ENG102 week 5 syllable_ consonant clusters by ert554898


									Week 6

         The Syllable
         • Syllable structure
         • Consonant clusters
How many syllables?
• how, hair, why
• chocolate
  Two: ʧɒk.lət
• secretary
  Three: sek.rə.tri (UK)
   Four: sek.rə.te.ri (US)

(It can also depend on how carefully a word
 is pronounced)
          Syllable structure
An English syllable can consist of:
• a vowel only (V)
 eye aɪ Aah! α: Er… ɜ:
• consonant + vowel (CV)
 fur fɜ:
• vowel + consonant (VC) earn ɜ:n
• consonant + vowel + consonant (CVC)
  fern fɜ:n

Syllables can get more complex than
                  V = ah α:
                CV = bar bα:
               VC = arm α:m
              CVC = farm fα:m
             CVCC = farms fα:mz
English is unusual in having complex
consonant clusters (CC, CCC).
Most complex possible: CCCVCCC (e.g.
strengths /streŋθs/). CCCC final clusters
are also possible (sixths /sɪksθs/)
Cantonese: (C)V(C)
Initial consonant clusters
V                 CV                 CCV
eye aɪ            lie   laɪ          fly flaɪ

•CC clusters starting with /s/: the second C can be
any of: f k l m p t w j (e.g. sphere, scare…)
• CC clusters not starting with /s/: the second C
can only be l w r j (e.g. play, twin, tray, tune)
• CCC clusters: the first C can only be s (e.g.
Initial cluster problems for HK learners:

• Deletion, e.g. pr-, e.g. produce (verb)
  prədju:s (or prəʤu:s) not *pədju:s
  *pəʊdju:s; pl- please
• Substitution, e.g. fl- for fr- in frog
  sn- for sl- in slabs
Final consonant clusters
V        VC       VCC          VCCC
‘A’ eɪ   eight eɪt eighth eɪtθ eighths eɪtθs
Problems for HK learners:
• Deletion, e.g. hold həʊld not *həʊl (= hole),
                *həʊd *həʊ
                kids kɪdz
(Especially problematic where there is
grammatical relevance, e.g. watched wɒʧt)
• Devoicing of final voiced consonants, e.g. frog
However, nobody always produces all the
consonants in all final clusters, e.g. fast forward. It
is a highly variable area of English. The main thing
is to avoid possible ambiguity.

Further reading and review

• Roach chapter 8

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