Voice-Spelling with Voysspel©

a friendly phonetic script to support best practice in ˡ frendly fˡnetik skript tɯ sˡpòt best praktˡs in The Makings of Memorable Speech Dh‟ Maykings ˡv Memˡrˡbl Spych with some exploration of ɯith sʌm explˡrayshˡn ov how speech-sounds are formed hàw spychsàɯndz à fòmd.

Voysspeling ɯith Voysspel

A Voysbox Primer
ˡ Voysbox Pràym‟.

John J Bayly
Jon Jay Bayly
This paper is adapted from a Manual to accompany a course of workshops on the FFRAPP approach to the makings of memorable speech. While it can stand alone as an introduction to phonetic script, it must not be taken as a comprehensive guide to the larger subject. The left-justified format of the text is designed to be read aloud. This layout helps a reader to avoid losing the place by presenting one thought to a line so that distracting hesitations do not interrupt important messages in private study or in public performance
WHILE DEVELOPED IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA,

by bà y

Voysspel©

ADAPTS EASILY TO ACCENTS OF

MANCHESTER OR MUMBAI, CAMBRIDGE OR CAMBRIA, CALEDONIA, CALIFORNIA OR KIWILAND. IE MANCHESTˡ Ò MUMBÀY KAYMBRIJ Ò KAMBRYˡ KALEDOWNYˡ KALIFÒNYˡ Ò KIWILAND.

n I C ONT E X T N PUBLICATION

AN

This paper is adapted from the longest of six chapters constituting a manual to accompany a course of workshops on the FFRAPP approach to THE MAKINGS OF MEMORABLE SPEECH. Enquiries about FFRAPP workshops should be directed to the author/presenter John J Bayly.

The FFRAPP approach suggests 3 .Precepts. expressed through 6 .Elements. and 9 .Requirements.

Master the Message in the Mind
before you open your mouth

F1

Fluency of Thought
1 2 3

Manage the Medium through the Mouth:
express your public persona .

F2 Fluency of Utterance 4 Breathe easily R Resonance A Articulation 6 Speak Distinctly P1 Pattern in Voice
7 5 Speak Out

Why: Be Certain of your Purpose What: Make up your Mind How: Put it into your Words

Use Musical & Poetic devices

Exploit the Resources in the Auditorium:
every occasion is unique

P2

Pattern in Place
8 9

Adjust your Utterance & Adapt your Manner to suit audience, architecture & apparatus

Published by ICONTEXT for John J Bayly as Voysbox 2 Ruskin Court Glen Iris, Vic 3146, Australia email: john.bayly@optusnet.com.au

Copyright October 2007 John J Bayly All rights reserved. This publication is copyright and may not be resold or reproduced in any manner (except excerpts for bona fide study as permitted by law) without the prior consent of the author

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Voice-Spelling with Voysspel©
A SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SPEAKING
Origins of Voysspel© The Voysspel© system of phonetic inscription was developed to support training in effective communication through the medium of public speaking using the FFRAPP approach summarised in the Table opposite. Especially if complemented by some DIY training in Speed Reading and use of a simple electronic voice-recorder, voice-spelling is a particularly valuable aid to FFRAPP‟s central precept Manage the Medium through the Mouth which focuses attention on the “machinery” of the primary instrument of delivery1. All public speaking is a performing art, even if it is also a business. After 6 to 16 hours of work based on this paper, keen readers should :be able to develop more articulate and effectively patterned speech for public use by    understanding the formation and diversity of speech-sounds, reading phonetic script more quickly than live speech can be understood, (thus hearing speech in the mind‟s ear like a musician reading a score); and making readable records of speech as heard and/or intended for delivery. Actors, auctioneers, administrators, politicians, preachers and teachers play essentially the same vocal instrument to deliver their messages to strangers. But no two people have exactly the same brand or model of this instrument or maintain it in the same condition, or play the same tunes. Each person is not only slightly different anatomically from everyone else, but nearly all speakers of any language have some personal habits of speech that allow trained listeners to identify them as if by fingerprints. Phonetic inscription provides a valuable support to effective public speaking, NOT by prescribing some standard pronunciation, but by enabling recognition and recollection of the sounds of speech from easily-made records that are silently and speedily retrievable.

While mastery of a phonetic script such as Voysspel or IPA is an uniquely productive aid for speech-performers, there is much more to the makings of memorable speech than any single tool or technique. This paper forms the basis of only one among six chapters in a DIY manual exploring the whole scope of the FFRAPP approach.
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Voysspel© thus helps a speakers to maximise effectiveness of a personal style
by adopting or adapting articulation best suited to a particular purpose, whether that be to inform, to persuade, to entertain, or to inspire.

FFRAPP puts that central task in perspective by relating all speech performance
both to its author‟s intent and to its impression upon auditors in an auditorium.

Voysspel© was developed because IPA2 script is unnecessarily complex and strange
for people whose immediate interest is restricted to the sounds of English, and the available alternatives are either equally awkward to write or print or biased towards accents that few Australians use, or both. Use of a phonetic alphabet focussed on the public use of English speech has four advantages, as underlined by some often-unnoticed facts. I call these advantages Voysspel‟s 4 ACES :
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A — Awareness: Without some such record, few people are aware of habits that make their natural speech identifiably personal, and therefore possibly inspirational but also possibly confusing to strangers.

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C — Clarity: Speaking to strangers in public requires disciplines that are unnecessary in conversation among relatives and colleagues, because
 

unfamiliar speech patterns are easily and often misunderstood, and public places can have unexpected effects on communication.

3

E — Efficiency: It is much quicker to read words than to listen to them; so although audio-recordings are more precise in some respects, unambiguous records of sounds in print or handwritten notes can be understood more quickly and privately (and often made with less fuss).

4

S -Simplicity: Representation of many common sounds of speech is inconsistent and frequently misleading in ordinary English text. More than 120 different letters or letter-combinations are used to represent the 40 to 50 sounds used by most English-speakers. For example:

4 sounds of 1 consonant-character in cat city cello & special; 8 sounds of 1 vowel-character in dog do don‟t done worm worn woman & women; 5 spellings of 1 vowel-sound in women in breeches build myths; & 6 spellings of 1 consonant-sound in special schedule machine

fiction fission & fishing.

International Phonetic Alphabet; a comprehensive and widely-used standard, with some confusing variants in current use..Of course, someone already proficient in the use of the IPA has no personal need for Voysspel - but may be interested.
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In phonetic inscription there is one-to-one matching of signs to sounds. IPA has over 100 characters, of which fewer than half are needed for English, but in all versions of IPA at least 15 of these are exotic and unfamiliar to English-speaking people with no experience in linguistics.

Voysspel© avoids most such strangeness, with few new symbols to learn.
Other phonetic systems share some of Voysspel ‟s aims. For example, the SAMPA transcription of IPA to ASCII characters3 has among many language-specific sets one for English, in which it ingeniously allocates sometimes-surprising meanings to familiar upper-case characters (capital letters) and punctuation marks. Most alternative schemes devised by dictionary-makers and spelling-reformers mainly rely on familiar characters or character-groups to indicate speech-sounds, but they do not deal with the sound-streams of speech within which it is normal for many word-ends to be lost or changed. The only merit of the strange sentences in ordinary bold text in the box below is that together they use nearly all the common English-language sounds, with most simple vowels illustrated in the first line and most common diphthongs (vowel pairs) in the second. The three transcriptions represent my pronunciation in IPA, SAMPA and Voysspel© :
Sleepy Jim bled, man: bathtub murder. Charles got caught good through booze.
IPA SAMPA

sli:pi dʒɪm bled man
sli:pi dZIm blEd m}n

Voysspel© Sleepy Jim bled man . . bàthtʌb mùd'. . Chaalz got kòt gud thrɯ booz
How do you envision fishing here? We go my boy's way where fewer skiers roar.
IPA SAMPA

bATtVb m3d@

baθtʌb mɛ:də

tSAlz gQt kOt gUd Tru buz

tʃɑ:lz gɔt kɔ:t gʊd θru bu:z

hæu dəju envɪʒən fɪʃɪη hiə wi gɔu maibɔ:izwæi hwɛə fju:ə ski:əz rɔ:ə
h{u d@ju EnvIZ@n fISIN hi@

Voysspel©

Haɯ d'yɯ envizh'n fishing hy' ? . Ɯy goɯ màyboyzɯay ɯhè' fyɯ' sky'z ro'

wi gOu mAibOizw{i hwe@ fiu@ ski@z rO@

Note that in Voysspel©, by contrast with most phonetic schemes,
  

nearly all indicators stand for sounds they usually represent in ordinary text; modifiers (diacritic marks or accents) are used with very few characters; and the script can be written or printed in almost any common font or style,

with no phonetic difference implied by change between upper and lower case. While developed in Melbourne, Australia, Voysspel© adapts easily to accents of Manchester or Mumbai, Cambridge or Cambria, Caledonia, California or Kiwiland.
"Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet" developed by international expert committees for an increasing range of languages using the American Standard Code for Information Interchange with the objective of a standard machine-readable encoding of phonetic notation.
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Voysspel© is therefore easier than most phonetic alphabets to write or to type
for accurate and more readily interpreted records of utterances (either as heard or as intended to be delivered)4. Habits of private speech that can be confusing or positively misleading in public include elements of conversational vocabulary, composition and diction. It is obvious to most speakers (or their speech-writers) that what they say is vital, (ie that words and phrases must be suited to the subject and the occasion) but too few speakers give enough attention to how they utter that vital substance. Homely speech is rarely fitted for public performance just by raising the volume. It is not what a speaker means to say but what hearers think they hear that determines how various hearers respond to any public utterance. Speakers need realistic assessments of the impressions their auditors are getting, and self-assessment begins with some means of listening like a knowing auditor. The Shaping of Sounds in the Mouth To be sure that your hearers get the message you think you are delivering, you must be sure that you are in fact making the sounds your message needs. For that you must understand how your mouth shapes each sound. The “vocal tract” The “vocal tract” comprises throat, oral cavity (mouth) and nasal passages. Much of the sound of speech is generated by large or small streams of breath passing from the lungs and trachea (windpipe) into the throat across vocal folds or cords in the narrow glottis above the larynx or voice-box. Loudness is a function of the volume and speed of passing breath, and pitch is largely determined by the tension of the vocal folds. If some of the resulting sound consciously or otherwise escapes through the nose, its resonance, otherwise determined in the throat and mouth, will also be affected. However, most vocal sounds are articulated and distinguished (shaped, for short) by effects of the movements of jaw, tongue and lips on issuing breath-streams5. Put most simply, they are made in the mouth.
FROM HERE ON, Voysspel © STANDARD INDICATORS (VSI) WILL BE USED IN THE TEXT IN A BOLD ITALIC FONT (eg boɯld). MOST INDICATORS WILL BE INTRODUCED IN THE TEXT BUT THE TABLE AT THE END CONSOLIDATES REFERENCES TO KEY-WORDS AND NOTES.

4 The few Voysspel Standard Indicators (VSI) that are not directly represented on a standard western keyboard can readily be allotted “smartkeys” in most word-processing programs. 5 Posture and breathing are also important; see p 14.

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Vowels Vowels are commonly described as speech-sounds made with the vocal tract open. For practical purpose related to speech-performance, a trio of benchmark vowels can be defined by three extreme arrangements of tongue and lips.

Fig.1A Fig.1B Fig.1C VOWELS ee aa & oo ARE FORMED BY THE UPPERMOST PART OF THE TONGUE IN ITS EXTREME POSITIONS. THE TRIANGLE MADE BY THESE POINTS IN EACH FIGURE CAN BE TRUNCATED INTO THE CONVENTIONAL POLYGON WITHIN WHICH THE TONGUE-TOP MOVES TO SHAPE OTHER VOWELS. L V & G INDICATE THE LARYNX AND THE VOCAL FOLDS ACROSS THE NARROWING AT THE GLOTTIS. T O & N INDICATE THE THROAT, ORAL CAVITY & NASAL PASSAGES CONSTITUTING THE VOCAL TRACT. U INDICATES THE UVULA AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FLEXIBLE VELUM (SOFT PALATE) .

Figure 1A is the ee of the response to a photographer‟s “Say Cheese!”. The jaw is relaxed and the lips are stretched into a broad grin with the tongue high in the front of the mouth. Figure 1B illustrates the formation of the long aa sound that the doctor asks for. The jaw is dropped, the lips wide open, and the tongue flattened as far as is comfortable. (Doctor‟s spatula pushes it further down). Figure 1C shows the long oo of amazement (or perhaps of booze, or both). Jaws are relaxed, lips pout and tongue is high in the back of the mouth. To develop consciousness of the processes of articulation a speaker should pay attention to the tongue‟s movement through this polygon, with occasional excursions to the corners of the triangle for ee aa & oo. Many actors are familiar with the warm-up chant of mee-maa-moo as a popular exercise to prepare the machinery of speech for performance. In strong contrast with these most powerful vowels is the little indefinite schwa. The schwa The schwa is the commonest sound in English and other “stress-timed” languages, but is very rare in French and Japanese, for example. It is what remains of any vowel that has lost its identity by shrinking almost but not quite beyond hearing in unstressed syllables.

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Despite the wide range of spellings, it is the same characterless little sound usually heard for the vowel (spelling here underlined) in such words as

about, demand, perhaps, surprise, figure and murmur.
Because it represents sounds that have been almost completely left out,

Voysspel© indicates it with an apostrophe ˡ. (The IPA character is ə )
The schwa is formed effortlessly in a relaxed mouth, somewhere near the centre of the notional polygon. It shares this location with the vowel of the first syllable in murmur, a stronger but almost equally indefinite sound all too common as the hesitating er. For this, the VSI is ù, introducing Voysspel©‟s use of a modifying grave accent. So the sound of the whole word murmur is represented in Voysspel© as mùmˡ. If the tongue drops just a little from its neutral position for ˡ and ù, we get the short sound in up or mum or putt (but not in north-English dialects). For that, Voysspel© uses the same symbol as does IPA, the up-arrowhead ʌ.
ee ù ˡ ʌ oo
This is a convenient place to illustrate the polygon showing the most relaxed vowels near its centre and the three defining extra-strong ones in projections to three corners of a triangle mee-maa-moo. To become conscious of what your tongue is up to while you speak, practise thinking about where it is while you look at this diagram while slowly chanting:

aa

Fig 2. THE IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION HERE IS THE RELATIVE POSITIONS OF THE INDICATORS. PROPORTIONS IN ALL THE Then repeat the chant, vowels only: POLYGON DIAGRAMS ARE INDICATIVE ONLY, BECAUSE ALL MOUTHS ee ee ee aa aa aa oo oo oo ARE NOT THE SAME SHAPE, AND PHONETIC CONVENTIONS ACCEPT
THAT THE SAME INDICATOR MAY NOT CORRESPOND TO EXACTLY THE SAME SOUND FOR EVERYONE.

mee mee mee maa maa maa moo moo moo mùmˡ mùmˡ mʌm mʌm mʌm

ùˡ ùˡ

ʌʌʌ

Common English vowel sounds It is convenient to describe the range of vowel sounds in common English usage by starting with the seven most common short ones. In addition to ˡ and ʌ for the ubiquitous schwa and the up-sound already introduced, Voysspel uses the five standard-text vowel characters a e i o & u to indicate the vowels in words such as pat pet pit pot & put .

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It should not take long to get used to pˡhaps and pʌt as VSI for perhaps and putt; but remember that some people often say praps (asVoysspel© records it) and pˡrhaps is not uncommon. ( r & schwa are closely related, as we shall see.) Next, consider the semi-vowels w and y. In words like wig and yacht (ɯig & yot) these two behave as consonants, but you can stretch them out until they sound like oo and ee respectively. So ɯ & y are also used as VSI for shorter versions of these benchmark vowels, as in we and you, which are voysspelt as ɯy and yɯ.6 Longer or stronger vowels are often used before voiced consonants7 like d g & z, contrasting with shorter or weaker ones before their unvoiced equivalents in t k & s. (Listen to yourself reading the triads book boot booze & rook root rude ) A similar relationship is heard in common soundings of fit feet feed as fit fyt feed; and in gap gasp garden, which Voysspel indicates as gap gàsp & gaadˡn, where

Voysspel© uses the French grave (graav) accent in the mid-length sound.
VSI also use this accent similarly to lengthen the short vowels e o & u into è ò & ù giving us wèˡ feˡ & mèry for wear fair & Mary, pòz pòk & hòs for paws pork &

horse and pùs hùs & fùst for purse hearse & first.
We have seen that à , ɯ and y have extreme extensions to aa oo & ee. There are no single-character VSI for extensions of è or ù, but each can be extended by a colon to è: & ù: for occasional further length. You may say that ee = y: , aa = à: & oo = ɯ: . By contrast with the 5 vowels and 2 semi-vowels of the ordinary English alphabet, we have now met 16 vowel-sounds: a à aa i y ee u ɯ oo o ò e è ù ˡ ʌ;

ee

y é e è a i ù ˡ ʌ à aa o

ɯ u ó ò

oo

FIG 3: 18 ENGLISH VOWELS

6 although VSI can be inscribed in any legible font or style of handwriting, I find it helpful to use a rounded form for ɯ because the appearance of u ɯ oo suggests sound-progression as in buk bɯt booz. 7 Voicing of consonants generally is discussed on p11.

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Fig 3 shows all of these and two more arrayed in and around the polygon. The very different order reflects the positions of the tongue-top and lips.

Acute accents on the new VSI é & ó suggest the sharp short sound that chocolate-lovers will recognise from the French éclair and most Scots use in such words as pay, they, fate and sleigh where other English-speakers commonly use vowel-pairs such as ay & ey or ai & ei.
These vowel-pairs are called diphthongs. Throughout Fig 3, precise positions of VSI will vary with local and personal habits. For example, the o in cop and the ʌ in cup may be very like the à in carp. In a polygon adjusted for such speech, o ʌ & à would be much closer together. (Try prolonging kʌp to kʌ:p without switching to kàp ! ) Some speakers use a 19th vowel for words like good and book. Try pronouncing these using something between ù and u , or even a coupled pair ùu that is not commonly recognized as a diphthong. Diphthongs Linguists define Diphthongs as.

complex vowels that change direction between two elements in a single syllable.
Differences in the use of diphthongs distinguish many regional accents of English. In words like folk, slope and snow, many Scots will say fók, slóp & snó for Australian foɯk sloɯp & snoɯ and “Queen‟s English” feuk, sleup & sneu; and where most Australians link a to y in fayt slay & pay f or fate sleigh & pay, many English people slide from e to i in feit, slei and pei . Two phoneticians ran out of bait while fishing together. The Australian sliced some old meat, giving the best bit to the Englishman. You can make bayt from any bad myt, but some English beit needs the best bit; Looking again at the polygon in Fig 3, you will see that

é appears close to an imaginary line linking a & y, and ó lies between o & ɯ.
Lines like this appear in Fig 4A as arrows representing rising diphthongs all of which have ɯ or y as their second element. In Australian English, the most common rising diphthongs are ay ày oy aw ow . Key-words for ay and oy are obvious, including bay & boy as well as bait & boil.

oɯ is easily remembered by bowl and flown as well as goat and hoe; but sadly, for the VSI aɯ or àɯ there are no keywords that can be spelled with aw. aɯ and àɯ sounds are usually interchangeable without loss of meaning as they are in about, clown, drown, drought, foul and fowl.

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Similarly, é can usually substitute for ei ey èy or ay, and ó for oɯ òɯ eɯ or eu. Such interchangeable sounds are described as being parts of the same phoneme.

ay & ày are rarely if ever phonemic — fayt indicates fate while fàyt indicates fight!
Centring or closing diphthongs glide from stronger vowels to a schwa. See Fig 4B The three most common are yˡ as in beer here or raffia (byˡ hyˡ rafyˡ ),

ɯˡ as in tour lure & moor (tɯˡ lɯˡ mɯˡ ), and èˡ or eˡ as in yeah ere & air (yèˡ èˡ eˡ)) In English, the è sound is rarely heard except in diphthongs and the name Mary.
Fig 4A RISING DIPHTHONGS Fig 4B CENTRING DIPHTHONGS

ee

y ayé yye è ày i aɯ u ù ˡ a à aa
ɯ

ɯ ó oɯ ò o

oo ee

y i é yˡ e è eˡ a ù ˡ ʌ oˡ à aa o

ɯ u ó ɯˡ ò

oo

ʌ

àɯ

Triphthongs are vowels with two 2 internal changes of direction eg fewer higher

hire lower

fyɯˡ hàyˡ hàyˡ loɯˡ Always ending in a centring schwa, are

frequently sounded as two syllables. (See also r-flavour, pp12-13) In all complex vowels, the sound of each element must be distinctly pronounced. Loss of the second element can turn a fight (fàyt) into something unwinnable, and a missing schwa can make a gung-ho Shire (shàyˡ ) President seem timid! The Vocal Organ
2nd resonant frequency (Approx Hz) 2000+ < 300HIGH LOW

1st resonant frequency (Approx Hz) Hz)Hz) . .> 800 300

IT IS NICELY APPROPRIATE TO SAY THAT THE MOUTH IS THE PRINCIPAL ORGAN OF SPEECH, AS THE VARYING SOUNDS IT UTTERS RESONATE AT MULTIPLE FREQUENCIES (PITCHES, MEASURED IN CYCLES PER SECOND), LIKE NOTES FROM DIFFERENTLY SHAPED PIPES OF A PIPE-ORGAN. A GRAPH OF THE COMBINATIONS OF FIRST AND SECOND RESONANCES FOR THE THREE EXTREME VOWELS (RIGHT) RESEMBLES THE PATTERN OF THEIR FORMATION IN THE MOUTH: o THE FIRST RESONANT FREQUENCY RISES AS THE JAW OPENS; & o THE SECOND RESONANT FREQUENCY RISES AS THE TONGUE MOVES FORWARD ALONG THE ROOF OF THE MOUTH.

LOW

ee

oo .

Hz indicates the unit Hertz; 1Hz = 1 cycle per second.

HIGH

aa

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Consonants Except in the box on Page 3 comparing Voysspel© with other scripts, examples of VSI for all consonant sounds used to this point have been single characters from the familiar English alphabet. Fifteen of these familiar characters serve their most common purpose when Voysspel© uses bad fog huk laym nip sit rayv & zɯ for bad fog hook lame nip sit rave &zoo; and we have already met the two semi-vowels acting as consonants in ɯig & yot for wig & yacht. That leaves only c j q & x unused; we will meet them again shortly. There are four very common and four less common consonant sounds, for which IPA uses exotic single-character indicators: ʃ ɵ δ ŋ ʍ ʒ x & γ. For each of these sounds, Voysspel© accepts digraphs (pairs of letters) rather than obeying the traditional phoneticians‟ rule of one character per sound. Here they are in the same order as the IPA characters listed above:

sh is the VSI for the sound in ship and rash. If s & h appear side by side in their individual roles in words like mishap they must be separated by a hyphen or space: so not mishap but mis-hap. The same rule applies for Voysspel ‟s seven other single-sound digraphs: th dh ng ɯh zh kh gh
as in thin & both — thin & bowth , for the sound of th in these & weather — dheez & wedhˡ as in thing & England — thing & Ingland or Inggland as some say whether & which & whistle — ɯhedhˡ & ɯhitsh & ɯhisl for the sound in seizure & leisure syzhyˡ or syzhˡ & lezhˡ for the sound in Astrakhan, Scots loch & (surprisingly?) in Hugh & huge. khàn loch Khyw & khywj for the Greek gamma-sound in yoghurt, Arabic ghan, and perhaps aghast

yoghˡt ghàn & ˡghàst
To avoid confusion about these digraphs, the hyphen rule produces, for example:

hot-hàɯs on-goɯing red-hed kaɯ-hùd bak-handˡ & fog-hòn for hothouse ongoing redhead cowherd backhander & foghorn The hyphen rule is not needed for ch as Voysspel© does not use stand-alone c, having k to use in cat and s in mice as kat & màys, and ch is the intuitive choice for chips, chops, chit-chat and all the rest, despite imports like Greek charisma (k‟rizma) and Italian cello (chelow).

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In the Voysspel© rendering of huge above, the letter j appears as a VSI. This is one of four “shorthand” indicators for common complex sounds, listed here with their IPA equivalents:

ch = tsh (IPA tʃ) as in chùch & ich & fixchˡ for church & itch & fixture. j = dzh (IPA dʒ) as in ej for edge; q = kw (IPA kw) as in baqˡd for backward, & x = ks (IPA ks) as in extrˡ & stix for extra & sticks;
Formation of consonants Consonants are shaped by the ways in which the flow of breath is interrupted, and by whether or not the breath is “voiced” by the vibration of the vocal folds, (whereas vowels are always formed in uninterrupted voiced breath). Table 1 below shows consonants arranged by position and manner of formation. In split columns, those on the left are unvoiced and those on the right are voiced. Nasal consonants are produced when the oral cavity (mouth) is blocked — for m by the lips, for n on the alveolar ridge behind the teeth, or for ng by the tongue meeting the lowered velum (soft palate). Plosives are the sounds of breath popping out after temporary stoppage. Most are paired as unvoiced / voiced — bilabial p/b, alveolar t/d, & velar k/g; but the glottal stop ! — is sensed as a silence, occurring often unnoticed at the onset of an initial vowel, or obviously before a syllabic consonant, as in the famous Cockney bottle (bo!l ). Fricatives are frictional sounds of breath “scraping” through very narrow spaces. Approximants result from voiced breath being forced around the tongue, (sideways in the case of the lateral approximant l ).
POSITION

 

MANNER

LABIODENTAL BILABIAL lip+teet with 2 lips h

POST- hard palate soft palate ALVEOLAR VELAR tongue on ALVEOLAR PALATAL DENTAL the ridge tongue tip on or near these GLOTTAL tongue behind top positions along the main roof at base on teeth teeth of the mouth of throat

NASAL PLOSIVE FRICATIVE APPROXIMANT LATERAL APPROXIMANT

p

m b f v th dh

t s

n d z l

ɯh ɯ

sh z h r

n k g ! g kh gh h y

TABLE 1

ENGLISH CONSONANTS BY LOCATION AND MANNER OF FORMATION

A valuable exercise in articulation is to read the sounds of all these VSI aloud from left to right, column by column then row by row, feeling both the place of formation moving back from lips towards throat, and the vibration of the vocal folds switching unvoiced utterance to voiced.

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The DTs In an involuntarily transition common in quick Australian and US speech, a normally unvoiced consonant between vowels may be voiced, as when ts switch to ds, and a bit of better butter is heard as ˡbidˡbedˡbʌdˡ . Stress Vowels or syllables or whole words emphasised by volume or extension are indicated by single or double underlining as in intˡfeerˡns or wot dhˡ hel Consonant sounds reiterated or sustained for emphasis are indicated by repetition of the VSI as in Voysspel© or midday , with rrr indicating a trill. Syllabic consonants Approximant and nasal consonants can occasionally be syllabic,

ie be sustained to form a syllable without a vowel, in such words as idle (àydl), rhythm (ridhm ) and sometimes known (nown) or by displacing a schwa in idol (àydl) bottom (botm) & nation (nayshn)
[But a schwa may sometimes reverse these processes by intruding before the consonant in a normally unstressed syllable (eg àydˡl ; or if such a syllable is stressed, instead of the consonant stretching (àydll ) the schwa can stretch from ˡ to ù so that, for example,

idle, bottom and nation might be heard as idùl, botùm & nayshùn.]
Rhotic speech, the intrusive r, r-flavouring, and the schwa. In rhotic dialects, r is sounded both at word-ends and before consonants, whereas in non-rhotic speech, the r is rarely sounded unless next to a vowel. For example, a rhotic speaker speaks of a safer course as a ˡsayfˡrkòrs, while I am identified as non-rhotic because although I habitually pronounce the colour of paint as dhˡkʌlˡrovpaynt with an r-sound reflecting the spelling I pronounce the colour blue as dhˡkʌlˡbloo with no r-sound despite the spelling. NB We speak in strings of sound that do not necessarily recognise word-ends. Regional and personal idioms deal variously with the letter r and the r-sound:  non-rhotic speakers frequently depart from their normal habit, pronouncing a word-ending r when it is followed by a vowel, as in my colour of paint example above.  some rhotic speakers occasionally intrude an r where it has no place, eg in such words as pòrz for pause.

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 r is often sounded intrusively when not inscribed, especially linking a word-pair between terminal and initial vowels; such as when Anna O‟Keefe calls herself Anˡrowkyf ; and  r can be reduced to a mere flavour as a schwa or disappear altogether when it follows a long vowel; eg mourn (mòˡn or mò:n) or serge (sùˡj or sù:j). Reduced or optional expression Not only the full sound of r, but also those of d l and t among others are often diminished or omitted, especially before other consonants.

Voysspel© indicates this with strikeouts such as d & t. Thus gaadn can stand for garden, and bʌtn for button,
contrasting with gaadˡn and bʌtˡn with their plosively articulated d and t. [Note a progression from fully expressed t through t to ! eg botˡm botm bo!m ] Nasality Deliberate or habitual lowering of the soft palate opens the nasal passage adding nasal resonance to the utterance of vowels. Like IPA, Voysspel uses a tilde ( ~ ) before or over a vowel, eg in French un vin (~ù vã ) or before a block of text contained between break signs | | or brackets < >, eg in ~< rawnd haws > for round house in a strong Australian accent. Pauses Important pauses may be indicated by one period mark per syllable-length . . . or by a note in brackets such as <10 sec>.

BEYOND THE BASICS.
The basic set of VSI described so far can be extended by users in whatever way suits their experience, needs and habits. Some extensions to the set of common IPA characters are illustrated on the IPA website at

http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/ipa/tones.html.
for upsteps and downsteps in pitch Basic VSI can conveniently be such as

these include 

and 

and ↗ and ↘ to indicate “global” rises or falls through a block of text. For variations in speed and volume, extended with familiar abbreviated Italian musical notations

accel rit ff dim etc.

NOW IT‟S TIME FOR PRACTICE!

As our focus here is the relationship of phonetic script to articulate speech, most of these exercises employ the standard indicators of Voysspel ©script to   encourage consciousness of the mouth‟s machinery of speech, and recognize significant distinctions between speech-sounds

EXERCISES FOR ARTICULATION

14

so that personal habits of articulation may be recognised, understood, and modified if and where circumstances of performance so suggest. However, the machinery of speech is not restricted to the articulators in and around the mouth. Easy breathing is an essential pre-requisite for effective public speaking, so the exercises below include some preliminaries to ease breathing as well as some to prepare jaw, lips and tongue. In all these exercises, avoid forcing any muscles: Physical relaxation is a vital key to sustained excellence in performance, although a little nervous tension before taking the stage does no harm. (The renowned and influential voice-coach Patsy Rodenburg, in The Right to Speak notices a clenched jaw problem common among Australians and New Zealanders)
Easy Breathing 1. Feet comfortably apart, relaxed, head on top of spine; 6. Keeping jaw, neck and tongue slack, shoulders slowly move the jaw down and forward as far as possible with closed lips.

2. Breathe in deeply without raising Tongue With open jaw and lips relaxed and shoulders, feel abdomen expand, then ribs 1. tongue resting lightly on lower teeth, place as upper lungs fill. Count “1”, breathe out a finger under the jaw to check that the 3. Repeat #2 nine times, counting “1,2”, tongue-root does not tighten as you then “1,2,3” etc up to ten. breathe out. As you breathe out, slowly at first then more quickly, move the tongue Jaw Drop the relaxed jaw until two fingers can back and forth between the aa position slip between the teeth. Then yawn without and the ee position. (Whisper to check the vowel positions) tightenng the neck. 2. With open jaw and lips relaxed, poke Lips 1. Part the teeth with a thumb-knuckle; the tongue forward between the lips remove the thumb; breathing through the without touching them, then without nose, repeatedly, from a slow start, then moving it in or out widen the tongue to with increasing speed, close the lips firmly touch the inner corners of the lips; then narrow it again to a fine tip. With nothing over the open teeth. tense except the tongue, repeat faster and 2. Teeth still apart, close the lips by faster. raising the lower one to the top; rest Breathing through the nose, keep the briefly, then close them by dropping the 3. pointed tongue-tip out and move it to top one to the lower one (tricky for some!). touch in turn top-lip centre, bottom-lip 3. Teeth still apart, close and open the centre, mouth-roof centre, left and right lips quickly and often, firmly enough to pop corners of the mouth. on opening. So much for exercising the machinery! 4. Teeth apart and tongue still, grin and Now we concentrate on speech sounds. pout alternately, a making wider grin and For a start: more forward pout with every repetition. 5. Teeth still apart, lips loosely together, Go back to Fig 2 on Page 6 for the chant: mee mee mee maa maa maa blow between the lips for a smooth rapid moo moo moo vibration. then repeat with no consonants .

mùmˡ mùmˡ

mʌm mʌm mʌm

The following exercises are designed to bring out variations in pronunciation that are sometimes indicative of regional or personal habits of English speech, and/or may lead to confusion for hearers whose speech habits are different from a speaker‟s. So precise articulation of all the sounds represented by the script is an important aim. Nevertheless, it is also important not to be so extremely precise as to disturb rhythm that may be significant for the meaning or the mood of a message. Here, transcribed in Voysspel as I pronounce it, is some famous advice about rhythm in the entry for that subject in Fowler‟s Modern English Usage (2nd Ed, 1977). READ THIS REPEATEDLY UNTIL YOU CAN READ FROM VOYSSPEL AT NORMAL SPEED. (PUNCTUATION AND SPACES HAVE BEEN RETAINED TO MAKE IT ALITTLE EASIER FOR NEWCOMERS.)

15

Ridhmles spych or ràyting iz làyk thˡ flow ov liqid from ˡ pàyp ò tap; It rʌnz with smoodh monotony from when it iz tùnd on tw when it iz tùnd of, prˡvàydˡd it iz kleer stʌf . . . . . . . Ridhmik spych ò ràyting iz làyk wayvz ov dhˡ see, moving onwˡd with oltˡnayting ràyz ˡnd fòl, konektid yet sepˡrˡt, làyk bʌt difˡrˡnt, sʌjestiv ov sʌm lò, tw komplex for ˡnalisis ò staytment, kontrowling dhˡ rˡlayshˡnz bˡtween wayv ˡnd wayv, wayvz ˡnd see, frayz ˡnd frayz, frayziz ˡnd spych.

IN EACH OF THE EXERCISES BELOW, READ EACH TRANSCRIPTION CAREFULLY, NOTING THE DIFFERENCES IN SOUND AND HOW THEY ARE FORMED BY YOUR MOUTH‟S ARTICULATORS

I intend to have a good time

Would you mind not doing that again?

Ài intend tw hav ˡ gud tàim Ày intend tˡ hav ˡgudtàym ~|Àyintentˡhavˡgudtàym|

Ɯujˡmàynnotdɯˡn dhadˡgen? Ɯud yɯ màynd not dɯing dhat agen? Ɯujɯmàynd not dɯing dhat agen?

NOW A COUPLE OF TONGUE-TWISTING CHALLENGES. THIS TIME THE AIM IS TO SOUND EVERY SYLLABLE DISTINCTLY AND AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. FIRST, DO THAT SEVERAL TIMES READING FROM ORDINARY TEXT: THEN READ FROM THE Voysspel© SCRIPT, NOTING WHERE YOUR NATURAL PRONUNCIATION DIFFERS. (THERE‟S NO SUGGESTION THAT YOU‟RE WRONG — JUST REMEMBER EVERYONE‟S A LITTLE DIFFERENT.) HERE‟S ONE FROM THE KINDERGARTEN AND ONE FROM W.S.GILBERT

Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker‟s man; bake me a cake as fast as you can! Put it in the oven and mark it with “B” And keep it till Tuesday for Baby and me.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous.

Patˡkeik patˡkeik beikˡz man Àynoɯàɯˡmithik-histˡry . KingÀthˡzanSùKaradox Beik my a keik „z fast „z yw kan. Àyànsùhàdˡkrostix Àyvˡpritytaystfˡparadox Put it in dhy ʌvˡn anˡ màk it with Bee Àyqótinelegayiks òldhˡkràymzˡvHeelyogabˡlus anˡ keep it til Tyoozdy fò Bayby ˡnd my. Inkoniks àykanflòpˡkyɯliariteezpˡrabˡlus.
— FOR THE SEQUENCE REFER TO FIG 3 ON PAGE 8 Meany Mick made merry Mary marry Mark Marsden — Booze suits good old Paul from upper Perth.
NOW ALL THE VOWELS

Meeny mik méd mery Mèry mary Màk Maazdˡn - Booz swts gud óld Pòl from ʌpˡ Pùth
gs 4 whip mop pʌb wham bom web fin vàyn thin dhàyn neel teel deel seel zeel lash leisure royal sick sikh sing sag hag How do you envision fishing here? whip mop pub wham bomb web
AND SOME CONSONANTS

(TABLE 1, P 11) AND DIPHTHONGS (A, 4B, P9) fin vine thin thine kneel teal deal seal zeal

lash lezhˡ royˡl

We go my boy's way where fewer skiers roar.

sik sykh sing sag hag

Haɯ d'yɯ envizh'n fishing hy' ? . Ɯy goɯ màyboyzɯay ɯhè' fyɯ' sky'z ro'

THE TABLE OPPOSITE ILLUSTRATES THE BASIC SET OF VSI WITH AT LEAST ONE KEYWORD AND THE IPA EQUIVALENT FOR EACH. A MORE COMPREHENSIVE TABLE OF VSI IN COLOUR AT A4 SIZE IS ALSO AVAILABLE FROM VOYSBOX. THIS SPACE ALLOWS FOR NOTES ON PERSONAL SUPPLEMENTS TO BASIC VSI AND VOYSSPEL TRANSCRIPTIONS OF NOTEWORTHY EXAMPLES OF ENGLISH USAGE FOR VARIOUS PURPOSES — TO INFORM, PERSUADE, ENTERTAIN OR INSPIRE

16

NOTE YOUR FAVOURITE SOURCES OF EXERCISES MINE IS THE VOICE BOOK BY MICHAEL MCCALLION (FABER & FABER, 1988) WARNING: MOST WRITERS ON VOICE USE IPA NOTATIONS FOR PHONETICS, AND MANY USE “RECEIVED PRONUNCIATION” (“QUEEN‟S ENGLISH”) AS STANDARD.

Basic VSI

for sounds of English with a sometimes noticeable but never extreme Australian accent.

The Standard Indicators of Voysspel

©

Equivalent IPA characters are shown where they differ from VSI
VSI IPA Keywords VSI CONSONANTS

Key words

IPA

In the pairs, the consonant indicated on the left is unvoiced, that on the right voiced Plosives (breath pops out) Affricatives (scraping pops)
pet tale came Fricatives bet dale game p t k b d g choke joke mile neat sing ŋ Approximants (breath passes through ch j Nasals m n ng tʃ dʒ

(breath scrapes through a narrowed passage)
f v th dh s z sh zh h kh gh wh y ee * i e è a à aa * θ ʃ δ ʒ

beside the tongue)
l r Semivowels y w

fine vine thin then seal zeal show measure heat huge aghast when peace peas pit pet parent pat past palm putt

last rain

ɹ j w ʡ u u:

χ ɣ ʍ

you woo Glottal Stop (back of the throat) Cockney bo(tt)le ! . w oo * u ò o ó è

ʌ ù * Generally, the longer/stronger variant precedes a voiced consonant.

VOWELS i i: to pool ɪ put port ε pot æ Scot hope hate a a: apart pert

ʋ ɔ or ɔ: o or ɔ
only the diphthongs are recognised

ˡ

ə ɜ

DIPHTHONGS (two vowel sounds in rapid succession in one syllable) buy, high ày aɪ toe ow òw bay, hey ay æɪ tier yˡ boy, hoi-polloi òy oy ɔ: I ɔɪ tear èˡ eˡ bout, how àw aw au æu tour ooˡ u: õ ã d t

ou ɪə εə eə ʋ:ə

(strikeout)
hyphen

~ù etc l r

etc

reduces consonant or makes it optional separator (for consonants or syllables)

SOME MODIFIERS (VSI only) colon as vowel extender ... nasaliser fˡnetik fonˡtishˡn

one-syllable pauses stress primary & secondary stress

Some Phonemic differences: bely > belly but bèly > barely
Some Non-phonemic variants: bòy or boy > boy

mery > merry but

Mèry > Mary prity or preti > pretty wheˡ or whèˡ > where

wow or wòw or wó > woe

hàw or haw > how lʌnsh or lunch > lunch

n t e x t i c o n t t e x jhj i c o n t e e x t i c o n t e x x t AN c o n t e x t i PUBLICATION i c c o n t e x t i c o o n t e x t i c o n n t e x t i c o n i t I C i c o

ON T E X T

for details of ICONTEXT publications contact Jay Hambly Jones care of

john.bayly@optusnet.com.au

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