Types on phonetic transcription

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Types on phonetic transcription

The phonetic nature and types of speech rhythm in different languages.

RhythmAn essential feature of connected speech is that the peaks of prominence - the stressed syllables - are inseparably connected with non-prominent syllables. The latter are attached to the stressed syllables, they never exist by themselves. The simplest example of a close relationship between the stressed and unstressed syllables is a polysyllabic word-utterance which is a phonetic and semantic entity incapable of division, e.g.:`Excellent. To`morrow. `Certainly.

Thus an utterance is split into groups of syllables unified by a stressed syllable, i.e. stress-groups, each of which is a semantic unit - generally a word, often more than a word.

An important feature of English pronunciation is that the prominent syllables in an utterance occur at approximately equal periods of time. It means more or less equal time for each of the stressed groups:

I'd 'like to 'give you a 'piece of ad`vice.

______ ______ ______ ______

When the number of syllables in adjacent stress-groups is not equal, the speed of utterance will be the highest in the group having the largest number of syllables and, vice versa, the tempo is noticeably slower in a group having fewer syllables. Thus the perceptible isochrony of stress-groups is based on the speakers tending to minimize the differences in thelength of stressed groups in an utterance.Thus it has been shown that stress in English performs an important function of 'organizing' an utterance, providing the basis for its r h у t h m i с structure which is the realization of rhythm as a prosodic feature of speech. Rhythm is defined in different languages in largely the same terms. The notion of rhythm implies, first of all, a certain periodicity of phonological events. For an English utterance these events, as has been made clear, are the stressed syllables. Such a periodicity is a peculiarity of English. English speech is therefore often described as more 'rhythmic' than, for example, Russian.It follows that the units of the rhythmic organization of an utterance are stress-groups, which may be as well called rhythmic groups.



The tonal subsystem of utterance prosody and units of its analysis.

PitchThe pitch component of intonation or speech melody is the variations in the pitch of the voice which take place with voiced sounds. It is present in every word (inherent prominence) and in the whole sentence, because it serves to delimit sentences into sense groups, or intonation groups. The delimitative (con­stitutive) function of melody is performed by pitch variations jointly with pausation, be­cause each sentence is divided into intonation groups (on the auditory and acoustic level) or into sense groups (on the semantic level).

To describe the melody of an utterance it is necessary to determine the relevant pitch levels, pitch ranges, directions and rate of pitch movement in each intonation group.The pitch I e v e I of the whole utterance (or intonation group) is de­termined by the pitch of its highest—pitched syllable. It shows the degree of semantic importance the speaker attaches to the utterance (or intonation group) in comparison with any other utterance (or intonation group), and also the speaker's attitude and emotions.

The number of linguistically relevant pitch levels in English has not been definitely established yet: in the works of different phoneticians it varies from three to seven. In unemphatic speech most phoneticians distinguish 3 pitch levels: low, mid and high. These levels are relative and are produced on different registers depending on the individual peculiarities of the voice.

The pitch range of an utterance is the interval between its highest-pitched syllable and its lowest—pitched syllable. According to cir­cumstances the speaker changes his voice range. It may be widened and nar­rowed to express emphasis or the speaker's attitudes and emotions. For example, if "Very good" is pronounced with a narrow (high) range it sounds less enthusiastic. Pronounced with a tow narrow range it sounds sincere, but not emotional. If said with a wide range it sounds both sincere and enthusiastic.Most phoneticians distinguish three pitch ranges - wide, mid and nar­row.The rate of pitch variations may be different depending on the time, during which these variations take place, and on the range of the variations. Differences in the rate of pitch variations are semantically important. When the rate of the fall is fast, the falling tone sounds more categoric and definite than when the rate of the fall is slow.

The basic unit used to describe the pitch component is the ton e. De­pending on whether the pitch of the voice varies or remains unvaried tones are subdivided into kinetic and static. Static tones may have dif­ferent pitch level of the voice — the high static tone, the mid static tone, the low static tone. The differentiation of kinetic tones as high falling and low falling, high rising and low rising, etc. is also based on the differentiation of the pitch level of their initial and final points.As to the direction of pitch movement, kinetic tones are subdivided into simple and complex. Simple tones are unidirectional: the falling and the rising tones. Complex tones are bidirectional: the falling—rising tone, the rising-falling tone, and the rising-falling-rising tone.


Speech tempo and pausation

TEMPOThe tempo of speech is the rate at which utterances and their smaller units are pronounced. On the acoustic level tempo is generally measured by the number of syllables per second.Tempo of speech may be determined by different factors. It may vary de­pending on the size of audience, the acoustic qualities of the room, the indi­viduality of the speaker and other extralinguistic factors. But most signifi­cant for the linguistic study is how variations in tempo correlate with changes in meaning.It is common knowledge that by slowing down the tempo of speech we can make an utterance or part of it more prominent, thus underlining the se­mantic importance of it.

On the contrary, by increasing the speed of utterance we diminish promi­nence and, as a result the actual semantic importance of what we say.

Tempo can also be used to express the speaker's attitude or emotion. For example, fast tempo may express excitement, joy, anger, etc. Slow tempo shows relaxation or calmness, reserved and phlegmatic attitude on the part of the speaker.

Everybody's speech has some norm of tempo, deviations from which affect meaning. Phoneticians generally distinguish normal tempo and two de­partures from the norm: fast and slow.D.Crystal gives a more detailed classification of variations of tempo. He distinguishes between simple and complex tempo systems. The simple tempo system is manifested both in monosyllables and polysyllabic stretches of utterance. The complex tempo system is realized in polysyllabic stretches.In monosyllables the speeding up and slowing down of the duration of the syllable is perceived as clipped, drawled and held syllables which are generally used for emphasis. "Clipped syllables are articulated at a more rapid speed than normal, in a very tense way; drawled and held syllables are articulated less rapidly than normal, and very lax".The distinction between drawled and held syllables is that in the former a sound is lengthened as in [ff ain] and in the latter a sound is articulated with the onset of articulation delayed, so that the auditory impression of length is produced through unexpected silence, for example, in stop consonants as in "Perfectly" [pp3:fiktli] or "Quite, quite blue" [kkwait].In polysyllabic stretches of utterance D.Crysta I distinguishes two degrees faster than the norm — allegro, allegrissimo, and two degrees slower than the norm — lento, lentissimo in the complex tempo system there are accelerando — a gradual increase in tempo, and rallentando — a gradual decrease. These cont­rasts of tempo correlate with changes in meaning. They may also serve as a style—forming and style—differentiating device.PausesThe speech continuum is divided into units of different length and hierarchy by means of pauses. It is the main function of a pause to segment connected speech into utterances and intonation groups to delimit one utterance or intonation group from another. Pauses are closely related with tempo: the number and length of pauses affect the general tempo of speech.Phoneticians distinguish 3 main types of pauses: silent pauses, pauses of perception and voiced (or filled} pauses.

A silent pause is a stop in the phonation (a stop of the work of the vocal cords, which results in the cessation of sound).Pauses of perception are not a stop in phonation, as there is no period of silence. The effect of a pause is produced by a sharp change of pitch direction, or by variations in duration, or both.

Pauses of perception are generally marked by a wavy line which is used at the junction of intonation groups. Voiced pauses have usually the quality of the central vowel [ 3: (Э) ] with or without nasalization [ э (m) ]. They are used to signal hesitation or doubt and are therefore called hesitation pauses.

Silent pauses are subdivided into several types according to their length: short, long and extra—long. The short pause is mainly used to separate two in­tonation groups. The long pause which is approximately twice as long is gene­rally used to delimit two utterances. The extra—long pause is used as a rule to separate two paragraphs. But the main factors that determine the occurrence of the type of pause are the semantic relations between the prosodic units. Short pauses indicate closer relations than long ones. It should be noted that the duration of pauses is relative, not absolute. It may vary depending on the general tempo of speech.Pauses are very important constituents of intonation. Besides their segmentative and delimitative functions they also perform a unifying function showing the relations between utterances or intonation groups.

types on phonetic transcription

A transcription which is a visual system of notation of the sound structure of speech is also a generalization of great variety of sounds that are uttered by speakers of a given language.The extent generalization may vary.One can classify the sounds into phonemes accroding to the different degrees of aspiration, labialization, longhand other phonologically irrelevant fearures of the sounds and also disregarding those features.There may be different types of transcription depending upon the degree of exactness required.A phonemic transcription is based on the principal: one symbol per phoneme. Thus each of its symbols denotes a phoneme as a whole : as an obstraction and generalization. The symbols of it are usually placed between slanting lines / / . For example the symbol/e/ denotes the vowel phoneme in such a word as bell in general,it stands for all its allophones,while a phonemic transcription of the whole word is /bel/.It contains as many symbols as there are phonemes in the language. /t/

An allophonic or narrow transcription is based on the principle one symbol per allophone.Thus an allophonic transcription provides a special sign for each variant of each phoneme. The symbol are usually placed between square brakets{ }.Foe example the symbol {E} denotes an opener variant of the English /e/-phoneme. The word bell may be transcribed allophonically {bEl}.Also such transcription is also called phonetic transcription.

Phonemic transcriptions are used more extensively.The main reason for this is that an allophonic transcription contains too many symbols for a language learner to master with ease. It has some more advantages: it’s easier, quicker and more convenient to write by and because most of its symbols coincide in shape with letters of the alphabet. One of the principles of this transcription is to use the fewest possible symbols of the simplest possible shape.


9. Problems of the phonemic inventory of English consonants.

There are some problems of phonological character in the English consonantal system; it is the problem of affricates - their phonological status and their number. The question is: what kind of facts a phonological theory has to explain:1) Are the English [t∫, dж]sounds monophonemic entities or biphonemic combinations (sequences, clusters)?2) If they are monophonemic, how many phonemes of the same kind exist in English, or, in other words, can such clusters as [tr, dr] and [tθ, dð] be considered affricates?One thing is clear: these sounds are complexes because articulatory we can distinguish two elements. Considering phonemic duality of affricates, it is necessary to analyze the relation of affricates to other consonant phonemes to be able to define their status in the system.The problem of affricates is a point of considerable controversy among phoneticians. According to Russian specialists in English phonetics, there are two affricates in English: [t∫, dж]. D. Jones points out there are six of them: [t∫, dж], [ts, dz], and [tr, dr]. Russian phoneticians look at English affricates through the eyes of a phoneme theory, according to which a phoneme has three aspects: articulatory, acoustic and functional..Before looking at this from a functional point of view it is necessary to define their articulatory indivisibility. 1. Syllabic indivisibility(butcher [but∫ -ə] -lightship [lait-∫ip], mattress [mætr-is] - footrest [fut-rest], curtsey [kз:-tsi] -out-set [aut-set]In the words in the left column the sounds [t∫], [tr], [ts], [tθ] belong to one syllable and cannot be divided into two elements by a syllable dividing line.2. Articulatory indivisibility. Special instrumental analysis shows that all the sound complexes are homogeneous and produced by one articulatory effort.3. Duration. With G.P. Torsuyev we could state that length of sounds depends on the position in the phonetic context, therefore it cannot serve a reliable basis in phonological analysis. He writes that the length of English [t∫] in the words chair and match is different; [t∫] in match is considerably longer than |t| in mat and may be even longer than [∫] in mash. This does not prove, however, that [t∫] is biphonemic.According to morphological criterion a sound complex is considered to be monophonemic if a morpheme boundary cannot pass within it because it is generally assumed that a phoneme is morphologically indivisible. If we consider [t∫], [dж] from this point of view we could be secure to grant them a monophonemic status, since they are indispensable. As to [ts], [dz] and [tθ], [dð] complexes their last elements are separate morphemes [s], [z], [θ], [ð] so these elements are easily singled out by the native speaker in any kind of phonetic context. These complexes do not correspond to the phonological models of the English language and cannot exist in the system of phonemes. We could say that the two approaches have been adopted towards this phenomenon are as follows: the finding that there are eight affricates in English [t∫], [dж], [tr], [dr], [ts], [dz], [tð], [dθ] is consistent with articulatory and acoustic point of view, because in this respect the entities are indivisible. ( the British phoneticians ). On the other hand, Russian phoneticians are consistent in looking at the phenomenon from the morphological and the phonological point of view which allows them to define [t∫], [dж] as monophonemic units and [tr], [dr], [ts], [dz], [tð], [dθ] as biphonemic complexes. However, this point of view reveals the possibility of ignoring the articulatory and acoustic indivisibility.The problem of affricates:Some phoneticians consider affricates a separate class. That is, occlusive-constrictive consonants which are produced with a complete obstruction which is slowly released, and the air escapes from the mouth with friction. So, on the articulatory level we can’t refer affricates either to occlusive or to constrictive consonants, because they are known to consist both of the closure and the narrowing. So, the two English affricates, [ʧ] and [ʤ] form a quite independent group of occlusive-constrictive consonants. The problem of sonorants: David Crystal defines sonorants as vowel-like consonants, that can be sounded continuously without any friction. It goes without saying that sonorants differ from all other consonants of the language. That is the reason why some phoneticians refer sonorants [r], [w], [j] to the special class of semi-vowels. However, most Russian phoneticians concider sonorants to belong to consonants. That can be easily proved with the help of phonological oppositions: [ben – men], [leɪk - seɪk].


11. The syllables as a phonetic/phonological unit. The structure and functions of syllables in EnglishSyllable formation in English is based on the phonological opposition vowel - consonant. Vowels are usually syllabic while consonants are not with the exceptions of [l], [m], [n], which become syllabic in a final position preceded by a noise consonant: bottle [bσtl], bottom [bσtm], and [r] perhaps [præps].The structure of English syllables can be summarized as follows:• Many syllables have one or more consonants preceding the nucleus. These make upthe syllable onset: me, so, plow.Many syllables have one or more consonants, following the nucleus. They make up the syllable coda. They are traditionally known as closed syllables: cat, jump.• The combination of nucleus and coda has a special significance, making up the rhyming property of a syllable.The English language has developed the closed type of syllable as the fundamental one while in Russian it is the open type that forms the basis of syllable formation.The other aspect of this component is syllable division. The problem of syllable division in case of intervocalic consonants and their clusters, like in such words as city, extra, standing and others.Let us consider the first word ['sit.i]. There exist two possibilities:

a) the point of syllable division is after the intervocalic consonant:

b) the point of syllable division is inside the consonant.In both cases the first syllable remains closed because the shot vowel should remains check The result of instrumentally analyses show, that the point of syllable division in such words is inside the intervocalic consonant. EPD indicates the point of division after the consonant.The second case. There are two syllables in the word extra but where should the boundary between them fall?1) [e - kstrə]. It is unlike that people would opt for a division between [e] and [kstrə] because there are no syllables in English which begin with consonant sequence [kstr].Similarly, a division between [ekstr] and [ə] would be unnatural. [ek - strə], [eks - trə], [ekst - rə] are possible. functions of the syllable.- constitutive function. It lies in its ability to be a part of a word itself. The syllables form language units of greater magnitude that is words, morphemes, and utterances. It this respect two things should be emphasized. First, the syllable is the unit within which the relations between distinctive features ofphonemes and their acoustic correlates are revealed. Second, within a syllable prosodic characteristics of speech are realized, which form the stress pattern of a word and the intonation structure of an utterance. In sum, the syllable is a specific minimal structure of both segmental and suprasegmental features.The other function is distinctive one. The syllable is characterized by its ability to differentiate words and word-forms. One minimal pare has been found in English to illustrate the word distinctive function in the syllabic: nitrate — night-rate. There analogical distinction between word combinations can be illustrated by many more examples: an aim - a name; an ice house - a nice house, etc.



Speech can be broken into minimal pronounceable units into syllables. Being the smallest pronounceable units, syllables form morphemes, words and phrases. The syllable be studied on four levels - articulatory, acoustic, auditory andfunctional. We could start with the so-called expiratory (chest pulse or pressure) theory by R.H. Stetson. E.i. the number of syllables in an utterance is determined by the number of expirations made in the production of the utterance. Another theory of syllable put forward by O. Jespersen is generally called the sonority theory. each sound is characterized by a certain degree of sonority which is understood us acoustic property of a sound that determines its perceptibility.

In Russian linguistics there has been adopted the theory of syllable by LV Shcherba.It is called the theory of muscular tension. In most languages there is the syllabic phoneme in the centre of the syllable which is usually a vowel phoneme or, seldom a sonorant. The phonemes preceding or following the syllabic peak are called marginal. The tense of articulation increases within the range of prevocalic consonants and then decreases within the range of postvocalic consonants.Zhinkin has suggested the so-called loudness theory which seems to combine both production and perception levels.So the syllable is the arc оf loudness which correlates with the arc of articulatory effort on the speed production level since variations in loudness are due to the work of all speech mechanisms.no phonetician has succeeded giving an adequate explanation of syllable. The difficulties :1. Sоme linguists consider the syllable to be a purely articulatory unit which lacks any functional value. This point of view is defended on the ground that the boundaries of syllables do not always coincide with those of morphemes.2.the majority of linguists treat the syllable as the smallest pronounceable unit which can reveal some linguistic function.The definition of the syllable from the functional point of view tends to single out the following features of the syllable:a) a syllable is a chain of phonemes of varying length; b) it is constructed on the basis of contrast of its constituents (which is usually of vowel - consonant type);c) the nucleus of it is a vowel, the presence of consonants is optional; there are no languages in which vowels are not used as syllable nuclei, however, there are languages in which this function is performed by consonants; d) the distribution of phonemes in its structure follows by the rules which are specific enough for a particular language.There are different points of view on syllable formation which are briefly the following:The most ancient theory states that there are as many syllables in a word as there are vowels. This theory is primitive and insuffi­cient since it does not take into consideration consonants which also canform syllables in some languages, neither does it explain the boundary of syllables.The expiratory theory ( chest -pulse theory) states that there are as many syllables in a word as there are expiration pulses. The borderline between the syllab­les is, according to this theory, the moment of the weakest expiration. This theory is inconsistent because it is quite possible to pronounce several syllables in one articulatory effort or expiration.The sonority theory states that there are as many syllables in a word as there are peaks of prominence according to the scale of sono­rity. The sonority theory helps to establish the number of syllables in a word, but fails to explain the mechanism of syllable division because it does not state to which syllable the weak sound at the boundary of two syllables belongs.4. The "arc of loudness" theory is based on L.V statement that the centre of a syllable is the syllable forming phoneme. Sounds which precede or follow it constitute a chain or an arc which is weak in the beginning and in the end and strong in the middle / So, a syllable can be defined as a phonetic unit, which is pronounced by one articulatory effort, by one muscular contraction, which results auditorily in one uninterrupted arc of loudness.

14. PRONUNCIATIN VARIETIES OF BRITISH ENGLISHThere is a wide range of pron. varieties of the English . they reflect the social class the speaker belongs to, the geo­graphical region he comes from, and they also convey stylistic connotations of speech. Some of these varieties are received pronunciations, others are not. Every national variant of the English language has an orthoepic norm of its own.It is generally conceded that the orthoepic norm of British English is "Received Pronunciation" . (RP) was accepted as the phonetic norm of Eng­lish about a century ago. It is mainly based on the Southern English regional type of pronunciation. RP is actually a social standard pronunciation of English. It is often referred to as the prestige accent.But there are many educated people in Britain who do not speak RP, though their English is good and correct. They speak Standard English*with a regional type of pronunciation. English people by the way they talk: 1.RP speakers of Standard English ;2. non—RP speakers of Standard English(speak Standard English with a regional accent);3. Dialect speakers.One of the best examples of a local dialect is Cockney. It is used by the less educated in the region of London. Studies of regional and dialectal pronunciations generally concentrate on the phonemic structures of words and differences in the realizations of de­finite phonemes. But it appears that these pronunciations, besides that, have differences in their phoneme inventories. For example, Cockney has no [θ] и [ ð] phonemes. The Northern regional type of English pronunciation is characterized by features that are common to all the dialects used in the northern part of Eng­land. The main distinctions of the Northern type of English pronunciation,are as follows: /æ/ is more open and more retracted back, as in /a/ (e.g."back","bad"). /ɑ:/ is fronted compared with RP /ɑ:/ and it approximates to /æ/ in words which do not contain "r" in spelling (e.g. "glass", "after"), (c) /ʊ/ is used instead of /ʌ/ (e.g. "cup", "love", "much"), so there is no distinction between words like "could" and "cud", "put" and "putt".(d) / ǝʊ / is pronounced as a monophthongal / ɔ:/ (e.g. "go", "home")./e/ or are pronounced instead of /ei/ (e.g. "may", "say", "take")./ɒə/ is widely used, so they distinguish words like "pore" and "paw"All tones are drawled and speech is generally slower than in Southern English. The Low Rising Tone is used much oftener than in RP. The Scottish type of English Pronunciation is also based on the dialects spoken in Scotland which vary among themselves in some respects. Their common features, which distinguish the Scottish type of pronunciation from RP, are as follows:/ ɜ:/ is not used in the Scottish type of pronunciation, instead of RP /ɜ:/ they use the sequences /ir/, /er/ or /ʌr/ (e.g. "bird"/bird/ "heard /herd/, "word" /wʌrd/. Similarly monophthongs are used instead of diphthongs in "beard", "there", "poor", "sure", etc./u/ is used instead of /au/ (e.g. "down" /dun/).The Scottish pronunciation does not distinguish between /æ/ and / ɑ:/; words like "bad", "path", "grass", "dance", "half", "part" are pronounc­ed with /æ/, /a/ or /ɒ/.All vowels are short. There is no distinction in the length of the vo­wels in words like "pull" and "pool", /r/ is an alveolar flap not only between and before vowels, as in "hurry" and "brown", but also after vowels, as in "word", "born". In the Scottish type of pronunciation there appears a backlingual fricative /x/, which resembles the corresponding Russian sound (e.g. "loch").

15. AMERICAN ENGLISH PRONUNCIATIONEnglish is spoken not only in Britain. It is the national language in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and of a great part of the population in Canada. Each of those nations has its own orthoepic norm which exists alongside of regional types and numerous dialects.Though the national languages have peculiar features of their own, which differentiate them from British English (BE) and from each other, they have much more in common. That is why they are considered to be variants of the same language, the English language.American English (AE), which is a variant of the English language, has developed its own peculiarities in vocabulary, grammatical structure and pro­nunciation. With the beginning of the 19th century the mobility of the population in the USA increased greatly: there was migration to the west of the country, and with the growth of industrial centres a considerable proportion of the farm population moved to the cities. As a result - dialectal differences have been reduced to fewer, more or less general, regional types. The most wi­dely used regional types of AE pronunciation are the Eastern, the Southern, and the General American types, the latter spoken mainly in the Middle Atlan­tic States Region.The GA (General American) pronunciation is usually referred to as the standard pronunciation of AE, though it is often debated whether there is a standard pronunciation in the USA. Nevertheless it is the GA that has the greatest "acceptability" if not prestige, in the United States.The peculiarities of GA lie in 1) the pronunciation of sounds and sound combinations; 2) differences in the stress patterns of words, and 3) diffe­rences in intonation. Peculiarities of pronunciation of GA sounds and sound combinations as compared to those of RP.

/r/ in GA is retroflexive, i.e. the tip of the tongue is curled back;

/t/ is voiced between a vowel and a sonorant (as in "battle", "twen­ty") , or between two vowels the second of which is unstressed (as in "pity", better"). But the distinction between /t/ and 1d1 is not neutralized, because the voiced [t] is extremely short and resembles a one—tap alveolar /r/. Ameri­cans easily distinguish between "writer" and "rider", "latter" and "ladder";/l/is always dark, even before vowels (e.g. "film, look");

/ʃ/ is voiced in words like "excursion" lʒnl, "version" /ʒn/;

/h/ is often dropped in weak syllables, but it is retained when the syl­lable is stressed (e.g. "I saw him"/ai 'so :im/, but "him" /him/);

(f) /j/ is omitted before /u/ (e.g. "duty" /duti/, "student" /studnt/,
"new"/nu:/);(g) /d/ is dropped after /l/ and /n/( e.g. "cold", "old", "individual");(h) /k/ is omitted before /t/ (e.g. "asked" )

All American vowels are long.(f) / æ / instead of /a:/ in words which do not contain "r" in spoiling (e.g. "path", "glass", "laugh", "can't", "last", "grass" etc. Exceptions: "father, palm, balm, alms")'(I) / æ / in GA is wider and longer than RP / æ /, the Americans pronounce it with a twang (e.g. "man", "pass");(m) /o u / is much less diphthongal than in RP. It may be represented as /o:/. Thus to represent Englishmen on the American stage the actors very often exaggerate the diphthongal character of /ou/,(n) /u ǝ / tends to be monophthongized. (e.g. "usually" / juʒali/, "rural"/'rural/).The GA /ǝ/ phoneme occurs both in stressed syllables (as in "but", "son", "blood") and in unstressed syllables (as in unstressed "of", "was", "does").Peculiarities in the stress patterns of words American speakers make much greater use of secondary stress in polysyl­labic words than British speakers do. In words which end in "-ary", "-ory". "—ery", "—mony", "-ative" the first syllable in the suffix bears tertiary stress (i.e. stress which is somewhat weaker than secondary stress).E.g.'dictioֽnary, 'terriˌtory.Peculiarities of GA intonation.The most frequent intonation contour for statements and requests in GA is the tune, beginning low, rising to a high level, and then steadily falling.E.g. He asked me to do it. He asked me to do it.The same type of falling intonation contour may characterize the so called General Questions in GA.Did he ask you to do it?"Rising" tunes that rise from a low pitch level and end on a high pitch level occur with some General Questions, especially in situations where a very polite form is desirable.E.g. Do you know him?Though the so—called Special Questions are pronounced with a falling tone in both RP and GA, the difference lies in the pronunciation of the Scale. If in RP it is usually the Descending Scale, in GA the whole utterance is generally pronounced on a level tone.

Such questions sound dispassionate and disrespectful to an RP speaker.

The RP Special Questions pronounced with a rising tone (polite questions) are perceived by the Americans as questions implying curiosity.

Another frequent intonational characteristic in GA is to end a sentence with a high—pitched fall—rise.On account of the fact that the features which distinguish AE from Bri­tish English are so numerous, some linguists claim that AE can no more be con­sidered a variant of the English language.

But most of the linguists express the opposite point of view. It has been proved that the distinctions between AE and BE do not affect the inventory of the main lan­guage units. Those distinctions are but functional variations of language units which are common to both variants of the English language: AE and BE.Thus, there is a wide range of pronunciation varieties of the English lan­guage. These varieties reflect the social class the speaker belongs to, the geo­graphical region he comes from, and they also convey stylistic connotations of speech. Some of these varieties are received pronunciations, others are not.Every national variant of the English language has an orthoepic norm of its own: RP, or Southern English, for British English, GA for American English, the Australian Standard Pronunciation for Australian English. Each of these orthoepic norms tolerates a definite range of phonemic variation, and each of them has its own peculiarities of combinatory phenomena.


16. The syllable as a prosodic unit. Word stress, its nature and functions.

The syllable as a prosodic unit. Word stress, its nature and functions. The syllable is the smallest prosodic unit. It has no meaning. tone, stress, dura­tion depend on its position and function in the rhythmic unit and in the ut­terance. Rhythmic unit is either 1 stressed syllable or a str. syllable with a number of unstr. ones grouped around it.The stressed syllable is the nucleus of the rhythmic unit. There are as many rhythmic units in an utterance as there are stressed syllables in it. The unstressed syllables are clitics. Those preceding the stressed syllable are called proclitics, and those following it — enclitics.The intonation group is hierarchically higher than the rhythmic unit. It has also been termed "syntagm", "sense-group", "tune". a syllable can be defined as a phonetic unit, which is pronounced by one articulatory effort, by one muscular contraction, which results auditorily in one uninterrupted arc of loudness.


a polysyllabic word has as many degrees of stress as there are syllables in it American and English phoneticians give the following pattern of stress distribution in the word examination. They mark the strongest syllable, with primary accent with the numeral 1, then goes 2, 3, etc.The majority of British phoneticians distinguish three degrees of word-stress. The strongest stress is called primary stress, the second strongest secondary, while all the other degrees of stress are grouped together under the cover term of weak stress. The syllables bearing either primary or secondary stress are termed stressed, while syllables with weak stress are called, somewhat inaccurately, unstressed.

In the phonetic transcription it is indicated by placing mark before the symbol of the first sound of the accented syllable, primary stress marked by a short vertical stroke (tick), secondary stress by a lowered one. The American descriptivists distinguish a greater number of degrees of word-stress. Gleason distinguish also four degrees of word-stress in English, (1) primary stress—/'/, (2) secondary stress — /′`/, (3) tertiary stress — /‵/, and (4) weak stress — /`′/.

Stress in the isolated word is termed word stress; stress in connected speech is termed sentence stress. Bogoroditsky, defined stress as an increase of energy, accompanied by an increase of expiratory and articulatory activity. Jones defined stress as the degree of force, which is accompanied by a strong force of exhalation and gives an impression of loudness. Sweet also stated that stress, is connected with the force of breath. If we compare stressed and unstressed syllables in the words contract ['kσntrækt], to contract [kən'trækt], we may note that in the stressed syllable:(a) the force is greater, which is connected with more energetic articulation;

(b) the pitch of voice is higher, which is connected with stronger tenseness of the vocal cords and the walls of the resonance chamber;(c) the quantity of the vowel [æ] in [kən'trækt] is greater, the vowel becomes longer;

(d) the quality of the vowel [æ] in the stressed syllable is different from the quality of this vowel in the unstressed position, in which it is more narrow than ['æ].

On the auditory level a stressed syllable is the part of the word which has a special prominence. According to the most important feature, different types of word stress are distinguished in different languages.1) If special prominence in a stressed syllable or syllables is achieved mainly through the intensity of articulation, such type of stress is called dynamic, or force stress.2) If special prominence in a stressed syllable is achieved mainly through the change of pitch, or musical tone, such accent is called musical, or tonic. It is characteristic of the Japanese, Korean and other oriental languages.3) If special prominence in a stressed syllable is achieved through the changes in the quantity of the vowels, which are longer in the stressed syllables than in the unstressed ones, such type of stress is called quantitative.4) Qualitative type of stress is achieved through the changes in the quality of the vowel under stress.

English word stress is traditionally defined as dynamic.Russian word stress is not only dynamic but mostly quantitative and qualitative. Now we should like to distinguish the notions of word stress and sentence stress. Word stress is naturally applied to a word, as a linguistic unit, sentence stress is applied to a phrase. in a speech chain the phonetic structure of a word obtains additional characteristics connected with rhythm, melody, and tempo. Though the sentence stress falls on the syllable marked by the word stress it is not realized in the stressed syllable of an isolated word but in a word within speech continuum. Sentence stress organizes a sentence into a linguistic unit, helps to form its rhythmic and intonation pattern.

Functions and tendencies of the Englishstress

1. Word stress constitutes a word, it organizes the syllables of a word into a language unit having a definite accentual structure, that is a pattern of relationship among the syllables; a word does not exist without the word stress Thus the word stress performs the constitutive function. Sound continuum becomes a phrase when it is divided into units organized by word stress into words.

2. Word stress enables a person to identify a succession of syllables as a definite accentual pattern of a word. This function of word stress is known as identificatoiy(у него так в лекции) (or recognitive). Correct accentuation helps the listener to make the process of communication easier, whereas the distorted accentual pattern of words, misplaced word stresses prevent normal understanding.

3. Word stress alone is capable of differentiating the meaning of words or their forms, thus performing its distinctive function. The accentual patterns of words or the degrees of word stress and their positions form oppositions, e.g. 'import im'port, 'billow below.

The accentual structure of English words is liable to instability due to the different origin of several layers in the Modern English word-stock. In Germanic languages the word stress originally fell on the initial syllable or the second syllable, the root syllable in the English words with prefixes. This tendency was called recessive. Most English words of Anglo-Saxon origin as well as the French borrowings (dated back to the 15th century) are subjected to this recessive tendency. Unrestricted recessive tendency is observed in the native English words having no prefix, e.g. mother, daughter, brother, swallow, ,in assimilated French borrowings, e.g. reason, colour, restaurant. Restricted recessive tendency marks English words with prefixes, e.g. foresee, begin, withdraw, apart. A great number of words of Anglo-Saxon origin are monosyllabic or disyllabic, both notional words and form words. They tend to alternate in the flow of speech, e.g. 'don't be'lieve he's 'right.

The rhythm of alternating stressed and unstressed syllables gave birth to the rhythmical tendency in the present-day English which caused the appearance of the secondary stress in the multisyllabic French borrowings, e.g. revolution, organi'sation, assimilation, etc.

17. the accentual tendencies in English. Basic word stress patterns in English In almost all languages, there is a variation in the relative prominence of syllables. The prominence of syllables is referred to as stress. It is a function of pitch, duration/length/loudness, and quality. Word stress in languages may be of different types. 1. If special prominence is achieved through the increased loudness (i.e. intensity of articulation), such word stress is termed DYNAMIC. 2. If special prominence in a stressed syllable is achieved mainly through the change of pitch, such type of word stress is MUSICAL, or TONIC. 3. QUANTITATIVE stress is when prominence is achieved through the changes in the quantity of vowels, i.e. their duration. 4. QUALITATIVE stress is when the stressed vowel is made prominent due to its clear and distinct character.There are languages which do not have word stress(Kalmyk), but many languages combine various types of words stress. In English prominence is achieved due to increased duration, loudness and higher pitch, i.e. quantitative, tonic and dynamic stressing. Some languages have fixed stress, associated with a certain syllable in a word. In Finnish, Czech, Latvian stress always falls on the first syllable.Any word with more than one syllable has a word stress. The stress pattern of a word reflects the distribution of prominence among its syllables. In words that have one stress, the latter is called ‘primary stress’. In longer words, it is possible to pick out a second, weaker stressed syllable that bears secondary stress notated as low mark. Two main tendencies determine the place and different degrees of word stress in English: the RECESSIVE tendency and the RHYTHMIC tendency.The oldest of the English word is the RECESSIVE tendency, characteristic of all Germanic languages. It originally consisted in placing the word stress on the initial syllable of nouns, adjectives, and verbs and on the root syllable of words which belonged to other parts of speech and had a prefix. The recessive accent in Modern English is of two types: UNRESTRICTED and RESTRICTED (by an unstressed prefix). UNRESTRICTED recessive accent falls on the first (root) syllable, as in words FATHER, MOTHER, HUSBAND. RESTRICTED recessive accent falls on the second (root) syllable of native English words with a prefix which has lost its meaning: AMONG, BECOME, FORGET, INDEED.The RHYTHMIC tendency can be accounted for the presence in English of a great number of monosyllabic words, some of which are stressed (notional) words; others are not (form words). Such phenomenon has created the English rhythm, consisting of alternating stressed and unstressed syllables. This tendency has caused the appearance in borrowed polysyllabic words of a secondary stress. Thus the word ‘RADICAL originally had a stress on the final syllable – RADI’CAL- but later it received the recessive stress on the initial syllable, while the final stress was still retained. The result of it was the typically English alternation of a stressed syllable with an unstressed one.Thus in tri-syllabic words there remained only one strong stress on the third syllable from the end of the word. The tendency to stress the third syllable from the end was extended to four-syllable words as well, and this stress is called RHYTHMICAL. In Modern English there is also GENINELY RHYTHMICAL stress. This is the secondary stress on the second PRETONIC syllable in words like PRO,NUNCI’ATION, E,XAMI’NATION, RE,LIA’BILITY,etc.


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