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Pronunciation for a Chinese Speaker
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Sherri Durman



Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1
Location: Lakewood, CO

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:38 am    Post subject: Pronunciation for a Chinese Speaker Reply with quote

I am teaching pronunciation to a Chinese Speaker. He stresses the last syllable of words ending in consonants, especially 't', 'd', and 'c'. The word 'market' sounds like 'marketa'; 'good' like 'gooda'; 'picnic' like 'picnica', etc. Does anyone have any ideas on how to correct this problem?
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sunzgirl



Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had adult students from China and Taiwan who have had similar problems. I would take those consonant sounds they are over stressing at the ends of words and place them at the end of a syllable in the beginning or the middle of a multisyllabic word. For example, if the 't' at the end of market is being pronounced as 'ta', like an extra syllable, have them practice words where a beginning or middle syllable ends in a 't', such as 'lasting' or 'carpeted' or 'outfield'. Having a different sound to slide into will help the student reduce the stressed pronounciation of those letters. Try it and see if it helps.
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In American English, I show them how we don't release the final stop, so if I say the word "stop" for example, my lips are still together at the end of the word. It is very easy to see. Course I don't know anything about the other varieties of English. Wink
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LarryLatham



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1195
Location: Aguanga, California (near San Diego)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Chinese speakers Reply with quote

Is he pronouncing strings of words, or only single words?

My experience with Chinese speakers is that they often do not pronounce final consonants at all (market sounds like marke'). Your student sounds like he may be trying hard to make those final sounds, and is merely overapplying the idea. Perhaps it will pass, particularly if he speaks several words--phrases and sentences--in a row. Smile

Larry Latham
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Chinese speakers Reply with quote

LarryLatham wrote:
Is he pronouncing strings of words, or only single words?

My experience with Chinese speakers is that they often do not pronounce final consonants at all (market sounds like marke') ... Perhaps it will pass, particularly if he speaks several words--phrases and sentences--in a row. Smile

Larry Latham


I have a similar problem with my Spanish students, of varous different levels, who either don't pronounce the 'ed' at the end of the regular past simple or over-pronounce it. Lots of them seem to have so much trouble with it that I don't wait for them to catch on by themselves. This would take several months (and would be so much harder to correct) if they've been reinforcing this incorrect pronounciation amongst themselves in the meantime. I feel it's much better and easier to fix by serious drilling as soon as they encounter this form. This way they have a chance to self-correct each other correctly. Smile

Iain
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Chinese speakers Reply with quote

Quote:
I have a similar problem with my Spanish students, of varous different levels, who either don't pronounce the 'ed' at the end of the regular past simple or over-pronounce it.

Iain


I bet there's also a difference depending on what dialect of English you are teaching. In my American English dialect, "They wash the dishes" and "They washed the dishes." or "They show movies." and "They showed movies." sound the same. ( Simple past tense before a consonant sound.)
Of course, when I'm saying them, I *think* I'm making a distinction, but in reality there is none. Before a vowel, however, that changes. "They wash all the dishes." "They washed all the dishes." I tend to emphasize the linking in context before vowels more. Also, the extra syllable after "t" or "d" ("needed" "invited" etc.)
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lorikeet,

I going to have to mull over your post for a while, because it's got me confused and perplexed. I've never noticed any difference between AmerEnglish and BritEnglish in this area before. I will listen out for it.

No, offence intended, but are you sure you're not mad? Wink

Iain
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dduck wrote:
Hi Lorikeet,

I going to have to mull over your post for a while, because it's got me confused and perplexed. I've never noticed any difference between AmerEnglish and BritEnglish in this area before. I will listen out for it.

No, offence intended, but are you sure you're not mad? Wink

Iain


Mad as in angry, or mad as in crazy? Wink I was trying to explain what I do, but at the same time understanding that other styles of English might be different. I do not have much experience with other varieties of English, but I have noticed that the final stops seemed different to me. I was under the impression that British English (I am sorry I don't know enough to differentiate between them Crying or Very sad ) pronounced final consonant sounds like /t/ and /p/ with more of a puff of air than in most American English. Perhaps someone could enlighten me here. If I say "cup" for example, when I finish the word, my lips are still together. It's as though I stopped the puff of air we usually hear at the beginning of a word. I know this causes a lot of difficulty in listening for our students. At least you can see the difference between "map" and "mat". It's words like "mat" and "Mack" that are worse. Have I confused you further? Wink
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean mad in it's original meaning Wink

Your example of 'cup' is interesting. When I say it the final position of my lips isn't together. If I keep my lips together I can't make the sounds at all! The sound is caused by the separation of the lips and a release of air. Perhaps, you bilibial movement is more subtle than mine. Smile

With 'map' and 'mat', both final constanants, I believe, are aspirated. 'map' uses a lip movement whereas 'mat' has a tongue movement, pulling it from the back of the teeth back into the mouth. Finally, 'mack' or has neither lip or tongue movement, instead it's formed by a narrowing of the throat followed by sudden release causing a sharp release of air.

If someone knows the correct jargon to describe the creation of these sounds I'd be very grateful for the information.

Iain
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dduck wrote:


Your example of 'cup' is interesting. When I say it the final position of my lips isn't together. If I keep my lips together I can't make the sounds at all! The sound is caused by the separation of the lips and a release of air. Perhaps, you bilibial movement is more subtle than mine. Smile

With 'map' and 'mat', both final constanants, I believe, are aspirated. 'map' uses a lip movement whereas 'mat' has a tongue movement, pulling it from the back of the teeth back into the mouth. Finally, 'mack' or has neither lip or tongue movement, instead it's formed by a narrowing of the throat followed by sudden release causing a sharp release of air.


Iain


Aha, that's exactly what I meant. The final /p/ in cup has no aspiration for me. There is no aspiration after final stops. That was my point Wink Now you know a little more about American English. At least mine. Wink

Here is a quote from the book, "Clear Speech." "Words that end in stops"

"North Americans (both U.S. and Canada) generally do not pronounce final stop sounds completely. For that reason, it is particularly important to notice the length of the vowel sound. A longer vowel means that the word ends in a voiced stop." (p. 48 )

I can get into the vowel lengthening too if ya like Twisted Evil
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goblok71



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all.

I seem to come in to these conversations always where there is a discussion on the differences in differetn types of English. Although, twice is hardly always, I suppose. Very Happy

In my experience as an Australian English (AustralEnglish?? Very Happy) is that we tend to be similar to Lorikeet's explanation (if i understood it correctly). The interesting thing is our treatment of words ending in vowels. With these words, if the following word starts with a vowel we tend to add a consonent to the previous word. So for example the phrase "Australia is ..." Instead of saying it like it is written, we tend to say something more along the lines of "Australieris ..." or something like that. Does that happen as much with AmerEnglish and/or BritEnglish?

In terms of teaching English, you get into the debate of whether you want the learner (or whether the learner wants) to sound like Australians or simply be able to communicate effectively.
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

goblok71 wrote:
The interesting thing is our treatment of words ending in vowels. With these words, if the following word starts with a vowel we tend to add a consonent to the previous word. So for example the phrase "Australia is ..." Instead of saying it like it is written, we tend to say something more along the lines of "Australieris ..." or something like that. Does that happen as much with AmerEnglish and/or BritEnglish?


It's sounds like Australians are non-rhotic speakers, like English people and, I think, Americans. Non-rhotic means the speaker doesn't pronounce the 'r' sound strongly - unlike among others, Scots, Irish speakers, and - I just love 'em to bits - Spanish speakers.

The strange thing about non-rhotic speakers is their apparent inability to pronounce contiguous vowel sounds. Southern English people, for example, insert an 'r' sound between vowels in the word 'draw(r)ing', whereas a rhotic speaker - who does pronounce the 'r' sound - doesn't add an extra 'r'. Why? I've no idea!

Iain
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dduck wrote:
goblok71 wrote:
The interesting thing is our treatment of words ending in vowels. With these words, if the following word starts with a vowel we tend to add a consonent to the previous word. So for example the phrase "Australia is ..." Instead of saying it like it is written, we tend to say something more along the lines of "Australieris ..." or something like that. Does that happen as much with AmerEnglish and/or BritEnglish?


It's sounds like Australians are non-rhotic speakers, like English people and, I think, Americans. Non-rhotic means the speaker doesn't pronounce the 'r' sound strongly - unlike among others, Scots, Irish speakers, and - I just love 'em to bits - Spanish speakers.

The strange thing about non-rhotic speakers is their apparent inability to pronounce contiguous vowel sounds. Southern English people, for example, insert an 'r' sound between vowels in the word 'draw(r)ing', whereas a rhotic speaker - who does pronounce the 'r' sound - doesn't add an extra 'r'. Why? I've no idea!

Iain


Oh, what fun! (Surely I AM mad Iain Twisted Evil ) I haven't noticed a problem saying two vowel sounds together in most versions of American English, so I say and usually hear "Australia is". However, there are some new Englanders who say "idear" instead of "idea" and I don't know whether they would do something like that or not. I have heard people say "drawring" instead of "drawing" but it definitely sounds strange to me.

I don't know what "pronouncing an r sound strongly" means. Do you mean there is a trill of some kind? In American English as far as I can see, one of the distinguishing features is the pronunciation of the final "r" in words like "teacher" "car" "bear" or "sure" and in the middle of words like "work" "survey. " etc.
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 'R' Sound:

If I remember correctly, Americans do pronounce the 'r' sound but not as strongly as the Scots. Have you never heard a Scots accent? Surely, you've watched the Simpsons!? Sean Connery? The original Star Trek? Euan MacGreggor?

If you have the time, energy and interest you can hear some authentic Scottish accents via:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/2184249.stm

"Pronounce strongly" is usually referred to as rolling the 'R's. Spanish speakers are very famous for doing this, especially in Spain. Southern English people, as too with some German speakers tend to avoid making the 'r' sound. French speakers, at least in Europe, have a completely different sound, which is produced with the base of the tongue against the throat, as opposed to the tip of the tongue.

Iain
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EH



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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree that so-called Standard American English has a more neutral /r/ than what (little) I know about the way the Scots pronounce it.

And, just to comment on a few of the previous posts:

As a native New Englander I can confirm that many of us do say 'idear'... but I haven't been able to figure out what the rule is on this. Generally with New England accents (and there once were many) vocalic /r/ sounds lose their /r/ flavor in the medial and final position of words, sometimes with an alongated and/or slightly nasalized vowel sound left in its place. For instance, "shorts" sounds like "shots" and "stairs" sounds like "stay-uhs". I've always wondered how it is that the usually absent vocalic /r/ can magically appear in those positions on words like 'idea' without an 'r' in the spelling. Anyone know?

Dduck, you wanted some linguistics jargon to describe /p/, /t/, and /k/. This ought to do it. /p/ is a bilabial (two lips together) stop-plosive, that is generally described as being aspirated and unvoiced. /t/ and /k/ are the same as /p/, but instead of being bilabial are alveolar (tongue to right behind upper teeth) and velar (back of tongue to back of roof of mouth), respectively. What Lorikeet was talking about was the fact that in Standard American English, when any of these three sounds come at the end of an isolated word they are generally "unreleased," which means the articulators stay together and no puff of air occurs.

Lorikeet, I was wondering about your coarticulation examples. Do you really pronounce "They wash the dishes" and "They washed the dishes" exactly the same? I'm just wondering if, like me, you change the /th/ in 'the' into more of a /d/ sound when saying the second sentence. Just curious; I know everyone says things a little differently. Another example of how coarticulation makes things sounds the same might be, "I walk to the store" versus "I walked to the store."

-EH
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