My Dear Friends
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I am your facilitator TIMIR
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Do you know that as a child we start learning a language by hearing the common sounds in that language?
In fact, this is the natural way of learning the words in English too
The simple reason that most of the non-native speakers are unable to comprehend the correct pronunciation of most of the basic English words correctly
Is because of the difference in the linguistic patterns in their native language
This is popularly known as Phonemic Orthography
What is Phonemic Orthography?
It is a branch of Linguistics which identifies the
Correspondence between the Graphemes or in simple words the letters or alphabets of any language
And its phonemes or sounds of the language
To put in simple words, in an ideal phonemic orthography
Phonemic sounds always correspond to their spellings in a predictable way
But in an irregular phonemic orthography, phonemic sounds do not always correspond to their spellings in a predictable way
Taking an example
THE words Feat and Feet
Have different spellings with the different meanings but have the same pronunciation
While the language in most of the non-native English speaking countries follows an ideal orthographic pattern or in simple words the spellings of the words always correspond to their phonemic sounds in a predictable way
Taking a few examples of some popular non-native languages like Hindi, Bengali, Bahasa or even Malay which follow an ideal Phonemic orthographic pattern whereby the letters of the words correspond to their phonemes or sounds in a predictable way
Well let’s dive deep in to these amazing English Linguistic Patterns by understanding some basic spelling rules
Today I will begin with the Vowel letters and their widely used phonemic or sound patterns in English
To begin with we can divide the 5 English vowel letters in to 10 commonly used vowel sounds
5 Short vowel sounds
As well as
5 Long vowel sounds
I will try to explain you these vowel sounds in English with some example words to make these sounds more familiar in terms of their usage
SHORT’ A’ SOUND AS IN BAT
SHORT ‘E’ SOUND AS IN BED
SHORT ‘I’ SOUND AS IN FIT
SHORT ‘O’ SOUND AS IN ROD
SHORT ‘U’ SOUND AS IN CUP
LONG “A” SOUND AS IN VEIN
LONG ‘E’ SOUND AS IN FEED
LONG ‘I’ SOUND AS IN HIGH
LONG “O” SOUND AS IN FOOD
LONG “U” SOUND AS IN BLUE
Isn’t it amazing?
Now let’s switch on to most important part of the lesson which is about
The impact of these vowel sounds on the pronunciation of different words
The first impact is on what is popularly known as SYLLABLE STRESS in English pronunciation
So, what is syllable stress?
It is that part of the word on which one should stress more while pronouncing a word
Well, there are some easy techniques to figure out the number of syllables in a word
Usually each vowel separates each syllable in any word
Word stress is always on a vowel in a word
Example being the word TRAFFIC where we stress on the vowel letter sound ‘A’
Now having understood about that what is syllable stress we can discuss
Some useful spelling rules to understand the correct sound of each vowel in terms of its position
- Short-Vowel Rule: When one-syllable words have a vowel in the middle, the vowel usually has a short sound. Examples: cat, dog, man, hat, mom, dad, got. If the letter after the vowel is f, l, or s, this letter is often doubled. Examples: staff, ball, pass
- Two-Vowels Together: When two vowels are next to each other, the first vowel is usually long (the sound is the same as the sound of the letter) and the second vowel is silent. Examples: meat, seat, plain, rain, goat, road, lie, pie.
- Vowel-Consonant-ePattern: When a short word, or the last syllable of a longer word, ends in this pattern vowel-consonant-e, then the first vowel is usually long and the eis silent. Examples: place, cake, mice, vote, mute.
- Y as a long I: The letter y makes the long sound of i when it comes at the end of a short word that has no other vowel. Examples: cry, try, my, fly, by, hi.
- Y as a long E: When y or ey ends a word in an unaccented syllable, the y has the long sound of e. Examples: money, honey, many, key, funny.
- I before E: Write i before e when the sound is long e except after the letter c. Examples: relieve, relief, reprieve. When there is a c preceding, then it is ei : receipt, receive, ceiling, deceive, conceive.
- E before I: Write e before i when the sound is long a. Examples: weight, freight, reign. Another way to remember this is: “I before e except after c, or when sounding like a as in neighbor and weigh.” When the ie/ei combination is not pronounced ee, it is usually spelled ei.
- Oi or Oy: Use oi in the middle of a word and use oy at the end of a word. Examples: boil, soil, toil, boy, toy.
- Ou or Ow: Use ou in the middle of a word and use ow at the end of words other than those that end in n or d. Examples: mouse, house, found, mount, borrow, row, throw, crow.
I am sure that this lesson will be extremely useful for you to improve your English pronunciation.
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