Discovering Language: The Structure of Modern English by Lesley Jeffries

By Lesley Jeffries

This article offers scholars with the fundamental descriptive wisdom they're required to grasp sooner than relocating directly to extra complex examine. The publication is prepared lower than thematic headings, that are completely cross-referenced, allowing scholars and lecturers to take advantage of the booklet as required--either as a path textual content or to assist with person points of language. every one part contains an advent, labored examples, "in context" sections touching on the subject to genuine textual content examples, feedback for additional analyzing and research and a precis.

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Additional info for Discovering Language: The Structure of Modern English (Perspectives on the English Language)

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In this book we shall limit ourselves to a ‘broad’ transcription system, which reflects only meaningful differences in pronunciation and is therefore closer to a phonological than a phonetic record of what is being articulated. 2). These sounds are quite straightforward and can mostly be worked out from the letters of the alphabet that are used to represent them. 2 are reasonably consistent. Note that the velar nasal, /ŋ/, which is usually spelt ‘ng’, only occurs at the end of syllables in English: pill /pil/, bill /bil/, till /til/, dill /dil/, kill /kil/, ghyll* / il/ mill /mil/, nil /nil/, king /kiŋ/, *A ‘ghyll’ is a Yorkshire dialect word for gorge.

This prevents us from choking, except when small particles of food go ‘down the wrong way’ – that is, escape the epiglottis and enter the trachea. 3 Voiced – vocal folds vibrating The vocal folds during quiet breathing and voicing known as the glottis. This gives its name to one of the most notorious of English speech sounds, the glottal stop. This sound is sometimes mistakenly thought to reflect laziness, since it replaces a /t/ sound in some urban accents of British English, and because it is much further back in the mouth than a stereotypical /t/ it is viewed as a missing sound rather than an equivalent one.

It is also evident when we strain hard – for example when moving or lifting heavy objects. In this case it is simply a physical consequence of an activity, and not a strictly linguistic unit of sound, though it may incidentally communicate to bystanders that we need help! Try lifting or moving a heavy object, and notice how difficult it is to do so without making a noise. This noise is most likely to be a glottal stop. The only other use of the vocal folds in English is as the place of articulation for the glottal fricative, /h/, which is a sound that results from the vocal folds being placed close together, though not close enough to vibrate, as in voiced sounds.

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