Prid in th vlutin f the sunds systm in nglish languag

The Evolution of English. Vowels and current English. Kinds of Sound Change. Causes of sound change. The Phoneme and Differing transcriptions. Early modern English pronunciation and spelling. Vowel changes in Middle English and Early New English.

20.01.2015
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REGIONAL SOCIAL INNOVATIONAL UNIVERSITY

90'45,111 23 as the manuscript

Prid in th vlutin f the sunds systm in nglish languag

The thesis on competition of the academic degree of the master of pedagogy

Research supervisor:

Duisenbekova M. ph.s.c. senior teacher

Shymkent - 2014

Normative references

The present research work is relied upon references on the following normative documents:

1 ?? ? ?, 319-3, 27.07.2007 ., .

2 ?? ? ҳ ?, 151, 11.07.1997 . (2007 .), .

3 ?? ? . ? ?? - 2050: ?, ?, ? ?? .: 17 ?? 2014.

Abbreviations

VC Vwls and Cnsnants

OE ld nglish

ME Middl nglish

NE Nw nglish

M Middl nglish

BSL British Sign Languag

Contents

INTODUCTION

1. Evolution of the Sound System

2. The Evolution of English

2.1 Vowels and current English

2.2 Stress

2.3 Unstressed Vowels

3. Kinds of Sound Change

3.1 Assimilation: Sounds Become Less Alike

3.2 Dissimilation: Sounds Become Less Alike

3.3 Elision: Sounds are Omitted

3.4 Metathesis: Sounds are Reordered

4. Causes of sound change

5. The Phoneme

6. Differing transcriptions

7. Early modern English pronunciation and spelling

7.1 Pronunciation change and the Great Vowel Shift

7.2 Spelling: general principles

7.3 Spelling: particular words

7.4 The stabilization of spelling

8. Preliminary Remarks

8.1 Word stress in Middle English and Early New English

8.2 Diversity of pronouns

8.3 Ambiguity of Modern English in different dialects

8.4 Spelling and pronunciation in the South

8.5 South - Western dialects

8.6 Nothern dialects

9. Vowel changes in Middle English and Early New English

10. Quantitative vowel changrs in Early Middle English

11. The Great Vowel Shift

11.1 Some Interpretation of the Great Vowel Shift

11.2 Changes of Short Vowels in Early New English

11.3 Growth of Long Monophthongs and Diphthongs in Early New English due to Vocalisation of Consonants

12. The Early Modern English

13. The Late Modern English

CONCLUSION

THE LIST OF USING LITERATURE

Intrductin

Whn talking abut prnunciatin in languag larning w man th prductin and prcptin f th significant sunds f a particular languag in rdr t achiv maning in cntxts f languag us. This cmpriss th prductin and prcptin f sgmntal sunds, f strssd and unstrssd-syllabls, and f th `spch mldy', r intnatin. Als, th way w sund is influncd gratly by factrs such as vic quality, spch rat and vrall ludnss. Whnvr w say smtims all ths aspcts ar prsnt simultanusly frm th vry start, vn in a tw - syllabl uttranc such as Hll!

English language is one of the three important languages of the Linguistic Trinity project which presumes the establishment of conditions for providing all citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the opportunity to study English: improved quality of English instruction in all general education schools, including specialized schools with an emphasis on foreign languages, as well as specialized secondary and higher learning institutions. The concept of trinity expresses a simple, intelligible formula: develop the state language, maintain Russian, and study English. Kazakhstan is charting a course of prilingualism for its citizens with an eye to contemporary reality: linguistic trinity will be a testimony to national competitive ability According to the law about languages .

In 2014 the Head of the state Nursultan Nazarbayev has addressed with the message to the people of the country. According to this message in secondary education will successfully operate a school education, based not only on acquiring knowledge, but also to acquire skills and development competencies of the teacher and also the student .Prnunciatin plays a cntral rl in bth ur prsnal and ur scial livs: as individuals, w prjct ur idntity thrugh th way w spak, and als indicat ur mmbrship f particular cmmunitis. At th sam tim, and smtims als in cnflict with this idntity functin, ur prnunciatin is rspnsibl fr intlligibility: whthr r nt w can cnvy ur maning. Th significanc f succss in scnd languag prnunciatin larning is thrfr far-raching, cmplicatd by th fact that many aspcts f prnunciatin happn subcnsciusly and s ar nt radily accssibl t cnscius analysis and intrvntin.

All this may xplain why tachrs frquntly rgard prnunciatin as vrly difficult, tchnical r plain mystrius, whil at th sam tim rcgnizing its imprtanc. Th cnsqunt fling uncas can, hwvr, b displld rlativly asily nc a bas undrstanding has bn achivd.

In th lat-fiftnth cntury printrs bgan printing bks writtn in th frm f Lndn nglish which had alrady bcm a kind f standard in manuscript dcumnts. Btwn 1475 and abut 1630 nglish splling gradually bcam rgularizd. Thr ar nticabl diffrncs in th lk f printd nglish bfr th mid-svntnth cntury, but aftr that dat it is largly th sam as mdrn nglish, th majr diffrnc bing th us f th lng s (?) in all psitins xcpt finally.

Lttrs ar writtn, and sunds ar spkn. It is imprtant that ths functins ar nt cnfusd. Whn w writ in nrmal splling, w ar using lttrs t cnvy sunds. In nglish this rlatinship is nly vr a rugh guid t prnunciatin, and it is crtainly nt rliabl.

In many and many, th lttr has tw diffrnt prnunciatins, and w can add thr mr in banana and bathr. Thn cnsidr wasp, clasp, and asp. Amng th mr ntrius xampls f nglish splling ar cugh, nugh, thrugh, thrugh, bugh. Thr ar als wrds that sund idntical but ar writtn in diffrnt ways:

yu

yw

w

snt

scnt

cnt

wn

n

bar

bar

In ur alphabt, w hav nly six vwl lttrs - A, , I, , U, Y.

This can b vry incnvnint whn w want t discuss sunds.

Th idal slutin culd b t adpt a mthd f splling that is cmpltly cnsistnt, whr a radr wuld knw that a crtain symbl wuld always rfr t th sam sund.

W will kp ur us f tchnical symbls t a minimum. Hwvr, in cass whr ur alphabt is inadquat (as with th tw th sunds, as in thin and thn, r th sund at th nd f sing) w will nd t us phnmic symbls.

Fr xampl, small childrn smtims substitut a "t" fr th "k" sund at th nd f th wrd "bk". Hw wuld yu writ th rsulting wrd in rdinary splling?

Bcaus f th influnc f ur splling systm, sm ppl find it quit difficult t islat th sparat phnms in sm wrds. T idntify phnms, it is ssntial t frgt abut splling and listn nly t th sunds. Fr xampl, thr ar thr phnms in shuld and tw in arth (unlss yu cm frm Suthland, whn thr might b thr). W d nt usually prnunc th [r] in hrs, but w d prnunc a [j] (as in ys) in human and urp.

Whn studnts ar first intrducd t phnmic transcriptin, sm will argu at lngth as t whthr thy prnunc th [d] in Wdnsday r whthr thr is [s] r [z] in Thursday.

Th dscriptin and classificatin f spch sunds is th aim f th subjct knwn as phntics. Dtaild infrmatin is nt givn hr abut phntics bcaus thr surcs ar radily availabl in bks and linguistics curss.

Aim

T cmprhnd th histry f dvlping f vlutin f sund systm. T prv th ncssity f studying f thm and hw usd and us th ld wrds and th nw wrds in mdrn wrld. Fr raching th aim f this wrk thr wr put fllwing

Tasks: T shw prid f ld nglish, T shw prid f middl nglish

T shw prid f mdrn nglish, T analyz an infrmatin abut Grat Vwl Shift, wrd strss and unstrssd, th phnm.T mak th diagrams, schms, tabls, t hld analyz f maning wrds.

Hypthsis:

Th man f a wrking hypthsis culd b dscribd in this way: Prids in th vlutin f sund systm in nglish languag.

Stags, prcss f sarching:

rdr f analyz rflcts in cmpsit building f a dissrtatin wrk. Disclsur and systmatizatin f matrial n this, rflctin f availabl pints f viw tak plac at th first stag. Pculiaritis f studying matrial ar lucidatd at th scnd stag. Th cmparativ analyz and cnclusin ar givn at third stag.

Mthdic f xprimnt is takn in cmplx analysis.

With disclsur f th cntnt f this thm ar usd fllwing mthds:

Dscriptin

Mthd f analysis

Mthd cmparisn

Qustinnair

Scials analysis, th basis f which is in mthd f quantitativ prcssing f facts.

Nvlty f rsarch and dgr f indpndnc.

Du t incrasing intrst t ld and nw wrds and thir dvlping in diffrnt prids f tims thir using in spch and n th bas f studid w'v trid t distinguish fllwing aspcts in ur rsarch:

Th vlutin f nglish

Vwls and Cnsnants

Causs f sund chang

ld, Middl, Mdrn nglish

Prnunciatin chang and th Grat Vwl Shift

Mral (as humanitarian aspct)

Basd n mdrn tndncis f histry's dvlpmnt and cultur w hav trid t prv th ncssity f studying th cncrt histry, as it assists th mr dp thinking and analyzing f histrical prcsss that tak plac arund us nw.

1. volution of the sound system

Languag is basically spch, s sunds ar its fundamntal building blcks. But w larn th sunds f ur languag at such an arly ag that w ar unawar f thm withut spcial study. Mrvr, th alphabt w us has always bn inadquat t rprsnt th sunds f th nglish languag, and that is spcially tru f Mdrn nglish. n lttr can rprsnt many diffrnt sunds, as a stands fr as many as six diffrnt sunds in cat, cam, calm, any, call, and was (riming with fuzz). n th thr hand, a singl sund can b splld in varius ways, as th lng a sund can b splld a as in bakr, ay as in day, ai as in bait, au as in gaug, as in msa, y as in thy, i as in nighbr, and a as in grat. This is bviusly an unsatisfactry stat f affairs.

Phnticians, wh study th sunds usd in languag, hav thrfr invntd a phntic alphabt in which th sam symbls cnsistntly rprsnt th sam sunds, thus making it pssibl t writ sunds unambiguusly. Th phntic alphabt uss th familiar Rman lttrs, but assigns t ach a singl sund valu.

Thn, bcaus thr ar mr sunds than twnty-six, sm lttrs hav bn brrwd frm thr alphabts, and thr lttrs hav bn invntd, s that finally th phntic alphabt has n lttr fr ach sund. T shw that th lttrs f this phntic alphabt rprsnt sunds rathr than rdinary spllings, thy ar writtn btwn squar brackts, whras rdinary spllings ar italicizd (r undrlind in handwriting and typing). Thus s rprsnts th splling and [s] th prnunciatin f th sam wrd[1, 186p.].

Phnticians dscrib and classify sunds accrding t th way thy ar mad.

S t undrstand th phntic alphabt and th sunds it rprsnts, yu must knw smthing abut hw sunds ar prducd.

Many animals cmmunicat by mans f sund, and sm (humans and sngbirds ar xampls) larn ths vcalizatins. Thr ar, in fact, prvcativ similaritis in th dvlpmnt f human languag and birdsng. Mst animal vcalizatins, lik alarm calls in mammals and birds, ar innat, and rquir n xprinc t b crrctly prducd. Fr xampl, quails raisd in islatin r dafnd at birth s that thy nvr har cn-spcifics nnthlss prduc th full rprtir f spcis -spcific vcalizatins. In cntrast, humans bviusly rquir xtnsiv pstnatal xprinc t prduc and dcd spch sunds that ar th basis f languag.

Birdsng. Anyn witnssing languag dvlpmnt in a child cannt hlp but b amazd at hw quickly larning taks plac. This facility cntrasts with th adult acquisitin f a nw languag, which can b a painfully slw prcss that nvr prducs.

Imprtantly, this linguistic xprinc, t b ffctiv, must ccur in arly lif. Th rquirmnt fr haring and practicing during a critical prid is apparnt in studis f languag acquisitin in cngnitally daf childrn. Whras mst babis bgin prducing spch lik sunds at abut 7 mnths (babbling), cngnitally daf infants shw bvius dficits in thir arly vcalizatins, and such individuals fail t dvlp languag if nt prvidd with an altrnativ frm f symblic xprssin. If, hwvr, ths daf childrn ar xpsd t sign languag at an arly ag (frm apprximatly six mnths nward), thy bgin t babbl with thir hands just as a haring infant babbls audibly. This suggsts that, rgardlss f th mdality, arly xprinc shaps languag bhavir. Childrn wh hav acquird spch but subsquntly ls thir haring bfr pubrty als suffr a substantial dclin in spkn languag, prsumably bcaus thy ar unabl t har thmslvs talk and thus ls th pprtunity t rfin thir spch by auditry fdback[2, 126p.].

Manual babbling in daf infants raisd by daf, signing parnts cmpard t manual babbl in haring infants. Babbling was judgd by scring hand psitins and shaps that shwd sm rsmblanc t th cmpnnts f Amrican Sign Languag.

xampls f pathlgical situatins in which nrmal childrn wr nvr xpsd t a significant amunt f languag mak much th sam pint. In n wll-dcumntd cas, a girl was raisd by drangd parnts until th ag f 13 undr cnditins f almst ttal languag dprivatin. Dspit intns subsqunt training, sh nvr larnd mr than a rudimntary lvl f cmmunicatin. This and thr xampls f s-calld fral childrn starkly dfin th imprtanc f arly xprinc. In cntrast t th dvastating ffcts f dprivatin n childrn, adults rtain thir ability t spak and cmprhnd languag vn if dcads pass withut xpsur r spaking. In shrt, th nrmal acquisitin f human spch is subjct t a critical prid. Th prcss is snsitiv t xprinc r dprivatin during a rstrictd prid f lif (bfr pubrty) and is rfractry t similar xprinc r dprivatins in adulthd.

n a mr subtl lvl, th phntic structur f th languag an individual hars during arly lif shaps bth th prcptin and prductin f spch. Many f th thusands f human languags and dialcts us apprciably diffrnt rprtirs f spch lmnts calld phnms t prduc spkn wrds (xampls ar th phnms ba and pa in nglish). Vry yung human infants can prciv and discriminat btwn diffrncs in all human spch sunds, and ar nt innatly biasd twards th phnms charactristic f any particular languag. Hwvr, this univrsal apprciatin ds nt prsist. Fr xampl, adult Japans spakrs cannt rliably distinguish btwn th /r/ and /l/ sunds in nglish, prsumably bcaus this phnmic distinctin is nt prsnt in Japans. Nnthlss, 4-mnth-ld Japans infants can mak this discriminatin as rliably as 4-mnth-lds raisd in nglish-spaking hushlds (as indicatd by incrasd suckling frquncy r had turning in th prsnc f a nvl stimulus). By 6 mnths f ag, hwvr, infants shw prfrncs fr phnms in thir nativ languag vr ths in frign languags and by th nd f thir first yar n lngr rspnd t phntic lmnts pculiar t nn-nativ languags. Th ability t prciv ths phnmic cntrasts vidntly prsists fr svral mr yars, as vidncd by th fact that childrn can larn t spak a scnd languag withut accnt and with flunt grammar until abut ag 7 r 8. Aftr this ag, hwvr, prfrmanc gradually dclins n mattr what th xtnt f practic r xpsur.

A critical prid fr larning languag is shwn by th dclin in languag ability (fluncy) f nn-nativ spakrs f nglish as a functin f thir ag upn arrival in th Unitd Stats. Th ability t scr wll n tsts f nglish grammar and vcabulary[3, 231p.].

A numbr f changs in th dvlping brain culd xplain ths bsrvatins. n pssibility is that xprinc acts slctivly t prsrv th circuits in th brain that prciv phnms and phntic distinctins. Th absnc f xpsur t nn-nativ phnms wuld thn rsult in a gradual atrphy f th cnnctins rprsnting ths sunds, accmpanid by a dclining ability t distinguish btwn thm. In this frmulatin, circuits that ar usd ar rtaind, whras ths that ar unusd gt wakr (and vntually disappar). Altrnativly, xprinc culd prmt th grwth f rudimntary circuitry prtinnt t th xprincd sunds.

Th rality, hwvr, is cnsidrably mr cmplx than ithr f ths scnaris suggst. xprimnts by Patricia Kuhl and hr cllagus hav dmnstratd that as a scnd languag is acquird, th brain gradually grups sunds accrding t thir similarity with phnms in th nativ languag. Fr xampl, whn askd t catgriz a cntinuus spctrum f artificial phnms btwn /r/ and /l/, nativ nglish spakrs, but nt Japans spakrs, tnd t prciv sunds as all sunding lik ithr /r/ r /l/, a phnmnn that Kuhl has liknd t a prcptual magnt. Rlatd but varying sunds (dfind by thir audi graphic spctrum) ar vidntly grupd tgthr and vntually prcivd as rprsnting th sam phnm. Withut nging xprinc during th critical prid, this prcss fails t ccur. Intrstingly, th baby-talk r parnts usd by adults spaking t yung childrn actually mphasizs ths phntic distinctins cmpard t nrmal spch amng adults. Thus, larning languag during th critical prid fr its dvlpmnt ntails amplificatin and rshaping f innat biass by apprpriat pstnatal xprinc[4, 132p.].

2. The evolution of English

english phoneme transcription pronunciation

A phntic languag is a languag in which splling and prnunciatin fit in mst cass. In ths kinds f languags th trugh bgins frm th fllwing syllabl. Th nglish languag is nt a phntic languag. Th Trugh starts th prvius syllabl. Fr xampl: mutt-n. In muttn th is nt prnuncd, that's th rasn why th n is syllabic.

Th Ind-urpan cnsnant systm had a larg invntry f stps (plsiv cnsnants). Thir prnunciatin was labial (invlving th lips), crnal (invlving th tip f th tngu) r drsal (invlving th back part f th tngu). Drsal stps can b furthr classifid int palatal (`sft', a bit lik nglish /k/ in cub), plain (r simpl vlar, lik /k/ in cut), and labivlar (with lip runding, lik /kw/ in qut). Th lttrs y and w in this systm hav n thr functin apart frm marking th palatal r labialisd charactr f th prcding cnsnant; thy ar nt usd t stand fr indpndnt spch sgmnts. W mntin hr th I palatals (and put thm in th tabl blw) bcaus mst rcnstructins fund in th standard handbks rquir thm in th prtlanguag. Hwvr, it is nt quit clar if thy culd rally cntrast with `plain' vlars; w'r inclind t think thy culdn't, s in ur rcnstructins lswhr n this wrk yu will nly find k tc. whr many thr ppl rcnstruct ky.

Vwls and Cnsnants

Tw cmmnly usd trms ar vwls and cnsnants.

Thr ar tw diffrnt ways f dfining ths.

Vwls and cnsnants can b dfind by th way th sunds ar prducd.

Cnsnants ar mad by a dfinit intrfrnc with th airstram by th vcal rgans. Bcaus f this, thy ar asir t dscrib than vwls.

Vwls ar mad withut any bstructin f th airstram. Th air flws rlativly unimpdd thrugh th muth r th ns. Diffrncs in vwl sunds ar mad by diffrnt psitins f th tngu and th lips.

Vwls and cnsnants can b dfind by th way th sunds ar usd in th languag.

vry syllabl must hav a vwl. Whr th syllabl is clsd (s blw), th vwls always ccur at th cntr f th syllabls.

Cnsnants ccur at th margins f th syllabls.

CVC: dg, rat, map, puff, sit

CCCVCCCC: strngths

In Mari, th structur f th syllabl is diffrnt. Th pattrn is (C)V.

This is calld an pn syllabl.

All Mari syllabls ar pn, whras nglish has bth pn syllabls and clsd syllabls (ths that nd in a cnsnant)[5, 15p.].

It is imprtant fr spakrs, spcially frign larnrs f nglish, t prnunc thir cnsnants prprly. Cnsnants cntribut mr t making nglish undrstd than vwls d. Thy ar lik th skltns f wrds, giving thm thir basic shap. Whrvr nglish is spkn, th cnsnants ar prducd in much th sam way. Spakrs f nglish frm diffrnt parts f Britain r frm diffrnt nglish-spaking cuntris hav diffrnt accnts, but ths ar th rsult f diffrncs in vwl sunds. In practic, w can tlrat a cnsidrabl amunt f variatin with vwls and still undrstand what is bing said. If frign larnrs f nglish hav prblms with thir vwls, thy hav lss difficulty than if thy hav prblms with thir cnsnants. In th lattr cas, thy ar likly t b misundrstd, r nt undrstd at all.

Whr th sund f a vwl rmains cnstant thrughut, it is smtims calld a pur vwl

2.1 Vwls f currnt nglish

Vwls ar th principal sunds f syllabls. In th accmpanying chart, th vwls ar shwn accrding t th psitin f th tngu rlativ t th rf f th muth (high, mid, lw) and t th psitin f th highst part f th tngu (frnt, cntral, back). Th chart may b takn t rprsnt a crss sctin f th ral cavity, facing lft. Vwl symbls with kywrds ar ths f prsnt-day Amrican nglish.

Ths withut kywrds rprsnt lss cmmn vwls r ths f ldr prids f th languag; thy ar xplaind and illustratd blw r in latr chaptrs.

Sm f th vwl symbls, spcially [i], [], and [?], d nt rprsnt th sunds ths lttrs usually hav in currnt nglish splling. Instad, ths phntic symbls rprsnt sunds lik ths th lttrs stand fr in Spanish, Frnch, Italian, and Grman. Thus in transcribing Mdrn nglish wrds, w us [i] fr th sund that is writtn i in thr languags, althugh th sund [i] is mst frquntly writtn , , a, i, r i in Mdrn nglish, xcpt in wrds rcntly brrwd frm ths thr languags (fr xampl, plic). Similarly, w us [] fr th sund usually writtn a (fllwd by a cnsnant plus silnt ) r ai in Mdrn nglish (as in bat, bait). W us th symbl [?] fr brad a, which ftn ccurs in th splling f nglish wrds bfr r and lm (as in far and calm); in fathr, mama, papa, and a fw thr wrds lik spa; and in crtain typs f Amrican nglish aftr w (as in watch). Th mst usual splling f th sund [?] in Amrican nglish is, hwvr, , as in pt and tp[6, 87p.].

f th vwls listd in th chart, [i], [?], [], [?], and [.] ar calld frnt vwls bcaus f th psitins assumd by th tngu in thir articulatin, and [u], [?], [], [?], and [?] ar calld back vwls fr th sam rasn. Bth sris hav bn givn in dscnding rdr, that is, in rlatin t th hight f th tngu as indicatd by th dwnward mvmnt f th lwr jaw in thir articulatin: thus [i] is th highst frnt vwl and [i:] th lwst, as [u] is th highst back vwl and [?] is th lwst.

All f ths back vwls xcpt [?] ar prnuncd with sm dgr f runding and prtrusin f th lips and hnc ar calld rundd vwls. Vwls withut lip runding (all f th thrs in Mdrn nglish) ar calld unrundd r sprad vwls.

Th symbl [?], calld schwa, rprsnts th mid and cntral strssd vwls f cut and curt as wll as th unstrssd vwls in th scnd syllabls f tuba and lunar. Ths fur vwls ar acustically distinct frm n anthr, but diffrnc btwn thm d nt srv t distinguish n nglish wrd frm anthr, s w can us th sam symbl fr all fur sunds: [k?t], [k?rt], [tub?], and [lun?r].

Sm dialcts f Amrican nglish us a fw thr vwls: [a], [], [i], [], and [].

Th vwl [a] is hard in astrn Nw ngland spch in ask, half, laugh, and path and in sm varitis f Suthrn spch in by, might, tird, and th lik. It is intrmdiat btwn [] and [], and is usually th first lmnt f a diphthng (that is, a tw-vwl squnc prnuncd as th cr f a singl syllabl) in right and rut, which w writ, rspctivly, as [ai] and [au].

Alng th ast Cast rughly btwn Nw Yrk City and Philadlphia as wll as in a numbr f thr mtrplitan cntrs, sm spakrs us clarly diffrnt vwls in cap and cab, bat and bad, lack and lag. In th first wrd f ths and many thr such pairs, thy prnunc th sund rprsntd by []; but in th scnd wrd, thy us a highr, tnsr, and lngr vwl that w may rprsnt as [:]. Sm spakrs als us ths tw vwls t distinguish hav frm halv and can `b abl' frm can `prsrv in tins.'

Sm Amricans prnunc th advrb just (as in Thy'v just lft) with a vwl, namly [i], which is diffrnt frm that in th adjctiv (as in a just prsn), which has [?]. It is likwis diffrnt frm th vwls in gist (with [i]) and jst (with []). This vwl may als appar in childrn, wuld, and varius thr wrds. In astrn Nw ngland, sm spakrs, spcially f th ldr gnratin, us a vwl in whl that diffrs frm th n in hl. This Nw ngland shrt is symblizd by [] and is fund als in rad, stn, and thr wrds. It is rar and is bcming mr s.

British nglish has a lightly rundd vwl symblizd by [?] in pt, tp, rd, cn, and thr wrds in which Amricans us th sund [] fr th splling . This vwl als ccurs in sm Amrican dialcts.

If yu d nt us ths vwl sunds, bviusly yu d nt nd thir symbls t rprsnt yur spch. It is wis, hwvr, t rmmbr that vn in nglish thr ar sunds that yu d nt us yurslf r that yu us diffrntly frm thrs.

An incrasingly larg numbr f Amricans d nt distinguish btwn [?] and [?]. Fr thm, caught and ct ar hmphns, as ar taught and tt, dawn and dn, gaud and Gd, pawd and pd. Thy prnunc all such wrds with ithr [?] r [?] r with a vwl that is intrmdiat btwn ths tw, namly th [?] mntind abv [7,120p.].

thr Amricans lack a phnmic cntrast btwn tw sunds nly in a particular nvirnmnt. Fr xampl, in th Suth, th vwls [?] and [?], althugh distinguishd in mst nvirnmnts (such as pit and pt), hav mrgd bfr nasals.

Thus pin and pn ar hmphns fr many Suthrnrs, as ar tin and tn, Jim and gm, and ping and th first syllabl f pnguin. Th sund usd in th nasal nvirnmnt is usually [?], thugh bfr [?] it may apprach [i].

Vwls can b classifid nt nly by thir hight and thir frntnss (as in th vwl chart), but als by thir tnsnss. A tns vwl is typically lngr in duratin than th clsst lax vwl and als highr and lss cntral (that is, furthr frnt if it is a frnt vwl and furthr back if a back n). Tns vwls ar [i], [], [u], and

[]; th crrspnding lax vwls fr th first thr ar [?], [?], and [?]. Th Nw ngland shrt ? is a lax vwl crrspnding t tns []. Fr mst Amricans, th lw and th cntral vwls d nt ntr int a tns-lax cntrast ths wh hav it, [.:] (in cab, halv, bag) is tns, and th crrspnding [.] (in cap, hav, back) is lax. Similarly, in standard British nglish, [?] (in caught, dawn, wars) is tns, and th crrspnding [?] (in ct, dn, was) is lax. In arlir tims (as w shall s in Chaptrs 5 and 6), nglish vwls wr ithr lng r shrt in duratin; tday that diffrnc has gnrally bcm n f tnsnss.

In mst typs f currnt nglish, vwl lngth is hardly vr a distinguishing factr. Whn w talk abut lng a, as in th first paragraph f this chaptr, w ar rally talking abut a diffrnc f vwl quality, namly [] usually splld with th lttr a (as in fad r raid), as distinguishd frm anthr vwl quality, namly [.] als splld with th sam lttr a (as in fad). But phntically spaking, vwl lngth is just that--a diffrnc in hw lng a vwl is hld during its prnunciatin - and any diffrnc f vwl quality is incidntal.

In currnt nglish, th lngth f vwls is dtrmind primarily by nighbring sunds. Fr xampl, w distinguish bad frm bat, bag frm back, and lab frm lap by th final cnsnants in ths wrds, nt by th lngr vwl in th first f ach pair. W tnd t hld a vwl lngr bfr a vicd cnsnant than bfr a viclss n (as in bad vrsus bat), but that diffrnc is scndary t and dpndnt n th vicd d vrsus th viclss t.

Sm spakrs, as ntd abv, distinguish can `prsrv in tins' frm can `b abl,' halv frm hav, and similarly balm frm bmb and vary frm vry. Thy d s by prnuncing th vwl f th first wrd in ach pair lngr than that f th scnd wrd--but als tnsr and with sm diffrnc in quality. In suthastrn Amrican nglish, bulb (with n [l]) may als b distinguishd frm bub by vwl lngth, and similarly burrd (with n [r]) frm bud, and stirrd (with n [r]) frm stud. In r-lss spch, whn [?] ccurs bfr tymlgical r, lngth may likwis b a distinguishing factr, as in part [p?:t] and pt [p?t]. In phntic transcriptins, a cln is usd t indicat vwl lngth whn it is ncssary t d s. Such distinctins nd nt cncrn mst f us xcpt in ld, Middl, and arly Mdrn nglish, which had phnmically distinctiv vwl quantity.

A diphthng is a squnc f tw vwls in th sam syllabl, as ppsd t a mnphthng, which is a singl, simpl vwl. Many nglish vwl sunds tnd t hav diphthngal prnunciatin, mst ntably [] and [], as in bay and t, which ar usually prnuncd in a way that might b writtn [?] and [?] if w wantd t rcrd th scndary vwl. Nrmally, hwvr, thr is n nd t d s. In parts f th Unitd Stats, mst vwls ar smtims diphthngizd; thus, bd may hav a cntralizd ff-glid (r scndary vwl): [b??d]. In kping with ur practic f writing nly sunds that affct maning, hwvr, w will ignr all such diphthngal glids, writing as diphthngs nly [a?] and [a?] in my and nw and [??] in jy and cin. Wrds lik fw and cub may b prnuncd with a smivwl bfr th vwl, [fyu] and [kyub], r with a diphthng, [f?u] and [k?ub]. Th first prnunciatin is mr cmmn.

In all thr f th diphthngs [a?], [a?], and [??], th tngu mvs frm th psitin fr th first vwl t that fr th scnd, and th dirctin f mvmnt is mr imprtant than th xact starting and nding pints. Cnsquntly, th diphthngs w writ [a?] and [a?] may actually bgin with vwls that ar mr lik [?], [.], r vn [?]. Similarly [??] may bgin with [?] r [] as wll as with [?]. Th nding pints ar qually variabl. Th ff-glid in [a?] and [??] may actually b as high as [i] r as lw as [?] (and fr [a?] th ff-glid may disappar altgthr, spcially in parts f th Suth, bing rplacd by a lngthning f th first vwl, [a:]); similarly, th ff-glid in [a?] may b as high as [u] r as lw as []. Thus it is bst t undrstand [a?] as a symbl fr a diphthng that bgins with a rlativly lw unrundd vwl and mvs tward a highr frnt psitin, [a?] as rprsnting a diphthng that bgins th sam way but mvs tward a highr back rundd psitin, and [??] as rprsnting a diphthng that bgins with a mid r lw back rundd vwl and mvs tward a highr unrundd frnt psitin. In a mr dtaild transcriptin, ths diffrncs culd b rprsntd, fr xampl, in th wrd whit as [??], [a:], [?i], r varius thr pssibilitis. If w ar intrstd in lss dtail, hwvr, w can writ [a?] and undrstand that digraph as rprsnting whatvr sund w us in wrds lik whit[8, 97p.].

Vwls Bfr [r]

Th sund [r] mdifis th quality f a vwl that cms bfr it. Cnsquntly, vwls bfr [r] ar smwhat diffrnt frm th sam vwls in thr nvirnmnts.

W hav alrady ntd that [?] bfr [r], as in curt r burst, is diffrnt frm [?] in any thr psitin, as in cut r bust. Similarly, th [] in murn is nt quit th sam as that in man, nr is th [?] in farthr quit th sam as that in fathr. Such diffrncs can b ignrd, hwvr, if w ar intrstd nly in writing diffrncs f sund that ar capabl f making a diffrnc in maning.

Fwr distinctiv vwls ccur bfr [r] than lswhr. In particular, fr many spakrs tnsnss is nt distinctiv bfr [r]. Thus narr and mirrr may rim, with a vwl in th first syllabls that is cls t ithr [i] r [?]. Similarly, fairy and frry may b idntical, with ithr [] r [?], and turing and during may rim, with ithr [u] r [?]. In all ths variatins, th lax vwl ccurs mr frquntly. Fr mst Amricans nwadays, hars and hrs ar hmphns. In thir traditinal prnunciatin, hars has [] (r [?]) whras hrs has [?] (r [?]); th sam diffrnc f vwls was nc mad by mst spakrs in murning and mrning, brn and brn, fur and fr, ar and r, and many thr wrds. Tday, fr many spakrs, ths vwls hav mrgd bfr [r], and as a rsult sm ppl misspll frwrd as frward bcaus thy prnunc th tw wrds alik.

In sm Amrican spch, spcially that f th lwr Mississippi Vally and th Wst, thr is n diffrnc in prnunciatin btwn frm and farm, r and ar, brn and barn, r lrd and lard. Sm prsns hav [?], sm [?], and thrs [?] in all such wrds. Thr is much variatin amng spakrs frm varius rgins in th vwls thy us bfr [r].

Whn [r] fllws a vwl in th sam syllabl, a schwa glid may intrud, as in nar [n?r] r [ni?r]. Th schwa glid is spcially likly whn th sntnc strss and cnsquntly a chang f pitch fall n th syllabl, as in Th tim drw nar with th glid vrsus Th tim drw nar withut it[9, 31p.].

2.2 Strss

Th mst prminnt syllabl in a wrd has primary strss, indicatd by a raisd vrtical mark at th bginning f th syllabl in phntic transcriptin r an acut accnt mark vr th apprpriat vwl symbl in nrmal rthgraphy: [?sf?] r sfa, [??ba?t] r abut. Fr syllabls baring scndary strss, a lwrd vrtical mark is usd in phntic transcriptin and a grav accnt mark in nrmal rthgraphy: [??m??nt] r manat. Unstrssd syllabls (which ar smtims said t carry wak strss) ar nt markd in any way.

2.3 Unstrssd Vwls

Althugh any vwl can b prnuncd withut strss, thr ar frquntly s usd:

[i], [?], and [?]. Thr is a grat dal f variatin btwn [i] and [?] in final psitin (as in lucky, happy, city, and sdy) and bfr anthr vwl (as in th scnd syllabls f varius, curisity, ril, and carrin). ld-fashind prnunciatin alng th ast Cast uss [?] in ths psitins, but th mst cmmn prnunciatin in th Unitd Stats is [i].

Thr is als a grat dal f variatin btwn [?] and [?] bfr a cnsnant. In th traditinal prnunciatin still usd in British nglish and in sm rgins f th Unitd Stats, [?] ccurs in th final unstrssd syllabl f wrds lik buckt and cllg, and in th initial unstrssd syllabl f wrds lik lud and illumin.

Incrasingly, hwvr, larg numbrs f Amricans us ithr [?] r [?] variably in such wrds, dpnding in part n th surrunding sunds, thugh with a strng prfrnc fr [?]. A rul f prnunciatin sms t b mrging that favrs unstrssd [?] nly bfr vlar cnsnants (as in th first syllabl f ignr and th final syllabl f cmic r hping) and [?] lswhr. Thus, whras th ldr prnunciatin has [?] in th scnd syllabl f stmach and [?] in th first syllabl f mystrius, nding stmach lik cmic and bginning mystrius lik msquit.

3. Kinds of sound change

nglish wrds, as alrady bsrvd, vary in thir prnunciatin, in part bcaus sunds d nt always chang in th sam way amng diffrnt grups. Thus at n tim all spakrs f nglish distinguishd th mmbrs f pairs lik hrs-hars, mrning-murning, and fr-fur. Nwadays mst prbably d nt. Bcaus this chang has nt prcdd unifrmly, th prnunciatin f such wrds nw varis.

Sm changs f sund ar vry imprtant and highly systmatic. Tw such changs, calld th First Sund Shift and th Grat Vwl Shift, ar dalt with in Chaptrs 4 and 7 rspctivly. thr changs ar mr incidntal but fall int svral distinct catgris. In this sctin w xamin sm f th lattr kind, spcially changs in infrmal and in nnstandard spch[10, 48p.].

3.1 Assimilatin: Sunds Bcm Mr Alik

Assimilatin is a chang that maks n sund mr lik anthr nar it. If pancak is prnuncd carfully, as its parts ar whn thy ar indpndnt wrds, it is [p.n kk]. Hwvr, [n] is an alvlar sund, whras [k] is palatvlar; cnsquntly, spakrs ftn anticipat th plac f articulatin f th [k] and prnunc th wrd [p.? kk] with a palatvlar nasal. In additin t such partial assimilatin, by which sunds bcm mr alik whil rmaining distinct, assimilatin may b ttal. That is, th sunds bcm cmpltly idntical, as whn spacship changs in prnunciatin frm [sps ?p] t [sp ?p]. In such cass it is usual fr th idntical sunds t cmbin by th missin f n f thm, as in [sp?p]. A much ldr xampl is cupbard, in which th mdial [pb] has bcm a singl [b].

In spch with a mdratly fast tmp, assimilatin is vry cmmn. Thus, a slw prnunciatin f What is yur nam? as [w?t ?z y?r nm] in fastr tmp may bcm [w?ts y?r nm], and in vry fast tmp [w??r nm], th lattr tw suggstd by th spllings What's yr nam? and Whachr nam? Th last als shws a particular kind f assimilatin calld palatalizatin. In th squnc [tsy] f What's yr nam? th alvlar fricativ [s] is assimilatd t th fllwing palatal smivwl [y], and th rsult is a palatalizd [], which cmbins with th prcding [t] t mak th alvlpalatal affricat [] f Whachr nam? Such prnunciatins, unlik th imprssinistic spllings that rprsnt thm, ar nt carlss r slppy (much lss substandard) but mrly variants w us in spch that is rapid and infrmal. If w nvr usd such assimilatd frms in talking, w wuld sund vry stiltd indd.

3.2 Dissimilatin: Sunds Bcm Lss Alik

Th ppsit f assimilatin is dissimilatin, a prcss by which nighbring sunds bcm lss lik n anthr. In th wrd diphthng, th squnc f tw viclss fricativs [f], rprsntd by th mdial phth, rquirs an ffrt t say.

Cnsquntly, many spakrs prnunc th wrd with mdial [p], rplacing fricativ [f] with stp [p], as thugh th wrd wr splld dipthng. And cnsquntly sm ppl d indd misspll th wrd that way.

Anthr xampl f dissimilatin is th substandard prnunciatin f chimny as chimly, with th scnd f tw nasals changd t an [l]. Th ultimat dissimilatin is th cmplt lss f n sund bcaus f its prximity t anthr similar sund. A frqunt xampl in prsnt-day standard nglish is th missin f n f tw [r] sunds frm wrds lik cat(r)pillar, Cant(r)bury, rs(r)vir, trrst(r)ial, suth(r)nr, barbitu(r)at, gv(r)nr, and su(r)prisd[11, 105p.].

3.3 lisin: Sunds Ar mittd

Th sntnc usd as an xampl f assimilatin (What's yur nam?) als xmplifis anthr kind f sund chang: lss f sunds (lisin) du t lack f strss.

Th vrb is usually has n strss and thus ftn cntracts with a prcding wrd by th lisin f its vwl. A sund mittd by lisin is said t b lidd.

An initial unstrssd vwl is als lst whn abut is prnuncd 'but in a prcss knwn as aphsis. It is a spcializd varity f a mr gnral prcss, aphrsis, which is th lss f any sunds (nt just an unstrssd vwl) frm th bginning f a wrd, as in th prnunciatin f almst in 'Mst vrybdy knws that. Lss f sunds frm th nd f a wrd is knwn as apcp, as in th prnunciatin f child as chil. A cmmn typ f lisin in prsnt-day nglish is syncp--lss f a wakly strssd syllabl frm th middl f a wrd, as in th prnunciatin f family as fam'ly. Indd, many wrds sund artificial whn thy ar givn a full, unsyncpatd prnunciatin. Lik assimilatin, syncp is a nrmal prcss. Intrusin: Sunds Ar Addd

Th ppsit f lisin is th intrusin f sunds. An intrusiv [?] smtims pps up btwn cnsnants--fr instanc, btwn [l] and [m] in lm r film, btwn [n] and [r] in Hnry, btwn [r] and [m] in alarm (as in th archaic variant alarum), btwn [s] and [m] in Smyrna (in th usual lcal prnunciatin f Nw Smyrna Bach, Flrida), btwn [] and th scnd [r] in arthritis, and btwn [] and [l] in athlt. A trm fr this phnmnn is svarabhakti (frm Sanskrit), and such a vwl is calld a svarabhakti vwl. If, hwvr, yu d nt car t us s flambyant a wrd, yu can always fall back n pnthsis (pnthtic) r anaptyxis (anaptyctic). Prhaps it is just as wll t call it an intrusiv schwa.

Cnsnants may als b intrusiv. A [p] may b insrtd in warmth, s that it sunds as if splld warmpth; a [t] may b insrtd in sns, s it is hmphnus with cnts; and a [k] may b insrtd in lngth, s that it sunds as if splld lnkth.

Ths thr wrds nd in a nasal [m, n, ?] plus a viclss fricativ [, s]; btwn th nasal and th fricativ, many spakrs intrud a stp [p, t, k] that is viclss lik th fricativ but has th sam plac f articulatin as th nasal. That is, th stp is hmrganic in plac with th nasal and in vicing with th fricativ. Thr is a simpl physilgical xplanatin fr such intrusin. T mv dirctly frm nasal t viclss fricativ, it is ncssary simultanusly t rlas th ral stppag and t cas th vibratin f vcal crds. If ths tw vcal activitis ar nt prfctly synchrnizd, th ffct will b t crat a nw sund btwn th tw riginal ns. In ths xampls, th vcal vibratin cass an instant bfr th stppag is rlasd, and cnsquntly a viclss stp is cratd.

3.4 Mtathsis: Sunds Ar Rrdrd

Th rdr f sunds can b rvrsd by a prcss calld mtathsis. Tax and task ar histrically dvlpmnts f a singl frm, with th [ks] (rprsntd in splling by x) mtathsizd in th scnd wrd t [sk]--tax, aftr all, is a task all f us must mt. In prsnt-day nglish, [r] frquntly mtathsizs with an unstrssd vwl; thus th initial [pr?] f prduc may bcm [p?r] and th ppsit rrdring can b hard in prfrm whn prnuncd [pr?f?rm]. Th tlvisin prsnality prah was riginally namd rpah, aftr n f th tw daughtrs-in-law f th Biblical Nami (Ruth 1.4), but th rp gt mtathsizd t pr, prducing th wll-knwn nam. Th mtathsis f a sund and a syllabl bundary in th wrd anthr lads t th rintrprtatin f riginal anthr as anthr, spcially in th xprssin a whl nthr thing.[12, 66p.].

4. Causes of sound change

Th caus f a sund chang is ftn unknwn. Tw f th majr changs alrady alludd t, namly th First Sund Shift and th Grat Vwl Shift, ar particularly mystrius. Varius causs hav bn suggstd--fr xampl, that whn ppl spaking diffrnt languags cm int cntact, n grup larns th thr's languag but ds s imprfctly, and thus carris vr nativ habits f prnunciatin int th nwly acquird languag. This xplanatin is knwn as th substratum r suprstratum thry (dpnding n whthr it is th languag f th dminant grup r that f th dminatd grup that is influncd).

A quit diffrnt srt f xplanatin is that languags tnd t dvlp a balancd sund systm - that is, t mak sunds as diffrnt frm n anthr as pssibl by distributing thm vnly in phnlgical spac. Thus, it is cmmn fr languags t hav tw frnt vwls [i, ] and thr back ns [u, , ?]. It wuld b vry strang if a languag had fiv frnt vwls and n back ns at all, bcaus such an unbalancd systm wuld mak pr us f its availabl rsurcs. If, fr sm rasn, a languag lss sm f its sunds - say, its high vwls - a prssur insid th systm may fill th gap by making mid vwls highr in thir articulatin.

thr changs, such as assimilatin, dissimilatin, lisin, and intrusin, ar ftn xplaind as incrasing th as f articulatin: sm sunds can b prnuncd tgthr mr smthly if thy ar alik, thrs if thy ar diffrnt.

lisin and assimilatin bth quickn th rat f spch, s talking at fast tmp (althugh mr than spd is implid by tmp) wuld ncurag bth ths prcsss. Intrusin can als hlp t mak articulatin asir. It and mtathsis may rsult frm ur brains wrking fastr than ur vcal rgans; cnsquntly th nrv impulss that dirct th mvmnt f ths rgans smtims gt ut f sync, rsulting in slips f th tngu.

In additin t such mchanical xplanatins, sm sund changs imply at last partial awarnss by th spakr. Rmdling chais lngu as chais lung bcaus n uss it fr lunging is flk tymlgy. Prnuncing cmptrllr (riginally a fancy, and mistakn, splling fr cntrllr) with intrnal [mptr] is a splling prnunciatin. Ths ar mattrs cnsidrd in mr dtail latr.

Hyprcrrctin rsults frm an ffrt t imprv n's spch n th basis f t littl infrmatin. Fr xampl, having bn tld that it is incrrct t drp yur g's as in talkin' and smthin', th arnst but ill-infrmd slf-imprvr has bn knwn t crrct chickn t chicking and Virgin Islands t Virging Islands.

Similarly, n imprssd with th lganc f a Bstnian r British prnunciatin f aunt and can't as smthing lik ahnt and cahnt may b misld int talking abut hw dgs pahnt, a prnunciatin f pant that will amus any prpr Bstnian r Britn. Spakrs hav a natural tndncy t gnraliz ruls--t apply thm in as many circumstancs as pssibl--s in larning a nw rul; w must als larn th limitatins n its us. Anthr xampl f such vrgnralizatin is th fricativ []. Althugh it is th mst rcnt and rarst f nglish cnsnants, it sms t hav acquird assciatins f xtic lganc and is nw ftn usd in wrds whr it ds nt blng histrically--fr xampl, in rajah, cashmr, and kshr.

As spakrs us th languag, thy ftn chang it, whthr uncnsciusly r dlibratly. Ths changs bcm fr th nxt gnratin just a part f th inhritd systm, availabl t us r again t chang. And s a languag varis vr tim and may, lik nglish, vntually bcm quit diffrnt frm its arlir systm[13, 75p.].

5. The phoneme

At th bginning f this chaptr, sm sunds wr calld th sam, and thrs diffrnt. Hwvr, what ar rgardd as th sam sunds vary frm languag t languag. In nglish, fr instanc, th vwl sund f sit and th vwl sund f sat ar distinctiv, and all nativ spakrs rgard thm as diffrnt. Many pairs f wrds, calld cntrastiv pairs, diffr slly in th distinctiv quality that ths sunds hav fr us: bit-bat, mill-mal, fist-fast, and lick-lak ar a fw such pairs. But in Spanish this diffrnc, s imprtant in nglish, is f n significanc at all; thr ar n such cntrastiv pairs, and hnc th tw vwls in qustin ar nt distinctiv Spanish sunds. Nativ spakrs f Spanish may hav difficulty haring th diffrnc btwn sat and sit--a diffrnc that is clar t nativ nglish spakrs.

What in any languag is rgardd as th sam sund is actually a class f similar sunds that mak up what is calld a phnm. A phnm is th smallst distinctiv unit f spch. It cnsists f a numbr f allphns, that is, similar sunds that ar nt distinctiv in that languag.

Spakrs f nglish rgard th tw sunds splld t in tn and stn as th sam.

Acustically, thy ar quit diffrnt. In tn th initial cnsnant has aspiratin [th]; that is, it is fllwd by a brath puff, which yu can clarly fl if yu hld yur hand bfr yur lips whil saying th wrd, whras in stn this aspiratin is lacking.

Ths tw diffrnt sunds bth blng t, r ar allphns f, th nglish t phnm.

In ths wrds, th allphns ccur in cmplmntary distributin: that is t say, ach has a diffrnt nvirnmnt. Th unaspiratd t ccurs nly aftr s, a psitin that th aspiratd sund nvr ccupis, s thr is n vrlapping f th tw allphns.


  • Vowels and current English. Kinds of sound change. Early modern English pronunciation and spelling. Causes of sound change. Spelling: particular words. Pronunciation change and the great vowel shift. Some interpretation of the great vowel shift.

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