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basic rules

 
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TimEd



Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Location: NZ this year

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:28 am    Post subject: basic rules Reply with quote

does anyone have awebsitewith the most basic of pronunciation rules for English, such as the 'e' at the end of a word making the previous vowel long (e.g., 'Like' is not pronounced 'lik')

thanks
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EH



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 174
Location: USA and/or Korea

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't have a website like that. But you might want to reword your question to get a more specific response from people. The thing is, the vowel-consonant-e --> "long" sound rule is a reading rule, not a pronunciation rule per se. Are you looking for phonics help, or for help producing sounds? More to the point, which phonics generalizations/sounds are you wondering about? There are so many...

-EH
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TimEd



Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Location: NZ this year

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:44 pm    Post subject: basically Reply with quote

basically, how to say words-whether you are reading them from a pageor knowing the vocabulary in your head, the sound you should make when it comes out of your mouth.

the alphabet is quite easy to learn, dependingon your background, but there are anumber of rules that in certain situation, or certain combinations of letters, the sounds are different (e.g.,mb, lamb)
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EH



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 174
Location: USA and/or Korea

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah. You wish to know all about everything. That's easy, then. Wink

The simple answer is that it all depends on the context. When you're saying words orally, each sound is shaped by those around it. When you're reading aloud, each sound you say is linked to the letters representing it through the rules of phonics/orthography (and the exceptions to those rules... many people call them generalizations rather than rules, for this reason).

You asked specifically about mb at the end of words like lamb. A lot of times when there seems to be an extra letter (grapheme) in a word that's because it's either 1) actually a hang over from a time when it was pronounced, or 2) actually pronounced in some forms of the word. In the case of lamb, I think the latter is more likely. We don't release the /b/ in lamb, even when a vowel comes after it, making the /m/ more prominent to our ears. But what about the word lambaste? The /b/ is definitely pronounced here. Couldn't that have once been a compound word (lamb + baste)? It's just a guess. The point is that when you want to know why a word is pronounced the way it is, you have to consider the origins of the word and then make an educated guess from there. If you learn more about English word origins (especially Anglo-Saxon, Latin/French, and Greek) you'll be better able to make your own guesses.

Hope this helps.
-EH
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Tara B



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 126
Location: Sterling, VA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It helps me to think of them as patterns or families, rather than rules.

Spelling rules have a lot to do with syllable structure. Open syllables (CV) take long vowels. Closed syllables (CVC) generally take short vowels, unless marked for a long vowel sound. Marking usually takes the form of multiple letters forming the vowel rather than a single letter. For example, "Hi" takes a long i because it is an open syllable, while "hit" takes a short i because it is a closed syllable. "Pan" has a short a because it is a closed syllable, but "pane" and "pain", also closed syllables, use two letters for the vowel, which makes it a long a sound.

Liquids, such as r's, l's, w's, and nasals often interact with vowels and form their own patterns.

In multiple syllable words, consonants may be doubled to "close" a syllable and thus indicate a short vowel sound. (as in "ta-ping" vs. "tap-ping")

Vowel reduction accounts for "schwas" in unstressed syllables.

Silent letters, like EH said, are usually fossils from a former time that have been kept in the writing and preserve derivational information about the word. You can remember/understand them by studying other words with similar roots.
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EH



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 174
Location: USA and/or Korea

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make a lot of good points, Tara B. I wasn't even going to go into syllable types because it was such a big topic. But since you've done part of it already I'll add on to what you wrote.

There are 5 syllable types in English:
1) Open
(vowel preceded by 0 or more consonants, e.g. "I, Me")--the vowel is almost always "long" (note that "long" and "short" are phonics terms referring to specific sounds, and do not necessarily mean that the vowel is prolonged or shortened)
2) Closed
(vowel + 1 or more consonants, sometimes with a consonant or two before it, e.g., "Dog, at, spark")--the vowel is almost always short.
3) Silent E
(vowel + one consonant + E, sometimes with 1 consonant or more before it, e.g., "ape, crane, Luke")--the vowel is always long.
4) Vowel Combination
(2 vowel letters next to each other forming a single sound, e.g., "bread, eat, steak")--the vowel sound is often long, but not always. Each vowel combination has its own pronunciations, and all must be learned individually.
5) Consonant+LE
(always after another syllable, e.g., "bubBLE, apPLE, casTLE)--except TLE combinations, where the T is silent, these syllables are pretty straight forward.

These syllable types help us decode about 75-80% of 1 and 2 syllable words in English. It is helpful to note that when in doubt about where to divide 2-syllable words, the first syllable is usually long (e.g., "bugle"). (BTW, most of these short words are of Anglo-Saxon origin. That's why one set of decoding rules suits them all fairly well.)

When trying to read aloud and comprehend longer words, you have to somewhat disregard these syllable types and pay more attention to prefixes and suffixes. This is where your word origin studies will really come in handy. For instance, if you know that "-tion" is pronounced /shuhn/ (sorry... I don't have a schwa key...), it makes words into nouns, and it makes the syllable stress fall on the syllable right before it, then you won't have to worry about what sort of syllable type it is or anything else.

Hope this helps.
-EH
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Macavity



Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old but very useful: Daniel Jones, An Outline of English Phonetics.
Newer but no less useful: Peter Roach, English Phonetics and Phonology.

I don't concentrate on pronunciation in my classes as such, but if I want to know something then I am rarely disappointed by Jones.
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