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Introduction to English

Phonetics and Phonology


2016-17
0. Introduction
General info:

Manifesto + info about Rules and Regulations on


my page on the Lingue website.

Orientation Day Presentation (my page).

Next (and last) test if you wish to study English:


24th October.
Theory:

Short description on my page.

Register for this course on


Aulaweb.

Final exam: more info towards the end of


the course.
References (more references later on during the course):

Collins, Beverley and Ingeer Mees. 2013 (3rd ed.). Practical


Phonetics and Phonology. London: Routledge. (Sections A and B
only.) [very useful for non-attenders]
Gut, Ulrike. 2010. Introduction to English Phonetics and Phonology.
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. [also useful for non-attenders]
Roach, Peter. 2009 (4th ed.). English Phonetics and Phonology.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [main textbook!]
Tench, Paul. 2011. Transcribing the Sound of English: A Phonetics
Workbook for Words and Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. [useful for exercises]

Wells, J. C. 2006. English Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge


University Press. (Section 1.6; Chapter 3; Sections 5.13, 5.13, 5.14)
[these are the sections the intonation part is based on]
Pronunciation dictionaries (you need either, not both!):

Jones, Daniel. 2006 (17th ed.). Cambridge English Pronouncing


Dictionary (edited by Peter Roach, James Hartman and Jane Setter).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wells, J. C. 2008 (3rd ed.). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Harlow:


Pearson Longman.

Additional (OBLIGATORY) material:

Lecture slides + wordlist on Aulaweb.


Useful books for the practical part (i.e.
lettorato/esercitazioni):

Murphy, Raymond. 2012 (4th ed.). English Grammar in


Use (with Answers). Cambridge: C.U.P.

Redman, Stuart. 2011 (3rd ed.). English Vocabulary in


Use: Pre-intermediate and Intermediate. Cambridge:
C.U.P.

McCarthy, Michael and Felicity ODell. 2012 (3rd ed.).


English Vocabulary in Use: Upper-intermediate.
Cambridge: C.U.P.
Tips:

Read material before class.


Study as course progresses, not at the
end.
Do all the exercises in the book.
This course is about

English phonetics and phonology


Why this course?

As a university Lingue student, you


shouldnt just be interested in knowing
languages you can learn languages also
outside university but you should also be
interested in knowing about languages.

I.e., you shouldnt just be interested in


learning how to order a sandwich in
English (or any other language you study).
"You probably want to know what the purpose of this
course is, and what you can expect to learn from it. An
important purpose of the course is to explain how English is
pronounced in the accent normally chosen as the standard
for people learning the English spoken in England. If this
was the only thing the course did, a more suitable title
would have been English Pronunciation. However, at the
comparatively advanced level at which this course is
aimed, it is usual to present this information in the context
of a general theory about speech sounds and how they are
used in language; this theoretical context is called
phonetics and phonology.
Why is it necessary to learn this theoretical background? A
similar question arises in connection with grammar: at
lower levels of study one is concerned simply with setting
out how to form grammatical sentences, but people who
are going to work with the language at an advanced level
as teachers or researchers need the deeper understanding
provided by the study of grammatical theory and related
areas of linguistics. The theoretical material in the present
course is necessary for anyone who needs to understand
the principles regulating the use of sounds in spoken
English." (Roach 2009: 1)
This course is about

English phonetics and phonology


Aims:

learn how to describe English vowels, diphthongs,


triphthongs, consonants;

learn how to trascribe words using IPA;

learn about English strong and weak syllables and weak


forms;

learn about stress in simple and complex words;

to learn about the form and functions of intonation.


Important:

Nobody expects you to use a native


English accent but, rather, I expect you to
become aware of the most important
features of some English accents, in
particular RP and AmE and avoid some
common pitfalls.
You should also become aware of the
major differences between standard Italian
and standard English pronunciations (and
the obvious fact that Italian English
pronunciation is influenced by Italian
phonology and Italian spelling
conventions).
Some examples
fill ~ feel
full ~ fool
singer ~ finger
small
butter, doctor, particular, amateur
cat
time, pot, key
atom, atomic
walk, know, knowledge, south, southern,
pronounce, pronunciation, because, star, apple,
cruise
continental, management
Proper nouns:

Sherlock Holmes
Yorkshire
Flashing Meadows
Evans
ORourke
Edinburgh
Thames
Wimbledon
McGough
see also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-native_pronunciations_of_English#Italian
Why pronunciation dictionaries are not the
same thing as general dictionaries:
amateur m t m t, -t, -tj;
m t m tr - t r, - tjr
amateur|s z
Why in English?

Learning a language is like


learning a musical instrument or
training for any sport.

You must practise every day:

Practice makes perfect.


How much time do you spend
on English
every day?
What is linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of


language.

It is divided into several areas:


phonology/phonetics ( sounds)

a. Tom and Mary live /lIv/ in Newcastle.


b. We must leave /liv/ early.

/I/ and /i/ are two different phonemes (i.e.


sounds which allow us to distinguish
meanings) in English.
morphology ( the shape of words)

She feels powerless.

feels < feel + -s


powerless < power + -less

inflectional morphology: same meaning (e.g. to


experience something)

derivational morphology: different meanings


syntax (word-order)

a. I found out the truth only later.


b. Only later ________________________.

grammar traditionally defined as:


syntax
+
(inflectional) morphology
lexical semantics (the meaning of words)

youth vs. youngster

pragmatics (use of language in context)

a. Could you pass (me) the salt, please?


b. Pass (me) the salt!
Major reference grammars of the English language
(very expensive and bulky!)

Biber, Douglas, Susan Conrad, Edward Finegan, Stig


Johansson and Geoffrey Leech. 1999. The Longman
Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow:
Longman.

Huddleston, Rodney and Geoffrey Pullum. 2002. The


Cambridge Grammar of the English Language.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech,


Jan Svartvik. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the
English Language. London: Longman.
A few useful books:

Swan, Michael. 2005 (3rd ed.). Practical English Usage. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

Murphy, Raymond. 2012 (4th ed.). English Grammar in Use (with Answers).
Cambridge: C.U.P.

Redman, Stuart. 2011 (3rd ed.). English Vocabulary in Use: Pre-intermediate


and Intermediate. Cambridge: C.U.P.

McCarthy, Michael and Felicity ODell. 2012 (3rd ed.). English Vocabulary in
Use: Upper-intermediate. Cambridge: C.U.P.
1. Phonetics and Phonology
Phonetics is the study of speech sounds (in
general) and is divided into

articulatory phonetics: the study of how sounds


are made (production)

auditory phonetics: the study of how sounds are


heard (perception)

acoustic phonetics: the study of the physical


properties of the speech waves that constitute
speech sounds
Phonology is the study of the speech
sounds in a particular language,

i.e. we are interested in answering the


question:

what is the minimal set (inventory) of


sounds you need to describe the
pronunciation of e.g. English?
Consider: pet vs. bet

/p/ and /b/ are English phonemes since


they allow us to distinguish between words

Consider: sin /sIn/ vs. sing /sIN/

n is an alveolar sound while N is a velar


sound.
Are there any two words which differ ONLY in terms of n
vs. N in Italian?

No, there arent, we just have cases such as:

Italian mano vs. manco

One is a dental /n/ (n), the other is a velar /n/ (N).

What conclusion can we draw from this?


n vs. N are two different phonemes (i.e.
minimal distinctive units of sound) in
English but not in Italian!

n vs. N are variants of the same phoneme,


i.e. n, in Italian.
(N is used when the following consonant is
velar)
English also has two types of i and u sounds:

fill /I/ ~ feel /i:/


full /U/ ~ fool /u:/

NB. Phonemes are usually placed between


slashes.
To transcribe words, we use a special
alphabet: the IPA (International Phonetic
Alphabet).

The IPA (http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/)


is very useful in the case of English
because of the confusing (i.e. non-
transparent) nature of English spelling
(e.g. enough vs. stuff).
You can download an IPA font (Doulos
SIL) from the Summer Institute of
Linguistics:

http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?
site_id=nrsi&id=DoulosSIL_download
Summing up:

for starters, we are interested in identifying


the English phonemes.

But theres a complication:

what English are we describing?


Everybody has an accent.

Dont confuse accent ( sounds) and


dialect ( not only sounds, but also grammar
and vocabulary).

Some accents and dialects are more prestigious


than others:

A language is a dialect with an army and a navy!


Some prestigious English accents:

Received Pronunciation (RP), BBC


English, Kings/Queens English

Its a social (not a geographical) variety.


Standard Scottish English

Estuary English, e.g. bottle


[bU] instead of [bt]

etc.

Well be describing RP and, to a lesser


extent, GenAm.
But before we describe RP (and GenAm),
we need to have some basic knowledge of
how speech sounds are made.
2. The production of speech sounds
English, like most languages, uses the
egresssive pulmonic system.
Air from the lungs travels up the trachea
(or windpipe) through the larynx (or
Adams apple) then into the vocal tract.

velar sounds: e.g. k, g


alveolar sounds: t, d

lv i l
l v i: l r
Are Italian p and t alveolar?

No, they are dental.


The articulators ( articulatory phonetics):

larynx
pharynx
velum or soft palate (ending with the uvula)
hard palate (the roof of the mouth)
alveolar ridge or gum ridge
tongue (tip, blade, front, back, root)
teeth
lips

Also important: nose and nasal cavity (m, n)


A beautiful and very useful website:

http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/english/english.html

(Now also available as an app.)


3a. Vowels, diphthongs and triphthongs
How do we distinguish between
vowels and consonants?

Vowels involve no obstruction to the flow of


air (e.g. no friction noise) as it passes from
the larynx to the lips (e.g. ah vs. s and d).
Problem: h and w in e.g. hay and way do
not really obstruct the airflow more than
some vowels do.

Solution: we look at the distribution of


sounds (phonotactics) rather than the way
they are made.

h + consonant or vowel?
However, lets consider how vowels can
be described in articulatory terms.

IPA vowel chart (2005)


The vowels in the IPA vowel chart are
ideal vowels (they are just a set of
reference points).
Vowels in a specific language are in reality
sets of points on the chart:
Variables used to describe vowels:
1) tongue height (close, close-mid, open-mid, open)
2) tongue backness (front vs. central vs. back)
3) lip-rounding (rounded, spread, neutral)

IPA vowels English vowels


Vowels also differ in terms of length:

short (lax) vs. long (tense)

Diacritic used to mark length: : (as in leave


/li:v/)

Length is more important in BrE than in


AmE.
Describe the English short vowels:

1 (vertical 2 (horizontal 3 (rounding) 4 (length)


dimension) dimension)
I kit close/close mid
front/central spread

dress mid front spread


trap open mid/open front spread
strut open mid central
neutral
lot open mid/open back slightly rounded
U foot clore/close mid rounded rounded
bones mid central neutral

Describe the English long vowels:

1 (vertical 2 (horizontal 3 (rounding) 4 (length)


dimension) dimension)
i:
:
:
:
u:

Is the length mark really necessary?

No, the symbols I and i, for example, imply


I (lax) and i: (tense) (in English of course!).
What are diphthongs?

Diphthongs involve the movement or


glide from one vowel to another (within the
same syllable).

The first element of an English diphthong


is much longer and stronger than the
second element.

The glide is never complete.


Closing diphthongs: /I/, /aI/, /I/, /U/, /aU/

Centring diphthongs: /I/, //


(increasingly replaced by /E:/), /U/
(increasingly replaced by /:/)

What is the starting point of /aI/?


What is the starting point of /aU/?

Even long vowels (e.g. /i:/ and /u:/) tend to


have a diphthongal glide.
What are triphthongs?

Triphthongs can be thought of as


diphthongs /aI/, /aU/, /I/, /U/, /I/ + // (but
remember that the middle vowel is hardly
pronounced).

What about the pronunciation of tyre,


tower, tar; Ireland?
smoothing takes place in rapid spoken RP and
in Refined RP

Most important cases:

1. [aI] [a]

Brian, fire, tyre, choir, society, hire, shire, byre,


lyre, liable, higher, shyer, buyer, liar

2. [aU] [a]

our, shower, flower, coward, nowadays


3. [I] []
player, greyer, conveyor, layer

4. [U] []
mower, slower

5. [I] []
employer, enjoyable, buoyant, joyous

(See Gimsons Pronunciation of English, pp.140-


141 for more cases)
My basic philosophy is to teach the simplest system consistent with sounding native. So
my advice to Dummies for commA, NURSE, GOAT and STRUT is to use in all of them:
comm[], n[]s, g[w]t and str[]t.

Like Jones, I teach English schwa as a somewhat lowered mid central vowel. To sound
native, foreigners need to learn this vowel and be able to stress it and (for Standard
British) to lengthen it. And it must be kept distinct from both TRAP and
PALM/START. This is not easy for most learners: happy is the English teacher whose
foreign students have all mastered three qualities to
differentiate Sam, psalm and sum/some. To insist on a fourth quality which has minimal
functional value, and which is not necessary to sound standardly native, is in my opinion
unnecessary for most learners.

Of course for more advanced students, or for actors aiming at a specific dialect, we can
and should cover the footnote details: for example, that some speakers have a more
open/back vowel in NURSE, or in GOAT, or in stressed STRUT syllables especially
under emphasis. But, for Dummies, all four lexical sets can be treated as containing .

(http://englishspeechservices.com/blog/strut-for-dummies/)
begin studying the WORDLIST
NB. You are expected to be able to
pronounce and transcribe all words
listed on the WORDLIST in either RP or
AmE (or any other native English
accent you may want to choose as a
model).
3b. More on vowels and diphthongs

(advanced and optional)


Front vowels:
/i/, /I/, // (transcribed also as /E/),
// (also transcribed as /a/)
A slight glide is common amongst RP speakers with all
long vowels (especially [i] > [Ii] and [u] > [Uu]) except
when they are shortened by pre-fortis clipping, compare
knee with neat.

There is usually a centring glide when [i] precedes dark


l, so that for many speakers there is no contrast with
[Il], e.g. reel real.

Variation between [I] and [i] finally (pronunciation


dictionaries usually use [i] for this sound): happy [hpi],
city, lady, sloppy, charity, memory.

The [I] variant is found in traditional RP, Northern


dialects (esp. Yorkshire and Lancashire) and Scots.
Dictionaries may use [] when there is
variation between [I] and []: happiness
[hpins]

// is nowadays more similar to [E] than [].


The lowering of // (which is similar to [a],
the sound found in Northern English) has
caused the lowering of //.
Central vowels: //, //, //
// (schwa)

It is a reduced vowel, used only in


unstressed syllables.

It corresponds to AmE // when e.g. <er>


is used.

It is noticeably open in word-final position.


//

// was more open in traditional RP a


feature now often regarded as affected.

It corresponds to // in AmE when e.g.


<er> is used.
//

It is used in stressed syllables only.

It is not used in Northern English.

For many speakers, // and // are very


similar (e.g. // in word-final position is
very open).
Back vowels: /u/, /U/, //, //, //
lax /U/ and tense /u/

Lip-rounding for lax /U/ is typically weak. Centralisation and


unrounding of /U/ unrounding being more recent than centralisation
is on the rise and is particularly noticeable in high-frequency words
such as good, should, could and, to a lesser extent, would.

/U/ is not used in unstressed syllables in AmE: stimulus /stImjUls/


(RP) vs. /stImjls/ (AmE). Since // (in place of /U/) is also possible
in RP, dictionaries may use // to indicate the two variants (see //
above).

Tense /u/ is generally realised as a diphthong, except where


shortened by pre-fortis clipping (see /i:/ above).

There are two main variants of /u/ in RP: (i) a more centralised
vowel [] or, with unrounding, [] (unrounding is more recent than
centralisation; it may lead to potential confusion between pairs such
as two tea for older speakers); (ii) a diphthong [Uu] or [w].
//

/:/ is the most strongly lip-rounded of all vowels.

It corresponds to // in AmE but is sometimes


realised as // in AmE, as in thought, law.

//

It has weak lip-rounding.

It is not used in AmE where it is replaced by //


or //.
//

It is often realised as // in short syllables


orthographically, <a> precedes a nasal
(+ consonant) or a fricative (+ consonant)
in AmE and in most varieties of RP.
Diphthongs
closing, ending in I

Traditional RP had a closer starting point for /I/, a more front


starting-point for /aI/ (cf. the transcription /I/), and a more open
starting-point for /I/.

In contemporary pronunciation, the glide in /I/ is very slight where


pre-fortis clipping occurs.

Before dark l, the glide in all three diphthongs is frequently //, e.g.
ale [], mile [ma], oil [].

/I/
French words: caf, foyer, dossier, saute, fianc, ballet, sachet,
pure, matine

/aI/

/I/
closing, ending in U

/U/ (corresponds to /oU/ in AmE)

The starting point in RP is similar to that of //, compare fur and foe;
the starting point in AmE is similar to that of cardinal vowel [o].

Many younger RP speakers have a more front articulation for /U/


which can sound similar to /I/ to older speakers, leading to potential
confusion between e.g. cone/cane, go/gay. For certain speakers, the
[U] element may be minimal or lost entirely before dark l, making
pairs like pole/pearl, whole/hurl near-homophones.

London-based pronunciation may have [U] instead of [U] before


dark l, as in gold, revolt.

/aU/

Traditional RP tended to have a more back starting-point.


centring, ending in

/I/ (RP only: near /nI/ (RP) vs. /nIr/ (AmE))

Despite the [I] symbol, the starting point tends to be closer (similar
to /i:/). In fact, speakers may consider words like near as involving
the sequence [i:] + []. Younger speakers may also have a long
vowel (i.e. [I:]) without a glide as in beer [bI:].

//

(RP only: square /skw/ (RP) vs. [skwr] (AmE)),


transcribed also as /E/

// is nowadays mostly realised as /E/: Tony Blair /tUni blE/ (see


smoothing)
/U/
(RP only: cure /kjU/ (RP) vs. /kjUr/ (AmE))

Despite the [U] symbol, the starting point tends


to be closer (similar to /u:/).

/U/ is often replace by //: sure /S/ (see


smoothing) and, when it is not replaced by /:/, it
is thought of as a sequence of [u:] + [].

Some speakers have [U:] in place of [U] as in


sure [SU].
4. Consonants
The larynx

The larynxs
structure is made
of cartilage.

Inside it are the


vocal folds (or
vocal cords).

The glottis is
the opening
between the
vocal folds.
More on the larynx here:

http://www.bmc.med.utoronto.ca/anatomia/intro.swf

A video:

http://www.entusa.com/normal_larynx.htm
Four positions:

1) wide apart (p, f, s)

2) narrow glottis (h)

3) position for vocal fold vibration (voiced


sounds, including normal vowels!)

4) tightly closed ()
CONSONANTS
Three parameters:

1) manner of articulation ( how the


stricture is realised)

2) place of articulation ( where the


stricture obtains)

3) voicing: fortis vs. lenis


PLOSIVES (or STOPS)
3 stages:

1) pre-release stage
[closing + holding & compression]

2) release stage
[explosion released stop;
no explosion unreleased stop]

3) post-release stage
VOT (Voice Onset Time)
VOT (Voice Onset Time) = when the vocal folds
start vibrating

VOT < 0 (voicing begins at stage 1 (= pre-


release))

VOT = 0 (voicing begins at stage 2 (= release))

VOT > 0 (voicing begins after stage 2)


_ 0 +
VOT
pre-release release post-release

final devoiced []

medially fully voiced []

partially voiced [] (negative VOT)

unaspirated [] (zero VOT)

(positive VOT)

NB Underlying indicates voicing


lenis (or voiced) stops

/b/ (bilabial)

/d/ (alveolar (but dental in Italian!))

/g/ (velar)
initial:

band [bQ] (partially voiced, VOT<0)

medial:

rubber [b] (fully voiced, VOT<0)

final:

rib [Ib] (fully devoiced)


(also possible with no audible release: [Ib])

final clusters:

rubbed [rbd]
(NB. no audible release in stop clusters)
The transcriptions on the previous slide are
phonetic transcriptions rather than phonemic
transcriptions, i.e. additional details are offered
through the use of diacritics (such as
devoicing).

Compare:

/Ib/ (phonemic transcription, between slashes)

[Ib] (phonetic transcription, in square brackets)


Phonemic (or broad) transcriptions provide
a minimal (i.e. distinctive) amount of
information while phonetic (or narrow)
transcriptions add details to the minimal
(i.e. phonemic) transcription which are
predictable.
fortis (or voiceless) stops
/p/ (bilabial)

/t/ (alveolar (dental in Italian!))

/k/ (velar)
initial:

pill [I] (aspirated; VOT>0)

initial clusters:

1) plosive + approximant

play [I], pray [I], puke [uk], twist [wI]


(aspiration as devoicing of the following consonant)

2) /s/ + plosive

spin [I]

(no aspiration, i.e. the plosive is unaspirated and perceived as /b/ by native
speakers in the example at hand; VOT=0, i.e. unlike voiced plosives in initial
and medial positions, there is no voicing in the pre-release stage (remember
that VOT<0 for voiced plosives in initial and medial positions))
final:

lip [I]
(often with no audible release; see below
for other possible pronunciations)

final cluster:

wiped [wI]
Lenis vs. fortis consonants

Those English consonants which are usually voiced tend


to be articulated with relatively weak energy (lenis),
whereas those which are always voiceless are relatively
strong (fortis). Indeed, so-called voiced consonants may
have very little voicing (cf. -b) so that the energy of
articulation becomes a significant factor in
distinguishing the voiced and voiceless series. Since
voicing depends on the phonological contexts, some
linguists prefer the terms lenis and fortis in place of,
respectively, voiced and voiceless.
_ 0 +
VOT
pre-release release post-release

final devoiced []

medially fully voiced []

partially voiced [] (negative VOT)

unaspirated [] (zero VOT)

(positive VOT)

NB Underlying indicates voicing


Aspiration is predictable, occurring word or
syllable initially before a stressed vowel (in
polysyllabic words, a weakly stressed
syllable implies weaker aspiration). Since
it is predictable it is not usually given in
phonemic (or quasi-phonemic)
transcriptions.
Phonemic (or broad) transcriptions provide
a minimal (i.e. distinctive) amount of
information while phonetic (or narrow)
transcriptions add details to the minimal
(i.e. phonemic) transcription which are
predictable.
Allophones
/b/ in boast has two allophones: it can be realised as a
fully voiced sound (i.e. [bU]) or as a (partially)
devoiced sound (i.e. [bU]). The two allophones are in
parallel distribution (i.e. one can be used in place of the
other).

/t/ also has two allophones, an aspirated sound (as in


time) and an unaspirated or unreleased one (as in eat).
However, the former is only found word or syllable
initially and the latter is only found word or syllable
finally. That is, the two allophones are in
complementary distribution (i.e. one cannot be used in
place of the other).
Problem:

Initial (i.e. both word initial and syllable initial) voiced and
voiceless plosives are both voiceless (although, acoustically, the
voiced or lenis ones are only partially devoiced).

Still, we can distinguish between the two because of lack vs.


presence of aspiration. But what about final plosives?

Since the final /b/ in rib and the final /p/ in rip are both devoiced, how
can we distinguish between the two words?

We could of course rely on the context and/or on the lenis vs. fortis
distinction (i.e. final /p/ is stronger than final /b/, see above). But the
latter distinction does not help for example when the plosives are
unreleased, of course.

So, is there any way we can distinguish between rib and rip even if
they are uttered out of the blue?
Yes, there is!

There is an important difference which has to do


with the length of the preceding vowel, i.e. so-
called

pre-fortis clipping
to clip = to cut
pre-fortis = before a fortis consonant
hence:
reduction in (cutting of) the length of a vowel, or vowel + nasal, or
vowel + liquid, preceding a fortis consonant (not necessarily a
plosive!)
word initially: word finally:
post [U] league [] vs. leak [k],

boast [bU] cap [kQvs. cab [kQb]*

The diacritic [ ] indicates that the preceding sound is not as long as that followed by []. The
diacritic [ ] is used when the reduction in length involves a sound that is not followed by [].

* Note. Alternative transcriptions for cap and cab are kQ(p)], kQp], [kQb], etc.
feet fit feed fi:d
loose lus lose lu:z
right raIt ride raId

paper "pIp labour "lIb


plating "plItIN play-time "plItaIm

tent tnt tend tnd


bulk blk bulge bldZ

fierce fIs fears fIz


Another type of clipping is rhythmic clipping

lead leader leadership


i: > i: > i:

teacher
i: undergoes both
pre-fortis clipping and
rhythmic clipping
Some more cases

Dental stops in English

/d/ is an alveolar plosive in English. However, if


a dental stop follows, /d/ has a dental articulation
(this is an example of regressive assimilation
(of place of articulation)):

wide [wI] vs. width [wIT]


Nasal and lateral release

Nasal release: when a nasal follows a


homorganic plosive, the plosive is
released directly into the nasal. This
happens with the combinations /tn/ and
/dn/.

Examples:
Britain, fitness, Whitney, kidney, goodnight
Lateral release: when a lateral follows a
homorganic plosive, the plosive is
released directly into the lateral. This
happens with the combinations /tl/ and /dl/.

Examples:
sadly, fiddler, butler, cutlass, atlas
One more plosive
The glottal stop []

Apart from the cases mentioned above, []


is used when the initial sound is a vowel:

Shes [] awfully good.

NB. [] is not a phoneme in English. Why?


/, , k/ and, to some minor extent, /S/ can
be reinforced (see Roach, pp. 55-56) or
replaced by a voiceless glottal stop //
(usually in syllable-final position, especially
word-finally). Examples:

actor [Qk]
bottle [b]
got []
what [w]
FRICATIVES

air escapes through a small passage and


makes a hissing sound

fricatives behave like plosives in terms of


voicing and shortening of the preceding
vowel
labiodental: / /, / /

dental: / /, / / (phonetically more like a lenis dental plosive)

The tongue tip does not necessarily protrude between the teeth
(although this is common in AmE).

alveolar: / /, / /

The air escapes through a narrow passage along the middle of the
tongue; the passage is said to be ____________.

palato-alveolar (post-alveolar):
/ /, / / (it has a limited distribution, e.g. measure, usual)

The passage is a little wider and is called ____________.

Both palato-alveolar phonemes involve some lip rounding.


glottal: / /

Phonetically, it is a voiceless vowel with the


quality of the voiced vowel that follows it;
phonologically, it is a consonant.

When it occurs between voiced sounds (e.g.


ahead, greenhouse), it is usually pronounced
with voicing (this is called breathy voice).

Remember that it is often not pronounced in


unstressed words such as he, her, him, his, and
auxiliary have.
initial <s> + nasal or approximant (e.g. /m/,
/n/, /l/, /r/, /w/) is NOT pronounced /z/. It is
pronounced /s/

Examples: smoke, swatch, swear, sweet,


sweep, smile, snake, slow
Two more fricatives
Some speakers (e.g. Scottish English, Irish English and American
English speakers) distinguish between the initial sounds of the
following words:

initial w initial
(i.e. voiced labiovelar approximant) (i.e. voiceless labiovelar fricative)

witch which
wail whale
Wye why
wear where

Although initial is usually transcribed as w, should actually be


classified as a phoneme for those speakers who use it.
The initial sound in e.g. huge, human is
usually transcribed as j. In fact, it is a
voiceless palatal fricative, i.e. (cf. the
final sound in German ich).
AFFRICATES
palato-alveolar (post-alveolar):

/ / (it is slightly aspirated in the positions were plosives are)

//

They often have rounded lips.


Both fricatives and affricates behave like
plosives in terms of voicing and shortening
of the preceding vowel.

Affricates begin as plosives and end as


fricatives.

The plosive and fricative parts are


homorganic.

They are regarded as a single phoneme.


Affricates can arise in connected speech
(this phenomenon is an example of
coalescence):

dont you [USu]


would you [wUZu]
do you [Zu]
NASALS
__________ /m/

__________ //

__________ /N/

NB /N/ (virtually) never occurs initially.


/N/ never occurs with // at the
end of a morpheme in RP

sing [IN]
singer = sing + er [IN]
singing = sing + ing [ININ]

but: finger (1 morpheme!) [fIN]


An important exception:
comparatives and superlatives

long [N]
longish [NIS]
longer [N]
longest [NI]
Dental allophone:

ten [] vs. tenth [T]


APPROXIMANTS
Lateral /l/: complete closure between the
centre of the tongue and the alveolar ridge
(air escapes along the sides of the tongue)

Lateral release: see above.


Voiceless //, i.e. []: see above.
/l/ has two allophones in complementary
distribution: clear [] and dark (or
velarised) [].

Dark [] is only found syllable finally in RP.

Examples: lull [l], hill, ball


When an affix beginning with a vowel is added
or the next word begins with a vowel (e.g.
fiddling, fiddle it, finally, parcel of books), the
lateral may become clear (in which case it is
usually non-syllabic).

In Estuary English [] is realised as a [U] (e.g.


ball, table, sell, fall). In GenAm, Standard
Scottish English, Australian and New Zealand
English, large parts of the north of England and
North Wales, [] may occur in all positions.
/r/ is a post-alveolar approximant, i.e. [] (but
spelt as [r] for the sake of simplicity). The tip of
the tongue does not make contact with any part
of the roof of the mouth. The tongue is slightly
curled backwards; the tip is raised; the lips are
slightly rounded. Note that /r/ is actually a
voiceless fricative in words like pray.

/r/ occurs only before vowels in


non-rhotic accents.
Note.

Italian /r/ can be either a lingual trill, [], i.e. a


rapid succession of taps by the tip of the tongue
on the alveolar ridge, as in carro, or a tap (or
flap), [], as is caro.

In some English dialects the degree of


retroflexion of the tongue for may be greater
than in RP, as in the speech of the south-west of
England and in some varieties of American
English. This is indicated by the symbol .
Important: intervocalic /t/ in AmE (e.g. water, bitter) is
usually pronounced [].

[] is an alveolar flap (or tap), not a plosive.

[] is similar to /d/ but is more rapid and has more force


(a good approximation of this sound can be achieved if
you say the /r/ in an Italian word like caro rapidly, i.e. if
you dont roll the /r/).

Some American speakers do use /d/ rather than []. [] is


also transcribed as [t] (see Wellss Pronunciation
Dictionary). The diacritic [ ] indicates voicing, i.e. it is
the opposite of [ ], which indicates lack of voicing.
The voiced palatal approximant / / and the
voiced labiovelar approximant / / are
phonetically vowels but consonants
phonologically (i.e. they are followed by vowels).

Their behaviour as consonants is manifest when


they are preceded by the definite and indefinite
article (e.g. a way, a year, the way, the year).

They are slightly fricative when they are


preceded by /p/, /t/, /k/ at the beginning of a
syllable (e.g. pure, tune, cure, twin, quit, see
also above).
Regressive assimilation of place in
fricative + approximant sequences:

miss you [mI(S)Su]


bless you [bl(S)Su]
as usual [ZuZu@l]
More on phonetic processes

1. Initial and final devoicing of consonants doesnt affect nasals and approximants:

ram [ ]
long [ ]
wall [ ]
moon [ ]
yell [ ]
Assimilation: labialisation

2. Some speakers may use labialised consonants when they precede e.g. /:/ (i.e. lip-rounding
starts in the consonant preceding the vowel):

door [ dw: ]
saw [ ]
core [ ]
bore [ ]
Assimilation: nasalisation

3. Vowels preceding nasals are regularly nasalized:

pond [ phnd ]
morning [ ]
string [ ]
man [ ]
ram [ ]
long [ ]
moon [ ]
Epenthesis

4. Epenthetic /t/ between /n/ and /s/: 5. Epenthetic /p/ between /m/ and /s/:
hamster [ "hmst ]
prince [ prIns ]
advance [ ]
dance [ ]
defence [ ]
fence [ ]
once [ ]
Clipping of vowels/diphthongs also take
place before the nasals /m, n, N/ and the
approximants /r, l/. The length is
approximately halfway between that before
other voiceless and voiced consonants (see
Cruttenden 2014: 101).
Summing up
Place of articulation
Post-alveolar
Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labiovelar Glottal
(Palato-alveolar)
Plosive p b t d k
Fricative f v s z h
articulation
Manner of

Affricate t d
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Approximant j w
5. The syllable
The syllable can de defined both

phonetically

and

phonologically
The phonetic view

Syllables are associated with peaks of


sonority (i.e. every syllable corresponds
to a single sonority peak).

The sonority of a sound is its relative


loudness compared to other sounds.
The sonority scale:

Stops Affricates Fricatives Nasals Liquids Semivowels Vowels


Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced High Low
b f m
S Z T j
k N w u

A sonority peak occurs when there is little


or no obstruction to airflow and the peak is
relatively loud.
Some examples
The sonority scale:

Stops Affricates Fricatives Nasals Liquids Semivowels Vowels


Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced High Low
b f m
S Z T j
k N w u

sonority

.
.
. .
time
k Q m
Some examples
The sonority scale:

Stops Affricates Fricatives Nasals Liquids Semivowels Vowels


Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced High Low
b f m
S Z T j
k N w u

sonority

.


.
time
Q u
Some examples
The sonority scale:

Stops Affricates Fricatives Nasals Liquids Semivowels Vowels


Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced High Low
b f m
S Z T j
k N w u

sonority

.
. .

.
time
I
Problems with the sonority theory:

1) Where do we place syllable


boundaries?

2) sticks: Why does it have a single


syllable (it contains three sonority peaks)?
Some examples
The sonority scale:

Stops Affricates Fricatives Nasals Liquids Semivowels Vowels


Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced High Low
b f m
S Z T j
k N w u

sonority

. .
time
I k
An alternative approach is to look at
syllables phonologically, by considering
phonotactics (i.e.
_________________________________)

What is a minimum syllable?


Syllable = [Onset [Nucleus (or Peak) [Coda]]]

e.g. bi:k

Syllable

Onset Rhyme

b Nucleus Coda

i:
Syllable = [Onset [Nucleus (or Peak) [Coda]]]

e.g. bi:k

Syllable

Onset Rhyme

b Nucleus Coda

i:
Syllable = [Onset [Nucleus (or Peak) [Coda]]]

e.g. bi:k

Syllable
Is this a unit (like
Onset Rhyme Rhyme and
Syllable)?

b Nucleus Coda

i:
Draw diagrams for: clamp, pie, feel.
Stressed syllables in English are always

___________________________________,

which means that the rhyme contains at


least _______ Xs.
In English:

Onset: max. 3 consonants

Coda: max. 4 consonants


Onsets
a. eye b. pie c. pry d. *pfry e. spy
eat seat sleeve *tsleeve street
ink wink swing *kswing spring

All consonants except / / can begin an English word.

Pre-initial consonant: / /

Initial consonants

The post-initial consonants are all ________________ (/w/, /l/, /r/, /j/)

In three-consonant clusters, the only possible initial consonants are / /, / /,


/ /.

NB. / / is usually classified as pre-initial only if a consonant other than /w/,


/l/, /r/, /j/ follows.
Check your understanding:

How would you analyse the onset in


sweet?
Codas
a. pie b. seat c. clamp d. *filmp e. clamps
free feel film *firlm adze
fill clasp *clamsp act

All consonants except / /, / /, / / occur word-finally.

What about /r/?

Pre-final consonants are nasals, /s/, and /l/.

Final consonants

The post-final consonants are /s/, /z/, /t/, /d/, /T/.

How can you remember what the first four post-final consonants
listed above are?
Check your understanding:

Which are the two possible analyses of the coda


in Thames? Which one is better?

What about tents? Which analysis is better?

Are there any four-consonant final clusters in


uninflected words in English?
Analyze the onsets and codas in the following words (based on the
written exercise at the end of Chapter 8 in your book)

cramped
squealed
eighths
splashed
stunts
slits
texts

using the following template:

Onset Nucleus Coda


Pre-initial Initial Post-initial Pre-final Final Post-final 1 Post-final 2 Post-final 3
Syllable division

How many syllables does the word students have?

Problematic case:
"kstr

1) ".kstr
2) "k.str
3) "ks.tr
4) "kst.r
5) "kstr.
Maximum Onset Principle (MOP)

Within words, syllable boundaries are placed in such a way that onsets are
maximal (in accordance with the phonotactic constraints of the language).

Divide nature into syllables.

Divide better into syllables.

"bt
1) "b.t
2) "bt.

"kQri
1) "kQ.ri
2) "kQr.i (possible in rhotic varieties)
Check your understanding:

What is the problem with the syllable


divisions in 1) on the previous slide?
Ambisyllabicity

An alternative analysis views /t/ and /r/ in


the previous two words as belonging to
both syllables (i.e. they are said to be
ambisyllabic). An ambisyllabic consonant
belongs to both the coda of the first
syllable and the onset of the second.
Check your understanding:

Divide the following words into syllables


using MOP and ambisyllabicity:

driver, apple, camera, basic, apricot,


village, because, holiday, despair
6. Stress, strong and weak syllables,
weak forms
What is stress?

(1) "f:.D (father)


(2) "hp.i (happy)
(3) "TNkju (thank you)
(4) "bt.l (bottle)
[dictionaries: "bt.l"btl]
(5) "Trt.n (threaten)
[dictionaries: "Trt.n"Trtn]
What is stress?

Perception and production


Stress from a perceptual point of view:
prominence

1) pitch (most important; it is the perceptual


correlate of the fundamental frequency of
vibration of the vocal folds)

2) length (second most important)

3) loudness

4) quality: , i, u, syllabic consonants


Stress from a production point of view:

more muscular energy ( higher


subglottal pressure)
Three levels of stress are usually recognised:

primary, secondary, unstressed

"raUnd
(unstressed + primary stress)

%fU.t"grf.Ik
(secondary stress + unstressed + primary stress + unstressed)

%n.Tr"pl..dZi
(secondary stress + unstressed + primary stress + unstressed + unstressed)
Is it possible to predict English stress placement?

English doesnt behave like languages such as French


(last syllable), Polish (penultimate), Czech (first).

Warning: Section 10.3 is based on a circular argument.


It says that its possible to predict stress placement by
inspecting syllables (i.e. whether they are strong or
weak) but in order to know whether a syllable is strong or
weak, one must know where stress is placed in the first
place!

However, we can identify some general tendencies.


Words of two or three syllables:
Primary stress on first syllable,
e.g. "culture, "hesitant, "motivate

Longer words (more than three


syllables):
Primary stress on the antepenultimate
syllable, e.g. credi"bility, com"municate,
methodo"logical
Complex words

1) words derived from a basic form (base or


stem) with the addition of an affix

person > personality (suffix)

pleasant > unpleasant (prefix)

impossible > im-bloody-possible (infix)

2) compound words (words usually made of two


independent words, e.g. ice-cream, armchair)
Derived words

Suffixes (prefixes are less regular, so well


ignore them)

(1) stress on the suffix;

(2) stress on the last syllable of the base;

(3) stress not affected.


Examples of (1):

-ee: train > trainee (vs. trainer)


trIn >%trI"ni:

-ese: journal > journalese


"dZ:.nl>%dZ:.n"li:z

-ette: cigar > cigaret(te)


sI"g:,s- >%sIg."rt,"---

-esque: picture > picturesque


"pIk.tS>%pIk.tS"rsk
Examples of (2):

-eous, -graphy, -ial, -ic, -ion, -ious, -ty, -ive

-eous: advantage > advantageous


d"v:n.tIdZ>%d.vn"tI.dZs,-v:n"-,-vn"-

-ic: atom > atomic


"t.m>"tm.Ik

-ious: injure > injurious


"In.dZ>In"dZU.ri.s,-"dZ:-

-ive: reflex > reflexive


"ri:.flks>rI"flk.sIv,r-
Examples of (3):

-able, -age, -al, -en, -ful, -ing, -ish, -like, -less, -ly, -ment,
-ness, -ous, -fy, -wise, -y

-able: comfort > comfortable


"kmpf.t>"kmpf.t.bl=,"kmp.f.t-

-age: block > blockage


blk>"blk.IdZ

-al: refuse (v.), refusal


rI"fju:z,r- >rI"fju:.zl,r-
Compounds

Normally, in N + N compounds stress is on the first


element:

(1) "type%writer

(2) "car-%ferry

(3) "sun%rise

(4) "suit%case

(5) "tea-%cup
An interesting contrast:

(1) an "English teacher (a teacher who teaches English)

(2) an English "teacher (a teacher who is English)

(3) a "dolls house (a kind of house)

(4) my brothers "house (not a kind of house!)

(5) "goats milk (a kind of milk)

(6) the goats "tail (not a kind of tail)


But there are exceptions:

a childs "bicycle (a kind of bicycle)


Some exceptions
(mainly based on grammar)
The first element is an adjective and the
second element ends in ed:

%bad-"tempered

%half-"timbered
(A half-timbered house is usually old and
shows the wooden structure of the building
on the outside walls.)

%heavy-"handed
The first element is a number:

%second-"class

%five-"finger
(e.g. five- finger exercise: on the piano; fig. an easy task)

%three-"wheeler
((BrEng) a car that has three wheels ; (AmEng) a vehicle that has
three wheels, especially a motorcycle, tricycle, or special
wheelchair)
The first element functions as an adverb:

%head-"first
(e.g. I fell head-first down the stairs)

%north-"east

%down"stream
(e.g. a boat drifting downstream)
(Slides from 203 to 210 are optional.)
Nouns ending in er or ing + particle:

hanger-"on

passer-"by

washing-"up
ing + noun if the compound suggests a characteristic
of the object, with no idea of aiding an activity:

leading "article
running "water
casting "vote
sliding "scale

vs.

"sewing machine
"running shoes
"scrubbing brush
"washing machine
More cases with stress on the 2nd
element (mainly based on meaning)

(see Collins and Mees 2008: 127-9 and


Wells 2006: 106)
manufacturers rule:

apple "pie vs. "apple tree

plum "brandy vs. "plum stone

paper "bag vs. "paper clip

cotton "socks vs. "cotton reel

diamond "bracelet vs. "diamond cutter


location rule

Turkish delight East Anglia Trafalgar Square


Russian roulette New York Church Road
Burmese cat Castle Bromwich Thorner Place
Scotch mist Notting Hill Churchill Way
Lancashire hotpot Silicon Valley Fifth Avenue
Bermuda shorts Botany Bay
Brighton rock Hyde Park
London pride (the) Severn Bridge but:
Paddington Station Church Street
Carnegie Hall Trafalgar Street
Manchester United
parts of a building

back "door

bedroom "window

garden "seat

office "chair

front "room

but:

"living room

"drawing room
positioning and (to some extent) time

left "wing

Middle "Ages

upper "class

bottom "line

morning "star

afternoon "tea

January "sales

April "showers

summer "holiday
food items (they are covered by the Manufacturers Rule or the Location
Rule)

Worcester "sauce

Welsh "rabbit

Christmas "pudding

fish "soup

but:

"chicken liver
"vine leaves
-bread: "shortbread
-cake: "Christmas cake, "carrot cake
-juice: "orange juice
-paste: "fish paste
Words with identical spelling belonging to
two different word-classes:
Adjectives (A) or Nouns (N) All verbs
abstract "b.strkt(A) b"strkt,b-
conduct "kn.dkt,-dkt (N) kn"dkt
contract "kn.trkt (N) kn"trkt
contrast "kn.tr:st(N) kn"tr:st
desert "dz.t (N) dI"z:t,d-
escort "s.k:t (N) I"sk:t,s"k:t but "s.k:t also possible
export "k.sp:t (N) Ik"sp:t,k-"k.sp:t
import "Im.p:t (N) Im"p:t,%Im-,but "-- also possible
insult "In.slt (N) In"slt
object "b.dZIkt,-dZkt (N) b"dZkt
perfect "p:.fIkt (A) p"fkt,p:-
permit "p:.mIt (N) p"mIt
present "prz.nt(N, A) prI"znt,pr-
produce "prd.ju:s,"prdZ.u:s (N) pr"dju:s,-"dZu:s
protest "prU.tst (N) prU"tst
rebel "rb.l (N) rI"bl,r-
record "rk.:d (note AmE "rk.d) (N) rI"k:d,r-(V)
subject "sb.dZIkt,-dZkt (N) sb"dZkt,sb- but "sb.dZkt,-dZIkt also
possible
Remember that there is a lot of variation!
Based on Wells (2000) From Jones (2003)
controversy "kn.tr.v:.si,-v.sikn"trv..si
comparable "km.pr..bl=
contribute kn"trIb.ju:t,"kn.trI.bju:t,-jt
dispute (noun) (the verb is always dispute) dI"spju:t"dIs.pju:t
distribute dI"strIb.ju:t"dIs.trI.bju:t,-tr-
exquisite Ik"skwIz.It,k-"k.skwI.zIt,-zt
formidable "f:.mI.d.bl=f:"mId.-,f-
irreparable (___ non-RP) I"rp.r..bl=
irrevocable I"rv..k.bl=
kilometre kI"lm.I.t,"--"kIl.U%mi:-
lamentable "lm.n.t.bl=,-In-l"mn
necessarily "ns..sr.l.i,"-I-,-I.li%ns."sr-,-I"-
preferable (___ non-RP) "prf.r..bl=
primarily praI"mr.l.i,-"m.rl-,-I.li"praI.mr.l-,-I.li
reputable (___ non-RP) "rp.j.t.bl=,-jU
temporarily "tm.pr.rl.i,-I.li,-prr-

(double underlining: preferred stress; only BrE shown)


The list on the previous slide shows instances of
idiolectal variation, see also:

"ice-%cream, %ice-"cream

Further, theres variation due to connected speech:

a "bad-tempered "teacher

a "half-timbered "house

a "heavy-handed "sentence
Strong vs. weak syllables
(they differ in stress)

(1) "f:.D (father)


(2) "hp.i (happy)
(3) "TNkju (thank you)
(4) "bt.l (bottle)
[dictionaries: "bt.l"btl]
(5) "Trt.n (threaten)
[dictionaries: "Trt.n"Trtn]
Weak vowels in Italian
Stressed:
a, E (cf. psca peach), e (cf. psca fishing),
i, u, o (cf. btte thrashing), O (cf. btte barrel)

Unstressed:
a, e (cf. cane), i, u, o (cf. gatto)
//, /i/, and /u/ dont occur in strong
syllables, nor do syllabic consonants like
/ /, / /.

Weak syllables have a small number of


possible peaks and they can have no
coda.

Why is "hp.i no longer a phonemic


transcription?
@ is a ________, __________, lax vowel
(the lips are in neutral position).

It corresponds to many different spellings:


<a>, <ar>, <ate>, <o>, <or>, <e>, <er>,
<u>, <ough>, <ou>.

See Chapter 9 for examples.


/i/ and /u/ are close front and close back
vowels respectively.

It is difficult to distinguish between /i:/ and


/I/ and /u:/ and /U/ in unstressed syllables.
Still, they are more like /i:/ and /u:/ when
they precede another vowel, less so when
they precede a consonant or pause.
Where do we find i?

i) <-y>, <-ey> and in morphologically related


words before a vowel (e.g. "hr.i.IN)

ii) unstressed prefixes such as <re->, <pre->,


<de-> + vowel (e.g. ri."kt)

iii) <-iate>, <-ious> (e.g. ."pri:.Si.It,hI"l.ri.s)

iv) he, she, we, me, be, the (+ vowel) (all


unstressed)
Notice that /i/ and // in hI"l.ri.s can be
compressed into a single syllable,
producing a crescendo (or rising)
diphthong:

hI"l.ri.s > hI"l.rjs

In LPD: hI "lr is
rising (or crescendo) diphthong:
2nd element more prominent than 1st one

falling (or diminuendo) diphthong:


1st element more prominent than 2nd one

NB /j/ in yes /js/could be analysed as a


crescendo diphthong (rather than
semiconsonant + vowel)
How would you transcribe lenient using
LPD conventions?

"li:nint
= "li:nint(slower), "li:njnt(faster)
Where do we find u?

i) you, to, into, do (all unstressed and not


immediately preceding a consonant)

ii) through, who (all unstressed)

iii) within a word: before another vowel


(e.g. "mju:.tSu.l)
Notice that /u/ and // in "In.flu.ns can be
compressed into a single syllable,
producing a crescendo diphthong:

"In.flu.ns(slower) > "In.flwns(faster)

In LPD: "Influns
Transcribe ridiculous

rI"dIkjUl@s

rI"dIkj@l@s
Syllabic l

It occurs after another consonant.


It is dark.
In less common words or more technical
words /l/ can be used instead:
e.g. "bt.l vs. "kwIt.l or "kwIt.l

[NB The notation "bt.l is redundant (cf. non-redundant


"btl and "bt.l). Still, well be using it for the sake of clarity.]
Syllabic n

More restricted than l. n is most common


(medially and finally) after
alveolar plosives and fricatives:
e.g. "Trt.n= and "sv.n=

A sequence of two consonants + n= is


unlikely: London is normally "lnd.n
Syllabic m and N

They occur only as a result of processes


such as elision and assimilation:

"hQp.m=
(also: "hQp.n, "hQp.n)

"brU.kN ki:
(also: "brU.kn, "brU.kn)
Syllabic r

It is very common in rhotic accents:

particular pr."tIk..lr
Syllabic consonants can be found together:

national "nQSnl

Warning: it is often difficult to say whether


a speaker has pronounced a syllabic
consonant, a non-syllabic consonant or a
non-syllabic consonant plus .
Syllabic consonants in dictionaries

"btl(both CPD and LPD)


= "bt.l (morlikly/rcommndd)
"bt.l(lsslikly/notrcommndd)

"dIst@nt(LPD only, cf. "dIs.tntin CPD)


= "dIst.nt(morlikly/rcommndd)
"dIst.n=t(lsslikly/notrcommndd)

(notice difference in syllabification between LPD and CPD


in distant)
More on compression:

- resulting in a crescendo (i.e. rising) diphthong (cf. hilarious, influence)

- involving syllabic consonants (cf. maddening, doubling)

- resulting in a diminuendo (i.e. falling) diphthong (cf. agreeable,


diagram)
Compression with syllabic consonants:

LPD: "TrtnIN
= 1. "Trtn= IN
2. "Trtn IN
3. "TrtnIN

CPD: "Trt.n.IN(= 1 and 2 above)


"TrtnIN
LPD: "mju:tS u@l
= "mju:tS u l
"mju:tS u l
"mju:tS wl
"mju:tS wl

Another possibility is: "mju:tS.@l

CPD: "mju:.tSu.land "mju:.tSl

[notice difference in syllabification again]


Two potential syllabic consonants:

LPD: "nQS n@l

CPD: "nQS.n.l
Compression affecting long vowels and
diphthongs (see also smoothing, common
in BrE but not in AmE):

LPD:

agreeable "gri:bl(= ."gri:.b.l or ."grIb.l)


ruinous "ru:Ins(= "ru:.In.s or "rUIn.s)
scientist "saInt Ist (= "saI.nt.Ist or "sant.Ist)
nowadays "naUdIz (= "naU..dIz or "na.dIz)

NB. CPD:
scientist "saIn.tIst
Strong and weak forms

(a) Lho vista.

(b) Ho visto lei.


Strong and weak forms

(a) Lho vista. weak form


(clitic pronoun)

(b) Ho visto lei (non lui). strong form


Strong and weak forms
I saw her.

(a) I SAW her.

(b) I saw HER.


Strong and weak forms
I saw her.

(a) I SAW her.


aI sO; @ weak her

(b) I saw HER.


aI sO; h3; strong her
Strong and weak forms
I saw her.

(a) I SAW her.


aI sO;r @ weak her

(b) I saw HER.


aI sO; h3; strong her
Strong and weak forms
I saw her.

(a) I SAW her.


aI sO;r @ weak her
(cf. pour a bit of water
pO:r @ bIt @(v) "wO:t@)
Some words can be pronounced in two
different ways:

aIlaIkDQt (strong form)

aIhUpDt SiwIl (weak form)

Such words are usually function (or


grammatical) words.
Some tendencies (see your book for examples):

1) the strong form is used if some kind of emphasis is


implied (e.g. contrast, co-ordination, stress, citation);

2) the strong form is used at the end of a rhythmic group


see, for instance, cases 15-22, except for pronouns
(unless they are used emphatically) and (usually) 19;

3) weak forms beginning with <h> have /h/ at the


beginning of a rhythmic group;

4) a preposition preceding a pronoun can be used in


strong or weak form, e.g
I was looking for you ["f:ju, f"ju]
([j] is also possible here)
Transcribe the underlined phrases:

I gave it to you.
Ive heard from her.
I waited for him/her.
I looked at her.
Weak or strong? (Transcribe the underlined words as well.)

Thats the picture I was looking at. _________________________________


You were later than I was this morning. _________________________________
He can sing well, but I can too. _________________________________
Hes younger than I am. _________________________________
They were being looked for by the police. _________________________________
He left before he should have. _________________________________
I told them to do it, but they wont have unfortunately. _________________________________
We have our holiday in August. _________________________________
We have to go. _________________________________
You have seen them. _________________________________
Complete the table

strong form weak form


1 the
2 a, an
3 and
4 but
5 that
6 than
7 his
8 her
9 your
10 she, he, we, you
(e.g. He was late, wasnt he?)
you has also the weak form [j], which is
used in casual speech
11 him
12 her
13 them

[m] is also possible in casual speech


(e.g. Givem back!)
14 us
15 at
16 for
17 from
18 of
19 to [tu before vowels and at the end of a
rhythmic group, [t elsewhere
20 as
21 some un qualche [sm; un po [sm, but
[sm in final position
22 there
finally: either [D or [D
23 can
24 have, has, had

26 must [mst before vowels, [ms elsewhere;


if used epistemically (vs. obligation), strong
form preferred

27 do, does [d vs. [du (before vowels)


28 am, are, was, were
In general, stressed vowels become schwas

vowels @

except for

i; i
u; U (but also @)*
I I

* E.g. in to, do, you.


7. Connected speech
Rhythm

Lets mark the stressed syllable in the following sentence


(stress falls on open-class or content words)

"Walk "down the "path to the "end of the ca"nal

English as a stress-timed language: stressed syllables


are said to occur at (relatively) regular intervals.

By contrast, Italian is usually classified as a syllable-


timed language (all syllables tend to have the same
length).
In the previous example there are 5 feet (you
start with a stressed syllable and include all
unstressed syllables up to, but not including, the
following stressed syllable).

"Walk "down the "path to the "end of the ca "nal


1 2 3 4 5

Some theories divide feet into strong and weak.


It seems that stresses are altered
according to context. Further, stress-
timed rhythm may be characteristic of
some styles, not of English as a whole.

The difference between stress-timed and


syllable-timed languages is controversial.
What is really important in the case of
English is the difference between strong
and weak syllables.
Assimilation in Italian (and English)
instabile unstable
{IN} impossible impossible
illogico illogical
Assimilation in Italian (and English)
instabile unstable
{IN} impossible impossible
illogico illogical
Assimilation in Italian (and English)
instabile unstable
{IN} impossible impossible
illogico illogical

Eravamo in tanti.
There were a lot of us.

Sono stato in piedi tutta la lezione.


I had to stand the whole lesson.
Assimilation in Italian (and English)
instabile unstable
{IN} impossible impossible
illogico illogical

Eravamo in [in] tanti.


There were a lot of us.

Sono stato in [im] piedi tutta la lezione.


I had to stand the whole lesson.
Assimilation in Italian (and English)
instabile unstable
{IN} impossible impossible
illogico illogical

Eravamo in [in] tanti.


There were a lot of us.

Sono stato in [im] piedi tutta la lezione.


I had to stand the whole lesson.

She was born in [Im] Paris.


Assimilation
(usually found in rapid, casual speech):
Cf | Ci

of place: Cf is alveolar and Ci is not alveolar


word in isolation place of articulation progressive or regressive
DQp:sn=
laIblu:=
mi:=paI
DQTIN
gDUz
kTru:
DQkIs
braIkl
kwaIgUd
tmpi:pl
tnTINgz
"brUkNki:
/s/ and /z/ are less affected:

s > S before S, j DISSu:

z > Z before S, j DUZjIz


of manner (less noticeable)

words in isolation manner of articulation progressive or regressive


DQsaId
gUnnaIt
Inn
gm
ri:i:z
of voice:

limited, only regressive and only involving


devoicing

supposed to : s"pUzd t> s"pUstt

... have to ...: hv t > hft


NB Assimilation occurs also word-
internally and takes place without
exception:

tenth, bank, plural s

What types of assimilation do the previous


examples illustrate?
Elision
i) loss of weak vowel after p, t, k: potato, tomato, canary, perhaps, today

ph"tItU,th"m:tU,kh"nri,ph"hps,th"dI

ii) weak vowel + n, l, r n, l, r become syllabic: tonight, police, correct

tnaIt, pli:s, krkt

iii) avoidance of complex consonant clusters: George the Sixths throne,


acts, looked back, scripts

sIksTrUn,ks,lUkbk,skrIps

iv) loss of v in of before consonants: lots of them, waste of money

ltsDm,wIst"mni

v) contractions: had, is, has, will, have, not, are, etc.


Linking and intrusive [r]

linking intrusive
intrusive [r] is more common after [ than [ and [:
(and word internally its often stigmatised)
here are Formula A draw it
four eggs Australia all out raw egg
media event law and order
idea of it the spa at Bath
India and China nougat and chocolate
vodka and tonic drawing
Check your understanding:

What allows an English speaker not to confuse the


following pairs?

maI :n vs. maI :n

maI reIn vs. maI reIn

O:l D@ aIm A:f@ @eI vs. O:l D@ aIm A:f@ @eI

hi: laIz vs. hi:l aIz

i: IIN vs. i: IIN


8. Intonation
Wells, J. C. 2006. English Intonation.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(Section 1.6; Chapter 3; Sections 5.13,
5.13, 5.14.)

See also:

Hewings, Martin. 2007. English


Pronunciation in Use: Advanced.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The study of intonation is part of suprasegmental
phonology (vs. segmental).

Pitch (auditory sensation, i.e. subjective) vs.


fundamental frequency (objective)

Tone: variation in pitch used to distinguish words (e.g.


Chinese ma)

Intonation: variation in pitch not used to distinguish


words but for other purposes (e.g. falling vs. rising
intonation to, typically, distinguish statements vs.
questions in Italian)

Tone is also used to refer to:


pitch movement (that starts) on the tonic syllable (or
nucleus), e.g. falling tone (= falling intonation)
Pitch differences are linguistically significant when

1) they are under the speakers control,


2) they are perceptible.
Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Some confusing terminology (see Cruttenden
1997: 13)

stress = prominence
accent = prominence (in an intonation group)
involving pitch movement (pitch accent)
I ran all the way to the station
_________________________

_________________________

Hence:

stress is more general than accent


Utterance: a continuous piece of speech beginning and ending with a clear
pause.

Minimal utterance: one syllable.

Tone: the overall behaviour of the pitch*: level vs. moving (e.g. falling,
rising)

_yes _no
yes no
yes no
yes no (complex tone: fall-rise)
yes no (complex tone: rise-fall)

We ignore differences between high and low level tones.

In ordinary speech, the intonation tends to take place within the lower part
of the speakers pitch range (extra pitch height is symbolised by , e.g.
yes).

Is English a tone** language?

[*This is the second meaning of the word tone we saw in an earlier slide.]
[** Here tone is used in the first meaning that we saw earlier.]
Form vs. function of English tones

It is not always possible to state what the


function of a tone is but we can identify
some tendencies.

Fall: neutral, finality

A: Have you seen Ann?


B: No.
Rise: invitation to continue (e.g. in instructions or
directions)

A: You start off on the ring road


B: yes
A: turn left at the first roundabout
B: yes
A: and ours is the third house on the left.

A: Have you seen Ann?


B: no (vs. no)

A: Do you know what the longest balloon flight


was?
B: no (vs. no)
Fall-rise: limited agreement

A: Ive heard that its a good school.


B: yes

A: Its not really an expensive book, is it?


B: no
Rise-fall: strong feeling

A: You wouldnt do an awful thing like


that, would you?
B: no

A: Isnt the view lovely!


B: yes
Level: routine, uninteresting (e.g. roll-call,
routine questions)

There are three sizes available, _SMALL,


_MEdium and LARGE.
is it you

three-syllable utterance consisting of one


tone-unit;

The only syllable that carries a tone (i.e.


the tonic syllable or nucleus) is the third
one.
John is it you

four-syllable utterance consisting of two


tone-units

Alternative names for tone-unit:

tone group, intonation phrase


Simple tone-unit

Head: the part of a tone-unit that extends from the first stressed
syllable (the onset of the head) up to the tonic syllable. Remember
that stressed words are (usually) content words (nouns, adjectives,
verbs, adverbs), but see also below.

"Bill "called to "give me these

Pre-head: all the unstressed syllables preceding the first stressed


syllable.

in a "little "less than an hour

Tail: all the syllables following the tonic syllable up to the end of the
tone-unit
look at it
both of them were here
NB. If there is a tail, the pitch movement is
not completed on the tonic syllable, see
the previous two examples. In such cases,
the tonic syllable is the syllable on which
the pitch movement of the tone begins.
In sum:

(PH) (H) TS (T)

where (usually) H begins with the first


stressed content word and TS belongs to
the last stressed content word. But the
issue of tonicity (i.e. where the nucleus
goes), in particular, deserves closer
scrutiny (see Wells 2006: Ch. 3).
More generally, well be discussing the
following cases:

A. Onset (i.e. beginning of the head) on a


function word
B. Final, but not nuclear
C. Phrasal verbs
D. Nucleus on last noun
E. Event sentences (an instance of D)
Well see that there is a tendency for the
nucleus to go on the last nominal element
which is in focus (i.e. it is not given) and is
outside an optional locative/temporal
adverbial phrase.
A. Onset on a function word
(from Wells 2006: 237-40)
(In the following examples the head is in blue
and tonic syllable in red.)

Interrogative wh-words are stressed:

"Who wrote the report?

"How do you feel?

but:

"This is the officer who "wrote the report.


What happens to nucleus placement when a (direct or indirect)
question has the pattern
wh-word + be + pronoun
(i.e. it contains only function words)?

The nucleus goes on the verb be.

"How are you?

"Tell me how you are.

"What is it?

"Tell me what it is.

(Welcome back!) "Hows it been?

"Tell me how its been.


but:

"Whos she? (pointing at somebody)

"Whos that? (hearing somebody at the door)

"Who is that? (knocking at the door continues)

"How old are you?

"Whats it for? (see Wells 2006: 144)

"Whats this button for? (see Wells 2006: 144)


Demonstratives and place adverb there are
readily stressed:

"Thats an interesting point.

"There he sat "drinking his beer.

but:

That "anyone should forget was unthinkable.

Theres "nothing we can do.


In yes-no questions, an initial auxiliary or
modal is optionally stressed:

"Did you remember?


or
Did you remember?

"Can you swim?


or
Can you swim?
An initial contracted negative verb is
almost always accented, so too is the
word not.

"Havent we been here before?

Im "not really sure.


The modals ought, used, need, dare are usually stressed even in
statements. The other auxiliaries and modals are also often stressed
in statements if by doing so we avoid an awkwardly long prehead.
May, might, and should are usually stressed. Deontic must, unlike
epistemic must, is usually not stressed.

I "used to live in San Diego.

Im "going to be late for work.


or
Im going to be late for work.

She "must be late. (epistemic must)

You must re"member to brush your teeth. (deontic must)


Pronouns are stressed not only when
contrastive, but also when coordinated or to
signal a change of grammatical subject or
object.

"You do the ironing and "Ill wash the floor.


(contrast)

"You and I could "sort it out quickly.


(coordination)

"Bill told Mary and then "she told Jennifer.


(object subject)
Prepositions and subordinating conjunctions
which have considerable semantic content or
are polysyllabic may be stressed.

(")On the table youll "find a glass.


vs.
By a re"markable coincidence

Al"though I tried my best


vs.
If you "really cant wait
When prepositions or other grammatical
items are coordinated, they are usually
stressed (see also above on coordinated
pronouns):

"To and (")from work.

"If and (")when he returns


B. Final, but not nuclear
Empty words and pro-forms

I "keep seeing things.

"What are you going to tell people?

Theyre "really going places.

"Have a word with the guy.


(= "Have a word with him.)

I "cant stand that woman.


(= I "cant stand her.)
For some reason (I keep forgetting to do it.)

In some cases (the answer is obvious.)

Some days (I feel very depressed.)

("Can I borrow your ruler? ) I "havent got


one.

("Can I borrow some sugar? ) I "havent got


any.
Adverbials of time and place

"Did you see Big Brother on television last night?

Hes "got a tattoo on his arm.

Theres a fly in my soup.


(vs. C una "mosca nella minestra.)

But they can carry the nucleus in a separate intonation


phrase:

Were "going to Brighton tomorrow.


Were "going to Brighton tomorrow.
Adverbials of time and place can bear the
nucleus if the sense of the verb would be
incomplete without the final adverbial:

"Put it on the table.

"Write the details in the book.


Descriptive adverbials (e.g. adverbials of
manner), on the other hand, tend to bear
the nucleus:

She ex"pressed her views honestly.

She "walks with a noticeable limp.


C. Phrasal verbs
"How are you getting on?

Its "time to drink up.

but:

(Here are the photos. ) "May I look at


them?

"Which of them can you really rely on?


NB. If the particle is separated from the
verb by an object which is not given, then
the particle is not stressed:

"Take your shoes off.

"Take them off.

(to someone who has just heard a good joke)


You ought to "write these jokes down.
D. Nucleus on last noun
The nucleus is put on a NOUN
where possible.

"Which colour do you prefer?


"Which do you prefer?

"What did Mary do?


"What did she do?

Ill "get the table ready.


Ill "get it ready.
This is very common with defining relative
clauses:

"Look at what shes wearing!

"Look at the shoes shes wearing!


Check your understanding:

Wheres the nucleus?

I have plans to leave. (ambiguous)

Heres the book that you asked me to bring.

Ive got to take the dog for a walk.

Ive got to take the dog to the vet.

I have a book to read.


Ho un libro da leggere.

I dont like the shirts he wears.


Non mi piacciano le camice che indossa.
E. Event sentences

(i.e. They can be thought of as answers to


the question What happened?)
This is also a case of nucleus on last
noun (see also Wells 2006: 174-7):

The radios gone wrong.


Back to functions
Tendencies:

fall: finality, definiteness

rise: general questions, listing, more to follow

fall-rise: uncertainty, requesting

rise-fall: surprise
Statements, commands and wh-questions typically
involve falling tones, whereas yes/no questions and non-
final clauses usually have rising nuclei:

Statements:
She "carefully read the instructions.

Commands:
Tell me about it.

Wh-questions:
"Whats the best way to roast a goose?
Yes/No questions:
"Will it be ready by Friday?

Non-final clauses:
Al"though Oliver promised to help (he
"let us down.)

What about lists?


This train is for Leeds, York, Darlington
and Durham.
(see the written exercises in Roach)
But remember that these are just general
tendencies. For example, wh-questions may be
said with a rising pattern. The rising pattern
makes them sound more friendly (whereas the
falling pattern makes them sound more distant):

"Whats your name?


(e.g. a policeman interviewing a suspect)

"Whats your name?


(e.g. meeting someone you like)
In fact, intonation can be used to disambiguate
sentences:

The Conservatives who like the proposal are


pleased. (ambiguous)

The price is going up.


(used as a statement vs. question)

They are coming on Tuesday, arent they?


(provide confirmation vs. request for information)
Summing up (nucleus in red):

noun verb
adjective
particle

pronoun/ verb
adjective
particle

NB. Final prepositions are never stressed (although


strong forms, with the exception of to, are used) unless
all other elements in the intonation phrase are function
words (e.g. What is it for? vs. What is it?)
There is a tendency for the nucleus to go
on the last nominal element which is in
focus (i.e. it is not given) and is outside an
optional locative/temporal adverbial
phrase.
Check your understanding

Locate the nucleus:

(1) Switch over to the BBC.


(2) I need some new running shoes.
(3) Ive lost my credit card.
(4) Ill tell them.
(5) Have you forgotten me?
(6) What are you looking at?
(7) Where does she come from?
(8) Whos she with?
(9) Whats it about?
(10) Take your umbrella with you.
(11) His ties got a stain on it.
(12) When is it?
(13) See who it is.
(14) You mustnt annoy people.
(15) Ive got something to say to you guys.
(16) (Why are you looking so worried?)
Ive got an exam this afternoon.
(17) (Everything OK?)
Its a bit hot in here.
(18) Take some of them off.
(19) They ran away.
(20) Its time to take the plates away.
(21) They brought the meeting forward.
(22) Take them away.
(23) They brought it forward.
(24) I wonder how the projects going.
(25) Ive got two essays to write.
(26) How often do you have the house painted?
(27) This is the book I mentioned.
(28) Which dress did you choose?
(29) Which route should we take?
(30) Which did you choose?
(31) Which should we take?
(32) Where is Martin going?
(33) Where is he going?
(34) How can we keep the salad fresh?
(35) He held his hands up.
(36) How can we keep it fresh?
(37) He held them up.
(38) My ankles hurting again.
(39) Youve got your collar turned up.
THE END