
10. Open oppose over only

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3. Read the sentences aloud. Circle the number of the stressed syllable in
each italicized word.
Example : 1 2

The convict
1 escaped from jail.

1 2

1. Keep a record of your expenses.


1 2

2. The police do not suspect anyone.


1 2

3. The student will present a speech.


1 2

4. The present was not wrapped.

1 2 3

5. The invalid was in the hospital.


1 2

6. Please print your address clearly.


1 2

7. I will send a survey to all students.


1 2

8. Be sure to record your speech.


1 2 3

9. The letter is in the envelope.


1 2 3

10. I want to envelop the baby in my arms.

4. Read the sentences aloud. Circle all content words and underline all
function words.
Example The dogs are barking
g
1. Mary is a good friend.
2. Steve is tall and handsome.
3. It’s early in the morning.
4. The baby caught a cold.

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5. I ate a piece of pie.


6. The store opens at nine.
7. My shoes hurt my feet.
8. Please look for the book.
9. He’s leaving in a week.
10. We walked in the snow.

5. Read the multiple-phrase sentences aloud. Draw the correct intonation


arrows in the blanks (↘ = voice falls; → = voice stays level; ↗ = voice
rises).
Example Do you want coffee → , tea → , or milk ↘ ?
1. We enjoy swimming , hiking , and tennis .
2. Is a barbecue all right if it doesn’t rain ?
3. If it rains tomorrow , the game is off .
4. Is he sick ? I hope not .
5. Please bring me the hammer , the nails , and scissors .
6. Does she like fried rice , noodle , and meatball ?
7. May I leave now , or should I wait ?
8. He’s good at math but not spelling .
9. Call me later if it’s not too late .
10. Will you visit us if you’re in town ?

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.

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Websites
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12).
Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.ht
m
Chen, C. E. (2005). Emily’s pronunciation class. Retrieved from
http://www2.nkfust.edu.tw/~emchen/Pron/index.htm

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MEETING 14
PHONOLOGICAL RULES

A. SUBJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES


At the end of this session, students enable to describe the phonological
rules.

B. MATERIAL DESCRIPTION
Now that we know the main properties of English sounds, including how
each sound is articulated, which stress syllable is involved in a word, where to put
stress in a sentence, and which appropriate intonation contour to help us focus the
intent for communication, we need to expand our understanding on some
phonological processes. The rules provide essential phonetic information helps us
pronounce a word or a phrase. The essential phonetic information also helps us
create a mental grammar to communicate. Ultimately with all the knowledge of
English phonetics and phonology that we acquire, we want the partner in
communication to find us comprehensible.
There are numerous general processes of phonological change involved in
allophonic variation which apply to classes of sounds that share one or more
features. These general processes may be stated in terms of phonological rules
and are similar in formalism to phonemic rules. Below are some examples of
phonological rules.

1) Assimilation
We have already seen that some words have weak and strong forms
depending on their place in the group and on stress. The shape of word may also
be altered by nearby sounds; normally we pronounce one as /wʌn/, but one more
may be pronounced as /wʌm mɔ:/, where the shape of one has changed because
of the following [m] in the word more.
Assimilation are changes in pronunciation that take place under certain
circumstances at the ends and the beginnings of words (that is, changes at word
boundaries), when those words occur in connected speech or in compounds
(Kisno, 2012).
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Assimilation is something that varies in extent, according to speaking rate


and style; it is more likely to be found in rapid, casual speech than in slow, careful
speech. Sometimes the difference caused by assimilation is very noticeable, and
sometimes it is very slight.
Based on the direction of changes, there are three types of assimilation:
progressive, regressive, and coalescent. First, progressive assimilation is also
known as Preservative assimilation. The assimilation is said to be preservative
when the phoneme that follows is modified by the one that comes before it. In
other words, the conditioned sound is preceded by the assimilated sound. For
example, read this /ri:d ðɪs/ becomes /ri:d dɪs/. In the word level, progressive
assimilation can occur, as well. For instance, for the plural -s ending, the voiced /g/
of bags conditions the voiced form of the -s ending, causing it to be pronounced
/z/. Second, Regressive assimilation is the opposite of progressive and is also
called anticipatory. It is defined as the phoneme that comes first is affected by the
one that comes after it. For instance, a good boy /ə gƱd bɔɪ/ becomes /ə gƱb bɔɪ/.
The regressive assimilation is usually assumed to be more common than the
progressive assimilation. The third type of assimilation is the coalescent
assimilation which occurs when there is a fusion. This process causes a sound to
change by merging two contiguous phonemes into another phoneme different from
the two coalesced sounds. In English coalescence occurs when the phoneme /j/ is
preceded (mostly) by the alveolar stop /t/ or /d/, and then results an affricate ʧ or
ʤ.
For instances:

/t/ + /j/ = /ʧ/


What you need /wɒʧu ni:d/
The ball that you brought /ðə bɔ:l ðəʧu: brɔ:t/
But use your head! /bəʧu:z jɔ: hɛd/
Last year /lɑ:sʧIə/

/d/ + /j/ = /ʤ/


Could you help me? /kʊʤu hɛlp mi:/
Would you mind …? /wʊʤu maInd…./
She had university students /ʃi: hæʤu:ni:vɜsIti stju:dənts/

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Meanwhile, based on the way phoneme changes, the types of assimilation


are classified into assimilation of place, assimilation of manner, and assimilation of
voicing (Kisno, 2012).

a. Assimilation of voicing
The vibration of the vocal cords is not something that can be switched on
and off very swiftly, as a result groups of consonants tend to be either all voiced or
all voiceless. Consider the different endings of ‘dogs’/dɒɡz/ and ‘cats’ /kæts/, of the
past forms of the regular verb such as ‘kissed’ /kɪst/ and ‘sneezed’ /sni:zd/. In
these cases the fact of the final consonant of a word being voiced or not
determines the choice of whether the suffix will be voiced or voiceless. In the case
of the suffixes for plural nouns, for the third person singular in present simple, for
regular verbs in the past simple and for the genitive the application of this rule is
predictable, with only a few exceptions (e.g. leaf becomes leaves). However,
assimilation of voicing can radically change the sound of several common
constructions:
Example Normal Assimilation
Have to /Hæv tu:/ /Hæftə/
Has to /Hæz tu:/ Hæstə
I have to go. /aɪ hæv tu: gəʊ/ /aɪ hæftə gəʊ/
Used to /Ju:zd tu:/ /Ju:stə/
I used to live /aɪ Ju:zd tu: lɪv nɪə ju:/ /aɪ Ju:stə lɪv nɪə ju:/
near you.

b. Assimilation of place
Generally speaking, the most common assimilations occur with
consonants, that is, when a word ends in a consonant and is immediately followed
by a word that starts with a consonant. Forms like /wʌm mɔ:/ where one phoneme
replaces another mainly affect the alveolar sounds /t/, /d/, /n/, /s/, and /z/ when
they are final in the word before bilabial sounds /p/, /b/, and /m/, and velar sounds
/k/ and /g/.

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Here are the examples:


Rules Example Transcription
Right place /raɪp pleɪs/
/p/ replaces /t/ White bird /waɪp bɜ:d/
Not me /nɒp mi:/
Hard path /hɑ:b pɑ: θ/
/b/ replaces /d/ Good boy /gʊb bɔɪ/
Good morning gʊb mɔ:nɪŋ/
Gone past /gɒm pɑ:st/
/m/ replaces /n/ Gone back /gɒm bæk/
Ten men /tɛm mɛn/
White coat /waɪk kəʊt/
/k/ replaces /t/
That girl /ðæk gɜ:l/
Bad cold /bæg kəʊld/
/g/ replaces /d/
Red gate /rɛg geɪt/
One cup /wʌŋ kʌp/
/ŋ/ replaces /n/ Can get /kəŋ gɛt/
Main gate /meɪŋ geɪt/
/mp/ replaces /nt/ Plant pot /plɑ:mp pɒt/
/mb/ replaces /nd/ Stand back /stæmb bæk/
/ŋk/ replaces /nt/ Plant carrots /plɑ:ŋk kærəts/
/ŋk/ replaces /nd/ Stand guards /stæŋk gɑ:dz/
/gŋk/ replaces /dnt/ Couldn’t come /kʊgŋk kʌm/
/bmp/ replaces /dnt/ Couldn’t be /kʊbmp bi:/
Nice shoes /naɪʃ ʃu:z/
/ʃ/ replaces /s/
This year /ðɪʃ jɜ:/
Those shops /ðəʊƷ ʃɒps/
/Ʒ/ replaces /z/
Where’s yours? /wɛƷ jɔ:z/

c. Assimilation of manner
Assimilation of manner refers to two adjacent sounds becoming similar in
their manner of articulation. It is usually heard in very rapid speech, or very
informal situation.

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Here are the rules of assimilation of manner:


1. A stop sound becomes a fricative sound: this occurs, when, in connected
speech, a final stop stands before a fricative.
e.g. a good song /ə gʊd sɒŋ/ becomes /ə gʊs sɒŋ/
that side /ðæt saɪd/ becomes /ðæs saɪd/

2. A stop sound becomes a nasal sound: this occurs when, in connected speech,
a final stop precedes a nasal.
e.g. good night /gʊd naɪt/ becomes /gʊn naɪt/
that night /ðæt naɪt/ becomes /ðæn naɪt/

However, most unlikely a final fricative or nasal would become a stop.

3. When, in connected speech, a word initial /ð/ follows a stop or nasal sound at
the end of a preceding word, it is very common to find that the sound that
follows becomes identical in manner to the one that stands before it (but with
the dental place of articulation). This process is also known as dentalization.
e.g. in the /ɪn ðə/ becomes /ɪn̪ n̪ə/
get them /get ðəm/ becomes /get̪ t̪ əm/

2) Dissimilation
It is understandable that so many languages have assimilation rules; they
permit greater ease of articulation. It might seem strange, then, to learn that
languages also have feature-changing rules called dissimilation rules, in which
certain segments becomes less similar to other segments. Ironically, such rules
have the same explanation: it is sometimes easier to articulate dissimilar sounds.
The difficulty of tongue twisters like “the sixth sheik’s sixth sheep is sick” is based
on the repeated similarity of sounds. If one were to make some sounds less
similar, as in “the second sheik’s tenth sheep is sick,” it would be easier to say.
The same point occurs with toy boat being more difficult to articulate repeatedly
than sail boat, because the [ɔɪ] of toy is more similar to the [ɔƱ] of boat than to the
[eɪ] of sail.
An example of easing pronunciation through dissimilation is found in some
varieties of English, in which there is a fricative dissimilation rule applies to

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sequences /fθ/ and /sθ/, changing them to [ft] and [st]. Here the fricative /θ/
becomes dissimilar to the preceding fricative by becoming a stop. For example, the
words fifth and sixth come to be pronounced as if they were spelled fift and sikst.
A classic example of the same kind of dissimilation occurred in Latin, and
the results of this process show up in the derivational morpheme -ar in English. In
Latin a derivational suffix -al was added to nouns to form adjectives. When the
suffix was added to a noun that contained the liquid /l/, the suffix was changed to -
ar; that is, the liquid /l/ was changed to the dissimilar liquid /r/. These words came
into English as adjectives ending in -al or in its dissimilated form -ar, as shown in
the following examples:

-al -ar
Anecdot-al angul-ar
Annual annul-ar
Ment-al column-ar
Pen-al perpendicul-ar
Spiritu-al simil-ar
Ven-al vel-ar

All of the -ar adjectives contain /l/, and as columnar illustrates, the /l/ need vel-ar
not be the consonant directly preceding the dissimilated segment. Assimilation
rules, dissimilation rules, and other kinds of feature-changing rules are part of
Universal Grammar (UG) and are found throughout the world’s languages.

3) Non-distinctive features
As we have seen, aspiration is not a distinctive feature of English
consonants. It is a non distinctive or redundant or predictable feature (all
equivalent terms). Some features may be distinctive for one class of sounds but
non distinctive for another. For example, nasality is a distinctive feature of English
consonants but not a distinctive feature for English vowels. There is no way to
predict when an /m/ or an /n/ can occur in an English word. On the other hand, the
nasality feature value of the vowels in bean, mean, comb, and sing is predictable
because they occur before nasal consonants. Thus the feature nasal is non
distinctive for vowels.

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Another non distinctive feature in English is aspiration for voiceless stops.


The voiceless aspirated stops [ph], [th], and [kh] and the voiceless unaspirated
stops [p], [t], and [k] are in complementary distribution. The presence of this
feature is predicted by rule and need not be learned by speakers when acquiring
words.

4) Epenthesis (Intrusion)
The production of clusters is a complex procedure. It requires rapid
movements of the vocal apparatus to ensure smooth transitions from one
consonant to another. For the very young child, sequences of consonants may be
too difficult to pronounce in rapid succession. Consequently, a vowel, typically a
schwa /ə/, may be inserted to break up a two-consonant cluster. An example of
this would be the word ‘grow’ /grəʊ/ being realized as /gərəʊ/ where the schwa
vowel /ə/ is inserted between the two consonants that form the initial /gr/ cluster of
the word. Once inserted, the vowel is referred to as the epenthetic vowel. The
effect of this insertion is to create a slight hiatus between the two consonants of
the cluster, thereby easing the pressure on the vital rapidity of movement. Further
examples of epenthesis include the following.
Play /pleɪ/ → /pəleɪ/
Brick /brɪk/ → /bərɪk/
Snow /snəʊ/ → /sənəʊ/

As in the above examples, epenthesis typically affects clusters that occur


in syllable-initial position. However, clusters in syllable-final position can also
be affected but this is much more limited, e.g.
Film /fɪlm/ → /fɪləm/
Milk /mɪlk/ → /mɪlək/

Epenthetic sounds are not always vowels. In English, a stop consonant is


often added to break a nasal + fricative sequence. Consider the following
examples.
Hamster /hæmstər/ → /hæmpstər/
Length /leŋθ/ → /leŋkθ/
Fence /fens/ → /fents/

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This phenomenon then can be confusing when teaching spelling, especially


to non-native speakers who do not have a history of reading and hearing English
words and their spelling.

5) Deletion (elision)
Deletion or elision is very simply the omission of certain sounds in certain
phonetic contexts. Both consonants and vowels may be affected, and sometimes
even whole syllables may be elided.
The elisions or omissions, at word boundaries, most often affect /t/ when it
is final in a word after /s/ or /f/, as in last and left, and the following word begins
with a stop, nasal, or friction sound.
Consider the following examples:
/st/ elision Example Transcription
Last time /lɑ:s taɪm/
+ stop
Fast bus /fɑ:s bʌs/
Best man /bɛs mæn/
+ nasal
First night /fɜ:s naɪt/
West side /wɛs saɪd/
+ friction
Best friend /bɛs frɛnd/

/ft/ elision Example Transcription


Lift boy /lɪf bɔɪ/
+ stop
Stuffed chicken /stʌf ʧɪkɪn/
Soft mattress / sɒf mætrɪs/
+ nasal
Left knee /lɛf ni:/
Left shoe /lɛf ʃu:/
+ friction
Soft snow /sɒf snəʊ/

Furthermore, the /d/ in /nd/ or /md/ often elides if the following word begins
with a nasal or weak stop consonant.

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For instances:
/nd/ elision Example Transcription
Blind man /blaɪn mæn/
+ nasal
Kind nurse /kaɪn nɜ:s/
Tinned beans /tɪn bi:nz/
+ weak stop
Stand guard /Stæn gɑ:d/

/md/ elision Example Transcription


Skimmed milk /skɪm mɪlk/
+ nasal
He seemed nice /hi: si:m naɪs/
It seemed good /ɪt si:m gʊd/
+ weak stop
He climbed back /hi: klaɪm bæk/

Vowels also have often elided from English word in the past, leaving a form
which is the normal one. Let us see the following examples.
Vowel elision Transcription
Family /fæməli/
Edinburg /ɛdnbrə/
Garden /gɑ:dn/
Awful /ɔ:fl/
Evil /i:vl/
Interest /ɪntrəst/
History /hɪstrɪ/

Similar elisions have taken place in the past inside English words, leaving
them with a shape which is now normal.
Here are the examples:
Certain word elision Transcription
Grandmother /grænmʌðə/
Handsome /hænsəm/
Castle /kɑ:sl/
Postman /pəʊsmən/
Draughtsman /drɑ:fsmən/

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Often /ɒfn/ or /ɒftn/


Kindness /kaɪnnəs/
Asked /ɑ:st/
Clothes /kləʊz/ or / kləʊðz/

6) Metathesis
Phonological rules may also reorder sequences of phonemes, in which
case they are called metathesis. For some speakers of English, the word ask is
pronounced [ɑ:ks], but the word asking is pronounced [ɑ:skɪŋ]. In this case a
metathesis rule reorders the /s/ and /k/ in certain contexts. In old English the verb
was aksian, with the /k/ preceding the /s/. A historical metathesis rule switched
these two consonants, producing ask in most dialects of English.
Children’s speech shows many cases of metathesis (which are corrected
as the child approaches the adult grammar. [æmɪnəl] for animal and [pəsketi] for
spaghetti are common children’s pronunciations. Spoken American English
recognizes this particular phenomenon as cultural. Dog lovers even have
metathesized the Shetland sheepdog into a sheltie, and at least two presidents of
the United States have applied a metathesis rule to the word nuclear, which many
Americans pronounce [njukliər], but is pronounced [nukjələr] by those leading
statesmen.

Note: All examples of phonological processes having discussed above were taken
from Kisno, 2012.

C. MATERIAL COMPREHENSION TEST


1. Determine the rule of assimilation which occurs at the following word
boundaries.
a. Down payment f. Bus shelter
b. Basket maker g. Credit card
c. Birth certificate h. Give me
d. Roman calendar i. Cheese shop
e. In this way j. Who’s that?
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2. Determine the rule of elision which takes place at the following words
and phrases.
a. Post card f. Next day
b. Soft mattress g. Liberal
c. Last week h. Left behind
d. Certain i. Friendship
e. Of course j. Most famous

3. Identify places where coalescent assimilation may occur in the following


speech units.
a. What you need is a good job.
b. She didn’t go to France that year.
c. Could you open the window please?
d. You told me that you had your homework done.
e. You’ve already had yours!

4. Identify which of the phonological rules are applied in the following


items.
a. /æstərɪsk/ → /æstərɪks/
b. /sʌmθɪŋ/ → /sʌmpθɪŋ/
c. /ʤenərəl/ → /ʤenrl/
d. /fɪfθ / → /fɪft/
e. /wɒsp/ → /wɒps/
f. /həʊld ðə dɒg/ → /həʊl ðə dɒg/
g. /hu: els/ → /hu: wels/
h. /paɪpə/ → /phaɪpə/

D. REFERENCES
Books
Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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Universitas Pamulang Sastra Inggris

Kisno, K. 2012. Phonetics and phonology: Theory and practice. Jakarta-Batam:


Halaman Moeka and LLC Publishing.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.
Williamson, G. (2016, August 2). Epenthesis. Retrieved from
https://www.sltinfo.com/phon101-epenthesis/

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REFERENCES

Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction


Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12). Retrieved
from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.htm
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell
Publishers Inc.
Chen, C. E. (2005). Emily’s pronunciation class. Retrieved from
http://www2.nkfust.edu.tw/~emchen/Pron/index.htm
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson
Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of Language (10th
edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Gimson, A. 1970. An introduction to the pronunciation of English (2nd edition). London:
Edward Arnold.
Kisno, K. 2012. Phonetics and phonology: Theory and practice. Jakarta-Batam:
Halaman Moeka and LLC Publishing.
O’Connor, J. D. 1973. Phonetics. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Roach, P. 2009. Phonetics and phonology: A practical course (4thedition). UK:
Cambridge University Press.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology.
Jakarta: Native Indonesia.
The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3).
Retrieved from http://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/resources/english/english.html
Williamson, G. (2016, August 2). Epenthesis. Retrieved from
https://www.sltinfo.com/phon101-epenthesis/
Yule, G. 2006. The study of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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COURSE OUTLINE (RENCANA PEMBELAJARAN SEMESTER)1

Study Program : S-1 English Literature Credit : 2 credits


Course/Code : Phonology/SIG0212 Prerequisite : Introduction to Linguistics
Semester : IV Curriculum : KKNI
Course Description : This course is a compulsory subject in English Course learning : After completing this course, students
Department which provides an introduction to the outcomes are able to describe the English
basic concepts in the field of phonetics and language sound systems and some
phonology. It concentrates on some general common phonological phenomena
principles involved in speech production and how to based on the applicable scientific
articulate and transcribe the sounds using the IPA rules.
(International Phonetic Alphabet) chart. This
course also gives students knowledge on syllable
structures, sound patterns, suprasegmental
features (stress and intonation), and phonological
rules.

Writers : 1. Mia Perlina, S.S., M.Hum.


2. Bambang Irawan, S.S., M.Pd.

LEARNING LEARNING ASSESSMENT


MEETING MATERIALS LEARNING METHOD WEIGHT
OUTCOMES EXPERIENCE CRITERIA
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
1 To familiarize students Overview of phonetics Lecture and individual Material Completeness and 4%
with some basic and phonology assignment comprehension test 1 accuracy of the
concepts, key terms, (individual answers
and ideas in the field of assignment)
phonetics and
phonology
2 Be able to recognize the Consonants Lecture and Material Accuracy of the 7%
phonetic symbols of discussion comprehension test 2 arguments
consonants, and (small group
describe the 3 discussion)
parameters of the

1 Format RPS bersumber pada Buku Kurikulum Pendidikan Tinggi(DIKTI 2015)

Page | 159
LEARNING LEARNING ASSESSMENT
MEETING MATERIALS LEARNING METHOD WEIGHT
OUTCOMES EXPERIENCE CRITERIA
productions of the
consonants
3 Be able to describe English stops Lecture, discussion, Material Accuracy of the 6%
systematically the and individual practice comprehension test 3 answers
phonetic descriptions of (individual
the English stops using assignment)
the IPA chart, and
recognize the spelling
patterns for each sound
4 Be able to describe English fricatives Lecture, discussion, Material Completeness and 7%
systematically the and individual practice comprehension test 4 accuracy of the
phonetic descriptions of (small group answers
the English fricatives discussion)
using the IPA chart, and
recognize the spelling
patterns for each sound
5 Be able to describe English affricates, Lecture, discussion, Material Completeness and 7%
systematically the nasals, and and individual practice comprehension test 5 accuracy of the
phonetic descriptions of approximants (small group answers
the English affricates, discussion)
nasals, and
approximants using the
IPA chart, and
recognize the spelling
patterns for each sound
6 Be able to describe Distinctive features, Lecture and Material Completeness and 6%
distinctive features, phonotactic rules, and discussion comprehension test 6 accuracy of the
phonotactic rules, and consonant clusters (individual answers
consonant clusters assignment)
7 Be able to recount all Review of Meeting 1-6 Discussion quiz Completeness and 10%
the lessons covering accuracy of the
Meeting 1 to 6 answers

Mid-term test

Page | 160
LEARNING LEARNING ASSESSMENT
MEETING MATERIALS LEARNING METHOD WEIGHT
OUTCOMES EXPERIENCE CRITERIA
8 Be able to recognize the Vowels: Lecture and Material Accuracy of the 5%
phonetic symbols of Monophthongs discussion comprehension test 8 arguments
vowels, and describe (small group
the 4 parameters of the discussion)
productions of the
vowels
9 Be able to describe Front vowels Lecture, discussion, Material Accuracy of the 8%
systematically the and individual practice comprehension test 9 answers
phonetic descriptions of (group discussion)
the English front vowels
using the IPA chart, and
recognize the spelling
patterns for each sound
10 Be able to describe Central and back Lecture, discussion, Material Completeness and 6%
systematically the vowels and individual practice comprehension test accuracy of the
phonetic descriptions of 10 (individual answers
the English central and assignment)
back vowels using the
IPA chart, and
recognize the spelling
patterns for each sound
11 Be able to recognize the Diphthongs Lecture, discussion, Material Completeness and 8%
phonetic symbols and and individual practice comprehension test accuracy of the
spelling patterns for 11 (individual answers
each diphthong assignment)
12 Be able to identify the English syllable Lecture and Material Accuracy of the 9%
elements of the English structures discussion comprehension test answers
syllable structures 12 (group discussion)
13 Be able to describe the Suprasegmentals: Lecture, discussion, Material Accuracy of the 8%
stress placement in Stress, rhythm, and and individual practice comprehension test answers
words, phrases, and intonation 13 (group discussion)
sentences, describe the
rhythm, and identify the
types of intonation

Page | 161
LEARNING LEARNING ASSESSMENT
MEETING MATERIALS LEARNING METHOD WEIGHT
OUTCOMES EXPERIENCE CRITERIA
14. Be able to describe the Phonological rules Lecture and Material Completeness and 9%
phonological rules discussion comprehension test accuracy of the
14 (individual answers
assignment)

Final test

References:

Brinton, L. J. 2000. The structure of modern English: A linguistic introduction Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Cambridge University Press English Language Teaching. (2018, August 12). Retrieved from
www.cambridge.org/elt/resources/skills/interactive/pron_animations/index.htm
Carr, P. 1999. English phonetics and phonology: An introduction. USA: Blackwell Publishers Inc.
Chen, C. E. (2005). Emily’s pronunciation class. Retrieved from http://www2.nkfust.edu.tw/~emchen/Pron/index.htm
Dale, P. & Poms, L. 2005. English pronunciation made simple. New York: Pearson Education Inc.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. 2009. An introduction of Language (10 th edition). New York, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Gimson, A. 1970. An introduction to the pronunciation of English (2 nd edition). London: Edward Arnold.
Kisno, K. 2012. Phonetics and phonology: Theory and practice. Jakarta-Batam: Halaman Moeka and LLC Publishing.
O’Connor, J. D. 1973. Phonetics. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Roach, P. 2009. Phonetics and phonology: A practical course (4 thedition). UK: Cambridge University Press.
Sari, F. 2011. A practical guide to understanding English phonetics & phonology. Jakarta: Native Indonesia.
The University of Iowa the Phonetic Flash Animation Project. (2018, August 3). Retrieved from https://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/main/english
Williamson, G. (2016, August 2). Epenthesis. Retrieved from https://www.sltinfo.com/phon101-epenthesis/
Yule, G. 2006. The study of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Page | 162
Tangerang selatan, 1 February 2018
Head of Study Program Coordinator of
English Literature Phonology course

Djasminar Anwar, BA, Pg. Dipl, MA Mia Perlina, S.S., M.Hum.


NIDK. 8816420016 NIDN. 0403088603

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