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DIFFERENCES IN THE ARTICULATION BASES OF THE ENGLISH AND RUSSJAN CONSONANTS AND THEIR PECULIARITIES




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  12. Articulatory classification of English consonants

The differences in the articulation bases between the two languages-are "in the general tendencies their native speakers have, in the-way they move and hold their lips and the tongue both in speech and in silence, in the way they coordinate the work of the obstructor and1 vibrator mechanisms (lenis and fortis articulations), in the way they effect CV, VC and CC transitions (close and loose transitions)." *

The peculiarities of the articulation bases which give rise to the-differences in the system of consonants in English and in Russian are-the following:

(1) The English forelingual consonants are articulated with the'
apico-alveolar position of the tip of the tongue. The Russian forelin­
gual consonants are mainly dorsal: in their articulation the tip of the-
tongue is passive and lowered, the blade is placed against the upper
teeth. The Russian forelingual dorsal consonants are: /т, т', д, д\
н, н', с, с', з, з\ ч\ ц/. The Russian forelingual apical consonants-
are only: /л, л', ш, ш', ж/.

(2) In the production of the Russian consonants the bulk of the-
tongue is mainly in the front-mid part of the mouth resonator. When
Russian soft forelinguals are produced the muscular tension is concen­
trated in the "bunched up" front-mid part of the tongue; when the soft
backlingual consonants are produced the muscular tension is concen­
trated in the middle part of the tongue.

* Vassituev V. A. English Phonetics: A Theoretical Course.—M., 1970.— P. 117.


In the production of the English forelingual consonants the tip of the tongue and the front edges are very tense. It results in the de­pression in the front part of the tongue, which enlarges the size of the front resonator and lowers the tone of the apical consonants. The Eng­lish "soft" consonants are pronounced with the front secondary focus. They are /J\ 3, dfc, tf/ and the "soft" /1/. The English /J\ 5/ are short, the similar Russian consonants /ш':, ж':/ are long. The front secon­dary focus is formed by the middle part of the tongue which produces "secondary" articulation simultaneously with the primary focus, or primary articulation (see p. 87).

The Russian /п\ б', м', н', ф\ в', т\ д\ с', з', л', ч, р', к', г7 are also pronounced with the front secondary focus, but the middle of the tongue in their production is raised higher to the hard palate, than during the secondary articulation in the production of the English soft consonants.

Russian students often use the hard /ш, ж/ phonemes instead of the soft English/J, 5/. Palatalization is a phonemes feature in Rus­sian (see below).



There is no opposition between palatalyzed—поп-palatalyzed consonants in English. The soft colouring of the English //, tf, <%, 1, 5/ is non-phonemic.

(3) The English /w/ and U] are pronounced with the back secon­
dary focus, formed by the back part of the tongue, which is raised to
the soft palate simultaneously with the formation of the primary
iocus. In the articulation of /w/ the primary focus is formed by the
lips, which are rounded but not protruded, as it happens when the
Russian /y/ is pronounced. The bilabial /w/ which is pronounced
with a round narrowing is very often mispronounced by the Russian
learners. They use the labio-dental /в/ or /v/ which are pronounced
with a flat narrowing instead of the English /w/.

The primary focus in the articulation of "dark" [I] is formed by the tip of the tongue pressed against the teethridge.

English voiceless plosives /p, k/ are aspirated, when followed by a stressed vowel and not preceded by /s/.

(4) The English voiceless iortis /p, t, k, f, s, J", tf/ are pronounced
more energetically than similar Russian consonants.

The English voiced consonants /b, d, g, v, 3, z, 5, d§/ are not replaced by the corresponding voiceless sounds in word-final posi­tions and before voiceless consonants, e.g. /'big ^eibl/.

(5) Consonant phonemes in English which have no counterparts
an Russian are the following:

1. the bilabial, constrictive median sonorant /w/,

2. the dental (interdental) fricative consonants /Э, Ö/,

3. the voiced bicentral affricate /«13/,

4. the post-alveolar constrictive median sonorant /r/,

5. the backlingual, nasal sonorant /ri/,

6. the glottal fricative /h/.

Consonant phonemes in Russian which have no counterparts in English are the following:


1. the palatalized consonants /п', б', т*, д', к1, г1, м\ н', ф', в',
С, з', р7,

2. the voiceless unicentral affricate /ц/,

3. the rolled post alveolar sonorant /p/,

4. the backlingual fricative voiceless /x/.

The most common mistakes that may result from the differences in the articulation bases of the English and Russian languages are the following:

— dorsal articulation of the English forelingual apical /t, d/,
~ the use of the Russian rolled /p/ instead of the English post-
alveolar constrictive hi,

— the use of the Russian /x/ instead of the English glottal,
fricative /h/,

— mispronunciation of the English interdental /0, 5/: the use
of /s, f/ for /e/ and /d, z/ for /Ö/,

— the use of the forelingual /n/ instead of the backlingual velar /n/,

— the use of the Russian dark /ш, ж/ instead of the soft English

ts> 5/.

— the use of the labio-dental /v, b/ instead of the bilabial /w/,

— absence of aspiration in /p, t, k/ when they occur initially,

— weak pronunciation of voiceless fortis /p, tF k, f, s, J", tf/,

— devoicing of voiced /b, d, g, v, 3, z, g, djj/ in the terminal
position,

Questions

1. What are the mechanisms fort ha production of speech sounds?

2, What are the four main principles of consonant classification?

3, What are the differences in the second principle of consonant clas­
sification according to Soviet and foreign linguists? 4. How are the
consonants subdivided according to the third principle? 5. What are
the subgroups of the noise consonants and sonorants within the groups
of the occlusive and constrictive consonants and what is the contro­
versy about them? 6. How are the consonants subdivided according
to the noise producing foci and the shape of the narrowing? 7. What
do you know about the groups of the affricates and rolled consonants?
8. What are the principal differences in the articulation bases of the
English and Russian consonants? 9. What mistakes result from the
differences in the articulation bases of the English and Russian con­
sonants?

Exercises

1, Draw diagrams of_the four speech producing mechanisms.

2, Explain the work of the four mechanisms in the production of speech sounds,

*3. Explain the articulation of /p, t, k/ and /b, d, q/ from the viewpoint of the work of the vocal cords and the force of exhalation.


*4. Explain the articulation of /mt n, n/ from the point of view of the position of the soft palate.

*S. State the difference in the articulation of /b, v, f/ and the Russian /p/ from the point of view of the manner of noise production.

*6. Explain the articulation of /w, j, h/ from the viewpoint of the active organ of speech.

7. Draw figures of the position of the tip of the tongue in the articulation of the Russian hi, English /t, r/ and the Russian /p/7

*8. Explain the articulation of/s/ and lit from the viewpoint of noise producing foci.

9. Draw figures to show the position of the tongue in the production of front secondary and back secondary foci.

*10. Transcribe these words and read them. Observe the aspiration of the" ini­tial /p, t, k/.


people

paper

purpose

possible

put

pence

Pity

poor

pieces

port

penny


take

time

town

ties

tennis

took

taxis

till

teachers

turned

total

toss

tin

tons


courts

cold

careful

car

cook

covered

cost

kissed

campus

curtly

cottage

currents

colour


И. Read these words. Observe the apical and cacuminal positions of the tip of the tongue in pronouncing the English it, r/ and the dorsal in pronounc­ing the Russian hi.


так

тент

тайм

ток

тел

Том

Тим

тон

тай (от таять)

туу...

тир

Тедди

Антей

Тима

течь

тик

тост


take

tent

time

talk

tell

town

Tim

ton

ties

two

tear

Teddy

take

team

teach

ticket

toast


rates

read /red/

rhyme

rock

Wren

round

rim

run

— rise

— room

— rear

— ready

— rake

— real

— reach

— ricket

— roast





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