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English Phonetics

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on 28 October 2015

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Transcript of English Phonetics

English Phonetics
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Phonetics (from the Greek word phone = sound/voice) is a fundamental branch of Linguistics and itself has three different aspects:
We use the term ‘
’ to refer to differences in pronunciations. Pronunciation can vary with cultures, regions and speakers, but there are two major standard varieties in English pronunciation: British English and American English.
English also has a few 'vowels' that are really a sequence of two vowels. The most common diphthong is the sound in hide or eye.


Vowels of dialects distinct from the North American mainstream may vary significantly. They differ mainly in the vowels.
English Pronunciation
In English, there is no one-to-one relation between the system of writing and the system of pronunciation. The alphabet which we use to write English has 26 letters but in (Standard British) English there are approximately 44 speech sounds.
The Sounds of English and Their Representation
We can classify the consonants sounds of english according to the manner and place of articulation:

Manner of articulation
= how the breath is used: stops/plosives, fricatives, affricates, nasals, laterals, and approximants.

Place of articulation
= where in the mouth or throat the sound is produced: Bilabial, Labiodental, Dental/Interdental, Alveolar, Alveo-palatal (or post-alveolar), Palatal, Velar, Glottal (laryngeal).

Consonants Sounds of English
Articulatory Phonetics
- how sounds are produced or “articulated”;
Acoustic Phonetics
- a study of how speech sounds are transmitted;
Auditory Phonetics
- a study of how speech sounds are perceived.
English pronunciation is also divided into two main accent groups, the
and the
, depending on when the phoneme
is pronounced.
The classification of vowels is based on four major aspects:
Tongue height =
high/close vowels, low/ vowels, intermediate/close-mid and open-mid.
Frontness vs. backness of the tongue
- position of the highest part of the tongue.
Lip rounding
= lips are rounded (O-shape) or spread (no rounding)
Tenseness of the articulators =
muscular tension around the mouth when creating vowel sounds.

Vowels Sounds of English
Why is pronunciation so important ?
When you speak a foreign language, your pronunciation is not a factor of fluency…unless...you speak so poorly no one can understand you or misunderstand you.
“Phonetics training” has one target: you; that is, your ears and mouth. The goal is to finetune your hearing and to help you regain as much conscious control of your vocal apparatus as possible.
Phonetics training precedes pronunciation practice and helps you bring more in ear-sensitivity and mouth-control to that practice.
It is the result of producing the sounds of speech, including articulation, stress, and intonation, often with reference to some standard of correctness or acceptability.
Rhotic Vs. Non-rhotic
speakers pronounce written "r" in all positions.
Ex: stork
speakers pronounce "r" only if it is followed by a vowel. They won't pronounce written “r” in words like stork.
Ex: right, rain, room, Robert, far away, etc.

Video 1
Forget letters, we're talking “sounds”. Sound energy is disturbance of air molecules radiating outward from its source with different air pressure ('sound waves').
Individual sound of speech are specific portions of the speech in which the sound energy (and the configuration of the mouth to produce that sound energy) remains relatively stable.

Thanks for your attention!
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