You are on page 1of 10

Fonetika II

Prednáška č.1:

Prominence – it is a term connected to stress.

Stress placement is connected to syllable in a word or sentence. We can study stress

placement in:
1, production
2, perception

1, it is generally believed to depend on speaker using more muscular energy for production of
prominent syllables than is used for production od unstressed syllables. Measuring this is
done by articulatory and instrumental phonetics. According to these experimental studies,
when the speaker produces stressed syllables, the muscles that we use to expell the air from
the lungs is more active and produces higher subglotall pressure. As far as perception is
connected it´s more listener oriented than speaker oriented term which practically means that
listener relies on his own listening capability to distinguish among prominent and unstressed

Prominence is a term used in phonetics and phonology in order to distinguish between

stressed and unstressed syllables. Stressed syllables are recognized as prominent because they
differ from the other syllables at at least four different factors. First factor is loudness.
Stressed syllables are louder than the unstressed and loudness is one of the most obviouss
component of prominence.
Second most obvious factor is lenght because prominent syllables tend to be a bit longer than
Third is pitch. It is very closely connected to the prominence of syllables because of the
frequency of vibrations of the vocal folds where this feature is essentialy perceptional
characteristic of speech. Noticabely pitch, which is different than that used for pronounciation
of unstressed syllables, will have a strong tendency to produce the effect of prominence.
Fourth factor is quality. Prominent syllable ussually contain a vowel that differs in quality
from neighboring vowels . It can be claimed that fourth factor (quality) is a result of the
previous factors. Generaly speaking these four factors of prominence work together in
combination thought sometimes syllables may be prominent by means of only one of these

We have three different levels of stress: - primary

- secondary
- unstressed

Stress placement in speech occurs at three different levels.

First is most audiable.
Second is less audiable.
Third actually signifies the placement of stress.

The degree of these three levels of stress varies according to the degree of prominence that is
the degree of presence of four factors mentioned above.
First level of stress which is most audiable is called primary stress. It is the prominence that
results that the pitch movement or tony which results in the strongest type of stress.
Secondary stress is less prominent. This type of stress can be observed in more than three
syllable words and it´s a kind of stress which is audiable weaker than primary stress, but
stronger than that which could be marked as complete absence of stress.
Third level of stress can be called unstressed level. It´s regarded as complete absence of any
recognizable amount of prominence.

Next lesson:

1,stress placement in simple words

A,stress in two syllable words
B,stress in three and more syllable words

2,stres in complex words

A,influence of prefixes
B,influence of suffixes-shift the stres placement on the route of the word
C,influence of the suffixes which carry stress placement themselves
D,influence of the suffixes which don´t change stress placement

3,stressing compound words

4,word class pairs

5,variable stress

Prednáška č.2:

In order to decide on stress placement it´s necessary to make use of some oral the following
First information which we have to analyse is whether the word is simple or complex. As
a result either containing one or more affixes (suffixes and prefixes) or of being a compound
Second thing is the grammatical category (or word class) to which the word belongs.
Third is the number of syllables of the words.
The last is the phonological structure of the syllables.

Stress in 2-syllable simple words.


1, if the second syllable of the verb contains a long vowel or dipthong or if it ends with more
than one consonant than the secondary syllable is stressed (e.g. applied, arrived)
2, if the final syllable contains a short vowel and one or no final consonant the first syllable is
stressed (e.g. enter, envy)
3, a final syllable is also unstressed if it contains diphthong ou (e.g. follow, borrow). In this
case stress placement comes from the first syllable.
2-syllable simple adjectives are stressed according to the same rules as verbs.

If the second syllable contains a short vowel the stress will usually come from first syllable
(e.g. money). Otherwise it will be on the second syllable. Adverbs and prepositions seem to
have follow the same rules as previous (slowly, gently, softly).

Stress in 3-syllable simple words.


1, if the last syllable contains a short vowel and ends with not more than one consonant, this
syllable would be unstressed and the stress will be placed on the preceding syllable
2, if the final syllable contains a long syllable or dipthong or if it ends on more than 1
consonant than the final syllable is stressed.

1, if the final syllable contains a short vowel or dipthong ou than this syllable is unstressed. If
the syllable preceding this final syllable contains a long vowel or dipthong or if it ends with
more than 1 consonant than middle syllable will be stressed (e.g. disaster, potato).
2, if the final syllable contains a short vowel and the middle syllable contains a short vowel as
well and ends with not more than one consonant, both final and middle syllable are
unstressed and the stress would be placed on the first syllable (e.g. cinema, quantity).

They follow the same rules as nouns.

Complex words:

affixation = words formation

Complex words are of 2 major types. First of all they contain basic stem (root, basis)-word of
the addition of an affix. We can add prefix or one of three groups of suffixes to the stem.
Generally prefixes don´t change stress placement. They´re considered to be weaker units of
affixation and thats why they are usually unstressed. Affixes can have 3 possible effects on
word stress:
1, the affix itself recieves the primary stress (semicircle)
2, the word is stressed as it was before the affixation (e.g. unpleseant)
3, the stress placement remains on the stem of the word but shifts to the neighbouring syllable

1, suffixes which carry primary stress itself (e.g. entertain, refugee, cigarette, Japanese,
volunteer, picturesque)
2, suffixes which doesn´t take the placement, the word is stressed as it was before affixation
(e.g. comfortable, encourage, wonderfull, refusal, widen, amazing, greenish, childlike,
hopeless, hurriedly, punishement, lonelyness,
famous, signify, otherwise, funny)
3, suffixes which influence stress placement on the root of the word but stress placement
shifts to a different syllable (e.g. advantageous, proverbial, climate-climatic,
perfect-perfection, injure-injurious, reflex-reflexive, tranquil - tranquillity).

-ANCE, -ANT, -ARY – when these suffixes are attached to single syllable stems, the stress is
almost always placed on the stem but when the stem has 2-syllables or more, stress can come
on second or other syllable.
If the final syllable of the stem contains a long vowel or diphthong or if it ends with more
than one consonant, this syllable will carry the stress placement (e.g. importance). Otherwise
the stress is on the first syllable (e.g. consonant).

Compound words

Prednáška č.3:

Compound words:
- stress can be analysed in terms of the elements they consist of. This results from the
fact that compound words are words which consist of at least 2 or more words, either
full meaning words (lexical) or adverbs or even prepositions which have been joined
together in order to create third meaning. Thus we can combine two nouns (which is
most frequent type of compound) such as typewriter, taperecorder.
We have also some other types of words (mother-in-law, father-in-law) where preposition is

Rules of compound words:

1, Most familiar type of compound is the noun which combines 2 nouns. Normally stress
placement comes from the first element (e.g. suitcase, sunrise, sunset).
2, There is a variety of compound where the stress placement comes on the second syllable.
This happens particularly in those cases when the second element of compound contains
-ed sufix (e.g. lefthanded, badtempered).
3, Compounds in which the first element is the number. Also tend to have stress placement on
the second syllable (e.g. second-class, three-wheeler).
4, Also stress placement comes on second element in those cases where compounds function
as adverbs (e.g. They went north-east direction.).
5, which function as verbs and have adverbial on second element. Stress is on second element
(e.g. illtreat).

Variable stress:
Position of stress placement may vary for one or two reasons. Either as a result of the stress
on other words occuring next to the words being analysed or because not all speakers of RP
recieved pronounciation agree of the stress in some words. First is matter of connected
speech. The main effect is that the stress on a final stress compound tends to move to the
preceding syllable if the following word begins with a strongly stressed syllable.
Bad-tempered – in this compound is presented by indefinite article and followed by strongly
stressed syllable. There will be a shift of stress placement from second to first (bad-tempered
teacher or father...).
The structure of syllable:
- in relation to the way we produce syllables and the way they sound, so in one word
phoneticaly syllables could be decribed as consisting of a center which has little or no
obstruction to the airflow and which sounds compatively loud to the other elements of
syllable if there are any. In many cases before and after this center that is at the
beginning and end of the syllable there will be a greater obstruction to the airflow
which is less loud sound. This is not the case with the type of syllable which is called
minimal syllable. It is practically a vowel in isolation (are [a:], or [o:]). Also some
consonant may be regarded as minimum syllables such as š used as request for silence
or consonant m used in speech while the speaker is thinking. It can also be used to
sugest agreement.
We have a case where the center of syllable is not precided by silence. We say that syllable
contains onset which is usually a consonant such as key [ki], bar [ba:] but
enter is syllable is followed by silence which means that the coda of syllable is missing.
When the center of syllable is preceded by silence there is lack of onset but if the center is
followed by consonant it contains coda.
There are syllables which contain both onset and coda [put] [kaet] [dak].
In the case when there is absence of onset we say, that the syllable contains zero onset.
In the case when there is no coda we say that the syllable contains zero coda.

Prednáška č.4:

Consonant cluster-it is a cluster of 2 consonants up to 4 consonants which may have function

either of onset or coda.

Function as onset-if the first syllable of the word begins with vowel it might be any vowel
though vowel is rare we say that this initially has zero onset. If the syllable begins with one
consonant it may be any consonant except η and ž is very rare.

If syllable with 2 or more consonants which are placed before vowel which in this terms may also be
called peak we talk about consonant cluster.
These two consonants or initial consonants are of two sorts.

We have 2 types:
1, when consonant starts with –s it can be followed by another small sets of consonants such as in
words stink, smoke, sway. In all these cases consonant s is called pre-initial consonant while second
consonant in these syllables are called initial consonants. Initial consonant is every consonant
which is placed before vowel but only in that case if the consonant cluster doesn´t contain more
than 2 consonants.
2, syllable might begin with any consonant alt of set of consonants which make about 15 consonant
(tray, way, few). In these cases the first consonant of these clusters is initial and the second is called

Final consonant clusters-speaking of final consonant clusters we find the possibility for up to 4
consonants at the end of the word. If there is no consonant following vowel or peak we say that the
syllable contains zero coda. If the peak of the syllable is followed by only one consonant, this
consonant will be called final. Final consonant may be any consonant except h, r, j, w. First type is
preceded by pre-final consonant and the other is a consonant followed by post-final consonant. The
pre-final consonants are following: m, n, η, l, s (bump, bumped, bank, ask, band).
Post-final consonants can also be grouped in a small set: s, z, t, d, θ (bats, bads, eight).
There are also 2 types of final three consonant clusters:
1, pre-final + final + post-final consonant (prompts)

There is a special case where weak vowel occurs between 2 consonants at the end of the syllable or at
the end of the word (e.g. battle, temple). This case is called syllabic consonant.

-this is all closely connected to the rhytm of the language and analysis of rhyme.
In rhyme most important thing is peak (which is actually vowel) and the coda. So rhyme occurs each
time when matching occurs of the last syllable of line where vowel which has a function of peak at the
syllable and when we have matching of coda consonant which are actually consonants of this peak.

Prednáška č.5:

Aspects of connected speech (suprasegmental features)

1, rhytm
2, assimilation
3, ellision
4, intonation

1, Rhytm
Peter Roach defines rhytm as noticable event happening at regular intervals of time. English
language is claimed to be rhytmical language and the rhytm is detectable in regular occurence of
stressed syllables. However the regularity of occurence is only relative. The theory of english rhytm
implies that stressed syllables will tend to occur at relatively regular intervals whether they are
separated by unstressed syllables or not. This is the reason why english rhytm is called stressed-time
rhytm. Someother languages such as French and some african languages have a different rhytmical
structure called syllable timed rhytm. In these language all syllables, whether stressed or unstresed
tend to occur at regular time intervals and the time between stressed syllables will be shorter or longer
in proportion to the number of unstressed syllables. Some writers have developed theories of english
rhytm. In these theories, the unit of rhytm, the foot, is used with an obvious parallel in the metrical
analysis of verse. The foot begins with a stressed syllable and includes all following unstressed
syllables up to but not including the following stressed syllable. Some theories of rhytm go further
than this and point to the fact that some feet are stronger than others producing strong (heavy) – weak
(light) patrence in larger pieces of above the level of the foot. By analysing speech in terms of rhytm
we´re able to show the differences between strong (heavy) and weak (light) elements and the different
levels of stress. Sometimes it seems that stress is altered according to the context and we need to be
able to explain how and why this happens, but this is a question to which we have only partial
answers. An additional factor is that in speaking english we vary in how rhytmical speaking is typical
for some style of public speaking. While if the person is being persistant or nervous he or she might be
speaking unrhytmicaly. To be more specific, stress time in rhytm is characteristic of one style of
speaking, not of english speech as a whole, but peoples think with some degree or rhytmicality, but
this degree will vary between minimal value and maximal value rhytmicality which means of
completary slash types of rhytm. There are many laboratory types of techniques measuring time in
speech and measurement of time intervals between stressed syllables. In connected english speech has
not shown the expected regularity.

2, Assimilation
Some words differ in pronounciation in comparism to whether they are pronounced in isolation or
whether they are somehow influenced by the other neighbouring words. Significant difference in
natural connected speech is the way that sounds which belong to first word can cause changes in
sounds belonging to neighbouring words. We assume that we know how the phonemes of a particular
word would be realised when the word was pronounced in isolation so when we find a phoneme
realised differently as a result of being near some other phonemes which belong to the neighbouring
words we call this assimilation. It is a suprasegmental feature which varies in extend according to
speaking rote and style. It´s more likely to be found in rapid casual speech and less likely in slow and
carefull speech. The differences caused by assimilation are sometimes very noticable but sometimes
very slight. Basically we can have 5 types of assimilation:
- regressive
- progressive
- assimilation of place
- assimilation of manner
- assimilation of voicing

In order to explain the features of progressive and regressive assimilation we need to take for an
example 2 words, where the first word ends with final consonant and the following word starts with
the initial consonant. So if initial consonant influences final consonant of the previous word, the
assimilation is regresive and vice versa, if the final consonant influences initial consonant of the
following words, assimilation is progressive.
Assimilation of place is most clearly observable in some cases where the final consonant with alveolar
place of articutalion is followed by an initial consonant with the place of articulation which is no
alveolar (e.g. that person, light blue).

Prednáška č.6:

That person – final consonant in that which is t in rapid casual speech will become p before a bilabial
consonant. Before a dental consonant t will change to dental plosive (e.g. that thing). Before a velar
consonant t will become k (that case, bright colour). In similar contexts d will become b. D & g
respectably ??? N would become n and can sometimes change to nasalized n (η). However the same is
not true of the other alveolar consonant (s and z behave differentely). The only noticable change is
when s becomes š and z becomes ž when followed by š or j. This feature is commonly called
palatelization which is actually asimilation of place. Assimilation of place is only noticable in this
regresive assimilation of alveolar consonant.
Assimilation of manner – it is much less noticable and is only found in the most rapid casual speech.
There is tendency of regressive assimilation and the change in manner is most likely to be towards that
consonant which makes less obstruction to the airflow. We can find some cases where final plosive
becomes a fricative or nasal (that side, good night). Its most unlikely that a final fricative or nasal
would become plosive. There is one case where we can find progressive assimilation of manner.
Words which start with dental consonant followes a plosive or nasal at the end of preceding word. In
that case its common to find that initial consonant becomes identical in manner to the final consonant
of articulation (get them, read this).
Assimilation of voice – it can be also be found only in limited ways. There is only regressive
assimilation of voice. If a final consonant of a word is lenis or voiced and initial consonant of
following word is fortis or voiceless, we often find cases that the lenis consonant has no voicing. This
is not very noticable case of assimilation. Another case is when final consonant of a word is fortis or
voiceless and initial consonant of following word is lenis or voiced, assimilation of voice never takes
place (that black dog). In that case t and in black k changes in g. This can create a very strong
expresson of a foreign accent and thats why this type of assimilation should be avoided. Similar
example of a type assimilation that has become fixed is the progressive assimilation of voice with the
suffixes –s and –z when a verb carries a 3rd person singular –s suffix or a noun carries an –s plural
suffix on a –s possesive suffix, that suffix will be pronounced as –s if the preceding consonant is fortis
or voiceless and it would be pronounced as –z if the preceding consonant is lenis or voiced (cats [s],
dogs [z], pets [s], rounds [z]).

-it signifies complete dissapearence of some sounds under certain circumstances. Sometimes
a phoneme can have zero realisation or it can be deleted. Ellision, the same as assimilation, is typical
for rapid and casual speech and this process of changes in phoneme realisations produced as a result of
changing the speed of speech and casualness of speech can also be called gradation.
Ellision occurs in this circumstances:
1, the loss of weak vowel after some plosive consonant (potatoe, tomatoe, today, perhaps) schwa is
completely divided.
2, loss of weak vowel before n, l, r. This syllable will become syllabic consonant (tonight, police,
correct). It can function of its own.
3, Avoidance of complex consonant clusters. In cluster of 3 plosives or 2 plosives plus fricative, the
middle plosive might dissapear (scripts [skripts – skrips], acts [aekts – aeks]).
4, loss of final v in preposition of before consonant (lots of money). In this cases rapid and casual
speech v can be elided.
5, Contractions (grammaticaly contracted forms) – some phoneticians argue whether these forms
should be divided as example of ellision or simply grammatical forms (I have – I´ve, I had – I´d).

Prednáška č.7:

-we could define speech consisting of words as separate units placed next to each other but in
connected speech we have tendency to link some words and as a result of this possible
misunderstandings might occur. Most common linking occurs by so called linking r. Its type of r
which normally occurs in spelling at the end of a word and when this particular word is pronounced in
isolation, r is not pronounced (car, bar). When this word is followed by a vowel or with a word that
starts with a vowel, r is pronounced and is called linking r.
We have a case of so called intrusive r. If a word ends with a vowel and than following word starts
with a vowel in casual rapid speech between these two words, so called intrusive r occurs
media event /mi:dI(e - schwa)r I´vent/
formula A /fo:mjul(e - schwa)r eI/

Linking and intrusive r a special cases of so called juncture (it is a term which refers to the relationship
between one sound and the other sounds that intermediately preceded or followed). In this kind of
analysis in phonological theory a special attention and importance has been given.
my turn/might earn /maIt3::n/
my train/might rein /maItreIn/

The relationship between m and aI and between t and 3: and between 3: and n is called closed
juncture. In this case m is precede by silence and n is followed by silence. So m and n are in possition
of external open juncture.
Most problematic case is defining internal (is the case where first word ends and then following starts)
open juncture. In context in which words occur, ussually is always clear where the boundaries come
and in that case juncture information is redundant. There is a great deal of difference between the way
words are pronounced in isolation and in the context of connected speech. So perhaps the most
important consequence of linking as one of the suprasegmental features is the importance of setting
boundaries of words and syllables.

-it is one of the broadest supra-segmental features (in terms of phonological analysis). We have many
definitions of intonation in phonology but all phonologists agree that most important part in intonation
analysis place the pitch of the voice. Only in very unusual situation we speak with fixed unvarying
pitch and when we speak normally, the pitch of our voice is normally changing. We can describe pitch
in high and low. Phonology is most interested in differences of voice but phonological analysis covers
those changes in pitch which carry some linguistic infomation. These changes in pitch are also called
Different tones in English sugest different linguistic infomation.

Prednáška č.8:

Some of the world language are called tone languages. Tones in this languages have distinctive
function. This means that by substituting one distinctive tone for another on a particular word or
morpheme can cause a change in lexical meaning of that word or morpheme or in some aspects of its
grammatical categorization. English language does not use tones in this way though tones or pitch
differences are used for other purposes. Such languages are called intonation languages. In tone
languages the main supra-segmental constructed unit is tone which is usually linked to the
phonological unit that we call syllable.

For the purposes of analysing intonation we use a unit which is generally greater in size than syllable.
This unit is called tone unit. In its smallest form tone-unit may consists of only one syllable so it
would be wrong to say that it is always composed of more than one syllable. Generally tone-unit
consists of whole utterance. Syllable which carries tone within this particular utterance is called tonic
syllable. Tonic syllables have high degree of prominence and prominence is a feature of stressed
syllables. Tonic syllable not only carries a tone which is related to intonation but also a type of stress
that is called tonic stress. Tone unit has its place in a range of phonological units that can be placed in
hierarchical relationship.
Speech is on the top of hierarchy. It consists of a number of utterances. Each utterance consists of
one or more tone units. Each tone unit consists of one or more feet. Each foot consists of one or more
syllables. Each syllable consists of one or more phonemes.
Most tone units are of a type that we call simple but there are also tone units which are compound.
Each simple tone unit has one and only one tonic syllable. This means that the tonic syllable is
obligatory component of tone unit. Tone unit has specific structure and it consists of four basic
components. Those are: head tone unit, pre-head tone unit, tonic syllable, tail.
Head of a tone unit is all that part of tone unit that extends from the 1st stressed syllable up to but not
including tonic syllable. If there is no stressed syllable before tonic syllable there is no head in that
particular tone unit.
Pre-head of a tone unit is composed of all the unstressed syllables preceding the first stressed syllable.
Pre-heads are found in two main environments:
-when there is no head that is no stressed syllable preceding strong syllable. i.e. in an hour
( in an – pre-head, hour – tonic syllable).
-when there is a head as in following example.
In a /little less than an/ hour. Pre-head/head/tonic syllable
Tail – sometimes it happens that some syllables follow the tonic syllable. Any syllables between tonic
syllable and the end of a tone unit are called the tail.
(e.g. look – tonic syllable/at it-tail)
Utterance is something that is said just by one breath.

Functions of intonation.
Intonation is suprasegmental feature which enables speaker to express emotions and attitudes while he
speaks and this can add a special kind of meaning to a spoken language. This is often called attitudinal
function of intonation. It enables speaker to express his or her attitudes towards topic, issue being
discussed or towards person that he is communicating with.
Second type of intonation is called accentual function. It enables speaker to produce the effect of
prominence on syllables that need to be preceded as stressed and in particular the placing
of tonic stress on particular syllable marks out the words to which it belongs as the most important in
the tone unit.
Next function of intonation is called grammatical. Listener is enabled to better recognize the grammar
and syntactic structure of what is being discussed by using information contained in intonation
(e.g. placement of boundaries between phrases, expressing clauses/sentences, audible differences
between question and affirmative sentences and also cases of gramatical subordination may be
indicated by grammatical function of intonation).
Discourse function – intonation can singal to the listener what should be taken as new information and
what has been already said. Discourse function of intonation can also indicate a sort of contrast or link
with material in another tone unit and in conversation it can convey to the listener what kind of
information is expected.
Last function of intonation is syntagmatic. Relationship of some linguistic elements and the context in
which where it occurs can be provided by syntagmatic function of intonation. This also refers to actual
gramatical funtion and syntagmatic function of intonation.