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1 DIPHTHONGS English Phonetics and Phonology Lesson 5A

1 DIPHTHONGS English Phonetics and Phonology Lesson 5A

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1 DIPHTHONGS English Phonetics and Phonology Lesson 5A Slide 2 2 2 AVVISI Nostra lezone di Lunedi 10-12 spostata nellaula T12A Gruppo 1C (avanzato) corso First Certificate Martedi 16-18 T34 McGowan Slide 3 3 DIPHTHONGS feargohouseIpainpeartourtoy hereknowhowmyplaytherepourvoice beerhomedowneithercavewherechoice hearboneloudeyereignair clearsewsighmadeheir dearcrowthaimaidwear Donttieobey foampay foe Slide 4 4 TRIPHTHONGS /ei/ + schwa /ai /+ schwa /au/ + schwa /oi/ + schwa schwa + /u/ + schwa playerfirehourroyallower liarpower Slide 5 5 Minimal pairs Beware of heard a dreadful word that looks like beard and sounds like bird Slide 6 6 While the position of the tongue is more or less stable for a pure vowel Slide 7 7 a diphthong is characterised by a graceful movement from one point to another, for this reason they are also sometimes known as glides. Slide 8 8 This is also visible on a spectrogram: this is the pure vowel /a/ Slide 9 9 and this is the diphthong / ai /. Notice how the formants (the dark bands) seperate towards the end. Slide 10 10 English diphthongs may cause Italian speakers difficulty for two main reasons: Italian has four diphthongs (I think!) while English has eight. All the Italian diphthongs have equivalents in English which are not the same but which are reasonably similar Nowhere is the English spelling system more bizarre than in its representation of diphthongs Slide 11 11 If one has a clear idea of where pure vowels are articulated on the quadrilateral then interpreting the diphthong symbols is not difficult. Slide 12 12 Technically, English diphthongs are divided into two groups: Closing diphthongs which tend to move from an open to a close position, these roughly correspond to Italian sounds Centring diphthongs which tend towards a central position Slide 13 13 First we will look at the closing group Slide 14 14 the pay, made, maid, reign, obey, sound: Slide 15 15 Then we have the I, my, tie, sigh, either, eye, Thai, sound: Slide 16 16 Then there is boy, choice: Slide 17 17 Then down, loud: Slide 18 18 To end the closing group, the most common diphthong in English, that of no, know,bone, foam, sew, though, dont, foe, crow: Slide 19 19 To start with the centring group, we have the most common, that of clear, deer, here, wier: Slide 20 20 Then air, where, wear, care, heir: Slide 21 21 Finally, there is a diphthong which is quite rare - tour, poor: Slide 22 22 Pronunciation change Poor used to be pronounced like puer in Latin (and still is in some regions, e.g. Scotland). Now it tends to be pronounced as a long vowel (like door and more) Is there a difference between the pronunciation of poor and paw (zampa) ? Slide 23 23 Finally: Diphthongs are the element in a language which are most liable to change. The majority of the characteristics of a given accent are usually to be found in this area, so understanding of the underlying mechanics is vital if one wants to understand accents and accent change.