Phonetics and Phonology

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REPÚBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA

UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGÓGICA EXPERIMENTAL LIBERTADOR

INSTITUTO PEDAGÓGICO DE CARACAS

CÁTEDRA DE FONÉTICA Y FONOLOGÍA

ASIGNATURA: FONÉTICA Y FONOLOGÍA II

AN ANALYSIS OF A SPEECH SAMPLE

IN WHICH UNDERLIE A VARIETY OF ENGLISH VOWEL SOUNDS

Authors:

Aymara Villasmil

Daniel Rodríguez

CARACAS, FEBRERO DE 2011

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the years, a variety of famous linguists have made an attempt to define the difficult question of what language is. For instance, Halliday (1973) affirms that language is an instrument of communication among members of a social group. In relation to this, Gimson (1962) states that a language is a system of conventional signals used for a communication by a whole community. On the other hand, Whitman (1975) when trying to describe the concept of language establishes a particular connection between the use of language and the mental processes speaker experiences. He states that language, far from being independent of the mind, was so inextricably tied to the mind that the study of language was virtually the study of human mind.

These different assumptions of what language is impel us, as future EFL teachers, to recognize the enormous responsibility teaching English as a foreign language involves. Due to the fact that we will necessarily have to handle several definitions of what language is and its components (syntax, grammar, phonetics and phonology, semantics,…) in order to help students realize the variety of elements they use when communicating with others.

For instance, when teaching our students a language level such as phonetics and phonology, which primary involves pronunciation we have to make them aware that it is not only a matter of pronouncing sounds in isolation, but that these sounds are part of a communicative system the use in daily life. In relation to this, Strickland ( U.D ) states that learning a language, whether it is the mother tongue or a foreign one, is learning a system of sounds and their arrangements in words and patterns of organization together with the concepts the words and patterns represent.

The following written work has as a primary proposal, the analysis of a speech sample recorded from a beginner speaker of English language who read a four - paragraph newspaper article in which the following vocalic sounds were immersed: mid - low back /ɒ/, low front /æ/ , mid -high back / /, mid - high front /ɪ / .

Through the record we will be analyzing the substitution the speaker made or not of any of the four vocalic sounds mentioned before. We will be explaining why the speaker made that substitution, which factors influenced in the substitution and finally, we will be giving a variety of suggestions / recommendations for the appropriated production of vowel sounds of English and the rest of the inventory sounds.

General Objective

➢ To explain the transference the speaker makes when pronouncing the English vowels which do not belong / exist to Spanish inventory sounds.

Specific Objectives

➢ To demonstrate the articulatory features that influence the speaker when pronouncing English vowel sounds.

➢ To establish different factors that affect the Speaker when pronouncing English vowels.

➢ To provide students accurate and useful pronunciation techniques that will make them improve their pronunciation of English.

ONE of the few surprises at the Golden Globes two weeks ago — you’ll be forgiven if you’ve already forgotten about that odd little broadcast — was the award given to “Carlos,” the French director Olivier Assayas’s five-hour-plus reconstruction of the life and career of the notorious terrorist of the 1970s and ’80s Carlos the Jackal. The award represented a high point of cosmopolitanism at a predictably parochial...
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