SPEECH SOUND EXERCISES

Lessons 1, 2

[e-æ]

Do not open your mouth too wide when articulating the vowel [e]: it is a half-open vowel. Open your, mouth very wide when pronouncing the vowel [æ]: it is an open vowel (helping to make it open by a spoon-shaped depression in the front part of the tongue).

1. Pronounce the pairs of words and the sentences with the vowels. Observe their length variants:1

A. lend - land helping - happen necessary - national
  plenty - planned selling - salmon subject - program

B. 1. Harris objected to a slap-up breakfast. 2. The fact is Jed expected the man to be a different personality. 3. Can you imagine anything happening to the salmon? - Yes, I can.

[eı-εə]

Remember that the nucleus of the diphthong [eı] is Vowel No 3, which is mid-open and that of the diphthong [εə] is an open vowel. Make the nuclei long and very distinct vowels. Make the glides much shorter and indistinct.

2. Pronounce the pairs of words and the sentences with the two diphthongs. Observe their length variants:

A. fade - fair railways - rarely aging - airing
  shade - share waisted - wearing amazement - declaring

B. 1. Mary declared she had some gravy to spare. 2. It wasn't safe to go downstairs for the remains of the bacon and eggs. 3. On the stairs Mary explained she liked the flavour of the gravy and asked Clare if she had any more to spare. 4. The proletariate state and administration was prepared to overcome all the difficulties and complications.

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Checked Vowels

The vowels sound checked when a slight pause is made between the short stressed vowel and the consonant following it.

3. Read the words and the sentences. Make the vowels traditionally called short, checked in their shorter variant:

A. bricks upper effect push
  admit pot latticed cooking
  yet gossip struck touched

B. 1. I admit I touched his pocket. 2. It's a pity it isn't possible to cook the stuff. 3. It was impossible for him"to admit he was indifferent to the suggestion to come to Russia much later.

[θ, ð]

When pronouncing the consonants make an 'oscal'1 (that is show your teeth as if you were going to brush them). Check the interdental position of the tip of the tongue. Prevent the lower lip from touching the upper teeth.

4. Read the words and the sentences. Do not replace the consonants by [f, v], [Т, Д] or [s, z]:2

A. things - those throughout - these something - other
  thanks - this overthrow - therefore teeth - gather
    health - together  
    worth - with  

B. 1. But supposing it was something else. 2. It's the biggest thing of this kind. 3. They gathered the odds and ends. 4. The more we peeled the more peel there seemed to be left on. 5. Here was a dish with a new flavour with a taste like nothing else on earth. 6. Therefore our talk was threaded throughout by two motifs. 7. Is this the man with the vegetables? - This is the very man I gather.

Aspiration3

Remember that aspiration is the strongest before stressed vowels, especially before long ones; that the consonants should-not be aspirated when following [s], like in 'speak, stick, skirt'; that [b, d, g], their voiced counterparts, are never aspirated; they are weak consonants.

5. Read the words and the sentences aspirating the consonants [p, t, k] where necessary:

A. pity top coming encounter
  potted dictatorship speaking make

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В. 1. "Oh, that won't do. You must scrape them." 2. Montmorency had evinced great interest in the proceedings. 3. I encountered a personality entirely different from anything I had expected.

The Prevocalic [h]

Mind that the consonant [h] should be very weak (in fact it is breathing out a bit of air before the vowel following it). Do not make it too fricative, like the Russian consonant [X]. Remember that it can be dropped when unstressed and following a stressed verb like in 'I like (h)er. I saw (h)im.'

6. Read the words and the sentences:

A. held habit human
  hands hamper uphill
  hard Harris behind

B. 1. Here was a new dish unlike the old hackneyed things. 2. He will exploit the human heritage stupidly. 3. I hope Harris and Henry are happy now that they don't lag behind and nothing hampers them.

The Linking [r]

When there is a pause between the two words, the Linking [r] should not sound.

7. Read the sentences inserting the Linking [r] in the intervocalic position at the junction of words:

1. That'll inspire Alice.- I'm glad to hear  it. 2. The more I know her, the more I admire Ann.-By the way, where is she at the moment?- Either   in Asia or    in Africa. 3. It was clear to him that those who are   engaged in fhe task could after all be creative.

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1 See "Practical Course of English", part II, the footnote on p. 229.
1 ‘oscal’: оскал (the term was introduced by A. L. Trakhteroff)
2 To prevent the consonants [s, z] from being replaced by [0, d] keep the tip of the tongue at the lower teeth, and not between the teeth, when articulating [s, z]. Make an 'oscal' to check the right position of the tongue for [s, z].
3 Aspiration should occur at the very moment of releasing the obstruction for [p, t, k] but not after releasing it.


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