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A Guide To Better English Accent

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Учебное пособие предлагает студентам теоретический и практический учебный материал по практической фонетике английского языка. Пособие содержит комплекс заданий и упражнений для аудиторной и внеаудиторной работы.
Вертоградова, Л. А. A Guide To Better English Accent: Учебное пособие / Вертоградова Л.А., Абросимова Л.С. - Ростов-на-Дону:Издательство ЮФУ, 2016. - 137 с.: ISBN 978-5-9275-1970-5. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/989867 (дата обращения: 22.05.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
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МИНИСТЕРСТВО ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ И НАУКИ 
РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ 
Федеральное государственное  автономное образовательное  
учреждение высшего образования 
 «ЮЖНЫЙ ФЕДЕРАЛЬНЫЙ УНИВЕРСИТЕТ» 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Л. А. Вертоградова 
Л. С. Абросимова 
 
 
A GUIDE TO BETTER ENGLISH ACCENT 
 
 
УЧЕБНОЕ ПОСОБИЕ 
по практической фонетике 
английского языка 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rostov-on-Don 
2016 

УДК 811  
ББК 81.2 Англ.-1 
      В39  
 
 
 
Авторы: 
Вертоградова Л.А., кандидат филологических наук, доцент; 
Абросимова Л.С., кандидат филологических наук, доцент 
 
Ответственный редактор: 
Абросимова Л.С., кандидат филологических наук, доцент 
 
Рецензенты: 
Склярова Н.Г., доктор филологических наук, профессор 
кафедры теории и практики английского языка ЮФУ; 
Муругова Е.В., доктор филологических наук, профессор 
кафедры мировых языков и культур ДГТУ 
 
 
В39A  Guide to Better English Accent: учебное пособие по практической 
фонетике английского языка для  студентов, обучающихся по 
направлению «ЛИНГВИСТИКА» ;  Южный федеральный университет. 
– Ростов-на-Дону : Издательство Южного федерального университета, 
2016. –  137 с. 
 ISBN 978-5-9275-1970-5 
 
 
            Учебное пособие предлагает студентам теоретический и практический 
учебный материал по практической фонетике английского языка.   Пособие 
содержит комплекс заданий и упражнений для аудиторной и внеаудиторной 
работы. 
 
Публикуется в авторской редакции. 
 
 
ISBN 978-5-9275-1970-5                                                               
УДК 811 
ББК 81.2 Англ.-1 
 
© Вертоградова Л.А., Абросимова Л.С., 2016 
© Южный федеральный университет, 2016 
 

S E C T I O N   I 

 

S P E E C H   S O U N D S  

 
Symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet  

 

Vowels

short: 
I        in, lip, bit 

e        chest, rest, kettle 

x      bad. mad, marry 

A       bus, trust, luck 

P       not, wash, rod 

V       good, put, look 

q       above, under, teacher 

  long: 
J      key, leave, seat 

R    start, car, dark 

H    blue, new, cute 

E:    turn, girl, bird 

L    nor, core, lord 

diphthongs: 
eI    cake, day, late 

Vq    cure, fewer, newer 

OI    noise, point, boy 

Fq   care. there, wear  

aI    like, type, night 

Iq    here, near, career  

qV   no, go, low 

aV   loud, cow, now  

Consonants

p      pencil, clap,  
b      body, job 
t      top, bit 
d     desk, bed 
k      colour, pick 
g      go, big 
f      find, off 
v     village, survive 

T     thick, bath 

D      these, within 

s      sea, terrace 
z      zero, chase 

S      shop, nation 

Z      pleasure, television 

h      head, whole 
m     money, climb 
n      nod, know 

N      bank, sing 

C      chicken, pitch 

G     jungle, age  

l       line, fall 
r      right, wrong 
j       yes, year 
w     when, queen 

3 
 

ARTICULATORY PECULIARITIES OF ENGLISH  
 
VOWEL PHONEMES 
 

There are certain peculiarities in the system of English Vowel 
Phonemes to be observed by a student of English: 

1. There are 20 vowel phonemes in English and 6 in Russian.           

2. The English vowel phonemes include 12 monophthongs and 8 
diphthongs, whereas there are no diphthongs in Russian. 

3. According to length the English vowel phonemes are long and 
short, and this distinction lies on the phonological level while in 
Russian it is purely phonetic: e.g. sheep - ship -шип. 

4. All the English long vowels are tense and short ones are lax. 
Russian vowel phonemes are not differentiated according to their 
tenseness, but one and the same vowel is more tense in a stressed 
syllable than in an unstressed one. 

5. There are rounded vowel phonemes in both languages but they 
differ in the degree of lip rounding. The Russian vowel phonemes are 
pronounced with considerable lip-protrusion and rounding while in 
English   [V ], [  P ], [ u: ], [ L ] are pronounced with lips slightly 
protruded. 

6. The English vowels differ from the Russian vowels also in the 
character of their end. All the Russian vowels are free, whereas some 
of the English vowels are free and others are checked.                                

7. According to the horizontal movement of the tongue English 
vowels are divided into 5 groups: front, front-retracted, central, 
back and back-advanced. The Russian language has neither frontretracted [ I ], nor back-advanced [ R ], [ V ]. 

8. According to the vertical movement of the tongue there are 6 
positions in English, whereas in Russian there are only three: in 
English there are two variants /narrow and broad/ of each of the three 
main positions of the tongue (high, mid, low). 

  

4 
 

QUESTIONS AND TASKS 
Questions: 
 
1. What is the difference between phonemes and letters? 
2. What linguistic science studies phonemes? 
3. How many phonemes are there in the English phonetic system? 
4. How many letters does the English alphabet include? 
5. Compare the number of vowel phonemes in English and in Russian. Write 
the English vowel phonemes in transcription. 
6. What groups of vowel phonemes are distinguished according to length in 
English?  Does this principle exist in the Russian vowel system? 
7. How are vowel phonemes classified according to their tenseness? 
8. What is understood by rounded vowels? Compare the articulation of 
rounded vowels in English and Russian. 
9. Are English vowels classified according to the character of their end? What 
about Russian vowels? 
10. What groups of vowels are distinguished according to the horizontal 
movement of the tongue in English? And in Russian? 
11. What principle of classification is used in distinguishing high, mid and low 
vowels? 
 
Tasks: 
  
 1. Transcribe the following sentences and underline long vowels with one line, 
short vowels with two lines and rounded vowels with a wavy line. 
 
Do you find it a demanding job? 
What are you working on at the moment? 
The squash courts consist of a square room in which two players have to 
strike a small rubber ball. 
 
2. Transcribe the following lines. Underline monophthongs with one line and 
diphthongs with two lines.  
 
It is the hour when from the boughs  
The nightingale’s high note is heard. 
                              (George G. Byron) 
 
I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high over vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host of golden daffodils. 
                               (W. Wordsworth) 
 
       

5 
 

        CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH VOWEL PHONEMES 

1.There are 20 vowel phonemes in English.                                                                                    

  2. English vowels are divided into two groups: monophthongs and 
diphthongs.  A monophthong is a pure  unchanging sound. Organs of speech 
don’t change their position. There are 12 monophthongs in English.
A diphthong is a sound  consisting of two elements, pronounced so as to form 
a single syllable. Diphthongs consist of the nucleus and the glide.                        
There are 8 diphthongs in English: [ eI ], [  aI ], [ OI ], [ qV ], [ aV ], [ Iq ], [ Fq ],        
[ Vq ] 

3. English monophthongs may be classified according to the 
following principles: 
- according to the tongue position; 
- according to the lip position; 
- according to the length of the vowel; 
- according to the degree of tenseness;    
- according  to the character of their end. 
 
4. According to the horizontal movement of the tongue English 
vowels            
are     divided into:      
- front vowels : [ i: ], [ e ], [ x ]; 
- front-retracted vowel: [ I ]; 
- central (mixed) vowels : [ q], [ E: ], [ A ]; 
- back vowels: [ P ], [ L ],[ H ]; 
- back-advanced vowels: [ R ], [ V ]. 
 
5. According to the vertical movement of the tongue English vowels       
are     divided into:      
 
- high (narrow) vowels : [ i: ], [ u: ]; (broad) [  I    ], [  V   ]; 
- mid vowels : [ e ], [ E: ], [ q ],  [ L ]; 
- low vowels : [ A ], [ x ], [ P ],  [ R].                                                                 
 
 6. According to their length vowels may be long and short: 
- long (tense) vowels: [ R  ], [  J ], [ L ], [ H ], [ E: ]; 
- short (lax) vowels: [ I ], [ P ], [ A ], [ e ], [ q ], [ V ], [x ].  
Short vowels are checked under stress.                                                                       
 
 

6 
 

7. According to the position of the lips vowels may be: 
- rounded (more or less): [L ],  [ P ], [H ],  [ V ]; 
- unrounded (the lips are spread or neutral): [ R  ], [  J ], [ E: ]; [ I ], [ A ],  
  [ e ], [ q ], [x ].  
 
 
8. According to the degree of tenseness vowels are divided into tense 
and lax.    All the English long vowels are tense, all the English short vowels 
are lax. 
  
9. Acording to the character of their end the English vowels may be 
checked  and free.Checked vowels are those which are pronounced without 
any   lessening the force of utterance towards their end. They have a strong 
end. They   end abruptly and are interrupted  by a consonant immediately  
following.   

                                                  e.g. city 

        Stressed  short  monophthongs  are  always  checked as well as long    
monophthongs and diphthongs before  a  voiceless  consonant in stressed  
position. The rest vowels are free. 
 
                                     QUESTIONS AND TASKS 
  
Questions: 
1. Give the definition of a monophthong. Transcribe all English 
monophthongs and pronounce them. 
2. Give the definition of a diphthong. What elements does a diphthong 
consist of? Write and pronounce all English diphthongs. 
3. According to what principles may English monophthongs be 
classified? 
4. Classify English vowels according to the tongue position. Give 
examples. 
5. Classify English vowels according to the lip position. Give examples. 
6. Classify English vowels according to their length. Give examples. 
 
Tasks: 
 
1. Characterise the following monophthongs: 
[ J ], [  I ],  [e ], [x ], [R]; [ A ], [ L ], [ P ], [H ], [V ], [E: ], [q  ].  
  
2. Explain the difference in the articulation of the following sounds: 
[ J ]  -  [  I  ];  [  e ]  -  [ x ]; [x ]  -  [ A ]; [ R ] - [ A ]. 
Give examples of words in which these sounds are opposed. 

7 
 

 3. Classify the vowel phonemes in this rhyme according to the horizontal 
and vertical position of the tongue. 
 
A diller, a dollar, a ten o’clock scholar.  
What makes you come so soon? 
You used to come at ten o’clock 
But now you come at noon. 
 
4. Transcribe the following words and read them. Observe the difference in 
pronunciation of vowels. Explain the reading rules: 
 
a) sleep    - slip  [                            ]   seek   - sick    [                                  ]               
    feel   - fill     [                            ]   been   - bin     [                                   ]                
    Jean  - Jim     [                            ]   eat   - it          [                                   ]               
    meal   - mill   [                            ]   steal   - still    [                                  ]                 
    sleep  - slip    [                            ]   sleet  -  slit     [                                  ] 
           
 b) said – sad     [                             ]   left – lad          [                                ]               
     bed – lad      [                            ]   merry - marry   [                                ]                
    men - man     [                            ]   pen - pants       [                                 ]               
    plan - then     [                            ]   shall - Shelly    [                                ]                 
    any - anxious [                           ]   plenty - sandy   [                                ] 
     
c) last – lack     [                           ]   basket – harbour  [                              ] 
    march – monkey [                      ]  hard – hundred     [                             ] 
    dark – luck    [                            ]  started – studied   [                             ] 
    rather – sunny [                          ]  mask – must         [                             ] 
    ask – must    [                            ]  last – dull             [                              ] 
 
d) more – mercy [                           ]  church – chalk    [                              ] 
    warm – worm [                            ]  saw – sir             [                              ] 
    lawn – learn    [                           ]   call – curtain      [                              ] 
    worth – warn  [                          ]   taught – person   [                              ] 
    fought – third [                           ]   daughter – dirty   [                             ] 
 
e) hare – dear  [                            ]   fear – fare      [                                     ] 
    spear – spare [                           ]   here – there    [                                    ] 
    fear – where [                           ]  hair – near       [                                    ]    
 
f) boat – loud   [                            ]   down – goal     [                                  ] 
   road – gown  [                            ]   bow – soap      [                                  ] 
   bought – boat [                           ]   thought – goat [                                  ]  

8 
 

POSITIONAL AND COMBINATIVE CHANGES OF VOWEL 
PHONEMES IN THE FLOW OF SPEECH 

The correct length of a vowel phoneme is of great practical importance for 
the rhythmical structure. The relative positional length should be strictly 
observed because otherwise it may lead to misunderstanding. 
1. Positional length of vowels. 
No matter whether a vowel is originally long or short, its length may 
depend on the following sound: 
• 
it is longer in a stressed word-final position, 
• 
shorter before a voiced consonant, 
• 
still shorter before a voiceless consonant: 
                                E.g. sea  -  seed  -  seat 
 
2. A vowel is usually longer: 
a) 
in a monosyllabic word than in a polysyllabic one: 
                                   E.g. work – worker 
b) in a stressed position than in an unstressed one: 
                                E.g. art - articulation 
c) when the stressed syllable is pronounced with the rising or falling-rising 
tone than with the falling tone: 
                                   E.g.  Read. "Read.  Read. 
 
3. A combination of two vowel phonemes within a word or at the 
junction of words which are not separated by a pause must be pronounced 
without interruption or glottal stop before the second vowel: 
                                             E.g. radiator, the  apple. 
       The same is true about a combination of a consonant and a vowel at 
the junction of words: 
                                           e.g. Take  a  cup  of  coffee. 
                                                  Take  it  away. 
This rule is called linking of words. 
      4. Vowels of constantly full formation are unstressed vowels which 
are used in all styles of pronunciation and are rather close in timbre to the same 
vowels under stress. They are used in many words of foreign origin (Latin or 
Greek): 
                               e. g. extract [ 'ekstrækt], programme [ 'prougræm].  
      They may also occur in words of English origin: 
                               e.g. text-book ['tekstbVk ], exercise [ 'eksəsaIz].  
      The use of a semi-weak or a neutral vowel would be incorrect. 

9 
 

QUESTIONS AND TASKS 
 Questions: 
1. Why is the correct length of an English vowel phoneme of great practical   
importance? Prove your reasons by examples. 
2. What does the positional length of a vowel depend on?  Is there any 
difference in the positional length of long and short vowels? 
3. What is understood by the rule of word linking?  
4. What phonemes are called vowels of constantly full formation? How is it 
possible to identify them? 
 
Tasks: 
1. Arrange the following words into three columns according to the 
positional length of vowels:  
      bore, sea, meet, did, kick, tin, lean, board, bought, laid, seed, feel, late 
2. Read the words. Observe the difference in the positional length of vowels: 
    bee  -been  - beet                 lay  - laid  - late              dee – deen  - deep 
    may  –  maid  - mate           knee – need  - neat          say – save  - safe 
    see – seed  - seat                  sigh  - side – sight           tie – tide – tight 
    core – cord – caught            her – heard – hurt            were- girl -  purse 
    four – form – fork               bore – board – bought     saw – sword - sought 
    I      - mine  - might             far – barn – part               why – wide – white 
 

  3. Compare the length of stressed vowels in the following pairs of words. 
Explain the difference. 
work-worker; differ-difference; interest-interesting; read-readable; 
position-positional. 
 
 4. Compare the length of underlined vowels in the following words. Explain 
the difference. 

    demonstrate-demonstration; palatalize-palatalazation; art - articulation 

 

 5.  Practice saying the phrases as one word. What rule is used? 
Hurry up. How are you? How’s it going? Go away. Say it again. Put it 
away. Tidy up. Sell everything. Tell Annie. We’ll all agree. Far away. 
     
   6.Read the following words and word-combinations observing the rule of    
linking of words. Mark the links. 
 
an unexpected blow         sunny intervals        Put it away 
Wrap it in a scarf             read a book              Drink a cup of tea 
Don’t think about it         Rub it                       She came into a small street. 
Nearer and nearer            She was walking over a wide bridge. 

10 
 

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