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Unstressed Syllables, Schwa and Syllabic Consonants.

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Presentation on theme: "Unstressed Syllables, Schwa and Syllabic Consonants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unstressed Syllables, Schwa and Syllabic Consonants

2 Unstressed Syllables Weak (reduced) vowel → shorter, weaker in energy and closer to schwa /ә/ in place of articulation Vowels of weak syllables: – Schwa /ә/ – /i/ (finally or before a vowel): happy, react – / ɪ / (before a consonant): panic, elect – /(j)u/ (before a vowel or before a a stressed syllable): intuition, regulate, united – /(j) ʊ / (before a consonant plus an unstressed syllable): stimulus, soluble – No vowel, just a syllabic sonorant /m n l r/: final, recent / ɪ / and / ʊ / may also function as full vowels

3 Unstressed Syllables Before the stressed syllable: never more than 2 weak syllables e.g. if the stressed syllable is the fourth syllable: justifi'cationhalluci'nation After the stressed syllable: may be 3 weak syllables (in words with certain endings) e.g.: candidacyimpenetrable harvest, biggest, family Weak vowels: often free variation

4 Schwa ammar/pron/sounds/vowel_short_5.shtml ammar/pron/sounds/vowel_short_5.shtml No prevocalic schwa in English Preconsonantal schwa – Often interchangable with /i/ (spelling: usually /i/ or /e/ not followed by r) – Word-initial schwa: a- or o- Word-final schwa – almost / ʌ /

5 Syllabic Consonants Schwa followed by a sonorant (/n, l/ and less frequently /m, ŋ, r/) → /ә/ often drops out → the sonorant becomes syllabic [l][n][r] Word-final pedal, quarrelbutton, dozen(not possible) Preconson.: bottled, penaltyhadn’t, certainly(rare:) literal [ -r l] Prevocalic crystallize, traveller listening, definition cigarette, cemetery

6 Syllabic Consonants Syllabic /l/: always dark Examples with syllabic [m]: prism, handsome Examples with syllabic [ŋ]: bacon, we can go Syllabic: acts as the “vowel” of the syllable Only occur in unstressed syllables How are syllabic consonants indicated in transcription?

7 Sources Baloghné Bérces Katalin, Szentgyörgyi Szilárd. Az angol nyelv kiejtése -The Pronunciation of English. Available from: Kreidler, Charles W. The Pronunciation of English: A Course Book in Phonology. Oxford; Cambridge: Blackwell, BBC Learning English webpage ammar/pron/sounds/vowel_short_5.shtml Nádasdy, Ádám. Practice Book in English Phonetics and Phonology. Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, 2003.


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