English Phonetics and Phonology. A practical course. Fourth edition. PETER ROACH. Frrieritus Prºfessor of Phonetics. University ºf Reading. º CAMBRIDGE. Roach, Peter (Peter John). English phonetics and phonology: a practical course / Peter Roach. – 4th ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. English Phonetics and Phonology: A practical course by Peter Roach has been a leading coursebook English phonetics and phonology.

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The phonology and phonetics of English English Phonetics and Phonology: A practical course by Peter Roach has been a leading coursebook. English Phonetics and Phonology. A practical course. Second edition. Peter Roach. Professor of Phonetics. University of Reading. CAMBRIDGE. UNIVERSITY. Review of "English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course (4th edition, enhanced ebook)" by Peter Roach. Laura Patsko. KEYNOTE Another case study .

No pronunciation course that I know has ever said that learners must try to speak with a perfect RP accent. To claim this mixes up models with goals: Pronunciation exercises can be difficult, of course, but if we eliminate everything difficult from language teaching and learning, we may end up doing very little beyond getting students to play simple communication games. It is, incidentally, quite incorrect to suggest that the classic works on pronunciation and phonetics teaching concentrated on mechanically perfecting vowels and consonants: Jones , first published , for example, writes " 'Good' speech may be defined as a way of speaking which is clearly intelligible to all ordinary people.

A person may speak with sounds very different from those of his hearers and yet be clearly intelligible to all of them, as for instance when a Scotsman or an American addresses an English audience with clear articulation. Their speech cannot be described as other than 'good'" pp. Much has been written recently about English as an International Language, with a view to defining what is used in common by the millions of people around the world who use English Crystal, ; Jenkins, This is a different goal from that of this book, which concentrates on a specific accent.

The discussion of the subject in Cruttenden Chapter 97 is recommended as a survey of the main issues, and the concept of an International English pronunciation is discussed there.

There are many different and well-tried methods of teaching and testing pronunciation, some of which are used in this book. I do not feel that it is suitable in this book to go into a detailed analysis of classroom methods, but there are several excellent treatments of the subject; see, for example, Dalton and Seidlhofer ; Celce-Murcia et al. Written exercises The exercises for this chapter are simple ones aimed at making you familiar with the style of exercises that you will work on in the rest of the course.

The answers to the exercises are given on page The muscles in the chest that we use for breathing produce the flow of air that is needed for almost all speech sounds; muscles in the larynx produce many different modifications in the flow of air from the chest to the mouth. After passing through the larynx, the air goes through what we call the vocal tract, which ends at the mouth and nostrils; we call the part comprising the mouth the oral cavity and the part that leads to the nostrils the nasal cavity.

Here the air from the lungs escapes into the atmosphere. We have a large and complex set of muscles that can produce changes in the shape of the vocal tract, and in order to learn how the sounds of speech are produced it is necessary to become familiar with the different parts of the vocal tract. These different parts are called articulators, and the study of them is called articulatory phonetics. It represents the human head, seen from the side, displayed as though it had been cut in half.

You will need to look at it carefully as the articulators are described, and you will find it useful to have a mirror and a good light placed so that you can look at the inside of your mouth. If you look in your mirror with your mouth open, you can see the back of the pharynx. Yours is probably in that position now, but often in speech it is raised so that air cannot escape through the nose. The other important thing about the soft palate is that it is one of the articulators that can be touched by the tongue.

When we make the sounds k, g the tongue is in contact with the lower side of the soft palate, and we call these velar consonants. You can feel its smooth curved surface with your tongue.

A consonant made with the tongue close to the hard palate is called palatal. The sound j in 'yes' is palatal. You can feel its shape with your tongue. Its surface is really much rougher than it feels, and is covered with little ridges.

You can only see these if you have a mirror small enough to go inside your mouth, such as those used by dentists. Sounds made with the tongue touching here such as t, d, n are called alveolar. It is usual to divide the tongue into different parts, though there are no clear dividing lines within its structure.

This use of the word "front" often seems rather strange at first. This is for the sake of a simple diagram, and you should remember that most speakers have teeth to the sides of their mouths, back almost to the soft palate. The tongue is in contact with the upper side teeth for most speech sounds. Sounds made with the tongue touching the front teeth, such as English T, D, are called dental. They can be pressed together when we produce the sounds p, b , brought into contact with the teeth as in f, v , or rounded to produce the lip-shape for vowels like u:.

Sounds in which the lips are in contact with each other are called bilabial, while those with lip- to-teeth contact are called labiodental.

The seven articulators described above are the main ones used in speech, but there are a few other things to remember. Firstly, the larynx which will be studied in Chapter 7 could also be described as an articulator - a very complex and independent one. Secondly, the jaws are sometimes called articulators; certainly we move the lower jaw a lot in speaking. But the jaws are not articulators in the same way as the others, because they cannot themselves make contact with other articulators. Finally, although there is practically nothing active that we can do with the nose and the nasal cavity when speaking, they are a very important part of our equipment for making sounds which is sometimes called our vocal apparatus , particularly nasal consonants such as m, n.

Again, we cannot really describe the nose and the nasal cavity as articulators in the same sense as i to vii above. The most common view is that vowels are sounds in which there is no obstruction to the flow of air as it passes from the larynx to the lips. A doctor who wants to look at the back of a patient's mouth often asks them to say "ah"; making this vowel sound is the best way of presenting an unobstructed view.

But if we make a sound like s, d it can be clearly felt that we are making it difficult or impossible for the air to pass through the mouth. Most people would have no doubt that sounds like s, d should be called consonants. However, there are many cases where the decision is not so easy to make. One problem is that some English sounds that we think of as consonants, such as the sounds at the beginning of the words 'hay' and 'way', do not really obstruct the flow of air more than some vowels do.

Another problem is that different languages have different ways of dividing their sounds into vowels and consonants; for example, the usual sound produced at the beginning of the word 'red' is felt to be a consonant by most English speakers, but in some other lan- guages e. Mandarin Chinese the same sound is treated as one of the vowels.

If we say that the difference between vowels and consonants is a difference in the way that they are produced, there will inevitably be some cases of uncertainty or disagreement; this is a problem that cannot be avoided.

It is possible to establish two distinct groups of sounds vowels and consonants in another way. Consider English words beginning with the sound h; what sounds can come next after this h? We find that most of the sounds we normally think of as vowels can follow e. Now think of English words beginning with the two sounds bI; we find many cases where a consonant can follow e. What we are doing here is looking at the different contexts and positions in which particular sounds can occur; this is the study of the distribution of the sounds, and is of great importance in phonology.

Study of the sounds found at the beginning and end of English words has shown that two groups of sounds with quite different patterns of distribution can be identified, and these two groups are those of vowel and consonant.

If we look at the vowel-consonant distinction in this way, we must say that the most important difference between vowel and consonant is not the way that they are made, but their different distributions.

It is important to remember that the distribution of vowels and consonants is different for each language. We begin the study of English sounds in this course by looking at vowels, and it is necessary to say something about vowels in general before turning to the vowels of English.

We need to know in what ways vowels differ from each other. The first matter to consider is the shape and position of the tongue. It is usual to simplify the very complex possibilities by describing just two things: Let us look at some examples: The difference between i: Tongue height can be changed by moving the tongue up or down, or moving the lower jaw up or down.

Usually we use some combination of the two sorts of movement, but when drawing side-of-the-head diagrams such as Fig. So we would illustrate the tongue height difference between i: By changing the shape of the tongue we can produce vowels in which a different part of the tongue is the highest point.

A vowel in which the back of the tongue is the highest point is called a back vowel. So now we have seen how four vowels differ from each other; we can show this in a simple diagram. Phoneticians need a very accurate way of classifying vowels, and have developed a set of vowels which are arranged in a close-open, front-back diagram similar to the one above but which are not the vowels of any particular language.

These cardinal vowels are a standard reference system, and people being trained in phonetics at an advanced level have to learn to make them accurately and recognise them correctly. If you learn the cardinal vowels, you are not learning to make English sounds, but you are learning about the range of vowels that the human vocal apparatus can make, and also learning a useful way of describing, classifying and comparing vowels.

They are recorded on Track 79 of CD 7. It has become traditional to locate cardinal vowels on a four-sided figure a quadrilateral of the shape seen in Fig. The exact shape is not really important - a square would do quite well - but we will use the traditional shape. The vowels in Fig. In this course cardinal vowels are printed within square brackets [ ] to distinguish them clearly from English vowel sounds.

Cardinal vowel no. After establishing these extreme points, it is possible to put in intermediate points vowels no. Many students when they hear these vowels find that they sound strange and exaggerated; you must remember that they are extremes of vowel quality.

It is useful to think of the cardinal vowel framework like a map of an area or country that you are interested in. If the map is to be useful to you it must cover all the area; but if it covers the whole area of interest it must inevitably go a little way beyond that and include some places that you might never want to go to. When you are familiar with these extreme vowels, you have as mentioned above learned a way of describing, classifying and comparing vowels.

We have now looked at how we can classify vowels according to their tongue height and their frontness or backness. There is another important variable of vowel quality, and that is lip-position. Although the lips can have many different shapes and positions, we will at this stage consider only three possibilities.

These are: This is most clearly seen in cardinal vowel no. The noise most English people make when they are hesitating written 'er' has neutral lip position. Now, using the principles that have just been explained, we will examine some of the English vowels. The symbols for these short vowels are: Short vowels are only relatively short; as we shall see later, vowels can have quite different lengths in different contexts. Each vowel is described in relation to the cardinal vowels.

The lips are slightly spread. The lip position is neutral. The lips are slightly rounded. The lips are rounded. This central vowel - which is called schwa - is a very familiar sound in English; it is heard in the first syllable of the words 'about', 'oppose', 'perhaps', for example.

Since it is different from the other vowels in several important ways, we will study it separately in Chapter 1. Notes on problems and further reading One of the most difficult aspects of phonetics at this stage is the large number of technical terms that have to be learned. Every phonetics textbook gives a description of the articulators. Useful introductions are Ladefoged Chapter 9 , Ashby , and Ashby and Maidment Chapter 7. An important discussion of the vowel-consonant distinction is by Pike He suggested that since the two approaches to the distinction produce such different results we should use new terms: This leaves the terms "vowel" and "consonant" for use in labelling phonological elements according to their distribution and their role in syllable structure; see Section 8.

While vowels are usually vocoids and consonants are usually contoids, this is not always the case; for example, j in 'yet' and w in 'wet' are phonetically vocoids but function pho- nologically as consonants.

A study of the distributional differences between vowels and consonants in English is described in O'Connor and Trim ; a briefer treatment is in Cruttenden Sections 7. The classification of vowels has a large literature: I would recommend Jones Chapter 5 ; Ladefoged gives a brief introduction in Chapter 9, and much more detail in Chapter 1; see also Abercrombie The Handbook of the International Phonetic Association Section 7.

Written exercises 9 On the diagram provided, various articulators are indicated by labelled arrows a-e. Give the names for the articulators. In this chapter we look at other types of English vowel sound.

The first to be introduced here are the five long vowels; these are the vowels which tend to be longer than the short vowels in similar contexts.

It is necessary to say "in similar contexts" because, as we shall see later, the length of all English vowel sounds varies very much according to their context such as the type of sound that follows them and the presence or absence of stress.

The five long vowels are different from the six short vowels described in Chapter 7, not only in length but also in quality. For this reason, all the long vowels have symbols which are different from those of short vowels; you can see that the long and short vowel symbols would still all be different from each other even if we omitted the length mark, so it is important to remember that the length mark is used not because it is essential but because it helps learners to remember the length difference.

Although the tongue shape is not much different from cardinal vowel no. This vowel is almost fully back and has quite strong lip-rounding. A vowel which remains constant and does not glide is called a pure vowel. In terms of length, diphthongs are similar to the long vowels described above. Foreign learners should, therefore, always remember that the last part of English diphthongs must not be made too strongly. The easiest way to remember them is in terms of three groups divided as in this diagram Fig.

The closing diphthongs have the characteristic that they all end with a glide towards a closer vowel. Because the second part of the diphthong is weak, they often do not reach a position that could be called close. The important thing is that a glide from a relatively more open towards a relatively closer vowel is produced.

Two diphthongs glide towards U, so that as the tongue moves closer to the roof of the mouth there is at the same time a rounding movement of the lips. This movement is not a large one, again because the second part of the diphthong is weak. There is only slight lip-rounding. They can be rather difficult to pronounce, and very difficult to recognise.

The triphthongs can be looked on as being composed of the five closing diphthongs described in the last section, with O added on the end. Thus we get: Because of this, the middle of the three vowel qualities of the triphthong i. To add to the difficulty, there is also the problem of whether a triphthong is felt to contain one or two syllables.

We will not go through a detailed description of each triphthong. However, to help identify these triphthongs, some example words are given here: Long vowels and diphthongs can be seen as a group of vowel sounds that are consistently longer in a given context than the short vowels described in the previous chapter.

Some writers give the label tense to long vowels and diphthongs and lax to the short vowels. Giegerich explains how this concept applies to three different accents of English: The accents are described in 7.

Jakobson and Halle explain the historical background to the distinction, which plays an important role in the treatment of the English vowel system by Chomsky and Halle Section 5. As an example of a contemporary difference in symbol choice, see Kreidler , 7. This is not normally proposed, however.

It seems that triphthongs in BBC pronunciation are in a rather unstable state, resulting in the loss of some distinctions: Gimson suggested that this shows a change in progress in the phonemic system of RP. Most of the essential pronunciation features of the diphthongs are described in Chapter 7.

One of the most common pronunciation characteristics that result in a learner of English being judged to have a foreign accent is the production of pure vowels where a diphthong should be pronounced e. Two additional points are worth making. However, I feel that it is important for foreign learners to be aware of this diphthong because of the distinctiveness of words in pairs like 'moor' and 'more', 'poor' and 'paw' for many speakers.

English speakers seem to be specially sensitive to the quality of this diphthong, particularly to the first part. Unfortunately, this gives the impression of someone trying to copy a "posh" or upper- class accent: Written exercises 9 On the vowel diagram provided, indicate the glides for the diphthongs in the following words: The larynx has several very important functions in speech, but before we can look at these functions we must examine its anatomy and physiology - that is, how it is constructed and how it works.

The larynx is in the neck; it has several parts, shown in Fig. Its main structure is made of cartilage, a material that is similar to bone but less hard.

English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course, 4th ed.

If you press down on your nose, the hard part that you can feel is cartilage. The larynx's structure is made of two large cartilages. These are hollow and are attached to the top of the trachea; when we breathe, the air passes through the trachea and the larynx.

This point is commonly called the Adam's Apple. Inside the "box" made by these two cartilages are the vocal folds, which are two thick flaps of muscle rather like a pair of lips; an older name for these is vocal cords.

Looking down the throat is difficult to do, and requires special optical equipment, but Fig. At the front the vocal folds are joined together and fixed to the inside of the thyroid cartilage. At the back they are attached to a pair of Fig. The arytenoid cartilages are attached to the top of the cricoid cartilage, but they can move so as to move the vocal folds apart or together Fig.

We use the word glottis to refer to the opening between the vocal folds. If the vocal folds are apart we say that the glottis is open; if they are pressed together we say that the glottis is closed.

This seems quite simple, but in fact we can produce a very complex range of changes in the vocal folds and their positions.

These changes are often important in speech. Let us first look at four easily recognisable states of the vocal folds; it would be useful to practise moving your vocal folds into these different positions.

English Phonetics and Phonology

The vocal folds are wide apart for normal breathing and usually during voiceless consonants like p, f, s Fig. Your vocal folds are probably apart now. If air is passed through the glottis when it is narrowed as in Fig.

The sound is not very different from a whispered vowel. It is called a voiceless glottal fricative. Fricatives are discussed in more detail in Chapter 6.

English Phonetics and Phonology (A Practical Course) by Roach

Practise saying hahahaha - alternating between this state of the vocal folds and that described in iii below. When the edges of the vocal folds are touching each other, or nearly touching, air passing through the glottis will usually cause vibration Fig. Air is pressed up from the lungs and this air pushes the vocal folds apart so that a little air escapes. This opening and closing happens very rapidly and is repeated regularly, roughly between two and three hundred times per second in a woman's voice and about half that rate in an adult man's voice.

The vocal folds can be firmly pressed together so that air cannot pass between them Fig. When this happens in speech we call it a glottal stop or glottal plosive, for which we use the symbol?. You can practise this by coughing gently; then practise the sequence a? The normal way for this airflow to be produced is for some of the air in the lungs to be pushed out; when air is made to move out of the lungs we say that there is an egressive pulmonic airstream.

All speech sounds are made with some movement of air, and the egressive pulmonic is by far the most commonly found air movement in the languages of the world. There are other ways of making air move in the vocal tract, but they are not usually relevant in the study of English pronunciation, so we will not discuss them here.

How is air moved into and out of the lungs? Knowing about this is important, since it will make it easier to understand many aspects of speech, particularly the nature of stress and intonation. The lungs are like sponges that can fill with air, and they are contained within the rib cage Fig. If we allow the rib cage to return to its rest position quite slowly, some of the air is expelled and can be used for producing speech sounds. If we wish to make the egressive pulmonic airstream continue without breathing in again - for example, when saying a long sentence and not wanting to be interrupted - we can make the rib cage press down on the lungs so that more air is expelled.

In talking about making air flow into and out of the lungs, the process has been described as though the air were free to pass with no obstruction.

But, as we saw in Chapter 7, to make speech sounds we must obstruct the airflow in some way - breathing by itself makes very little sound. We obstruct the airflow by making one or more obstructions or strictures in the vocal tract, and one place where we can make a stricture is in the larynx, by bringing the vocal folds close to each other as described in the previous section.

Remember that there will be no vocal fold vibration unless the vocal folds are in the correct position and the air below the vocal folds is under enough pressure to be forced through the glottis. If the vocal folds vibrate we will hear the sound that we call voicing or phonation.

There are many different sorts of voicing that we can produce - think of the differences in the quality of your voice between singing, shouting and speaking quietly, or think of the different voices you might use reading a story to young children in which you have to read out what is said by characters such as giants, fairies, mice or ducks; many of the differences are made with the larynx.

We can make changes in the vocal folds themselves - they can, for example, be made longer or shorter, more tense or more relaxed or be more or less strongly pressed together. The pressure of the air below the vocal folds the subglottal pressure can also be varied. Three main differences are found: We produce voicing with high intensity for shouting, for example, and with low intensity for speaking quietly. If the vocal folds vibrate rapidly, the voicing is at high frequency; if there are fewer vibrations per second, the frequency is lower.

We can produce different-sounding voice qualities, such as those we might call harsh, breathy, murmured or creaky. The stricture is, then, total. This noise is called plosion. To give a complete description of a plosive consonant we must describe what happens at each of the following four phases in its production: We call this the closing phase. We call this the compression phase. This is the release phase. The glottal plosive? The plosives have different places of articulation.

The plosives p, b are bilabial since the lips are pressed together Fig.

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Normally the tongue does not touch the front teeth as it does in the dental plosives found in many languages. The plosives k, g are velar; the back of the tongue is pressed against the area where the hard palate ends and the soft palate begins Fig. The plosives p, t, k are always voiceless; b, d, g are sometimes fully voiced, sometimes partly voiced and sometimes voiceless.

We will consider what b, d, g should be called in Section 7. All six plosives can occur at the beginning of a word initial position , between other sounds medial position and at the end of a word final position. To begin with we will look at plosives preceding vowels which can be abbreviated as CV, where C stands for a consonant and V stands for a vowel , between vowels VCV and following vowels VC.

We will look at more complex environments in later chapters. The closing phase for p, t, k and b, d, g takes place silently. During the compression phase there is no voicing in p, t, k; in b, d, g there is normally very little voicing - it begins only just before the release.

If the speaker pronounces an initial b, d, g very slowly and carefully there may be voicing during the entire compression phase the plosive is then fully voiced , while in rapid speech there may be no voicing at all. The release of p, t, k is followed by audible plosion - that is, a burst of noise.

There is then, in the post-release phase, a period during which air escapes through the vocal folds, making a sound like h. This is called aspiration. Then the vocal folds come together and voicing begins.

The release of b, d, g is followed by weak plosion, and this happens at about the same time as, or shortly after, the beginning of voicing. The most noticeable and important difference, then, between initial p, t, k and b, d, g is the aspiration of the voiceless plosives p, t, k. If English speakers hear a fully voiced initial plosive, they will hear it as one of b, d, g but will notice that it does not sound quite natural.

If they hear a voiceless unaspi- rated plosive they will also hear that as one of b, d, g, because it is aspiration, not voicing which distinguishes initial p, t, k from b, d, g. Only when they hear a voiceless aspirated plosive will they hear it as one of p, t, k; experiments have shown that we perceive aspiration when there is a delay between the sound of plosion and the beginning or onset of voicing.

In initial position, b, d, g cannot be preceded by any consonant, but p, t, k may be preceded by s. When one of p, t, k is preceded by s it is unaspirated.

From what was said above it should be clear that the unaspirated p, t, k of the initial combinations sp, st, sk have the sound quality that makes English speakers perceive a plosive as one of b, d, g; if a recording of a word beginning with one of sp, st, sk is heard with the s removed, an initial b, d or g is perceived by English speakers.

The pronunciation of p, t, k and b, d, g in medial position depends to some extent on whether the syllables preceding and following the plosive are stressed. In general we can say that a medial plosive may have the characteristics either of final or of initial plosives.

Final b, d, g normally have little voicing; if there is voicing, it is at the beginning of the compression phase; p, t, k are always voiceless. The plosion following the release of p, t, k and b, d, g is very weak and often not audible. The difference between p, t, k and b, d, g is primarily the fact that vowels preceding p, t, k are much shorter. The shortening effect of p, t, k is most noticeable when the vowel is one of the long vowels or diphthongs. This effect is sometimes known as pre-fortis clipping.

The description of them makes it clear that it is not very accurate to call them "voiced"; in initial and final position they are scarcely voiced at all, and any voicing they may have seems to have no perceptual importance. Some phoneticians say that p, t, k are produced with more force than b, d, g, and that it would therefore be better to give the two sets of plosives and some other consonants names that indicate that fact; so the voiceless plosives p, t, k are sometimes called fortis meaning 'strong' and b, d, g are then called lenis meaning 'weak'.

It may well be true that p, t, k are produced with more force, though nobody has really proved it - force of articulation is very difficult to define and measure. On the other hand, the terms fortis and lenis are difficult to remember.

Despite this, we shall follow the practice of many books and use these terms. The plosive phonemes of English can be presented in the form of a table as shown here: Each major type of consonant such as plosives like p, t, k, fricatives like s, z, and nasals like m, n obstructs the airflow in a different way, and these are classed as different manners of articulation.

Notes on problems and further reading 7. Chapters 6 and 2 ; Ashby and Maidment In classifying consonants it is possible to go to a very high level of complexity if one wishes to account for all the possibilities; see, for example, Pike The vowel length difference before final voiceless consonants is apparently found in many possibly all languages, but in English this difference - which is very slight in most languages - has become exaggerated so that it has become the most important factor in distinguishing between final p, t, k and b, d, g; see Chen Some phonetics books wrongly state that b, d, g lengthen preceding vowels, rather than that p, t, k shorten them.

It is necessary to consider how one could measure "force of articulation"; many different laboratory techniques have been tried to see if the articulators are moved more energetically for fortis consonants, but all have proved inconclusive.

The only difference that seems reasonably reliable is that fortis consonants have higher air pressure in the vocal tract, but Lisker has argued convincingly that this is not conclusive evidence for a "force of articulation" difference. It is possible to ask phonetically untrained speakers whether they feel that more energy is used in pronouncing p, t, k than in b, d, g, but there are many difficulties in doing this.

A useful review of the "force of articulation" question is in Catford Your description should start and finish with the position for normal breathing. Here is a description of the pronunciation of the word 'bee' bi: Starting from the position for normal breathing, the lips are closed and the lungs are compressed to create air pressure in the vocal tract. The tongue moves to the position for a close front vowel, with the front of the tongue raised close to the hard palate.

The vocal folds are brought close together and voicing begins; the lips then open, releasing the compressed air. Voicing continues for the duration of an i: Then the lung pressure is lowered, voicing ceases and the articulators return to the normal breathing position. Words to describe: It is now necessary to consider some fundamental theoretical questions. What do we mean when we use the word "sound"?

How do we establish what are the sounds of English, and how do we decide how many there are of them? When we speak, we produce a continuous stream of sounds. In studying speech we divide this stream into small pieces that we call segments.

The word 'man' is pronounced with a first segment m, a second segment a; and a third segment n. It is not always easy to decide on the number of segments. To give a simple example, in the word 'mine' the first segment is m and the last is n, as in the word 'man' discussed above. But should we regard the aI in the middle as one segment or two? We will return to this question. As well as the question of how we divide speech up into segments, there is the question of how many different sounds or segment types there are in English.

Chapters 7 and 7 introduced the set of vowels found in English. Each of these can be pronounced in many slightly different ways, so that the total range of sounds actually produced by speakers is practically infinite. Yet we feel quite confident in saying that the number of English vowels is not greater than twenty. Why is this? The answer is that if we put one of those twenty in the place of one of the others, we can change the meaning of a word. For example, if we substitute as for e in the word 'bed' we get a different word: But in the case of two slightly different ways of pronouncing what we regard as "the same sound", we usually find that, if we substitute one for the other, a change in the meaning of a word does not result.

If we substitute a more open vowel, for example cardinal vowel no. The principles involved here may be easier to understand if we look at a similar situation related to the letters of the alphabet that we use in writing English. The letter of the alphabet in writing is a unit which corresponds fairly well to the unit of speech we have been talking about earlier in this chapter - the segment.

In the alphabet we have five letters that are called vowels: If we choose the right context we can show how substituting one letter for another will change meaning. Thus with a letter 'p' before and a letter 't' after the vowel letter, we get the five words spelt 'pat', 'pet', 'pit', 'pot', 'put', each of which has a different meaning.

We can do the same with sounds. If someone who knew nothing about the alphabet saw these four characters: They would quickly discover, through noticing differences in meaning, that 'u' is a different letter from the first three. What would our illiterate observer discover about these three?

They would eventually come to the conclusion about the written characters 'a' and 'a' that the former occurs most often in printed and typed writing while the latter is more common in handwriting, but that if you substitute one for the other it will not cause a difference in meaning. If our observer then examined a lot of typed and printed material they would eventually conclude that a word that began with 'a' when it occurred in the middle of a sentence would begin with 'A', and never with 'a', at the beginning of a sentence.

They would also find that names could begin with 'A' but never with 'a'; they would conclude that 'A' and 'a' were different ways of writing the same letter and that a context in which one of them could occur was always a context in which the other could not. As will be explained below, we find similar situations in speech sounds. If you have not thought about such things before, you may find some difficulty in understanding the ideas that you have just read about.

The principal difficulty lies in the fact that what is being talked about in our example of letters is at the same time something abstract the alphabet, which you cannot see or touch and something real and concrete marks on paper. The alphabet is something that its users know; they also know that it has twenty-six letters.

But when the alphabet is used to write with, these letters appear on the page in a practically infinite number of different shapes and sizes. Now we will leave the discussion of letters and the alphabet; these have only been introduced in this chapter in order to help explain some important general principles. Let us go back to the sounds of speech and see how these principles can be explained. As was said earlier in this chapter, we can divide speech up into segments, and we can find great variety in the way these segments are made.

But just as there is an abstract alphabet as the basis of our writing, so there is an abstract set of units as the basis of our speech.

These units are called phonemes, and the complete set of these units is called the phonemic system of the language. The phonemes themselves are abstract, but there are many slightly different ways in which we make the sounds that represent these phonemes, just as there are many ways in which we may make a mark on a piece of paper to represent a particular abstract letter of the alphabet.

For example, the b at the beginning of a word such as 'bad' will usually be pronounced with practically no voicing. Sometimes, though, a speaker may produce the b with full voicing, perhaps in speaking very emphatically. If this is done, the sound is still identified as the phoneme b, even though we can hear that it is different in some way.

We have in this example two different ways of making b - two different realisations of the phoneme. One can be substituted for the other without changing the meaning. We also find cases in speech similar to the writing example of capital 'A' and little 'a' one can only occur where the other cannot.

For example, we find that the realisation of t in the word 'tea' is aspirated as are all voiceless plosives when they occur before stressed vowels at the beginning of syllables. In the word 'eat', the realisation of t is unaspirated as are all voiceless plosives when they occur at the end of a syllable and are not followed by a vowel. The aspirated and unaspirated realisations are both recognised as t by English speakers despite their differences.

But the aspirated realisation will never be found in the place where the unaspirated realisation is appropriate, and vice versa. When we find this strict separation of places where particular realisations can occur, we say that the realisations are in complementary distribution.

One more technical term needs to be introduced: In the last example, we were studying the aspirated and unaspirated allophones of the phoneme t. Usually we do not indicate different allophones when we write symbols to represent sounds.

Basically the symbols are for one of two purposes: We will look first at phonemic symbols. The most important point to remember is the rather obvious-seeming fact that the number of phonemic symbols must be exactly the same as the number of phonemes we decide exist in the language.

It is rather like typing on a keyboard - there is a fixed number of keys that you can press. One of the traditional exercises in pronunciation teaching by phonetic methods is that of phonemic transcription, where every speech sound must be identified as one of the phonemes and written with the appropriate symbol. There are two different kinds of transcription exercise: In a phonemic transcription, then, only the phonemic symbols may be used; this has the advantage that it is comparatively quick and easy to learn to use it.

The disadvantage is that as you continue to learn more about phonetics you become able to hear a lot of sound differences that you were not aware of before, and students at this stage find it frustrating not to be able to write down more detailed information.

The phonemic system described here for the BBC accent contains forty-four phonemes. We can display the complete set of these phonemes by the usual classificatory methods used by most phoneticians; the vowels and diphthongs can be located in the vowel quadrilateral - as was done in Chapters 7 and 7 - and the consonants can be placed in a chart or table according to place of articulation, manner of articulation and voicing.

Human beings can make many more sounds than these, and phoneticians use a much larger set of symbols when they are trying to represent sounds more accurately. The best- known set of symbols is that of the International Phonetic Association's alphabet the letters IPA are used to refer to the Association and also to its alphabet.

The vowel symbols of the cardinal vowel system plus a few others are usually included on the chart of this alphabet, which is reproduced at the beginning of the book p. It is important to note that in addition to the many symbols on the chart there are a lot of diacritics - marks which modify the symbol in some way; for example, the symbol for cardinal vowel no. It would not be possible in this course to teach you to use all these symbols and diacritics, but someone who did know them all could write a transcription that was much more accurate in phonetic detail, and contained much more information than a phonemic transcription.

Such a transcription would be called a phonetic transcription; a phonetic transcription containing a lot of information about the exact quality of the sounds would be called a narrow phonetic transcription, while one which only included a little more information than a phonemic transcription would be called a broad phonetic transcription.

One further type of transcription is one which is basically phonemic, but contains additional symbolic information about allophones of particular symbols: As an example of the use of allophonic transcription, in this course phonetic symbols are used occasionally when it is necessary to give an accurate label to an allophone of some English phoneme, but we do not do any phonetic transcription of continuous speech: A widely-used convention is to enclose symbols within brackets that show whether they are phonemic or phonetic: While this convention is useful when giving a few examples, there is so much transcription in this book that I feel it would be an unnecessary distraction to enclose each example in brackets.

It should now be clear that there is a fundamental difference between phonemic symbols and phonetic symbols. Since the phonemic symbols do not have to indicate precise phonetic quality, it is possible to choose among several possible symbols to represent a particular phoneme; this has had the unfortunate result that different books on English pronunciation have used different symbols, causing quite a lot of confusion to students. In this course we are using the symbols now most frequently used in British publishing.

It would be too long a task to examine other writers' symbols in detail, but it is worth considering some of the reasons for the differences. Some writers have concentrated on producing a set of phonemic symbols that need the minimum number of special or non-standard symbols. Others have thought it important that the symbols should be as close as possible to the symbols that a phonetician would choose to give a precise indication of sound quality.

To use the same example again, referring to the vowel in 'cat', it could be argued that if the vowel is noticeably closer than cardinal vowel no. There can be disagreements about the most important characteristics of a sound that a symbol should indicate: This is the approach taken in this course. When we talk about how phonemes function in language, and the relationships among the different phonemes - when, in other words, we study the abstract side of the sounds of language, we are studying a related but different subject that we call phonology.

Only by studying both the phonetics and the phonology of English is it possible to acquire a full understanding of the use of sounds in English speech. Let us look briefly at some areas that come within the subject of phonology; these areas of study will be covered in more detail later in the course. In chess, for example, the exact shape and colour of the pieces are not important to the game as long as they can be reliably distinguished.

But the number of pieces, the moves they can make and their relationship to all the other pieces are very important; we would say that if any of these were to be changed, the game would no longer be what we call chess.

Similarly, playing cards can be printed in many different styles and sizes, but while changing these things does not affect the game played with them, if we were to remove one card from the pack or add one card to it before the start of a game, nobody would accept that we were playing the game correctly.

In a similar way, we have a more or less fixed set of "pieces" phonemes with which to play the game of speaking English. There may be many slightly different realisations of the various phonemes, but the most important thing for communication is that we should be able to make use of the full set of phonemes. Phoneme sequences and syllable structure In every language we find that there are restrictions on the sequences of phonemes that are used.

In phonology we try to analyse what the restrictions and regularities are in a particular language, and it is usually found helpful to do this by studying the syllables of the language. Suprasegmental phonology Many significant sound contrasts are not the result of differences between phonemes. For example, stress is important: Intonation is also important: These examples show sound contrasts that extend over several segments phonemes , and such contrasts are called suprasegmental.

We will look at a number of other aspects of suprasegmental phonology later in the course. Notes on problems and further reading This chapter is theoretical rather than practical.

There is no shortage of material to read on the subject of the phoneme, but much of it is rather difficult and assumes a lot of background knowledge. For basic reading I would suggest Katamba Chapter 7 , Cruttenden Chapter 8, Section 7 or Giegerich There are many classic works: Jones ; first published is widely regarded as such, although it is often criticised nowadays for being superficial or even naive.

The subject of symbols is a large one: Chapter 2. The IPA has tried as far as possible to keep to Roman-style symbols, although it is inevitable that these symbols have to be supplemented with diacritics extra marks that add detail to symbols - to mark the vowel [e] as long, we can add the length diacritic: There is a lot of information about symbol design and choice in Pullum and Ladusaw Some phoneticians working at the end of the nineteenth century tried to develop non-alphabetic sets of symbols whose shape would indicate all essential phonetic characteristics; these are described in Abercrombie We have seen that one must choose between, on the one hand, symbols that are very informative but slow to write and, on the other, symbols that are not very precise but are quick and convenient to use.

Pike presents at the end of his book an "analphabetic notation" designed to permit the coding of sounds with great precision on the basis of their articulation; an indication of the complexity of the system is the fact that the full specification of the vowel [o] requires eighty-eight characters. On the opposite side, many American writers have avoided various IPA symbols as being too complex, and have tried to use as far as possible symbols and diacritics which are already in existence for various special alphabetic requirements of European languages and which are available on standard keyboards.

The widespread use of computer printers and word processing has revolutionised the use of symbols, and sets of phonetic fonts are widely available via the Internet.

We are still some way, however, from having a universally agreed set of IPA symbol codes, and for much computer-based phonetic research it is necessary to make do with conventions which use existing keyboard characters. Note for teachers It should be made clear to students that the treatment of the phoneme in this chapter is only an introduction. It is difficult to go into detailed examples since not many symbols have been introduced at this stage, so further consideration of phonological issues is left until later chapters.

Written exercises The words in the following list should be transcribed first phonemically, then in square brackets phonetically. In your phonetic transcription you should use the following diacritics: Use the same mark for diphthongs, placing the diacritic on the first part of the diphthong. Example spelling: Most languages have fricatives, the most commonly- found being something like s. Fricatives are continuant consonants, which means that you can continue making them without interruption as long as you have enough air in your lungs.

Plosives, which were described in Chapter 7, are not continuants. You can demonstrate the importance of the narrow passage for the air in the following ways: The hissing sound will stop as the air passage gets larger. Notice how the hissing sound of the air escaping between teeth and lip suddenly stops.

Affricates are rather complex consonants. They begin as plosives and end as fricatives. A familiar example is the affricate heard at the beginning and end of the word church'.

So the plosive is followed immediately by fricative noise. However, the definition of an affricate must be more restricted than what has been given so far. We would not class all sequences of plosive plus fricative as affricates; for example, we find in the middle of the word 'breakfast' the plosive k followed by the fricative f.

It is usually said that the plosive and the following fricative must be made with the same articulators - the plosive and fricative must be homorganic. We could also consider tr, dr as affricates for the same reason. They can be seen in the table below: This is similar to what was seen with the plosives. The fortis fricatives are said to be articulated with greater force than the lenis, and their friction noise is louder.

The lenis fricatives have very little or no voicing in initial and final positions, but may be voiced when they occur between voiced sounds.

The fortis fricatives have the effect of shortening a preceding vowel in the same way as fortis plosives do see Chapter 7, Section 7. Thus in a pair of words like 'ice' aIs and 'eyes' aIz, the aI diphthong in the first word is considerably shorter than aI in the second.

Since there is only one fricative with glottal place of articulation, it would be rather misleading to call it fortis or lenis which is why there is a line on the chart above dividing h from the other fricatives. The fricative noise is never very strong and is scarcely audible in the case of v. T, D example words: The air escapes through the gaps between the tongue and the teeth.

As with f, v, the fricative noise is weak. The air escapes through a narrow passage along the centre of the tongue, and the sound produced is comparatively intense. The tongue position is shown in Fig. This means that the narrowing that produces the friction noise is between the vocal folds, as described in Chapter 7.

If you breathe out silently, then produce h, you are moving your vocal folds from wide apart to close together. However, this is not producing speech. When we produce h in speaking English, many different things happen in different contexts. In the word 'hat', the h is followed by an as vowel. The same is found for all vowels following h; the consonant always has the quality of the vowel it precedes, so that in theory if you could listen to a recording of h-sounds cut off from the beginnings of different vowels in words like 'hit', 'hat', 'hot', 'hut', etc.

One way of stating the above facts is to say that phonetically h is a voiceless vowel with the quality of the voiced vowel that follows it. Phonologically, h is a consonant. It is usually found before vowels. It is designed to be read from beginning to end.

The course is intended to be used by all of these groups if you multiply them together you get eight categories. Each chapter is followed by short additional sections. The way in which this book is designed for students using the course under the direction of a tutor is as follows: This provides an opportunity to discuss the material in the chapter.

Exercise l. If you are working through the course individually you will of course arrange your own way of proceeding. If you are a non-native speaker of English. The book begins with Chapter 1 which is an Introduction.

Ex 1 indicates Audio Unit l. If you are a native speaker of English. When there is a relevant recorded exercise the follow- ing symbol is placed in the margin with a reference to the exercise: The material is the same in both cases. The cassette version was designed for use in a language laboratory. Please read the Introduction.

Third Edition Peter Roach Frontmatter More information on cassette which comprises practical exercise material. Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Jump to Page. Search inside document. Abdullah Shaghi. Penu Mery. Jong Lung. Miguel Perez. Mario Soria.

Timothy Adams. Yoenlis Aranda. Erald Kumrija. Rosana Claudia Pinotti. Pronunciation for Advanced Learners of English - Brazil. Giovanna Mariel Piris. Jen Whelan. Bob E Thomas. Popular in Communication. Amin Angelo D' Maria. Christopher Bennett. Fikka Anastasia. Alexandra Manole. FadLi FadHan. Mona Sri. Ali Haider.

Dewa Ayu Veronica. Assignment 1. Recognition Forum- Unit 1. Activity Guide and Evaluation Rubric. Ricardo Cifuentes Solorzano. Mbagnick Diop.This seems quite simple, but in fact we can produce a very complex range of changes in the vocal folds and their positions. To begin with we will look at plosives preceding vowels which can be abbreviated as CV, where C stands for a consonant and V stands for a vowel , between vowels VCV and following vowels VC. Third Edition Peter Roach Frontmatter More information on cassette which comprises practical exercise material.

One final characteristic of the articulation of r is that it is usual for the lips to be slightly rounded; learners should do this but should be careful not to exaggerate it. In either case, consonants and strong and weak forms of with more conidence having gained a it takes time to work through the course, words in connected speech. We also find syllabic l in words spelt, at the end, with one or more consonant letters followed by 'al' or 'el', for example: The larynx has several very important functions in speech, but before we can look at these functions we must examine its anatomy and physiology - that is, how it is constructed and how it works.

There is another important variable of vowel quality, and that is lip-position.

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