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  1. Today wearegoingtolearnabout: Speech sounds Anomotical production

  2. Source: Plag, I., Introduction to English Linguistics • Phonetics • Lets start with Phonetics. • Phoneticsprovide learners of English with the necessary gestures to produce certain sounds and discover which muscle movements in which combination and sequence are required for the production of these sounds.

  3. It focuses on questions such as: what types of speech sounds do we find in the languages? How can we describe these sounds? Which criteria can we use to distinguish different sounds? I will first provide the more important terms for this subdiscipline of linguistics. The new terms you have to keep in mind are:

  4. - sound inventory; • - International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA); • - vocal tract; • - articulators; • - place of articulation: bilabial, labio-dental, alveolar, dental, palato-alveolar, palatal, velar, glottal; • - manner of articulation: stops, plosives, fricatives, affricates, liquids, glides, semi-vowels, approximants, nasals;- voiced/ voiceless sounds;- rounded/ unrounded vowels;- diphthongs/ monophthongs.

  5. The sound inventory of the English language is the pool of sounds which speakers use to construct words. All languages differ in their respective sound inventory. Given that, there is an International Phonetics Alphabet to help speakers in knowing exactly which sound one is referring to. • This IPA chart was created in order to separate pronouncing from spelling, as some words reveal to be very complicated in that matter. • For example, the words who and shoe share the same vowel sound, but are spelled differently. As for the words heart and beat, which share the same vowel when it comes to spelling and are pronounced differently. Therefore, the IPA provides a phonetic transcription where each symbol represents a sound.


  7. This IPA chart occurs in the standard accent of British English (Received Pronunciation). • International Phonetics AlphabetCONSONANTS:[p] - pot [t] - tie [k] - keys [b] - book [d] - dog [ɡ] - gasp [m] - mine [n] - not [ŋ] - king[f] - fly [v] - vain [θ] - think [ð] - them [s] - sand [z] - zero [ʃ] - shy [ʒ] - cohesion [h] - hell [w] - work [l] - lost [ɹ] - ride [j] - you [tʃ] - church[dʒ] - Georgia

  8. VOWELS[i:] - see[I] - tip [e] - bed [æ] - and [ɜ:] - bird [ə] - along [ʌ] - cut [u:] - boot [ʊ] - book [ɔ:] - thought [ɒ] - what [ɑ:] - bath

  9. DIPHTHONGS[eɪ] - may[aɪ] - buy[ɔɪ] - toy [əʊ] - boat [aʊ] - how[ɪə] - here[ɛə] - hair[ʊə] - tour

  10. The International Phonetic Alphabet was created by the International Phonetic Association (also IPA), formed by a group of English and French linguists way back in 1886.

  11. The mission of the Association is to set out "one symbol for every sound, one sound for every symbol". As one might imagine, this involves creating a lot of symbols, as well as eliminating confusing digraphs like "sh" and "ch".

  12. Coming up with a table that claims to contain all the sounds in the world is a daunting task. Fortunately, linguists have thought of a systematic way of generating these sounds, based on the way they are pronounced (their manner of articulation) and where in the mouth or throat they are pronounced (their place of articulation). With this simple strategy, they have devised symbols for every conceivable sound, even those truly bizarre ones.

  13. The benefits of such a universal system like the IPA are clear enough. It gives linguists a common code with which to talk about the sounds of the world's languages. But while the International Phonetic Alphabet was designed by professional linguists, its use is not restricted to experts.

  14. Everyone involved in learning or teaching languages can use the IPA, because its underlying principles are simple and intuitive.

  15. You can use the IPA to transcribe sounds when learning a foreign language. Because the IPA already has a symbol for any sound you might need, you don't need to rack your brains trying to think up a new one. Using the IPA as a transcription tool also reduces ambiguity, which means that you can always read your written notes weeks after you made them.

  16. One Symbol for Every Soundby WENKAI TAY