Nasal consonants /m/, /n/, /η/ • The basic characteristic of nasal consonants is that the air escapes through the nose. • The soft palate is lowered. The air cannot pass through the mouth, it is prevented by complete closure in the mouth at some point. • The three types of closure are • bilabial - m • alveolar - n • velar - η
m bilabial nasal consonant • The soft palate is lowered. The lips are slightly spread, pressed together forming a complete obstruction to the air stream through the oral cavity. The air passes through the nose. The vocal cords vibrate.
n alveolar nasal consonant • The soft palate is lowered, the tip of the tongue touches the alveolar ridge, forming a complete obstruction to the flow of air through the oral cavity. The air passes through the nose. The vocal cords are vibrating.
Comparison • Estonian n is a bit different. Slightly more of the blade of the tongue is pressed against the alveolar ridge name - nimi honey - hani
Avoid gemination ( doubling in pronunciation) palatalisation E.g. penny honey
η velar nasal consonant A closure is formed in the mouth between the back of the tongue andthevelumas for /k/ and /g/. The soft palate is lowered. The vocal cords vibrate.
There is a counterpart in Estonian. /η/occurs before a following g or k: vang, rong, vanker, ronk
When we find the letters nk, k is always pronounced e.g. think, bank /η/ is pronounced with the following plosive g if the word cannot be divided into two morphemes: verb + ending and not pronounced if the word can be divided into a verb + ending
e.g. finger - singer anger - hanger g is also pronounced after /η/ before suffixes -er and -est of comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives longer – the longest
Lateral consonant /l/ /l/ alveolar lateral consonant The soft palate is raised. The tip of the tongue is in light contact with the alveolar ridge while the sides of the tongue are lowered, forming rather wide passages. The air escapes along the sides of the tongue. The so called ‘clear’ /l/ is used before vowels and /j/ e.g. live, late, value
‘dark’ /l/ occurs before consonants and in word-final position e.g. help, almost, call In case of the clear /l/ the front part of the tongue is raised in the direction of the soft palate, in case of the dark /l/ the back part of the tongue is raised.
The devoiced /l/ followes stressed aspirated /p/, /k/ e.g. play, clay
Comparison In Estonian there is a non-palatalised lateral consonant /l/ (lamba)tall and a palatalised lateral consonant /l/ (hobuse)tall It enables to distinguish words otherwise alike - phonemic difference. In English the difference between dark and clear /l/ is not phonemic.
In Estonian it is the tip of the tongue as well as part of the front of the tongue that touches the alveoli. • In English there is less contact between the tongue and the alveoli • lipp - lip • lukk - lukk • lesk - less
The essential feature of the dark /l/ is the accompanying dark resonance due to the /ɒ/ quality of the sound in the words where the labial consonants precedes E.g. bubble, people, apple
Post alveolar approximant consonant /r/ • Considerable differences can be found in the pronunciation of /r/ in different accents of English • There is only one pronunciation that can be recommended to the learners of RP: post alveolar approximant • The articulators approach each other but do not get sufficiently close to each other to produce a complete consonant
The tip of the tongue approaches the alveolararea in approximately the way it would for a /t/ or /d/ but never actually makes contact with any part of the roof of the mouth at any time. The tongue is slightly curved backwards with the tip raised
/r/ is not always pronounced in RP It is pronounced if it is followed by a vowel E.g. red, arrive, hearing It is not pronounced at the end of words and when it is followed by a consonant E.g. car, ever, here, hard, verse
Many accents pronounce /r/ in final position and before a consonant ( American, Scottish, West of England) • Accents which have /r/ in final positions and before consonants are called rhotic • Accents in which /r/ only occurs before vowels are called non-rhotic
Linking and intrusive /r/ • When a word ending with the letter r is immediately followed by a word beginning with a vowel then /r/ is generally inserted in the pronunciation - linking /r/ • Sometimes the linking usage is extended to all /ə/, /ɑ:/, /ɔ:/ endings - intrusive /r/ E.g. drama and music law and order