Methods of phonetic analysis

We distinguish between subjective, introspective methods of phonetic investigation and objective methods.

The oldest, simplest and most readily available method is the method of direct observation. This method consists in observing the movements and positions of one's own or other people's organs of speech in pronouncing various speech sounds, as well as in analyzing one's own kinaesthetic sensations during the articulation of speech sound in comparing them with auditory impressions.

Objective methods involve the use of various instrumental techniques (palatography, laryngoscopy, photography, cinematography, X-ray photography and cinematography and electromyography). This type of investigation together with direct observation is widely used in experimental phonetics. The objective methods and the subjective ones are complementary and not opposite to one another. Nowadays we may use the up-to-date complex set to fix the articulatory parameters of speech - so called articulograph.

Acoustic phonetics comes close to studying physics and the tools used in this field enable the investigator to measure and analyze the movement of the air in the terms of acoustics. This generally means introducing a microphone into the speech chain, converting the air movement into corresponding electrical activity and analyzing (Ксень, это слово у Красы через «s», но, по-моему, тут «z») the result in terms of frequency of vibration and the amplitude of vibration in relation to time. The spectra of speech sounds are investigated by means of the apparatus called the sound spectrograph. Pitch as a component of intonation can be investigated by intonograph.

The acoustic aspect of speech sounds is investigated not only with the help of sound-analyzing techniques, but also by means of speech-synthesizing devices.


16.Britis and
American pronunciation models.

Nowadays two main types of English are spoken in the English-speaking world: British English and American English.

According to British dialectologists (P. Trudgill, J. Hannah, A. Hughes and others), the following variants of English are referred to the English-based group: English English, Welsh English, Australian English, New Zealand English; to the American-based group: United States English, Canadian English. Scottish English and Ireland English fall somewhere between the two, being somewhat by themselves.

According to M. Sokolova and others, English English, Welsh English, Scottish English and Northern Irish English should be better combined into the British English subgroup, on the ground of political, geographical, cultural unity which brought more similarities - then differences for those variants of pronunciation.

Teaching practice as well as a pronouncing dictionary must base their
recommendations on one or more models. A pronunciation model is a carefully chosen and defined accent of a language.

In the nineteenth century Received Pronunciation (RP) was a social marker, a prestige accent of an Englishman. "Received" was understood in the sense of "accepted in the best society". The speech of aristocracy and the court phonetically was that of the London area. Then it lost its local characteristics and was finally fixed as a ruling-class accent, often referred to as "King's English". It was also the accent taught at public schools. With the spread of education cultured people not belonging to upper classes were eager to modify their accent in the direction of social standards.

In the first edition of English Pronouncing Dictionary (1917), Daniel Jones defined the type of pronunciation recorded as "Public School Pronunciation" (PSP). He had by 1926, however, abandoned the term PSP in favour of "Received Pronunciation" (RP). The type of speech he had in mind was not restricted to London and the Home Counties, however being charac

teristic by the nineteenth century of upper-class speech throughout the country. The Editor of the 14th Edition of the dictionary, A.C. Gimson, commented in 1977 "Such a definition of RP is hardly tenable today". A more broadly-based and accessible model accent for British English is represented in the 15th (1997) and the16th (2003) editions – ВВС English. This is the pronunciation of professional speakers employed by the BBC as newsreaders and announcers. Of course, one finds differences between such speakers - they have their own personal characteristics, and an increasing number of broadcasters with Scottish, Welsh and Irish accents are employed. On this ground J.C. Wells (Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, 33rd edition - 2000) considers that the term BBC pronunciation has become less appropriate. According to J.C. Wells, in England and Wales RP is widely regarded as a model for correct pronunciation, particularly for educated formal speech.

ForAmerican English, the selection (in EPD) also follows what is frequently heard from professional voices on national. network news and information programmes. It is similar to what has been termed General American, which refers to a geographically (largely non-coastal) and socially based set of pronunciation features. It is important to note that no single dialect - regional or social - has been singled out as an American standard. Even national media (radio, television, movies, CD-ROM, etc.), with professionally trained voices have speakers with regionally mixed features. However, Network English, in its most colourless form, can be described as a relatively homogeneous dialect that reflects the ongoing development of progressive American dialects. This "dialect" itself contains some variant forms. The variants involve vowels before [r], possible differences in words like cot and caught and some vowels before [l]. It is fully rhotic. These differences largely pass unnoticed by the audiences for Network English, and are also reflective of age differences. What are thought to be the more progressive (used by educated, socially mobile, and younger speakers) variants are considered as first variants. J.C. Wells prefers the term General American. This is what is spoken by the majority of Americans, namely those who do not have a noticeable eastern or southern accent.



13.Types and styles of pronunciation

Styles of speech or pronunciation are those special forms of speech suited to the aim and the contents of the utterance, the circumstances of communication, the character of the audience, etc. As D. Jones points out, a person may pronounce the same word or sequence of words quite differently under different circumstances.

Thus in ordinary conversation the word and is frequently pronounced [n] when unstressed (e.g. in bread and butter ['bredn 'butэ], but in serious conversation the word, even when unstressed, might often be pronounced [ænd]. In other words, all speakers use more than one style of pronunciation, and variations in the pronunciation of speech sounds, words and sentences peculiar to different styles of speech may be called stylistic variations.

Several different styles of pronunciation may be distinguished, although no generally accepted classification of styles of pronunciation has been worked out and the peculiarities of different styles have not yet been sufficiently investigated.

D. Jones distinguishes among different styles of pronunciation the rapid familiar style, the slower colloquial style, the natural style used in addressing a fair-sized audience, the acquired style of the stage, and the acquired style used in singing.

L.V. Shcherba wrote of the need to distinguish a great variety of styles of speech, in accordance with the great variety of different social occasions and situations, but for the sake of simplicity he suggested that only two styles of pronunciation should be distinguished: (1) colloquial style characteristic of people's quiet talk, and (2) full style, which we use when we want to make our speech especially distinct and, for this purpose, clearly articulate all the syllables of each word.

The kind of style used in pronunciation has a definite effect on the phonemic and allophonic composition of words. More deliberate and distinct utterance resultsin the use of full vowel sounds in some of the unstressed syllables. Consonants, too, uttered in formal style, will sometimes disappear in colloquial. It is clear that the chief phonetic characteristics of the colloquial style are various forms of the reduction of speech sounds and various kinds of assimilation. The degree of reduction and assimilation depends on the tempo of speech.

S.M. Gaiduchic distinguishes five phonetic styles: solemn (торжественный), "scientific business (научно-деловой), official business (официально-деловой), everyday (бытовой), and familiar (непринужденный). As we may see the above-mentioned phonetic styles on the whole correlate with functional styles of the language. They are differentiated on the basis of spheres of discourse.

The other way of classifying phonetic styles is suggested by J.A. Dubovsky who discriminates the following five styles: informal ordinary, formal neutral, formal official, informal familiar, and declamatory. The division is based on different degrees of formality or rather familiarity between the speaker and the listener. Within each style subdivisions are observed. M.Sokolova and other's approach is slightly different. When we consider the problem of classifying phonetic styles according to the criteria described above we should distinguish between segmental and suprasegmental level of analysis because some of them (the aim of the utterance, for example) result in variations of mainly suprasegmental level, while others (the formality of situation, for example) reveal segmental varieties. So it seems preferable to consider each level separately until a more adequate system of correlation is found.

The style-differentiating characteristics mentioned above give good grounds for establishing intonational styles. There are five intonational styles singled out mainly according to the purpose of communication and to which we could refer all the main varieties of the texts. They are as follows:

1. Informational style.

2. Academic style (Scientific).

3. Publicistic style.

4. Declamatory style (Artistic).

5. Conversational style (Familiar).

But differentiation of intonation according" to the purpose of communication is not enough; there are other factors that affect intonation in various situations. Besides any style is seldom realized in its pure form.



6.Articulatory classification of English consonants

There are two major classes of sounds traditionally distinguished in any language - consonants and vowels. The opposition "vowels vs. consonants" is a linguistic universal. The distinction is based mainly on auditory effect. Consonants are known to have voice and noise combined, while vowels are sounds consisting of voice only. From the articulatory point of view the difference is due to the work of speech organs. In case of vowels no obstruction is made, so on the perception level their integral characteristic is tone, not noise. In case of consonants various obstructions are made. So consonants are characterized by a complete, partial or intermittent blockage of the air passage. The closure is formed in such a way that the air stream is blocked or hindered or otherwise gives rise to audible friction. As a result consonants are sounds which have noise as their indispensable characteristic.

Russian phoneticians classify consonants according to the following principles: i) degree of noise; ii) place of articulation; iii) manner of articulation; iv) position of the soft palate; v) force of articulation.

(I) There are few ways of seeing situation concerning the classification of English consonants. According to V.A. Vassilyev primary importance should be given to the type of obstruction and the manner of production noise. On this ground he distinguishes two large classes:

a) occlusive, in the production of which a complete obstruction is formed;

b) constrictive, in the production of which an incomplete obstruction is
formed. Each of two classless is subdivided into noise consonants and sonorants.

Another point of view is shared by a group of Russian phoneticians. They suggest that the first and basic principle of classification should be the degree of noise. Such consideration leads to dividing English consonants into two general kinds: a) noise consonants; b) sonorants.

The term "degree of noise" belongs to auditory level of analysis. But there is an intrinsic connection between articulatory and auditory aspects of describing speech sounds. In this case the term of auditory aspect defines the characteristic more adequately.

Sonorants are sounds that differ greatly from other consonants. This is due to the fact that in their production the air passage between the two organs of speech is fairly wide, that is much wider than in the production of noise consonants. As a result, the auditory effect is tone, not noise. This peculiarity of articulation makes sonorants sound more like vowels than consonants. Acoustically sonorants are opposed to all other consonants because they are characterized by sharply defined formant structure and the total energy of most of them is very high.

There are no sonorants in the classifications suggested by British and American scholars. Daniel Jones and Henry A. Gleason, for example, give separate groups of nasals [m, n, η], the lateral [1] and semi-vowels, or glides [w, r, j (y)]. Bernard Bloch and George Trager besides nasals and lateral give trilled [r]. According to Russian phoneticians sonorants are considered to be consonants from articulatory, acoustic and phonological point of view.

(II) The place of articulation. This principle of consonant classification is rather universal. The only difference is that V.A. Vassilyev, G.P. Torsuev, O.I. Dikushina, A.C. Gimson give more detailed and precise enumerations of active organs of speech than H.A. Gleason, B. Bloch, G. Trager and others. There is, however, controversy about terming the active organs of speech. Thus, Russian phoneticians divide the tongue into the following parts: (1) front with the tip, (2) middle, and (3) back. Following L.V. Shcherba's terminology the front part of the tongue is subdivided into: (a) apical, (b) dorsal, (c) cacuminal and (d) retroflexed according to the position of the tip and the blade of the tongue in relation to the teeth ridge. А.С. Gimson's terms differ from those used by Russian phoneticians: apical is equivalent to forelingual; frontal is equivalent to mediolingual; dorsum is the whole upper area of the tongue. H.A. Gleason's terms in respect to the bulk of the tongue are: apex - the part of the tongue that lies at rest opposite the alveoli; front - the part of the tongue that lies at rest opposite the fore part of the palate; back, or dorsum - the part of the tongue that lies at rest opposite the velum or the back part of the palate.

(III) A.L. Trakhterov, G.P. Torsyev, V.A. Vassilyev and other Russian
scholars consider the principle of classification according to the manner of
articulation to be one of the most important and classify consonants very
accurately, logically and thoroughly. They suggest a classification from the point
of view of the closure. It may be: (1) complete closure, then occlusive (stop or
plosive) consonants are produced; (2) incomplete closure, then constrictive
consonants are produced; (3) the combination of the two closures, then occlusive-
constrictive consonants, or affricates, are produced; (4) intermittent closure, then
rolled, or trilled consonants are produced.

A.C. Gimson, H.A. Gleason, D. Jones and other foreign phoneticians include in the manner of noise production groups of lateral, nasals, and semi­vowels - subgroups of consonants which do not belong to a single class.

Russian phoneticians subdivide consonants into unicentral (pronounced with one focus) and bicentral (pronounced with two foci), according to the number of noise producing centers, or foci.

According to the shape of narrowing constrictive consonants and affricates

are subdivided into sounds with flat narrowing and round narrowing.

(IV) According to the position of the soft palate all consonants are
subdivided into oral and nasal. When the soft palate is raised oral consonants are
produced; when the soft palate is lowered nasal consonants are produced.

(V) According to the force of articulation consonants may be fortis and lenis. This characteristic is connected with the work of the vocal cords: voiceless consonants are strong and voiced are weak.



7.The articulatory classification of English Vowels

The first linguist who tried to describe and classify vowels for all languages was D. Jones. He devised the system of 8 Cardinal Vowels. The basis of the system is physiological. Cardinal vowel No. 1 corresponds to the position of the front part of the tongue raised as closed as possible to the palate. The gradual lowering of the tongue to the back lowest position gives another point for cardinal vowel No.5. The lowest front position of the tongue gives the point for cardinal vowel No.4. The upper back limit for the tongue position gives the point for cardinal No.8. These positions for Cardinal vowels were copied from X-ray photographs. The tongue positions between these points were X-rayed and the equidistant points for No.2, 3, 6, 7 were found. The IPA symbols (International Phonetic Alphabet) for the 8 Cardinal Vowels are: 1 -i, 2 - e, 3 - ε, 4 - a, 5 - a:, 6 - , 7 - o, 8 - u.

The system of Cardinal Vowels is an international standard. In spite of the theoretical significance of the Cardinal Vowel system its practical application is limited. In language teaching this system can be learned only by oral instructions from a teacher who knows how to pronounce the Cardinal Vowels.

Russian phoneticians suggest a classification of vowels according to the following principles: 1) stability of articulation; 2) tongue position; 3) lip position; 4) character of the vowel end; 5) length; 6) tenseness.

1. Stability of articulation. This principle is not singled out by British and


American phoneticians. Thus, P. Roach writes: "British English (BBC accent) is

generally described as having short vowels, long vowels and diphthongs". According to Russian scholars vowels are subdivided into: a) monophthongs (the tongue position is stable); b) diphthongs (it changes, that is the tongue moves from one position to another); c) diphthongoids (an intermediate case, when the change in the position is fairly weak).

Diphthongs are defined differently by different authors. A.C. Gimson, for example, distinguishes 20 vocalic phonemes which are made of vowels and vowel

glides. D. Jones defines diphthongs as unisyllabic gliding sounds in the articulation of which the organs of speech start from one position and then elide to another

position. There are two vowels in English [i:, u:] that may have a diphthongal glide where they have full length (be, do), and the tendency for diphthongization is becoming gradually stronger.

2. The position of the tongue. According to the horizontal movement
Russian phoneticians distinguish five classes: 1) front; 2) front-retracted; 3)
central; 4) back; 5) back-advanced.

British phoneticians do not single out the classes of front-retracted and back-advanced vowels. So both [i:] and [i] are classed as front, and both [u:] and [Y] are classed as back.

The way British and Russian phoneticians approach the vertical movement of the tongue is also slightly different. British scholars distinguish three classes of vowels: high (or close), mid (or half-open) and low (or open) vowels. Russian phoneticians made the classification more detailed distinguishing two subclasses in each class, i.e. broad and narrow variations of the three vertical positions. Consequently, six groups of vowels are distinguished.

English vowels and diphthongs may be placed on the Cardinal Vowel quadrilateral as shown in Figs. 2, 3, 4.

3. Another feature of English vowels is lip position. Traditionally three lip
positions are distinguished, that is spread, neutral, rounded. Lip rounding takes
place rather due to physiological reasons than to any other. Any back vowel in
English is produced with rounded lips, the degree of rounding is different and
depends on the height of the raised part of the tongue; the higher it is raised the

more rounded the lips are.


4. Character of the vowel end. This quality depends on the kind of the
articulatory transition from a vowel to a consonant. This transition (VC) is very
closed in English unlike Russian. As a result all English short vowels are checked
when stressed. The degree of checkness may vary and depends on the following
consonants (+ voiceless - voiced - sonorant -).

5. We should point out that vowel length or quantity has for a long time
been the point of disagreement among phoneticians. It is a common knowledge
that a vowel like any sound has physical duration. When sounds are used in
connected speech they cannot help being influenced by one another. Duration of a
vowel depends on the following factors: 1) its own length; 2) the accent of the
syllable in which it occurs; 3) phonetic context; 4) the position in a rhythmic structure; 5) the position in a tone group; 6) the position in an utterance; 7) the tempo of the whole utterance; 8) the type of pronunciation. The problem the analysts are concerned with is whether variations in quantity are meaningful (relevant). Such contrasts are investigated in phonology.

There is one more articulatory characteristic that needs our attention, namely tenseness. It characterizes the state of the organs of speech at the moment of vowel production. Special instrumental analysis shows that historically long vowels are tense while historically short are lax.


3.Definition of the phoneme and its functions.

To know how sounds are produced is not enough to describe and classify them as language units. When we talk about the sounds of language, the term "sound" can be interpreted in two different ways. First, we can say that [t] and [d], for example, are two different sounds in English: e.g. ten-den, seat-seed. But on the other hand, we know that [t] in let us and [t] in let them are not the same. In both examples the sounds differ in one articulatory feature only. In the second case the difference between the sounds has functionally no significance. It is clear that the sense of "sound" in these two cases is different. To avoid this ambiguity, linguists use two separate terms: phoneme and allophone.

The phoneme is a minimal abstract linguistic unit realized in speech in the form of speech sounds opposable to other phonemes of the same language to distinguish the meaning of morphemes and words.

Let us consider the phoneme from the point of view of its aspects.

Firstly, the phoneme is a functional unit. In phonetics function is usually understood as a role of the various units of the phonetic system in distinguishing one morpheme from another, one word from another or one utterance from another. The opposition of phonemes in the same phonetic environment differentiates the meaning of morphemes and words: e.g. bath-path, light-like. Sometimes the opposition of phonemes serves to distinguish the meaning of the whole phrases: He was heard badly - He was hurt badly. Thus we may say that the phoneme can fulfill the distinctive function.

Secondly, the phoneme is material, real and objective. That means it is realized in speech in the form of speech sounds, its allophones. The phonemes constitute the material form of morphemes, so this function may be called constitutive function.

Thirdly, the phoneme performs the recognitive function, because the use of the right allophones and other phonetic units facilitates normal recognition. We may add that the phoneme is a material and objective unit as well as an abstract and generalized one at the same time.



4.Types of allophones and the main features of the phoneme

Let us consider the English phoneme [d]. It is occlusive, forelingual, apical, alveolar, lenis consonant. This is how it sounds in isolation or in such words as door, darn, down, etc, when it retains its typical articulatory characteristics. In this case the consonant [d] is called principal allophone. The allophones which do not undergo any distinguishable changes in speech are called principal.

Allophones that occur under influence of the neighboring sounds in different phonetic situations are called subsidiary, e.g.:

a. deal, did - it is slightly palatalized before front vowels

b. bad pain, bedtime - it is pronounced without any plosion

с. sudden, admit - it is pronounced with nasal plosion before [n], [m]

d. dry - it becomes post-alveolar followed by [r].

If we consider the production of the allophones of the phoneme above we will find out that they possess three articulatory features in common - all of them are forelingual lenis stops. Consequently, though allophones of the same phoneme possess similar articulatory features they may frequently show considerable phonetic differences.

Native speakers do not observe the difference between the allophones of the same phoneme. At the same time they realize that allophones of each phoneme possess a bundle of distinctive features that makes this phoneme functionally different from all other phonemes of the language. This functionally relevant bundle is called the invariant of the phoneme. All the allophones of the phoneme [d] instance, are occlusive, forelingual, lenis. If occlusive articulation is changed for constrictive one [d] will be replaced by [z]: e. g. breed - breeze, deal — zeal, thearticulatory features which form the invariant of the phoneme are called distinctive or relevant.

To extract relevant features of the phoneme we have to oppose it to some other phoneme in the phonetic context.

If the opposed sounds differ in one articulatory feature and this difference brings about changes in the meaning this feature is called relevant: for example, port — court, [p] and [k] are consonants, occlusive, fortis; the only difference being that [p] is labial and [t] is lingual.

The articulatory features which do not serve to distinguish meaning are called non-distinctive, irrelevant or redundant. For example, it is impossible to oppose an aspirated [ph] to a non-aspirated one in the same phonetic context to distinguish meaning.

We know that anyone who studies a foreign language makes mistakes in the articulation of sounds. L.V. Shcherba classifies the pronunciation errors as phonological and phonetic. If an allophone is replaced by an allophone of a different phoneme the mistake is called phonological. If an allophone of the phoneme is replaced by another allophone of the same phoneme the mistake is called phonetic.



9.. The system of consonant phonemes. Problem of affricates

The phonological analysis of English consonant sounds helps to distinguish 24 phonemes: [p, b, t, d, k, g, f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ∫, ж(не нашла ничего лучше J), h, t∫, dж, m, n, ŋ, w, r, 1, j]. Principles of classification suggested by Russian phoneticians provide the basis for establishing of the following distinctive oppositions in the system of English consonants:

  1. Degree of noise

bake - make, veal - wheel

  1. Place of articulation

a. labial vs. lingual

pain cane

b. lingual vs. glottal

foam — home, care — hair, Tim - him

  1. Manner of articulation

3.1 occlusive vs. constrictive pine -fine, bat - that, bee - thee

3.2 constrictive vs. affricates fare — chair, fail -jail

3.3 constrictive unicentral vs. constrictive bicentral

same – shame

4. Work of the vocal cords and the force of articulation

4.1 voiceless fortis vs. voiced lenis

pen Ben, ten - den, coat - goal

5. Position of the soft palate

5.1 oral vs. nasal

pit — pin, seek — seen

There are some problems of phonological character in the English consonantal system; it is the problem of affricates - their phonological status and their number. The question is: what kind of facts a phonological theory has to explain.

1) Are the English [t∫, dж]sounds monophonemic entities or biphonemic combinations (sequences, clusters)?

2) If they are monophonemic, how many phonemes of the same kind exist in English, or, in other words, can such clusters as [tr, dr] and [tθ, dð] be considered affricates?

To define it is not an easy matter. One thing is clear: these sounds are complexes because articulatory we can distinguish two elements. Considering phonemic duality of affricates, it is necessary to analyze the relation of affricates to other consonant phonemes to be able to define their status in the system.

The problem of affricates is a point of considerable controversy among phoneticians. According to Russian specialists in English phonetics, there are two affricates in English: [t∫, dж]. D. Jones points out there are six of them: [t∫, dж], [ts, dz], and [tr, dr]. A.C. Gimson increases their number adding two more affricates: [tθ, tð]. Russian phoneticians look at English affricates through the eyes of a phoneme theory, according to which a phoneme has three aspects: articulatory, acoustic and functional, the latter being the most significant one. As to British phoneticians, their primary concern is the articulatory-acoustic unity of these complexes.

Before looking at these complexes from a functional point of view it is necessary to define their articulatory indivisibility.

According to N.S. Trubetzkoy's point of view a sound complex may be considered monophonemic if: a) its elements belong to the same syllable; b) it is produced by one articulatory effort; c) its duration should not exceed normal duration of elements. Let us apply these criteria to the sound complexes.

1. Syllabic indivisibility

butcher [but∫ -ə] lightship [lait-∫ip]

mattress [mætr-is] footrest [fut-rest]

curtsey [kз:-tsi] out-set [aut-set]

eighth [eitθ] whitethorn [wait-θo:n]

In the words in the left column the sounds [t∫], [tr], [ts], [tθ] belong to one syllable and cannot be divided into two elements by a syllable dividing line.

2. Articulatory indivisibility. Special instrumental analysis shows that all the sound complexes are homogeneous and produced by one articulatory effort.

3. Duration. With G.P. Torsuyev we could state that length of sounds depends on the position in the phonetic context, therefore it cannot serve a reliable basis in phonological analysis. He writes that the length of English [t∫] in the words chair and match is different; [t∫] in match is considerably longer than |t| in mat and may be even longer than [∫] in mash. This does not prove, however, that [t∫] is biphonemic.

According to morphological criterion a sound complex is considered to be monophonemic if a morpheme boundary cannot pass within it because it is generally assumed that a phoneme is morphologically indivisible. If we consider [t∫], [dж] from this point of view we could be secure to grant them a monophonemic status, since they are indispensable. As to [ts], [dz] and [tθ], [dð] complexes their last elements are separate morphemes [s], [z], [θ], [ð] so these elements are easily singled out by the native speaker in any kind of phonetic context. These complexes do not correspond to the phonological models of the English language and cannot exist in the system of phonemes. The case with [tr], [dr] complexes is still more difficult.

By way of conclusion we could say that the two approaches have been adopted towards this phenomenon are as follows: the finding that there are eight affricates in English [t∫], [dж], [tr], [dr], [ts], [dz], [tð], [dθ] is consistent with articulatory and acoustic point of view, because in this respect the entities are indivisible. This is the way the British phoneticians see the situation. On the other hand, Russian phoneticians are consistent in looking at the phenomenon from the morphological and the phonological point of view which allows them to define [t∫], [dж] as monophonemic units and [tr], [dr], [ts], [dz], [tð], [dθ] as biphonemic complexes. However, this point of view reveals the possibility of ignoring the articulatory and acoustic indivisibility.



8.The system of vowel phonemes. Problems of diphthongs and vowel length

The following 20 vowel phonemes are distinguished in BBC English (RP): [i:, a:, o:, u:, з:, i, e, æ, σ, υ, л(типа крышка домика), ə; ei, ai, oi, аυ, eυ, υə, iə].

Principles of classification provide the basis for the establishment of the following distinctive oppositions:

1. Stability of articulation

1.1. monophthongs vs. diphthongs

bit - bait, kit - kite, John - join, debt — doubt

1.2. diphthongs vs. diphthongoids

bile - bee, boat — boot, raid - rude

2. Position of the tongue

2.1. horizontal movement of the tongue

a) front vs. central

cab — curb, bed bird

b) back vs. central

pull – pearl, cart - curl, call - curl

2.2. vertical movement of the tongue

a) close (high) vs. mid-open (mid)
bid bird, week - work

b) open (low) vs. mid-open (mid)
lark - lurk, call — curl, bard-bird

3. Position of the lips rounded vs. unrounded don — darn, pot - part

The English diphthongs are, like the affricates, the object of a sharp phonological controversy, whose essence is the same as in the case of affricates are the English diphthongs biphonemic sound complexes or composite monophonemic entities?

Diphthongs are defined differently by different authors. One definition is based on the ability of a vowel to form a syllable. Since in a diphthong only one element serves as a syllabic nucleus, a diphthong is a single sound. Another definition of a diphthong as a single sound is based on the instability of the second element. The 3d group of scientists defines a diphthong from the accentual point of view: since only one element is accented and the other is unaccented, a diphthong is a single sound.

D. Jones defines diphthongs as unisyllabic gliding sounds in the articulation of which the organs of speech start from one position and then glide to another position.

N.S. Trubetzkoy states that a diphthong should be (a) unisyllabic, that is the parts of a diphthong cannot belong to two syllables; (b) monophonemic with gliding articulation; (c) its length should not exceed the length of a single phoneme.

In accordance with the principle of structural simplicity and economy American descriptivists liquidated the diphthongs in English as unit phonemes.

The same phonological criteria may be used for justifying the monophonemic treatment of the English diphthongs as those applicable to the English affricates. They are the criteria of articulatory, morphophonological (and, in the case of diphthongs, also syllabic) indivisibility, commutability and duration. Applied to the English diphthongs, all these criteria support the view of their monophonemic status.

Problem of length. There are long vowel phonemes in English and short. However, the length of the vowels is not the only distinctive feature of minimal pairs like Pete -pit, beet - bit, etc. In other words the difference between i: i. u: - υ is not only quantitative but also qualitative, which is conditioned by different positions of the bulk of the tongue. For example, in words bead- bid not only the length of the vowels is different but in the [i:] articulation the bulk of the tongue occupies more front and high position then in the articulation of [i].

Qualitative difference is the main relevant feature that serves to differentiate long and short vowel phonemes because quantitative characteristics of long vowels depend on the position they occupy in a word:

(a) they are the longest in the terminal position: bee, bar, her;

(b) they are shorter before voiced consonants: bead, hard, cord;

(c) they are the shortest before voiceless consonants: beet, cart.


12.Theories on syllable formation and division

Speech can be broken into minimal pronounceable units into which sounds show a tendency to cluster or group. These smallest phonetic groups arc generally given the name of syllables. Being the smallest pronounceable units, syllables form morphemes, words and phrases. Each of these units is characterized by a certain syllabic structure. Thus a meaningful language unit phonetically may be considered from the point of view of syllable formation and syllable division.

The syllable is a complicated phenomenon and like a phoneme it can be studied on four levels - articulatory, acoustic, auditory andfunctional. The complexity of the phenomenon gave rise to many theories.

We could start with the so-called expiratory (chest pulse or pressure) theory by R.H. Stetson. This theory is based on the assumption that expiration in speech is a pulsating process and each syllable should correspond to a single expiration. So the number of syllables in an utterance is determined by the number of expirations made in the production of the utterance. This theory was strongly criticized by Russian and foreign linguists. G.P. Torsuyev, for example, wrote that in a phrase a number of words and consequently a number of syllables can be pronounced with a single expiration. This fact makes the validity of the theory doubtful.

Another theory of syllable put forward by O. Jespersen is generally called the sonority theory. According to O. Jespersen, each sound is characterized by a certain degree of sonority which is understood us acoustic property of a sound that determines its perceptibility. According to this sound property a ranking of speech sounds could be established: <the least sonorous> voiceless plosives à voiced fricatives àvoiced plosives à voiced fricatives à sonorants à close vowels àopen vowels <the most sonorous>. In the word plant for example we may use the following wave of sonority: [pla:nt]. According to V.A. Vasssilyev the most serious drawback of this theory is that it fails to explain the actual mechanism of syllable formation and syllable division. Besides, the concept of sonority is not very clearly defined.

Further experimental work aimed to description of the syllable resulted in lot of other theories. However the question of articulatory mechanism of syllable in a still an open question in phonetics. We might suppose that this mechanism is similar in all languages and could be regarded as phonetic universal.

In Russian linguistics there has been adopted the theory of syllable by LV Shcherba. It is called the theory of muscular tension. In most languages there is the syllabic phoneme in the centre of the syllable which is usually a vowel phoneme or, in some languages, a sonorant. The phonemes preceding or following the syllabic peak are called marginal. The tense of articulation increases within the range of prevocalic consonants and then decreases within the range of postvocalic consonants.

Russian linguist and psychologist N.I. Zhinkin has suggested the so-called loudness theory which seems to combine both production and perception levels. The experiments carried out by N.I. Zhinkin showed that the arc of loudness of perception level is formed due to variations of the volume pharyngeal passage which is modified by contractions of its walls. The narrowing of the passage and the increase in muscular tension which results from it reinforce the actual loudness of a vowel thus forming the peak of the syllabic. So the syllable is the arc оf loudness which correlates with the arc of articulatory effort on the speed production level since variations in loudness are due to the work of all speech mechanisms.

It is perfectly obvious that no phonetician has succeeded so far in giving an adequate explanation of what the syllable is. The difficulties seem to arise from the various possibilities of approach to the unit. There exist two points of view:

1. Sоme linguists consider the syllable to be a purely articulatory unit which lacks any functional value. This point of view is defended on the ground that the boundaries of syllables do not always coincide with those of morphemes.

2. However the majority of linguists treat the syllable as the smallest pronounceable unit which can reveal some linguistic function.

Trying to define the syllable from articulatory point of view we may talk about universals. When we mean the functional aspect of the syllable it should be defined with the reference to the structure of one particular language.

The definition of the syllable from the functional point of view tends to single out the following features of the syllable:

a) a syllable is a chain of phonemes of varying length;

b) a syllable is constructed on the basis of contrast of its constituents (which is usually of vowel - consonant type);

c) the nucleus of a syllable is a vowel, the presence of consonants is optional; there are no languages in which vowels are not used as syllable nuclei, however, there are languages in which this function is performed by consonants;

d) the distribution of phonemes in the syllabic structure follows by the rules which are specific enough for a particular language.



11.The structure and functionsof syllables in English

Syllable formation in English is based on the phonological opposition vowel - consonant. Vowels are usually syllabic while consonants are not with the exceptions of [l], [m], [n], which become syllabic in a final position preceded by a

noise consonant: bottle [bσtl], bottom [bσtm], button [b/\tn] and [r] (in those accents which pronounce [r]) perhaps [præps].

The structure of English syllables can be summarized as follows:

• Many syllables have one or more consonants preceding the nucleus. These make upthe syllable onset: me, so, plow.

Many syllables have one or more consonants, following the nucleus. They make up the syllable coda. They are traditionally known as closed syllables: cat, jump.

The combination of nucleus and coda has a special significance, making up the rhyming property of a syllable.


The English language has developed the closed type of syllable as the fundamental one while in Russian it is the open type that forms the basis of syllable formation.

The other aspect of this component is syllable division. The problem of syllable division in case of intervocalic consonants and their clusters, like in such words as city, extra, standing and others.

Let us consider the first word ['sit.i]. There exist two possibilities:

a) the point of syllable division is after the intervocalic consonant:

b) the point of syllable division is inside the consonant.

In both cases the first syllable remains closed because the shot vowel should remains check The result of instrumentally analyses show, that the point of syllable division in such words is inside the intervocalic consonant. EPD indicates the point of division after the consonant.

The second case. There are two syllables in the word extra but where should the boundary between them fall?

1) [e - kstrə]. It is unlike that people would opt for a division between [e] and [kstrə] because there are no syllables in English which begin with consonant sequence [kstr].

2) Similarly, a division between [ekstr] and [ə] would be unnatural.

3) [ek - strə], [eks - trə], [ekst - rə] are possible. People usually prefer either of the first two options here, but there no obvious way of deciding between them.

In some cases we may take into account the morphemic structure of words. For example, standing consists of two syllables; on phonetic grounds [stæn - diŋ). on grammatical grounds [stænd - iŋ].

Now we shall consider two functions of the syllable.

The first is constitutive function. It lies in its ability to be a part of a word itself. The syllables form language units of greater magnitude that is words, morphemes, and utterances. It this respect two things should be emphasized. First, the syllable is the unit within which the relations between distinctive features ofphonemes and their acoustic correlates are revealed. Second, within a syllable (or syllables) prosodic characteristics of speech are realized, which form the stress pattern of a word and the intonation structure of an utterance. In sum, the syllable is a specific minimal structure of both segmental and suprasegmental features.

The other function is distinctive one. In this respect the syllable is characterized by its ability to differentiate words and word-forms. One minimal pare has been found in English to illustrate the word distinctive function in the syllabic: nitrate — night-rate. There analogical distinction between word combinations can be illustrated by many more examples: an aim - a name; an ice house - a nice house, etc. Sometimes the difference in syllable division may be the basic ground for differentiation in such pairs as I saw her rise.- I saw her eyes; I saw the meat — I saw them eat.



20.. Intonation: approaches, definitions, functions

Intonation is a language universal. There are no languages which are spoken without any change of prosodic parameters but intonation functions in various languages in a different way.

There are two main approaches to the problem of intonation in Great Britain. One is known as acontour analysis and the other may be called grammatical.

The first is represented by a large group of phoneticians: H. Sweet, D. Jones, G. Palmer, L. Armstrong, I. Ward, R. Kingdon, J. O'Connor, A. Gimson and others. It is traditional and widely used. According to this approach the smallest unit to which linguistic meaning can beattached is a tone-group (sense-group). Their theory is based on the assumption that intonation consists of basic functional "blocks". They pay much attention to these "blocks" but not to the way they are connected. Intonation is treated by them as a layer that is superimposed on the lexico-grammatical structure. In fact the aim of communication determines the intonation structure, not vice versa.

The grammatical approach to the study of intonation was worked out by M. Halliday. The main unit of intonation is a clause. Intonation is a complex of three systemic variables: tonality, tonicity and tone, which are connected with grammatical categories. Tonality marks the beginning and the end of a tone-group. Tonicity marks the focal point of each tone-group. Tone is the third unit in Halliday's system. Tones can be primary and secondary. They convey the attitude of the speaker. Hallyday's theory is based on the syntactical function of intonation.

The founder of the American school of intonation K. Pike in his book «The Intonation of American English» considers «pitch phonemes» and «contours» to be the main units of intonation. He describes different contours and their meanings, but the word «meaning» stands apart from communicative function of intonation.

There is wide agreement among Russian linguists that on perception level intonation is a complex, a whole, formed by significant variations of pitch, loudness and tempo closely related. Some Russian linguists regard speech timbre as the fourth component of intonation. Neither its material form nor its linguistic function has been thoroughly described. Though speech timbre definitely conveys certain shades of attitudinal or emotional meaning there is no good reason to consider it alongside with the three prosodic components of intonation, i.e. pitch, loudness and tempo.

M. Sokolova and others write that the term prosody embraces the three prosodic components and substitutes the term intonation. It is widely used in linguistic literature, it causes no misunderstanding and, consequently, it is more adequate. They feel strongly that this term would be more suitable for their book too, but, unfortunately, it has not been accepted in the teaching process yet.

Many foreign scholars (A. Gimson, R. Kingdon) restrict the formal definition of intonation to pitch movement alone, though occasionally allowing in variations of loudness as well. According to D. Crystal, the most important prosodic effects are those conveyed by the linguistic use of pitch movement, or melody. It is clearly not possible to restrict the term intonation by the pitch parameters only because generally all the three prosodic parameters function as a whole though in many cases the priority of the pitch parameter is quite evident.

There is no general agreement about either the number or the headings of the functions of intonation which can be illustrated by the difference in the approach to the subject by some prominent Russian phoneticians. T.M. Nikolayeva names three functions of intonation: delimitating, integrating and semantic. L.K. Tseplitis suggests the semantic, syntactic and stylistic functions the former being the primary and the two latter being the secondary functions. N.V. Cheremisina singles out the following main functions of intonation: communicative, distinctive (or phonological), delimitating, expressive, appellative, aesthetic, integrating. Other Russian and foreign phoneticians also display some difference in heading the linguistic functions of intonation.

D. Crystal distinguishes the following functions of intonation.

• Emotional function's most obvious role is to express attitudinal meaning -sarcasm, surprise, reserve, impatience, delight, shock, anger, interest, and thousands of other semantic nuances.

• Grammatical function helps to identify grammatical structure in speech, performing a role similar to punctuation. Units such as clause and sentence often depend on intonation for their spoken identity, and several specific contrasts, such as question/statement, make systematic use of it.

• Informational function helps draw attention to what meaning is given and what is new in an utterance. The word carrying the most prominent tone in a contour signals the part of an utterance that the speaker is treating as new information.

• Textual function helps larger units of meaning than the sentence to contrast and cohere. In radio news-reading, paragraphs of information can be shaped through the use of pitch. In sports commentary, changes in prosody reflect the progress of the action.

• Psychological function helps us to organize speech into units that are easier to perceive and memorize. Most people would find a sequence of numbers, for example, difficult to recall. The task is made easier by using intonation to chunk the sequence into two units.

• Indexical function, along with other prosodic features, is an important marker of personal or social identity. Lawyers, preachers, newscasters, sports commentators, army sergeants, and several other occupations are readily identified through their distinctive prosody.


21. . Components of intonation and the structure of English intonation group.

Let us consider the components of intonation.

In the pitch component we may consider the distinct variations in the direction of pitch, pitch level and pitch range.

According to R. Kingdon the most important nuclear tones in English are: Low Fall, High Fall, Low Rise, High Rise, and Fall-Rise.

The meanings of the nuclear tones are difficult to specify in general terms. Roughly speaking the falling tone of any level and range expresses certainty, completeness, and independence. A rising tone on the contrary expresses uncertainty, incompleteness or dependence. A falling-rising tone may combine the falling tone's meaning of assertion, certainty with the rising tone's meaning of dependence, incompleteness. At the end of a phrase it often conveys a feeling of reservation; that is, it asserts something and at the same time suggests that there is something else to be said. At the beginning or in the middle of a phrase it is a more forceful alternative to the rising tone, expressing the assertion of one point, together with the implication that another point is to follow. The falling-rising tone, as its name suggests, consists of a fall in pitch followed by a rise. If the nucleus is the last syllable of the intonation group the fall and rise both take place on one syllable. In English there is often clear evidence of an intonation-group boundary, but no audible nuclear tone movement preceding. In such a circumstance two courses are open: either one may classify the phenomenon as a further kind of head or one may consider it to be the level nuclear tone. Low Level tone is very characteristic of reading poetry. Mid-Level tone is particularly common in spontaneous speech functionally replacing the rising tone. There are two more nuclear tones in English: Rise-Fall and Rise-Fall-Rise. But adding refinement to speech they are not absolutely essential tones for the foreign learner to acquire. Rise-Fall can always be replaced by High Fall and Rise-Fall-Rise by Fall-Rise without making nonsense of the utterance.

According to D. Crystal, there are nine ways of saying Yes as an answer to the question Will you marry me?

1. Low fall. The most neutral tone; a detached, unemotional statement of fact.

2. Full fall. Emotionally involved; the higher the onset of the tone, the more involved the speaker; choice of emotion (surprise, excitement, irritation) depends on the speaker's facial expression.

3. Mid fall. Routine, uncommitted comment; detached and unexcited.

4. Low rise. Facial expression important; with a 'happy' face, the tone is sympathetic and friendly; with a 'grim' face, it is guarded and ominous.

5. Full rise. Emotionally involved, often «disbelief or shock, the extent of the emotion depending on the width of the tone.

6. High rise. Mild query or puzzlement; often used in echoing what has just been said.

7. Level. Bored, sarcastic, ironic.

8. Fall-rise. A strongly emotional tone; a straight or 'negative' face conveys uncertainty, doubt, or tentativeness; a positive face conveys encouragement or urgency.

9. Rise-fall. Strong emotional involvement; depending on the face, the attitude might be delighted, challenging, or complacent.

Two more pitch parameters are pitch ranges and pitch levels. Three pitch ranges are generally distinguished: normal, wide, and narrow. Pitch levels may be high, medium, and low.

Loudness is used in a variety of ways. Gross differences of meaning (such as anger, menace, and excitement) can be conveyed by using an overall loudness level.

The tempo of speech is the third component of intonation. The term tempo implies the rate of the utterance and pausation. The rate of speech can be normal, slow and fast. The parts of the utterance which are particularly important sound slower. Unimportant parts are commonly pronounced at a greater speed than normal.

Any stretch of speech can be split into smaller portions, i.e. phonetic wholes, phrases, intonation groups by means of pauses. By 'pause' here we mean a complete stop of phonation. We may distinguish the following three kinds of pauses:

1. Short pauses which may be used to separate intonation groups within a phrase. .

2. Longer pauses which normally manifest the end of the phrase.

3. Very long pauses, which are approximately twice as long as the first type, are used to separate phonetic wholes.

Functionally, there may be distinguished syntactic, emphatic and hesitation pauses.

Syntactic pauses separate phonopassages, phrases, and intonation groups. Emphatic pauses serve to make especially prominent certain parts of the utterance. Hesitation pauses are mainly used in spontaneous speech to gain some time to think over what to say next. They may be silent or filled.

Each syllable of the speech chain has a special pitch colouring. Some of the syllables have significant moves of tone up and down. Each syllable bears a definite amount of loudness. Pitch movements are inseparably connected with loudness. Together with the tempo of speech they form an intonation pattern which is the basic unit of intonation. An intonation pattern contains one nucleus and may contain other stressed or unstressed syllables normally preceding or following the nucleus. The boundaries of an intonation pattern may be marked by stops of phonation that is temporal pauses.

Intonation patterns serve to actualize syntagms in oral speech. It may be well to remind you here that the syntagm is a group of words which is semantically and syntactically complete. In phonetics actualized syntagms are called intonation groups (sense-groups, tone-groups). Each intonation group may consist of one or more potential syntagms, e.g. the sentence / think he is coming soon has two potential syntagms: / think and he is coming soon. In oral speech it is normally actualized as one intonation group.

The intonation group is a stretch of speech which may have the length of the whole phrase. But the phrase often contains more than one intonation group. The number of intonation groups depends on the length of the phrase and the degree of semantic importance or emphasis given to various parts of it:

This bed was not' slept, in— ,This be was not' slept in

An additional terminal tone on this bed expresses an emphasis on this bed incontrast to other beds.

Not all stressed syllables are of equal importance. One of the syllables has the greater prominence than the others and forms the nucleus, or focal point of an intonation pattern. Formally the nucleus may be described as a strongly stressed syllable which is generally the last strongly accented syllable of an intonation pattern and which marks a significant change of pitch direction, that is where the pitch goes distinctly up or down. The nuclear tone is the most important part of the intonation pattern without which the latter cannot exist at all. On the other hand an intonation pattern may consist of one syllable which is its nucleus. The tone of a nucleus determines the pitch of the rest of the intonation pattern following it which is called the tail. Thus after a falling tone, the rest of the intonation pattern is at a low pitch. After a rising tone the rest of the intonation pattern moves in an upward pitch direction:

No, Mary Well, Mary.

The nucleus and the tail form what is called terminal tone. The two other sections of the intonation pattern are the head and the pre-head which form the pre-nuclear part of the intonation pattern and, like the tail, they may be looked upon as optional elements:

àLake District is one of the loveliest 'parts of, Britain.

The pre-nuclear part can take a variety of pitch patterns. Variation within the prе-nucleus does not usually affect the grammatical meaning of the utterance, though it often conveys meanings associated with attitude or phonetic styles. There are three common types of prе-nucleus: a descending type in which the pitch gradually descends (often in "steps") to the nucleus; an ascending type in which the syllables form an ascending sequence and a level type when all the syllables stay more or less on the same level.

The meaning of the intonation group is the combination of the «meaning» of the terminal tone and the pre-nuclear part combined with the «meaning» of pitch range and pitch level. The parts of the intonation pattern can be combined in various ways manifesting changes in meaning, cf.: the High Head combined with Low Fall, High Fall, Low Rise, High Rise, Fall-Rise in the phrase Not at all.

—>Not at all (reserved, calm).

—>Not at all) (surprised, concerned).

—>Not at all (encouraging, friendly).

—> Not at all (questioning).

—> Not at all (intensely encouraging, protesting).

The more the height of the pitch contrasts within the intonation pattern the more emphatic the intonation group sounds, cf.:

He's won. Fan tastic.

Fan tastic.

The changes of pitch, loudness and tempo are not haphazard variations. The rules of change are highly organized. No matter how variable the individual variations of these prosodic components are they tend to become formalized or standardized, so that all speakers of the language use them in similar ways under similar circumstances. These abstracted characteristics of intonation structures may be called intonation patterns which form the prosodic system of English.

Some intonation patterns may be completely colourless in meaning: they give to the listener no implication of the speaker's attitude or feeling. They serve a mechanical function — they provide a mold into which all sentences may be poured so that they achieve utterance. Such intonation patterns represent the intonational minimum of speech. The number of possible combinations is more than a hundred but not all of them ate equally important. Some of them do not differ much in meaning, others are very rarely used. That is why in teaching it is necessary to deal only with a very limited number of intonation patterns, which are the resul

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