English Phonetics and Phonology
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English Phonetics and Phonology

An Introduction

Philip Carr

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eBook - ePub

English Phonetics and Phonology

An Introduction

Philip Carr

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About This Book

A new edition of the popular introductory text on the phonological structure of present-day English.

A clear and accessible introductory text on the phonological structure of the English language, English Phonetics and Phonology is an ideal text for those with no prior knowledge of the subject. This market-leading textbook teaches undergraduate students and non-native English speakers the fundamentals of articulatory phonetics and phonology in an engaging, easy-to-understand style.

Rigorously expanded to include new materials on first and second language acquisition of English phonetics and phonology, this third edition, English Phonetics and Phonology boasts two new chapters on first-language and second-language acquisition of English phonetics and phonology. By introducing topics such as the mental lexicon and the emergence of phonological rules and representations, and graphophonemic problems in L2 acquisition, these two new chapters have been added to afford greater flexibility for teachers and increased support for non-native English speakers. Expanded website content includes exercise-linked sound files.

  • Based on the author's 34 years of teaching English Phonetics and Phonology in the UK and France
  • Includes coverage of various accents in English and second-language acquisition
  • Hugely successful textbook for the introductory Phonetics course, now in its third edition
  • References and exercises across all chapters to guide students throughout the work
  • Provides access to companion website for additional learning tools, sound files, and instructor resources

English Phonetics and Phonology is an indispensable resource for undergraduate students in courses on Phonetics and Phonology with no prior knowledge of theoretical linguistics and non-native English speakers alike.

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Diagram of the organs of speech with numbers marking the lips, alveolar ridge, soft palate, tip of the tongue, front of the tongue, nasal cavity, pharynx, teeth, hard palate, uvula, blade of the tongue, etc.
Figure 1 The organs of speech.
Full chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
Figure 2 The International Phonetic Alphabet (Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece).

English Phonetics: Consonants (i)

1.1 Airstream and Articulation

Speech sounds are made by modifying an airstream. The airstream we will be concerned with in this book involves the passage of air from the lungs out through the oral and nasal cavities (see Figure 1, page 00). There are many points at which that stream of air can be modified, and several ways in which it can be modified (i.e. constricted in some way). The first point at which the flow of air can be modified, as it passes from the lungs, is in the larynx (you can feel the front of this, the Adam’s apple, protruding slightly at the front of your throat; see Figure 1), in which are located the vocal folds (or vocal cords). The vocal folds may lie open, in which case the airstream passes through them unimpeded. Viewed from above, the vocal folds, when they lie open, look like this:
Full chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
Open vocal folds
The vocal folds may be brought together so that they are closed, and no air may flow through them from the lungs:
Diagram illustrating closed vocal folds depicted by a vertical line inside an inverted V-shaped thick solid curve.
Closed vocal folds
One way in which the outgoing stream of air may be modified is by applying a certain level of constant muscular pressure sufficient to close the vocal folds along their length, but only just; the build‐up of air pressure underneath this closure is sufficient, given the degree of muscular pressure, to force that closure open, but the air pressure then drops, and the muscular pressure causes the folds to close again. The sequence is then repeated, very rapidly, and results in what is called vocal fold vibration. You should be able to feel this vibration if you put your fingers to your larynx and produce the sound which is written as < z > in the word hazy (although you will probably also feel vibration elsewhere in your head). Sounds which are produced with this vocal fold vibration are said to be voiced sounds, whereas sounds produced without such vibration are said to be voiceless.
To transcribe speech sounds, phoneticians use the International Phonetic Alphabet (the IPA: see Figure 2, page 00); the IPA symbol for the sound written < z > in hazy is [z]. You should be able to feel the presence of vibration in [z] if you put your fingers to your larynx and produce [z], then [s] (as in miss), then [z] again: [z] is voiced, whereas [s] is voiceless. This distinction will constitute the first of three descriptive parameters by means of which we will describe a given consonantal speech sound: we will say, for any given consonant, whether it is voiced or voiceless.

1.2 Place of Articulation

We will refer to the points at wh...

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