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TOPIC 9. ENGLISH PHONETICS ANDPHONOLOGY. DESCRIPTION OF THEENGLISH PHONOLOGICAL SYSTEM. MODELSAND TECHNIQUES. PERCEPTON,DISCRIMINATION AND PRODUCTION OFSOUNDS, INTONATION, RHYTHM ANDSTRESS. PHONETIC CORRECTION.
PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY Phonetics studies physical properties, how thesounds are produced by the articulator organs(lips, tongue, jaw- tongue complex and vocaltract). Phonology studies how sounds alternate toform meaning. Phonology has two mainbranches:• Segmental: Vowels and Consonants.• Suprasegmental: especially Stress, Intonationand Rhythm.
VOWELSVowels can be defined as linguistic sounds produced with a relatively openvocal tract ad little impedance to airflow.Quantity refers to the differencebetween long and short vowels.Quality pays attention to: the place ofarticulation, tenseness and height ofthe tongue, nasalization, lip roundingand jaw opening.
Glide or DiphthongCombinations of two vowels which form a single syllable. They have the samelength as long than pure vowels. The stress in the glides appears on the firstelement. In English we can find eight glides:
SemivowelsWe can find two consonants that share characteristics of vowels andconsonants. They are /j/ and /w/. They are pronounced like vowels butwe use them like consonants since they appear before vowels.
Consonantsa) The manner of articulation describes how the consonant isarticulated, such as nasal (through the nose), stop (completeobstruction of air), or approximant (vowel- like).b) The place of articulation is the spot in the vocal tract where theobstruction of the consonants occurs, and where speech organs areinvolved. Places include: bilabial (both lips), alveolar (tongueagainst the gum ridge), and velar (tongue against soft palate).c) Position of the soft palate. When it is lowered the sound is nasaland when is raised is oral.d) The phonation of a consonant is how the vocal cords vibrate duringarticulation. When the vocal cords vibrate fully, the consonant iscalled voiced. When they do not vibrate at all, it’s voiceless.A consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partialclosure of the upper vocal tract. Each consonant can be distinguished by severalfeatures:
MODELS AND TECHNIQUES• Models:The mother tongue affects L2 phonological acquisition andproduction; transfer is usually detected through errors in speech.English pronunciation has sounds Spanish doesn’t have. We haveto concentrate on the differences between the students’ L1 and L2when working on pronunciation, especially the sounds we don’thave in our language.• Techniques:a) Sounds: Repetition of sounds after listening, students can singsongs with the lyrics (karaoke); distinguish between words that havesimilar sound or pronunciation.b) Stress: We can use the Phonetic bingo, in which the students crossout from a card the words that teacher says; clap on the stressedsyllable of a word, etc.c) Rhythm: Jazz chants, tongue twisters, riddles, jokes, poems,nursery rhymes, clap on the stressed word of the sentence.d) Intonation: Role- plays, reading a text the students stand up whenthey hear a rising tone or duck when they hear a falling tone.
Phonetics• Articulator phonetics studies how the soundsare produced via the interaction of differentphysiological structures (position, shape andmovement of the speech organs.).• Acoustic phonetics investigates properties ofsound waves (amplitude, duration, frequency…).• Auditory phonetics concerns with the learningof speech sounds and with speech perception bythe brain.Phonetics is the study of the physical aspects of speech and it hasthree branches:Human beings follow a pattern when learning to produce a sound.First they have to listen to it and understand what they are hearing. Then,they have to discriminate it from other sounds. Once they do these twothings, they will be able to produce the desired sound.
Suprasegmental phonology• Stress is defined as the auditory prominence ofa vowel or syllable. From a production point ofview, the speaker has to make a big musculareffort. From a perception point of view, stressessyllables are usually the longest, the most high-pitched and the loudest.• Rhythm is defined as the regular succession ofstrong and weak stress in utterances.• Intonation is defined as the variation of pitch(tone) when speaking. Human beings changepitch movements rising and falling to conveydifferent meaning in the sentence. For example:questions, to express emotions (greetings,surprise, doubt, etc.). Proper use of intonation isan essential part of fluency.
PHONETIC CORRECTIONHuman learning is a process that involves the making ofmistakes. They provide evidence of how language is learned oracquired. It’s crucial to make distinction between errors andmistakes:• Mistakes refer to performance errors that aren’t theresult of a deficiency in competence, but the result oflapses in the process of producing speech. All peoplemake mistakes in their mother tongue or in the secondlanguage but speakers are capable of recognising andcorrecting them.• Errors are those lapses that are the result ofincompetence in the language. These can bepronunciation errors, grammatical errors, etc.If we are practicing pronunciation we have to correct instantly, but if we aredoing a speaking production activity (where the importance is fluency) we haveto allow students to finish the sentence or the intervention. Errors in the mostcases should be corrected in an indirect and subtle way.
Differences between English and Spanish• Phonologically, English is more difficult than Spanish dueto the low correspondence between sounds and its graphicrepresentation.• Vowels, Spanish learners tend to equate the twelve Englishvowels with its five. We don’t have long and short vowels.• Consonants: It’s difficult to differentiate between voicelessand voiced. Our Spanish /t/ is dental and the English one isalveolar.• Stress: English has more variability with respect to theposition of word stress than Spanish. Spanish prefers tostress in the penultimate syllable and English on the firstsyllable.• Rhythm. Spanish is syllable- timed, whereas English isstressed- time.• Intonation. Spanish has three intonation patterns(declarative, interrogative and exclamative) while Englishhas more.
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