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PHONETICS, ITS DEFINITION AND AIMS The training of teachers of foreign languages comprises the study and mastery by the students of 2 courses in phonetics: a practical course and a theoretical one. Base of the normative course are practical, mainly the students must master the norms or standards of the language, study its system of sounds (vowels and consonants), word-stress and intonation. Simultaneously the students must acquire for this purpose a basic knowledge of the theory of phonetics and learn the most commonly used phonetic terms. This is necessary to prepare them for the study of the theoretical course. It will help to enlarge this knowledge and bring it up to date. The term Phonetics comes from the Greek words fone (sound) and tefonetica (meaning). It is the science of the voice. In modern times phonetics is often defined as the size of speech sounds considered as elements of language. Phonetics is not a separate independent science, it is a branch of linguistics like the other branches: lexicology and grammar.
4. The structure of E words. Word accent, its definition and rules of usage. one-syllabic words; dissyllabic words; polysyllabic words Word accent is a singling out of one or more its syllables by giving them a greater degree of prominence as compared with the other syllables in the same word. Every word of more than 1 syllable has an accentual structure = a definite arrangement or distribution of stressed and unstressed syllables in it. The misplacing of nuclear accent may lead to misunderstanding, when one word may be taken for another by the listener. I’ve seen a blackbird in the garden. (Я видел в саду дрозда).The listener: some black-colored bird Misplacing pronuclear primary or secondary stress will not lead to a phonological mistake. But it will distort an accentual pattern of the word and make it difficult to recognize it. The most common mistake made by the Russian learners of English consists in omitting the secondary stress in polysyllabic words because such words in Russian have one nuclear accent: Демонст’рация – ‘demonst‘ration The nuclear secondary stress leads to a foreign accent in the students‘ pronunciation. Basic rules of E word accent:
in most dissyllabic words with a prefix which has lost its meaning the stress falls on the 2 syllable (on the root syllable): become, begin, pronounce; in disyllabic words ending in –ate, -ise, -ize, -fy the stress falls on the last syllable: defy;
2. Received Pronunciation (RP) In Russian “received” means общепризнанный, истинный, правильный. The type of pronunciation taught at our University is known as RP. It’s understood in all English-speaking countries. It’s the language of cinema, TV, theatre etc. Definition: Pronunciation of standard British English based on the speech of educated speakers of southern British English. The type of pronunciation often recommended as a model for foreign learners. Accents usually tell us where a person is from; RP tells us only about a person's social or educational background. Development of RP: RP came to sybolize a person's high position in society. During the 19th century, it became the accent of public schools, such as Eton and Harrow, and was soon the main sign that a speaker had received a good education. It was a regionally 'neutral' accent and was thought to be more widely understood than any regional accent. Today RP is no longer the symbol of a social elite but the symbol of education. But the most important thing is that RP is no longer as widely used today as it was 50 years ago. It’s still the standard accent of the Royal Family, Parliament, the Church of England and other national institutions; but less than 3% of the British people speak it in a pure form now. Most educated people have developed a mixture of RP and various regional characteristics, that is called 'modified RP'. Nowadays pure RP is mostly used in the academic world (e.g. lessons of English as foreign language). The one group of speakers who tend to stay close to RP are those who have learnt English as a second language and achieved a high level of fluency. It can be noticed quite usually because so few nativespeakers speak so clearly. Many British people also modify their accent abroad to make their pronunciation closer to RP, in order to be better understood than if they were using their usual accent. They may also modify their vocabulary and grammar to be closer to Standard English, for the same reason. Features: -RP is non-rhotic: written r is pronounced only if it is followed by a vowel -great attention is paid to articulating consonants clearly except for the r consonant, which is not pronounced when it immediately precedes a consonant (as in cart) -there is a great number of distinct vowel sounds, e.g. “caught”, “cot”, “cart” are different in RP -on the other hand, in common with most nonrhotic dialects words "formerly" and "formally" are homophones in RP, although rhotic speakers pronounce the words differently from each other. Similarly are pronounced in RP words "ion" and "iron". 5. Intonation Intonation may be defined as a unity of speech melody, sentence stress and the timbre of the speech, which serve to express the speaker’s thought, will, emotions and attitude. Functions: 1. It organizes a sentence. 2. It determines communicative types of sentences and types of clauses. 3. It divides the sentence into intonation groups. 4. It gives prominence to words and phrases. 5. It expresses contrast and attitudes. Armstrong and Ward: In. - the rise and fall of the pitch of the voice when we speak. The components of the In.: Speech Melody - the variation in the pitch of the voice in connected speech. Within the sp. melody of the sentence the following units can be distinguished: the terminal tone (TT), the scale, the prehead, the range, the level. The TT - the variation in pitch on the last stressed syllable and the falling unstressed ones in intonational group. The majority of phoneticians distinguish the following TT: Low Falling tone (LF) High Wide Falling (HWF) High Narrow Falling (HNF) Rising Falling (RF) Midrising (MR) High Narrow Rising (HNR) High Wide Rising (HWR) Falling Rising (FR) Rising Falling Rising (RFR) High level (H) Mid level (M) Low level (L) According to the range all the TT can be subdivided into simple T. and compounded T. (FR, RF, RFR) Level tone. There are at least three types of it in English: L, M, H. This T. can occur both in final and non-final intonation groups. The scale is a phonetic unit that precedes the TT. It begins with the first stressed syllable (a head) and ends before the TT.
3. THE CLASSIFICATION AND DEFINITION OF SPEECH SOUNDS, REDUCTION They ate divided into vowels and consonants. A vowel is a voiced sound, produced in the mouth with no abstraction of the air stream. The air stream is weak, the tongue and the vocal cords ate tense, the muscular tension is distributed more or less evenly. 21 vowel phonemes are distinguished in r.p.Diphtonges: The classification of vowels according to the stability of articulation provides the basis for dividing these English vowel phonemes into 3 subclasses: 1. 10 monophtongs: 2. 9 diphtongs
2 diphtongoids:.These are actually idiophones replaceable by the long monophtonges A consonant is a sound produced with an abstraction of the air stream. The organs of speech are tense at the place of abstraction. In the articulation of voice consonants the air stream is strong, while the air stream is weak by voiced. Vowels are sounds of pure musical tone, while consonants are sounds in which noise prevails over a tone (noised consonants). All sounds in which tone prevails over noise are called sonorants. An abstraction is formed in the tones of voiceless sonorants as well but the air passage is wider than the formation of noise consonants. This results in very little frication produced by the rather week air stream. That is why in the articulation of sonorants tone prevails over noise, whereas in all the other consonants both voiced and voiceless noise prevails over tone. The English sonorants are: The majority of linguists distinguish 25 consonants in r.p. A vowel in a stressed syllable is stranger and has a more definite distinct tember than an unstressed vowel. This is due to the fact that owing the production of the stressed vowel the muscles of the organs of speech forming the resonator mechanism are tensen and the shape of the resonator remains constant for a longer time than in the cause of an unstressed vowel. In other words a vowel in an unstressed syllable is shorter, weaker, less distinct, it is reduced or obscured. Reduction is the weakening of a sound due to a decrease in the tenseness of the speech organs, resulting in the loss of some essential characteristics by the sound. Reduction is one of the phonetic change taking place in the historical development of a language. The final stage of this process of reduction is the dropping out of the sound- zero reduction. Vowel reduction is a characteristic feature of Russian, English and some other languages, but there are languages in which there is no vowel reduction, such as Japanese, Italian and Polish. 6. Terminal tones and scales. Pitch levels and ranges. Speech Melody - the variation in the pitch of the voice in connected speech. Within the sp. melody of the sentence the following units can be distinguished: the terminal tone (TT), the scale, the prehead, the range, the level. The TT - the variation in pitch on the last stressed syllable and the falling unstressed ones in intonational group. The majority of phoneticians distinguish the following TT: Low Falling tone (LF) High Wide Falling (HWF) High Narrow Falling (HNF) Rising Falling (RF) Midrising (MR) High Narrow Rising (HNR) High Wide Rising (HWR) Falling Rising (FR) Rising Falling Rising (RFR) High level (H) Mid level (M) Low level (L) According to the range all the TT can be subdivided into simple T. and compounded T. (FR, RF, RFR) Level tone. There are at least three types of it in English: L, M, H. This T. can occur both in final and non-final intonation groups. The scale is a phonetic unit that precedes the TT. It begins with the first stressed syllable (a head) and ends before the TT. Scales may be of different types: Gradually descending stepping scale (GDS), Sliding scale (S), Ascending stepping scale (AS), Scandent low level scale (SLL), Low level scale (LL) Prehead - any serious /unstressed or partially stressed syllable that precede the first strongly stressed syllable. There are two types of preheads: low and high. Each utterance is characterized by a certain pitch range. If the utterance is within the limits of the Midlevel, it is said to have a normal range (unemotional speech). Emotional utterances can be characterized by widening the range. Widening or narrowing of the range often go
. The 1 primary stress falls on the root syllable. pronouncation). If the unstressed syllable is part of the same word as the stressed syllable. any (when expressing quality) Exilary verbs (affirmative forms) One-word prepositions conjunctives articles particles: there. it is said to have a normal range (unemotional speech).any serious /unstressed or partially stressed syllable that precede the first strongly stressed syllable. Any unstressed syllables at the end of an intonation group join the preceding stressed syllable: Take it. too. Scales may be of different types: Gradually descending stepping scale (GDS). too Modal verbs are unstressed unless they are used in contracted negative form and general questions: I can the work. 7 Rhythm English is a language with a stress timed rhythm. Under the influence of rhythm any word can lose stress in a sentence.- in most words of 3-4 syllables the accent falls on the 3 syllable from the end: family. Cheap affairs. This utterance contains three rhythmic groups. Can you play chess? The verbs: may. do I can’t do the work. Low level scale (LL) Prehead . There are two types of rhythm: 1. the accent falls on the final syllable after suffixes –ee. Each utterance is characterized by a certain pitch range. -ier. Variations of length. If the utterance is within the limits of the Midlevel. Primary . Sentence stress SS is a relative degree of prominence given to various words in a sentence. -esque (engineer. 4. The secondary stress falls on the syllable separated from the nuclear syllable by one unstressed syllable (occupation. When a double stressed word is preceded by a stressed syllable the first stress is lost. it belongs to the same rhythmic groups: divided into groups 6. There are two types of preheads: low and high.is a simple periodic reoccurrence of stressed syllables. Scandent low level scale (SLL).is a periodic reoccurrence of grouped stressed syllables. separated by equal spaces: Jack and Jill went up to the hill. 2. 8. force and quality are responsible for the manifestation of stressed words. If the unstressed syllable is closely connected with the stressed word. The list of words that are usually stressed: Nouns Adjectives Numerals Interjections Demonstrative pronouns Emphatic pronouns Possessive pronouns (absolute form only) Interrogative pronouns Indefinite pronouns Indefinite negative pronouns Notional verbs Exilary verbs (negative contracted form) Two-word prepositions conjunctives Particles: only. it belongs to the same rhythmic group: Cheaper fairs. -ade. When the whole range of pitch is shifted from the normal it’s an indication of emotional speech. 2. together with increase of sentence stress. 5. If a double stressed word is followed by a stressed syllable it tends to lose the second stress: unhappy most unhappy. The position of the stress in a sentence and its distribution are largely determined by the meaning of the sentence. Numerals 13-19 are pronounced with 2 primary stresses. Sliding scale (S). The stressed syllable in a rhythmic group is longer than unstressed ones. the 2 nuclear stress falls on the suffix. cinema. refugee) etc. The list of words that are usually unstressed: Personal pronouns reflexive pronouns Possessive pronouns Indefinite pronouns (used as objects) Indefinite pronouns: some. also. Most words of more than 4 syllables have 2 stresses: The primary stress falls either on the 3 or 2 syllable from the end. In many derivative nouns the secondary stress falls on the same syllable which has the primary stress in the original word: ‚organize – ‚organization. Each rhythm group is given approximately the same amount of time. Any unstressed syllables at the beginning of an intonation group must go together with a following stressed syllable: He's gone. Widening or narrowing of the range often go together with increase of sentence stress. 3. Under the influence of rhythm some of the words that carry two stresses lose one of them. an unhappy man. although not a part of the word. It can be represented graphically as a sequence of dots. Secondary . The words with the following prefixes have 2 primary stresses: unknown. even. should and must may express different meanings depending on whether they are stressed or not: They may come (possibility) They may come (permission) They must come every day (order) They must come every day (obligation) I should do it (obligation in the first person) He should do it (obligation in the third person) . The stressed syllables reoccur at approximately equal intervals in time. The main features of English rhythm are these: 1. When the whole range of pitch is shifted from the normal it’s an indication of emotional speech. just. Emotional utterances can be characterized by widening the range. ultramodern etc. unable. Ascending stepping scale (AS). A stressed syllable together with any unstressed ones which follow or precede it form a rhythmic group: Let him do it now.
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