English Phonology


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Does this chart list all the sounds that you can hear in British and American English?

English has a particularly large number of vowel phonemes, and on top of that the vowels of English differ considerably between dialects. Because of this, corresponding vowels may be transcribed with various symbols depending on the dialect under consideration. When considering English as a whole, lexical sets are often used, each named by a word containing the vowel or vowels in question. The " LOT vowel" then refers to the vowel that appears in those words in whichever dialect is being considered, or at a greater level of abstraction to a diaphoneme , which represents this interdialectal correspondence.

A commonly used system of lexical sets, devised by John C. Wells , is presented below; for each set, the corresponding phonemes are given for RP and General American, using the notation that will be used on this page. For a table that shows the pronunciations of these vowels in a wider range of English dialects, see IPA chart for English dialects.

The following tables show the vowel phonemes of three standard varieties of English. The notation system used here for Received Pronunciation RP is fairly standard; the others less so. The feature descriptions given here front, close, etc. Listed here are some of the significant cases of allophony of vowels found within standard English dialects.

Unstressed syllables in English may contain almost any vowel, but in practice vowels in stressed and unstressed syllables tend to use different inventories of phonemes. In particular, long vowels are used less often in unstressed syllables than stressed syllables. Additionally there are certain sounds—characterized by central position and weakness—that are particularly often found as the nuclei of unstressed syllables.


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These include:. Vowel reduction in unstressed syllables is a significant feature of English. Syllables of the types listed above often correspond to a syllable containing a different vowel "full vowel" used in other forms of the same morpheme where that syllable is stressed. For example, the first o in photograph , being stressed, is pronounced with the GOAT vowel, but in photography , where it is unstressed, it is reduced to schwa. Also, certain common words a , an , of , for , etc. Some unstressed syllables, however, retain full unreduced vowels, i.

Some phonologists regard such syllables as not being fully unstressed they may describe them as having tertiary stress ; some dictionaries have marked such syllables as having secondary stress. However linguists such as Ladefoged [60] and Bolinger regard this as a difference purely of vowel quality and not of stress, [61] and thus argue that vowel reduction itself is phonemic in English. Examples of words where vowel reduction seems to be distinctive for some speakers [62] include chickar ee vs.

Lexical stress is phonemic in English. For example, the noun in crease and the verb in crease are distinguished by the positioning of the stress on the first syllable in the former, and on the second syllable in the latter. See initial-stress-derived noun. Stressed syllables in English are louder than non-stressed syllables, as well as being longer and having a higher pitch.

In traditional approaches, in any English word consisting of more than one syllable , each syllable is ascribed one of three degrees of stress: primary , secondary or unstressed. Ordinarily, in each such word there will be exactly one syllable with primary stress, possibly one syllable having secondary stress, and the remainder are unstressed. For example, the word am az ing has primary stress on the second syllable, while the first and third syllables are unstressed, whereas the word or ganiz a tion has primary stress on the fourth syllable, secondary stress on the first, and the second, third and fifth unstressed.

Some analysts identify an additional level of stress tertiary stress. The precise identification of secondary and tertiary stress differs between analyses; dictionaries do not generally show tertiary stress, although some have taken the approach of marking all syllables with unreduced vowels as having at least secondary stress. In some analyses, then, the concept of lexical stress may become conflated with that of vowel reduction.

An approach which attempts to separate these two is provided by Peter Ladefoged , who states that it is possible to describe English with only one degree of stress, as long as unstressed syllables are phonemically distinguished for vowel reduction. For more details of this analysis, see Stress and vowel reduction in English. Phonotactics is the study of the sequences of phonemes that occur in languages and the sound structures that they form. In this study it is usual to represent consonants in general with the letter C and vowels with the letter V, so that a syllable such as 'be' is described as having CV structure.

The IPA symbol used to show a division between syllables is the dot [. Syllabification is the process of dividing continuous speech into discrete syllables, a process in which the position of a syllable division is not always easy to decide upon. This is the analysis used in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Division into syllables is a difficult area, and different theories have been proposed. A widely accepted approach is the maximal onset principle: [71] this states that, subject to certain constraints, any consonants in between vowels should be assigned to the following syllable.

However, when such a division results in an onset cluster which is not allowed in English, the division must respect this. If assigning a consonant or consonants to the following syllable would result in the preceding syllable ending in an unreduced short vowel, this is avoided. Some phonologists have suggested a compromise analysis where the consonant in the middle belongs to both syllables, and is described as ambisyllabic.

In the approach used by the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary , Wells [64] claims that consonants syllabify with the preceding rather than following vowel when the preceding vowel is the nucleus of a more salient syllable, with stressed syllables being the most salient, reduced syllables the least, and full unstressed vowels "secondary stress" intermediate.

Consonant sounds:

But there are lexical differences as well, frequently but not exclusively with compound words. The following can occur as the onset :. Certain English onsets appear only in contractions: e. Some clusters of this type can be converted to regular English phonotactics by simplifying the cluster: e.

English Phonology Lecture 5 (2): Aspects of connected speech

The following can occur as the nucleus :. He argues that the traditional assumption that pre-vocalic consonants form a syllable with the following vowel is due to the influence of languages like French and Latin, where syllable structure is CVC. CVC regardless of stress placement. Disregarding such contentious cases, which do not occur at the ends of words, the following sequences can occur as the coda :.

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English phonology and an acoustic language universal | Scientific Reports

At the very first page this paper will discuss the theme of family with related events. Keywords: Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Aeschylus, Chorus. Prosodic models of accentuated personalities' English public speeches. The paper advances typical prosodic models of the accentuated personalities' English public speeches. The inaugural and convention speeches delivered by the American presidents and British prime ministers within the second half of the The inaugural and convention speeches delivered by the American presidents and British prime ministers within the second half of the 20 th century served as the material of the study.

English Phonology

It was found out that the effective realization of any public speech is determined by the rational choice of linguistic as well as the adequate use of prosodic means for its organization. It is outlined that in order to conduct the study of prosodic features of the English accentuated personalities' public speaking the authors created the program and methodology of a complex experimental phonetic research which was carried out in four stages.

It is singled out that the politicians, whose inaugural and convention speeches were analyzed, belong to four types of accentuation of their character: demonstrative, impulsive, obsessive-compulsive, and paranoid. The determined prosodic peculiarities of the accentuated politicians' public speaking which were gained by means of the auditory analysis are presented.

Besides, the results of the acoustic analysis of the experimental material, linguistic interpretation and generalization of the obtained data enabled the authors to figure out the invariant and variant prosodic models of the accentuated politicians' public speaking. Key words: accentuated personality demonstrative, impulsive, obsessive-compulsive, and paranoid , experimental phonetic research, inaugural and convention speeches, invariant and variant prosodic model, language personality, prosodic feature, public speaking.

The role of instruction in the perception of English high back vowels. This article aims to analyze whether formal instruction influences Brazilian speakers' perception of the English high back vowels contrast. There have been a few L2 pieces of research that focused on the instruction of specific vowel There have been a few L2 pieces of research that focused on the instruction of specific vowel contrasts. Previous studies indicate that a single L1 category seems to be a source of difficulty to L2 vowel discrimination.


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However, some of these investigations did not focus on the role of instruction to such discrimination. The participants of the present study were 17 Brazilian speakers of Portuguese as L1, beginning learners of English, divided into experimental and control groups. The study included a perception pretest, a pronunciation instruction class, taught only to the experimental group, and a perception posttest. Results showed that experimental and control groups obtained similar results.

English Phonology English Phonology
English Phonology English Phonology
English Phonology English Phonology
English Phonology English Phonology
English Phonology English Phonology
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