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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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Summary of English allophones

English allophones summary Allophones of vowels Table 13 summarizes the three phonetic features affecting allophones of vowels that have been discussed in this section. Table 13. Categories of English vowel allophones. Allophones of consonants Table 14 summarizes the eight phonetic features discussed in this section that affect…

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Glottalization

Glottalization – consonants We know that during the production of voiceless sounds the glottis is open: the vocal folds are held gently apart (abducted) and are relaxed (see Making Speech Sounds). This is also the state of the glottis for restful breathing. During the production of voiced…

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Retraction

Retraction – consonants We have seen (Velar shifting) how the velar plosives /k/ and /g/ are retracted when they appear before a back vowel. An analogous retraction affects the sounds /t d n l/ when they occur before the alveolar approximant /r/. The relatively low tongue posture…

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Velar Shifting

Velar shifting – consonants Consider the articulation of the voiceless velar plosive /k/ in the following sequence of words. keyed – curd – cooed /kid/ – /kɜd/ – /kud/ Say the sequence out aloud a few times to gain a feeling for what is happening at the point…

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Labialization

Labialization – consonants Whenever the bilabial nasal /m/ or the alveolar nasal /n/ appears before a labiodental fricative /f, v/ they are prone to assimilating the labiodental place of articulation. Consider the following. comfy /kʌmfɪ/ → [kʰʌ̃ɱfɪ] Here, the bilabial nasal /m/ immediately precedes the labiodental fricative /f/.

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Dentalization

Dentalization of plosives We have seen (see Plosives) how the plosive sound /t/ is articulated with the tongue tip contacting the alveolar ridge, i.e. it is an alveolar plosive. Whilst this is the predominant place of articulation, consider the placement of the tongue tip in the word…

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Velarization

Velarization – consonants We have noted elsewhere (see Approximants) that the lateral /l/ is formed by the tongue tip creating a complete closure at the alveolar ridge and the air stream being allowed to escape over the sides of the tongue laterally. This particular configuration appears in…

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