Friday, 28 October 2011

THE LOGICAL SONG FOR SYLLABIC CONSONANTS

This post is dedicated to all those Spanish State Teachers, colleagues of mine, who  are suffering the consequences of the regional governments  education cutbacks  in various Spanish Communities and to all those thousands of now unemployed teachers who have not been contracted by these regional governments in order to transfer the public money, thus saved,  to Private Education.  A tough situation for the teaching community  only sustainable thanks to the teachers' professionality and generosity. My  support  for their patience and excellence of their work in such difficult times.
  • The Logical Song by Supertramp, a British rock band with major hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s,  can serve as  food for thought this time on the subject of State Education. The song was inspired by the experience of Roger Hodgson, the singer and composer of this song, who was sent to a private boarding school as a boy.
  • Before listening to the song, read the quotations by Spanish poet Antonio Machado and philosopher and writer Miguel de Unamuno translated into English.
        "Regarding culture and knowledge, you only lose what you save; you only gain what you give" Antonio Machado.
        "True science teaches, above all, to doubt and to be ignorant". Miguel de Unamuno.
         This is also a perfect song to practise Syllabic Consonants,  a phonetic element that normally patterns as a consonant, but may fill a vowel slot in a syllable. A weak, unstressed syllable often has a schwa /ə / in it. But if the schwa is omitted, we are left with a syllabic consonant,  a syllable where the vowel and the consonant have merged into one.
        The syllabic consonants  n, l,  r, are phonetically represented  as  / /   / l̩/  /m̩/   /r̩ / 
        Here are some examples:
        button     /ˈbʌtn̩/
        widen    /ˈwaɪdn̩/
        able        /ˈeɪbl̩ /
        bottle      /ˈbɒtl̩ /
        blossom   /ˈblɒs

        Syllabic r occurs in words like
        history      /ˈhɪstr̩i/
        Hungary   /ˈhʌŋɡr̩i/ 


        • Listen to the song and do the gap-fill activity designed for intermediate and advanced  students. fill in the gaps using the "Clue" button, where the missing word is transcribed.


        • What's the song about? Can you find a connection  between the quotations and the song
        • Discuss the subject of Private vs State Education in your country.

        6 comments:

        mira que luna said...

        THANKS A LOT FOR SHARING THIS USEFUL AND WONDERFUL BLOG WITH US. I MISSED YOUR POSTS LAST COURSE.
        I LOVE THIS SONG AND IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO PRACTISE WITH IT NOW.
        I'M EX-STUDENT OF EMBAJADORES EOI. ALL MY SUPPORT AND SOLITARITY WITH THE SPANISH STATE TEACHERS.
        Carmen Martín

        Kraut said...

        Don't you think that /hæpm̩/ (happen) contains a syllabic /m/?

        Ana López Pozo said...

        Thanks for your comment Kraut and yes, I do think that (happen) undergoes assimilation of n into m, as it's preceded by a plosive and so there is syllabic consonant formation, a precondition sine qua non. I wanted to deal with that feature, progressive assimilation, at a later stage. My decision probably responds to a mentally stored form, but still, your comment encouraged me to add an example of syllabic consonant m̩ in this post, which, for my purpose, I chose (blossom).

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        Anonymous said...

        Many thanks for your support from one of the many "temp teachers"!
        Very good song and excellent exploitation