An Introduction to English Phonology by April McMahon

By April McMahon

This can be a brief, vigorous, and available advent to the sounds of contemporary English. Its emphasis on edition, with examples from British, American, New Zealand, and Singaporean English, make it compatible for either local and non-native audio system. McMahon specializes in the vowels and consonants, but in addition discusses syllables, pressure, and the phonology of phrases and words. She introduces new instruments and terminology steadily, and discusses the incentive for key concepts.

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In (9), this always involves changing the place of articulation. Any feature which is not explicitly mentioned in the middle section of the statement is taken to be unchanged; so in the first rule, the consonant involved stays [+nasal, – dental, – velar], but changes its values for [±alveolar] and [±labial]. The rest of the statement following the environment bar / (which can be paraphrased as ‘in the following environment’) specifies the context where this particular realisation appears. In (9), the environment always involves a following sound with a particular place of articulation: the line signals where the input fits into the sequence.

The affricates are generally described as [+delayed release], while other stops are [– delayed release]. Despite these advances in dealing with manner of articulations, there remain problems with place. Recall that, if all places of articulation are stated independently, a consonant which is [+alveolar] will also have to be listed as [– labial], [– dental], [– palatal], [– velar], and so on. To illustrate this problem, consider the different phonetic shapes of the prefix un- in (8). (8) unarmed unpleasant unfavourable unthinkable unstable uncomplicated [n] [m] [ ] [n] [n] [ŋ] The prefix consonant is always nasal, but its place of articulation alters depending on the following segment.

How do the consonants at the end of the words in List A differ from those at the end of the words in List B? List A List B (a) ham top sin lock sing rot If you say [sŋ ], ignore the final [ ] for this exercise. (b) place lose half lake beg dot (c) dogs hall film cold rough cats catch help 02 pages 1-150 18/10/01 1:14 pm Page 35 DESCRIBING ENGLISH CONSONANTS 35 4. Transcribe the words below. Then write as full a description as you can of all the consonants in each word, in your accent. For instance, in doze [d] is a pulmonic egressive central voiced alveolar stop; [z] is a pulmonic egressive central voiced alveolar fricative.

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