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Very Rusty IPA, HELP!

 
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angelaaway



Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Vancouver Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:58 pm    Post subject: Very Rusty IPA, HELP! Reply with quote

Hi All,
I teach an employment program for newcomers to Canada. My training was linguistics-based TESL in University. My problem is that recently I tried to teach a mini pronunciation lesson and realized that my ability to use phonetic symbols to describe English pronunciation has greatly diminished.

I would like to find a few resources which can help me to practice the vowel symbols especially. Ideally, the resource would be Canadian, so the accent would be perfect, but realistically anything North American would be greatly helpful.

I am most interested in software...hopefully something with sound, but any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Angela
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1368
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Angela,

I'm not so sure you want to use strict IPA. I am currently teaching a pronunciation class in American English to adults. I'm using an IPA-based pronunciation guide. I sent you a private message. If you send me your e-mail address, I can send you a copy of what I'm using. IPA-type type doesn't show up well on the message board Wink

There are two on-line dictionaries I have my students use--one is Cambridge Dictionaries Online (here is their phonetics chart) http://dictionary.cambridge.org/help/phonetics.htm

The other one is Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English and here is their pronunciation guide:
http://nhd.heinle.com/pronunciation.aspx

I happen to prefer the guide in the Oxford American Word Power Dictionary, but it doesn't seem to be online.

I disagree with the way certain sounds are written with all these dictionaries <grin> but they are pretty close to what I want. I particularly like the symbol they are using for the American (and I suspect Canadian) sound in butter (the t with a special mark under it) which is sometimes called a tap or a flap. The thing I don't like is that they don't do it for the sound in ladder. For my American English, I pronounce both latter and ladder the same. I know there is a dialect (or an accent--see other thread <grin>) that makes the sound in latter voiceless and the one in ladder voiced, but I know that I use a voiced sound for both of them.
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wjserson



Joined: 14 May 2003
Posts: 175
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/linguistics/russell/138/notes.htm

Just another source for you to check out : I found the above link from University of Manitoba to be perfectly acceptable (although you could really grab any dictionary and get the same information). Click on English Vowels and there you are.
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1368
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh that's an interesting one. Thanks. I personally don't like using /j/ for a /y/ sound. I also prefer something like /ei/ for the sound in "gate" instead of /e/ because the students have trouble making a diphthong there, and it helps to visually see it, as well as /ou/ for the sound in "coat" instead of /o/ for the same reason.
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angelaaway



Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Vancouver Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all those ideas. I was hoping for something a little more interactive to help me brush up my skills quickly. Perhaps an online translator or calculator-style IPA translator....

One of my students had a computer program whre you could push buttons on the screen with phoetic symbols and the program would say the sound and some example words.

I guess memorizing symbols is just one of my weaknesses. I swear I learned it for the exam 10 years ago!! Embarassed

Angela
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