Terminology of Phonetics

Posted: June 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

Many students will not be familiar with the basic terminology of phonetics. Below is a list of term used in pronunciation. Pronunciation is important in speaking, because if your pronunciation good, your speaking will be good too.
Vowels : There are five vowels in English – a,e,i,o and u
Vowel Sounds : There are twelve vowel sounds in English represented by thePhonemic symbol.
Diphthongs : There are eight diphthongs in English. They are made from two vowel sounds put together. The first sound is loner than the second sound.
Schwa :This is the most common vowel sound in English. It is never stressed and is often found in weak form.
Consonants : The letters of the alphabet that are not vowels
Consonant sound : The sounds made by the letters above. In the phonemic alphabet there are these additional symbols and y are not phonemic symbols.
Weak and Strong : Many auxiliary verbs (like are,was,can, etc)prepositions (like at, for,to ,etc)pronouns and possesives (like you and your) have two different
pronunciations. In the strong form the vowel is fully pronounced. In the
weak form it is shortened so that we can say the word more quickly.
Word stress : The strongest syllable in a word is the syllable with the stress on it. All words have a stressed syllable when you say them individually, but we
don’t mark the stress in one syllable word.
Intonation : Intonation is the ‘music’ in the voice. It can go up (rising intonation) or down (falling intonation). Sometimes it does both(fall-rise) or (rise-fall).The main intonation always comes with the main stress in the sentence.

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