Phonetics as a science
The subject of phonetics
The connection of phonetics with other branches of linguistic
The branches of phonetics
Language as the immediate actuality of thought exists in 2 speech forms: oral and written speech. Speech is the process of communication. Oral and written speech forms have a material substance. In oral speech the substance is phonic. In written speech the substance is graphic. The substance isn`t the language itself but it is what forms patterns in l-ge. The spoken message in communication forms units of the phonetic system of …
Segmental subsystem is formed by the sounds: vowels are the units of the vocalic subsystem, consonants are the units of the consonantal subsystem,
Suprasegmental system = prosodic system always exists with a segmental system. This system consists of some suprasegmental elements like pitch, stress, rhythm, tempo, pauses. With the help of this system syllable, rhythmic units, intonation groups, utterances are formed.
The sound substance is a medium in which the whole system of the l-ge is imbodied. Segmental and prosodic units help to form and to differentiate units of other subsystems of l-ge. (Lexical and grammatical sybsystems). The grammatical form of a word can be changed only by changing the sounds. (cat-catS) Be changing the prosodic structure (intonation) can change the meaning of the utterance. For ex, Well `done. `Well done.
Phonetics has a rather long history. It is known in the Ancient Greece. Phonetics began to develop in Russian and the western Europe only in the 2d half of the 19th century. Phonetics is not an independence science. Phonetics is the branch of Lexicology, grammar and stylistics. Phonetics is closely connected with the other branches. The connection of phonetics with the other branches is firstly exercised through orthography. Phonetics formulates the rules of pronunciation, sound combination and separate sounds.
Through the system of reading rules phonetics is connected with grammar. It helps to pronounce correctly singular and plural forms of nouns, the past tense forms and past participles of English regular verbs. For ex, “beg - begged”. Sound in change is another manifestation into change. It can be observed in the category of number, it helps to differentiate singular and plural (leaf – leaves).
2. Sometimes intonation alone serves to single out the communicative centre of the sentence. In affirmative sentences the rise nuclear tone may show that this is a question.
Only due to the presence of stress in the right place certain nouns can be distinguished from verbs. `object – obj`ect; `transfer – trans`fer.
Homographs can be differentiated only due to the pronunciation because they are identical in spelling. (lead [li:d] – lead [led])
This connection is realized through intonation, melody, stress, rhythm and etc. repetition of sounds, words and phrases. Repetition of consonants which is called alliteration helps to create a melodic effect and to express the particular emotions. “..the marry month in all the year is the marry month of May” The repetition of the sound ‘m’ creates the effect of joy.
Phonetics is also connected with nonlinguistic sciences: physiology, physics, psychology and so one.
From the point of view of the specification of the object of the study phonetics may be special and general. General p - The result of such study is a number of theories concerning l-ges as an abstraction. Phonetics may be descriptive and historical. Synchronical and diachronical approach. Discribtive phonetics studies the phonetics system in its state form, at a particular period of time. It studies synchronically. Historical p. studies the system in its historical development which means diachronically. It studies written documents, it compares spelling and pronunciation of one and the same word in different periods of the l-ge development.
From the point of view of linguistic study: phonetics may be divided into theoretical and practical one. Theoretical p. applies the theories worked out by the general phonetics to the l-ge it analyses. It deals with functioning of phonetic units in the l-he as a system. Applied p. is all the practical applications of phonetics. Practical p. deals with the functioning of phonetic units in speech. Comparative p. compares phonetics system with 2 or more l-ges and not only kindred ones – родственные языки.
From the point of view of the aspects of speech sounds: 1. articulatory phonetics, 2. auditory p, 3. acoustic p, 4. functional = social
Studies the sounds from the p of view of articulation and in connection with organs of speech by which they are produced. It employs experimental methods.
Studies man`s perception of sound phenomenon. It also employs experimental methods. Auditory p. is also called physiological phonetics because sound production and sound perception are physiological processes.
Investigates acoustic properties of sounds such as length, quality, intensity, pitch, it also employs experimental methods.
Phonology is also called functional p. It is a purely linguistic brunch dealing with the functional aspect of sound phenomenon. It discovers segmental and prosodic features that have a differentiatial value in a l-ge. This branch is quite new one. The basis of phonology is T.A. Baudouin de Courtenay, Sherba and others. Trubetskoy thinks that phonology should be separated from phonetics. He sais that phonetics is a biological science which is concerned with physical and physiological speech sound while phonology is a linguistic science and is concerned with the social function of phonetic phenomenon. The majority of Russian phonetitians do not consider logical to separate form and function and to exclude phonetics from the linguistic science.
All the brunches of phonetics are closely connected. Since the object of the study that is speech sounds is a close unity of acoustic, articulatory and linguistic aspects.
Articulatory analysis of speech sounds
Principles of classification of speech sounds.
Articulation basis. Differences in the articulation basis of English and Russian.
The articulatory classification of English consonants
- = - of English vowels
Speech sounds are subdivided into 2 main types: vowels and consonants. The main principals of this division are the following:
The presence or absence of abstraction
The distribution of muscular tension
The force of the air stream, coming from the lungs
Vowels are speech sounds based on voice. There is no abstraction in their articulation. The muscular tension is spread evenly throughout the speech organs. The force of the air stream is rather weak.
Consonants are speech sounds in articulation of which there is an abstraction. The removal of the abstraction causes nose explosion or friction. The force of the air stream is great.
The articulatory boundary between vowels and consonants is not well marked. There are speech sounds that occupy an intermediate position between vowels and consonants and they have common features with both of them. Sonorant: /m, n, y, r, l, w, j/. Like vowels they are largely based on voice. There is an abstraction in their articulation and the muscular tension is concentrated at the place of abstraction like in the production of consonants.
Some sonorants can be syllabic in some particular position. The consonants w, r, j due to their great sonority, they are sometimes refer to the semi-vowels.
Due to the identical structure of speech organs of people of different nations and races all l-ges have sounds of identical types. Being identical typologically these sounds are not identical articulator. The differences in the articulation of sounds in different l-ges are explained by the fact that each l-he has its own tendencies and modes of articulation.
The tongue is brandered and flattened
The tip is slightly down back from the teeth
The lips are neutral. The upper lip is tensed - напряжена.
English Russian
Tip of the tongue: apical dorsal
The bulk of tongue: tense to occupy more flat and lower positions than in the articulation of Russian consonants
Voice and voiceless distinction: in English voiceless consonants in final positions are strong while voiced consonants are weak and partially devoiced. (For ex, cat, bird). In Russian there are no voiced consonants in the final position. Voiceless consonants are weak except sonorants.
Lips: in Russian the lips are deliberately protruded and rounded (o, y). In English in the articulation of the similar sounds the protrusion does not take place.
Tongue: in English the tongue is slightly drown back. In Russian the tongue occupied mostly the front part of the mouth.
Tension: in English vowels are not very tense objectively, but they seem tense in comparison to Russian vowels. In English unstressed vowels do not differ in quality from a stressed one. /open/, /window/. In Russian an unstressed vowel is always short and different in quality fro the same vowel in the stressed syllable.
English vowels can be short or long. Difference between vowels: they differ in length. In Russian vowels differ in quality but not in quantity. They may be pronounced in a longer way for purposes of emphasis but the length of vowels doesn`t differentiate words with different meanings. (Bit [i] – beat [i:])
Russian phoneticians classify consonants according to:
Work of the vocal cords and the force of exhalation
Active organs of speech and the place of obstruction
The type of obstruction and the manner of nose production
The position of the soft palate
According to the vocal cords consonants are subdivided into voiced and voiceless. B/p, d/t, etc.
The force of exhalation and the degree of muscular tension are greater in the production of voiceless consonants that are called Fortis = strong – сильные. Voiced consonants are called Lenis = soft, weak. The muscular tension is weaker in their articulation.
According to the active organs of speech which form an obstruction consonants are subdivided into:
1. labial when the obstruction is formed by lips: bilabial /p, b, m, w/ and labia-dental /f, v/
2. lingual: forelingual (means the front part of the tongue) that subdivided into apical /t, d, s, z, th,/ and cucuminal sounds /r/; medialingual /j/; backlingual /h/
3. pharyngeal
According to the ways of obstruction consonants are claasified into:
Dental or interdental
Alveolar /t, d, n, w, s, z/
Postalveolar – the tip of the tongue is against the back part of the teeth range. /r/
Palatal /j/ - the tongue and the central part of the tongue
Palatal-alveolar /ch, sh, dз, з/
Velar /ng/
According to the type of obstruction they can be differentiated:
Occlusive (смычные) – in their production there is a complete closure (смычка) /t, d, /
Constrictive – in their production there is a constriction which means narrowing or incomplete closure /s, з/
Occlusive – constrictive – in their production the complete closure is immediately followed by a constriction. They are formed by the combination of a complete closure following by an incomplete one.
Manner of nose production: when the complete closure is broken the nose which appears is that of aplosure. The nose resulting from the movement of the narrow stream in the narrowing is that of friction. When closure is followed by narrowing the two effects are combined.
4.Position of the soft palate. English consonants is subdivided into:
2)nasal (m, n, ng).
When the soft palate is raised the air from the lungs gets into the mouse cavity. In this case oral consonants are produced. When the soft palate is lowed , the air from the lungs passes through the nasal cavity. In this way the nasal consonants are produced.
Classification of vowels
There is no abstraction in their pronunciation. English vowels are: long and short. There are vowels which consist of one or two letters.
1. Describe and classified vowels as respect to mother tongue with Daniel Johns. He worked out a system of 8 cardinal vowels. The system is an international standard which presents a set of artificial vowels and which contains all the vowel types existing in different languages in the world. Its important that any language can be represent. In reference to this system the vowel sounds of any real language in the world may be described and be classified. Sometimes this system is called the vocalic Esperanto.
Front part Back part
I (close vowel) u
E (half-close) o
e (half-open) o (полукруг)
a (open vowels) a
The tongue can move and vertically. And according to this movements Danial Jones represented his 8 cardinal vowels.
The position of the tongue: the bulk of the tongue conditions the production of different vowels most to all. Lots horizontal and veridical movement form the sound forms of particular language.
Front vowel BackClose – I u
Half-close – e o(short)
Half-open – ee а o(polykryg)
open - a a

5.Acfcording to the stability of articulation English vowels are classified into monophthongs and diphthongs (ei, ai, au, ou, ia, e, oe, ue).
Diphthongiset vowels – i:, u:.
In diphthongs there are 2 vowel elements:
The nucleus – is stronger, more definite and it is syllabic.
The glide
3 types of diphthongs:
Falling – the nucleus is stronger than the glide.
Rising – the glide is stronger than the nucleus.
Level – both elements are equal.
The English diphthongs are falling. Speaking about the rising diphthongs arecommon in Italian language.
Daniel Jons considers the diphthongs ie and ue in some positions is rising. Ex: happier.
In some position the diphthong ou, when it is pronounce as an exclamatory with a high-rising tone can be called level.
Phonological analysis of English speech sounds
The phoneme. Its definition, aspects and functions.
The phoneme theory.
Methods of phonological analysis.
Modifications of forms in speech.
Sound interchange.
Types of transcription.
1.Phonology – is a branch of phonetics which investigates sounds of speech as units which served people for communicative purposes. Unlike phonetics which studies as articulative and acoustic units. In real speech we pronounce a great variety of sounds. Some of the sounds help to differentiate words because they are different phonologically. Their interchange changes the meaning of the words and interferes with communication. Ex: pill – bill.
At the same time there are sounds which partially differ in articulation and acoustic value. But they don’t differ phonologically. They can’t differentiate words. Their substitution does not interfile with communication. It only causes a foreign accent. Ex: pill – p – is strongly aspirated. Spill – p - loses aspiration.
The firs type of vowels which is phonologically important is phonemes. Every language has a limited number of sound types that is of phonemes. They are shared by all the native speakers of the language, and they are linguistically important – they distinguish words. These sound types are called phonemes. In English there 20 vowel phonemes, and 24 consonants. In Russian 6 vowels and 5 consonants.
In actual speech sounds pronounced by speaker are variants of the phonemes existing in the language. And these really pronounced variants are called allophones. Ex: vain – wain.
Allophones – are sounds that cannot distinguish words in a definite language. They occur only in certain positions or in combination with certain sounds. They are realizations of one and same phoneme.
L – call [ko:l], light /lait/. Dark L and light L.
Linguists have not arrived to the definition to the phoneme acceptable to all.
There are several conceptions of the phoneme among Russian and foreign
linguists and non of them is satisfactory from all points of view. The difficulty of giving such a definition lies in the fact the phoneme has several aspects and functions. That’s why it’s impossible to give a formal definition in a single sentence that would reflect all the aspects and function.
Professor Vasil’ev suggests a rather short working definition.
The phoneme – is the smallest further indivisible into small segments language unit that exists in the speech of all the members of a given language community as such speech sounds which are capable of distinguishing one word from another word of the same language, or one grammatical from another of the same word.
The phoneme is a dialectical unity of the 3 aspects reflected in the above mentioned definition:
The phoneme is material, real and objective – a phoneme has a material aspect in the sense that it is represented by concrete material sounds. It’s allophones. In other words the phoneme exists in speech in the material form of speech sounds. What is material is at the same time is real. The phoneme is the linguistic reality, because it exists in actual speech. The phoneme is objective because it exists independently of the will of individuals. One person can change the number of phonemes.
The phoneme is instructional and generalized – is obstructional and generalized character phoneme of the world. The phoneme is abstracted from its allophones, but at the same time it is characterized by the features common to all of them. Ex: phoneme/ b/ - exclusive, bilabial, same allophones can be partially devoiced.
The phoneme is also a functional unit –the first aspect is reflected in the definition by Vasil’ev as the smallest language unit capable of differentiating words and their grammatical forms.
The 3 three aspects are interconnected and they determine one another.
The 3 linguistic functions are:
The distinctive function – consists in the differentiation of the language units higher than the phoneme itself. The distinctive function of the phoneme may be subdivided: 1) morpheme distinctive – teach and teacher; 2) word or form distinctive – pen-ten, ask – asks(form); 3)sentence distinctive – It was cold – It was gold – It was bold; The distinctive function is the principle function of the phoneme.
The constitutive function – though the phoneme in isolation has no meaning it is linguistically important because in their material forms it constitutes words, morphemes which are meaningful.
The identificatory function – the recognitive function consists in making words with their grammatical forms and then whole sentences easily recognizable as the result of the use of the right phoneme in the right place.
2. The theory came into being into Russia. It was founded by professor I.A. Baudoun de Courtenou. The fundamental principals of the phoneme theory were worked out by him during the 1870. His teaching eventually became known in Western Europe primarily through his disciples. He was a representer of sociological school of linguistics which was current in his time. According to his theory a speech sound is a sound of definite acoustic quality produced by the organs of speech. An given speech sound is incapable of variation. A phoneme is defined by him as a group of related sounds of a given language which is so used in the connected speech that no one of them ever occurs in the positions which any other can occupy.
Speech sounds which belong to the same phoneme cannot distinguish one word from another. But phonemes distinguish one word from another in the same language. B de c point of view was later developed by his disciple Lev Sherba (1880 – 1944). Hi separated phonetic from phonology and stated that sounds are not only articulative and acoustic units, but they also possess functional properties. Sherba noted that in actual speech we pronounce a greater variety of sounds then we are aware of. In every language all these sounds are united in a comparatively small number of sound types. These sound types are capable of distinguishing meanings and forms of words. These sound types are called phonemes. And the actual speech sounds that we pronounce and that are the individual representing the universal are called phonemic variants or allophones.
Sherba’s conception is a true materialistic theory of the phoneme. He was the first to define the phoneme as a real independent distinctive unite which manifests itself in the form of its allophones.
There are some other view on the nature of the phoneme.
From physical point of view the phoneme is a family of related sounds in which varies members of the family must show articulatory similarity to one another and at the same time no member of the family may occur at the same phonetic contest as any other. This approach overestimates the material aspect of the phoneme since it view the phoneme as a group of articulateraly similar sounds without any regard to its functional and abstract aspects. The physical point of view was put forward by Daniel Jones. A similar approach is expressed by the French linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. He viewed the phoneme as the sound of acoustic impressions and particular movements.
The opposite approach is reflected in the so called functional view. It regards the phoneme as the minimal sound unit by which meanings may be differentiated without much regard to actually pronounced speech sounds. According to this conception the phoneme is not a family of sounds since in every sound not all the articulatory features are involved in the differentiation of meanings. Only the features helping differentiate meanings are called distinctive and they make the phoneme corresponding to them. That’s why the approach excludes not distinctive features from the phoneme.
The approach was first expressed by Nikolay Trubetskoy, the head of the linguistic school. He define the phoneme is a unity of phonologically relevant features. He wrote that when the phoneme is neutralized it becomes an arci phoneme, which is an obstruction combining the distinctive features common to 2 forms. Ex: luk – lug. According to his point both g and k represent the arci phoneme k which is neither voiced nor voiceless.
The similar view is expressed by American phoneticians who defined the phoneme as a bunch of distinctive features and obstructional fiction.
3.The first problem of phonological analysis is to establish the phonemes in a definite language. This can be done with a help of particular phonological groups. There exist two principal methods of phonological analysis:
Distributional method – is based on the phonological rule that different phonemes can freely occur in one and the same position while allophones of one and the same phoneme occur in different positions. Ex: pi – bi – the same set of sounds, but p and b differentiate words. That’s why the distributional method of analysis is a purely formal method of identifying the phonemes of a language. This methods works even if a linguist does not know the language he analysis.
Semantic method - is based on the phonological rule that a phoneme can distinguish words when a post to one another or to a zero phoneme in an identical phonetic position.
The oppositions when a phoneme is a post to the phoneme are called a phonological opposition. (See – sees – seat) When a phoneme is a post to a zero phoneme is called zero opposition. (See – sees) The pairs of words which differ only in one speech sound are called minimal pairs. (Pill – Bill)
The semantic method attaches great attention to meaning. The investigator studies the function of sounds by collecting minimal pairs of words in the language. If 2 speech sounds distinguish words with different meanings they form a phonological opposition and are realizations of 2 different phonemes. If not – they are allophones of one and the same phoneme. The method was used to study the phonetic structure of the small nations of a former USSR and it helped to create written forms of these languages.
There are some cases when the establishment of phonological oppositions is not enough to determine the phonetic states of the sound. In the English language there are some sounds of a complex nature. Ex: tch, dzh, tr, dr, ts, dz.
In the English language these sounds form phonological oppositions and distinguish words. (eat – each) At the same time we have had – hage, die – dry, hat – hats. Are all the combinations monophonemic or byphonemic.
There are rues worked out by Nikolay Trubetskoy wich help to answer this question:
The main rule is that the phoneme is indivisible that is why no syllabic division can occur within a phoneme.
A phoneme is produced by one articulatory afford.
The duration of a phoneme should not exit the duration of other phonemes in the language.
First of all tsh and dzh (cheese, gale) are monophonemic, because acoustic physiological analysis proved that these sounds are produced by one articulatory afford and no syllabic divisions occur within these phonemes. They are phonemes.
Ts – dz – are byphonemic combinations because their duration exits (превышать) the average duration of the sounds t, d, s, and z.
Tr – dr – the phonetic stators of these clusters is not decided yet. Danial Jones calls them affricates as well as d and dzh, but other phoneticians regard them as byphonemic clusters.
There are monothongs and diphthongs. The same problem concern the phonemic stators o the English diphthongs and so-called triphthongs whether they are monophonemic or byphonemic. The syllabic and articulatory indivisibility of English diphthongs determine their monophonemic character in English. Aie , aue – it has been proved that they cannot be considered an monophonemic because they are not produced by single articulatory afford, and there is an increase in the force of articulation and intensity not only for the first element but for the second as well. Moreover the syllabic division generally occurs between the diphthong and the third element. Ex: flower (oue). That’s why they are combinations of the triphthongs and the neutral vowel e.
It was established that in standard English pronunciation which is called received pronunciation there are 12 vowel monothongs, there are 8 diphthongs and 24 consonant phonemes.
4.In connected speech every phoneme displaced a vast range of variation. There are 3 principal types of phoneme variation:
Idiolectal variation – they are individual peculiarities of pronunciation which are caused by the individual shape and form of the speakers speech organs and by his articulative habits. Ex: a speaker can lisp, mumble, stemmer and so on. Caused a lot of difficulty in communication.
Diaphonic variation – affects the quality and quantity of particular phonemes. It is caused by historical tendencies active in certain localities. Ex: [e – a] Class. Diaphonic variations do not affect intelligibility in speech. They inform the listener about the speaker’s origin and its social standing.
Allophonic variation – is the less noticeable. It is caused by phonetic position. The influence of the neighboring sounds and the style of speech. Allophonic variations in vowels:
Reduction. In unstressed syllables English vowels are considered modified which causes such a variation a phoneme as reduction. Reduction is weakening of articulation and shortening of the duration of unstressed vowels resulting in modification of their quality and quantity. There are 3 types of reduction:
1) Qualitative reduction. Ex: can [ken].
2) Quantitative reduction. Ex: he [hi].
3) Zero reduction (elision). Vowel disappears in unstressed syllable. Ex: can [kn].
- Accommodation – a process of adapting the articulation of a vowel to a consonant or vice or versa consonant to a vowel. Ex: man – ten. E becomes nasalized.
Allophonic variations in consonants:
The quality of an English consonant mostly depends on its positions in a word or utterance. Ex: in the final position voiced consonants lose their closive and voiced character. Ex: God.
Sh, zh, tch, dzh, l – they are slightly palatalized before mid and close vowels and the sound [j]. Ex: June. The palatalization of these sounds is caused by the anticipatory up word movement of the bulk of the tongue for the next sound.
Assimilation – it’s a modification of a consonant under the influence of the neighboring sounds. In fact it’s only consonants. Types of assimilation: according to the direction of assimilation it can be of 4 types:
1) Progressive assimilation – when the first sound influences the following one making it similar to itself. Ex: desks – s, bags – z.
2) Regressive assimilation – the second of the two sounds makes the first similar to itself. Ex: at the. T becomes dental under the influence of interdental th.
3) Double (reciprocal) assimilation – when two sounds influence each other changing their articulation. Ex: twice – t influences w, and w becomes partially devoiced. The sound w is rounded, but t is not, after the influences the sound t becomes rounded.
4) Coalescent assimilation – it results in the appearance of a new phoneme. It happens when the sound [jt] or [jd] and [zj]. Ex: how do you do? When we pronounce it quickly the sound d and j become close to each other.
In Russian voiceless voiced distinction can be completely lost. Ex: субпродукты. The sound b becomes under assimilation.
There are 2 obligatory assimilations of this type in English:
1. Used to – in this case you should pronounce it [st].
2. But I used two pens. [zd] Have to – to have.
There is one more process underdone both by vowels and consonants. It is called allysion. It is a disappearance of a sound in speech; there are 2 types of allysion:
1) Historical – reflects the process in which a sound which existed in a earlier form of a word was emitted in its later form. [kabed]
2) Juxtapositional - in such allysion a sound which exists in a word pronounced by itself is dropped in connected speech. Ex: blind man, sit down.
Assimilation or all the allophonic variations occur not only in rapid and careless speech. They are characteristic of standard pronunciation, but they are more obvious and more frequently occur in the colloquial and fluent speech. Absence of these modifications informs the listener that the speaker is not a native speaker of the language.
Causes of allophonic modifications
1) It’s generally considered that allophonic modification is caused by the economy of effort. Which means that the speaker avoids articulatory movements which are not absolutely necessary for intelligibility of speech. That’s why consonants b, d, g in final positions can be voiceless. But they are not replaced by the forties p, t, k.
2) Grammont M. claims that allophonic variations regulated by the law of the stronger. According to it the stronger phoneme influences the weaker adapting it to itself because its articulation is stronger and more stable or because it has particular position in this syllable. The phonetician supposes that the analysis of the combinatore phenomena among phonemes can revile the phonemes that resist modifications. Of course - /ef ko:s/ He supposes that v is assimilated by k.
3) Some scholars consider that the factor that regulates phoneme modifications is the frequency of occurrence of phonemes in phonemic clusters. Frequent phonemes resist modifications and modify rare phonemes. / T, n, s, th, l, d/ - are most frequent resisting modifications.
5. Sound interchange. In English as well as in the other languages there are cases when different speech sounds occur in different derivatives from the same root. Ex: speak – speech. Speak – spoke. Such changes are known in linguistics as sound interchange = alternation of sound. These abstitutions of one sound to another is not accidental, but a regular phenomena. These sounds that can replace each other in definite cases form a so called alternation series. The causes of sound interchange may be:
- Synchronic – are those which are connected with the influence of phonetic laws operating in the language at a given stage of its development; Ex: contextual assimilation, reduction of vowels due to the loss of stress, peculiarities of pronunciation of the sounds in different positions etc. Such sound interchanges are called phonetic alternations or positional alternations sounds. The most important phonetic alternations accompany grammatical phenomena. 1) [t] [d] [id] – the alternation series for the suffix ed of the past tense of regular words. 2) [s] [z] [iz] –the alternation series which occurs in the suffix s, es of the plural form of nouns. 3)[s] [z] [iz] – the alternation series of the 3rd person singular.
- Diachronic – dated back to some previous period in the historical development of the language; For ex: gradation and mutations of sounds. Sound interchange caused by diachronic causes is called historical alternation of sounds. Historical alternations play an important part in present day form and word building.
Vowel alternations are used:
To form the plural of some nouns. Ex: man – men.
To build the basic forms of the irregular forms. Ex: [I – e – a] Begin – began – begun. [I – e – e] meet – met – met.
To distinguish different parts of speech. [o – i] hot – hit.
To distinguish causative verbs from other verbs. To rise – to raise, ti sit – to set.
To distinguish words, which are etymologically related. Mead – meadow, shade – shadow.
Consonants alternations are used:
To distinguish forms of word. Ex: send – sent – sent.
To distinguish parts of speech. Ex: to speak – Speech.
The suffix sh, zh. To express – expression.
To form plural of some nouns. Ex: leaf – leaves, house – houses.
6. Types of transcription.
Transcription – is a visual system of notation of the sound structure of speech. The first attempts to represent speech sounds date back to the 16th century. Nowadays there are two types of transcription:
Phonemic - broad transcription – it’s based on the principal one symbol per phoneme. That’s why the transcription denotes the phoneme as an abstraction and generalization. The symbols of the phonemic transcription are placed between diagonals.
Allophonic – narrow transcription- is based on the principal one symbol per one allophone. An allophonic transcription provides a special sign for each variant of the phoneme. The symbols are placed between square brackets and there are usually diacritic marks used. Letter – [t> - галочка должна быть под буквой], men – [e>] nasalization. [l] – it can be clear and can be dark.
Nowadays the most widely used transcription is the international phonetic transcription. It was devised by the international phonetic association in 1904. It’s a phonetic alphabet which may be acquired to most of the world languages. The transcription also has broad and narrow types. The broad one is based mostly on Latin symbols, the narrow one makes use of diacritic marks.
The syllabic structure of English
Syllable as a phonetic and phonological unit.
Functions of the syllable.
Types of syllables.
The structure of the English syllable.
The main rules of syllable division in modern English.
Theories of syllable formation and syllable division.
1.Phonems are the smallest segments into which the speech is divided for purposes of analysis. But in real speech sounds are not pronounced separately. And sometimes it’s practically impossible to drop boundaries between them. If we slow down our speech and try to articulate sounds distinctly we shall see that the smallest units into which speech is divided are syllables.
J. Kenyon. According to him the syllable – is one or more speech sounds forming a single an interrupted unit of alterance, which may be a whole word or a commonly recognized and separable subdivision of a word (Eng-lish) or a word form. (Late – later). The syllable can be considered as both a phonetic and a phonological unit.
As a phonetic unit the syllable can be characterized in articulatory, auditory and acoustic terms with the universal application for all languages. Acoustically and auditory the syllable is characterized by the force of utterance ( stress). It also can be characterized by pitch of the voice, by length and others. Auditory the syllable is the smallest unit of perception, which means that the listener first identify the syllable and only after that its sound structure. The articulatory energy constitutes in the syllable results from the combination of actions of the vibrator, resonator and obstructer.
As a phonological unit the syllable can be described only with reference to the particular language. Because each language has its own rules combining phonemes into syllables.
Some combinations are permissible others are not. That’s why one and the same word can be interpreted differently in terms of its syllabic structure. Ex: kna-be - consists of two syllables (the German point of view), [ke-na-be] – English.
The ancient Greece noticed that vowels and consonants fulfill different functions in speech. The function of a vowel is to occupy the central position in sound combinations, while consonants serve as margins of the sound combinations. The very term consonant means sounding with something. It all means that vowels are always syllabic, and consonants are incapable of forming syllables without vowels. In some languages some sonorous consonants can by syllabic.
3. Types of syllables
According to the length syllables may be short and long. The unit of syllable length is called the mora. It is equal to the duration of a short vowel sound or a short syllable. The duration of long syllable is equal to 2 moras. In some languages as Latin for example the position of word stress is determined by counting the number of moras, but not syllables from the end of the word. English and Russian are syllable countable languages.
Syllables may be classified according to the exentual wit. That is according to the variation in the force of utterance. From this point of view syllables can be stressed and unstressed. The stressed syllables can be with primary stress and the second stress.
In ma monophonemic syllable one phoneme is the vowel and it forms the hole of the syllable. Ex: or – owe. In a polyphonemec syllable the vowel form the crest of the syllable. The consonants presiding or following the crest form syllable slows. Vowels are always syllabic occupying the central position of the syllable. Consonants are not syllabic and marginable. According to the presents number and arrangements of consonants of the syllable there are 23 syllable patterns in the English. They can be: V, CV, VC, CC… In a syllable there can be up to 3 consonants before vowel and up to 4 consonants up to it. Ex: texts.
Syllable patterns
The most frequent and fundamental is CVC – doll, cat.
Syllables with to consonants at the beginning constitute ore then 50 combinations. 246 combinations in Russian. Ex – speak.
Syllable with 3 consonants at the beginning constitute 14 combination in English and 97 in Russian.
Maximum at the beginning can be 3 consonants in English.
There are certain restrictions on the possible consonants clusters in English. At the initial position the restriction is:
Before the vowel they can be any vowel except the consonant ng.
No consonant combinations are possible with the consonants [th], [z], [tsh], [dzh].
The following consonant clusters are impossible initially: kn, gn, mh, sr, ssh, spw, fs, hr,
In Russian language the combinations are quite possible.
Speaking about the final consonants final clusters are much more complex then the initial ones. And they are more complex than in the Russian language. This is due to the fact that final clusters in English express grammatical meanings. Ex: plurality, tens, ordinal number and so on. While in Russian most grammatical meanings are expressed by prefixes. Ex: Вскрикнуть.
5. The main rules of syllable division in modern English.
The boundaries between syllables in English are predetermine by the restrictions on the possible combinations of phonemes.
English historically short stressed vowels occur only in a closed syllable. It means that the syllabic boundary never occurs after the vowel, but after the following consonant. Ex: lovely. Sometime
Sometimes the boundary can be within the consonants and this is the only consonant between the short vowel and the succeeding vowel. Ex: letter, bigger. The consonants split into tool. If a short stressed vowel is separated by one consonant from a syllabic sonant the boundary between the syllables is also within the consonants. Ex: little.
2. When a long monothongs a diphthong or an unstressed short vowel is separated by a succeeding vowel by one consonant the syllable in which the vowel occurs is always open. Ex: i-dea.
3. When there is a cluster of consonants between 2 vowels the place of the syllabic bounder is a conditioned by whether the … possible or impossible.
a) if a cluster can occur in the initial position the syllabic boundary is before it. Ex: a-gree.
b) if a cluster does not occur initially the boundary is between the consonants. Ex: to ad-mit.
c) when 2 vowel are separated by more than 2 consonants the boundary can be in different positions depending on whether the clusters are possible or impossible in the beginning of the word.
4. The so called triphthongs in English are by syllabic combinations. They contain 2 vowels and the boundary is between those vowels. Ex: flow-er.
There exist different theories expressing different points of view on syllable formation and syllable division.
1. The most ancient theory states that there are as many syllables as there are vowel. The theory is primitive and insufficient, because it does not take into the consideration the consonants which in some languages can be syllabic. The theory does not explain the boundaries between syllables.
2. Among the oldest theories is the so called expiratory theory. A syllable is a sound or a group of sounds that are pronounced in one puls. There are as many syllables in a word as there are chulstpulses may during the utterance of the word. Each vowel sound is pronounced with increased inspiration. Boundaries between syllables occur in the places where there are changes in the air pressure. The theory does not explain all the cases of syllable division. For example: it is doubtful that just opposed vowels are pronounced with a double chalstpuls, though linguistically they are divided into 2 … If the pronunciation of the word star there are 2 expiratory pulses.
Varieties of English language
1.general notes on dialects.
2. Pronunciation types of British eng.
3. National pronunciations types of eng.
4. American pronunciation. Principal differences between received pronunciation and general American.
5. Styles of speech.
1. there exist numerous variants of pronunciation in eng language. The pronunciation of almost every locality in the British isles has some peculiarities. The varieties of all language spoken by social limited number of people and used in certain localities are called dialects. There are:
1) Social dialects – cockney – the most famous social dialect. Spoken by the less educated part of the Londoners.
2) Local dialects – Cornish dialect, Geordie.
Dialect speakers are less educated. Educated people speak use more standard English comprising modern pronunciation of vocabulary units and most frequent prosodic patterns. This type is called the orthopedic norm. The orthopedic norm of the language is the standard pronunciation adopted as the majority of the native speakers as the right and proper way of speaking. It is used by the most educated part of the population.
There well established pronunciation variant are fixed in the dictionaries as the first variants. While less common variants as the secondary ones. But the orthopedic norm is not fixed ones and forever. It’s changing under the influence of non-standard eng. If secondary variants become more frequent in the speech of educated people they are given as the first variants in the pronunciation dictionaries. Ex: Denial Jones “ English pronounced in dictionary”. Again – 1937 [agein], [agen]. Some time later 1946 [agen], [agein]. Those orthopedic norm of British eng is called received pronunciation.
2. Many educated people do not speak orthopedic norm, they speak standard eng with the regional accent. There are 3 types of cultivated eng in Britain nowadays:
Southern eng pronunciation – it is the most standard. It also called Received Pronunciation (RP). Public school pronunciation. BBC eng. For reasons of politics and the presents of the court the pronunciation of the south-east of England and London in particular began to acquire an exceptional social prestige in the 16 century. In the course of time this variant lost some local characteristics. The southern type has been finely fixed in the speech of the educated people through the influence of the public schools of the 19 century. Such as Eaton . that’s why this pronunciation it is called as public school pronunciation. This pronunciation is not taught in this schools but adopted by the pupils automatically because the children get there at the age of 11 when pronunciation is most flexible. Being isolated from parents and communicating only with their classmates and teachers pupils acquire so called public school accent. Later on most public school pupils enter Oxford and Cambridge universities preserving their pronunciation and than most of them take the leading positions in poetics, in the army and so on. That’s why the southern pronunciation is suppose to be a prestige accent. This variant has become even more widely known because of it’s being accepted as the standard by the British broadcasting corporation (BBC), because it’s the most widely understood type of pronunciation. Denial Jones made the term received pronunciation.
Northern eng pronunciation – this is the speech of the people born and brought up between Burmingen and the border of Scotland. It is containing some features of the letter modified by the local habits. The most marked differences are the following:
[e] [a] [men,bad]
[a] [e] [glass – gless]
[a] [u] [Cap – cup]
[ei] [e] [Teik – tek]
[ou] [o:] [gou – go:]
Tone sin NE are drawed and speech is slower than in Southern eng. The low rising tone is used much more often than in Received Pronunciation. All that gives a sing song quality to speech.
Standard eng of Scotland - This type represents the earlier type of London eng of the 16-18 centuries. This type was carried to America and that’s why there are a lot of features I common between American and NE accents. It considerably modified by Southern Eng, but some of its features go back to North Sangrian dialect of the Anglo-Saxon tongue.
[r] [r – like Russian] [mor, born]
[l] [ dark l] – in all positions.
[h] [h – like in Russian]
Beck lingual fricative phoneme similar to the Russian h is used in words like Loch, caught [koht].
[hw] – with the initial diagraph wh – which [hvitch]
[e] [a] – bed, man.
[a] [e] – [glass – gles]
Scottish intonation is very little described.
3. English is the mother tongue of a few nations, that’s why it has the national variants. These variants has very much in common, but they also have some peculiarities of pronunciation.
-British Isles: Southern, Northern, Scottish.
-USA – Eastern American, Western American, Southern American.
- Canada
New zelandSouth Africa
4. American pronunciation.
In the US there are 3 types of the cultivated speech : 1. The eastern type:
The southern type.
The western type (general American) – is referred to the standard pronunciation.
Though many linguist doubt that there is a standard English in the US, general American pronunciation has the greatest acceptability and prestige in the US.
T – it becomes more voiced.
Sh – becomes zh.
English vowels have the characteristic of length.
The sound o – becomes less violosed .Ex received pronunciation – secretary. In America is pronounced with 2 stresses. Communicative – nu is stressed, in general American ca is stressed.
The main difference in the accentual system of general American is that in polysintactic words with the primary stress on the 4 syllable from the end there is a weak secondary stress on the suffix ( ory, nory, ative). In received pronunciation the vowel in the suffixes is usually redused to the nutral e or dropped out.
Reading rules.
Ate[et] [eit]
Tomato[temateu] [temeiteu]
Schedule[shedjul] [skedu:l]
The pronunciation of words in GA follows the analogical principal. Its in closer accordance with general reading rules.
Spelling: theatre (BE). Theater (GA).Behaviour (BE), behavior (GA)
On the whole linguists suppose that the most important different between British and American pronunciations is intonation. British intonation has wider melodic curse and more rapid changes. That’s why the speech of an Englishmen sounds explosive and manaristic to the Americans. While American speech sounds unemotional, dry, hesitating and monotones to the Englishmen. The most important differences are the following:
Statements – the situation is intolerable. The general idea is that the tune begins low, rises to a high level with the nuclear and that steadily falls down.
General questions: they have arising tone in GA if a polite form is necessary. Ex: will u have /tea with me?
Special questions: in both pronunciations they have a falling tone. Ex: When is he /co\ming?(GA)
Polite requests: Ex: Hurry /up! In RP usually a fall rise is used in polite requests. Fall raised is used only for children.

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