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(teach) Re: Pronounce r

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  • fshdt
    ... matter ... No, it s a feature of all major Englishes and most minor. I ve heard it from plenty of US English speakers. When speakers move from one vowel to
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 31, 2004
      >
      > Funny, my China, umbrella, & panda never have an "r" at the end, no
      matter
      > what follows. Is this British English or some sort of regional dialect?
      > Leslie
      >


      No, it's a feature of all major Englishes and most minor. I've heard
      it from plenty of US English speakers.

      When speakers move from one vowel to another their mouth moves,
      changes shape, and there is a voiced transition.

      After 'ee' there comes a small 'y' as the mouth prepares for the next
      vowel.

      See y it We y opened the box

      After "oo", a 'w'

      Who w are you a kangaroo w in a box

      and so on.

      After a schwa you normally get a transition 'r', but since the schwa
      is a weak form the 'r' isn't as noticeable as the transitions above.
      It's still there in normal fluent connected speech, though. In fact,
      listening to a US speaker on HK radio at this moment I've just heard
      her say "an area of" with just such a transition.

      Since the transition depends on the initial vowel, some dialect
      speakers who have vowels that are very different from the norm may
      have different transitions but for most speakers the voiced
      transitions have to be there in some form.

      Exceptions: Some speakers of SE English replace 't' with a stop and
      you get two vowels with a stop between them. - Bitter becomes bi'er,
      bit of stuff becomes bi' a stuff. But here the stop is replacing a
      consonant so it isn't a normal transition situation.

      Chinese speakers of English often try to present each word separately,
      a product of the way they are taught, and so they pause between words
      and do not produce voiced transitions.

      Dick Tibbetts
      Macau
    • Lynn Aker
      MODERATOR NOTE: Several people have posted on this, discussing the fact that the r is pronounced in some places but not in others. So, the fact that this
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 1, 2004
        MODERATOR NOTE: Several people have posted on this, discussing
        the fact that the 'r' is pronounced in some places but not in
        others. So, the fact that this pronunciation item varies by region
        has been established.

        For the future, if your post only mentions a geographic
        location where it is/isn't pronounced, could you send it directly
        to the original poster? If, however, you tie it into a pedagogical
        point, it is welcome on the list.
        -----------------------------------------------

        No, it's a feature of all major Englishes and most minor. I've heard
        it from plenty of US English speakers.



        Leslie I am from the Pacific Northwest USA and I am with you! The r sound is never added at the end of a word there. I hear it in China and on British TV. Never is China pronounced Chinar, idea, idear, umbrella, umbrellar. In fact I have spoken to lots of Americans all over the country and never heard these words pronounced like that.

        Lynn Aker
      • william donnelly
        American New Englanders (JFK, for instance) would say pander, umbrellar, and Chinar, apparently much influenced by British received pronunciation. But did it
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 1, 2004
          American New Englanders (JFK, for instance) would say pander, umbrellar, and Chinar, apparently much influenced by British received pronunciation. But did it creep into China via English lessons from ex-pats and from the center of international trade's having been in Hong Kong, or from phonological reasons? Allied to this question is the neglected area of regional dialects of Chinese giving different pronunciation problems to ESL students, because if those "r"s varied depending on the areas tyraaditionally most heavily influenced by British teachers, that might provide an explantion . The whole question of teaching spoken English in various Chinese dialect areas has not, I think, been studied. Instead of confounding "l" and "r". Sichuanese dialect (considered somewhat declasse) cannot hear the difference between our "n" and our "l' and say "ecolonics" instead of "economics. Students from other provinces sometimes are incapable of a number of various other sounds depending on their
          origins. It would be useful for someone to survey these regional differences and to publish a guide to the such idiosyncracies to aid foreign teachers coming to China.

          william donnelly

          siragwatkins <SIRAGWATKINS@...> wrote:

          Funny, my China, umbrella, & panda never have an "r" at the end, no matter
          what follows. Is this British English or some sort of regional dialect?
          Leslie
        • fshdt
          ... sound is never added at the end of a word there. I hear it in China and on British TV. Never is China pronounced Chinar, idea, idear, umbrella, umbrellar.
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 1, 2004
            >
            >
            > Leslie I am from the Pacific Northwest USA and I am with you! The r
            sound is never added at the end of a word there. I hear it in China
            and on British TV. Never is China pronounced Chinar, idea, idear,
            umbrella, umbrellar. In fact I have spoken to lots of Americans all
            over the country and never heard these words pronounced like that.
            >
            > Lynn Aker


            Never is China pronounced Chinar! The very idea of it!

            "Never is" has an 'r' in most dialects of English, because 'never' is
            followed by a vowel and there is a transition sound between the two
            vowels. "Never go" has an 'r' in some dialects and not in others.

            What happens with "idea of" in connected speech? Here there are three
            vowels in a row and two transitions. The first is like "eeya". The
            second? I and a hotchpotch of other nationalities, including Americans
            of my acquaintance say "ideeyarof" or "ideerof". If Leslie and Lynn
            and other Americans don't, how do they make the voiced transition? Can
            Americans on the list please spend the day repeating "the idea of it!"
            at normal speed and report on the transition?

            This has an importance in teaching in China because Chinese learners
            tend to use a pause rather than make a transition and run words
            together. They are unusual. You don't have to teach transitions to
            most other learners of English because they come naturally as a
            by-product of the mouth change, though some learners from some L1
            backgrounds may prefer "fo w us" to "for us". These transitions are
            fairly consistent across languages and that's why I'm surprised that
            some Americans don't make a transition and I want to know how they get
            from one vowel to another.

            If we teach that there is no transition sound then we are encouraging
            the Chinese learners to retain the stops, to pronounce the words of an
            utterance in a series of staccatto bursts. I think we need to do
            something about it. The question is, what?

            Dick Tibbetts
            University of Macau
          • Joe Anthony Blum
            ... As I see it, we use the schwa sound instead of the r or w (which you used above). Joe Blum
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 1, 2004
              > backgrounds may prefer "fo w us" to "for us". These transitions are
              > fairly consistent across languages and that's why I'm surprised that
              > some Americans don't make a transition and I want to know how they get
              > from one vowel to another.

              As I see it, we use the schwa sound instead of the r or w (which you used
              above).

              Joe Blum
            • fshdt
              ... used ... The vowel in for is a schwa in normal speech unless the for is stressed so we can t use a schwa as transition from a schwa. We re already in
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 2, 2004
                --- In TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Anthony Blum" <jjblum@m...> wrote:
                >
                > > backgrounds may prefer "fo w us" to "for us".
                >
                > As I see it, we use the schwa sound instead of the r or w (which you
                used
                > above).
                >
                > Joe Blum

                The vowel in "for' is a schwa in normal speech unless the "for' is
                stressed so we can't use a schwa as transition from a schwa. We're
                already in agreement that most NS join for + us with an 'r'. US
                speakers (most) have a rhotic 'r' and always pronounce it in words
                where it appears in the spelling. - CaR, pouR etc. I'm interested in
                transitions where there is no 'r' in the spelled word.

                I'm asking about the transition between the schwa in umbrella and the
                vowel following in utterances like "the umbrella over there".

                When you have a schwa followed by a vowel do you have a voiced
                transition? If so, what is it? I've already said that we need to teach
                Chinese learners to make these transitions, or at least help them. The
                question is, what do we tell thwem or show them.

                Dick Tibbetts
                University of Macau
              • Joe Anthony Blum
                ... Here in Florida none of my friends, students, or colleagues have a transition sound in the above example. I would have my students in China practice the
                Message 7 of 16 , Nov 2, 2004
                  > I'm asking about the transition between the schwa in umbrella and the
                  > vowel following in utterances like "the umbrella over there".
                  >
                  > When you have a schwa followed by a vowel do you have a voiced
                  > transition? If so, what is it?

                  Here in Florida none of my friends, students, or colleagues have a
                  transition sound in the above example. I would have my students in
                  China practice the clear Latin sounds of a e i o u, maybe in a manner
                  such as a1 a2 a3 a4 a3 a2 a1, e1 e2 e3 e4 e3 e2 e1, etc. (with
                  the numbers showing a rise and fall in tonality).

                  Here, stage people who have to learn to sing in a hurry tend to
                  practice all possible combinations of vowels with the rest of the
                  alphabet, including the other vowels.

                  Joe Blum
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