By Marc Picard

ISBN-10: 9027223238

ISBN-13: 9789027223234

This textbook is designed to fill easy wishes. One is for a transparent and simple presentation of the rudiments of articulatory phonetics that's geared in particular to the necessities of the (future) language instructor, and never completely to the coed of linguistics, and during which the elemental strategies and terminology are brought through English in preference to numerous languages. a fair better desire, probably, and person who has long gone unfulfilled for too lengthy, is for an easy yet quite whole evaluation of the phonetic stock of North American French.

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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Comparative Phonetics of English and French in North America

Example text

In other terms, the strictures represented in this figure are characteristic of a (bi)labial stop, an alveolar stop and a velar stop respectively. The initial segments /p/ and /b/ in words like po/bore are bilabial stops, initial /t/ and /d/ in tore/door are alveolar stops, and initial /k/ and Igl in core/gore are velar stops. In each of these three pairs of consonants, the first member is voiceless and the second member is voiced; that is the one and only differ­ ence between them. Table 4. 2 Instead of bottling up the airstream and then releasing it all of a sud­ den, it is possible to produce consonants by simply placing the articulators in close proximity of one another.

Catni[p°], shar[k°], doughnu[t°], applecar[t°]. Note, however, that unreleased stops are more or less optional in this position, and that whereas [t°] is very common, [p°] is less so and [k°] is downright rare. Each of these abstract sound units or phonemes /p t k/, then, has three positional variants or allophones in English, to wit: As we have just seen, these allophones are in complementary distribu­ tion since it is entirely predictable in what environment(s) each one can be found. Without going over all the details, we can state as a general rule that aspirated stops always appear in the onset of a syllable, especially if it is stressed, while unreleased stops are always found in the coda, which is the weakest part of the syllable.

Whenever these types of significantly contrastive segments are mis­ pronounced by non-native speakers, they are bound to be detrimental to smooth communication. In English, failure to discriminate between /l/ and /i/ and /I/ or /s/ and /š/ by speakers who do not have these contrasts in their native language will yield, for example, lice for rice, leave for live and mess for mesh. Any sound, then, that has this kind of meaning-determining status in a language is called a phoneme. Phonemes are the mental or psychological representations that speak­ ers have of the actual speech sounds or phones they utter.

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An Introduction to the Comparative Phonetics of English and French in North America by Marc Picard


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