Wednesday 30 November 2011

COMMUNICATION. Linking consonants to vowels

Not understanding can be  a good reason to disconnect, both in daily communication and in life.

The clues in the gap- fill exercise for this song, Communication by the Cardigans, can help you  recognise linking features of connecting consonants to vowels and identify flap or tap t, /ɾ/, in order to understand  speech better, so that you don't have to disconnect!
  • In General American, International English and colloquial British English/t/ can be pronounced as the so-called flap or tap t, /ɾ/which sounds like a short d or, more precisely, like the quick, hard r sound heard  in Spanish pero. So letter  can be heard as /leɾə/.
    Within words/ɾ/ must be followed by a weak unstressed vowel, i.e.  /ə, i /. The /t/ is tapped    in átom  /ˈæɾəm/but not in atómic /əˈtɒmɪk/.

    In connected speech, across words, this stress-sensitivity ceases to exist, and  /t/ followed by any vowel undergoes this t- to- r process; not only do we find tapping in get alóng  /ˈɡeɾəˈlɒŋ/ , where the next vowel is unstressed, but in get úp /ˈgeɾʌp/ too.
    • Listen to the song and do the gap-fill exercise while listening. Click on the clue button to get a phonetic transcription of the missing letters. Be aware that in the gap you have to write the ending of a word, a space and the  next word or beginning of  it.

    1 comment:

    Eugenia DG said...

    I have often wondered how much of what we say in class gets through to our students...Looking at the enormous amount of good work you've been doing, I say to myself: when will they ever learn?

    Or is it that following suit only means trying to imitate the one closer to you? I wish all my students got caught in this passionate game, hunting for clues, becoming aware, little by little, of the beauty and the complexity of it all.