2011-12 LINGUA INGLESE 1 modulo A/BIntroduction to English Linguisticsprof. Hugo Bowles Lesson 12 Connected speech
Aspects of Connected Speech • weak Forms • yod coalescence • elision • assimilation
Weak syllables (vowels) father happy thank you open photograph radio influence
Weak syllables (consonants) bottle parcel threaten seven happen
Weak forms When we talk about weak forms in the phonetics of English this regards a series of words which have one pronunciation (strong) when isolated, and another (weak) when not stressed within a phrase. e.g. a car vIbought acar
Look at this phrase: I went to the station and bought two tickets for my father and his best friend.
What are the most important words? I went to the station and bought two tickets for my father and his best friend. went station bought two tickets father friend best
If we eliminate the other words can we still understand the message? went station booked two tickets father best friend.
Let’s look at the phrase transcribed: I went to the station and bought two tickets /ə’wentəδə’steıʃənəm’bɔ:’tu:’tıkıts for my father and his best friend fəmə’fa:δərənız’bes’fren
There is a tendency for vowels in unstressed syllables to shift towards the schwa (central position)
Weak form are commonly used words • prepositions • auxiliary verbs • conjunctions
weak form preposition tǝ tu: to for fɔ: fǝ frǝm from frɑm into ɪntu: ɪntǝ of ɒv as æz ǝz at æt ǝt Pronunciation Spelling strong form ǝv
Auxiliary verbs Strong do du: dǝ are a: ǝ(r)* was wɒz wǝz wɜ: wǝ were would wʊd wǝd could kʊd kǝd should ʃʊd ʃǝd can kæn kǝn must mǝs(t) m^st Weak
Other words and ænd ǝnd, ǝn, n but b^t bǝt than δæn δǝn that (as a relative) δæt δǝt you (object pronoun) ju: jǝ your jɔ: jǝ(r) her (as object pronoun) hɜ:(r) (h)ǝ(r)* a æ, ei ǝ* an æn ǝn the δi: δǝ, δi:(before a vowel) Strong form Weak form
Weak = unstressed In the following sentences the underlined words are stressed and so would be pronounced using the strong form: - I do like chocolate. - She drove toLas Vegas, not fromLas Vegas. - We weresurprised when she told us her secret. (stress on ‘were’ for emphasis)
Yod coalescence Yod is the name of the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet – it stands for the vowel / I / or the semi-vowel / j /. In English phonetics Yod coalescence is a form of assimilation – it is a phenomenon which takes place when / j / is preceded by certain consonants most commonly /t / and / d /:
Yod coalescence is common in colloquial speech and is becoming ever more so. Note that it can occur: - between word boundaries (as above examples) - within words e.g. You Tube = /ju:tju:b/ or/ju:tʃu:b/
The fact that two extremely recurrent words in English, you and your, start with /j/ means that understanding of this simple mechanism is vital to the understanding of spoken English. Do youand also did you are often pronounced as /ʤə/: /ʤəliviə/ /(di)ʤəliviə/
Exercise. Identify places where yod coalescence may occur 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!
Exercise. Identify places where yod coalescence may occur in the following phrases: Whatyou need is a good job! You told me thatyou had your homework done. She didn’t go to France thatyear. Couldyou open the window please? You’ve already hadyours!
Elision Elision is very simply the omission of certain sounds in certain contexts. The most important occurrences of this phenomenon regard: 1Alveolar consonants /t/ and /d/ when ‘sandwiched’ between two consonants (CONS – t/d – CONS), e.g.
consonant + affricate elision This can also take place within affricates /ʧ/ and /ʤ/ when preceded by a consonant, e.g. lunchtime /lunʧtaim//lunʃtaim/ strange days /streinʤdeIz//streinʒdeIz/
Elision of ‘not’ The phoneme /t/ is a fundamental part of the negative particle not, the possibility of it being elided makes the foreign students life more difficult. Consider the negative of can – if followed by a consonant the /t/ may easily disappear and the only difference between the positive and the negative is a different, longer vowel sound in the second: + I can speak…. /’aikәn’spi:k/ - I can’t speak… /ai’ka:nspi:k/
Assimilation Assimilation can be: • of place • of voice • of manner We will look at the first two
Assimilation of Place The most common form involves the movement of place of articulation of the alveolar stops /t/, /d/ and /n/ to a position closer to that of the following sound. For instance, in the phrase ten cars, the /n/ will usually be articulated in a velar position, /teƞ ka:z/so that the tongue will be ready to produce the following velar sound /k/. Similarly, in ten boys the /n/ will be produced in a bilabial position, /tem boiz/to prepare for the articulation of the bilabial /b/. This phenomenon is easy to find also in Italian: think of the different pronunciations of the ‘n’ in Gian Paolo, Gian Franco and Gian Carlo.
Assimilation of place before a VELAR /n/ before a velar becomes /ƞ/ e.g. ban = /bӕn/ bank = ban+k = /bӕƞk/ not /bӕnk/ /d/ before a velar becomes /g/ e.g. goodgirl = /gʊggɜ:l/ /t/ before a velar becomes /k/ e.g. thatgirl = / δæk gɜ:l /
Assimilation of place before a BILABIAL ( /b/ /m/ /p )/ /n/ before a bilabial becomes /m/ e.g. ten boys = / tem boiz/ /d/ before a bilabial becomes /b/ e.g. badman = /bæbmæn/ /t/ before a bilabial becomes /p/ e.g. hotmeal = / hop mi:l /
ASSIMILATION OF VOICING The vibration of the vocal folds is not something that can be switched on and off very swiftly, as a result groups of consonants tend to be either all voiced or all voiceless. Consider the different endings of ‘legs’ /legz/ and ‘hats’ /hæts/, of the past forms of the regular verbs such as ‘kissed’ /kist/ and ‘sneezed’ /sni:zd/.