unit 2 consonants and vowels the classification of consonants and vowels

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Unit 2 Consonants and Unit 2 Consonants and Vowels Vowels The classification of The classification of consonants and vowels consonants and vowels

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  • Unit 2 Consonants and VowelsThe classification of consonants and vowels

  • Classification of PhonemesI.Organs of speech Speech sounds are made with organs of speech .Therefore, to help the study of English speech sounds, it is necessary for us to have a clear idea of the vocal organs and their functions.Fig.1 is a diagram showing a side view of the organs of speech.

  • 1.upper lip/lower lip2.upper teeth/lower teeth3.teeth-ridge4.hard palate5.soft palate6.uvula7.pharynx8.larynx9.tip of the tongue10.blade of the tongue11. Front of the tongue12.middle of the tongue 13.back of the tongue14. Root of the tongue( tip of the tongue /blade of the tongue/body of the tongue/root of the tongue.)

    15. epiglottis 16.glottis 17.Vocalcords 18Nasal cavity 19. Pharynx cavity 20.mouthcavity

  • When we produce a sound, we draw air into the lungs and then release it slowly through the larynx, the pharynx (the pharynx cavity) and the mouth (oral cavity) or the nose (nasal cavity). The larynx contains the vocal cords. When they are drawn near together, they aremade to vibrate by the air coming from the lungs, thus producing voiced sounds such as vowels and consonants. If the vocal cords are drawn apart , the air leaves freely .There is no vibration of the vocal cords. The sound ,thus made ,is voiceless. Nasal sounds refer to the sounds produced with the air coming out of the nose. Oral sounds refer to the sounds produced with the air coming out of the mouth.Three resonating cavities: the Pharynx, the Nasal cavity and the oral cavity. ( As we know sounds produced by the movement of the vocal cords need to be amplified and further modified in order to be functional in speech. Without the resonating cavities, the vocal cords, like the strings of violin without the body of the instrument, would make very little

  • Classification of English Phonemes1.Phonemes and Allophones In the study of English Phonetics it is necessary to distinguish between phonemes and allophones. Many linguists agree that English has 44 phonemes , that is,20 vowels and24 consonants. But in fact each of these can be pronounced in many slightly different ways,so that the total number of sounds actually produced in speech is practically endless. Forexample: 1) / l / in let is clear, and the / l / in tell, told and always is dark ,the / l / in please is voiceless, etc. 2) the / k / in key, kiss is advanced, the / k / in cop , cook is retracted and the / k / in cup,curl is normal, neither advanced ,nor retracted. However, the native speakers still hold that English has one / l / sound and only one,one / k / sound and one only. Why? The answer is that they have customarily divided all those slightly different sounds they could possibly produce into a definite number of groups.Only those sounds which serve to distinguish one word from another are regarded as belonging to different groups, or to different phonemes in our technical term. Phonemes are distinctive and contrastive. So phoneme is the smallest contrastive linguistic unit whichmay bring about a change of meaning as A. C. Gimson defined. The /l/ sounds and the / k /sounds mentioned above are called allophones of the phonemes / l / and / k / respectively.

  • The symbols used to represent phonemes are phonemic symbols, which are put in slant bars / /. There are 44 basic phonemes in English. They are divided into vowels and consonants.

    2.What are vowels or consonants? Vowels are sounds produced without obstruction of the air passage in the mouth but with the vibration of the vocal cords. So all vowels are voiced. Consonants are sounds produced with a complete or partial obstruction which preventsthe air from going freely through the mouth .They are either voiced or voiceless.

  • Why use phonemic symbols?

    The alphabet which we use to write English has 26 letters but (British) English has 44 sounds. Inevitably, English spelling is not a reliable guide to pronunciation becauseSome letters have more than one sound Sometimes letters are not pronounced at all The same sound may be represented by different letters Sometimes syllables indicated by the spelling are not pronounced at all

    Questions:How do you pronounce gh in 'enough', 'through' and 'ghost'? (like f in fun, not pronounced, like g in got) How many syllables are there in 'chocolate'?

  • Description of the English consonantsClassification of English Consonants There are 24 consonants in English. They are classified according to three different principles: a) the vibration of the vocal cords/the state of the vocal cords. b) place of articulation; and c) manner of articulation.

  • Places of articulation 1. bilabial (two lips)

    2. labio-dental (top teeth/bottom lip)

    3. dental (tongue tip/top teeth)

    4. alveolar (tongue tip/tooth ridge)

    5. post alveolar (tongue tip or mid/hard palate)


    7. palatal (tongue mid/hard palate)

    8. velar (tongue back/ soft palate)

    9. glottal

  • Manners of articulation1. Stops (or plosives)2. Fricatives3. Affricates4. Nasals5. Lateral6. Approximants (Semi-vowels)

  • Table of English Consonants

  • Stops ( Plosives)Stops/Plosives - English has six bursts or explosive sounds produced by complete closure of the vocal tract followed by a rapid release of the closure - 'p', 't', 'k', 'b', 'd', 'g'. /p/- voiceless bilabial stop /b/- voiced bilabial stop /t/- voiceless alveolar stop /d/- voiced alveolar stop /k/- voiceless velar stop //- voiced velar stop

  • The pronunciation of /p/ and /b/

  • The pronunciation of /t/ and /d/

  • The pronunciation of /k/ and /g/

  • Page 15: Listening Exercise 1What are the differences between stops at the beginning of a word and those at the end? e. g. pat, lapHow to discriminate sounds like need and neat?

    Practice 1: Listening

  • Voiceless stops At the beginning: strong releasing (); pat At the end: very weak; lap

    Voiced stops At the beginning: vibration before releasing; bed At the end: very weak; robe

    neat & need: which /i:/ is longer?

    The vowel in front of a voiced consonant is longer than the one in front of a voiceless consonant.

  • Allophonic variations ()// /t/ // /s/ Spot, stop, sky// // /g/ /l/ Padlock, clock, glad/t/ /d/ /tr/ /dr/ Train, drain

  • // // /t/ // // //

    Top tea, sit still, take three, rob the man, Dad said so, lag behind

    // // /t/ // // //

    Stop Pete, let Tim, take Kim, rob Bob, sad Dave, big grapes

  • // // /t/ // // //

    Stop him, rob him, button, bread n butter, beacon, pig and goat

  • // //

    Keen, geese, quarter, goose

  • /t/: letter /l/ : little

    /k/ /n/ : bacon