Sunday 3 September 2017

Pronunciation exercises for EAL students - no. 4

My previous blog on exercises (see here) was about abutting plosives such as /tt/ or /gg/, which share both voicing and place of articulation. In the present blog I'd like to introduce a bit of a variation: the place of articulation remains identical but one of the plosives is voiceless while the other is voiced or vice versa. So we get /pb/, /td/, /kg/, /bp/, /dt/, and /gk/. What is the usual release behaviour here?
Try this sentence: "How can I make my own lip balm?" Do you release the /p/ in lip? My suggestions is - don't! Unless, of course, it's a situation in which you're required to speak very clearly, for example, when there's a lot of ambient noise or your interlocutor is hard of hearing.

Basically the release behaviour is the same as in the case of /pp/, /bb/, etc. BUT make sure that you observe the feature called pre-fortis clipping. Compare
  1. This is a portable lock cabin.
  2. This is a portable log cabin.
 You neither release lock or log audibly, but the vowel in front of /k/ (= the fortis plosive) is shorter (i.e. is clipped in its duration) than the vowel in front of /g/ (= the lenis plosive).

Here are a few sentences for you to practise:
lock gate
  1. Mad TV broadcasts international music.
  2. Matt Damon is a famous American actor.
  3. The sun beat down over the desert.
  4. A bead tool is a cutting tool to make beads.
  5. This is the sad truth about double standards.
  6. She sat down in the couch next to me.
  7. You must check the position of your lap belt.
  8. We're going to celebrate her birthday at the lab party.
  9. Rip bullets penetrate deep into the object.
  10. Players will benefit from a rib protector.
  11. To raise and lower boats you need a lock with two lock gates.
  12. Where can I buy a portable log cabin?
  13. I bought a back glitter cover for my iPhone.
  14. It's a bag company where fashion meets function.