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Aspects of Connected Speech Dr. Marga Vinagre Department of English Studies UAM.

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1 Aspects of Connected Speech Dr. Marga Vinagre Department of English Studies UAM

2 Aspects of Connected Speech Weak Forms Elision Linking Assimilation Yod coalescence

3 Weak forms When we talk about weak forms in English phonetics this refers to a series of words which have one pronunciation (strong) when isolated, and another (weak) when not stressed within a phrase. e.g. a car v. I bought a car

4 Look at this sentence: I went to the hotel and booked a room for two nights for my father and his best friend.

5 What are the most important words? I went to the hotel and booked a room for two nights for my father and his best friend.

6 If we eliminate the other words can we still understand the message? went hotel booked room two nights father best friend.

7 a went tə ðə hə tel ən b kt ə ru:m fə tu: na ts fə ma f :ðər ən h z best frend ises/weak%20forms%20audio/introandpreps/weak_forms. htm ises/weak%20forms%20audio/introandpreps/weak_forms. htm

8 There is a tendency for vowels in unstressed syllables to shift towards the schwa (central position)

9 Almost all the words which can have both a strong and weak form belong to a category that can be called grammatical words (advs, preps, conjs, pronouns, etc) All these words are in certain circumstances pronounced in their strong forms, but are more frequently pronounced in their weak forms.

10 Rules of weak vs. strong form usage The strong form is used in the following cases: a)For many weak-forms when they occur at the end of a sentence: Im fond of chips ( ) Chips are what Im fond of ( )

11 b) When a weak-form is being contrasted with another word: The letters from him, not to him ( : ) A similar case is a co-ordinated use of prepositions: I travel to and from London a lot ( : ) A work of and about literature ( : )

12 c) When a weak-form is given stress for the purpose of emphasis: You must give me more money ( : ) d) When a weak-form is being cited or quoted: You shouldnt put and at the end of a sentence ( When weak-form words whose spelling begins with h (her, have) occur at the beginning of a sentence, the pronunciation is with initial h, even though this is omitted in other contexts.

13 Weak form are commonly used words Prepositions Auxiliary verbs Conjunctions Pronouns

14 Strong formWeak form Prepositions totu: for f from fr into of as at

15 Auxiliary verbs dodu: d are was w were would w could k should S d can k must m

16 Others n but b than that (as a relative) you (as object pronoun)ju: j (j ) your j her (as object pronoun) him h3:(r) h a a, an the i (before a vowel)


18 Practice weak forms 20and%20exercises/weak%20forms%20aud io/introandpreps/weak_forms_2.htm 20and%20exercises/weak%20forms%20aud io/introandpreps/weak_forms_2.htm

19 More weak forms Exercises on weak forms 1 nd%20exercises/index_of_exercises_on_weak_ forms.htmç

20 Exercises on Weak Forms 2 Transcribe the following sentences using phonetic symbols: 1. Give it to me! 2. It takes three hours to get from here to London. 3. Could you give me a light? 4. Whats that knife for? 5. The book that she bought was more expensive than mine. 6. They can walk to school tomorrow, theyre old enough. 7. Hes as good as his brother at playing cards; you should watch him some day. 8. These carrots are for my Granny. Shes really fond of boiled vegetables. 9. They were there in the corner, didnt you see them?

21 Weak Forms Exercise 2 - Key /g v t tə mi:/ / t te ks θri. a əz tə get frəm h ə tə l ndən/ /kəd jə g v mi ə la t/ /w ts ðət na f f :/ /ðə b k ðət i: b :t wəz m :r k spens v ðən ma n/ /ðe kən w :k tə sku:l tə m rə ðe ər ə ld n f/ /hi:z əz g d əz z br ðər ət ple j ŋ k :dz ju əd w :t m səm de / /ði:z kærəts ə fə ma græn i:z r əli f nd əv b ld ved təb(ə)lz/ /ðe wə ðeər n ðə k :nə d dnt ju si: ðəm/

22 Elision Elision is very simply the omission of certain sounds in certain contexts. Under certain circumstances certain sounds disappear (a phoneme may be realized as zero or have a zero realisation) The most important occurrences of this phenomenon regard: 1. Alveolar consonants /t/ and /d/ when sandwiched between two consonants (CONS – t/d – CONS), e.g. The next day…. / The last car… :sk :/ Hold the dog! g/ Send Frank a card. /senfr :d/

23 consonant + affricate elision 2. This can also take place within affricates /t S / and /d Z / when preceded by a consonant, e.g. lunchtime /l ntStaim/ /l nStaim/ strange days /streIndZ deIz/ /streInZ deIz/

24 Elision of not The phoneme /t/ is a fundamental part of the negative particle not, the possibility of it being elided makes the foreign students life more difficult. Consider the negative of can – if followed by a consonant the /t/ may easily disappear and the only difference between the positive and the negative is a different, longer vowel sound in the second: + I can speak…. /ai spi:k/ - I cant speak…/ ai ka:nspi:k/

25 Elisions: Other cases a) Loss of weak vowel after p, t, k ( h t, h :, h, h, h, where h indicates aspiration)

26 b)Weak vowel+n, l or r becomes syllabic consonant tnait, pli:s, krekt c)Avoidance of complex consonant clusters George the sixths throne : ( ) In clusters of three plosives or two plosives plus a fricative the middle plosive may disappear acts ( ) looked back ( ) scripts ( )

27 d) Loss of final v in of before consonant lots of them ( ) waste of money (w ) e) Contractions of grammatical words (are they elisions or not?) -Had, would: spelt d (pronounced d after vowels, d after consonants); -Is, has: spelt s (pronounced s after fortis consonants, z after lenis consonants) except that after,,,, is is pronounced and has is pronounced in contracted form.

28 f) Will: spelt ll, pronounced l (after vowels), l (after consonants) g)Have: spelt ve, pronounced v (after vowels) and (after consonants) h)Not: spelt nt, pronounced nt (after vowels) nt (after consonants) There are also vowel changes associated with nt can ( ) cant ( : ) do ( :) dont ( ) g)Are: spelt re, pronounced after vowels usually with some change in the preceding vowel, e.g. you ( :) youre ( ) we ( :) were ( ) they ( ) theyre ( )

29 Linking In real speech we tend to link words together. The most familiar case in the use of the linking r: - here [ ] but here are [ ] - Four [ :] but four eggs [ : ] Many RP speakers use r in a similar way when thereis no justification from the spelling intrusive r (considered substandard by many): - Formula A [ : ] - Media event [ : ]

30 Other examples of linking r: - far off, four aces, answer it, fur inside, near it, wear out, secure everything Other examples of intrusive r: - Russia and China, drama and music, idea of, India and Pakistan, area of agreement, law and order, awe-inspiring, raw onion.

31 Smoothing & Compression (John Wells on tripthongs) Smoothing means the loss of the second part of the strong vowel (diphthong). Compression means the squashing of the two syllables into one syllable. Both of these processes are optional (or stylistically determined).

32 Hence given the disyllabic starting point pa.ə power, we can smooth it to disyllabic pa.ə. We can then compress the result to give monosyllabic paə. (This may be subject to the further process of Monophthonging, giving pa:.) Similarly, ə. ŋ going can be smoothed to ə. ŋ and then compressed to ə ŋ. If my definition of triphthong holds, then a triphthong would be generated only if we apply Compression without first applying Smoothing..

33 Assimilation (the cases most often described affect consonants) Assimilation can be: of place of articulation of manner of articulation of voicing

34 Assimilation of Place The most common form involves the movement of place of articulation of the alveolar stops /t/, /d/ and /n/ to a position closer to that of the following sound. For instance, in the phrase ten cars, the /n/ will usually be articulated in a velar position, /teN ka:z/ so that the tongue will be ready to produce the following velar sound /k/. Similarly, in ten boys the /n/ will be produced in a bilabial position, /tem b oIz / to prepare for the articulation of the bilabial /b/.

35 BEFORE A VELAR (/k/, /g/) /n/ Before velar /N//N/ = /b Nk/ /d/ Before velar /g/ e.g.good girl = / g g g3:l / /t/ Before velar /k/ e.g. that kid = / k kid/ quite good / /

36 BEFORE A BILABIAL (/m/, /b/, /p/) /n/ Before bilabial /m//m/ e.g. ten men /tem men/ /d/ Before bilabial /b//b/ e.g. bad boys /b b b z/ /t/ Before bilabial /p/ e.g. hot mushrooms / h p m Sru:mz/ light blue / :/

37 Assimilation of Manner Its much less noticiable and is only found in the most rapid and casual speech. For example, its possible to find cases where a final plosive becomes a fricative or a nasal that side [ ], good night [ ]

38 Assimilation of Voicing The vibration of the vocal folds is not something that can be switched on and off very swiftly and, as a result, groups of consonants tend to be either all voiced or all voiceless. Consider the different endings of dogs / d gz / and cats / k ts /, of the past forms of the regular verbs such as kissed / k st / and sneezed /sni:zd/.

39 The assimilation of voicing can radically change the sound of several common constructions: have to has to /hav tu:/ /haz tu:/ e.g. I have to go! /a used to /ju:zd tu:/ e.g. I used to live near you. /

40 Yod coalescence Yod is the name of the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet – it stands for the vowel /i/ or the semi- vowel /j/. In English phonetics Yod coalescence is a form of assimilation – it is a phenomenon which takes place when /j/ is preceded by certain consonants most commonly /t/ and /d/:

41 The fact that two extremely recurrent words in English, you and your, start with /j/ means that understanding of this simple mechanism is vital to the understanding of spoken English. Do you and also did you are often pronounced as Do you live here? / l v / Did you live here? / (d l v /

42 /d/ + /j/ = /dZ/ could you help me? / k dZu:helpmi:/ would yours work? /w dZ :zw3:k/ she had university exams /Si:h dZu:nIv :sI tigz mz

43 /t/ + /j/ = /tS/ …but use your head! hed/ what you need…. /w tSu:ni:d/ the ball that you brought : t/ last year…. /l

44 Yod coalescence is common in colloquial speech and is becoming ever more so. Note that it can occur: - between word boundaries (as above examples) - within words e.g. tube /tju:b/ = / tSu:b/

45 Exercise. Identify places where yod coalescence may occur in the following phrases: What you need is a good job! You told me that you had your homework done. She didnt go to France that year. Could you open the window please? Youve already had yours!

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