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PRACTICAL PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY A RESOURCE BOOK FOR STUDENTS

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Routledge English Language Introductionscover core areas of language study and are one-stop resources for students. Assuming no prior knowledge, books in . Practical Phonetics and Phonology: presents the essentials of the subject in a lively way whilst stressing the day-to-day applications of phonetics and phonology. PRACTICAL PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY Third Edition A resource book for students BEVERLEY COLLINS AND INGER M. MEES 2 INTRODUCTION A1.

Read all details Description Practical Phonetics and Phonology: presents the essentials of the subject in a lively way whilst stressing the day-to-day applications of phonetics and phonology covers all the core concepts of speech science such as: the phoneme, syllable structure, production of speech, vowel and consonant possibilities, glottal settings, stress, rhythm, intonation and the surprises of connected speech incorporates classic readings from key names in the discipline including David Abercrombie, David Crystal, Dennis Fry, Daniel Jones, Peter Ladefoged, and Steven Pinker includes an audio CD containing a collection of samples provided by genuine speakers of twenty-three accent varieties from Britain, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Singapore and West Africa. New features of this edition include: new readings by Peter Trudgill and John Well; a section on English orthography; an appendix of websites dealing with phonetics and accents of English; revised and updated activities and examples. The second edition of Practical Phonetics and Phonology will appeal to all students of English language and linguistics and those training for a certificate in TEFL. Read More.

Now cut out the vowel and just say a long [m]. Keep it going for five seconds or so. First, it can be short, or we can make it go on for quite a long period of time. Second, you can see and feel that the lips are closed. Activity J 2 Produce a long [m]. Now pinch your nostrils tightly, blocking the escape of air. What happens? The sound suddenly ceases, thus implying that when you say [m], there must be an escape of air from the nose. Activity J 3 Once again, say a long [m].

This time put your fingers in your ears. Try alternating [m] with silence [m. Note how the voice is switched on and off. Consequently, we now know that [m] is a sound which: q is made with the lips bilabial q is said with air escaping from the nose nasal q is said with voice voiced. Do the same for a different sound — [t] as in tie. Activity J 4 Say [t] looking in a mirror. Can you prolong the sound? If you put your fingers in your ears, is there any buzz? If you pinch your nostrils, does this have any effect on the sound?

A word now about the use of different kinds of brackets. The symbols between square brackets [ ] indicate that we are concerned with a sound and are called phonetic symbols.

How languages pick and pattern sounds Human beings are able to produce a huge variety of sounds with their vocal apparatus and a surprisingly large number of these are actually found in human speech.

Noises like clicks, or lip trills — which may seem weird to speakers of European languages — may be simply part of everyday speech in languages spoken in, for example, Africa, the site or the Arctic regions. No language uses more than a small number of the available possibilities but even European languages may contain quite a few sounds unfamiliar to native English speakers.

This sound does exist in Scottish English spelt ch , e. German has no sound like that represented by th in English think. We could go on, but these examples are enough to illustrate that each language selects a limited range of sounds from the total possibilities of human speech. In addition we need to consider how sounds are patterned in languages. Here are just a few examples.

Many centuries ago English did indeed have this sequence, which is why spellings like knee and knot still exist. The same holds true for Russian and Polish, whereas French, Spanish and Welsh are like English and contrast final [t] and [d].

Phonemes Speech is a continuous flow of sound with interruptions only when necessary to take in air to breathe, or to organise our thoughts. The first task when analysing speech is to divide up this continuous flow into smaller chunks that are easier to deal with. We call this process segmentation, and the resulting smaller sound units are termed segments these correspond very roughly to vowels and consonants.

There is a good degree of agreement among native speakers on what constitutes a speech segment. Segments do not operate in isolation, but combine to form words. In all languages, there are certain variations in sound which are significant because they can change the meanings of words. For example, if we take the word man, and replace the first sound by [p], we get a new word pan. Two words of this kind distinguished by a single sound are called a minimal pair.

Activity J 5 Answers on website Make minimal pairs in English by changing the initial consonant in these words: hate, pen, kick, sea, down, lane, feet. In addition to pan, we could also produce, for exam- ple, ban, tan, ran, etc. A set of words distinguished in this way is termed a minimal set. Instead of changing the initial consonant, we can change the vowel, e. We can also change the final consonant, giving yet a third minimal set: man, mat, mad.

Through such processes, we can eventually determine those speech sounds which are phono- logically significant in a given language. The contrastive units of sound which can be used to change meaning are termed phonemes. But not every small difference that can be heard between one sound and another is enough to change the meaning of words. There is a certain degree of variation in each phoneme which is sometimes very easy to hear and can be quite striking.

Try to describe what you hear. Is there an obvious t-sound articulated by the tongue-tip against the teeth-ridge? And is it the same with similar words, like kitten, cotton, and Britain? Each phoneme is therefore really composed of a number of different sounds which are interpreted as one meaningful unit by a native speaker of the language. This range is termed allophonic variation, and the variants themselves are called allophones. Only the allophones of a phoneme can exist in reality as concrete entities.

Allophones are real — they can be recorded, stored and reproduced, and analysed in acoustic or articulatory terms. Although each phoneme includes a range of variation, the allophones of any single phoneme generally have considerable phonetic similarity in both acoustic and articulat- ory terms; that is to say, the allophones of any given phoneme: q usually sound fairly similar to each other q are usually although not invariably articulated in a somewhat similar way.

We can now proceed to a working definition of the phoneme as: a member of a set of abstract units which together form the sound system of a given language and through which contrasts of meaning are produced. Problems may sometimes arise, but they are typically few, since broadly the phoneme systems will be largely similar. Difficulties occur for the non-native learner, however, because there are always import- ant differences between the phoneme system of one language and that of another.

Take the example of an English native speaker learning French. German students of English have to learn to make a contrast between mouth and mouse. We all interpret the sounds of language we hear in terms of the phonemes of our mother tongue and there are many rather surprising examples of this.

And students resource for practical phonetics a book phonology

So non-natives must learn to interpret the sound system of English as heard by English native speakers and ignore the perceptions imposed by years of speaking and listening to their own language. Any English person learn- ing a foreign language will have to undertake the same process in reverse. Table A2. They are represented by a single symbol, e. They are rep- resented by a symbol plus a length mark i, e.

Note that all vowels may be shortened owing to pre-fortis clipping see p. The effect is most noticeable with free steady-state vowels and diphthongs.

In Table A2. Keywords are shown in small capitals thus: kit. For instance, if native speakers of English are asked how many syllables there are in the word potato they usually have little doubt that there are three even if for certain words, e. A syllable can be defined very loosely as a unit larger than the phoneme but smaller than the word. Phonemes can be regarded as the basic phonological elements. Above the phoneme, we can consider units larger in extent, namely the syllable and the word.

Syllabic consonants Typically, every syllable contains a vowel at its nucleus, and may have one or more con- sonants either side of this vowel at its margins.

However, certain consonants are also able to act as the nuclear elements of syllables. Such consonants are termed syllabic consonants, and are shown by a little vertical mark [C] placed beneath the symbol concerned. It is especially useful for languages like English or French which have inconsistent spellings. See Section C6 for the same phenomenon in French. Now try doing the same thing in reverse. See if you can find a number of different pronunciations for 1 the vowel letters o and a and 2 the con- sonant letters c and g.

Finally, a rather tougher question. One of the English checked vowel sounds is virtually always represented by the same single letter in spelling. Can you work out which sound it is? If you need more help, turn to p. We can distinguish between phonetic and phonemic transcription. A phonetic transcription can indicate minute details of the articulation of any particular sound by the use of differently shaped symbols, e. In contrast, a phonemic transcription shows only the phoneme contrasts and does not tell us precisely what the realisations of the phoneme are.

In many word-final contexts, as in eat this, we are more likely to have [t] with an accompanying glottal stop, sym- bolised thus: [iimt qxs]. Both the phonetic and phonemic forms of transcription have their own specific uses. Phonemic transcription may at first sight appear less complex, but it is in reality a far more sophisticated system, since it requires from the reader a good knowledge of the language concerned; it eliminates superfluous detail and retains only the informa- tion essential to meaning.

Practical Phonetics and Phonology : Beverley Collins :

Even in a phonetic transcription, however, we generally show only a very small proportion of the phonetic variation that occurs, often only the most significant phonetic feature of a particular context. For instance, the difference in the pronunciation of the two r-sounds in retreat could be shown thus: [PeBtWiit].

Phonology students for resource and phonetics a practical book

Once we introduce a single phonetic symbol or diacritic then the whole transcription needs to be enclosed in square and not slant brackets. You can think of homophones as sound-alikes and homographs as look-alikes Carney Homophones Homophones are words which sound the same but are written differently.

Thanks to the irregularity of its spelling, there are countless examples in English, for instance bear — bare; meat — meet; some — sum; sent — scent. Homophones also exist in other languages see p. Can you say why? Activity J 8 Answers on website The following spelling errors would be impossible for most computer spelling checkers to deal with.

Supply a suitable homophone to correct each of the sentences.

Practical Phonetics and Phonology A Resource Book for Students

Note that homophones may vary from one English accent to another. To give one common example, in rhotic accents see p. For more information on types of accent variation see Sections C1—C4. English has far fewer homographs than homophones. His speech is a very con- servative variety, by which we mean that he retains many old-fashioned forms in his pronunciation. Jeremy, in fact, preserves many of the features of traditional Received Pronunciation as described in numerous books on phonetics written in the twentieth century which have since been abandoned by most younger speakers.

Daniel grew up in the s the recording dates from indicating that well before the end of the twentieth century non-regional pronunciation NRP was effectively largely replacing traditional RP.

The estuary in question is that of the Thames, and the name has been given to the speech of those whose accents are a compromise between traditional RP and popular London speech or Cockney, see Section C2. Listen to this speaker, Matthew, a university lecturer, who was born and grew up in London, and whose speech is what many would consider typical of Estuary English. What does seem certain, however, is that change is in progress, and that one can no longer delimit a prestige accent of British English as easily as one could in the early twentieth cen- tury.

The speech of young educated speakers in the south of England indeed appears to show a considerable degree of London influence Fabricius and we shall take account of these changes in our description of NRP. For further detail see Section C5, pp. In this book, NRP is the accent we assume non-native speakers will choose. Our main reason for selecting NRP is that English of this kind is easily understood not only all over Britain but also elsewhere in the world. In Scotland, Ireland and Wales, notwithstanding the fact that there never were very many speakers of RP in those countries, the accent was formerly held in high regard certainly this is less so nowadays.

Today scarcely any Australians, New Zealanders or South Africans consciously imitate traditional RP as was once the case, even though the speech of radio and television announcers in these countries clearly shows close relationships with British English.

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Think of Anthony Hopkins and his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. But in the twenty-first century any kind of British English is in reality a minority form. Most English is spoken outside the British Isles — notably in the USA, where it is the first language of more than million people. It is also used in several other countries as a first language, e. English is used widely as a second language for official purposes, again by millions of speakers, in Southern Asia, e.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and in many countries across Africa. In addition, there are large second-language English- speaking populations in, for example, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. In total, there are probably as many as million native speakers of English, and it is thought that in addition an even greater number speak English as a second language — num- bers are difficult to estimate Crystal a: Figure A1.

Locations populated largely by second-language English users are indicated in italics. See Crystal a: In the United States, over the course of the last century, an accent of English developed which today goes under the name of General American often abbreviated to GA.

This variety is an amalgam of the educated speech of the northern USA, having otherwise no recognisably local features. It is said to be in origin the educated English of the Midwest of America; it certainly lacks the characteristic accent forms of East Coast cities such as New York and Boston. Canadian English bears a strong family resemblance to GA — although it has one or two features which set it firmly apart.

On the other hand, the accents of the southern states of America are clearly quite different from GA in very many respects. General American is also used as a model by millions of students learning English as a second language — notably in Latin America and Japan, but nowadays increasingly elsewhere.

We shall return to this vari- ety in Section C1. Other varieties of English which are now of global significance are those spoken in Australia and New Zealand.

Once again there is an obvious relationship between these two varieties, although they also have clear differences from each other.

The first is the kind which most vigorously exhibits distinctive Australian features and is the everyday speech of perhaps a third of the population. General Australian, used by the majority of Australians, falls between these two extremes. Finally, we have to remember that while there are so many different world varieties of English, they are essentially at least in their standard forms very similar. English as used by educated speakers is readily understood all over the world.

In fact, it is unquestionably the most widespread form of international communication that has ever existed.

The study of sound in general is the science of acoustics. The study of the selection and patterns of sounds in a single language is called phonology. To get a full idea of the way the sounds of a language work, we need to study not only the phonetics of the language concerned but also its phonological system.

Both phonetics and phonology are important com- ponents of linguistics, which is the science that deals with the general study of language. A specialist in linguistics is technically termed a linguist. Note that this is different from the general use of linguist to mean someone who can speak a number of languages. Phonetician and phonologist are the terms used for linguists who study phonetics and phonology respectively.

We can examine speech in various ways, corresponding to the stages of the transmission of the speech signal from a speaker to a listener. The movements of the tongue, lips and other speech organs are called articulations — hence this area of phonetics is termed articulatory phonetics. The physical nature of the speech signal is the concern of acoustic phonetics you can find some more information about these matters on the recommended websites, pp.

The study of how the ear receives the speech signal we call auditory phonetics. The formulation of the speech message in the brain of the speaker and the interpretation of it in the brain of the listener are branches of psycholinguistics. In this book, our emphasis will be on articulatory phonetics, this being in many ways the most accessible branch of the subject, and the one with most applications for the beginner. In our view, phonetics should be a matter of practice as well as theory.

We want you to produce sounds as well as read about them. We are going to examine the sound at the beginning and end of the word: Use a mirror to look at your mouth as you pronounce the word. Now cut out the vowel and just say a long [m]. Keep it going for five seconds or so.

First, it can be short, or we can make it go on for quite a long period of time. Second, you can see and feel that the lips are closed.

Activity J 2 Produce a long [m]. Now pinch your nostrils tightly, blocking the escape of air. What happens? The sound suddenly ceases, thus implying that when you say [m], there must be an escape of air from the nose. Activity J 3 Once again, say a long [m]. This time put your fingers in your ears. Try alternating [m] with silence [m. Note how the voice is switched on and off. Consequently, we now know that [m] is a sound which: Do the same for a different sound — [t] as in tie.

Activity J 4 Say [t] looking in a mirror. Can you prolong the sound? If you put your fingers in your ears, is there any buzz? If you pinch your nostrils, does this have any effect on the sound? A word now about the use of different kinds of brackets.

Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students [With CD (Audio)]

The symbols between square brackets [ ] indicate that we are concerned with a sound and are called phonetic symbols. How languages pick and pattern sounds Human beings are able to produce a huge variety of sounds with their vocal apparatus and a surprisingly large number of these are actually found in human speech. Noises like clicks, or lip trills — which may seem weird to speakers of European languages — may be simply part of everyday speech in languages spoken in, for example, Africa, the site or the Arctic regions.

No language uses more than a small number of the available possibilities but even European languages may contain quite a few sounds unfamiliar to native English speakers. This sound does exist in Scottish English spelt ch , e. German has no sound like that represented by th in English think.

We could go on, but these examples are enough to illustrate that each language selects a limited range of sounds from the total possibilities of human speech. In addition we need to consider how sounds are patterned in languages.

Here are just a few examples. Many centuries ago English did indeed have this sequence, which is why spellings like knee and knot still exist. The same holds true for Russian and Polish, whereas French, Spanish and Welsh are like English and contrast final [t] and [d]. Phonemes Speech is a continuous flow of sound with interruptions only when necessary to take in air to breathe, or to organise our thoughts.

The first task when analysing speech is to divide up this continuous flow into smaller chunks that are easier to deal with. We call this process segmentation, and the resulting smaller sound units are termed segments these correspond very roughly to vowels and consonants. There is a good degree of agreement among native speakers on what constitutes a speech segment. Segments do not operate in isolation, but combine to form words.

In all languages, there are certain variations in sound which are significant because they can change the meanings of words. For example, if we take the word man, and replace the first sound by [p], we get a new word pan. Two words of this kind distinguished by a single sound are called a minimal pair. Activity J 5 Answers on website Make minimal pairs in English by changing the initial consonant in these words: In addition to pan, we could also produce, for exam- ple, ban, tan, ran, etc.

A set of words distinguished in this way is termed a minimal set. Instead of changing the initial consonant, we can change the vowel, e. We can also change the final consonant, giving yet a third minimal set: Through such processes, we can eventually determine those speech sounds which are phono- logically significant in a given language.

The contrastive units of sound which can be used to change meaning are termed phonemes. But not every small difference that can be heard between one sound and another is enough to change the meaning of words.

There is a certain degree of variation in each phoneme which is sometimes very easy to hear and can be quite striking. Try to describe what you hear. Is there an obvious t-sound articulated by the tongue-tip against the teeth-ridge?

And is it the same with similar words, like kitten, cotton, and Britain? Each phoneme is therefore really composed of a number of different sounds which are interpreted as one meaningful unit by a native speaker of the language. This range is termed allophonic variation, and the variants themselves are called allophones.

Only the allophones of a phoneme can exist in reality as concrete entities. Allophones are real — they can be recorded, stored and reproduced, and analysed in acoustic or articulatory terms. Although each phoneme includes a range of variation, the allophones of any single phoneme generally have considerable phonetic similarity in both acoustic and articulat- ory terms; that is to say, the allophones of any given phoneme: We can now proceed to a working definition of the phoneme as: Problems may sometimes arise, but they are typically few, since broadly the phoneme systems will be largely similar.

Difficulties occur for the non-native learner, however, because there are always import- ant differences between the phoneme system of one language and that of another.

Take the example of an English native speaker learning French. This effect can be represented as follows using the symbol [ — ] to mean contrasts with: