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Chapter 1: A working basis

1.2 Phonetics and Phonology

Orthographic symbols: letters of ordinary spelling
Can be placed between angled brackets <> or be shown in bold face
Square brackets []: concerning the sound of a letter
The sound [m] is:

A sound that can be prolonged

A sound made with the lips (bilabial)
A sound said through the nose (nasal)
A sound said with voice (voiced)

The sound [t] is:


A sound that cannot be prolonged

A sound that is made with the tongue-tip against the teeth-ridge (alveolar)
A sound where the air escapes from the mouth (oral)
A sound said without voice (voiceless)

An important part of phonetics is describing what speech sounds are like and how they are made.
Human beings are able to make a vast variety of sounds with their vocal apparatus, of which they use
no more than a small number of the possible available sounds in their language.
Phonology: the study of the selection and patterns of sounds in a single language. (phonologist)
Phonetics: the study of sounds in language in general. (Phonetician)
Linguistics: the science that is concerned with the general study of language.
Phonology and phonetics are components of linguistics
Linguist: a specialist in linguistics
Speech chain
1. Formulation in brain of speaker (psycholinguistics)
2. Articulatory mechanism of speaker (articulatory phonetics)
a. Feedback line (audio-feedback)
3. Disturbances in air molecules producing the speech signal (acoustic phonetics)
4. Reception of signal by listener (auditory phonetics)
5. Interpretation in brain of listener (psycholinguistics)
Audio-feedback: the constantly monitoring of our own speech by listening to our performance.

1.3 What sort of English and what sort of Dutch?

Accents: number of ways in which any living language can be produced.
Dialects: the differences in grammar and the choice of vocabulary (lexis) in any living language.
Regional dialect: variation in dialect form one place to another.
Social dialect: differences in dialect between one social group and another.
o Prestige dialect: a standard variety of the language which is highly regarded even by
those who do not speak it, and which is associated with high status, education, and

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ABN (Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands Nederland)

AN (Algemeen Nederlands Belgi)
RP (Received Pronunciation England)
Educated British English speech lacking regional characteristics
Affected speech: exaggerated forms which may sound unattractive to many people.
Old-fashioned speech: forms which were once prestigious but which can nowadays sound outdated.
Neutral speech: speech which is neither affected, nor old-fashioned.

Chapter 2: The Phoneme

2.1 Phonemes and allophones
Utterance: any stretch of speech
Speech is a continuum: there is a constant change without sharp divisions between one state and the
Task of phonetics: to divide up this continuum into smaller chunks which are easier to
describe (segmentation smaller units of sound: segment)
o Segments do not usually operate in isolation
Minimal pair: a pair of words distinguished in meaning by a single sound difference.
Minimal set: more than 2 words distinguished in meaning by a single sound difference.
Phoneme: a member of a set of abstract units which together form the sound system of a given
language and through which contrasts of meaning are produced.
Are placed between slant brackets //
o Phonemic norm: the most frequently occurring realisation of a phoneme.
Phonemic inventory for Dutch: 22 vowels, 20 consonants
Phonemic inventory for English: 20 vowels, 24 consonants
Allophonic variation: each phoneme is really a compound of a number of different sounds which are
interpreted as one meaningful unit by a native speaker of the language.
Different sounds: allophones
A phoneme is being realised as a particular allophone.
Phonetic transcription: used to represent allophones
o Enclosed in square brackets
Phonetic similarity: the allophones of any given phoneme sound similar and are articulated in
a similar way.

2.2 The Phoneme in Dutch and English

Idiolect: the speech of a single individual.
Its easy for native speakers to interpret each others phoneme system.
There are always important differences between the phoneme system of one language and
that of another.
Sometimes Dutch and English people cant hear the differences in each others vowel
o Dutch mat // - mot // E not //
o D huid /y/ - hout /u/ E out /a/
o E men /e/ - man // D men //
o E pull // - pool /u:/ D poel /u/

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Dutch learners have trouble with some of the consonants of English

E then // - den /d/ D den /d/

2.4 The English and Dutch Phonemic systems

Certain of the consonants in both English and Dutch function as pairs, being in most respects similar,
but differing in the energy used in their production.
Fortis: strong, energetic articulation
o English: /p,t,k,t,f,,s,/
o Dutch: /p,t,k,f,s,x/
Lenis: weak and less energetic articulation
o English: /b,d,g,d,v,,z,/
o Dutch: /b,d,(g),(f),z,/
There are 3 groups of vowels in English and Dutch
Checked vowels
o Vowels that are for the most part shorter, and are not found at the end of a wordfinal stressed syllable
o Represented by a single phonemic symbol
o : shwa, doesnt fit in the categories.
o English: /, e, , , , , /
o Dutch: /, , , , , /
Free vowels
o Longer than checked vowels and may occur in any context
o Free steady-state vowels: consist of a single sound
Represented by a symbol followed by a length mark
D /i,y,u/ are typically short, except before /r/
English: /i:, :, :, u:, :/
Dutch /i, y, u, e:, :, o:, a:/
o Free diphthongs: vowels which include a movement from one vowel sound to
Represented as two symbols
Dutch has a set of free vowel sequences: combinations of free steady-state
vowels D/e:u/ D/e:/ en D/u/
Dutch: /a:i, o:i, ui, iu, yu, e:u/
English: /e, a, , , a, , , /
Dutch: /i, y, u/

2.5 The Syllable

Phonological elements: phoneme syllable word
Syllable: natural phonological unit
o We can define it in terms of how it functions in a given language
o (Syllable) nucleus: In Dutch, the syllable can be said to consist of an essential element
at the centre
Most of the time vowels are this essential element
Syllable structure Dutch: from 0 to 3 consonants in syllable-initial position,
and from 0 to 4 consonants syllable-finally
English has a similar syllable structure to that of Dutch

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The rules for syllable structure are not exactly the same for Dutch and English,
inasmuch as there are different restrictions on the possible consonant clusters:
combinations of consonants
Only in English: initial cluster /hj/ and syllable-final clusters: /dz, bz, gz, vz,
Only in Dutch: initial cluster /kn/
Both English and Dutch have closed syllables syllables ending in one or more
consonants and open syllables syllables ending in a vowel.

2.6 Syllabic consonants

Certain consonants are capable of acting as the nuclear elements of syllables. The syllabic element is
then not formed by the vowel, but by the consonants /m, n, / (nasals) and /l/ (lateral). These
consonants are termed syllabic consonants and are marked by the diacritic [ ] beneath the symbol in
transcription. Sometimes an alternative pronunciation with the shwa is also possible.

Chapter 3: Transcription
3.1 Phonemic and Phonetic transcription
Phonetic transcription: a transcription which can, potentially, indicate the minute articulatory detail
of any particular sound.
Tong-r: [r]
Huig-r [R]
Phonemic transcription: confined to representing phonemes and showing the distinctive contrasts.
Tong-r or huig-r are both represented by the phoneme /r/
Broad: showing only a very small proportion of the phonetic variation that occurs what is
most important in the particular context.
Narrow: showing a great deal of minor allophonic variation
o More elaborate symbols and additional small marks: diacritics
When even a single diacritic is shown, the transcription must be enclosed in
square brackets.

3.2 Stress
Word in citation form: spoken in isolation, as opposed to occurring in connected speech
Has at least one stressed syllable: one syllable which has more prominence than the others.
o Word stress: stress in the isolated word.
o Can partly be related to the energy with which a syllable is articulated.
o Indicated by placing a mark [] before the syllable concerned.
Sentence stress: stress in connected speech.
Lexical words (nouns, adjectives, adverbs and main verbs) are most likely to be stressed.
Grammatical words (determiners, conjunctions, pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary verbs) are
less likely to be stressed.
o Demonstratives and wh-interrogatives are stressed with any frequency
When wh-words and that are used as relatives, they are normally

3.3 Strong, weak and contracted forms

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Weak form (WF): the form characteristic of the unstressed position.

o A
o An
/n, n /
o The
/, (before vowels)/
o Some
/sm/ unstressed, and meaning an undefined amount
o And
/nd, n, n /
o As
o Than
/n/ SF hardly ever used
o That
o At
o For
/f(r)/ with r before vowels
o From
o Of
/v, / // often used before //
o To
/t, t/ /t, tu:/ used before vowels
Verb be
o Am (m)
/m, m/
o Are (re)
/(r)/ with r used before vowels
o Is (s)
/s, z/
o Was
o Were
/w(r)/ with r used before vowels
Auxiliary verb have
o Has (s)
/z, s, z/
o Have (ve)
/v, v/
o Had (d)
Other auxiliary verbs
o Do
/d, d/
o Does
o Can
o Will (ll)
/l, l /
o Shall (ll)
/l, l /
o Would (d)
/d, d/
o Should (d)
/d, d/
o Them
/m, m /
o Us
o Our
/:/ also used in stressed context
Negative particle
o Nt
Strong form (SF): the form characteristic of the stressed context.
Contracted from (CF): grammatical words combined with other grammatical words.
Can be stressed and frequently are
o Im
o Youre
/j:(r), j(r)/
o Hes
o Shes
o Its

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o Were
o Theyre
o Ive
o Youve
o Hes
o Shes
o Its
o Weve
o Theyve
o Ill
o Youll
o Hell
o Shell
o Itll
o Well
o Theyll
o Id
o Youd
o Hed
o Shed
o Itd
o Wed
o Theyd
o Arent
o Werent
o Dont
o Shant
o Wont
o Cant
o Mustnt
o Darent
o Lets
o Theres
o Therere
o Therell
o Thered

/av/ -> not necessarily used when main verb
/hiz/ -> cannot be used when main verb
/wi:v/ -> not necessarily used when main verb
/tl /
/msn t/
/z, z, ez/
/r(r), er(r), r(r)/
/l, l/
/d, d/

3.4 The use of WFs and CFs


If a word is stressed for any reason, a WF cannot be used.

SFs are used at the end of the intonation group, even if the word is unstressed.
o Pronouns retain the WF even in final position.
The demonstrative that has always the SF. /t/
o The relative and conjunction that has always the WF. /t/
WFs ending in shwa are not used before vowels

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WFS of words which begin with h, pronunciation with /h/ is optional. The /h/ is invariably
used following a pause, e.g. at the beginning of a sentence
WFs which include shwa preceding /m, n, l/ are regularly pronounced as syllabic consonants
Have as a main verb is normally pronounced as a SF, but CFs are occasionally used.
Third person forms of have and be follow regular rules for pronunciation of s or s.
o Following /b, d, g, v, , m, n, , l/ and all vowels s /z/
o Following /p, t, k, f, / s /s/
o Following /s, z, , , t, d/ is /z/, has /z/
Some common grammatical words do not have a regular WF

3.5 Transcription sample

The Guardian newspaper is famous for its misprints. Why, there is even a Guardian misprint
preserved in brass for posterity. Some years ago the El Vino wine bar decided to put up a
plaque in honour of Philip Hope-Wallace, its most faithful and probably wittiest habitu. And
so, mentioning his eminence as a wit, raconteur and critic, it was duly placed above his usual
seat on the wall and unveiled at a small ritual. I dont want to seem ungrateful, said the
recipient, peering at it closely, but theres only one l in Philip and youve put in two. How
can that be? gasped the management. We were careful to check with the Guardian.
Answer: PED p. 24

Chapter 4: The speech mechanism

4.1 Introduction
Human speech mechanism
1. The lungs initiate the airstream (respiratory system)
2. Air passes through the larynx , which converts the energy of the airstream into a sound
source: vibration in vocal folds in larynx (phonatory system)
3. The sound source is amplified and has its character modified by the resonator in the cavities
of the head (articulatory system)

4.2 The respiratory system

Respiratory system
Speech: controlled breathing
o The lungs take in air (inhalation) rapidly and let it out (exhalation) slowly and under
careful control
o Ratio of breathings with speech is 1:8 in favour of exhalation
Exists out of
o Push out air by the action of the chest-wall muscles and the
diaphragm, who let the lungs partially collapse
Necessary for production of sound
Bronchial tubes
Pulmonic egressive airstream: speech sounds made by using air that is pushed out of
the lungs.
Nearly all speech sounds are made like this.

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4.3 The Phonatory system

Phonatory system
Trachea: windpipe
Larynx (Adams appel): a framework of cartilages containing the vocal folds.
o The vocal folds: can vibrate very rapidly. This rapid vibration is called voice.
o Phonation: the function of the larynx as a vibration source.
o Frequency: variation in the speed of vibration of the vocal folds.
Vital factor in producing changes of pitch i.e. the way in which we perceive
sounds as being high or low.
The higher the frequency, the higher the pitch
Intonation: variation in pitch over a stretch of speech
Glottis: The space between the vocal folds.
When swallowing, the food is directed into the stomach via the oesophagus, while the vocal
folds seal off the entrance to the trachea.

4.4 The articulatory system

The articulatory system is formed by the area above the glottis known as the (supraglottal) vocal
tract. It consists of three cavities, which act as resonators, modifying the buzz produced by the vocal
folds. Alterations in the shape of the cavities are particularly important in making different types of
vowel sounds.
Pharyngeal cavity (space enclosed by the pharynx i.e. the throat)
Oral cavity (space inside the mouth i.e. the mouth)
o Lips (labial, bilabial): are flexible in several directions and can be rounded or spread.
Closed: bilabial /p, b, m/
Allow air through, being so close together that audible friction is produced:
Spanish []
Lower lip held close to upper teeth: D /f, f/ or E /f,v/
Production of vowels
Lips spread: D /i/ or E /i:/
Lips neutral: D /a:/ or E /:/
Lips rounded
o Open rounding: E //
o Close rounding: D /y/
o Rounding with consonants: E /w, r, , /
o Teeth: obstacles to the airstream when it is directed against them by the positioning
of the tongue.
The upper front teeth are particularly important in the generation of the
friction required for sounds like /s,z/
Dental articulation: tip of the tongue is held close to the front teeth /, /
Labio-dental articulation: lips articulate against the teeth E /f, v/
o Alveolar ridge: sounds involving the alveolar ridge are called alveolar.
Sounds made by pressing the tongue against or moving towards the alveolar
ridge: /t, d, n, s, z, l/
D /r/ is frequently made by the tongue tapping against the alveolar ridge.
o Hard palate
Palatal: articulations involving the tongue and the hard palate /j/
Alveolo-palatal: large portion of the tongue rises to articulate with the front
of the palate and the rear of the alveolar ridge D /sj, tj/

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Palato-alveolar: tongue rising towards the alveolar ridge and the frontmost
part of the hard palate E /, , , d/
o Soft palate (velum)
Velic closure: soft palate raised against the back wall of the pharynx
Part of the articulation of all non-nasal sounds
Velar closure: tongue articulating against the soft palate [k, g, ]
[k, g] have a velic and a velar closure.
o Uvula: a hanging lump of tissue at the back of the mouth
Uvular trill [R]
D /r/: uvular sound with the airstream channelled between the uvula and the
back of the tongue
o Tongue
Tongue-body consists almost entirely of muscle
Parts of the tongue: blade tip front back root
o Tip: apex apical
o Blade: lamina laminal
o Root: radix radical
Dorsum: whole of the upper surface of the tongue is covered with a mucous
membrane containing the taste nerve endings and the salvia-producing
glands. (front and back)
Tip of tongue is very sensitive and the tongue has an ability to detect
movement (kinaesthetic sense) diminished near end of tongue
The tongue can assume a variety of shapes
Groove along the septum (mid-line) of tongue [s, z]
/l/: the sides of the tongue are pressed
Nasal cavity (space inside the nose i.e. the nose)
The epiglottis: diverts the chewed-up food away from the vocal folds and the trachea.
Soft palate: can be raised to form a closure against the back of the pharynx.
With the soft palate raised, people can make an oral sound.
With the soft palate lowered, people can make a nasal sound. /m, n, /
/n/: Voiced, soft palate lowered, tip/blade touching alveolar ridge
/d/: voiced, velic closure, tip/blade touching alveolar ridge
/g/: voiced, velic closure, velar closure
//: voiced, velar closure, no velic closure

Chapter 5: Classification of Consonants

5.1 Descriptive labels
Descriptive label: useful shorthand to refer to consonants.
- Contains 2/3 descriptive terms
o Energy of articulation
o Place of articulation
o Manner of articulation
- E /b/
lenis bilabial plosive
- E /s/
fortis alveolar fricative
- E //
velar nasal

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descriptive label
fortis bilabial plosive
fortis alveolar plosive
fortis velar plosive
fortis palato-alveolar affricate
fortis labio-dental fricative
fortis dental fricative
fortis alveolar fricative
fortis palato-alveolar fricative



descriptive label
glottal fricative
bilabial nasal
alveolar nasal
velar nasal
lateral approximant
post-alveolar approximant
labial-velar approximant
palatal approximant


descriptive label
lenis bilabial plosive
lenis alveolar plosive
lenis velar plosive
lenis palato-alveolar affricate
lenis labio-dental fricative
lenis dental fricative
lenis alveolar fricative
lenis palato-alveolar fricative

5.2 Place of articulation

Place of articulation: place in the vocal tract where the sound is articulated.
- Active articulator: the organ that moves in the articulation.
- Passive articulator: the point towards which the active articulator is directed.
o Is touched: [t] and [k]
o Active close to passive: [s] and [x]
o Slight movement toward passive: E /r/
o Distinction between passive and active not possible: [h, p, b, m]
- A: lips
- P: Labio-dental
- A: lip
- P: teeth
- A: tip of tongue
- P: teeth
- A: tip of tongue
- P: Alveolar ridge
- A: blade/front of tongue
- P: alveolar ridge/front of palate
- A: front of tongue
- P: hard palate

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A: back of tongue
P: Velum
A: Glottis
P: -

5.3 Manner of Articulation

Manner of articulation: concerned with how the airstream is modified by the articulators.
Stricture: the positioning of the active and passive articulators so as to block, hinder or alter in some
way the passage of the stream of air from the lungs.
- Complete closure: forms obstruction which blocks airstream
o Stops: the soft palate is raised, complete closure
Plosive: air after stop is released with explosive force plosion by sudden
parting of the articulators, which results in an audible burst of noise.
Affricates: the closure is released rather slowly. When the articulators part,
there is a brief period of close approximation, which results in homorganic
friction friction at the same point of articulation as the stop closure.
o Nasals: soft palate lowered, complete closure
o Trills and taps:
Trill: series of rapid, percussive movements made by the active articulator as
it strikes the passive articulator.
Alveolar trill: Dutch tong-r
Uvular trill: Dutch huig-r
Tap: a single rapid movement of a percussive type
Alveolar tap: [] in Noord-Holland, north eastern provinces of the
Netherlands, Belgium Scots, Liverpool
- Close approximation: forms narrowing giving rise to friction
o Fricatives: the airstream is not blocked, but is allowed to escape through a
narrowing. This gives rise to air turbulence, which results in audible friction.
- Open approximation: forms no obstruction but changes shape of vocal tract, thus altering
nature of resonance
o Central approximants: the space between the articulators is sufficiently large to
allow the escape of the airstream without any audible friction.
o Lateral approximant: the central part of the tongue forms a closure with the roof of
the mouth, but one or both sides remain lowered.
Lateral fricative: distance between the lowered sides and roof is only narrow
and forceful airstream

5.4 Energy of Articulation

Fortis: articulation is tense, energetic and voiceless
Lenis: articulation weaker, less energetic and potentially voiced
Fortis/lenis contrast in English:
- Fortis plosives /p, t, k/ when initial in a stressed syllable have strong aspiration, often also
heard in final position
o Lenis: plosives are unaspirated
- Vowels are shortened before a final fortis consonant
o Vowels have full length before a final lenis consonant
- Fortis: Syllable-final stops often have a reinforcing glottal stop (preglottalisation)

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Lenis: syllable-final stops never have a reinforcing glottal stop

Chapter 6: Fortis/lenis contrast in Dutch and English

6.1 contrastive overview

More signals for the fortis/lenis contrast in English than in Dutch, particularly plosives.
Oppositions in Dutch less clear in the fricative series
Dutch has no word-final fortis/lenis contrasts, whereas in English the fortis/lenis contrast can
occur in final position
Very often, Dutch loses a fortis/lenis contrast as a result of assimilation

6.2 Vowel length as an indicator of the fortis/lenis contrast in syllable-final position

Vowels are shortened before fortis consonants but maintain full length before lenis consonants.
Special significance in stressed monosyllabic (single syllable) words.
Before lenis consonants full length is heard with all the vowels, checked and free, which means that a
checked vowel before a lenis consonant is as long as or longer than a free vowel before a fortis.
We can give an approximate indication of length using the diacritics
o []: extra short
o []: half-long
o [:]: extra long
In open syllables, the vowels of English are also long.
Pre-fortis clipping: the shortening effect
Also applies to a nasal or lateral preceding fortis consonants

6.3 Fortis/lenis contrast in English stops

Pre-glottalisation/glottal reinforcement: in final position, the English fortis stops /p, t, k, / are often
reinforced by a preceding glottal stop.
The glottal stop [] is formed by closing the vocal folds completely for a brief period
o Formed before or during the articulation of the stop
Aspiration: initially in a stressed syllable, the English fortis plosives /p, t, k/ are strongly aspirated
Brief period of voicelessness following the plosive []

6.4 voicing of lenis consonants

In other languages, the contrast between the two groups of consonants may not be one of energy
but rather one of voicing.
In Dutch and English, the fortis consonants are always voiceless; the lenis consonants are potentially
In English, lenis consonants are only fully voiced between vowels or other voiced sounds.
Initial devoicing: at the beginning of a syllable, if preceded by silence or a voiceless sound, voicing
does not begin until some way into the articulation.
Final devoicing: in syllable-final position, before a voiceless consonant or pause, lenis consonants lose
voicing early in the articulation.
Partially devoiced: []
Voiceless: []

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Even if lenis consonants are devoiced, we can still hear a clear contrast.
The nasals /m, n, /, lateral /l/ and approximants /w, j, r/ do not undergo devoicing in the manner
described following or preceding pause.
If a pair of lenis consonants occurs before silence or a voiceless sound, the first typically has partial
devoicing and the second is completely voiceless.

Chapter 7: Secondary Articulation

7.1 Rank Scale of Articulation
The production of a speech sound involves often more than one stricture occurring simultaneously.
Besides the main articulation, there may be an additional articulation which can be considered of less
- Primary articulation: the narrower stricture
- Secondary articulation
The strictures in the oral cavity are taken to rank above those in the reminder of the vocal tract.
Rank scale of articulation (numbers primary, letters secondary) :
1. Oral stricture of complete closure or close approximation
2. Oral stricture of open approximation
a. Labialisation
b. Palatalization
c. Velarisation
d. pharyngealisation
3. Stricture at the glottis (glottal stop)
a. glottalisation
4. Resonance of the nasal cavity
a. Nasalisation

7.2 Types of secondary articulation

Labialisation: adds lip-rounding to the primary articulation.
- Represented with the diacritic [] after the symbol
Palatalization: front of the tongue raised towards the hard palate; an [i] or [j] type articulation
superimposed on a primary articulation
- Represented with the diacritic [] after the symbol
Velarisation: back of tongue brought up towards the velum, tongue assumes an [u]-like shape.
- Represented with the diacritic [ ] and termed dark
- Represented with the diacritic [] after symbol
- English final /l/
Pharyngealisation: back of tongue retracted towards the pharynx wall
- Represented with the diacritic [ ] and termed dark
- Represented with the diacritic [] after symbol
- Dutch final /l/
Glottalisation: addition of a reinforcing glottal stop to an oral stop -> pre-glottalisation of the fortis
stops in syllable-final position
- Represented with the diacritic [] before the symbol.
Nasalisation: addition of the resonance of the nasal cavity to an articulation of higher rank.
- Vowels preceding nasals are nasalised
- Represented with the diacritic [] above the symbol
- E /l/ can become nasalised when it occurs between two nasals.

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7.3 Simultaneous occurrence and double articulation

Simultaneous occurrence: more than one secondary articulation can occur simultaneously
Double articulation: two places of articulation are employed which cannot be distinguished in terms
of the narrowness of the stricture
- E/w/ has two strictures of open approximation
o Lips
o Velum

Chapter 9: Back to the phoneme

9.1 Phonetic similarity
Allophones have a phonetic similarity: they are usually articulated by the speech organs in similar
ways, and they are also similar in their acoustic make-up.

9.2 Complementary distribution

Phoneme /l/ has the following allophones:
Clear [l]: occurs before vowels
Dark (velarized) [l ]: occurs before a consonant or a pause
Voiceless (fricative) [l ]: occurs at the beginning of a word when it follows /p/ or /k/
Complementary distribution: the allophones are the complements of each other; where one occurs
the other cannot.
Free variation: the occurrence of one realisation or another appears to be a matter of chance.
The choosing of a variation may depend on the background of the people somebody is in
company with at the time, or possibly the formality of the circumstances.

9.3 difficulties of determining a phoneme inventory

Pre-vocalically: occurs before a vowel
Post-vocalically: occurs after a vowel
D /h/ only occurs pre-vocalically and D // only occurs post-vocalically; they are therefore in
complementary distribution.
They do not belong to the same phoneme for 2 reasons
o They lack any sort of phonetic similarity.
/h/: voiceless glottal fricative
//: voiced velar nasal
o They would not be considered as members of the same phoneme by native speakers
of the language concerned.
In the final analysis, native-speaker intuition must be regarded as the most decisive factor of all in
determining the allocation of allophones to phonemic categories.

9.4 neutralisation
Sometimes 2 phonemes may show overlap in phonetic realisation. D /m/ and D /n/: when they occur
before a labio-dental, their realisation may be a labio-dental nasal []. Because it can belong to both
the phoneme /m/ as /n/, we can assign it to either. The opposition between /m/ and /n/ has than
undergone a phoneme neutralisation.

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This neutralisation appears also with the realisation of stops in syllable-initial clusters after
E/s/. /p, t, k/ almost become /b, d, g/
It appears to with city, coffee and caddie: there comes an happy i.

9.5 Different Phoneme systems in different varieties of the language.

The difference between / - / is lost in the north of England and in some southern Irish English.
Theres no // in their system.
Welsh English has an additional phoneme contrast /u: - u/ as compared with most other varieties of
RP, in common with Irish, Scottish and American speech has /h/. The broad varieties of most accents
in England and Wales do not possess this phoneme.

Chapter 10: Phonation and states of the glottis

10.1 structure of the larynx
One of the important functions of het larnyx is voicing.
You can examine the larnyx with a laryngoscope. The arytenoid cartilages control the positioning of
the vocal folds. There are 3 positions of the vocal folds and the arytenoid cartilages:
1. Set wide apart
2. Placed together leaving a small aperture
3. Held completely together leaving no space between
Glottis: gap between the open vocal folds or arytenoids.

10.2 Voiced
Voicing: Placed together leaving a small aperture.
Because of the repeated rapid contact (vibration) and parting of the
vocal folds, the airstream escapes in a series of very high-speed puffs,
producing the effect of a buzz (glottal tone/voice)
Man: 130 puffs per second
Woman: 230 puffs per second
o The higher the frequency, the higher is the perceived pitch
Can be changed by:
Changes in the tension of the vocal folds
Differences in the force of the airstream produced by the lungs

10.3 Voiceless
Voiceless: Set wide apart.
Fortis stops and fortis fricatives are always voiceless. Lenis stops and fricatives are potentially voiced
but vary according to context.

10.4 Glottal stop []

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Glottal stop: held completely together leaving no space between. The airstream coming from the
lungs is temporarily blocked. On the release of the closure, the blocked air rushes out, giving rise to
In many languages the glottal stop is a phoneme, but not in English and Dutch. In Dutch the glottal
stop is regularly heard before a stressed syllable beginning with a vowel.
[] in English
Occurs before many initial vowels
Reinforcement to fortis stop consonants in many context
In certain English dialects it occurs as a replacement for /t/, and in certain context for /p,k/
The glottal stop cannot have a voiced counterpart, since the vocal folds are tight together for the
articulation and so cannot vibrate.

10.5 Creak and Creaky voice

Creak: a rather slow vibration (40 per second) with the vocal folds, like a succession of glottal stops.
Its produced by keeping the arytenoids pressed together, and allowing the anterior portion of the
vocal folds to vibrate at slow speed.
Creaky voice: the creak with voice combined. It is produced by the posterior portion of the vocal
folds vibrating at relatively high speed for voice while the anterior portion vibrates much more slowly
to produce the creak.
The creaky voice is employed regularly in English, where speakers habitually go into creaky
voice at the end of most utterances.
In Danish the creaky voice has a phonemic function: many words with otherwise the same
phoneme structure are distinguished on the basis of whether or not they are uttered with
creaky voice (std)

10.6 Whisper
Whisper: The vocal folds are brought together, without vibrating; Theres a gap between the
arytenoids. An airstream passes through this gap at fairly high velocity, giving rise to air turbulence
and friction noise at this point.
Stage whisper: produced by increasing further the force of the airstream and applying some
constriction to the pharynx.

10.7 Breathy Voice

Breathy voice: this larynx state is a combination of the states for voice and whisper. It is produced by
combining the normal voice of the vocal folds with the escape of air through the gap between the
In Hindi and Bengali, breathy voice is utilised phonemically
E/h/ between vowels is often said with breathy voice, whereas D/h/ tends to be breathy
voiced in all contexts.

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Ch. 15: English Fricative Consonants

15.1 Fricative Systems in English and Dutch
Dutch lacks dental fricatives and has no sounds similar to E /, /.
In Dutch, the lenis/fortis contrast doesnt play a significant role, no lenis fricatives exist in word-final
context, and in connected speech the energy is reduced even further.
- /f - f/ this contrast is not consistent in Dutch
- /x - / this opposition occurs only between vowel in Dutch and is absent for many speakers
- /s z/ this energy contrast is the only stable one.
The alveolo-palatal fricatives [, ] result from the sequences /sj, zj/
Labio-dental fricatives /f, v/
- Description
o The lower lip makes a light contact with the upper front teeth
- Main allophonic variation
o /f/: fortis voiceless labio-dental fricative [f]
Point of contact may vary
Front vowels: more forward on the lip (like /v/)
Back vowels: retracted (like /v/)
Some speakers may produce an affricate articulation in /pf/
sequences (i.e. [p])
o /v/: Lenis voiced labio-dental fricative [v]
Between voiced sounds there is full voicing
Initial /v/ has slight devoicing
Final /v/ is strongly devoiced ([v]) and often realised without any voicing at
many speakers produce a bilabial affricate [b] for /bv/
Dental fricatives /, /
- description
o They are both slit fricatives, which means that the airstream escapes in a diffuse
manner over the whole surface of the tongue.
- Main allophonic variation
o //: the tongue-tip often has contact with the rear of the upper teeth and may even
protrude (i.e. inter-dental [])
Fortis voiceless dental fricative []
o //: when energetic pronounced, it can also be inter-dental. In connected speech the
tongue has a retracted post-dental tongue position a little behind the front teeth. //
is normally an approximant [ ] (especially when initial in unstressed syllables),
without friction. It easily undergoes assimilation and elision, especially in unstressed
Initial // occurs only in the definite article, demonstratives, personal
pronouns (also the archaic ones) and then, than, thus, thither
Lenis voiced dental fricative [] if between voiced sounds
Devoiced [ ] if final before pause or voiceless sounds
Alveolar fricatives /s, z/
- Description
o They are both groove fricatives, which means that the airstream is channelled
through a groove along the mid-line of the tongue, giving rise to friction between the
tongue-bade and the alveolar ridge.
o The tip/blade of the tongue rises to the alveolar ridge, whilst the sides of the tongue
are held against the upper side teeth.

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Main allophonic variation

o /s/: fortis voiceless alveolar fricative [s]
o /z/: lenis voiced alveolar fricative [z].
Between vowels theres full voicing.
Initial /z/ may have slight devoicing
Final /z/ is strongly devoiced [z] and is often realised without any voicing at
- E/s, z/ are liable to be assimilated to /, / before palatal and palate-alveolar consonants.
- A clear distinction is made within the word between /sj -/ and /zj - /
- Pronunciation /prnnsen/ - association /ssen/
Palato-alveolar fricatives /, /
- Description
o Groove fricatives like /s, z/, but the depression is much shallower and the extent of
the stricture is larger. A larger portion of the tongue rises to form the narrowing with
the alveolar ridge and the front of the hard palate. Very strong outer lip-rounding.
- Distribution
o // occurs only between vowels, but can also be syllable-initial or syllable-final in
recent French loanwords.
- Main allophonic variation
o //: fortis voiceless labialised palato-alveolar fricative []
o //: lenis voiced labialised palato-alveolar fricative [] between voiced sounds.
Devoiced [ ] when not between voiced sounds.
Glottal fricative /h/
- description
o the articulators are in the position for the following vowel sound and a strong
airstream produces friction both at the glottis and throughout the vocal tract.
- Distribution: /h/ occurs only preceding vowels
- main allophonic variation
o /h/: voiceless glottal fricative [h]. Voiced glottal fricative [] between vowels and
voiced sounds.

Ch. 16 English stop consonants

16.1 Stages of a Stop
Stops include plosives and affricates.
Stages of the stop:
1. The approach stage: the articulators come together and form a closure.
2. The hold stage: the air is compressed behind the closure.
3. The release stage: the closure is released.
Result: an equalisation of air pressure in the vocal tract and the atmosphere, giving rise to a plosion.

16.2 Fortis/Lenis Opposition in Stops

Factors that are significant in the fortis/lenis contrast in stops.
- Voicing
o In fortis stops (voiceless) the hold stage is a brief period of silence. All the
information about place of articulation is in the approach and release stages.
o In lenis stops, voicing may be heard throughout the stop or, only in a portion of the

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If preceded by silence or voiceless sounds, English stops have initial devoicing; the
voice does not usually begin until well into the hold stage.
o Between vowels (or other voiced sounds), voice will continue through all stages.
o Preceding silence or voiceless sounds, English stops have final devoicing in the hold
and release stages, and are frequently completely devoiced. The vowel preceding a
final lenis is always lengthened.
- Aspiration [] (lack of aspiration: []
o Heard in English initial fortis plosives /p, t, k/, where these occur in stressed syllables.
o Brief period of voicelessness after the release of the stop.
o In clusters preceded by /s/ aspiration is minimal.
o Where the approximants follow a fortis plosive as part of an initial cluster in a
stressed syllable, there is little or no aspiration; instead they are devoiced and have
added friction,
This devoicing is not found where /s/ is the first element in a threeconsonant cluster.
- Pre-glottalisation (glottal reinforcement)
o The addition of a reinforcing glottal stop at or before the hold stage of syllable-final
fortis stops.
o The sequence is normally as follows:
Vocal fold vibration for preceding vowel ceases
Vocal folds close tightly together just before the hold stage of the stop
(sometimes during the hold stage)
Vocal folds part and relax
Oral closure is inaudibly released.
o Effect: cutting off sharply the voicing of the preceding vowel (slight creaky voice
quality in final part of the vowel -> vowel is shortened)
o Found in the following contexts
Syllable-final fortis stops are regularly pre-glottalised before another
/t/ has optional glottalisation in all contexts except syllable-initial
In the following contexts, non-glottalised forms are also frequent:
Before pause
Before /h/
Word-finally preceding a vowel
Pre-glottalised forms are never used:
With any lenis consonant
With any consonant other than a stop
Word-medially between vowels (except /t/)
Preceding syllabic dark [ l ]
Glottal replacement:
- Sometimes in the case of /t/, there may be complete replacement by [] before another
consonant or before syllabic /n /
- Sometimes /p, k/ can be completely replaced by a glottal when followed by a homorganic
stop or nasal
- /t/ is never replaced by a glottal.

16.3 Types of Release and Approach

Affricate release
- If the articulators do not part immediately, remaining for a brief period relatively close to
each other, then friction is heard in the release stage

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This friction is homorganic: at the same place of articulation as the stop

Relative slow release as opposed to the rapid release of the plosive stops.
/t, d/: phoneme affricates.
/t, d/ in clusters give rise to sequences which are, in phonetic terms, affricate articulations.
o /tr/ - [t] fortis post-alveolar affricate
o /dr/ - [d ] lenis post-alveolar affricate
o /ts/ - [ts] fortis alveolar affricate
o /dz/ - [dz] lenis alveolar affricate
o /t/ - [t] fortis dental affricate
o /d/ - [d ] lenis dental affricate
Bilabial affricates: /pf, bv/ - [p, b]
Nasal release
- When a plosive is followed by a homorganic nasal, the soft palate lowers, which allows the
airstream to pass out through the nasal cavity.
- Nasal release of /t, d/ is also heard in final /tn, dn/ leading into a syllabic nasal /tn , dn /
- In more rapid speech, nasal release can be heard in cases when bilabials or velars precede
/n/ and this will result in place assimilation
o Open /pm /, ribbon /rbm /, darken /d:k/
- Nasal release cited with fortis plosives, may also be accompanied by glottalisation.
Lateral release
- /t/ and /d/ can have lateral release: the alveolar closure is released by lowering the sides of
the tongue
o Following /t/, there is initial devoicing of /l/
- Lateral release in English often leads into syllabic laterals
Lateral escape
- /kl, gl, pl, bl/ can have lateral escape: the tongue position for a lateral approximant /l/ is
taken up during the hold stage of the stop. On the release of the bilabial or velar closure, the
compressed airstream escapes over the lowered sides of the tongue.
Nasal and lateral approach
- Nasal approach: the articulators are already in the position for the alveolar stop and it is
merely necessary for the soft palate to rise
o Examples: /nt/, /nd/, /mp/, /mb/, /k/, /g/
- Lateral approach: the change from alveolar lateral to alveolar stop is effected by raising the
sides of the tongue

16.4 Overlapping Stops

Overlapping stop: a plosive consonant is immediately followed by a stop
- Examples: /pt, pd, pk, bg, kt, gd, pt, gd/
- In this case, the first stop has inaudible release, represented phonetically by the [], the
second stop has an inaudible approach.
- Articulation sequence for the cluster /gd/:
o The back of the tongue approaches the velum for /g/ and makes a firm closure
o The closure is maintained (giving hold stage of /g/)
o The tip/blade rises to form a second closure at the alveolar ridge (inaudible)
o The back of the tongue lowers, so releasing the velar closure (inaudible)
o The tip/blade lowers from the alveolar ridge with audible plosion (release stage of
- Generally in cases where a fortis stop is first in the sequence there will also be glottal

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In a sequence of three stops, the central consonant lacks both audible approach and release
stages. Such a stop is always alveolar and in the case of (voiceless) /t/ is realised merely by a
period of silence.

16.5 Sequences of Homorganic Stops

Sequences of homorganic stops: two stops made at the same place of articulation.
- Result in a single but prolonged hold stage, with only one approach stage and one release
o Prolonged shops /pp,bb,dd/ can be shown phonetically as [p:, b:, d:]
o A prolonged hold stage is also found in plosive/affricate sequences.
o Where there is an affricate/affricate sequence or an affricate/plosive sequence the
two stops retain all their stages.
- Where there is an energy contrast in the sequence the vocal folds either begin or cease
vibrating during the hold stage.
- Where the first of a sequence of homorganic stops is a fortis, this will be subject to glottal
reinforcement. Since there is only one hold stage, this can be regarded as glottal

16.6 Stop Systems in English and Dutch

The English phonemes /p, t, k, b, d, g, t, d/ occur in all positions.
The Dutch lenis stops /b, d, g/ do not occur in syllable- final position (except as the result of
Bilabial plosives /p, b/
- Description: the airstream is compressed behind a closure formed at the lips and then
released with force.
- Main allophonic variation
o /p/: fortis voiceless bilabial plosive
Strongly aspirated [p] when initial in stressed syllables.
Generally pre-glottalised [p] when syllable-final before consonants
Unaspirated [p] in clusters beginning with /s/
o /b/: lenis voiced bilabial plosive
[b] between voiced sounds
Partially devoiced [b] in initial position
Strongly devoiced [b] in final position
o /p, b/ are palatalised [p, b] before /j/
o /p, b/ are labio-dental [p, b] before /f, v/
Alveolar plosives /t, d/
- Description: the closure is formed by the tip/blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge
- Main allophonic variation
o /t/: fortis voiceless alveolar plosive
Strongly aspirated [t] or with weak affrication [t] when initial in stressed
Generally pre-glottalised [t] or replaced by a glottal when syllable-final
before consonants.
Unaspirated [t] in /s/ clusters
In colloquial RP, intervocalic /t/ is frequently realised as a very brief tap []
o /d/: lenis voiced alveolar plosive
[d] in between voiced sounds

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Partially devoiced [d ] in initial position

Strongly devoiced [d ] in final position
o /t, d/ may be
labialised [t, d] especially before /w/
patalised [t, d] before /j/
dental [t, d ] adjacent to dentals.
Velar plosives /k, g/
- description: the back of the tongue rises to form a closure against the velum.
- Main allophonic variation
o /k/: fortis voiceless velar plosive
Initial: strongly aspirated [k]
Syllable-final before consonants: pre-glottalised [k]
/s/ clusters: unaspirated [k]
Before /j/: Palatised [k]
o /g/: lenis voiced velar plosive
[g] between voiced sounds
Partially devoiced [g] in initial position
Strongly devoiced [g] in final position
o Velar closure for /k, g/
Advanced before front vowels: [k, g]
Retracted before back vowels: [k, g]
Labialised, especially before /w/: [k, g]
Palate-alveolar affricates /t, d/
- Description: a closure is formed between a large area of the tip, blade and the front of the
tongue with the alveolar ridge and the front of the hard palate. The airstream is compressed
behind this closure and released relatively slowly, giving rise to homorganic friction.
- Main allophonic variation
o /tf/: fortis voiceless labialised palato-alveolar affricate [t]
May be pre-glottalised when syllable-final [t]
o /d/: lenis voiced labialised palato-alveolar affricate [d] if between voiced sounds
Initial: partially devoiced [d ]
Final: strongly devoiced [d ]

16.7 Comparison with Dutch

Energy contrast
- Dutch lenis stops do not occur word-finally
- Dutch fortis plosives do not have aspiration but have tenser articulation than their lenis
- Dutch syllable-final fortis stops do not have pre-glottalisation
Contact with other consonants
- In Dutch, sequences of homorganic stops are typically reduced to a single stop
- In connected speech, the fortis/lenis contrast is frequently neutralised
- /tr, dr/ in English are post-alveolar affricates. In Dutch, such sequences are formed from /t,
d/ followed either by a uvular /r/ or by an alveolar tap or trill

Ch. 17: English Nasal and Approximant Consonants

17.1 Nasals
Bilabial, alveolar and velar nasals /m, n, /

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Description: the place and manner of articulation is similar to that of the corresponding stops
/b, d, g/, but the soft palate is also lowered, adding the resonance of the nasal cavity. The
vocal folds vibrate throughout.
Distribution: // occurs only syllable-finally following checked vowels
Main allophonic variation
o /m, n/
Following /s/ in initial clusters: partially devoiced [m , n ]
Before /j/ and //: palatalised [m, n]
before /f, v/: may be realised as a labio-dental nasal []
o /n/
Before and following dentals: dental [n ]
Before /t, d, , /: palate alveolar [n ]
o //
After front vowels: advanced []
After velars: retracted []
Nasalisation: the soft palate anticipates the action of the other articulators. Consequently,
there is a tendency for vowels to be somewhat nasalised preceding nasals: lamb [l m]

17.2 Approximants
Lateral (approximant)
- Description: The tip and blade of the tongue form a central closure with the alveolar ridge
while the sides of the tongue remain lowered. The airstream escapes over the lowered sides
- Main allophonic variation
o Before vowel and /j/: clear [l]
Tongue shape is slightly palatalised, so that the upper surface is convex. This
gives a close front vowel [i]-type resonance to the lateral articulation.
o Before consonants and pause: dark []
The articulation is slightly velarized, giving a back-central vowel []-type
Often a syllable bearer, when it will be of longer duration.
Phonetic conditioning effect on preceding front vowels, which are
centralised and lowered in this context
The fronting glides /e, a, / have the terminal []-element obscured
or []-like
o In initial clusters following /p, k/ in a stressed syllable: voiceless fricative [l ]
Corresponds to the aspiration of the fortis plosives found in other contexts.
Similar devoicing and slight friction is found in syllabic /l/
o Adjacent to nasals, /l/ is nasalised [l]
o Before rounded vowels and /w/: labialised [l]
o Before and after dentals: dental [l ]
Palatal approximant /j/
- Description: A rapid vowel-like glide on to a vowel of longer duration. The tongue movement
is from a fairly close front vowel to a more open vowel. The tongue is raised toward the hard
palate, to approximately the position for an [i] or []-type vowel.
- Allophonic variation
o In syllable-initial clusters following /p, t, k/, /j/ is devoiced and fricative [j]
Completely voiceless palatal fricative: []
/t/ friction is usually pre-palatal []
o The sequence /hj/ is frequently realised as a weak palatal fricative []

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The sequences /tj, dj/ are often realised as the corresponding palato-alveolar
affricates /t, d/ (also in assimilated forms)
Labial-velar approximant /w/
- Crescendo glide on to another vowel of greater prominence
- The tongue movement is from an [u] or []-like vowel accompanied by strong lip-rounding
- Consonants preceding /w/ are strongly labialised.
- Main allophonic variation
o Following the fortis plosives /t, k/: partially devoiced [w ]
o Initial clusters with /t, k/ in stressed syllables: voiceless labial-velar fricative []
Post-alveolar approximant /r/
- Description: the tip of the tongue moves towards the rear of the alveolar ridge, producing a
stricture of open approximation. The main body of the tongue has lateral bunching, i.e. the
sides are expanded and raised so as to come into close contact with the back teeth and the
rear edges of the palate.
- Main allophonic variation
o Idiolectal: intervocalic position after checked vowels -> alveolar tap []
o Contextual: in initial clusters, in stressed syllables, following fortis plosives /p, k/ ->
completely voiceless post-alveolar fricative []
In unstressed syllables and after fricatives: partly devoiced post-alveolar
- Distribution
o Rhotic accents: the /r/ is pronounced in all contexts
o Non-rhotic dialects: /r/ is never pronounced before a consonant or pause
Typically pronounced across word boundaries (linking-r)
Intrusive-r: hearing a linking-r when there is no r in the spelling
After vowels /:, :, / and diphthongs terminating in
o Rule in RP and other non-rhotic accents: only pronounce /r/ if there is a following

Guide to the technique of Phonemic transcription

Transcription from a text
1. Read the passage aloud several times.
2. Mark off the intonation groups
a. The boundaries of intonation groups which have close grammatical connection are
marked by single bars (|)
b. Intonation groups which are not closely connected have a boundary shown by a
double bar (||)
3. Mark the stressed syllables as found in connected speech.
4. Begin your transcription into phonemic symbols.

Transcription from an audio recording


Listen to the whole passage several times.

Mark intonation group boundaries.
Mark sentence stress.
Start the transcription
a. Note: all the variables must represent faithfully what has been produced by the

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Writing the symbols


Always use the forms of print rather than handwriting.

Pay attention to the shapes of the symbols.
Make sure that you can distinguish the symbols from each other.
Dont use any capital letters.
Dont confuse orthography and phonemic representation.
Dont use phonetic symbols in a phonemic transcription.
Remember to use appropriately the WFs and CFs.
Mark syllabic consonants by a small stroke beneath the symbol.
Dont enclose each word in slant brackets.
Its not necessary to show any punctuation.
Numbers that occur in a passage should be transcribed in their full spoken form.
a. Note: stress always falls on the last item of abbreviations.

Some reminders
1. // always occurs in unstressed syllables. In stressed syllables you will generally find // or
2. RP: /r/ only occurs before a vowel. To indicate the possibility of linking-r, you should
transcribe it between words with a full-size letter.
3. The happy words should have an // on the end like the convention.
4. <ed>
a. Following fortis consonants (except /t/): ed -> /t/
b. Following /t/ or /d/: ed -> /d/
c. Following all other consonants or vowels: ed -> /d/
5. Several verbs ending in n or l have 2 pronunciations and spelling forms. In RP, the
pronunciation with /t/ is far more common.
6. Certain adjectives have forms with /d/
7. If transcribing from speech, you must show all assimilations and elisions you can hear. When
transcribing from a written text, it adds interest to show assimilations and elisions where
these are possible.
8. How you should transcript s:
a. Following the fortis consonants /p, t, k, f, /: s /s/
b. Following /s, z, , , , /: s /z/
c. In all other cases: s /z/

Words phonemically written


/ktn /
/rm /
/btl /
/trnslen /
/trk/ or /trek/

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/fnen /

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