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ALLOPHONES 101

Overview These themed introductory level articles entitled ALLOPHONES 101 are part of the Human Communication 101 series. The articles that constitute ALLOPHONES 101 clearly focus on allophones. These are variations in the way speech sounds (phonemes) are articulated in particular contexts, i.e. in particular positions in words, either when spoken on their own or as…

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CONTENTS (Allophones 101)

Contents OVERVIEW Underpinning knowledge Preparatory work WHAT IS AN ALLOPHONE? ALLOPHONIC VARIATION IN VOWELS Schwa Lowering Shortening Nasalization ALLOPHONIC VARIATION IN CONSONANTS Aspiration Aspiration of plosives De-voicing De-voicing of plosives De-voicing of fricatives…

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What is an Allophone?

Definition of allophone Just what is an allophone? Elsewhere we have defined a phoneme as a contrastive sound in the speech sound system of a particular world language (see ‘Phones and Phonemes’ in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). In essence, phonemes are speech sounds…

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Schwa Lowering

What is schwa lowering? We have seen elsewhere (Central Vowels) that one of the two central vowels of English frequently appears in unstressed syllables. This is the schwa vowel /ə/. We have also noted that this phoneme occupies a mid position, being articulated with the mouth open halfway…

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Shortening

Vowel shortening We have seen elsewhere (see Table 1 Simple Vowels Summary) that English monophthongs can be categorized according to duration. We noted that there are seven short vowels and five long vowels. To the group of long vowels we can also add all the diphthongs, as…

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Nasalization

Vowel nasalization Say the word art /ɑt/ aloud. Now contrast this by saying the word mart /mɑt/. Do you notice any difference in the quality of the /ɑ/ vowel? If you are uncertain, say the words aloud in quick succession: art – mart – art – mart… If…

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Allophonic Variation in Consonants

Allophonic variation – consonants In this subsection we describe and exemplify eight phonetic features that influence allophones of consonants: aspiration de-voicing velarization dentalization labialization velar shifting retraction glottalization NEXT>> Aspiration Share…

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