silent consonants

of 27 /27
The dumb knight brought a wrong sword.

Author: sekar-rinjani

Post on 24-Oct-2014




4 download

Embed Size (px)


[ dm nat brt r sd]

[hi nilz dan t nkl nd dm ers]

k k c

w nh

There are consonants that are spelled but not pronounced at all.

Objective: Give EFL teachers prior knowledge about the pattern of English silent consonants.

Teachers can design attractive classroom activity to help the students comprehend the concept of silent consonants easily based on the result of the analysis.


Paper Analysis


Activity Reflection


Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables

2. Etymology The investigation of word histories (Durkin, 2009:18). 3. Phonotactics

The statement about possible sequences of phonemes (Bybee, 2001:88).


Silent Consonants in the Onset

Silent Consonants in the Coda

Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables: OnsetNo Silent Consonant Letter Combinationsc

Example(s)discipline /ds..pln/, fascinate / Czar /zr/ heiress /e.res/, honest / cheetah /ti.t/ ghetto /get./, ghost /gst/ khaki / shepherd /ep.d/ rhapsody /rp.s.di/, rhyme /ram/ knuckle /nk.l/, knock /nk/ Mnemonics /nmn.ks/


ccz h ch gh kh ph rh kn mn





k m

Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables: OnsetNo Silent Consonant Letter Combination Example(s) pneumonia / pseudo /su.d/, pterodactyl / castle /, nestle /nes.l/ mustnt /ms.nt/ answer / /, sword /sd/ two /tu/ who /hu/, whole /hl/ write /rat/, wrong /r/


p t w



pn ps pt stl stn sw tw wh wr

Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables: CodaNo Silent Consonant Letter Combinationmb bt cht

Example(s)climb /klam/, thumb /m/ doubt /dat/, debt /det/ yacht /jt/

1. 2. 3.

b ch d g

nd dngm gn gh ght

grandmother /grm.m.r / Wednesday / /da..frm/ campaign /kmpen/ sleigh /sle/ tight /tat/, bought /bt/




Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables: CodaNo Silent Consonant Letter Combinationh rh thm ld lf lk lm lv mn rnp sp pt rps s sl

Example(s)Hallelujah / myrrh /mr/ rhythm /r.m/ could /kd/, should /d/ calf /kf/, half /hf/ chalk /tk/, talk /tk/ calm /km/, palm /pm/ calves /kvz/, halves /hvz/ autumn /.tm/, damn /dm/ government /gv.r.mnt/cupboard /kb.d/ raspberry / receipt /rsit/ corps /kr / debris /deb.ri/ aisle /al/, isle /al/


h l



n ps



Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables: CodaNo Silent Consonant Letter Combinationt rt st stlw wk wl wn Z




buffet /bf.e/, ballet /bl.e/ mortgage / chestnut /tes.nt/ rustle /rsl/, whistle /ws.l/ awry /ra/ hawk /hk/, awkward /.kwd/ brawl /brl/, crawl /krl/ dawn /dn/, pawn /pn/ rendezvous /





Position and Possible Combination with Other Letters in Syllables: Conclusion

Some consonants will be unpronounced if they occur in the same syllable with certain consonant combination. (e.g. condemn)

The same consonant combination will be pronounced if they occur in separate syllable. (e.g. condemnation)Some consonants could be silent only in the onset or in the coda of syllable, yet some could be silent in both position. Some consonants can be unpronounced even if they occur without other consonant combination.

EtymologySilent gh in ght. The words ended in ght do not have g in their original words, e.g. fight foehtan (Old English) Silent ps in the beginning of words. The words beginning with ps are mostly from Greek. E.g. psychology psykhe (breath, spirit). Silent g in gn. The words beginning with gn are mostly originated from Old English (e.g. gnat from OE gneat) and from French (e.g. gnome from Fr. gnome). The words ending with gn are mostly derived from French and originally from Latin (e.g. reign (v) from O. Fr. regner, originally from L. regnare) Silent g in gm. The words that end with gm are mostly from Late Latin (L.L) and originally from Greek. E.g. paradigm from L.L. paradigma, from Gk. Paradigma.

EtymologySilent b. The words that contain silent b are mostly originated from words without b in their original spelling. E.g. crumb from OE. Cruma. Silent k in kn.

The words that begin with kn are mostly derived from Old English cn. E.g.: knife from OE. Cnif.Silent w in wh. The words that begin with wh are mostly originated from Old English words that begin with h. E.g. who from OE. Hwa. Silent n in mn

The words that ended with mn are mostly derived from longer words in Old French and rooted from Latin. E.g. damn from OE. damner, from L. damnare.

Etymology: ConclusionMost of the words which contain silent consonants are rooted from Old English and from foreign languages, especially Greek, Latin, French, and German. The spelling of original words influence the pronunciation of modern words.

PhonotacticsIn English words spelt with ght, the silent gh is quite regular. All the sample words that consist of ght are pronounced with the preceding vowel and the /t/. If words are spelt with gh, there are some irregularities of silence.

English words with kn, gn, and pn at the beginning or at the end are pronounced as a single phoneme /n/.The consonant cluster stl in one syllable will result in silent t, as in castle. Based on phonotactics, it is impossible for stl to occupy the position of words initials in English.

For example, the words sleigh, though, and through are pronounced with silent gh; but in some words like tough and cough, the gh is pronounced as /f/.

PhonotacticsConsonant cluster rh will mostly be pronounced as single phoneme /r/. Most word initials with ps will be pronounced as /s/, and p is unpronounced as in psychology, psalm, and pseudo. Based on phonotactics, the words initial with psy has to start with an /s/.

When mb or mn occur in the same syllable, they are pronounced as /m/, leaving the b and n unpronounced.Some consonant-endings of French loans, such as p, t, and s are not pronounced. For example: coup, ballet, bourgeois, crochet, debris, and debut



WHILST-TEACHING: CHAIN STORY1. Work in pair, read the list of silent consonants k, g, and w. Choose a word from each category.


First pair: Make a sentence based on the words you choose in the form of narration.Write your sentence on the board and read it aloud.

4.5. 6.

Next pair: Continue the story. Make your own sentence from the words you choose.Write your sentence on the board and read it aloud. Make sure youre not using the same word with the previous group.

POST-TEACHING: REVIEWLets review the words using silent consonants in our story. Is it too hard for you? What would you suggest me to improve the practice of silent consonants?

ConclusionTeaching silent consonants with videos and chain stories attempts to fulfill the principle of teaching as proposed by Brown (2007: 331) and Williams and Burden (2000:38): Focus on both fluency and accuracy. Provide intrinsically motivating technique. Encourage creativity. Develop a knowledge of the process of learning. Encourage self-initiation. Allow for choice. Encourage self-evaluation. Provide appropriate feedback and correction.