/ as in my.
Feature (e.g. of connected speech): A feature of something is an interesting or important part or characteristic of it.
Intonation: The way the level of a speaker’s voice changes, often to show how they feel about something, e.g. if they are angry or
pleased. Intonation can be rising or falling or both.
Linking: The way different sounds can link into each other in connected speech, e.g. it’s a good day – / tsʌde /
Main stress: see stress.
Minimal pair: Two words which are different from each other only by one meaningful sound, and by their meaning, e.g. hear, fear.
Phoneme: The smallest sound unit which can make a difference to meaning e.g. /p/ in pan, /b/ in ban. Phonemes have their own symbols (phonemic symbols), each of which represents one sound. Words can be presented in phonemic script (usually International Phonetic Alphabet or IPA), e.g. /dkt/ – doctor. Phonemic transcription is used in dictionaries to aid pronunciation.
Rhyme: 1. Words that sound the same, e.g. hat, cat; 2) A song or poem with words that sound the same at the end of each line e.g.
I believe I can fly.
I believe I can touch the sky.
Rhythm: A regular pattern of stress and syllable length.
Schwa: see stress.
Sentence stress: see stress.
Stress: Sentence stress is where different words in a sentence are stressed. In English these are usually the information-carrying words. In the sentence It was a lovely evening, and the temperature was perfect, the main stress, when spoken, is probably on the word perfect. Stress can therefore be used to show meaning,
to emphasise a particular point or feeling.
Strong/weak forms: If the word is unstressed, the weak form of vowels may be used, e.g. I can (/ kn /) speak Italian, French, English and Spanish. The sound // is called the schwa. If a word is important, then the strong form is used, and the pronunciation changes, e.g. I can (/kaen/) speak a little Spanish in an emergency. Word stress is the pronunciation of a syllable with more force than the surrounding syllables which are said to be unstressed, e.g. umbrella. Sometimes, a word may have two stresses, in which case one syllable takes the main stress. In the word independent, for example ‘pen’ takes the main stress.
Strong forms: see stress.
Syllable: A part of a word that usually contains a single vowel sound, e.g. pen = one syllable; teacher = two syllables – teach/er; umbrella = three syllables – um/bre/lla.
Unvoiced sound: see voiced/unvoiced sound.
Voiced sound/unvoiced sound: A voiced sound is a way of pronouncing sounds with vibration (voiced) or without vibration (unvoiced) in the throat. In English, vowels are usually voiced. Many sounds differ only because they are either voiced, e.g. /b/ or unvoiced, e.g. /p/.
Vowel: One of the sounds shown by the letters a, e, i, o u and sometimes y. See consonant.
Weak forms: see stress.
Word stress: see stress.