Linguistic Analysis Of Various Recordings Through Phonology English Language Essay

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Worksheet 1 In class you will hear recordings of various speakers. Listen to the voices and work with a partner to answer the following questions:

Voice 1

Is the speaker easy for you to understand?

What does the voice tell you about the speaker?

Does this speaker offer a useful model of pronunciation for your students?

In what way(s) does this speaker's pronunciation differ from your own?

Imagine the speaker has been invited to give a lecture at an international conference. Do you have any recommendations?

Voice 2

Is the speaker easy for you to understand?

What does the voice tell you about the speaker?

Does this speaker offer a useful model of pronunciation for your students?

In what way(s) does this speaker's pronunciation differ from your own?

Imagine the speaker has been invited to give a lecture at an international conference. Do you have any recommendations?

Voice 3

Is the speaker easy for you to understand?

What does the voice tell you about the speaker?

Does this speaker offer a useful model of pronunciation for your students?

In what way(s) does this speaker's pronunciation differ from your own?

Imagine the speaker has been invited to give a lecture at an international conference. Do you have any recommendations?

Speech organs

English segmentals: consonants

Consonants are typically described in terms of three features:

Where they are articulated (place)

How they are articulated (manner)

Whether the vocal folds are vibrating (voicing)

3Place of articulation

Manner of articulation

bilabial

b, p, m

plosive (stop)

p, b, t, d, k, g

labio-dental

f, v

fricative

f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ʃ, ʒ, h

dental

θ , ð

affricate

tʃ, ʤ

alveolar

t, d, s, z, n, l

nasal

m, n, Å‹

post-alveolar

ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, ʤ, r

lateral (liquid)

l

palatal

j

approximant (semi-vowel)

r, j, w

velar

k, g, Å‹, w

glottal

h

3TASK: Consonant sounds according to articulators used.

For each box, choose the word whose initial phoneme matches the label. Write the words in phonemic transcription.

foolish; sugar; heavy; though; young; cemetery; bush; concrete

bilabial

dental

post-alveolar

velar

labio-dental

alveolar

palatal

glottal

TASK: Consonant sounds according to manner of articulation.

For each of the categories below, think of at least one English word starting with a phoneme which is produced in this way. Write the words in phonemic transcription.

plosive (stop)

nasal

fricative

lateral

affricate

approximant

(Answers on e-learning - look at the final slide on this week's PP presentation.)

……………………………………………………………………………………………

Consonants: some issues for ELT

Issue 1: Consonant clusters

Consonant clusters are a challenge for many learners of English - especially for speakers of languages where syllable structure is restricted to a C + V (Consonant + Vowel) format.

The rules of English phonotactics mean that English can have clusters of up to 3 consonants at the beginning of a syllable (scrunch; sprain) and up to 4 consonants at the end (sixth; glimpsed).

How important is it for learners to get to grips with these clusters? For learners in an ELF context, Jennifer Jenkins has suggested the following approach:

no omission of sounds in word-initial clusters eg in promise, string;

omission in middle and final clusters only permissible according to L1 English rules of syllable structure, eg 'factsheet' can be pronounced 'facsheet' but not 'fatsheet' or 'facteet';

/nt/ between vowels as in British English 'winter' pronounced /wɪntər/ rather than American English where, by deletion of /t/, it becomes /wɪnər/;

addition is acceptable eg 'product' pronounced [ pərɒdʌkʊtɔ ] was intelligible to non-native interlocutors, whereas omission was not, eg 'product' pronounced /pɒdʌk/.

Jenkins J. (2003) World Englishes - a Resource Book for Students (London & New York: Routledge) p 127

Question: Do you think this would be appropriate for your students?

Issue 2: Voicing (or the fortis / lenis distinction)

Of the 24 consonant phonemes of English (RP), 8 are unvoiced (or fortis).

These are: /p/ /t/ /k/ /f/ /θ/ /s/ /ʃ/ /tʃ/

Each has a voiced equivalent, e.g. /p/ > / b/

The remaining 8 phonemes are voiced (or lenis)

.

Features of UNVOICED / FORTIS consonants

Features of VOICED / LENIS consonants

More energetic

No voicing

Vowels are shortened before final fortis consonant (beat)

Syllable-final plosives can have reinforcing glottal stop (bit me)

Less energetic

Have voicing

Vowels have full length before final lenis consonant (bead)

No reinforcing glottal stop (beat me)

Voicing (a tip for the classroom)

Judy Gibson tells the following anecdote about voicing and syllable length

It does not happen very often that a student immediately puts a lesson to good use, but the following story actually occurred. On a Monday, a workplace class practised vowel lengthening before a voiced consonant. On Tuesday, a Nicaraguan member of the class called his local mechanic's garage to find out about the car he had left for repair. He asked over the phone, '"Is Esteef there?" The mechanic said there was no such person at that number. The Nicaraguan thought back to the previous day's lesson and said, carefully lengthening the vowel, "Is Esteeeef there?" Although the Spanish pattern still produced an extra syllable and de-voiced the final sound, the mechanic was now able to understand the request and said, "Oh, you mean Steve!" Business could then proceed.

Gibson J.B. 2005 Clear Speech - Teacher's Resource Book, 3rd ed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 54

Question: Is the fortis/lenis distinction an issue for your students? If so, how do you deal with it?

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