Articulatery and physiological classification of E vowels. According to the degree of tenseness, length. 

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Articulatery and physiological classification of E vowels. According to the degree of tenseness, length.

Accord to the degree of tenseness traditionally long vowels are defined as tense (напряженные) and short as lex (ослаблен). The tense and lex were introduced by Sweet. When the muscles of the lips, tongue, chicks and the back walls of the pharynx are tense, the vowels produced can be characterized as tense. When tense organs are relatively relaxed, lex vowels are produced. The Rus v – s are not differentiated according to the tenseness.

Eng v- s can be checked and unchecked. Checked v – s are those which occur in stressed closed syllables, ending in a fortis voiceless cons, e.g. [e] in bed, letter. The checked v – s are pronounced without any lessening in the force of utterance towards their end. Unchecked v – s are those, which occur terminally or are followed by a lenis voiced cons, e.g. [i:]. There are no checked v – s in Rus. All of them are unchecked.

According to the length Eng vowels are subdivided into long and short. Vowel length may depend on:

1position of the vowel in a word

2word stress

3the number of syllables in a word

4the character of the syllable structure


1. positions of dependants of length can be illustrated by the following example [bi: - bid – bit]. In the terminal конец position a vowel is the longest it shortness before a voiced consonant, it is the shortest before a voiceless consonant.

2. a vowel is longer in a stressed syllable than in unstressed one: fOrecast - fourcAst.(прогноз – предсказывать погоду). In the verb [o] is shorter than in the noun, though it maybe pronounced with [o] equally long.

3. if we compare a one syllable word and a word consisting of more than one syllable, we may observe that similar vowels are shorter in a polysyllabic word. Thus in the word verse (стих) [3:] is longer than in university.

4. In words with V,CV,CCV type of syllable the vowel length is greater than in words with VC,CVC, CCVC type of syllable. Ex. [3:] is longer in err (ошибаться) (V type) than in Earn (VC type).

5. vowels of low sonority are longer than vowels of greater sonority. It is so because the speaker makes more affort to produce greater auditory effect, while pronouncing vowels of lower sonority thus making them longer. Ex. [i] is longer than [o], [i:] is longer than [a:]

Besides vowel length depends on the tempo of speech.


Received Pronouciation. Changes in cons quality.

The total number of the RP and GA cons differ in one phoneme [ʍ]. The rest of the RP and GA inventory of cons phonemes coicides.

The [r] is less sonorous in RP than in GA. The GA [h] is similar to the RP.The GA [h] is frequently voiced in intervicalic position. In words like concave, conclude, enclose, encourage Americans use {n}, the RP speakers – [n], [h].


Articulatery and physiological classification of E vowels. According to the stability of articulation.

The stability of articulation is the principle of vow classification which is not singled out by British and American phoneticians. It is the principle of the stability of the shape, volume and the size of the mouth resonator. According to this principle v are subdivided into:

1.monophtongs-simple v

2.diftongs-complex v

1)English mon-gs are pronounced with or less stable lip, tongue, mouth walls position. They are [ I: i e эе a: o 3: u u: Λ o: ə ].

2)Definition of a diphthong as a single-sound is based on the instability of the second element. The first element of a diphthongs is the nuclear, the second is the glide. A diphthong can be falling, when the nucleous is stronger than the glide, and rising, when the glide is stronger than the nucleous. When both elements are equal such diphthongs are called level. Eng. Diph-s are falling with the glide towards:[i]-[ei ai oi]

Dif-s [ei eu oi ai au]-are called closing dif-s, dif-s[3e ie ue]-are called centring, acoording to the articulation of the 2 element.

There are 2 v in English[I: u:] that may have a diphthongal glide where they have full-length (in open syllables) and before lenis or nasal cons (bi:-bi:d-bi:n.). Russian v [э о] are diphtongoids.


In the process of speech, that is in the process of transition from the articulatory work of one sound to the articulatory work of the neighbour­ing one, sounds are modified. These modifications can be conditioned:

a) by the complementary distribution of phonemes, e. g. the fully back /u:/ becomes back-advanced under the influence of the preceding mediolingual sonorant /j/ in the words tune, nude. In the word keen /k/ is not so back as its principal variant, it is ad­vanced under (be influence of the fully front /i;/which follows it:

b) by the contextual variations in which phonemes may occur at the junction of words, e. g. the alveolar phoneme /n/ in the combination in the is assimilated to the dental variant under the influence of /ð/ which
follows it;

c) by the style of speech: official or rapid colloquial. E. g. hot muffins may turn into

Assimilation is a modification of a consonant under the influence of a neighbouring consonant. When a consonant is modified under the influence of an adjacent vow­el or vice versa this phenomenon is called adaptation or accommodation, e. g. tune, keen, lea, cool.

When one of the neighbouring sounds is not realized in rapid or care­less speech this process is called elision, e. g. a box of matches may be pronounced without [v].

Assimilation which occurs in everyday speech in the present-day pro­nunciation is called living. Assimilation which took place at an earlier stage in the history of the language is called historical.

Assimilation can be:

1progressive, when the first of the two sounds affected by assimila­tion makes the second sound similar to itself, e. g. in desks the sounds /k/ make the plural inflection s similar to the voiceless /k/.

2regressive, when the second of the two sounds affected by assimi­lation makes the first sound similar to itself, e. g. in the combination at th e the alveolar /t/ becomes dental, assimilated to the interdental / ð / which follows it;

3double, when the two adjacent sounds influence each other, e.g. twice /t/ is rounded under the influence of /w/ and /w/ is partly devoiced under (he influence of the voiceless /t/.

When the two neighbouring sounds arc affected by assimilation, it may influence: 1) the work of the vocal cords; 2) the active organ of speech; 3) the manner of noise production; 4) both: the place of articula­tion and the manner of noise production.

l)Assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cords is observed when one of the two adjacent соседний consonants; becomes voiced under the influence of the neighbouring voiced consonant, or voiceless — under the influ­ence of the neighbouring voiceless consonant.

In the process of speech the sonorants /m, n, 1, r; j, w/ are partly devoiced before a vowel, preceded by the voiceless consonant phonemes /s, p, t, k/, e. g. plate, slowly, twice, ay. This assimilation is not observed in the most careful styles of speech.

2) The manner of noise production is affected by assimilation in cas­es of a) lateral plosion and b) loss of plosion or incomplete plosion. The lateral plosion takes place, when a plosive is followed by /1/. In this case the closure for the plosive is not released till the off-glide for the second [l]. Incomplete plosion takes place in the clusters a) of two similar plosives like /pp,pb, tt, td, kk, kg/, or b) of two plosives with different points of articulation like:/kt/,/dg/, /db/, /tb/. So there is only one explosion for the two plosives.

3) Assimilation affects the place of articulation and the manner of noise production when the plosive, alveolar /t l is followed by the post-alveolar /r/. For example, in the word trip alveolar 1t1 be­comes post-alveolar and has a fricative release.


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