The influence of assimilatiom on the work of the vocal cords

When the two neighbouring sounds are affected by assimilation, it may influence: 1) the work of the vocal cords; 2) the active organ of speech; 3) the manner of noise production; 4) both: the place of articula­tion and the manner of noise production.

l)Assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cords is observed when one of the two adjacent consonants; becomes voiced under the influence of the neighbouring voiced consonant, or voiceless — under the influ­ence of the neighbouring voiceless consonant, for example, in the word gooseberry /s/ became voiced under the influence of the next voiced /b/ — regressive assimilation. In the combination what's this the voiced /z/ be­came voiceless under the influence of the preceding voiceless /t/ — pro­gressive assimilation.

In the process of speech the sonorants /m, n, 1, r; j, w/ are partly devoiced before a vowel, preceded by the voiceless consonant phonemes /s, p, t, k/, e. g. plate, slowly, twice, ay. In this case partial progressive assimilation affects the work of the vocal cords both in English and in Russian) compare the above examples with the Russian: пламя, сменa.This assimilation is not observed in the most careful styles of speech.


Articulatory and physiological classification of English consonants. Accord to the manner of noise production and the type of obstruction, position of the soft palate.

3. Трахтеров, Торсуев, Васильев and other phoneticians consider the principal of consonant classification according to the manner of noise production and the type of obstruction to be one of the most important.

First of all they suggest a classification according to the manner of noise production from the viewpoint of the closure (преграда). Complete (смычные) closure then occlusive (взрывные) [p,b,t,d,k,g] and nasal consonants [m,n, h]are produced, incomplete (щелевые) closure, then constrictive (фрикативные) consonants are produced:[f,v,ɵ,ð], [ф,в,с,з], the combination of the 2 closures, then affricates are produced [t∫, dЗ] [ц, ч], intermittent (прерывистый) closure then rolled (дрожащие) consonants are produced. Rus [р,р’]

a) according to the principal of voice or noise prevalence, rus. phoneticians suggest a subdivision of the group of occlusives (взрывные) and the group of constrictives (фрикативные) into noise sounds and sonorants. Noise occlusive sonorants are called nasals.

The group of the occlusive-constrictive consonants consists of noise sounds [t∫, dЗ] rus [ч,ц].

b) Rus phoneticians subdivide the rolled, oclussive, constrictive or clussive-constrictive consonants into unicentral and bicentral, according to the number of noise producing or foci.

c) According to the shape of the narrowing constrictive cons and affricates are subdivided into sounds with flat narrowing and round narrowing. The cons / f,v,ð,Ө,∫/ are pronounced with the flat narrowing; the cons / s,z, w, ц/ are pronounced with the round narrowing.

4. According to the position of the soft palate all cons are subdivided into oral and nasal. When the soft palate is raised and the air into the mouth cavity oral cons are produced /p,t.k,f,v/. When the soft palate is lowered and the air on its way out passes through the nasal cavity, nasal cons are produced /m,n ŋ/.     


Intonation. Rhythm and tempo. Pausation and tember.

Intonation is a complex unity of non-segmental features of speech: 1. melody, pitch of the voice; 2. sentence stress; 3. temporal characteristics (duration, tempo, pausation); 4. rhythm; 5. tamber.

Intonation organizes a sentence, determines com­municative types of sentences and clauses, divides sentences into intona­tion groups, gives prominence to words and phrases, expresses contrasts and attitudes.

The two main functions of intonation are: communicative and expressive.

There are two main approaches to the problem of intonation in Great Britain. One is known as a contour analysis and the other may be called grammatical.

The first is represented by a large group of phoneticians: H. Sweet, D. Jones, L. Armstrong, and others. According to this approach the smallest unit to which linguistic meaning can be attached is a sense-group. Their theory is based that intonation consists of basic functional "blocks".

Thе grammatical approach to the study of intonation was worked out by M. Halliday. The main unit of intonation is a clause. Intonation is a complex of three systemic variables: tonality, tonicity and tone, which are connected with grammatical categories. Tonality marks the begin­ning and the end of a tone-group. Tonicity marks the focal point of each tone-group. |Tones can be primary and secondary. They convey the attitude of the speaker. Halli­day's theory is based on the syntactical function of intonation.

The founder of the American school of intonation is K. Pike. In his book "The Intonation of American English" he considers "pitch pho­nemes" and "contours" to be the main units of intonation.

RHYTHM AND TEMPO. Rhythm is the regular alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables. It is so typical of an English phrase that the incorrect rhythm betrays the non-English origin of the speaker.

The units of the rhythmical structure of an utterance are stress groups or rhythmic groups. The perception of boundaries between rhythmic groups is associated with the stressed syllables or peaks of prominence.

Unstressed syllables have a tendency to cling to the preceding stressed syllables — enclitics, or to the following stressed syllables — proclitics. In English, as a rule, only initial unstressed syllables cling to the follow­ing stressed syllable, non-initial unstressed syllables are usually enclitics.

Each sense-group of the sentence is pronounced at approximately the same period of time, unstressed syllables are pronounced more rapidly. Proclitics are pronounced faster than enclitics.

Rhythm is connected with sentence stress. Under the influence of rhythm words which are normally pronounced with two equally strong stresses may lose one of them, or may have their word stress realized differently, e. g. ,Picca'dilly — ,Piccadilly 'Circus — 'close to ,Picca'dilly

PAUSATION AND TAMBER. The number and the length of pauses affect the general tempo of speech. A slower tempo makes the utterance more prominent and more important.

Pauses made between two sentences are longer than pauses between sense-groups and are marked by two parallel bars /||/. Pauses made between sense-groups are shorter /|/.

Pauses are usually divided into filled and unfilled, corresponding to voiced and silent pauses. Pauses are distinguished on the basis of rela­tive length: unit, double and treble. Their length is relative to the tempo and rhythmicality norms of an individual. Another subdivision of pauses is into breathing and hesitation.

Pauses show relations between utterances and intonation groups, performing a constitutive function.

Attitudinal function of pausation can be affected through voiced paus­es, which are used to signal hesitation, doubt, suspence. Such pauses have the quality of the central vowels /э, з:/ or /m, з:m /.

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