Discovering Language: The Structure of Modern English by Lesley Jeffries

By Lesley Jeffries

This article presents scholars with the elemental descriptive wisdom they're required to grasp prior to relocating directly to extra complicated research. The publication is prepared less than thematic headings, that are completely cross-referenced, allowing scholars and academics to exploit the publication as required--either as a direction textual content or to assist with person features of language. every one part comprises an creation, labored examples, "in context" sections concerning the subject to actual textual content examples, feedback for additional examining and research and a precis.

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Example text

The sonorants include the nasals and approximants, and as the name suggests they have a more resonant sound than the obstruents, which is a term covering both fricative and plosive consonants where the main sound effect results from the obstruction of the airflow. 5 Vowels Unlike consonants, vowels do not involve any serious constriction of the airflow from the lungs. Instead they exploit the shape of the oral cavity, which can be made different sizes and shapes by raising and lowering different sections of the tongue.

This sound is sometimes mistakenly thought to reflect laziness, since it replaces a /t/ sound in some urban accents of British English, and because it is much further back in the mouth than a stereotypical /t/ it is viewed as a missing sound rather than an equivalent one. The most common place for a glottal stop is at the end of words (for example cat), but it also quite frequently occurs in the middle of words (for example butter). 2 The oral and nasal cavities Above the larynx there is a muscular tube known as the pharynx, which leads to the back of the mouth.

2 Manner of articulation Having considered all the places of articulation we shall now look at the other main axis of the consonant chart: manner of articulation. We shall spend most time looking at the manners of articulation used in English, but in order to give the English sounds a little context, others will be touched upon. The most consonantal of the manners of articulation is the plosive, where there is a complete closure of the vocal tract at one of the places of articulation. The pressure builds up from below, with the egressive airstream being pushed out of the lungs and into the oral cavity.

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