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Rhythm has a correlationwith Stress.Intonation has a correlationwith Pitch.
A. STRESS In phonetic, stress is the degree ofemphasis given a sound or syllable inspeech. One of the main function of stress is toprovide a way of distinguishing degreesof emphasis or contrast in sentences orlines of verse.
English is timed by the syllables we stress. It isthus irregular in rhythm, like the two family groupsbelow.
Imagine yourself at public auditions in which fourconductors are competing for the top job in anorchestra. Each competitor has to conduct the samepiece of music, and each to the same metronome. As he waves his baton, the first conductor begins withthe words, “one, two, three, four.”The second says “one and two and three and four.”The next says “one and a two and a three and afour.”And the last aspirant says “one and then a two andthen a three and then a four.”
The question is: Which of these conductors will miscue theorchestra? Each of the four sentences takes exactly thesame amount of time to say. This illustrates a keyand yet peculiar feature of English. It is called“THE STRESS-TIMED RHYTHM” of English.The answer is: NONE
STRESS-TIMING: We can illustrate with almost any word of two or moresyllables – for example, “syllable.” We stress thisword using the pattern Ooo, placing primaryemphasis on the first segment of the word. In English, every long word has its own stresspattern. Think of the word “import” and “record”, forexample. Both words can be pronounced using eitherthe pattern Oo or the pattern oO. Which pattern youuse fundamentally changes the meaning of the word.
Something else happens after you choose whichsyllable to stress. The pronunciation of the mainvowel in the unstressed syllable changes, often tothe sound “uh” which is the single most commonsound in the English language.This sound has its own special name, schwa,and about 30% of the sounds we make when wespeak English are the sound schwa. In English,schwa can be represented by any vowel.
For example, consider the following two syllablewords. The first word uses the stress pattern Oo; thesecond uses the stress pattern oO. You will notice that each case we pronounce theunstressed vowel as schwa, regardless of its spelling.A : Atlas; CanoeE : College; RevealI : Cousin; DiseaseO : Anchor; ContainU : Lettuce; Support
This practice of replacing unstressed vowels withschwa also occurs in CONNECTED SPEECH-ENGLISH as we use it in our daily communication. If I ask: “Where are you from?”, I will stress the word“from”, pronouncing the short “o” sound quite clearly.If you answer: “I’m from Sydney”, you will most likelyreduce the “o” to schwa.The reason is that you are likely to stress the word“Sydney” instead.This reduction of vowel is the key to stress-timing ofmost forms of English.
Native speakers of British English, NorthAmerican English, and Australian Englishfrequently use schwa in unstressed syllables.This is why it takes the same amount of time tosay “one, two, three, four” as it does to say “oneand then a two, and then a three, and then afour”. Reducing vowels enables us to speed throughunstressed syllables. This is how we achieve theparticular rhythm of English, in which stressedsyllables are roughly equidistant in time, nomatter how many syllables come in between.
Most of the word’s other major languages have quitea different pattern. They are known as “syllable-timed” languages. Each syllable receivesapproximately the same amount of stress as theothers in a word or a sentence.These kind of languages thus have quite a differentrhythm from that of English.Think of them as being like the line of soldiers.
B. RHYTHM Rhythm is the sense of movement in speech,which is marked by the stress, timing, andquantity of syllables. As you know, spoken English words with two ormore syllables have different stress and lengthpatterns. Some syllables are stressed more thanothers and some syllables are pronounced longerthan others.
It is important for non-native speakers tounderstand and master the rhythm of English. Ifthe wrong words are stressed in a sentence or ifall words are pronounced with the same lengthor loudness, the speech will be difficult tounderstand. To know whether the words are stress or not, wecan consider it from the categories of thecontent and structure words as we havediscussed in the previous subject.
Look at these sentences. Note that the contentwords (in red) are stressed more (pronouncedlouder and longer) than the functions words.1. When are you coming to dinner?2. Motorcycles can be dangerous to drive orride on.3. Last month Carol got a job in San Francisco.
As we know, that English is a stressed timelanguage. In a stressed time language,speakers try to make the amount of time tosay something the same between thestressed syllables. If there are three or four unstressedsyllable between the stressed syllables, theunstressed syllables will be spoken faster,so that the speaker can keep the rhythm.
Also, in order to keep the rhythm, ifthere are no unstressed syllablebetween stressed syllables, the stressedsyllables are stretched out to spacethem equally. The time it takes to say something inEnglish depends on the number ofstressed syllables, not the number ofsyllables.
The following group of numbers each have 4 stressedsyllables, but the actual syllables in each group isdifferent.actual syllables a. one two three four 4 b. five six seven eight 5 c. nine ten eleven twelve 6 d. thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen 8 e. seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty 9
Practice the beat and rhythm again try tapping with yourfinger on a table while saying the sentences. Thestressed syllables should be said on the tap. All threesentences have four stressed syllables and should takeabout the same amount of time to say. Bob ate some corn. (4 syllables) Kenny has gone to France and back. (8 syllables) The Americans are buying some souvenirs andposters. (15 syllables)
C. INTONATION Intonation is The Pattern of pitch changes thatoccurs. As we know, that intonation of a sentenceis the pattern of pitch changes that occurs. The part of a sentence over which aparticular pattern extends is called a tonegroup.
Because vowels and many consonants are voiced,they posses the tonal quality of pitch, for pitch isnecessary concomitant of the vibration of the vocalcords. In English, we make use of this pitch as a part of oursignaling system. Although we employ manydegrees of pitch in speaking, we use only four levelsof relative pitch as phonemes, that is, to makedistinctions in meaning.
These four are as follows:4 >> extra-high3 >> high2 >> normal1 >> lowThis is to say, the normal pitch of speaking voice,whatever its actual height, is called level 2; and fromthis we make departures upward and downward.
The stress levels will be distinguished by thefollowing diacritics and names:( ‘ ) ( ˆ ) ( ‛ ) ( ˘ )Primary stress Secondary stress Third stress Weak stress
CONNECTED SPEECH Connected speech is a continuous sequence ofsounds forming utterances or conversations inspoken language. Analysis of connected speech shows soundschanges affecting linguistic units traditionallydescribed as phrases, words, lexemes,morphemes, syllables, phonemes, or phones.
Aspects of Connected Speech Here is the list of the most important aspects ofconnected speech, i.e. how words change whencaught up in the great rush of everydayconversation. They are:a. Weak Formsb. Assimilation of Place of Articulationc. Yod Coalescenced. Elisione. Assimilation of Voicingf. R-Linkingg. The Glottal Stop
A. Weak Forms When we talk about weak forms in the phoneticsof English this regards a series of words whichhave one pronunciation (strong) when isolated,and another (weak) when not stressed within aphrase.Examples:a car [eɪ kɑ:(r)]I bought a car [aɪ bɔ:t ə kɑ:(r)]
Weak forms are usually distinguished by achange in vowel quality from a border position onthe vowel quadrilateral to a central position. Thevowel in a weak form is usually the schwa (/ə/). Weak forms are pronounced more quickly andat lower volume in comparison to the stressedsyllables. They are also not central to changein intonation.
The change of position of vowel production the articulation of weak forms
There is a logical explanation behind theoccurrence of weak forms: they are present inwords which are necessary to construct a phraseyet, at the same time, do not communicate alarge quantity of information, in other words, theyare not content words. For example in thefollowing phrase:I went to the hotel and booked a room for twonights for my father and his best friend.
The most important words, those that are centralto the message, can be emphasized:If we eliminate the words that are not emphasized,can we still understand the message?I went to the hotel and booked a room fortwo nights for my father and his best friend.I went to the hotel and booked a room fortwo nights for my father and his best friend.
Perhaps it is difficult to be certain but itis possible to predict what the missingwords might be. The words which we emphasized wouldbear the stress, while many of thosewhich we eliminated would becomeweak forms, simply because they areless important in the conveyance of themessage.
You will notice that the most of the unstressedwords are pronounced with the sound /ə/:prepositions such as to and for, articles a andthe, and the conjunction and. Auxiliary verbsfrequently have weak forms.NEXT…
In order to comprehend the mechanisms of assimilationsome comprehension of the production of speech soundsis needed. The most common form involves the movement of place ofarticulation of the alveolar stops /t/, /d/, /n/ to a positioncloser to that of the following sound. For instance, in thephrase “ten cars”, the /n/ will usually be articulated in avelar position.[ten kɑ:(r)z] → [teŋ kɑ:(r)z]So that the organs of speech are ready to produce thefollowing velar sound /k/.B. Assimilation of Place ofArticulation
Similarly, in “ten boys”, the /n/ will beproduced in a bilabial position to preparefor the articulation of the bilabial /b/.[ten bɔɪz] → [tem bɔɪz]
BEFORE A VELAR /k/, /g/PHONEME REALIZED AS EXAMPLE/n/ /ŋ/ Bank [bæŋk]/d/ /g/ Good girl [gʊg gɜ:l]/t/ /k/ That kid [ðæk kɪd]BEFORE A BILABIAL /m/, /b/, /p/PHONEME REALIZED AS EXAMPLE/n/ /m/ Ten men [tem men]/d/ /b/ Bad boys [bæb bɔɪz]/t/ /p/ Hot mushroom [hɒp mʌʃrʊm]NEXT…
Yod is the name of the smallest letter the Hebrewalphabet – it stands for the vowel /i:/ or the semi-vowel /j/. In English phonetics, Yod coalescence is aform of assimilation, a phenomenon which takesplace when /j/ is preceded by certain consonantsmost commonly /t/ and /d/:/t/ + /j/ = /tʃ/Examples:What you need [wɒtʃu:ni:d]Last year [lɑ:stʃɪə(r)]C. Yod Coalescence
/d/ + /j/ = /dʒ/Examples:Could you help me? [kʊdʒu: help mi:]Would you work? [wʊdʒu: wɜ:k]In a similar way, /s/ + /j/, and /z/ + /j/ cansometimes be pronounced as /ʃ/ and /ʒ/respectively, but this is less common and not ofgreat interest to the foreign student of English.
Yod coalescence is common in colloquial speechand is becoming ever more so. Note that it canoccur within words (e.g. tube [tju:b] = [tʃu:b] andbetween word boundaries (as in the aboveexamples). The fact that two extremely recurrent words inEnglish, you and your, start with /j/ means thatunderstanding of this simple mechanism is vital tothe understanding of spoken English.
EXERCISE: Identify places where Yod Coalescence mayoccur in the following phrases: What you need is a good job! You told me that you had your homework done. She didn’t go to France that year. Could you open the window, please? You’ve already had yours!
ANSWER:What you need is a good job!You told me that you had yourhomework done.She didn’t go to France that year.Could you open the window, please?You’ve already had yours!NEXT…
Elision is very simply the omission of certainsounds in certain contexts. The most importantoccurrences of this phenomenon regard:1. Alveolar consonants /t/ and /d when attachedbetween two consonants (C - /t//d/ - C), e.g:The next day.The last car.Hold the dog!Send Frank a card.D. Elision
This can also take place withinaffricates /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ whenpreceded by a consonant, e.g:Lunchtime. [lʌntʃ taɪm] → [lʌnʃtaɪm]Strange days. [streɪndʒ deɪz] →[streɪndeɪz]
The phoneme /t/ is fundamental part of the negativeparticle not. Consider the negative of can – if followedby a consonant, the /t/ may easily disappear and theonly difference between the positive and the negativeis a different, longer vowel sound in the second:I can speak = I can’t speak. Note that when can’t is followed by a vowel, the /t/is not elided.I can’t eat.
2. A second form involves the omission of the schwa/ə/ before lateral /l/ and approximant /r/, e.g.:Examples:secretarycameramemoryNOTE: In some cases, this elision may be optional.NEXT…
Another type of assimilation which is very important isthat of voicing. The vibration of the vocal cords is notsomething that can be switched on and off veryswiftly, as a result groups of consonants tend to beeither all voiced or all voiceless. Consider the different ending of “dogs” [dɒgz] and“cats” [kæts]; the past forms of the regular verbs,such as “kissed” [kɪst] and “sneezed” [sni:zd].E. Assimilation ofVoicing
In this cases, the fact of the final consonant of aword being voiced or not determines the choice ofwhether the suffix will be voiced or voiceless. In the case of the suffixes for plural nouns, for thethird person singular in the present simple, forregular verbs in the past simple, and for thegenitive, the application of this rule is predictable,with only a few exceptions (e.g. leaf – leaves).However, assimilation of voicing can radicallychange the sound of several commonconstructions:
1. Have to:[hæv tu:] → [hæftu:][hæz tu:] → [hæstu:]2. Used to:[ju:zd tu:] → [ju:stu:]3. Supposed to:[səpəʊzd tu:] → [səpəʊstu:]NEXT…
The phenomenon o R-Linking is based on the factthat, by default, in Standard British English (thoughnot in many other accents of English), /r/ in the finalsyllable position is not pronounced.Examples:car [kɑ:(r)].care [keə(r)].F. R-LinkingNEXT…
The glottal stop is a plosive created by complete closureand then opening of the glottis (vocal folds). The symbolfor this sound is: /ʔ/, a short of question mark without a dotat the bottom. Although it is a consonant phoneme in manylanguages, e.g. Hebrew and Arabic, the glottal stop inEnglish generally appears as an allophone of /t/. Thisis called Glottal replacement and is most noticeablein the form that it take sin several regional accents ofBritish English (e.g. Cockney, Glasgow), wheresyllable-final /t/ between two vowels is replaced by /ʔ/.G. The Glottal Stop
Examples:Better [betə(r)]Fitting [fɪtɪŋ]Bottle [bɒtl]While the above examples are generally notconsidered acceptable in Standard BritishEnglish, in other contexts the glottal stop is evermore frequently heard.
Other examples:Football [fʊtbɔ:l] → [fʊʔbɔ:l]Hit them [hɪt ðəm] → [hɪʔðəm]Fitness [fɪtnəs] → [fɪʔnəs]Utmost [ʌtməʊst] → [ʌʔməʊst]Quite well [kwaɪt wel] → [kwaɪʔwel]