Vowels
• A vowel sound is produced with an open
passage of air in the mouth. Vowel sounds are
produced are articulated with a free airflow.
• The shape of the mouth forms a cubic area or a
tube-shaped cavity that starts from the throat
and ends at the lips.
• The upper surface of the tongue’s main body is
like a convex or a hump in the mouth.
Vocal tract as a resonating tube
How are different vowels made?
3
Changing the size and the
shape of the
VOCAL TRACT - a set of
tubes filled with air
1
2
1. Oral cavity
2.Pharyngeal
cavity
3.Nasal Cavity
/i:/ in see
large pharynx
small oral cavity
/ ɑ: / in park
small pharynx
large oral cavity
[i]
The sound which is produced when the tongue
is as high and as far forward in the mouth as is
possible while still producing a vowel.
[ɑ]
The tongue is as low and as far back in the
mouth as is possible while still producing a
vowel.
Descriptive Terms
1- Horizontal axis: Front vowels lie beneath the hard palate, back
vowels lie beneath the soft palate, and central vowels lie
beneath the area between the soft and hard palate.
Front - Central – Back
2- Vertical axis: high vowels are made with the front tongue is
close to the palate. Low vowels are made with the tongue is
lowered from the mouth and automatically entails the opening
of the mouth.
Close - Mid - Open
3- The position of the lips is a third dimension for describing
vowel sounds, i.e., rounded or unrounded vowels.
4- A vowel is long or short
How vowels are described?
The position of the
highest point of the
tongue:
 how high or low
the highest point of
the tongue is.
 how front or back
the tongue’s highest
point in the mouth is
Vowel Description





/i/ as in see is close, front, unrounded,
long
/u/ as in food is close, back, rounded,
long
/ɜ/ as in shirt is half close, central,
slightly rounded, long
/ɔ/ as in bought is half open, back,
slightly rounded, long
/ ɑ / as in park is open, back, slightly
rounded, long
Vowel Description






/ I / as in sit is front, half-close, unrounded
short
/ʊ/ as in book is half-close back rounded
short
/e/ as in get is front half-close unrounded
short
/ə/ as in ago, writer is central half-open
slightly rounded short
/æ/as in cat is open, front neutral short
/ʌ/ as in cut is central open short neutral
In the following sets of words the sound of the vowel is the same
in every case but one. Circle the word that has a different vowel
sound. Then write the vowel symbol that represents the common
sound in the remaining three.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
pen
Meat
sane
hoot
cup
groom
said
steak
pad
good
dub
saw
death
weak
fat
moon
core
chore
mess
theme
chap
view
some
shore
mean
green
mast
suit
numb
port
Read the following words and group them in columns under
their vowel symbol:
[ board, two, bored, moth, do, through, blue, daughter , crew,
cod, dog, cup, some , pause, dull, doll, choose, chores , Paul,
true, dove ]
/ɔ/
/u/
ɒ
/ʌ/
Describe the vowel sound in each of the following
words:

sought, pot, cut, seed, father, soon, bird, sad, bit,
about
Answer

sought: open, back, long, slightly rounded
pot: open, back, short, slightly rounded
cut: central open short neutral

Seed: close, front, unrounded, long

Father : open, back, slightly rounded, long

Soon : close, back, rounded, long

Bird : half close, central, slightly rounded, long
Sad : open, front neutral short
Bit : front, half-close, unrounded short
about : central half-open slightly rounded short





Diphthongs

Diphthongs involve a movement or glide from one
vowel to another. A vowel which remains constant and
does not glide is called a pure vowel. The total number
of diphthongs in English is Eight.
Diphthongs
Centering
closing
ending in ə
ɪə
eə
ending in ʊ
ending in I
ʊə
eI
aI
ɔɪ
əʊ
aʊ
Examples of Diphthongs

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
A diphthong is a combination of two vowel sounds. It
is a tongue movement from one vocalic position to
another. Diphthongs in English include:
/ɪə/ beer, fear
/eə/ chair, stare
/ʊə/ sure, tour , pour
/eI/ say, weigh , pay
/aI/ high, buy , site
/ɔɪ/ toy, joy, coy
/əʊ/ go, hello ,
/aʊ/ house, now, found
Triphthongs






A triphthong is a glide from one vowel to another
and then to a third, all produced rapidly and
without interruption.
eIə
layer , player
aIə
liar , fire
ɔIə
loyal , royal
əʊə
lower , mower
aʊə
hour , power
Arabic Vowel



1.
2.
Short vowels: / I / kasra , /ʊ / dammah, /ə / Fathah
Long vowels : /i/ ‫ فيل‬, /u/ ‫ فول‬, / æ / ‫فات‬
Diphthongs: / aʊ / ‫ نوم‬, ‫ سوف‬, /aI/ ‫ بيت‬, ‫كيف‬
English has a greater number of vowels than Arabic. This
creates problems for Arab learners in the recognition and
production of English vowel sounds.
Arabic learners commonly have problems pronouncing
central vowels / ə / and / ɜ:/. They try to fit the English
vowels into their vowel system.

**Did you see the beard in the tree? # Did you see the bird in the tree?

/I/ # /e/ [sIt], [set] , /ʌ/ # /ɒ/ [lʌk] , [lɒk], /ɜ:/ # /a:/ [dɜ:t] , [da:rt]



/ɪə/ [beer]
/ʊə/ [ ʃʊə]
/ əʊ / [kəʊt]
[be:r]
[ʃu:r]
[kɔ:t]
Arabic Vowels
3. There are some English vowels that do not exist in Arabic
like /e/,/ɔː/,/ɒ/,/ɜː/,/ə/,/ɑː/
4. Arabic learners usually experience difficulties
distinguishing between the sounds below and often have
trouble producing them
/e/ , / ʌ / , / ɒ / , / ɔ /
5.
6.
The schwa /ə/ is problematic for Arab learners as in the
word /bəna:nə/. The schwa replaces unstressed vowels. Also
function words: am [əm], does [dəz], the [ðə], [fə], to [tə]
Vowel length: voiceless consonant in each of the following
pairs of consonants, [θ, ð], [s,z], [p, b], [f,v], [t,d], k,g], [ʃ,
ʒ], [tʃ, dʒ], influences the vowel preceding it and makes it
shorter than in the case of voiced consonant. Notice the
length of vowel in pairs such as /seif/ and /seiv/, /grəʊθ/ and
/ləʊð/, /bit/ and /bid/.
Find the errors in the transcription of the consonant sounds in
the following words. In each word there is one error, indicating
an impossible pronunciation of that word for a native speaker of
English of any variety. Correct the error:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
wishing [wishiŋ ] should be [
wives
[waIvs]
should be [
these
[ θiz ]
should be [
hijacking [haIjækɪŋ] should be [
chipping [tʃɪppɪŋ ] should be [
avoid
[ævɔId ] should be [
bedroom [bedrɔm ] should be [
manage
[mænædʒ] should be [
umbrella
[umbrelə ] should be [
]
]
]
]
]
]
]
]
]
Find the errors in the transcription of the consonant sounds in
the following words. In each word there is one error, indicating
an impossible pronunciation of that word for a native speaker of
English of any variety. Correct the error:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
wishing [wishiŋ ] should be [wɪʃɪŋ ]
wives
[waIvs]
should be [waIvz ]
these
[ θiz ]
should be [ðiz ]
hijacking [haIjækɪŋ] should be [haIdʒækɪŋ ]
chipping [tʃɪppɪŋ ] should be [tʃɪpɪŋ ]
avoid
[ævɔId ] should be [əvɔId ]
bedroom [bedrɔm ] should be [ bedrum ]
manage
[mænædʒ] should be [ mænədʒ ]
umbrella
[umbrelə ] should be [ əmbrelə ]
Transcribe the following sentences
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
We can see three trees.
He still lives in the big city.
The girl with curls has furs and pearls.
The boy was annoyed by boiled oysters.
Sue threw the soup into the pool.
The doll at the top costs lots.
Transcribe the following sentences
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
wi kæn si θri triz
hi stɪl lɪvz ɪn ðə bɪg sɪti
ðə gɜrl wɪθ kɜrlz hæz fɜrz ənd pɜrlz
ðə bɔI wəz ənɔId baI bɔIld ɔIstərz
su θru ðə sup ɪntu ðə pu:l
ðə dɒl ət ðə tɒp kɒsts lɒts
evər sɪns ðə taIm əv ðə griks, drɑmə həz pleId
ən ɪmpɔrtənt rɔl ɪn pipəlz lɪvz. ðə grik
trædʒədiz ənd kɒmədiz wər ə sentrəl pɑrt əv
ðə laIf əv ðə sɪtəzənz əv entʃənt gris.

Ever since the time of the Greeks, drama has
played an important role in people's lives. The
Greek tragedies and comedies were a central
part of the life of the citizens of ancient Greece.
The government should provide more financial
assistance to parents who use childcare.
Childcare centers may assist children in their
early development. They give children an
opportunity to mix with other children and to
develop social skills at an early age.

ðə gəvərmənt ʃʊd prəvaId mɔr faInænʃəl
əsɪstəns tu pɜrənts hu juz tʃajldkɛr. tʃaIldkɜr
sentərz me əsɪst tʃɪldrən ɪn ðɛr ərli dɪveləpmənt.
ðeI gɪv tʃɪldrən ən ɒpərtunəti tu mɪks wɪð əðər
tʃɪldrən ənd tu dɪveləp sɔʃəl skɪlz ət æn ərli
eIdʒ.
Phonology
 Phonology examines the organization and distribution
of speech sounds in a particular language as well as
the interaction between those different sounds. While
we find two or more languages have the same sounds,
no two languages organize their sound inventories in
the same way.
 S >>>> p, t, k
??? S >>>> f, g, v
** fwallow
**smlt are not possible words in English
Phonology

In every language, certain sounds are considered the ‘same’
sound even though they may be different.
 /top/ , /stop/ , /little/, /kitten/
For native speakers, all these words have /t/ in them, at least at
some psychological level. They can ignore the phonetic
differences since they are non-distinctive whereas in other
languages there is a difference between aspirated and nonaspirated sounds. They can change meaning and thus called
distinctive.
/but/ , /shut/ , /take/, /try/ are the same in English though the
first two are pronounced like Arabic /‫ط‬/. They are noncontrastive.


The two sounds are two different phonemes in Arabic as in
words ‫ طاب‬, ‫ تاب‬، ‫ سطاء‬، ‫سماء‬
Say why the following are phonemes in Arabic but not in
English
[ /T/ , /Z/ , /S/ ]
Phonemes
 A phoneme: It is a class of speech sounds that are
identified by a native speaker as being the same
sound. So a phoneme is like an umbrella which
may have several forms or several pronunciations,
i.e. (a family of sounds). It is the smallest sound
unit in a language that can indicate a difference in
meaning.
 One way for establishing the phonemes of a
language is by means of minimal pairs.

Pan
ban

Can
cat

Pill
bill

Buy
tie

Beat
bit

Shy
sigh
Allophones
 An allophone: the members of this class of
sounds (the phoneme) which are the actual
phonetic segments produced by a speaker.
It is a phone that has been classified as
belonging to the same class or phoneme
/th/, /t/
or /ph/ /p/.
Some phonological rules
Assimilation: It causes a sound to become more like a
neighboring sound with respect to some feature:
1. When a sound having the features of an alveaolar stop
/t/ , /d/ precedes a bilabial consonant, it causes /t/, /d/
to take on the feature bilabial.
Goodbye – goobbye / “five pens” /v/ become /f/ “fif pens”
2. Dental consonants: alveaolar consonants become dental
when followed by a dental sound / ð /, / θ /.
Health, eighth , in this.
3. Vowel nasalization: vowels become nasalised when
they are followed by a nasal sound… /sang/, /mean/
Some phonological rules
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
white bird: bilabial /b/ replaces alveolar /t/ under the
influence of the bilabial /b/
gone back: bilabial /m/ replaces alveolar /n/ under the
influence of the bilabial /b/
night club: velar /k/ replaces alveolar /t/ under the
influence of the velar /k/
has to: voiceless /s/ replaces voiced /z/ under the
influence of voiceless /t/
soft snow: alveolar /t/ is omitted under the influence of
alveolar /s/
grand mother: the /d/ in /nd/often disappears if
followed by a word starting with a nasal.
Some phonological rules … cont’d
Dissimilation: It causes two neighboring sounds to
become much less alike with respect to some features.
a- Fricative dissimilation: / θ / changes to / t /
following another fricative.
The word fifth [ fifθ ] is often pronounced as [ fift],
sixth /siksth/ is pronounced [sikst].
In these two examples the fricative / θ / becomes less
like an adjacent fricative consonant; it does so through
a change in the manner of articulation, thereby
becoming a alveolar.
Some phonological rules … cont’d
Insertion: it causes a segment not present at the
phonemic level to be added to the phonetic form
of a word.
a- voiceless stop insertion: between a nasal and a
voiceless fricative, a voiceless stop with the same
place of articulation as the nasal is inserted.

dance
[dænts]

hamster
[hæmpstər]

comfortable
[ kəmpftəbl ]
Some phonological rules … cont’d
Deletion: It involves elimination of a sound as in the
case of unstressed syllables and in casual speech.
a- /h/ deletion : this rule would apply to a
sentence such as
He Handed her his hat
[hi hændəd r Iz hæt]
b- unstressed vowel deletion: a vowel that precedes a
liquid consonant in an unstressed syllable may be
deleted.
police [polis] >>>>>[plis]
Believe [bəliv/ >>>>> [bliv]
‫أنواع المماثلة الصوتية ‪Assimilation in Arabic‬‬
‫‪.1‬‬
‫‪.2‬‬
‫‪.3‬‬
‫‪.4‬‬
‫‪.5‬‬
‫‪.6‬‬
‫إذا أثر الصوت االول في بنية الكلمة في الصوت الثاني يكون‬
‫هذه المماثلة ( تأثير مقبل) ‪assimilation‬‬
‫إذا أثر الثاني في االول يكون (ثأثير مدبر) ‪dissimilation‬‬
‫إذا تم ادغام الصوتين المتماثلين يكون (تأثير كلي)‬
‫‪complete assimilation‬‬
‫إذا لم يتم ادغام الصوتين المتماثلين يكون (تأثير جزئي)‬
‫إذا لم يفصل بين الصوتين المتماثلين فاصل‪ ،‬صوت ساكن أو‬
‫حركة‪ ،‬يكون (تأثير متصل)‬
‫اذا فصل بين الصوتين المتماثلين فاصل يكون (التأثير‬
‫منفصل)‬
‫المماثلة الصوتية ‪Examples of‬‬
‫الـتأثير المقبل الكلي المتصل‬
‫‪ ‬تتأثر تاء االفتعال دائما بالدال او الطاء قبلها فتنقلب داال او طاء مثل‪:‬‬
‫ادترك ‪ >--‬ا ّدرك ‪ ،‬اطتلب ‪ّ >--‬‬
‫اطلب‪،‬‬
‫اطتلع ‪ّ >--‬‬
‫اطلع‪ :‬اثرت الطاء المفخمة على التاء المرققة فتماثلتا ففخمت‬
‫التاء الى طاء ثم ادغمت الطاءان‪.‬‬
‫‪ .2‬تتأثر تاء األفعال غالبا بالذال أو الصاد أو بالضاد قبلها فتنقلب ذاال او‬
‫صادا او ضادا‪ :‬اذتكر ‪ّ >---‬اذكر ‪ ،‬اضتجع ‪ >---‬اضّجع‬
‫‪ -3‬تتأثر الياء الساكنة بالضمة المقيدة قبلها فتتحول لضمة مماثلة وتتحد في‬
‫ضمة طويلة مثل‪ُ :‬ميْقن ‪ >---‬موقن ‪ُ ،‬ميْسر ‪ >---‬موسر‬
‫المماثلة الصوتية ‪Examples of‬‬
‫الـتأثير المقبل الجزئي المتصل‬
‫‪ ‬تتاثر تاء االفتعال بالصاد او الضاد او الزاي قبلها فتنقلب طاء‬
‫في الحالتين االولين و تنقلب داال في الحالة الثالثة‪ ،‬مثال‪:‬‬
‫‪ ‬اصتبر ‪ >---‬اصطبر ‪ ،‬اثرت الصاد المفخمة على التاء‬
‫المرققة فتحولت الى نظيرتها الطاء المفخمة‬
‫‪ ‬اصتفي ‪ >----‬اصطفى (”ان هللا اصطفاه عليكم“)‬
‫‪ ‬ازتهر ‪ >---‬ازدهر ‪ ،‬ازتجر ‪ >---‬ازدجر ‪ ،‬حيث اثرت‬
‫الزاي المجهورة في التاء المهموسة فتحولت الى نظيرتها‬
‫الدال المجهورة وهو تاثر جزئي النه لم يتم في االدغام‬
‫المماثلة الصوتية ‪Examples of‬‬
‫الـتأثير المدبر الكلي المتصل‬
‫‪ ‬اتطهر ‪ّ >---‬‬
‫اطهر حيث اثرت الطاء المفخمة على نظيرتها التاء‬
‫المرققة ففخمت التاء لطاء وادغمت الطاءان‬
‫يذكر ” وما ّ‬
‫‪ ‬يتذكر ‪ّ >---‬‬
‫يذكر أال أولو األلباب“‬
‫‪ ‬يتثاقل ‪ّ >---‬يثاقل ”أثاقلتم في األرض“‬
‫الـتأثير المدبر الجزئي المتصل‬
‫‪ ‬تتأثر النون الساكنة بالباء التالية لها فتنقلب الى صوت من مخرج الباء‬
‫وصوت الميم‪( ،‬سمي ٌع بصير) كأنها صارت ”سميع ْم بصير“ حيث‬
‫تماثلت نون التنوين مع صوت الياء فتحول الباء الى صوت الميم لقرب‬
‫المخرج واالتفاق في الترقيق ‪ ،‬وكذلك (من بعد) ” مم بعد”(االقالب)‬
‫‪ ‬نقول بالعامية (يسحف) بدال من (يزحف) حيث تأثرت الزاى‬
‫المجهورة بالحاء المهموسة فقلبت الزاى الى نظيرتها المهموسة وهي‬
‫حرف السين‪.‬‬
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