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The significance of language and speech becomes quite clear from the works of the classics of Marxism-Leninism who defined language as the most important means of human intercourse, and stated that language and consciousness arouse in order to satisfy the human need for communication.

"... men... arrived at the point where they had something to say to each other. Necessity created the organ; the undeveloped larynx of the ape was slowly but surely transformed by modulation to pro­duce constantly more developed modulation, and the organs of the mouth gradually learned to pronounce one articulate sound after another."

" First labour, after it and then with it, speech—these were the two most essential stimuli under the influence of which the brain of the ape gradually changed into that of man,.."

" By the combined functioning of hands, speech organs and brain, not only in each individual but also in society, men became capable of executing more and more complicated operations, and were able to set themselves, and achieve, higher and higher aims." г

Ancient objects, drawings, and written documents show that voice and speech always fascinated men. Written documents and evi­dences from ancient civilizations point to an awareness of speech, its origin and abnormalities a long time ago.

In India more than 2000 years ago there flourished a science of phonetics more advanced than any that has since been known until very recent times. The results, embodied in a series of Sanskrit texts, were first introduced to the West only some 80 years ago.

Here are some data connected with the history of phonetic develop­ment:

1829 laryngoscope was invented,

1852 first observations of the vocal cords were made,

1877 gramophone was invented,

1886 International Phonetic Association (IPA) was founded.

IPA started publications of a special phonetic magazine " Le Mattre Phonetique". It stated phonetic symbols for sounds of many existing languages. Given below is a table of vowel symbols used in various systems of transcription:

1 Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich, Selected Works.—M., 1970.—P. 356-357, 359-360.

  Beed i: 1; i i: i I
  bid I I I I i I
  bed e е е е   е
  bad   ж ш а se эе
  bard   ее а а а а
  rod ю D ъ   D  
  caii d: а э ж Э D
  wood u «   U CD  
  root U! и» U и и
  dug л л л Л Л Л
И hurt з: а:   э: э э:
  about э э        
  late ei ei ei ei et et
  rode эи эи ои ou ow 91)
  tide at ai ai ai ai ai
  loud au аи ао au aco аи
  boy         Di  
  pierce га is И
  fares еэ еэ еэ еэ еэ еэ
  tours «а иэ иэ иэ иэ иэ

Writing transcription symbols one should use the form of print rather than handwriting, e.g. /bed/ not bed, /tip/ not tip, /bit/ not bit.

Some shapes of the transcription symbols demand special atten­tion.

/B/ is like /b/ without an ascending stroke,

/0/ is written as capital 0 with a cross-stroke.

/5/ is like a reversed 6 with a cross-stroke.

Ill does not descend below the line.

Don't use any capital letters.

Don't confuse orthography and phonemic representation.

Slant brackets are used to mark off phonemic transcription, square brackets are used for allophones (see below).

It is not necessary to show any punctuation.

If necessary question marks and exclamation marks (?!) may be used to give an indication of intonation- Commas, full stops, inverted commas, hyphens, etc. should be excluded since they can be con­fused with intonation or stress markings.

Abbreviations and numbers should be transcribed in their full spoken form, e.g. USSR /lju: < es *es V. Note that the stress always falls on the last item.

EPD — English Pronouncing Dictionary (Jones,

GIM —Gimson (1980)

KR — Kruisinga (1975)

DJ — Jones (1962)

LAD - Ladefoged (1975)

JWL - Windsor Lewis (1972)


Syllabic consonants are indicated by l\] placed beneath the sym­bol, e.g. written /ritn/.

Primary stress is indicated by ['] before the stressed syllable, e.g. father Мадэ/. Secondary stress is shown by [j] before the syllable, e.g. examination /igizsemi'nei/эп/.

Phonetics is an independent branch of linguistics like lexicology, grammar and stylistics. It studies the sound matter, its aspects and functions.

Phonetics is connected with linguistic and non-linguistic sciences: acoustics, physiology, psychology, logic, etc.

The connection of phonetics with grammar, lexicology and styl­istics is exercised first of all via orthography, which in its turn is very closely connected with phonetics.

Phonetics formulates the rules of pronunciation for separate sounds and sound combinations. The rules of reading are based on the relation of sounds to orthography and present certain difficulties in learning the English language, especially on the initial stage of stud­ying. Thus, vowel sounds, for instance, are pronounced not only as we name the letters corresponding to them: the letter a as /ei/, the letter e as i'v.l, the letter i as /ai/, the letter у as /wai/, the letter u as i{j)n: l, the letter о as /эй/, jnq a can be pronounced as: /ae/— can, /a/ — car, 7sa/— care-, e can be pronounced as: Idthem, [з: 1— fern, liblhere, etc.

Through the system of rules of reading phonetics is connected with grammar and helps to pronounce correctly singular and plural forms of nouns, the past tense forms and past participles of English regular verbs, e.g. /d/ is pronounced after voiced consonants (beg— begged), It! —after voiceless consonants (wishwished), /id/—after It! (want—wanted). It~is only if we know that /s/ is pronounced after voiceless consonants, /z/ after voiced and /iz/ after sibilants, that we can pronounce the words books, bags, boxes correctly. The ending -ed is pronounced /id/ following /t/ or /d/, e.g. waited /iweitid/, folded /ifauldid/. Some adjectives have a form with /id/, e.g. crooked /'kru-kid/, naked /ineikid/, ragged /'rsegid/.

One of the most important phonetic phenomena—sound interchange—is another manifestation of the connection of pho­netics with grammar. For instance, this connection can be observed in the category of number. Thus, the interchange of It— v/, /a—z/, /Ö —Э/ helps to differentiate singular and plural forms of such nouns as: calf—calves II— v/, leaf—leaves II— v/, house-houses /s—z/.

Vowel interchange helps to distinguish the singular and the plural of such words as: basis—bases /'beisis—< beisi: z/, crisis — crises /ikraisis—'kraisi: z/, analysis—analyses /ainaelaaia —ainaateshz/.and also: man—men /man—men/, foot—feet /fut—fi: t/, goose — •geese /gu: s—gi: z/, mouse—mice /maus—mais/.

Vowel interchange is connected with the tense forms of irregular vverbs, for instance: sing—sang—sung] write—wrote—written, etc. Vowel interchange can also help to distinguish between

a) nouns and verbs, e.g\ baihbathe /a: —ei/,

b) adjectives and nouns, e.g. hot—keet /v —i: /,

c) verbs and adjectives, e.g. moderatemoderate /ei—1/,

d) nouns and nouns, e.g. shade—shadow /ei—se/,

e) nouns and adjectives, e.g. typetypical /ai—j/.

Vowel interchange can also be observed in onomatopoeitic com­pounds:

jiggle—joggle толчок, покачивание flip—flop легкий удар, шлепок chip—chop рубить топором, штыковать flap—flop шлепать, шлепнуть hip—hop подпрыгивать при ходьбе

Consonants can interchange in different parts of speech for example in nouns and verbs:

extent—extend /t—d/ mouth—mouth /9—Ö / relief—relieve /f—v/

Phonetics is also connected with grammar through its intonation component. Sometimes intonation alone can serve to single out the logical predicate of the sentence. Compare: x

*He came home. Not Mary or John. He 'came home. So you can see him now. He came 'home. He is at home, and you said he was going to the club.

In affirmative sentences the rising nuclear tone may serve to show that it is a question. Cf.:

He 'came thome. He I came, home.

Pausation may also perform a differentiator у function. If we compare two similar sentences pronounced with different places of the pause, we shall see that their meaning will be different.

•What Iwriting 'poet is (doing is»interesting.

If we make a pause after the word what, we are interested in what the poet is doing in. general. If the pause is made after the word writ*, ing we want to know, what book or article the poet is writing.

Phonetics is also connected with lexicology. It is only due to the-presence of stress, or accent, in the right place, that we can diti guish certain nouns from verbs (formed by conversion), e.g.

I abstract реферат—to abstract извлекать 'object предмет—to ob'ject не одобрять 'transfer перенос—to transfer переносить.

Intonation compensates for the fixed word-order of English sentence.


Homographs can be differentiated only due to pronunciation, because they are identical ш spelling, e.g.

bow /bau/ лук—bow /bau/ поклон

lead /li: d/ руководство—lead /led/ свинец

row /гэи/ ряд—row /rau/ шум

sewer /зэиэ/ швея—sewer /sjus/ сточная труба

tear /tea/ разрыв—tear /иэ/ слеза

wind /wind/ ветер—wind /wamd/ виток

Due to the position of word accent we can distinguish between homonymous words and word groups, e.g.

'blackbird дрозд—'black 4bird черная птица

Phonetics is also connected with stylistics; first of all through intonation and its components: speech melody, utterance stress, rhythm, pausation and voice tamber which serve to express emotions, to distinguish between different attitudes on the part of the author and speaker. Very often the writer helps the reader to interpret his ideas through special words and remarks such as: a pause, a short pause, angrily, hopefully, gently, incredulously, etc. For example:

" Now let me ask you girls and boys, would you paper a room with representations of horses? "

After a pause, one half of the children cried in chorus, " Yes, sirl" Upon which the other half, seeing in the gentleman's face that " Yes" was wrong, cried out in chorus, " No, sirl" —as the custom is in these examinations.

" Of course, no. Why wouldn't you? "

A pause. (Ch. Dickens. Hard Times)

If the author wants to make a word or a sentence specially promi­nent or logically accented, he uses graphical expressive means, e.g.:

Phonetics is also connected with stylistics through repetition of words, phrases and sounds. Repetition of this kind serves the basis of rhythm, rhyme and alliteration.

Regular recurrence of accented elements, or rhythm, may be used as a special device not only in poetry, but in prose as well.

For example, in the extract given below the repetition of the word fact helps Ch. Dickens to characterize his hero, Mr. Gradgrind as a narrow-minded person unable to see anything behind bare facts.

" Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them." (Ibid.)

In the description of Gradgrind's " mental introduction" rhythm is'achieved through the repetition of parallel constructions, beginning with the word man, which gradually develop and help to achieve the ■ climax of significance.

" Thoraas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and " two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into al­lowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir — peremptorily Thomas—Thomas Gradgrind." (Ibid.)

The repetition of identical or similar sounds, which is called allit­eration, helps, together with the words to which they belong, to im­part a melodic effect to the utterance and to express certain emo­tions. Thus, the repetition of the sonant /m/ in the lines of the ballad, given below (together with the other stylistic devices), helps to pro­duce the effect of merriment.

There are twelve months in all the year, As I hear many men say, But the merriest month in all the year Is the merry month of May.

The repetition of the words year, say and May produces the effect of rhyme.

Onomatopoeia, a combination of sounds which imitate sounds produced in nature, is one more stylistic device which can serve as an example of the connection between phonetics and stylistics. E.g.: tinkle, jingle, clink, ting, chink; chatter, jabber, clatter, babble; chirp, cheep, twitter, chirrup; clap, dab, smack; crash, bang.

The study of phonetic phenomena from the stylistic point of view is phonostylistics. It is connected with a number of linguistic and non-linguistic disciplines, such as: paralinguistics, psychology, psy-cholinguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics, dialectology, literary crit­icism, aesthetics, information theory, etc.

Phonetics has the following branches: 1) articulatory (physiolog­ical) and perceptive (auditory), 2) acoustic, 3) functional (linguistic).

Articulatory and perceptive investigation of speech sounds is done on the basis of a good knowledge of the voice and sound produc­ing mechanisms, their structure, work and perceptive (auditory) effects, that is—physiology and psychology. Articulatory phonetics makes use of such instruments and devices as: a hand mirror, laryn­goscope, artificial palate, graphical representations of sounds, pho­tographs and X-ray photographs, gramophone records and magnetic tape recorder. TV classes and special films are also very helpful for the investigation and study of the articulatory aspect of speech.

Acoustic properties of sounds, that is, quantity, or length, tamber, intensity, pitch, temporal factor are investigated by the acoustic and auditory branch of phonetics.

Special laboratory equipment, such as kymograph, spectrograph,
oscillograph and Monograph help to obtain the necessary data about
prosodic properties of speech sounds.,.., _*

A kymograph records qualitative variations of sounds in the form of kymographic tracings,

A spectrograph produces sound spectrograms which help to list the frequencies of a given sound and its relative amplitudes".

An oscillograph records oscillograms of sound vibrations of any frequency. Automatically recorded oscillograms can be observed upon the screen.

An intonograph measures automatically: 1) the fundamental tone of the vocal cords, 2) the average sound pressure, 3) the duration or length of speech (pausation). The results are recorded: 1) visually upon the screen of the electron-ray tube, 2) on paper or film with the continuous reproduction by tape recorder, 3) in digits (while estimat­ing the limits of the recorded area along the screen of the electron-ray tube).

The phonological or functional properties of phonemes, syllables, accent and intonation are investigated by means of special linguistic methods, which help to interpret them as socially significant ele­ments.

Theoretical significance of phonetics is connected with the further development of the problem or the synchronic study and description of the phonetic system of a national language, the comparative ana­lysis and description of different languages and the study of the cor­respondences between them, the diachronic description of successive changes in the phonetic system of a language or different languages.

Practical significance of phonetics is connected with teaching foreign languages. Practical phonetics is applied in methods of speech correction, teaching deaf-mutes, film doubling, transliteration, radio and telephone.


1; What is the significance of speech according to the classics of Marxism-Leninism? 2. What are the vowel and consonant transcrip­tion symbols? 3. What rules for writing transcription symbols do you know? 4. How is phonetics connected with other sciences? 5. What are the branches of phonetics? 6. What are the methods and devices, of phonetic investigation? 7. What is the practical and theoretical significance of phonetics?


*1. Write the plural forms of these words and transcribe them. Prove thai, ': phonetics is connected with grammar.

witch judge half loaf wife mistress

glass crash knife self wolf sculptress

fox calf leaf sheaf actress waitress

gas elf life thief hostess lioness

*2. Write the three forms of these verbs and transcribe them. Prove that pho­netics is connected with grammar.

beg compel stop work nod invent

live recognize wrap pass permit rest

open arrive help ship wait load

travel " rain ask pack expect depend

cancel inform discuss look

■ *3. Transcribe these words. Underline the interchanging vowels and conso­nants in the corresponding parts of speech.

nation—national advice—to advise

grave—gravity use—to use

provoke—provocative a house—to house

zeal—zealous an excuse—to excuse

supreme—supremacy a device—to devise

occur—'occurrence loose—to lose

close—to close

*4. Read these words and word combinations. Translate them into Russian. Prove that phonetics is connected with lexicology through accent.

'redbreast — fred 'breast I break-1 promise—'break 'promise

'bluebell—'blue 'bell 'heavy-weight—'heavy 'weight

'bluestone—'blue 'stone 'red-book—'red 'book

'blue-lines—'blue 'lines 'blue-stocking—'blue 'stocking

'bluebottle—'blue 'bottle 'blue-nose—'blue 'nose

'blackshirt—'black 'shirt 'blue-coat—'blue 'coat

'black-face—'black 'face 'blue-bonnet—'blue 'bonnet

tbird's-eye—'bird's 'eye 'black-hole—'black 'hole
'bread-and-butter—'bread and 'black mass—'black 'mass

*5. Transcribe, read and translate these pairs of words, Single out the sounds that differentiate the meaning of the words,

still—steel sell—sale but—bath

poo! —pull model—modal breath—breadth

ship—sheep saw—so diary—dairy

sit—seat Polish—polish suit—suite

fill—feel guard—guide patrol—petrol

live—leave worth—worse mayor—major

ill—eel truth—truce rout—route

6. Read these pairs of words. State to what parts of speech they belong. Single out the sounds that interchange. Translate the words into Russian.

deep — depth antique—antiquity know—knowledge

brief—brevity coal—collier please—pleasure

sagacious—sagacity mead—meadow perceive—perception

strong—strength nature—natural describe — description

precise—precision beast—bestial abound—abundance

broad — breadth brass—brazen mode—modify


Slower—-flourish admit—admission pretend—pretention

assume—assumption correct—correction precise—precision

presume—presumption conclude —conclusion object—objection

confess—confession divide—division neglect—negligent

depress—depression collide—collision compete—competition

deceive—deception intent—intention rector—rectorial

'7. Read these compounds. Single out the sounds that interchange. Translate the compounds into Russian.

knick-knack shilly-shally ping—pong

mingle-mangle tick—tack sing—song

mish—mash wiggle—waggle slip—slop

prittle—prattle wig—wag tip—top

rickety—rackety zig-zag wish—wash

riff_raff clip—clop wishy-washy
*8. Read the rhyme. State what stylistic effect is achieved through repetition.

To market,, to market, to buy a fat pig, Home again, home again, jiggety jig; To market, to market, to buy a fat hog. Home again, home again, jiggety jog. To market, ' to market, to buy a plum bun, Home again, home again, market is done.

•*e. Read the rhyme. Why is the word " think" singled out?

Look to left and look to right, Note what traffic is in sight. Note, too, which light can be seen: The Red, the Amber, or the Green-Children, keep from dangerous play And THINK before you cross today.

*10. Read these rhymes. State what sounds are used to produce the effect of alliteration and for what purpose.

(a) She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore;

The shells she sells are sea-shells, I'm sure. So if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore, Then I'm sure she sells sea-shore shells.

(b) Swan swam over the sea —
Swim, swan, swim;

Swan swam back again-Well swum swan.

*11. Read the rhyme. Transcribe the words ased to imitate the sounds made by different animals. State the stylistic device formed by this phonetic means.

Bow-wow, says the dog;

Mew, mew, says the cat; Grunt, grunt, goes the hog;

And squeak, goes the rat. Tu-whu, says the owl; Caw, caw, says the crow; Quack, quack, says the duck;

And moo, says the cow.

Control Tasks

1. How do you prove that phonetics is an independent science?

2. Cive examples to prove the significance of phonetics.

S. Give examples to prove that phonetics is connected with other sciences, *4. Translate these words and then transcribe them.

1. очень; меняться, изменяться; 2. личный; персонал, личный состав; 3. костюм; свита; 4. патруль; бензин; 5. мэр; майор; 6. бунт; разгром; маршрут, путь; 7. выносить, терпеть; пиво; 8. год; ухо; 9. набережная; очередь; 10. допускать; доступ, вход; 11. влиять; эффект; 12. сквозняк; засуха; 13, волосы; заяц; наследник; 14. на­ливать; бедный; лапа; 15. мужество; вагон: 16. требовать; приобре­тать

*5. Give the plural form of these words and then transcribe both^forms.

wolf, wife, life, leaf, thief, knife, sheaf, half, self, elf, loaf, calf, echo, potato, hostess, tigress, basis, thesis, crisis, analysis, man, foot, goose, mouse, bath, house, class, box, dish, inch, phenome­non, focus

*6. Single out pairs of sounds the interchange of which makes the words dif­ferent parts of speech.

clothe v —cloth n halve v —half n

glaze v —glass n live v —life n

loathe v —loath ft prove v —proof n

lose v —loss n serve v —serf n

*7. Accent and transcribe these words. Translate them into Russian.

insult—to insult outgrowth—to outgrow

object—to object outlay—to outlay

outgo—to outgo out throw—to outthrow

produce—to produce present—to present subject—to subject protest—to protest

torment—to torment

*8. Read the poem by an anonymous writer and state what phonetic expressive means the author ases to make it more^impress! ve.

Susan Simpson

Sudden swallows swiftly skimming.

Sunset's slowly spreading shade, Silvery songsters sweetly singing

Summer's soothing serenade.

Susan Simpson strolled sedately.

Stifling sobs, suppressing sighs. Seeing Stephen Slocum, stately

She stopped, showing some surprise.

" Say, " said Stephen, " sweetest sigher;

Say, shall Stephen spouseless stay? " Susan, seeming somewhat shyer,

Showed submissiveness straightaway.

Summer's season slowly stretches, Susan Simpson Slocum she—

So she signed some simple sketches — Soul sought soul successfully.

Six September Susan swelters;

Six sharp seasons snow supplies; Susan's satin sofa shelters

Six small Slocums side by side.

*9. Say how the effect of rhythm and rhyme is achieved by phonetic expressive means in the poem by D. F. Alderson.

Lines on Montezuma

(an extract)


Met a puma

Coming through the rye:

Montezuma made the puma

Into apple-pie.

Invitation To the nation Everyone to come. Montezuma And the puma Give a kettle-drum.


Of the nation

One and all invited.


And the puma

Equally delighted.

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