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Language performs its function as a means.of intercommunica­tion not only in oral but also in written form. Therefore it is impor­tant to establish the relationship between orthography and pronuncia­tion, that is letters and sounds, which represent them.

English dictionaries usually indicate the pronunciation of each individual word, because the English spelling system is very diffi­cult. This is because 1) it represents two different languages, one of Romance and the other of Teutonic origin; 2) the English spelling has remained essentially the same since the days of Caxton * and the-other early printers. As a result of this 60 symbols are used to repre­sent vowels and diphthongs and 44 symbols are used to represent con­sonants in the written language. These symbols are separate letters-or combinations of letters, which correspond to vowel and consonant phonemes. They are called graphemes. Graphemic symbols are includ­ed into angle brackets.

Graphemes for the system of vowels are the following:

a, e, i, y, o, u oa, oe, oi, oy, oo, ou, ow, oe

ar, er, ir, yr, or, ur ue, ui, uy

aa, ae, ai, ay, au, aw, эе aer, air, ayr

ea, ее, ei, ey, eu, ew ear, eer, eir, eyr, eur, e\v(e)r

te, ye iar, ier, yer

oar, oor, our, ow{e)r, uer igh, aigh, eigh, ough

Graphemes for the system of consonants are the following:

b, c, ch, d, dg, f, g, gh, gn, gu, h, j, k, 1, m, n, ng, p, ph, q, qu, r, s, sc, sch, sh, si, ssi, sei, ti, ci, ce, t, tch, th, u, v, w, wh, x, xcT У, z, zi

There are very few sounds which have one-to-one graphemic ref­erence, e. g. <w), (b), (]) in way, bay, lid, are single-valued graph­emes.

As a rule, one grapheme has many phonemic references, e. g;

—э banana —o: thought

—ei baby —u: through

<a>—ae back <ough>—ou though

a: bask —э borough
—э: ball
—d wash

Graphemes may be simple (a) and complex (ough).

A grapheme, which consists of one letter, corresponding to one pho­neme is called a monograph; two-, three- and four-letter graphemes, which correspond to one phoneme are called "digraph", "trigraph'" and "polygraph" — accordingly, e. g. (a), <b> are monographs, {ng),,

Caxton W. (1422-91) — the first English printer.

<ck> are digraphs, (tch), (sch) are trigraphs, {eigh>, <ough) are poly-One and the same phoneme may be derived from both: simple and ■complex graphemes, e. g, the phoneme lei is derived from (e>: tmt, egg; from (ea): ready, meat. In, ir./ are pronounced only in complex graphic contexts, e. g.

book, cook, look, shook, took

good, hood

bull, bullet, bullock, bully, full, pull

bush, cushion, push

could, should, would

However: bosom, wolf, woman.

If we analyse a word from the viewpoint of orthographic —■ pho­nemic and graphemic reference, the discrepancy between them will be almost universal. For example, the word stretch consists oi:

5 phonemes /s/ HI /r/ /e/ /tf/

5 graphemes s — t — r — e — tch

7 letters s — t — r — e — t — с — h

The word mouth consists oi:

3 phonemes /m/ /au/ /0/ 3 graphemes m — ou — th , 5 letters m — о — u — t — h

From the phonological point of view, a grapheme has a consider­able number of allophonic references, due to the complementary dis­tribution or free variation, in which a phoneme occurs. For example, ■the grapheme <o> in box is in reference with a more front allophone lv] than in cot, where Ы is more back. The grapheme (t) in twice is in reference with a rounded allophone of Ш and with It] post-alveo-3ar in tree.

Morphemic reference of graphemes is many-sided. Any graphic -difference must be considered as having an independent morphemic reference. E. g.

boys /bolz/ — boys' /bolz/ —boy's /b?lz/

s, s*( 'shave different morphemic reference: s indicates the plural 'form*, s' indicates the plural form, possessive case; 's indicates the pos­sessive case of the singular form.

The knowledge of orthography is very important because changes in orthography are much slower than changes in phonology. Therefore there are a large number of rules of reading in modern English. Given below is a simplified table of some grapheme-phoneme correspond­ences, illustrated by typical contexts.

In "Phonemic references" only vowel phonemes are singled out to revise their spelling correspondences.




Graphemes Phonemic references Examples
a a a ae ai au, aw ey ar are, air all aim wa, qua a af, am, ance, mand, ant, ask, asp, ass, ast, ath /a/ /ei/ /ei/ Ы /ei/ /CK/ M M M M w fat fate fast anaemic wait, daisy cautious, law, hawk day far fare, fair tall, all calm, palm watt, squash China, semolina after, craft, draft; drama, example; chance, dance; command, demand; chant, grant; ask, task; grasp, gasp; brass, class; fast, cast, bath, father
e ea ее eigh, ey ew eu er ear, eer /e/ M 14 /«/ M /Jo/ /a:/ /1Э/ /»/ /«:/ bed, setting heading, meadow heed, meet weight, whey, they blew, shew euphemism, feudal reverse, serve hammer hear, beer, gear, dear bear, tear, pear earth, dearth
i i ia ie ir ier ' ire A/ /1'/ /аю/ /1Э/ /t//ai/ /«/ /»/ /аи/ it, bitter police, marine dial, diary India, Sylvia relief, thief tie, pie birth, sir, whirl easier fire, mire

Orthography helps to differentiate homophones, e, g.

sight /sart/ — зрение; вид

cite /sait/ — ссылаться, приводить, цитировать

site /sait/ — местоположение

There are also cases when words coincide in their plural and sin­gular forms so far as the spelling and pronunciation are concerned. They may be distinguished only by the abbreviated forms, e. g. spe­cies /'spi:Ji:z/ (вид, порода): the singular and plural of this word!


are pronounced alike. The abbreviation sp stands for the singular and spp stands for the plural.

Graphemes in the English language may indicate the phonemic reference of a preceding, or the following grapheme. They perform diacritic function. E. g.

1. The doubling of consonants:

(a) indicates the shortness of the preceding vowel jmd differenti­
ates the meaning of words:

planed — planned noted — knotted

(b) differentiates the meaning of words:

assent—a cent appear—a pier arrival—a rival occur—a cure

(c) lengthens the preceding vowel:

barred, stirred, furred

2. The use of a "mute" e or r:

(a) indicates'the alphabetical reading of the preceding vowel and
performs differentiatory functions:

rat — rate pet — Pete fin — fine

(b) differentiates homophones:

born—borne pleas—please step—steppe do /deu/1—doe

(c) indicates the lengthening, or the diphthongal nature of a preced-
üng vowel:

are toe awe pore mere were due cure fury sire

There are two*notions in phonological literature which reflect the -connection of orthography with syllables and morphemes: (a) syllabo-•graph and (b_)morphograph. The parts of a word which represent syl­lables graphically are called syllabographs. They may consist of a •vowel, or a combination of vowels and consonants which corresponds to a syllable or syllables within the graphic norms of the analysed word, e. g.

Words Syllabographs

higher high-er

barring Ъаг-ring

bankrupt bank-rupt

refinement re-fine-ment

1 rt is a noun denoting a musical note, but not the verb do, 160

A morphograph is that part of a word which represents a morpheme graphically, e.j-g. the suffix -ing is a morphograph in the word singing; the suffix -ed is a morphograph in the word long-legged, etc,

Sounds are indicated in writing by means of transcription. It is especially useful in studying English, where the interpretation of the orthography can be complicated and misleading.

Transcription is quite indispensable in transliteration of names of persons, geographical names, magazines, names of ships, etc. Trans­literation is writing a word, or words, of one language in the letters of some other language.

Transliteration differs from transcription: it is simpler and may use additional symbols. E. g. Bath is transcribed as /ba0/ but trans­literated as 5am (the length of /a/ and the sound /6/ are ignored).

Given below is a list of Russian equivalents for English letters and letter combinations and phonetic renderings.

English Russian




a —а, ей, и, о, э, эй —л; иногда не передает-
ae —а, у, э, и, ии   ся
ai —ей, эй га —м
au —ау, о, оу, оо п —н
aw — 0, 00 ng —нг
ay —ей, и, эй —о, у, э, а, оу
b —б; иногда не пере- оа —о, оу
  дается ое —о, у, оу
с —-к, с, ш —а, о, у, уу
ch —к, х, ч, ш 0U —а, ау, оу, у
d __д ough—аф
e —е, и, э; иногда не 0W —ау, оу
  передается р —п; иногда не пере-
ea —е, и, ии   дается
ее —и, ии ph
ei —ей, и, эй, ии q _...„ .ту-
eigh —и, эй, аи г —Р
eo — е, ии S —ж, с, ш
eu —ю, ью sh —ш
ew —ю, ью t —т
ey —ей, и, эй u —а, е, у, ю; иногда не
f   передается
g —г, дж, ж; иногда не ui —и, у
  передается ur —ер, эр
gg — гг, ггк V —в
h —х; иногда не пере- w —в, у; иногда не пере-
  дается   дается
i —аЙ, е, и, э wor ' —Уэр
ia —айа, иа, ия X — ГЗ, 3, КС
ie — айе, и, ии У —аи, у, и, й
io —айо, ио z  



к —к; иногда не пере­дается

For example:

exact /igizaekt/ игзэкт

Exmoor /leksraua/ Эксмур

Levy /H,i:vi/ Ливи

Dyson /idaisn/ Дайсон

Byrd /ba:d/ Берд

Vyrnwy /iv3:nwi/ Вернуи

Woi thing /Iw8:8ig/ Уэртинг, Вортинг

Urban /1э:Ьэп/ Эрбан

Whistler /iwisb/ Уислер

Furness /ifa:nis/ Фернесс

Proserpine /'prusapain/ Просерпайн,

Прозерпина (миф.) (название судна)

Louth /Iau9/ Лаут

Southend /'sauGend/ Саутенд

Highmoor /lhaimua/ Хаймур

Given below are several "difficult" Russian letters, which are transliterated in English in the following way:

ш—sh Sholokhov

ж—zh Zhukov

ч —tch, ch Chekhov, Tchaikovsky,


щ—shch Shcherba

ы—у Bykov

x —kh Kharkov

я —ya Yalta


I. Why is it important to establish relationship between sounds and letters? What is a grapheme? 2. What are the types of graphemic reference? 3. What are the single-valued graphemes? What is a mono­graph? 4. What are the multi-valued graphemes? What is a digraph, txigraph, polygraph? 5. What are the simple and complex graphemes? 6. Give examples of /ae, e, u, u:/ connection with simple and complex graphemes, 7. Give examples of orthographic-phonemic-graphemic reference. 8. How are graphemes connected with phonology? 9. How are graphemes connected with morphology? 10. Give examples of phonemic reference of some graphemes. 11. How is orthography con­nected with lexicology, grammar? 12. What is the importance of ortho­graphy in differentiating homophones? 13. What diacritic functions-of graphemes do you know? 14. What is a syllabograph? 15. What is a morphograph? 16. What is the difference between transcription and transliteration?


*I. Give graphemic symbols of the phonemes:

/s/ in the word city /k/ in the word cat /J7 in the word oceanic /(j)u:/ in the word beauty /л/ in the word courage /3/ in the word borough

2. Give some examples of English graphemes.

*3. Analyse these words from the viewpoint of the inventory of graphemes, phonemes, letters.

baobab, vest, duly, ship, dish, awful, dawn, light, high, workt archaic, airy, laugh, watched

*4. Give explanation of the phonemic reference of the graphemes <r), (our), (ear) in the words;

right, afraid, pray, try, tour, tear, very, dry

*S. Give the phonetic reference of the tnorphograph "-ed" in the words:

worked, limited, pinned, begged, added, liked, barred, cared

*6. Transcribe these homophones. Translate them into Russian to prove the differentiator}1 function of graphemes.

pact—packed barred—bard pair—pare — pear franc—frank

■wear—where wea t her—whether

scene—seen ■berth—birth ceiling—sealing sole—soul bare—bear pray —■ prey rain —reign pail — pale air—heir fined — find pains—panes teas—tease peace—piece


feat—feet witch—which dear—deer bow—bough

bread—bred right—write

— rite peer—pier beach—beech hear—here fur—fir tale—tail male—mail sun—son beat—beet break—brake maize—maze weak—week currant—current serial—cereal

vain—vein —vane sell —cell sail—sale

compliment —comple­ment

hair—hare blue—blew

sea—see meat—meet heal—heel fare—fair cent—sent —scent rode—road team—teem hoarse—horse berry—bury gate—gait plain—plane key—quay

*7. Divide these words into (a) syllabographs and (b) morphographs.

(a) meter, caring, beauty, sourly, surely, teacher, crying, sixty

(b) prays, praise, child's, readable, misrule, penniless, unknown,,
dislike, immortal, irrational

*8. Explain the diacritic function of the graphemes <e), (r>, <ss), <rr), <tt>, (nn) by comparing these pairs of words.

a) man—mane hear—he pope—pore met—mete her —hen bar —bare sit —site sir —sit sort —sour

b) tony—bonny lazy —lassy

car —carry noted—knotted

m ar — merry wrote—ro tten

her —hurry later —latter

cut —cutter fuse —fussy

*9. Transliterate these names by Russian letters.

Abel, Andrew;, Ann, Baldwin, Bernard, Dorothy, Esther, Gerald» Hugo, Ira, Jean, Jeremiah, Keith, Lionel, Mabel, Martha, Pius

Control Tasks

•I. Divide these words into morphographs.

face, facing, nicer, choicest, racy, princess, age, raging, larger, urgent, bulgy, burgess, raged, changeling, outrageous, faced, nicely. hugely, engagement, changeable

*2. Divide these words into a) morphographs, b) syllabographs. Transcribe them to illustrate phonemic references to syllabographs.

curing, fires, cheerless, cured, occurred, stirring, stirred, pining, pined, worker, working, worked, thoroughly, culture, nation, city, redder, cheering

*3. Transcribe these words. Show the phonemic reference of digraphs and poly­graphs.

aid, fairy, said, fountain, portrait, villain, straight, August, sauce, laugh, authority, taught, east, tea, delay, beige, threepence, leopardr people, freight, weigh

*4- Fill in the blanks with fhe appropriate homophone.

(sealing, ceiling) 1. We had difficulty in ... the leak. 2. The spidermade its web on the ... . 3. The ... of the гост is high.

(sole, soul) 1. My old boots need new .... 2. He was the... exe­cutor named in the will. 3. We had a nice ... for lunch. 4. He has a hard job to keep body and . . . together. 5. He put his heart and . . -into work.

(bare, bear) 1. In winter the garden looked ... .2. The pain was-almost more than he could ... .3.1 can't.. . that man. 4. He moved with the grace of a trained .... 5. The ice won't . . . your weight,

(pear, pair) 1.1 have bought a . . . of shoes. 2. Please give me a. . ., I prefer them to apples. 3. They went away in ... .

(right, write) 1. Don't ... on both sides of the paper. 2. What's the ... time? 3. In England traffic keeps to the left side of the road, not to the ... as in other countries. 4.1 hope you know the difference between . . . and wrong.

(vain, vein, vane) 1. AH our work was in ... .2. She is a ... young girl, always giving herself airs. 3. One of the ... of the propeller was. broken. 4. They found a... of gold in the rock. 5, He became so angry? that the ... on his forehead swelled.

5. State a) which consonants are silent; b) which of the words have /6/..

a) exhaust diaphragm cupboard subtle

shepherd Thomas debt tomb

listen sign comb hustle

limb isle gnarl light

heirloom Tham.es knick-knack

b) wroth worthy method

throat bathe ethos

sooth loath Smith

thief moth pith

clothes strength smooth

with wealthy Plymouth

6. Give sentences with the contrast homophones.

hide—I'd hall—all

hitches ■—itches harmful—armful

hair—heir handy—Andy

hedge—edge unharmed—unarmed

7. Single out words with the author's individual spelling used to sustain the
humour, consult the dictionary for correct spelling.

О the harbor of Fowley Is a beautiful spot And it's there I enjowey To sail in a yot

Or to race in a yacht Roundja mark or a buoy Such a beautiful spacht Is the harbor of Fuoy! ... But the wave mountain-high And the violent storm Do I risk them? Not Igh But prefer to sit worm

With a book on my knees By the library fire While I list to the brees Rising hire and hire

And so whether I weigh Up the anchor or not, I am happy each deigh In my home or ray yot;

Every care I resign

Every comfort enjoy,

In this cottage of mign

By the Harbor of Foy

by Sir Arthur Quiller-Coach

8. Learn the extracts by heart. They illustrate difficulties of English pronun­ciation. Transcribe these extracts.

Blood and flood are not like food Nor it mould like should and would Banquet is not nearly parquet Which is said to rhyme with "darky".

Rounded, wounded; grieve and sleeve Friend and fiend; alive and live; Liberty, library; heave and heaven Rachel, ache, moustach, slaven.

We say hallowed but allowed People, leopard; towed but vowed Mark the difference moreover

Between mover, plover, Dover Leeches, breeches, wise, precise; Challice, but police and lice,


Though the basic phonological elements are phonemes, human in­tercommunication is actualized in syllables.

The syllable as a unit is difficult to define, though native speakers of a language are usually able to state how many syllables there are in a particular word.

According to J. Kenyon the syllable is one or more speech sounds, forming a single uninterrupted unit of utterance, which may be a word, or a commonly recognized subdivision of a word.

The syllable can be a single word: chair /tfea/, a part of a word: English /'in-gliJV, a part of the grammatical form of a word: later /ilei-ta/.

The syllable can be analysed from the acoustic and auditory, ar-ticulatory and functional points of view. The syllable can be viewed in connection with its graphic representation.

Acoustically and auditorily the syllable is characterized by the force of utterance, or accent, pitch of the voice, sonority and length, that is by prosodic features.

Acoustic properties of syllables are studied with the help of intono-graph and spectrograph. Electroacoustic analysis made it possible to formulate some rules of syllable division (see below). Spectrograms of Russian ГС syllabic structures show, that such syllables are char­acterized by some noise in the beginning of the vowel and by a vow­el-like termination of the consonant: СГСГ, it is of great importance for syllable division.

Auditorily the syllable is the smallest unit of perception: the lis­tener identifies the whole of the syllable and only after that the sounds contained.

The articulatory energy which constitutes the syllable results from the combined action of the power, vibrator, resonator and ob-structor mechanisms.

Phonological! у the syllable is regarded and defined in terms of its structural and functional properties.

Syllables in writing are called syllabographs and are closely con­nected with the morphemic structure of words.

A syllable can be formed by a vowel: (V) in English, (Г) in Rus­sian; by a vowel and a consonant: (VC) in English, (ГС) in Russian; by a consonant and a sonorant (CS).

Г, V — types of syllable called uncovered open,

ГС, VC — types of syllable called uncovered closed,

СГС, CVC — types of syllable called covered closed,

СГ, CV — types of syllable called covered open.

G. P. Torsuyev suggests a differentiation of the following types of syllabic structures:

Г, V type: fully open,

СГС, CVC type: fully closed,

СГ, CV type: initially covered,

ГС, VG type: finally covered.

The structure of the English and Russian syllable is similar.



V err Г
cvc pit crc
cvcc fact СГСС
cvccc lapsed СГССС
ccvc plan ССГС
cccvc spleen СССГС
ccvccc stamps ССГССС
cccvcc spleens СССГСС
cvcccc texts СГСССС
cv dew СГ
ccv spy ccr
cccv straw cccr
vc eat ГС
vcc act ГСС
vccc asks ГССС













мгла ад акр астр

The peak or the crest of the syllable is formed by a vowel or a so-norant. The consonants which precede the peak and follow it are called slopes.

Vowels /эе, е, л, v, a,:, o:, ei, ai, аи, еэ, oi/ constitute almost always the peaks of prominence, /э, i, u, эй/ occur, as a rule, in unaccented syllables.

The consonant /rj/ never begins, /w/ never terminates the syllable.

The sonorants /w, r, j/ function as consonants, because they occur only before vowels: SVC structural type, e.g. /wi5, rait, jes/.

The sonorants /1, m, n/ can form syllables in terminal position, when preceded by a consonant, e.g. /'pi:pl, iga:dn, Ып, 'j 9


The structural patterns of syllables formed by sonorants with a preceding consonant in English are similar to V-f С patterns: CS written /intn/.

According to G. P. Torsuyev's data the syllabic structure in the English language of the combination consonant (or consonants) +a sonorant is characterized by the following data:

CS type — 40 combinations, CSC type — 90 combinations, CSCC type — 15 combinations, CCSCC type — 1 combination.1

Syllable-forming sonorants in the combinations of the CS type are terminal /m, n, 1/. E. g.

earthen channel prism equal people garden often nation

1 Торсу ев Г. П. Строение слога и аллофоны в английском языке. -1976.

■ М.,

written eagle even decision taken fortune listen rhythm able angel season camel

The combinability of syllable forming sonorants is the [fol­lowing: /1/ combines with all consonants except /6, 5/; /n/ com­bines with all consonants except /m, rj, n/; /m/ combines only with /6, 6, s, z, p/.

The distribution of consonants in the syllables of the CSC type is characterized by the following features: initial consonants may be represented by /p, b, t, d, k, g, f, v, 6, d, s, z, J1, 3, tf, cfc, m, r, w, n/; the medial sonorants may be represented by /n, m, 1/; final consonants are represented by /t, d, s, z, 6/. E.g.

opens vacant goggles ovens patient

marbles enables merchant arrivals] angels

patterns mortals urgent heathens equalled

coupled student softened rhythms motions]

peoples gardens servant decent whistles

officials leventh present persons


The distribution of consonants in the syllables of the C£CC type is characterized by the following features: the initial consonant may be represented by /p, d, t, tf, dg, f, v, s, z, J\ 5, r/. The peak of syllable is represented by the sonorants /n, 1/, they are immediately followed by /t, d, s/; final consonants are represented by /t, s, z/. E.g.

innocents agents patents tangents parents serpents students servants pheasants errands patients scaffolds licensed merchants heralds

The syllables of the CSVSCC type: entrants /lentrants/, emigrants ^emigrants/, minstrels /'minstrels/, hydrants /lhaidrents/ can5 be pronounced without (V)—CSSCC type, e.g.

emigrants /'emigrnts/ entrants /lentrnts/ minstrels /immstrlz/ hydrants /'haidrnts/

Russian terminal sonorants do not form syllables witlfconsonants, which precede them. However in some special cases: for stylistic purposes, or for the sake of rhythm, they may^become syllabic; e. g. ру-бль, во-пль, ви-хрь, дю-стр. Compare:

1. Была в Останкине зима.
Декабрь, число тридцатое и

2. Была в Останкине зима,

Декабрь, Тридцать первое

In the second variant the Russian /p/ is made syllabic for rhyth­mical purposes.

There are different restrictions on the possible consonant clusters in English and in Russian.

Final clusters in English are much more complex than initial ones. They express different grammatical meanings: plurality, tense, number, e.g. texts, mixed, glimpsed.

The structure of the Russian syllable is characterized by more complex and numerous initial clusters, they represent grammatical prefixes, e.g. вскрикнуть, всплакнуть, взрыв, кстати.

Syllables of the initial CC type constitute more than 50 combina­tions in English (except affricates and double consonants). Syllables •of the initial CC type in Russian constitute 236 combinations (affri--cates and double consonants including), e.g. speak, вчера.

Syllables of the initial CCC type constitute H combinations in English and 97 in Russian, e.g. street, вскинуть.

A number of combinations of the initial CCCC type constitute syllables only in Russian, there are no similar combinations in English, e.g. всплакнуть, взгляд, вздрогнуть.

The clusters/mh, sr, sj, fs, hr, stl/ never occur initially in English, compare with the Russian: мхи, сразу, сшить, всё, хруст, стлать.

The clusters /gr, str/ can occur only initially, /tn, dn, stl/ occur only finally, compare with the Russian: дни, стлать. The cluster (th) does not occur in Russian finally or initially.

In Russian СГ structural types of syllables are more common than ГС type. СГ syllabic types constitute more than half of all the struc­tural types in Russian. СГ together with ССГ types constitute 85%. In the Russian texts open syllables occur 3 times more often than closed ones. The most frequent pattern in English is CVC.

English VC, CVC structures are much more common than the Rus­sian СГ structural type. СГ prevalence in the Russian syllabic struc­ture results in the appearance of the vocalic element of /ъ, ь/ type in­side or before the CC clusters.

They most commonly occur in /гд, дг/ combinations, e.g. «игде», «отъгул».

Similar clusters in English are pronounced with the loss of plosion, e.g. good day, that cat.

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