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Elision can be historical and contemporary.

English spelling is full of " silent" letters which bear witness to historical elision, e.g. walk /wo: k/, knee /ni: /, knight /nait/, cas­tle /ika: sl/, write /rait/, iron /laisn/, etc.

The most common cases of contemporary elision are Ihe following: elision of /t, d/ in

a) /ft, st, Jt, 6t, vd, zd, ö d/ sequences:
cleft palate /iklef ^paslst/

waste paper /'weis грегрэ/ crushed strawberries /1кгл£ sstro: bnz/ bathed the baby /*ba: 6 Эз 4beibi/ dived below /idaiv bijau/ closed doors /kbuz 4do: z/ breathed deeply /'bri: 8 vdi: ph/.

b) /pt, kt, bd, gd, tft, dsd/ sequences;
trapped by /Itrsep vbai/

cracked pots /'кгэек 4pots/ dubbed film /idAb Jilm/ bugged telephone /'Ьлд ^elsfaun/ enriched foodstuffs /mintf Ju'.dsUfs/ ridged surface /Ind3 vs3: fas/

c) /md, rid, gd/ sequences:
slammed the door /islsem Sa ^do: /
hair-brained scheme /iheabrem sski: m/

stringed musical instrument /'strip 'mjuzikl ^nstrsmsnt/ In a), b), c) cases elisions most frequently remove the marker of past tense in verbs. The meaning is usually clear from the con­text.

There are some words and verbal forms in which elision fre­quently exists in everyday speech. They are:

1. months and clothes with elided dental, fricatives: /mAn6s/->
—► /nuns/, /kbuö z/ —> ■ /klauz/;

2. fifth and sixth elide the consonants which precede /6/, e.g.
/fif6/—эк/fif/, /siksG/ -+ /sikG/.

3. of elided /v/ before /5/, e.g.

seven of those apples /isev3n э Ö air., replz/ six of the best /isiks d Ээ vbest/

— before other consonants, at more rapid tempo, e.g. two pounds of pears /ltu: Ipaunz э vpeaz/ a pint of milk /э Ipamt э 4milk/

Elided /v/ before /m/, at more rapid tempo, e.g,

give me your word /'gi mi jo: xw3: d/

leave me some more pudding /IH: mi ээ 1тэ: vpudin/

he mustn't have my share /hi 'nusnt h® mai Jes/

4. tt is reduced to t in the following verbal forms:

I want to drive /ai 'wonla vdraiv/ We've got to be careful /wi: v igots bi

5. going to has the form /дэпэ/ in all cases except very care­ful speech, e.g.

We're going to move house /\пэ 1дэпэ 'mu: v vhaus/

There is a tendency nowadays to pronounce sounds which are not pronounced as a result of historical elision, e.g. often /ufn/—> • /of tan/.

Assimilation in English differs from the Russian mainly along " the lines of direction: progressive voicing or devoicingis very rare in Russian, but quite common in English. It occurs in the follow­ing cases:

1. Contracted forms of the verbs, when the ending s is preceded
by a voiced or a voiceless consonant, e, g. Bob's gone, that's right.

2. Suffixes -(e)s of the nouns in the plural, or the third person
singular, e.g. girls, rooms, books, writes.

3. The possessive suffix -s' or -'s, e.g. Jack's hat, Bob's dog,

4. The past indefinite suffix -ed, e.g. played, worked, lived.
Cases of English regressive voicing or devoicing are very rare,

e.g. five pence /ifaifpans/, gooseberry /, 'gu: zbn/; these are cases of historical assimilation.

Regressive voicing or devoicing in Russian is obligatory both within a word and at the word boundary, e.g. пробка, сказка, воз сена, под столом.

Regressive assimilation of this type is very rare inside words in English, e.g. newspaper /inju: speipa/.

However it is observed in word boundaries in rapid, careless speech (see above).

Care should be taken to avoid regressive assimilation in such English words as tennis ball /items bo: l/, blackboard /iblaekbo: d/ and in the word boundaries: English book /Irnglij1 tbuk/, like that /laik lö aet/, these people /'Bi: z ipi: pl/.


1. What is assimilation, adaptation, elision? 2. What conditions are responsible for the modifications of sounds? 3, What types of as­similation do you know? 4. What is the merging of stages? 5. What is the interpenetration of stages? 6, What is the difference between the close and loose type of articulatory transition? 7. How is the work of the vocal cords affected by assimilation? 8, How is the manner of

noise production affected by assimilation? 9. How are the place of articulation and the manner of noise production affected by assimi­lation? 10. Give examples of contemporary elision. 11. What is the difference between the mechanisms of articulatory transitions in English and in Russian?


•I. Read the pairs of words below, characterize subsidiary variants оГуоше! phonemes due to adaptation,

a) booty /lbu: ti/—beauty /ibju: ti/
moon /mu: n/—music /imjurzik/

b) bed /bed/—bell /bei/
wet /wei/—well /wel/

c) coop /ku-.p/—cat /ks& t/—keen /kkn/
goose /gu: s/—cattle /iksetl/- — keep /ki: p/

d) peel /pi: I/—pool /pu: l/—-Paul /po: l/
tea /ti: /—ioo /tu: /—tore /to: /

geese /gJ: z/—goose /gu: s/—gorge /дэ: аз/

*2. Read the pairs below. What variants of the alveolar /t, d, n, I1 should be used before /0, B/ which follow them? J

eight /eit/ —eighth /ate/

that evening /lö set vi: vmrj/—that theme /tö set %6i: m/

write it /Yait it/—write this /'rait- vSis/

wide /waid/—width /wide/

read it /*ri: d it/—read this /iri: d J5is/

ten /ten/—tenth ДепЭ/

on my table /on mai ДехЫ/—on the table /on 9э»teibl/

heal /hi: l/—health /helB/

all his /to: t Jhiz/—all this /I3: l %Ö is/

*3. What variants of the /r/ phoneme are used: a) when it is preceded by /0, 0/
in " three", " thread", " with Russian": b) when it is preceded by a voiceless
consonant in " shriek", " fry", " try", " free"; c) when it is followed by /з;,
u: / in " roar", " room", " rule". й

*4. Read the pairs below. What variants of the consonants /d, g, 3/ are used before /w/?

a) dell /del/ — b) dwell /dwel/

luggage /UAgids/ — language /ilserjgwids/ gendarme /isa-ndam/— bourgeois /'buaswa/

c) read well /irl: d ^wel/—the bag which disappeared /бэ ibseg witf dis3, pi9d/

•5. Read the examples below. How are sonorants modified a) in the cluster* /pi, pr, tw, tr, kw, kl, кг/ before a stressed vowel? b) in the clusters /pj, tj, kj, H, fr, fj, 6r, 0), 6w, sw, si, sj, sm, sn/ before a stressed vowel?

a) lane /lern/ — plane /plem/

rise /raiz/ — price /prais/

..,, beware /bilwea/ — between /biitwim/


■ dry /drai/ wire /waia/ lean /lkn/ green /grim/

beauty /ibju: ti/

dune /dju: n/

you /ju: /

lie /lai/

rend /rend/

reviews /n'vju: z/

rise /raiz/

enumerate /iinju: m9reit/

way /wei/

leep /H: p/

mute /raju: t/

mile /mail/

know /пэи/

try /trai/ quire ik clean /klhn/ cream /kri: m/

pupil /ipjurpl/

brie /tju: n/

queue /kju: /

fly /Hai/

friend /trend/

refuse /n'fju: z/

thrice /8rais/

enthusiasm /m'Ojuizisezm/

sway /swei/

sleep /sli: p/

suit /sju: t/

smile /small/

snow /srau/

Explain the mechanisms of a) the orally exploded variants of /p, b, t, d, k, g/ in the left column; b) the nasally exploded variants of /p, b, t, d, k, g/ followed by /m, n/ in the right column.

help us Ahelp as/ departing /di'patirj/ don't ask /idsunt %ask/ darker /'dctkg/ ask us /4o: sk as/

help me Ahelp mi/ department /di'patmsnt/ don't know /idaunt vnsu/ darkness /idakms/ ask me Да-sk mi/

7. Explain the mechanism of the laterally expl ded variants of the It, d/ pho­nemes followed by HI in:

little /Hi«/ middle /imidl/

— that lesson /'Sset Jesn/

— good luck /igud к1лк/

*S. 5tate what cases of assimilation can be observed in rapid, colloquial stylt in the examples below.

a) bright blue
. dart board


b) third part
head boy
red meat
hard work

< c) short cake bright green

■ d) hard cash head gird

«) in Cardiff sunglasses


f) Christmas shopping

g) get your coat

I heard you come in bless you close your books...won't you?...couldn't you?...shouldn't you?...can't you? h) in the corner all the books what's the point? where's the breadknife?


*9. Transcribe and read the examples below, observe the elision of /t, d/ pie-ceded by a) fricatives, b) stops, c) nasals.

a) cleft palate c) slammed the door
waste paper hair-brained scheme
crushed strawberries stringed musical instrument
bathed the baby

b) trapped by
cracked pots
dubbed film
bugged telephone
enriched foodstuffs
ridged surface
dived below
closed doors
breathed deeply

10. Transcribe the words below. Single out the vowels that may be elided in
these words.

nursery temporary reasonable

petitioner phonetically parliament

policeman potato buffalo

difficult preference government

banana secretary bachelor

boundary Edinburgh naturally

several especially awfully

suppose carefully comfortable

history ' possibly machine

perhaps suffering interesting

11. Transcribe the words below. Single out the consonants that may be elided
in these words.

handbag humpty-dumpty landscape

postman attempt sanctuary

a sixth round empty next stop

last Saturday night time lamb

next time crumbs punctual

12. Give examples of historically established elision in words with the clus­
ters Im, kn, gn, mb, mn, 'Jk/.

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