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Thread: Phonetics

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    #21

    Re: Phonetics

    Thats ok. Thanks for your reply.
    I have another question. There is no /ae/ sound in my native tongue so when a native says CAT I hear a varinat of /e/ or /a/ - as in CUT (sorry, its not IPA). I think that the American speaker inclines to /e/ while the RP speaker to /a/, is it right?
    But then, I sometimes hear the inclination to /e/ or /a/ in words like ANT and e.g. LATCH even though both are said by an RP speaker.
    THANKS

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    #22

    Re: Phonetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    I think that the American speaker inclines to /e/ while the RP speaker to /a/, is it right?

    But then, I sometimes hear the inclination to /e/ or /a/ in words like ANT and e.g. LATCH even though both are said by an RP speaker.
    THANKS
    // is between /a/ and /e/, and I agree that in British English it sounds closer to /a/ whereas in American to /e/.

    However, in both dialects it often sounds closer to /a/ before /l/, in words ending with "-ality" like reality, personality etc. because the /l/ "colors" the preceding vowel (this can also be seen with other vowels in American English, like /ɑ/ or /ʌ/ becoming closer to /ɒ/).

    Additionally in American English // often becomes /eə/ before /n/ and /m/ in words like pan, dam etc.(and in some dialects is always /eə/), and can even become /eɪ/ before /ŋ/ in words like thanks, bank etc.

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    #23

    Re: Phonetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    There is no /ae/ sound in my native tongue so when a native says CAT I hear a variant of /e/ or /a/ - as in CUT (sorry, its not IPA). I think that the American speaker inclines to /e/ while the RP speaker to /a/, is it right?
    What we think we hear is interesting. I live in Prague, in Stranice. When Czechs speak about my part of town, I 'hear' the underlined vowel as English //, even though I know it is not.

    You are right about American and RP versions, generally speaking (there are, of course, many different dialects in both AmE and BrE). In BrE, //has become more open in recent years, moving away from /e/ towards /a/ (a/ being closer to the sound of cart than that of cut). AmE // is closer to /e/.

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    #24

    Re: Phonetics

    Thank you both!
    In a word like CASTS do I have to touch the alveolar ridge (or is it hard palate?) with my tongue to pronounce the T sound or is it enough to approach it?
    Thanks!

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    #25

    Re: Phonetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    In a word like CASTS do I have to touch the alveolar ridge (or is it hard palate?) with my tongue to pronounce the T sound or is it enough to approach it?
    Many speakers would touch the alveolar ridge with the tongue, and there would clearly be three phonemes, /sts/, in careful speech. In normal conversation I think that the tongue hardly moves from the /s/ position, and /t/ is not actually produced.

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    #26

    Re: Phonetics

    HI,
    Ive read somewhere on the Net that, in order to distinguish between NIGHT RATE and NITRITE, the following applies:
    In the first case T is not aspirated (the glottal stop follows it, I suppose) and R is fully voiced
    In the second case T is aspirated and so R is partly devocalized.
    Do I have to stick to this or is it also possible to pronounce NIGHT RATE in the same way as NIGHTRATE?
    Thanks

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    #27

    Re: Phonetics

    If you pronounced them in the same way, it might sound a little strange. A scientific analysis, with the help of sensitive recorders, would show 'differences in the length of vowel sounds, variations in degree of syllable stress, differently timed articulation' as well as the allophonic differences you mention.

    Kelly, Gerald (2000) How to Teach Pronunciation,Harlow: Longman.

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