Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

How to Learn English Phonology

    • 1). Purchase or borrow a book on English phonology, such as "English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course" by Peter Roach (2009) and "Applied English Phonology" by Mehmet Yavas (2011).

    • 2). Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet. This is an alphabet that is used in dictionaries, English dictionaries being no exception, to indicate how to pronounce words. For example, the word "house" can be written down in the International Phonetic Alphabet as \'haus\. Symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet include"a:" as in "arm" and "father," "æ" as in "cat" and "black," "u:" as in "blue" and "food" and "ai" as in "five" and "eye."

    • 3). Learn the phonetics of English consonants. All English consonants involve the stoppage of flow of air in vocal tract. English consonants can be divided into voiced sounds that are produced by vibration of the vocal cords ("b," "d," "g"), and voiceless sounds, that do not involve vibration of the vocal cords ("p," "t," "k"). English consonants can also be classified by the place of articulation: labial, which means involving the lips ("p," "b," "m," "w"); dental, which means involving the teeth ("f," "v"); alveolar, which involves the area behind the teeth ("t," "d," "s," "z"); palatal, which means involving the hard palate ("y"); and velar, which means involving the soft palate ("k," "g," "h").

    • 4). Learn the phonetics of English vowels. English vowels can be classified as sounds involving the unrestricted flow of air through the mouth. All vowels sounds are voiced. Vowels can be classified by the degree of openness of the mouth and height of the tongue into high ("i:" in "see," "heat"), mid ("e" in "met," bed") and low vowels ("æ" in "cat," "black"). Please note that the lower the tongue the more open the mouth.

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