Assimilation: the Process of Altering Sounds to Become Similar or Identical

Topics: English language, International Phonetic Alphabet, Vowel Pages: 5 (1254 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Assimilation This process alters sounds so that they becomes similar (partial assimilation) or identical (total assimilation) to a neighboring or nearby sound. There are different types of assimilation: regressive/ anticipatory, progressive and reciprocal. * regressive/ anticipatory: articulation of the following sound will be anticipated. In most cases assimilation is regressive * progressive: articulation of a sound continues in the next sound, which means it will be maintained. Progressive assimilation is rare. * reciprocal: two sounds that produces a third one. (Example: don’t yo

Assimilation This is the influence of one sound on another to become more like itself. For a full and exhaustive description of this phenomenon have a look at the excellent Wikipedia page. To illustrate, how would your pronounce the following?

1. /t/ in that man  →  /ðæpmæn/
2. /n/ in ten girls  →  /temgɜ:lz/
3. /s/ in this shop  →  /ðɪʃɒp/
At the end of a syllable, sounds made on the ridge just behind the teeth are affected by sounds produced with the lips . In technical speak: the alveolar consonants (/t/, /d/ and /n/) become bilabial (/p/, /b/ and /m/). Other examples

ground plan /graʊm plæn/
action planning /ækʃəmplænɪŋ/
brown bear /baʊmbeə/
Common Market /kɒməmɑ:kɪt/
bus shelter /bʊʃeltə/
Voicing can also be affected when the voiced consonant /v/ can become its unvoiced equivalent /f/ when followed by the unvoiced /t/. have to go /hæftəgəʊ/
The plosive /d/ and /j/ can coalesce (i.e. fuse) becoming less much less plosive. In fact it becomes the affricate /dʒ/. how d’you do? /haʊʤədu:/
Similarly, the plosive /t/ and semi-vowel /j/ can coalesce to become the affricate /tʃ/ … don’t y’know /dəʊnʧəkəʊ/
Elision : Sounds disappear completely in this process. Usually the vowels from unstressed syllables are elided first. Examples:
Common sound deletions
- int(e)rest, sim(i)lar, lib(a)ry, diff(e)rent, t(o)night.
/ t / and / d / = consonants often elided
- chris(t)mas, san(d)wich
/ h /= this sound is often left out
- you shouldn´t (h)ave
Phrasal verbs can show how we link closing consonants and beginning vowels across word boundaries, e.g. Get out ( getout ), Come out ( cumout )

Elision Elision is the complete disappearance of one or more sounds in a word or phrase, making the word or phrase easier for the speaker to pronounce. One of the most common elisions in spoken English is /t/ and /d/. next please /nekspli:z/

I don’t know /aɪdəʊnəʊ/
post the letter /pəʊsðəletə/
old man /əʊlmæn/
you and me /ju:nmi:/
stand there /stænðeə/
Try to say the above word pairs without eliding the /t/ or /d/ respectively. How natural or unnatural do they sound? Apostrophes that mark missing parts of words are signalling elision. Examples include can’t for cannot

he’s for he is
Sometimes sounds are totally omitted:
comfortable /ˈkʌɱfətəbəl/ or /ˈkʌɱftəbəl/?
fifth /ˈfɪfθ/ or /ˈfɪθ/?
temperature /ˈtempərətʃə/ or /ˈtempətʃə/ or even /ˈtemprətʃə/? Some native speakers would argue that they never elide their speech and might go on to state that elision is a sign of, at best, lazy speech, and at worst sloppy and or degenerate speech. Should you wish to challenge their view, ask them how they might prefer to pronounce without any elision: Worcester

Elision is the articulatory organs literally cutting corners in connected speech, mainly at word boundaries. Speakers who do not elide may sound over meticulous and overly-formal and it may not be possible for them to take advantage of the natural rhythm patterns and intonation that come with fluency. Liaison (a liaison is an intrusion)

Liaison refer to the insertion of a sound between two others. In English, the most common sounds that are most usually inserted, in English, between two words are: /r, j, w/ Here –r– and there;                get to –w– it;        happy –j– or sad Speakers of languages that don’t have these ‘semi-consonants’ will either not make the...
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