Speech & Language Therapy Information

Category Archives: Allophones 101

CONTENTS (Allophones 101)

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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 De-voicing of affricates De-voicing of approximants Velarization Dentalization Dentalization of plosives Dentalization of nasals Dentalization of approximants Labialization Velar Shifting Retraction Glottalization […]

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Summary of English allophones

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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. Table 14 summarizes the eight phonetic features discussed in this section that affect consonant allophones. Table 14. Categories of English consonant allophones.  

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Glottalization

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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 sounds, however, the glottis is opened and closed in rapid succession […]

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Retraction

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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 of /r/ tends to pull the tongue-tip (apical) consonants backwards towards […]

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Velar Shifting

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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 of velar closure, i.e. the location at which the back of […]

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Labialization

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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/. In such a context, the /m/ may assimilate the same […]

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Dentalization

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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 eighth /eɪtθ/. In this instance, the tongue is […]

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Velarization

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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 words such as look /lʊk/, silly /sɪlɪ/ and like /laɪk/. However, […]

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De-voicing

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De-voicing of plosives Consider how the voiced bilabial plosive /b/ is articulated in the word ball /bɔl/. You will probably need to say it aloud to both hear and feel the effect. Now try saying aloud the word nib /nɪb/, again focusing on the phoneme /b/. Do they sound the same? For most speakers, the […]

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Allophonic Variation in Consonants

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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

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