A SARJANA PENDIDIKAN THESIS Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Sarjana Pendidikan Degree in English Language Education
A PRELIMINARY PHONOLOGICAL CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS ON THE CONSONANTS OF ENGLISH AND CANTONESE A SARJANA PENDIDIKAN THESIS Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Sarjana Pendidikan Degree in English Language Education By Bezaliel Aditya Agung Sutono Student Number: 071214079 ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
A PRELIMINARY PHONOLOGICAL CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS ON THE CONSONANTS OF ENGLISH AND CANTONESE A SARJANA PENDIDIKAN THESIS Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Sarjana Pendidikan Degree in English Language Education By Bezaliel Aditya Agung Sutono Student Number: 071214079 ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
Sutono, Bezaliel Aditya Agung. 2014. A Preliminary Phonological Contrastive
Analysis on the Consonants of English and Cantonese. Yogyakarta: EnglishEducation Study Program. Sanata Dharma University.
The study of speech sound pronunciation is both prerequisite and important. That is why the English Language Education Study Program (ELESP) of Sanata Dharma University equips its teacher-candidates with the required knowledge through linguistics classes such as Phonetics and Phonology, and Pronunciation. This is to prepare them to help learners of English from various cultural backgrounds to overcome their pronunciation problems. One of these English as a Foreign Language Learners (EFL) is the Cantonese Chinese people. Having a mother tongue which is vastly different from English, the Cantonese EFL are facing difficulties in pronouncing the Consonants of English. Therefore, the research focused first on discovering the similarities and differences of English and Cantonese consonants, and later to elaborate some possible implementations of the research findings as a recommendation in developing learning material for Cantonese EFL learners.
This research mainly equated and analyzed the consonants of English and Cantonese according to their place and manner of articulation. To achieve the objective of the research, three research problems were formulated: (1) How are the consonants of English and Cantonese similar and different? (2) What English consonants can be considered as problematic for Cantonese EFL learners to pronounce? (3) How can the research findings of the contrasted English and Cantonese consonants be implemented as a recommendation in developing learning material for Cantonese EFL learners?
In this qualitative research, the researcher employed a library-study-based phonological contrastive analysis. The research data are the cardinal consonants of English and Cantonese, analyzed in a form of phonemic inventory. The obtained data were then analyzed based on the James
’s (1980) theory on four steps of executing a contrastive analysis of the sound systems of two languages. The data obtained were based on the equation tables derived from the two languages’ phonemic inventory. Regarding the first research problem, there are 12 consonantal phonemes of English which are similar to Cantonese. They are: /p, t, k, m, n,
ŋ, f, s, h, j, w, l/. Concerning the second problem, there are also 12 consonantal phonemes of English which are nonexistent in Cantonese. They are: /b, d, g, v,
θ, ð, z, ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ, r/. Regarding the third problem, there are three possible implementations of the research findings, namely: auditory based contrastive analysis, phonological contrastive analysis on the suprasegmental features, and recommendations in developing learning material for English pronunciation teaching for Cantonese EFL learners.
Sutono, Bezaliel Aditya Agung. 2014. A Preliminary Phonological Contrastive
Analysis on the Consonants of English and Cantonese. Yogyakarta: ProgramStudi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris. Universitas Sanata Dharma.
Pembelajaran pelafalan bunyi ujaran penting dan perlu untuk dikuasai. Inilah
mengapa Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris (PBI) Universitas Sanata Dharma
memperlengkapi mahasiswa calon gurunya dengan pengetahuan yang terkait dengan
kemahiran linguistik melalui kelas-kelas seperti Phonetics and Phonology dan
Pronunciation . Ini unuk mempersiapkan para calon guru agar dapat membantu
pembelajar Bahasa Inggris dari berbagai latar belakang budaya yang mengalami kesulitan
belajar melafalkan bunyi ujaran Bahasa Inggris. Salah satu kelompok pembelajar Bahasa
Inggris sebagai bahasa asing ini adalah orang-orang Tionghoa Kanton. Memiliki bahasa
ibu yang sangat berbeda dengan Bahasa Inggris dalam berbagai aspek, orang-orang
Tionghoa Kanton menghadapi kesulitan dalam belajar melafalkan konsonan tertentu
dalam Bahasa Inggris. Menyikapi hal ini maka riset ini terfokus pertama-tama untuk
menguak kesamaan dan perbedaan konsonan dari Bahasa Inggris dan Bahasa Kanton, dan
kemudian untuk menjelaskan beberapa penerapan hasil riset ini sebagai rekomendasi
dalam mengembangkan materi pembelajaran bagi orang Tionghoa Kanton pembelajarbahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa asing.
Penelitian ini terutama dibuat untuk menyamakan dan menganalisa bunyi konsonan
Bahasa Inggris dan bahasa Kanton menurut tempat dan cara pengucapannya. Untuk
mencapai tujuan penelitian, dikembangkanlah tiga permasalahan penelitian, yakni: (1)
Apakah persamaan dan perbedaan konsonan Bahasa Inggris dan Bahasa Kanton? (2)
Konsonan Bahasa Inggris apa sajakah yang sulit dipelajari bagi orang Tionghoa Kanton
pembelajar Bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa asing? (3) Bagaimana hasil riset dapat
diterapkan sebagai rekomendasi dalam mengembangkan materi pembelajaran bagi orangTionghoa Kanton pembelajar bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa asing?
Dalam penelitian kualitatif ini, peneliti melaksanakan analisa kontrastif fonologis
yang berdasar pada studi pustaka. Data yang diteliti adalah konsonan utama yang dimiliki
Bahasa Inggris dan Bahasa Kanton, semuanya diteliti dalam bentuk tabel inventaris
fonemik. Data yang didapatkan kemudian di analisa menggunakan teori milik James
(1980) yang menjabarkan empat langkah melaksanakan analisa kontrastif terhadap sistembunyi ujar dari dua bahasa yang dibandingkan
Data yang diperoleh adalah berdasarkan tabel persamaan yang dibuat dari kedua
tabel inventaris fonemik utama. Mengenai permasalahan yang pertama, ada 12 fonem
konsonan yang dimiliki Bahasa Inggris maupun Bahasa Kanton. Fonem-fonem tersebutyakni: /p, t, k, m, n,
ŋ, f, s, h, j, w, l/. Terkait permasalahan yang kedua, terdapat 12 fonem Bahasa Inggris yang tidak dimiliki oleh Bahasa Kanton, yakni : /b, d, g, v, θ, ð, z, ʃ,
ʒ, tʃ, dʒ, r/. Mengenai permasalahan yang ketiga, terdapat tiga penerapan yang mungkin
dilakukan, yakni: pelaksanaan analisa kontrastif auditorial, analisa kontrastif fonologis
terhadap fitur-fitur suprasegmental, dan rekomendasi dalam mengembangkan pembuatan
material pengajaran pelafalan bunyi ujar Inggris bagi orang Tionghoa Kanton yangbelajar Bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa asing.
Kata kunci: preliminary phonological contrastive analysis, consonants of English,
THE LORD IS MY ROCK, AND MY FORTRESS, AND MY DELIVERER;
MY GOD, MY STRENGTH, IN WHOM I WILL TRUST; MY BUCKLER,
AND THE HORN OF MY SALVATION, AND MY HIGH TOWER
(Psalm 18:2, KJB)
First of all, I would like to deliver my deepest gratitude to my one and only 皇天上帝; LORD Jesus Christ the God Almighty, whom mercy endureth for ever. It was all because of His relentless guidance, blessing, and grace that it has been possible for me to finish this research and complete my study triumphantly. The glory and honor are all His to keep.
Through toil and pain have I completed my study, and it would not have been so without the kindness and charity coming from brilliant people around me.
I would like to deliver my sincere appreciations to my sponsor, Bapak Drs. Barli
Bram, M.Ed., Ph.D. It was under his patience, his guiding advices, his support,
and responding to every bit of knowledge that he has given me that I managed to surpass the impossible moments. His passion for linguistics and English has inspired me to create this humble work of mine.
I would also like to express how thankful I am to be able to finish my study under the caring hands of Bapak Paulus Kuswandono, Ph.D. as the head of the English Language Education Study Program, Ibu Dr. Retno Muljani, M.Pd. as the head of the Language Institute, and also to all PBI lecturers of Sanata
Dharma University, altogether with the PBI secretariat staffs, especially Ibu
Maria Martarina Pramudani. All my efforts would have been in vain without
their kind assistance and support. It was in PBI that I have learned so many things being a real man for others, to serve the nation and the society with my very best.
I am so thankful for my family. My profound thankfulness should be delivered to my father Papa Sutono, my mother Mama Lily Yuliana Tandany, and to my awesome younger sisters Adela Lavinia Sutono and Natasya Vicky
Vania Sutono. My thank goes also to my Emma Ekawati Sahli, Ku AgusTandany and family, and A’i Lindawati Tandany and family. I am most grateful
to them for everything they have been granting me: the prayers, the patience, and the wholehearted supports shall not return in vain.
My thanks goes for my splendid brothers Nofian Junaedi, Handika Dwi
Kurniawan, Yulius Andar, Nicolaus Primawan, Adiguna Widjaja, Ian
Susanto, and Johan Lumento. Thank you for the joys and the tears we shared.
Thank you for the supports you guys have been giving me. I also thanks my fello w ’07 PBI students for the support and the time we spent struggling together.
Good luck to you all in everything you do.
And finally, last but not least, this humble research, and also the whole process of finishing my study would not have been accomplished without the presence of my beloved
宝贝 Tabita Hermayani. It was her love, patience, compassion, and cheerfulness which have truly processed me to be a better man who always aims to live in truth and honor. It was upon her smile and gaze that I truly learned to never give up even in the brink of destruction. At the end of the rope, she has given me a whole new purpose to be finished, a whole new world to live in.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page TITLE PAGE
………………………………………………………………… i APPROVAL PAGES
………………………………………………………… ii STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY ……………………………… iv
PERNYATAAN PERSETUJUAN PUBLIKASI
………………………………. v ABSTRACT
……………………………………………………………………. vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
…………………………………………………. viii TABLE OF CONTENTS
……………………………………………………. xi LIST OF TABLES …………………………………………………………… xv LIST OF FIGURES
………………………………………………………….. xvi LIST OF APPENDICES
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Research Background …………………………………................... 1
1.2 Research Problem ………………………………………................. 10
1.3 Problem Limitation ………………………………………………... 10
1.4 Research Objectives ………………………………………………. 12
1.5 Research Benefits …………………………………………………. 12
1.6 Definition of Terms ………………………………………………..
13 CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 Theoretical Description …………………………………………... 17
2.1.1 Theories on the Definition of Phonetics ………………............... 17
2.1.2 Theories on the Definition of Speech Production ……………… 19
22.214.171.124 The Air Stream Mechanism ………………………….............. 20
2.1.3 Theories on the Definition of Articulation ……………………... 21
126.96.36.199 Organs of Speech …………………………………….............. 22
188.8.131.52.3 The Articulatory System …………………………………… 28
184.108.40.206.3.1 The Nasal Cavity ………………………………………… 30 220.127.116.11.3.2 The Lips …………………………………………………. 30 18.104.22.168.3.3 The Teeth ………………………………………………… 32 22.214.171.124.3.4 The Alveolar Ridge
……………………………………… 33 126.96.36.199.3.5 The Hard-p alate …………………………………………. 34 188.8.131.52.3.6 The Soft- palate …………………………………………... 35 184.108.40.206.3.7 The Uvula ………………………………………………... 35 220.127.116.11.3.8
The Tongue ……………………………………………… 36 18.104.22.168.3.9 The Pharyn x ……………………………………………... 37
2.1.4 Theories on Phonetic Transcription ……....…………………... 38
22.214.171.124 Phonetic Transcription ………………………………………. 38
126.96.36.199 Phonemic Transcription ……………………………………… 38
188.8.131.52 International Phonetic Alphabet ……………………………... 39
2.1.5 Theories on the Classification of the English Consonants …….. 44
2.1.6 Theories on the Classification of the Cantonese Consonants …. 47
2.1.7 Theories on Transfer Error in Interlanguage Process …………. 50
2.2 Theoretical Framework …………………………………………..
51 CHAPTER III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 54
3.1 Research Method ………………………………………………… 54
3.2 Research Setting ………………………………………………… 57
3.3 Research Data …………………………………………………… 58
3.4 Data Gathering Technique ………………………………………. 58
3.5 Data Analysi s Technique ………………………………………... 59
3.6 Research Procedure ………………………………………………
67 CHAPTER IV. RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 English and Cantonese Consonants ’ Similarities and Differences 69
184.108.40.206 Alveolar Plosives of English and Cantonese ………………… 76
220.127.116.11 Velar Plosives of Englis h and Cantonese ……………………. 77
18.104.22.168 Bilabial Nasals of English and Cantonese …………………….. 78
22.214.171.124 Alveolar Nasals of English and Cantonese …………………..... 79
126.96.36.199 Velar Nasals of English and Cantonese ………………………... 80
188.8.131.52 Labio- dental Fricatives of English and Cantonese …………….. 81
184.108.40.206 Alveolar Fricatives of English and Cantonese ………………… 82
220.127.116.11 Glottal Fricatives of English and Cantonese …………………... 83
18.104.22.168 Palatal Approximants of English and Cantonese …………….. 84
22.214.171.124 Labio- velar Approximants of English and Cantonese ……….. 85
126.96.36.199 Alveolar Lateral Approximants of English and Cantonese …... 86
4.2 Possible Problematic English Consonants for Cantonese EFL Learners ……………………………………………………………………… 87
4.2.1 The Voiced Plosives of English …………………………………. 87
4.2.2 The Majority of the Fricatives of English ……………………….. 88
188.8.131.52 Voiced Labio- Dental Fricative /v/ ……………………………. 88
184.108.40.206 Voiceless and Voiced Dental Fricative / θ/ and /ð/ ……………. 89
220.127.116.11 Voiced Alveolar Fricatives /z/ ………………………………… 89
18.104.22.168 Voiceless and Voiced Palato-alveolar Fricatives / ʃ/ and /ʒ/ …… 90
4.2.3 Voiceless and Voiced Palato-alveolar Affricates /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ … 91
4.2.4 Voiced Palato-alveolar Frictionless Approximant /r/ ……………. 92
4.3 Possible Implementations of the Research Findings ……………… 93
4.3.1 Auditory Phonetics based Contrastive Analysis …………………. 93
4.3.2 Phonological Contrastive Analysis on the Suprasegmental Features ……………………………………………………………………. 95
4.3.3 Recommendations in Developing Learning Material for English Pronunciation Learning for Cantonese EFL Learners
96 CHAPTER V. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 98 REFERENCES …………………………………………………………….. 101
APPENDIX A ……………………………………………………………… 104 APPENDIX B ……………………………………………………………… 105 APPENDIX C ……………………………………………………………… 106
LIST OF TABLES
3.1 Sample of English Phonemic Inventory ……………………………........... 63
3.2 Sample of Cantonese Phonemic Inventory ………………………………... 63
3.3 Sample of the Equation on English and Cantonese Phonemic Inventory …. 65
4.1 English Phonemic Inventory ………………………………………………. 72 4.2 Cantonese Phonemic Inventory .
4.3 Equation on the Bilabial Plosives of English and Cantonese ……………… 75
4.4 Equation on the Alveolar Plosives of English and Cantonese ……………... 76
4.5 Equation on the Velar Plosives of English and Cantonese ……………........ 77
4.6 Equation on the Bilabial Nasals of English and Cantonese ……………....... 78
4.7 Equation on the Alveolar Nasals of English and Cantonese ……………...... 79
4.8 Equation on the Velar Nasa ls of English and Cantonese ……………........... 80
4.9 Equation on the Labio- dental Fricatives of English and Cantonese ……...... 81
4.10 Equation on the Alveolar Fricatives of English and Cantonese …….......... 82
4.11 Equation on the Glottal Fricatives of E nglish and Cantonese ……............. 83
4.12 Equation on the Palatal Approximants of English and Cantonese ……...... 84
4.13 Equation on the Labio- velar Approximants of English and Cantonese …... 85
4.14 Equation on the Alveolar Lateral Approximants of English and Cantonese ……………………………………………………………………………... 86
LIST OF FIGURES
2.1 Sound-producing System ……………………………………………......... 20
2.2 Human Respiratory System ……………………………………………….. 23
2.3 The Larynx …………………………………………………………........... 26
2.4 Four Glottal States ………………………………………………………… 27
2.5 The Vocal Tract …………………………………………………………… 29
2.6 Vowel Lip Postures ……………………………………………………….. 31
2.7 Divisions of the Tongue …………………………………………………… 37
2.8 Pulmonic Consonants ……………………………………………………… 40
2.9 Non- pulmonic Consonants ………………………………………………… 41
2.10 Vowels …………………………………………………………………… 42
2.11 Other Symbols …………………………………………………………… 43
2.12 Chief English Consonantal Articula tions ………………………………… 46
2.13 Initial Cantonese Consonants and Syllabics ……………………………... 49
LIST OF APPENDICES
A Map of Guang Dong Province ………………………………………….. 104
B Map of Hong Kong Districts ……………………………………………… 105
C Map of Major Southern Chinese Dialects ………..……………………….. 106
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This chapter consists of six sections, namely the research background,
research problem, problem limitation, research objectives, research benefits, and definition of terms. In general, the chapter presents the main idea, relevance, significance, and the focus of this research.
1.1 Research Background
The role of language as the primary means of human communication is without a doubt, very important. Only by undergoing the oral process of language people are able to convey meanings, ideas, and even feelings spontaneously. These conveyances are products of speech-sounds. Jones (1975) explains speech- sounds as “certain acoustic effects voluntarily produced by organs of speech; they are the result of definite actions performed by these organs
”. It can be implied then, to successfully be able to speak a language fluently, one must firstly be able to identify, discriminate, and understand the distinctive speech-sounds of that language in the manner of how they should be pronounced properly (Sapir, 1921, p. 106). According to this basis, the study of accurate pronunciation is both prerequisite and important.
In response to the importance of the study of English speech-sounds and their of Sanata Dharma University equips its teacher-candidates with the needed knowledge through classes such as Phonetics and Phonology, and Pronunciation.
Being prepared as excellent English language teachers, the candidates are expected to professionally be able to teach spoken English to speakers of any cultural or language backgrounds. For it is widely known that English, as the world‟s lingua franca, has been learned by other tongues as well (Historically, it can be said that the forerunner of English learning in an international scale, had begun since the dawn of the United Kingdoms‟ colonial days; around the end of
15 century (Kachru, 1983). Crystal (2003) notes that the trigger of the phenomenon of English language learning in worldwide scale was the international need for a universal language. It means that in the era of globalization, many people from various non-English speaking nations, who speak different tongues, have been learning to be able to speak English well in order to gain access to properly communicate their ideas in an international range.
However, learning English speech-sounds pronunciation for non-native English speaker is not as easy as how they acquired their first languages (L1).
Sanata Dharma University teacher-candidates must be prepared to help these non- English native speakers to learn English speech-sounds properly. Fries (1956) explains that to be able to comprehend a foreign language, a continuant process should occur. But then maintaining the so called continuant process in learning English as a foreign language is also not easy because of the learner‟s L1 habitual influence. Fries pinpoint the main problem of foreign-language learning by further that of learning vocabulary items. It is first, the mastery of the sound system
- – to understand the stream of speech, to hear the distinctive sounds features and to approximate their production
”. Thus, it should be noticed that the English speech- sounds pronunciation learning will usually be interrupted by the interference of the learner‟s L1 pronunciation habit. That is why the study on English speech- sounds pronunciation needs to be taken seriously. English teacher-candidates of Sanata Dharma University must have the sufficient knowledge necessary to help their students to achieve their purposes of learning English by overcoming this problem.
The purposes of learning English as a foreign language are various. The purposes can be just as simple as having the fun of learning it as a foreign language or can be as serious as developing one‟s business or political influence. Jenkins (2000), in her explanation on the theory of English as an international language, notes that the motivation of foreign language learning can be as blunt as to “further trading and commercial interests”, or to directly “promote the empire” (it should be emphasized here that the term „to promote the empire‟, as further explained by the author, contains the same message as to spread the British Empire‟s ideologies and aspirations) (p. 5). These purposes mentioned by Jenkins were exactly the purposes held by the emissaries of the British Empire‟s East Indian Trading Company when they landed on the land of the Cantonese-Chinese, Southern China.
The people of East Indian Trading Company who arrived in Southern China Chinese people (Kachru, 1983, pp. 126-127). This is then, the moment when spoken English and spoken Cantonese met. However, the history noted that the meeting was not what one would say, a delightful one. The Cantonese, like the other Chinese sub-ethnics at that time believed that the people from outside the mother-land of China were barbarians (experts believe that this antipathy-attitude is on account of the trauma upon the Mongolian and the Manchurian invasions).
Hence their first attitude towards the Englishmen and the language they spoke was not very positive even though they were noted as one of the very first groups of English-learning people in Eastern-Asia (Kirkpatrick, 2007, pp. 137
- –146; Kachru, 1983, pp. 126-127). Concerning the historical moment, Kachru (1983) continues to explain that in 1664, when the British fleet firstly made contact with the residents of Guangzhou, it was the time when English had to “undergo a difficult adaptation process, because for nearly two centuries, the Cantonese people refused to learn English as a full language, until the first Cantonese-English
pidgin emerged in the early 18 century” (p.126).
The emergence of the first Cantonese-English pidgin was the result of the Cantonese‟s willingness to finally accept the stimulating changes that had been happening in their land for more than a hundred year. The dawn of spoken English-language learning in Canton then began when the Cantonese was beginning to accept, trading with the British. At that time, their English-speaking ability was limited as only to assist their commercial activity with the foreign trader they had been resenting (Kirkpatrick, 2007, p. 137). It is worth to be noted English language, spoken and written, as compared to the other ethnics in mainland China (Kachru, 1983, p. 127; Lo, 2000, p. 1). The question remains then, on what could have changed the people‟s mind after two hundred years of reluctance?
According to Kachru (1983), non-native people learn English mainly because of their great need for modernization (which in essence meant Westernization) (p.
126), while Lehmann (1975) mentions the term “to serve the revolution” as the primary purpose of the study of English (p. 53). He also mentioned English as a key to gain access to Western science and technology. For example, in Northern China, the trigger for the English learning craze is the increasing flow of Western tourists and businessmen since the Mainland was internationally opened in 1980s for the globalization era (Cowan et al., 1979 in Kachru, 1983, p. 127). This is certainly explaining what happened in Southern China as well. As a proof, Hong Kong, one of the Cantonese-
Chinese people‟s main trading region was once a British Commonwealth nation (Notice that similar thing also happened to Macau).
Because of this so called „Westernization‟, the Cantonese-speaking people have been learning to speak English. Even until today along with the other non-native English speaking people from around the world, in the same excitement experienced by their ancestors, Cantonese-speaking people inside and outside mainland China are still learning and improving their spoken English (Chan, 2009; Chen et al., 1999; Lo, 2000).
The language that the Cantonese people speak, the Cantonese language is considered as a language. Chinese language itself is a language with many regional dialects. These dialects divide Chinese, as a spoken language, with varieties of tones, and different ways in pronouncing one, monosyllabic, Chinese character (Forrest, 1973). Forrest (1973, pp. 215-218) divides these dialects into two major groups, the northern dialects and the southern dialects. Each group has one dominant dialect serving as the role pattern to the others. It is explained in his book, The Chinese language, that the dominant dialect of the north is Mandarin, or the [
官话 „Guanhua‟. The dialect includes all the varieties spoken to the north and west coastal provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and some parts of northern Guangdong, and Guangxi. The dominant southern dialect is Cantonese, or the [
粤语 „Yueyu‟. The dialect covers the varieties spoken to the east and t he majority of mainland China‟s south-coasts. The provinces in which its people speak Cantonese as their mother tongue are as the following:
Guangzhou, the majority of Guangdong province, and the prefecture-level cities of Zhongshan, and Foshan, the major city of Shenzhen, the Pearl River Delta area, Hainan island, the eastern and southern parts of Guangxi, and last but not least, the People‟s Republic of China‟s (PRC) two Special Administrative Regions; Macau and Hong Kong.
Even though Cantonese is included as one of the seven acknowledged major Chinese dialects (alongside Gan, Guan; Mandarin or Pekingese, Hakka, Fukian, Wu, and Hunan), it is considered as another language. This, as Forrest (1973) other six dialects. The differences include the syntax system, the word- pronunciation system, the preserved archaic- Chinese‟s six-tone system, the lexicon, and the archaic pronunciation system. Based on this condition,
Cantonese, though being a dialect, is also a language which can stand on the same degree as both Mandarin Chinese and English. There is one more thing that should be noted about the unique feature of the Cantonese language; its „ancientness‟. Forrest (1973) argues that Cantonese is said to be the most archaic of the existing Chinese dialects. It is one dialect that has been successfully preserving “the essential traits of Ancient Chinese”. He also highlighted that “the tones in Cantonese … insisted on exact enunciation, in contrast with the latitude in the north. Cantonese has kept intact the six primary tones of Ancient Chinese”, whereas the other dialects, including Mandarin Chinese, have only four tones. In a positive agreement, Lo (2000) also agrees with the previous highlight by stating “from cultural point of view, this southern China dialect preserves many ancient types of pronunciation and phrases
”. He called Cantonese as “an invaluable vehicle for the investigation and research in Chinese culture”.
It is therefore intriguing to know that the same archaic dialect used only by the people in Guangzhou and its neighboring provinces when the British trading
company arrived in the 16 century, is now the most common mother language used by the inhabitants of Chinatowns in the United Kingdoms, Europe, the United States of America, and Asia Pacific. Apart from this certain historical background, there are yet other features that make Cantonese language special. used as the Standard Chinese, the modern Cantonese is still “the mother language of many Chinese people in the south China region” (Lo, 2000; Bauer & Benedict,
1997). It is now spoken by approximately more than 70 million people worldwide (Kuehn, 2012; Lo, 2000). Including the previously-mentioned United Kingdoms and the United States, this number includes also the Cantonese inhabitants outside mainland China such as in France, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Japan, India, Madagascar, New Zealand and most of the South-East Asia nations like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia (Sheik, 2012).
On Thursday November 10, 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding between Sanata Dharma University Yogyakarta with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies People's Republic of China has been signed. As stated by USD (2011), the Memorandum was signed by the rectors of both universities. In the report, it is also said that two kinds of cooperation were dealt, namely educational and cultural. It is explained further that the two channels had made it possible for the two universities to exchange lecturers and students, to develop joint researches, as well as to increase the cultural understanding between the two parties.
Based on the this event, the writer believes that there is a great chance in the future, for either the lecturers and teacher-candidates of Sanata Dharma University‟s ELESP, including the writer himself, to be having an opportunity of being engaged in a Cantonese-English conversation. Even the opportunity to teach spoken English to Cantonese EFL (English as a foreign language) learners is not the members of the study program to have the knowledge upon Cantonese speech sounds; especially upon how similar and how different the two languages‟ consonant speech-sounds are. The knowledge attained from these findings can bring even further understanding on the possible problematic English consonant- sounds for Cantonese native speakers. The information resulting from the second step can be useful in phonetics and phonology class, pronunciation class, speaking class, or can even be used as a reference to make sets of material design.
Regarding the possible difficulties, it should not be forgotten that Cantonese and English are two different languages coming from two different origins, i.e. the Sino-Tibetan and the Indo-European family. So, the gap of difference leaves a chance for imminent pronunciation problems to appear. Chan (2009), in her article concerning the same topic of discussion, argues that the problem can be classified into two, that is the difficulties in the production and the difficulties in the perception of English speech-sounds, especially, the consonants. Mastering English consonants has never been an easy task for a beginner non-native English speaker. Because, unlike vowels, producing consonants involves a more complex steps as the articulators are to be „arranged‟ and set in a way to create a certain blockage, like what is implied by Jones (1975) in his further explanation about the human speech-sound production.
Based on the significance and the necessity of the study, as described in the background, the writer decided to conduct a preliminary contrastive analysis on the consonant speech-sounds of Cantonese and English. Therefore, the study aims consonant speech-sounds by contrasting the two languages‟ articulatory grid employed in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) chart (The discussion will produce a list of English consonants which are supposedly difficult for Cantonese EFL learners to pronounce). And ultimately, to elaborate how can the research findings of the contrasted consonant speech-sounds can be implemented as recommendations in developing learning material for Cantonese EFL learners.
1.2 Research Problems Based on the research background, the writer formulates three questions.
1. How are the consonants of English and Cantonese similar and different?
2. What English consonants are considered as problematic for Cantonese
EFL learners to pronounce? 3. How can the research findings of the contrasted English and Cantonese consonants be implemented as a recommendation in developing learning material for Cantonese EFL learners?
1.3 Problem Limitation
To focus the discussion of the study, the writer restricts the problem to four limitations. First, it should be noted that Cantonese EFL learners referred in this research are those who speak Cantonese, either in Hong Kong or Guangzhou research refer to Cantonese-language native speakers who are studying spoken- English as their foreign language. The national contexts of the EFL learners will not matter since this research is contrasting the standardized segmental features of both Cantonese and English language‟s consonant speech-sounds.
Second, the studied English speech-sounds in this research refer to the British English, or the Received Pronunciation (RP) acrolect. This is due to the consideration that, as stated in Kachru (1983, p. 126) the British English accent was supposedly the first spoken-English accent that was heard by Guangzhou‟s residents back in 1664, as well as the one they had been familiar with for at least, a decade. It means that the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) showing the written-pronunciation of the English word examples shall follow the British English pronunciation. Third, the studied Cantonese speech sounds in this research are the standard Guangzhou styled Cantonese, as seen in Bauer & Benedict (1997), which is supposedly spoken as first language, by most Cantonese people worldwide. Fourth, it should be noted that this research is within the boundary of Phonetics Contrastive Analysis, using only two of its three approaches, namely articulatory and acoustic phonetics. C ontrastive phonetics‟ boundary is within the discussion of articulatory phonetics. This research deals not with the prosodic features of both languages‟ sound system (James, 1980, pp.
To answer the formulated research problems, the writer states three objectives, namely:
1. to describe the similarities and the differences between English and
Cantonese consonants, 2. to discover English consonants that can be considered as problematic for
Cantonese EFL learners to pronounce, 3. to elaborate some implementations of the research findings of the contrasted English and Cantonese consonants to be implemented as a recommendation in developing learning material for Cantonese EFL learners.
1.4 Research Benefits
Based on the research objectives, at least three benefits can be attained from this research. First, by knowing the similarities and the differences of the consonants of Cantonese and English, readers such as the lecturers and teacher- candidates of
Sanata Dharma University‟s English Language Education Study Program, can make a good use of the difference list as a reference to support pronunciation teaching activity. The knowledge that can be attained from the first question is including the information on which English consonants are not problematic in the way they are pronounced by Cantonese EFL learners, and which are problematic. For in within this research, the writer provides abundant different the way they are articulated, each with their own place and manner of articulation.
Second, the information on what English consonants are problematic for Cantonese EFL learners may be used as an aid for teachers of Cantonese EFL learners to pinpoint which consonants need extra attention to be taught, and the analysis on how can these sounds be considered as difficult may help the teachers to figure some creative solutions out to overcome the students‟ pronunciation- learning difficulties. Third, both the writer and the readers can gain information upon the implementation of the research findings on English teaching-learning processes for Cantonese EFL learners so that the knowledge might also be useful as a reference for those who are writing a topic alike, or are interested in studying more about Cantonese or English speech sounds. The findings of this research may also be used as a preliminary introduction to Cantonese phonetics for readers who want to learn Cantonese or for those who are to teach English to Cantonese EFL learners.
1.5 Definition of Terms
There are four specific terms related to the title which need to be defined in order to avoid ambiguity in this study.
1.6.1 Contrastive Analysis
The first term to be defined is contrastive analysis. Contrastive analysis according to James (1980), is an inductive investigative approach based on the distinctive elements in a language. It means that in conducting a contrastive analysis, a writer compares two or more distinctive features in a language.
Contrastive Analysis in this study is an inductive investigative approach on English and Cantonese
‟s segmental features of speech. The researched distinctive elements are the speech-sounds of both languages. And the features being compared are the consonants of both languages.
The second term to be defined is Cantonese. Cantonese or Standard Cantonese is a Chinese dialect, spoken as the mother language of many Chinese people in the south China region. (Lo, 2000). It is the acrolect of a sub-group of Chinese language divisions called the Yue. Bauer & Benedict (1997) divide Cantonese into two groups, namely, Hong Kong Cantonese, and Guangzhou Cantonese. Hong Kong Cantonese refers to the variety currently spoken in Hong Kong, whereas Guangzhou Cantonese refers to the variety spoken in the city of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province of Southen China. Guangzhou Cantonese, as Bauer & Benedict explain, is regarded as the regional standard across South China. Both varieties are phonologically and grammatically similar and the most distinctive difference lies in their lexicons. The Cantonese referred to this study is the standard Guangzhou Cantonese as featured in the book of Bauer & Benedict (1997) entitled Modern Cantonese phonology.
1.6.3 Speech Sound
Speech, according to Collins & Mees (2003) is “a continuous sound with interruptions only when necessary to take in air to breathe or to organize thoughts
”. While, Jones (1975) explains speech-sounds as “certain acoustic effects voluntarily produced by organs of speech; they are the result of definite actions performed by these organs
”. Syllabically, speech sounds can be distinguished into three types; consonants, vowels and glides. They are discerned by their way of articulation and their acoustic properties (Dobrovolsky & Katamba, 1996, p. 22). In this study a speech sound refers to the segmental features of speech that belong to both Cantonese and English language, which are symbolized with International Phonetic Alphabet.
The term consonant refers to a group of sounds forming with the air-stream through the pharynx and both the oral and nasal cavity receives temporary obstructions that allow a narrowing which will cause audible friction (Jones, 1975: 23). In details, Jones elaborates that consonants therefore include:
“All sounds in the production which are not voiced, all sounds in the production of production of which air does not pass through the mouth, and all sounds in which there is audible friction ” (p. 23). The consonants referred to in this study are the
24 English consonants as seen in Indriani (2005), and the 19 Cantonese consonant speech sounds as seen in Bauer & Benedict (1997), each sound defined by its place of articulation, and manner of articulation.
CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE This chapter consists of two main sections, namely the theoretical description
and the theoretical framework of the research. Both parts provide reviews of related theories on Cantonese and English phonetics and phonology. The theoretical description part has six sub-parts. The first sub-part features the definition of phonetics in general. The second sub-part displays experts‟ definitions of speech production which includes reviews on the air stream mechanism. The third sub-part reviews experts‟ understanding upon sound articulation and the articulators. The fourth sub-part reveals theories on the International Phonetic Alphabets (IPA) as well as English and Cantonese phonetics transcription system. Finally, the last two sub-parts features the classification of English and Cantonese phonetics. While in the theoretical framework, the writer explains how he had made use of the reviewed theories on Cantonese and English phonetics and phonology as references to help the writer answer the research problems.
2.1 Theoretical Description
2.1.1 Theories on the Definition of Phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics. Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) study that deals with human speech sounds has a broad range of attempts to describe all of the sounds known as human language world wide, a specification has to be made. According to Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996), there are two approaches to phonetics, articulatory phonetics and acoustic phonetics.
Articulatory phonetics according to Dobrovolsky and Katamba studies “the physiological mechanism of speech production”. Whereas acoustic phonetics studies the measurement and analysis of the physical properties of the produced speech sounds.
They emphasize that “both approaches are indispensable to an understanding of speech (p. 16).” Using another term, Collins and Mees (2003) describe phonetics a s “the science of speech sound”. They explain that mastering the science of speech sound is both prerequisite and beneficial in language learning. Studying phonetics is going to help one to “discover much” about the sounds of the studied language in terms of how the should be perceived and produced. It will also help one improving his or her “pronunciation and listening abilities” (p. 2).
Jones (1975) defines phonetics in a more technical manner as compared to Collins and Mees (2003). He defines phonetics as “the study on the acoustic effects voluntarily performed by human being organs of speech”. Thus, he implies that phonetics deal with “spoken language” in which it consists of “successions of phones emitted by the organs of speech, to gether with certain prosodies” (p. 1).
2.1.2 Theories on the Definition of Speech Production Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) explain that “sound is produced when air is set in motion.” The term set in motion here refers to the understanding that the air supply, being provided by the lungs, is being manipulated throughout the whole vocal tract by various organs so that this air supply can be recognized as speech sounds. The source of sound, according to them, is in the larynx, where the air is processed by the vocal cords. The air, which has been processed, passes the pharynx, and then the oral cavity, and the nasal cavity (p. 19). Thus is the explanation of the sound-producing system according to Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996).
Based on their explanation, it can be said that speech-sounds are products of the moving air that goes through the vocal tract. In a positive agreement, Indriani (2005) elucidates that “the air-stream provided by the lungs undergoes important modifications in the upper stages of t he respiratory tract … (p. 1)” This is what differentiate hum an sound with those of animals‟, that the sound produced by people “undergoes important modifications” so that “it acquires the quality of a speech sound
” (p. 1). So, it can be implied that in order to be properly produced, a speech sound needs to undergo the right modification through modification occurring in the trachea, up to the upper cavities; the oral and the nasal cavities.Figure 2.1 Sound-producing System. Taken from Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996, p. 19).
Figure 2.1, as featured in Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996, p. 19) gives a glimpse of the track taken by the air supply, or as mentioned in the figure, moving air, being exhaled upwards towards the throat, which consists of larynx and pharynx, directly to the nasal or the oral cavity, or both. As the air supply goes, it is modified as such to produce certain speech sound. Thus is the mechanism of speech production.
22.214.171.124 The Air Stream Mechanism Regarding how the air stream mechanism works, Collins and Mees (2003), in their book Practical Phonetics and Phonology, explicate in details that “the overwhelming majority of the sounds found in human speech are produced by an egressive pulmonic air stream (p. 12)
”. They further explain that this so called collapsing inwards ”. This stream then passes through the vocal tract as a set of muscles interacts to configure the vocal tract, articulating the air to become the designated speech sounds.
So, the egressive air stream, or as Jones (1975) calls it “breath”, when still in the lungs, can not be called as “voice” just yet. Jones explains that only when the air stream goes in between the vocal cords (which lie in the larynx area), and vibrates them, it can finally be identified as voice (p. 19). And then when this voice goes upwards onto the oral and or nasal cavity, it will be processed with various speech organs such as the tongue and the teeth, being modified, as Indriani (2005) mentions, in a certain way according to what speech sound the speaker wants to produce.
2.1.3 Theories on the Definition of Articulation The anatomical bits and pieces of the vocal tract is, according to Collins and
Mees (2003), termed by phoneticians as the articulators. They mentions that even though the articulators are all originally “‟designed‟ for purposes other than speech”, like “for example, the lungs are primarily intended for breathing; the teeth and tongue for chewing up food and passing it down to the stomach
”, the articulators are said to have “uniquely developed in very specialized ways” (p.
25). This has cause an organ like the larynx, of which original role was merely to keep swallowed-up food from entering the lungs, to be one of the most important organs of speech with essential role. The term articulation itself can be defined as
„forming‟ the air-stream into certain speech sounds that occurs in the “supra- glottal vocal tract”, within these three resonating cavities: the pharyngeal cavity, the oral cavity, and the nasal cavity (Collins and Mees, 2003, p. 7).
126.96.36.199 Organs of Speech Jones (1975, pp. 70-75), as well as Collins and Mees (2003, pp. 25-39), divide the human organs of speech into three groupings, namely: the respiratory system, the phonatory system, and the articulatory system. The respiratory system lies in the chest, the phonatory system in the throat and last but not least, the articulatory system lies in the head. The main organ of the respiratory system is the lungs whereas the distinctive organ of the phonatory system is the larynx. The articulatory system is the most complex of the three in which it consists many important organs like the tongue and the teeth. The articulatory system includes the three resonating cavities of the supra-glottal vocal tract (Jones, 1975, p.14).
188.8.131.52.1 The Respiratory System The human respiratory organs of speech consist of the lungs and the bronchial tubes, directly connected to the throat (Collins and Mees, 2003). Concerning the relationship between the respiratory system‟s mechanism with the production of speech sound, they explain that “during speech, the lungs take in air rapidly
(inhalation) and let it out slowly
- – in fact, about 1:8 in favor of exhalation. Speech consequently can be seen as a type of controlled breathing” (p. 26).
“the assessment of the exhalation force is relevant” (p. 7). From the experts‟ explanations, it can be comprehended that without proper assessment of the exhalation force, a speech sound might not be produced properly either. Especially when dealing with a tonal language like Cantonese, a good control upon the inhalation and the exhalation of breath is crucial. This signifies that the respiratory system is essential in speech sound production mechanics. The following Figure 2.2 might assist the readers to comprehend the image of what human respiratory system actually looks like.Figure 2.2 Human Respiratory System. Taken from http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookrespsys.html#The RespiratoryFigure 2.2 Human Respiratory System. Taken from http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookrespsys.html#The Respiratory
System and Gas
When one inhales, the air goes through the nasal passage, going through the pharynx, larynx, trachea, and enters the lobes of the lungs via the bronchial tubes (bronchi). This process as explained by Collins and Mees (2003) is compared to the next process; exhalation. When the lungs have received and processed the oxygen taken from the air-stream, they are ready to unleash the air back outside the body. This process is the process mentioned by Indriani (2005) as the moment when speech sounds can be produced as the air-stream being expelled from the lung, going reverse passing the vocal tract while being modified.
184.108.40.206.2 The Phonatory System The second main segment of the organs of speech is the phonatory system. trachea. The phonatory system starts at the top of the trachea upwards; the larynx. The phonatory system according to Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) is built by three cartilages: the thyroid cartilage, the cricoids cartilage and the arytenoids cartilage. The thyroid cartilage is forming the main portion of the larynx. This cartilage is on one part with the ring-shaped cricoids cartilage. The inner parts of the thyroid cartilage are sheets of muscle flare which form the vocal cords. Each fold of the cords is attached to the arytenoids. These arytenoids are opened, closed and rotated by several pairs of small muscles (p. 20).
Collins and Mees (2003) rega rd the larynx as “the engine of the phonatory system”. Unlike the lung-lobes and their bronchial tubes, the larynx can be clearly seen in grown human males as “a lump bobbing up and down in the neck” (p. 27).
Indriani (2005) described the physical appearan ce of the larynx as “a casing, formed of cartilage and muscle, situated in the upper part of the trachea. Its forward portion is prominent in the neck below the chin and is commonly called „Adam‟s apple‟” (p. 2). The experts describe the larynx as a „visible‟ tunnel which connects the lungs with the upper articulatory system. It begins at the top of the trachea and ends at the epiglottis. It is enclosed within the neck and is also known as the throat. It contains another crucial set of organ of speech called the vocal cords. Within these cords a product of the respiratory system called voice. Thus, this set of organs is of high essential.
The looks of this organ can be seen in the following Figure 2.3. The left most figure (image a.) is human larynx from the front; (b.), human larynx from the position. Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) also explain that “the striated lines in
c. indicate muscles, a number of which have been eliminated from the drawings in
order to show the cartilages more clearly ” (p. 20).Figure 2.3 The Larynx. Taken from Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996, p. 20).
In their discussion about Glottal States, Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) elaborate the physical appearance as well as the mechanism of the vocal cords as follows:
“As air passes through the space between the vocal cords, called the glottis, different glottal states are produced, depending on the positioning of the vocal cords
” (p. 20). In their explanation they mentioned four different states, namely, voiceless, voiced, whisper, and murmur. In the following Figure 2.4, these experts feature stylized drawings representing the vocal folds and glottis from above while pointing that “the anterior portion at the larynx is towards the top. The small triangles represent the Arytenoid Cartilages, which help spread or close the vocal fold s” (p.21). The four varieties of glottal state can be seen in as follows:Figure 2.4 Four Glottal States. Taken from Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996, p. 21)
According to Indriani (2005) the set of organs is described as “two folds of ligament and elastic tissue which may be brought together or parted by the rotation of the Arytenoid Cartilages through muscular action
” (p. 2). Instead of four, she mentions only three positions of the vocal cords. The first one is the wide open as for voiceless sounds and for breath (the left-most of Figure 2.4). The second is the slightly open as for voiced sounds (the second to the left of Figure 2.4). The last one is the tightly closed position as for glottal stop.
Collins and Mees (2003) further explain how these vocal cords work: “The vocal cords vibrate very rapidly when an air-stream is allowed to pass between them, producing … voice – that is, a sort of „buzz‟ which one can hear and feel in vowels and in some consonant sounds
”. The term phonation explains “the glottis are the source of certain vibrations in which can later be recognized as voice. It acts as a gate for the air-stream going through the sound production cycle which determine something as mere as the speech volume up to something as complex as an accent.
220.127.116.11.3 The Articulatory System The articulatory system is the third and the final part of the whole set of speech organs. Collins and Mees (2003), mentions that the system is in the head and throat, right above the larynx (p. 33). Indriani (2005) calls it the “upper cavities” where “the air-stream, having passed through the larynx, is now subject to further modification accor ding to the shape assumed by these cavities”; the upper pharynx, the mouth, and the nasal cavity (p. 2). She further mentions the function of these cavities, while working as one articulatory system, as
“the principal resonators of the note produced in the larynx ” (p. 3). According to
Collins and Mees (2003) the difference of the sound produced as the air-stream passes through the pharyngeal, oral and nasal cavity is comparable to the difference made to the sound produced by the vibrating reed, the tube, and the bell of a saxophone. The difference lies in which the nature of the vocal buzz is altered (p. 33).
The position of the cavities and the organs that are situated inside the vocal tract can be seen in Figure 2.5 as follows: asdasdad Figure 2.5 The Vocal Tract. Taken from Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996, p. 24).Figure 2.5 conveys
“the human vocal tract on which each place of articulation is located” (Dobrovolsky and Katamba, 1996). The blue circle indicates the area in which the pharyngeal cavity is located. The yellow circle indicates the location of the oral cavity, in which the majority of the articulation takes place. And the red circle indicates the area in which the activities occur in the nasal cavity. These organs of speech as seen in Figure 2.5 can be identified as follows:
18.104.22.168.3.1 The Nasal Cavity
The nasal cavity is called by Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996 ) as “the third filter” of the vocal track. It means that when the air-stream passes through the pharyngeal cavity, and has its volume „measured‟ by the vocal cords, it is then going directly to “the second filter” of the vocal tract; the oral cavity to be articulated. The nasal cavity, or the nose, has to do with the manner of articulation. They explain that when the velum is lowered, “it allows air to pass through the nasal passages, producing a sound that is nasal, … like the consonants at the end of the English words sun, sum and sung” (para. 26). Nasal is considered by Indriani (2005) as one of the seven manners of articulation in English language (The others being: Plosive, affricate, roll, lateral, fricative, and approximant or glide) (p. 11). It is also included as one of five manners of articulation of Cantonese besides stop, fricative, affricate and approximant (Bauer and Benedict, 1997: 32). Speech sounds that can be produced in this manner are including the bilabial /m/, the alveolar /n/, and the velar, are all called nasals.
22.214.171.124.3.2 The lips
Indriani ‟s (2005) analysis on the lips states as follows: among the movable parts within the oral cavity,
“Whenever the nasal passage is shut off, the lips constitute the final opening of the mouth cavity … the shape which they assume will, therefore, affect very considerably the shape of the total cavity
” Their function is then important, mostly in producing vowel speech sounds, and some bilabial consonants.
In a positive agreement with Indriani (2005), Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) explain that “any sound made with closure or near-closure of the lips is said to be labial. Sounds involving both lips are termed bilabial; sounds involving the lower lip and upper teeth are called labiodentals. As how these organs work to actually producing these labial sounds, Collins and Mees (2003) elaborate that to produce the bilabial sounds, such as the English /p/ /b/ and /m/
, “the lips can close to block the air-stream”. Labiodentals sounds such as the English /f/ and /v/ can be articulated when the lower lip is held close to the upper teeth (para. 34). They also added that
For vowels, the lips may be rounded (as in the English thought vowel), neutral (as in English palm) or spread (as in English fleece). Consonants may also be lip-rounded; English /w/ has strongly rounded lips, and for most speakers, /r/ is also rounded. The lips can also be protruded
- – often even made „trumpet-shaped‟, as for Engli. ship, measure, aitch, bridge (p. 34).
The following is a figure of vowel lip postures, taken from Mannell (2009), followed by an explanation upon the production of these vowels as follows:Figure 2.6 Vowel Lip Postures Taken from Mannell (2009).
.Figure 2.6 displays the two extreme lip-postures and two intermediate lip- postures. Vowel [i], which is shown in the upper left, has a very spread lip
posture. The vowel [u], at the upper right is a high-back cardinal vowel which has a very tightly rounded lip posture. Whereas the lower left is the vowel [a] which has a spread lip posture but this is a more neutral posture than for [i] because the lower jaw position for this vowel causes the lips to be more open. The vowel [
ɔ], which is shown at the lower right, shows a rounded yet opened lip posture for [u] (Mannell, 2009, p. 1).
126.96.36.199.3.3 The Teeth
The teeth, also called the dentes, helps forming dental sounds. For instance, w hen the “tip of the tongue interacts with the front teeth, dental sounds such as the English
” (Collins and Mees, 2005, p. 35). They also implied that the teeth are of highly importance “in one way or another for making a whole range of sounds, e.g. ”.
person with no teeth most likely will not be able to pronounce them properly.
So, when “the tongue placed against or near the teeth”, sounds that are produced via this way of articulation are called dentals. On the other hand, “if the tongue is placed between the teeth, the sound is said to be interdentals” (Dobrovolsky and Katamba, p. 25). From the explanations of the experts, it can be understood that the teeth work totally dependent on the tongue.
188.8.131.52.3.4 The Alveolar Ridge
The alveolar ride, or the “teeth-ridge” (Jones, 1975, p. 14), originally from Latin alveolus meaning „small hollow‟ is the front-most part of the roof of the mouth. Jones (1975) elucidates it as follows: “The roof of the mouth is divided, for the purposes of phonetics, into three parts called the teeth-ridge, the h ard palate, and the soft palate … The teeth-ridge is defined as the part of the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth which is convex to the tongue
” (pp. 14-15).
Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) are more specific in their statement about the ridge as the mention “within the oral cavity, a small ridge protrudes from just behind the upper front teeth … the tongue may touch or be brought near this ridge” (p. 25). From their explanation it can be said that the part of the teeth involved is the upper teeth. Different part of the tongue when touches the ridge, will produce different sounds. The sounds produced in this place of articulation, are including /s/, /z/, /t/, /d/, /l/, /n/, and they are called the alveolars.
184.108.40.206.3.5 The Hard-palate
After the alveolar ridge, “the remainder of the roof of the mouth comprises the other two parts, the front part constituting the hard palate, and the back part the soft palate
” (Jones, 1975, p. 15). Collins and Mees (2003) use the term
palatal to refer to what Jones (1975) calls hard palate. It is positioned at the
middle area of the roof of the mouth. Indriani (2005) also mentions the hard- palate is the second part of the roof. She ca lls it as “the bony arch” of the roff “which varies in size and arching from one individual to another” (pp. 3-4).
Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) mention another term; alveopalatal. Concerning the division of the roof of the mouth as well as the type of sounds that can be produced, are explained as follows:
Just behind the alveolar ridge, the roof of the mouth rises sharply. This area is known as the alveopalatal area (palatoalveolar in some books). Alveopalatal consonants are heard in the English words show, measure,
chip and judge. The highest part of the roof of the mouth is called the
palate, and sounds produced with the tongue on or near this area are called palatals (p. 25). The featured examples display two fricatives and two affricates consonants; /
ʃ/, . Collins and Mees (2003, p. 36) mention another alias; „post-alveolar‟. They also mention the description of „palatal‟ “is only used for sounds produced involving the hard- palate” (p. 36). Therefore the sound /ʃ/ and and
are known as palato-alveolar affricates. The term that the writer uses in this study is post-alveolar.
220.127.116.11.3.6 The Soft-palate The soft-palate, also called the velum, is the third part, of the roof of the mouth.
Collins and Mees (2003) say, “one of the important functions of the soft- palate … namely that of directing the mainstream either into the nasal cavity
… or into the oral cavity”. The other important function is that “they can also be used as a place of articulation” (p. 36). According to them, “the sounds made with the back of the tongue against the soft palate are called velar”. The sounds as featured in their book including /k/, /g/, These are all “velar consonants, but only /k/ and /g/ have velic closure” (p. 36). In his book entitled An outline of English phonetics, Jones (1975) also states that the velum can be moved. He says that “it can be moved upwards … and when raised to i ts fullest extent it touches the back wall of the pharynx … (p. 15)”, which is, leading to the pharyngeal cavity.
18.104.22.168.3.7 The Uvula
At the very end of the palates, in the inner-most side of the mouth, lies this “small fleshy flap of tissue” hanging down from the velum (Dobrovolsky and of this organ, call it “a little pink grape”. The uvula can be vibrated to produce a uvular trill , which is “much the same kind action as gargling” (p. 26).
22.214.171.124.3.8 The Tongue
The tongue is the main articulator of the oral cavity. It is a dynamic organ in which by definition it can be moved into many different places and different shapes to many positions.
Jones (1975) states that “the tongue is extremely mobile”, as compared to the other organs of the oral cavity. He explains that because of its high mobility, this tip of the tongue can reach most of the palatal section of the mou th, that is, “from the teeth to the beginning of the soft palate. The other parts of the tongue, he says, may likewise be moved to different parts of the roof of the mouth to articulate certain sounds (pp. 15- 16).
Furthermore, Collins and Mees (2003) provide information about the Latin term of this organ, which is lingua. They mention that the body of the tongue consists almost entirely of muscle, flexible as well as capable of
“assuming a wide variety of different shapes”. Collins and Mees (2003) distinguish the tongue into five parts, namely the tip, the blade, the front, the back, and the root. A cross-section of human tongue divisions can be seen in the following figure 2.7.Figure 2.7 Divisions of the Tongue. Taken from
Based on the explanations it can be understood that the sensitive tip of the tongue acts as the head of the blade, which functions to point the place of articulation needed to pronounce certain sounds. The front of the tongue means the middle of the tongue in which it usually is in contact with the palates. While the back of the tongue functions more or less the same as the front part. It can create velar closure to produce sounds such as the English /r/.
The tongue root is positioned on one side of the pharyngeal cavity. The position of the tongue indicates the place of articulation of certain sounds.
126.96.36.199.3.9 The Pharynx
Last but not least, the pharynx is “the area of the throat between the uvula and the larynx” (Dobrovolsky and Katamba, 1996, p. 26). They elaborate that pharyngeal sounds are extremely rare but not entirely absent, in English. They elaborate that pharyngeal sounds
“occur in the traditional English dialect spoken in north Wales … they are also found in urban Scottish English
2.1.4 Theories on Phonetic Transcription
188.8.131.52 Phonetic Transcription Regarding the term phonetic transcription, Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) explain that
“since the sixteenth century, efforts have been made to devise a universal system for transcribing the sounds of speech” (p.17). According to
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the word „transcription‟ is an uncountable
noun m eaning “the act or process of representing something in a written or printed form
” or “something that is represented in writing” (“transcription”). Hence phonetic transcription is a universal written representation of human speech sounds. Phonetic transcr iption is called the „narrow‟ transcription. The indicator for this transcription is a square bracket: [ ]. Phonetic transcription is also used to indicate the allophonic variants of a phoneme.
184.108.40.206 Phonemic Transcription Phonemic transcription, also called the broad transcription is the „less- detailed‟ version of transcription as compared to phonetic transcription. Mannell and Cox (2011) explain that
“the phonemic transcription of speech does not attempt to record the extremely large number of idiosyncratic or contextual variations in pronunciation that occur in normal speech nor does it attempt to describe the individual variations that occur between speakers of a language or dialect
” (p. 1). From their explanation it can be found that phonemic transcription aims to record the phonemes produced by a speaker. Phonemes are abstract units if linguistic which exists in the mind of both the speaker and the perceiver (p. 2). The indicating symbol for a phonemic transcription is a pair of slanted bracket: / /.
220.127.116.11 International Phonetic Alphabet In their further discussion about phonetic transcription, Dobrovolsky and
Katamba (1996) mention the term International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as “the best- known system”, in which the system “attempts to represent each sound of human speech with a single symbol” (p. 17). The kinds of symbol that they refer to are the ones that are enclosed in brackets [ ]. This enclosure
‟s function is to indicate that the transcription is phonetic. They mention that the enclosure symbol does not represent the spelling system of a particular language. For example, the sound spelled th in English this is transcribed as (pronounced eth, as in
weather . The IPA uses this symbol to represent the sound in whichever language
it is heard, whether it is English, Spanish, or Turkmen … (p. 17) As for the mai n function of the transcription system, they explain: “The use of a standardized phonetic alphabet with a one-to-one correspondence between sound and symbol enables linguists to transcribe languages consistently and accurately
” (p. 18). Collins and Mees (2003) also agree with Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1997) in terms of the usefulness of the
IPA system by calling it as “one of the most useful applications of phonetics” which is used to “provide transcription to indicate pronunciation
” (p. 14). The following are figures featuring
IPA symbols, all taken fromFigure 2.8 Pulmonic Consonants.Figure 2.8 displays a group of speech sounds called the pulmonic consonants.
Mannell and Harrington (2009) define pulmonic consonants as consonants that
depend upon an egressive (outward-flowing) air stream originating in the lungs ”. The following Figure 2.9, also taken fromext group of consonants, which is called the Non-pulmonic Consonants:Figure 2.9 Non-pulmonic Consonants.
Unlike their counterparts, the pulmonic consonants, these non-pulmonic consonants (as shown in Figure 2.9) “don't use pulmonic airflow. Instead they use velaric airflow (clicks) or glottalic airflow (implosives and ejectives)” Mannell and Harrington (2009). Thus, the pulmonic and the non-pulmonic consonants are the obstructed speech sounds in which, the productions of each of these speech sounds require certain formation and position of the articulators. The followingFigure 2.10 shows the non-obstructed speech sounds which is not discussed thoroughly in this research, called the vowels.Figure 2.10 Vowels. Taken from http://www. langsci.ucl.ac.uk.htm
Indriani (2005), in her description and classification of speech sounds explains that a vowel sound is described by the soft palate‟s position, the lips‟ aperture kind, as well as the part and the degree of the raised tongue (para. 12). Bauer and
Benedict (1997), in a positive agreement with Indriani (2005), also explain that vowels are analyzed based on three parameters, namely: “the tongue height, the degree tongue frontness or backness, and the lip r ounding”. They does not mention, however, the soft palate‟s position. It can be said then, unlike consonants, vowels are produced based, almost entirely on the tongue‟s movement, helped by the lips‟ forms, backed by the palates. When a vowel is combined with an ending-consonant, it will form a rime (Bauer and Benedict, another group which consists of „half-consonant and half-vowel‟ speech sounds.Figure 2.11 features this grup of other symbols.Figure 2.11 Other Symbols. Taken from http://www. langsci.ucl.ac.uk.htm
Mannell and Harrington (2009), on their explanation on Figure 2.11, mention the term “complex articulations”. This term refers to the sounds, listed in Figure 2.11, because though some of these sounds are considered semi-vowel, but can also be included into consonants since these sounds are also „obstructed‟ in the process of their making. Hence, beside the term semi-vowel, also called approximants or glides. The rest of the sounds are the epiglottal and alveolo- palatal fricatives, the epiglottal plosive, and the lateral flap. A variant of alveolo- palatal fricatives can be found in Cantonese speech sound inventory.
2.1.5 Theories on the Classification of the English Consonants
Bauer and Benedict (1997) explain that consonants can be described and specified by using these two parameters, namely: place of articulation and manner of articulation. Thus, phonological experts such, Collins and Mees (2003, pp. 40- 41), and Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996, pp. 26-35), group English consonants, each based on its place and manner of articulation. Either Collins and Mees (2003) and Dobrovolsky and Katamba (1996) affirm as many as 24 consonants exist in English language. They agglomerate these consonants, as mentioned previously, based on their manner of articulation, place of articulation, and they also notify whether a consonant is to be included as a lenis, or fortis.
The term lenis, according to them , is “a phonological class of voiced obstruent consonants articulated with relatively little energy and with potential voice”(p.
244). Whereas fortis is ano ther phonological class comprised of “voiceless obstruent consonants with energetic articulation”(p. 242). Thus, only 7 out of 24 English consonants cannot be identified as a lenis or a fortis. They are the approximants, and the nasals. The 24 consonants according to Collins and Mees (2003) are: the fortis bilabial plosive/stop /p/, lenis bilabial plosive /b/, fortis alveolar plosive /t/, lenis alveolar plosive /d/, fortis velar plosive /k/, lenis velar plosive /g/, fortis labio-dental fricative /f/, lenis labio-dental fricative /v/, fortis alveolar fricative /s/, lenis alveolar fricative /z/, fortis palato-alveolar fricative
bilabial lateral-approximant /l/, post-alveolar central-approximant /r/, labial-velar central- approximant /w/, and last but not least, the palatal central-approximant /j/.
Indriani (2005, pp. 8-9), in her explanation on classification of speech sounds, also mentions the same number of 24 consonants of English, namely: /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/,
/h/, /l/, /r/, /w/, and /j/. She, reveal other terms for lenis and fortis mentioned by Collins and Mees (2003); voiced and voiceless. This is another parameter to subsume these consonants; according to the position of the vocal cords.
According to her, “the essential factors to be included in any classificatory chart refer to: the place of articulation, the manner of articulation, the presence or absence of voice, and the position of the soft palate
” (p. 11). A chart of chief English consonantal articulations displayed in one segment of her book states her version of the English consonants division. It can be seen in the following Figure 2.12.
PLACE OF ARTICULATION
B LABI DEN ALV ALV P ALV P P
VEL GLO OST ALA ALA
IL ABIA AR TAL EOL EOL EOL TTA O
- TO TAL
- AR AR AR L L T AL
COMPLETE ORAL MAN CLOSURE
p b t d k g
E R Nasal
INTERMITTENT F A CLOSURE
ICU PARTIAL CLOSURE
L A Lateral
f v h s z
Semi vowelFigure 2.12 Chief English Consonantal Articulations. Taken from Indriani (2005: 11)
The second column from the left shows 7 manners of articulation each corresponds to the 9 places of articulation shown in the second line from the top.
The sounds in pair are arranged fortis or voiceless to the left, and lenis or voiced to the left. The voices that stand alone are the approximants and the nasals of English. Thus, from the figure, it can be identified that the English /p/ is a voiceless bilabial plosive, in contrast to /b/, which is a voiced bilabial plosive. It can also be seen that the English
are both fortis, both pronounced at the palato-alveolar, but the former is an affricate and the later is a fricative, and so
2.1.6 Theories on the Classification of the Cantonese Consonants Similar to Bauer and Benedict (1997) and Collins and Mees (2003), Lo (2000) also remarks that Cantonese consonants, each based on its place of articulation, manner of articulation, and whether the sound is lenis or fortis. Both Lo (2000) and the Education and Manpower Bureau (2003) affirm that there are 19 initial consonants in Cantonese inventory. Bauer and Benedict (1997) however, added two more sounds which are syllabics to their list. Each of these consonants can uniquely stand-alone as a single sound, representing a single word which is also semantically acceptable.
Different from the English‟s, Cantonese consonant inventory actually extrapolate aspiration factor to differentiate the plosives (also called stops) and the affricate available to this language. In English, an aspirated version of a stop sound is only considered as an allophone to that sound.
The 19 Cantonese initial consonants according to Bauer and Benedict (1997), also approved by Lo (2000) and the Education and Manpower Bureau (2003), are: the unaspirated fortis bilabial stop /p/, aspirated fortis bilabial stop /p
ʰ/, unaspirated fortis alveolar stop /t/, aspirated fortis alveolar stop /t ʰ/, unaspirated
fortis velar stop /k/ and /k /, aspirated fortis velar stop /k /, fortis labio- ʰ/ and /kʰ dental fricative /f/, fortis alveolar fricative /s/, unaspirated fortis alveolar affricate
/ts/, aspirated fortis alveolar affricate /ts ʰ/, bilabial nasal /m/, alveolar nasal /n/, velar nasal
fortis glottal fricative /h/, alveolar lateral-approximant /l/, labial- velar central-approximant /w/, and lastly, the palatal central-approximant /j /. The syllabic that Bauer and Benedict (1997) added are the stand-alone fortis bilabial It should be noted that there are three more sound variants exist in Cantonese consonant inventory. These sounds are allophones of the initials /s/, /ts/, and /ts ʰ/, namely the fortis alveolo-palatal fricative
]. The sounds involve a new symbol which Bauer and Benedict
(1997) call as “curly-tail c”; They convey allophone
] can only occur, before round vowels [y:],
also as results of palatalization of /ts/ and /ts ʰ/. Other from occurring in Cantonese, this sound also exist in
Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Catalan (Bauer and Benedict, 1997: 41-42). A chart of chief Cantonese consonantal featuring their remarks can be seen in the following Figure 2.13
PLACE OF ARTICULATION
ALALV EOL AR P
NASAL m n
Similar to Indiani‟s (2005) version of English consonant division, the second column from the left states the five manners of articulation according to Bauer and Benedict (1997), namely: stop or plosive, nasal, fricative, affricate, and approximant or glide. The second column from the top reveals six places of articulation, namely: bilabial, labio-dental, alveolar, palatal, velar, and glottal. The alveolo-palatals are not included in the table as they are but allophones of two of those initials. So, in total, there are 19 initial Cantonese consonants, and 2 syllabics (pp. 31-42).Figure 2.13 gives a clear picture on how Bauer and Benedict (1997) classify the consonants of Cantonese.
Taken from Bauer and Benedict (1997: 40)
ʰ APPROXIMANT w l j
Figure 2.13 Initial Cantonese Consonants and Syllabics.
FRICATIVE f s h AFFRICATE ts ts
ʰ k k ʰ k
STOP p pʰ t t
VEL AR GLO TTA L M AN NER OF AR T
IL ABIA L
IC ULATI ON
2.1.7 Theories on Transfer Error in Interlanguage Process
Corder (1981), concerning the study on interlanguage , believes that “the language learner‟s language was a sort of hybrid between his L1, and the target language
… the evidence of this was the large number of errors which could be ascribed to the process of transfer” (p.2). In this explanation of his, Corder (1981) implies that due to the intervention of learner‟s L1, errors do occur in the process of language learning for learners who are naturally still dependent on their mother tongue; their L1. This is what he refers to as the transfer errors. He also elaborates that the learner of a language is often “hampered in his attempt to use interlanguage for communicative purposes by its rela tive simplicity and poverty” (p.3). With limited knowledge on the available features of the target language, the learner of a foreign language will have problems in their learning knowledge. The writer believes that the term simplicity and poverty used by Corder (1981) is relevant to this research as it also can be applie d in the Cantonese EFL learners‟ in their English pronunciation learning circumstances. The articulatory grids of
Cantonese and English show the available sound gaps that coexist interlingually. This causes pronunciation learning problem to appear. Take for example the English fricative
does not have its equivalent in Cantonese. Thus the lacking of the sound is a potential problem for Cantonese EFL learners in learning this certain sound of English.
Chan (2009), in her explanation on overcoming difficulties in the production and perception of Englih speech sounds, emphasizes that “most of the problems learner‟s mother tongue, Cantonese, are often found to have caused production difficulties, whereas segments shared by both the native language and the target language phonemic inventories do not pose great production difficulties ” (p.3). The absent sounds of the target language in the native language might cause mispronunciation due to their misconception of the target language‟s word pronunciation. This is natural considering the learner‟s “inability to discriminate acoustic differences” (Chan, 2009: 4). The statement is also in a positive agreement with the term simplicity used by Corder (1981).
2.2 Theoretical Framework
In this section, the writer describes and explains the relationship between the theories and the objectives of this research. Specifically, the writer will convey the framework in terms of how far can the provided theories, which are directly related to the research‟s topic, be useful as a valid scientific basis for the analysis necessary in answering the research problems. It should be recalled that this research has three research objectives, namely: to describe how English and Cantonese consonants are similar and different, to discover English consonants that can be considered as problematic for Cantonese EFL learners to pronounce, and to elaborate some possible implementations of the attained knowledge of the contrasted English and Cantonese consonants to be implemented to support English pronunciation teaching to Cantonese EFL learners.
The first research objective has to do with discovering the similarities and and the differences of two things, the writer believes that, a good comprehension on the origins of these contrasted things. It means that an understanding on human speech sounds, on how they can be produced physically is important. Therefore the first theories that are being reviewed in this chapter are the theories on the definition on phonetics, in which the science has to do with examining the inventory and structure of the sounds of speech of spoken human language. After that, the review is brought towards the more technical discussion on the theories of speech production‟s definition, which includes the explanation on the mechanism of the air stream as the main source of speech sound.
The theories so far have indicated that this air-stream, in order to become speech sounds, must be modified in such a way according to the language in which the speaker uses. From this point, theories on the definition of articulation, together with its concepts of the organs of speech are also obligatory. Hence the theory on the respiratory, phonatory, and the articulatory system are included to finally give the writer a complete understanding on human speech sound production, on how the organs of speech can work together to articulate the air steam becoming speech sounds; consonants and vowels.
The review on how consonants can be produced helps the writer to understand that the concept of organs of speech, as well as places and manners of articulation are shared universally. It means that a comparison between two or more languages of different origin is possible, considering that in spite of the differences; some similarities must be shared as they are produced from the same the writer a comprehension on conducting a study on abstract objects such as speech sounds.
The theories on the classification of English and Cantonese consonants serve as the main footing in discovering, how different and how similar English and Cantonese consonants are. The discovered gaps of differences, supported by the theories on transfer error in interlanguage process, will answer the second problem, as they provide the information on what sounds in English are problematic for Cantonese EFL learners.
Last but not least, the list of the problematic sounds, each with their points of difficulties, provides an opportunity for the writer, as an English teacher- candidate, to elaborate some possible implementations of the research findings, to help Cantonese EFL learners in mastering English consonant pronunciation.
CHAPTER III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This chapter consists of six sections, namely the
research‟s method, the research setting, the research data, the data gathering technique as well as the data analysis technique, and lastly, the research procedure. The first, the second and the third sections present the chosen research type, the time and the place of the research, and the studied issues. The data gathering technique section unveils the technique of collecting data that is being used in this research, while the data analysis technique part discusses the method of analysis to answer the formulated research problems. Finally, the sixth section of this chapter discloses the five major steps taken by the writer in conducting the research.
3.1 Research Method
Academic research methodologies can be divided into two major groups; quantitative research and qualitative research. The most distinguishable feature can be seen from each research‟s attempts. Harwell (2011) describes the attempts of quantitative r esearch methods as to “maximize objectivity, replicability, and generalizibility of findings, and are typically interested in prediction
” (p. 149). The author further mention its characteristic as
“deductive”, and also pointed the key features of most of t he studies as “the use of instruments such as tests or However, considering the nature of the problems, the objectives of the research, and as well as the descriptive nature of the research findings, the writer suggested that the proper method required by this research is a qualitative one. There are two reasons to explain why this research is categorized as a qualitative research. The first reason is that it is due to the detail of the data provided in this research. Concerning this reason, Harwell (2011) conveys that qualitative research has to do with “a detailed exploration of a topic interest in which information is collected by a writer ” through various qualitative-based methods (p. 148).
The second reason is because of the inductive-approach nature that emerged in this research. Patton (1983), in his review on qualitative research methodology explains that “qualitative measurement has to do with the kinds of data and information that are collected,” and he further implied that a group of data can be included as qualitative data if it contains detail and depth descriptions of the studied issue. In this research, the writer emphasizes the detail of the analyzed data. As the writer thoroughly compares Cantonese and English consonant speech-sounds, he describes how each of the studied sound is being articulated throughout the organs of speech, and how it is being processed acoustically in the tract.
Patton (1983) also mentions that “qualitative design begins with specific observations and builds This nature of inductive toward general pattern”. approach can be found in the manner that this research was indeed conducted with this very way of conduction. The discussion on the inductive steps taken in this research will be discussed in the research procedure section. Among various available qualitative methods, the writer used the library research method as the most proper method to answer the research problems. The steps within the main framework of the research are to read, to observe, to collect data from various references related to the topic of the research, and to use the supportive and relevant collected data to help the writer in finding the answers to the formulated problems. The references of this research include books, academic journals and articles, theses, graphics, audio, or video files consisting theories of English and Cantonese speech-sounds, as well as discussions on the basic theories of English and Cantonese phonetics.
The writer used the method because he intended to compare only the standard way of pronunciation of both the specific RP English and Guangzhou-styled Cantonese‟s studied consonants. And the standard version of pronunciation, which is free of any local-accent contamination, as well as the other regional dialects of Cantonese, can only be found in the official or scientific sources, like some educational books, scientific journals and articles, and audio-visual files that were written or made by experts. Therefore, the writer did not conduct any interviews since the local-accent contamination potentials are inevitable. The library research method also matches the obligatory prerequisite of the conduct of a study on contrastive phonetics, which is “by taking as the criterion for comparison the articulatory grid employed in the IPA chart” (James, 1980, p. 72). It should be noted that this kind of data can be found in such sources as mentioned previously.
Another consideration of why the writer did not conduct any interviews is due to the really limited member of the expected interviewees. According to the observation previously done by the writer in his search for the right interviewee (February 2 until February 25, 2012), the writer found out that, Guangzhou Cantonese native speakers in Yogyakarta were at that time, rare to be found. The observation proved that not even four interviewees were available. Hence, the conduct of qualitative interviews in the moment this research was written was infeasible.
3.2 Research Setting
There are two places where the research was conducted. The first place is Sanata Dharma University Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Specifically, it was conducted at the library of Sanata Dharma University, which is located at Mrican, Yogyakarta. The second place is the writer
‟s residence at Demangan Baru, Sleman, Yogyakarta. The internet connections provided at both locations have helped the writer in conducting his research, especially during the data gathering phase.
This research was conducted from late February 2012 until the end of June 2012. Both the data collecting phase and the data analysis phase were completed in the middle of March 2012.
The rest of the period was the research‟s report writing process. In within the process there was the implementation of both the chosen research method, and the theories of related literature to help the writer
3.3 Research Data
The data were Cantonese and English consonants, each can be categorized based on its place and manner of articulation. Therefore, the objects of the study were books, journals, articles, graphic files, audio files, and video files that feature and discuss these sounds on how they can be produced and should be accepted.
The data gathered from the resources was compared to each other and analyzed in terms of their similarities and differences and became evidences. These evidences were the findings of this research, and these findings lead to the answers to the formulated research problems. The research subjects function as both basis and focus of the research.
3.4 Data Gathering Technique
The writer gathered the data through various processes within the scope of library study. In finding relevant and reliable theory and data for the research, the writer had undergone the process of studying in the library of Sanata Dharma University Yogyakarta. In this process, the writer read and studied various relevant and reliable books concerning the theories on phonetics and phonology, English and Cantonese speech sounds, and pronunciation learning. There were also books on the noted history of English learning in Guangzhou that explain the going-on learning process from the time of colonialism up to the modern time (as mentioned in the background), qualitative research methods, library study methodology, contrastive analysis and lasts but not least, under-graduate theses
The writer also gathered the necessary data from various multimedia sources. Through the internet, the writer was able to gather information that was not available in the library. The data varies from academic articles, academic EFL journals, and updated news about English language learning worldwide from online news websites. There were also graphics, or audio files related to the research topic such as pod-casts. There were also video files that help the writer to attain a deep understanding on both the RP English and Guangzhou Cantonese‟s consonant sounds‟ similarities and differences. For these kinds of data, the writer downloaded them, studied them, combined and related them with the data found at the library and later, used them as reliable references to help the writer in completing this research. It should be noticed that the writer had only secondary data as what is required in a library-study based phonological contrastive study.
3.5 Data Analysis Technique
The data analysis technique that the writer used in this research was the contrastive analysis technique. The description of contrastive analysis in general, according to Fisiak (1987), is
“a sub discipline of linguistics concerning with the comparison of two or more languages or subsystem of languages in order to This research uses determine both the differences and similarities between them”. a more specific technique which is called the phonetics contrastive analysis, which is a part of microlinguistic contrastive analysis. James (1980, p. 72) mentions the main aim of a Contrastive Phonetics contrastivist, which is to make equati ng certain of these sounds interlingually for purposes of comparison”. At this point, the writer would like to make the problem limitation clearer by stating that this research is done pre-phonologically. Thus the term preliminary emerged.
This statement i s according to James‟ (1980, p. 72), where in his brief explanation on Contrastive Phonetics, he also elaborates how can it be done pre- phonologically. One of the important statements that can be found in his explanation is that Contrastive Phonetics can b e done “without reference to the differences in function”. It means that it does not deal with the function of a sound. The discussion about sound function can be found within phonology‟s field, which James (1980, p.73) called, functional phonetics. James‟ technique of contrasting speech sounds with articulatory and acoustic phonetics approaches was the data analysis technique of this research.
Such equations can be made pre- phonologically by “taking as the criterion for comparison the articulatory grid employed in the IPA chart (James, 1980, p. 72)”.
The contrastivist‟s job is first, to compare similar sounds of L1 and L2 and match them based on their description upon their place and manner of articulation. This is the practical step of articulatory phonetics. James (1980) also mentions that this articulatory phonetics approach is a feasible one. He says that the feasibility of this approach is
“guaranteed by the fact that the world‟s languages do tend to employ sounds produced by a limited number of combinations of articulatory features (pp. 72-73)
”. This is the first approach to phonetics contrastive analysis, comparing the L1 and L2 sounds with a shared articulatory basis, as well as the The second practical step requires another approach, which is associated with the acoustic properties of speech sounds; the acoustic phonetics. This second approach to phonetics contrastive analysis requires the contrastivist to do two things. First, to compare L1 and L2 sounds in the way they are common physically and second, to note the differences accompanying this similarity. James (1980, p. 73) elaborates it further by mentioning that while the difference of two sounds, each belonging to L1 and L2, can be traced to an articulatory source, it is easier to be demonstrated and described in physical, acoustic terms. For example, in comparing the initial [p] consonant of the English word pal with the Cantonese word [
抱 „to embrace‟. Articulation wise, the initial [p] found in both words are similar, but they are not exactly the same since the [p] in pal is aspirated, while the [p] in [
抱 is „un‟-aspirated. This example is provided simply to elaborate the argument that this acoustic phonetic approach brings details to the comparison as it has the ability to „deepen‟ it by adding the „aspiration‟ feature.
According to James‟ (1980) theory on this technique, together with its two approaches, the writer had conducted four steps to execute a contrastive analysis of the consonants of English and Cantonese. Before the explanation on how the writer applied the data analysis technique to answer the research problems, it should be noted that in this research, Cantonese is L1 and English is L2. This is due to the cons ideration that one of this research‟s purposes has to do with helping Cantonese EFL learners. The first step of the data analysis technique is providing the phonemic inventory of English and Cantonese. So in this step, the writer, acting as the contrastivist had the list of all the cardinal consonants of the two contrasted languages inventoried (these inventory table is an adaptation of the IPA charts, like what can be seen in the second chapter of this research). By conducting this step, the writer acquired the total number of the consonants of English and Cantonese, together with their place of articulation, manner of articulation, and whether they are voiced or voiceless. The first step involves articulatory phonetics approach.
Concerning this descriptive first step, however, James (1980) says that, “it is not really part of Contrastive Analysis since for most languages a phonemic inventory will already have been made available by the phonologist. The contrastivist‟s task consists in equating phonological categories across the two languages
”. According to him, the consonants of L1 and L2 can indeed “conveniently be classified according to place and manner of articulation and placed in the appropriate cell of the IPA chart, with voiceless/voiced pairs (e.g. /p/ : /b/) appearing in this order consistently (p. 75)
”. Based on this explanation, it can be concluded that this step is still significant, necessary and feasible to be conducted in this research. The following tables illustrate the kind of table that is used in re-presenting the inventories to be analyzed. Plosive Nasal Fricative Manner Place
- Bilabial p b m
- Labio-dental -
f vTable 3.1 Sample of English Phonemic Inventory Table 3.1 serves as a sample of the phonemic inventory used in this research.
It presents a part of English consonants list. It features five of a total of twenty four English consonants, namely: /p/, /b/, /m/, /f/, and /v/. Like James (1980) instructed, the consonants are classified, each according to its place and manner of articulation, together with its voiceless/voiced (VCL/VCD) pair. From the table, it can be identified that English language has one voiceless bilabial plosive sound, which is /p/. It also has a voiced labio-dental fricative /v/, and so on. The format of the table is adapted from James (1980, p. 76), the data presented here taken from Collins and Mees (2003, p. 40), and Indriani (2005, p. 8).
Plosive Nasal Fricative Manner Place
- Bilabial p p m - - Labio-dental
- f - - - -
Similar to its counterpart, Table 3.2 presents a part of Cantonese consonants namely: /p/, / p ʰ/, /m/, and /f/. According to the place of articulation, manner of articulation, and the voiceless/voiced feature of the featured consonants, it can be identified that Cantonese has the voiced bilabial nasal sound /m/. It also has a
voiceless, bilabial plosive /p /, and so on. The format of the table was also adapted from James (1980, p. 76) and the data presented here taken was derived from Bauer and Benedict (1997, pp. 33-40) and Lo (2000, p. 5).
The second step of the technique requires the equation of the two languages‟ phonemes interlingually. So in this second step the writer made another table featuring a combined list of English and Cantonese consonants taken from the previously related tables. The table is presented as follows:
Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing No. h [p ] plosive bilabial aspirated voiceless
[p] plosive bilabial unaspirated voiceless 1. /p/
[p plosive bilabial unreleased voiceless h h ˺]
2. plosive bilabial unaspirated voiceless
/p / [p ]
- 3. /b/ [b] plosive bilabial voiced
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicingh [p ] plosive bilabial aspirated voiceless
[p] plosive bilabial unaspirated voiceless 1. /p/
[p plosive bilabial unreleased voiceless h h ˺]
2. /p / [p ] plosive bilabial unaspirated voiceless3. /b/ [b] plosive bilabial voiced
Table 3.3 Sample of the Equation on English and Cantonese Phonemic Inventory
and to list the phonemic variants (allophones) for Cantonese and English. Whereas the first two phonemic inventory tables are merely displaying the cardinal consonants of both Cantonese and English, the third table carries two unique features which can be considered as the essences of the equation. The first previously mentioned feature was that this one table presents the contrasted languages‟ cardinal consonants altogether. The second feature is the coloring mark. The phonemes and allophonic variants presented in red color indicate that
English. The ones in purple indicate that the highlighted sound and its status is shared by Cantonese and English From this point on, the last working step of ‟s. the technique, a thorough analysis on stating the distributional restrictions on the phonemes and allophones of the contrasted languages can be done. From the table of equation (Table 3.3) it can be comprehended that Cantonese and English shares the same bilabial plosive /p/. Though Cantonese does not have a voiced bilabial plosive /b/ like English does, it has an aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive /p
ʰ/, which English shares. The aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive /p ʰ/ does occur as an allophone of English /p/ but it is not acknowledged as a stand-alone initial consonant. It can also be stated that due to its non-occurrence, the pronunciation of English /b/ is problematic for Cantonese EFL learners. Chan (2009) stated that Cantonese EFL beginner-learners tend to “substitute” it with /pʰ/.
It should be noted that these steps are conducted with articulatory and acoustic phonetics approaches, which deal quite a lot with rules of phonetics and some additional points on segmental phonology. The point being that the phonological analysis done in this research is restricted to the “sounds occurring in word-initial, medial, or final position. (James, 1980, p. 79) The combined use of these
” phonemic inventories and equation tables provides a comparison between English‟ and Cantonese‟ consonant speech sounds based on their place and manner of articulation. From the comparison, the writer was able to determine which English consonant is supposedly difficult to be pronounced by Cantonese EFL learners, and why does it difficult. Thus, is the example of how the writer
3.6 Research Procedure
The writer had taken five major steps in completing the research. The first step was conducting a pre-research observation on the possible topics for the research, and to decide the topic of the research. In this step, the writer did an observation on the theses of the graduated colleagues and seniors, and also did a small research on the internet upon several topics which the writer was interested in. From this step, the topic of the research was decided to be the difficulties in English consonants pronunciation faced by Cantonese EFL learners.
The second step was to formulate the suggested title and the research problems. In this step the writer did free writings and brainstorm to achieve the focus of the research. The results of this process were the research background, the research problems, the problems limitation, and the research objectives. This step highlights important points which could be considered as the focus as well as the basis of the research discussion.
After the necessary details of the study were listed, the writer took the third step which was to collect relevant data for the study to assist the writer in finding the answer to the analyzed problem. This is the step where the writer was working on the selected references. The writer searched for relevant theories from scientific sources, mostly texts such as books, as well as scientific journals and articles. The related literary works were used as the tools to answer the three questions stated in the problem formulation of the study. This is the step were the writer conducted the library research method. It should be noted that these first
The fourth step, the research‟s data analysis part, is the step where the writer applied the gathered theories and data to answer the research problems. The writer used phonological approach, and more specifically, the theory of English and Cantonese phonetics and the contrastive analysis technique to discuss the research problems. After the writer done with the fourth step, he built the last step of the study, which is to conclude the findings of the study the result of the discussion. In this step, the writer mapped out and defined the three main discussion of the research. The first one is, which English and Cantonese consonant sounds are similar, which are different in the way they are pronounced, and which English consonants are nonexistent in Cantonese. The second point being, which consonants are considered problematic for Cantonese EFL learners. The last point is where the writer elaborated some possible positive implementations of the data findings in English pronunciation teaching for Cantonese EFL learners. The list of the speech sounds that are similar could be used to expedite teaching-learning activities for Cantonese EFL learners in various ways, including triggering the learners‟ English learning motivation. The list of the English consonants that are different, problematic, and even nonexistent in Cantonese is used as a basis in discovering some possible English speech-sounds pronunciation teaching approaches, methods and techniques to Cantonese EFL learners.
CHAPTER IV RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION This chapter consists of three section of discussion. The first section is the
description on the similarities and differences of English and Cantonese consonants. In this section the writer describes how English and Cantonese consonants are similar and different, which is corresponding to the first research problem. The second section features and discusses some possible English consonants that can be considered problematic to be pronounced for Cantonese EFL learners. In this section the writer discovers some English consonants that can be considered as problematic for Cantonese EFL learners to pronounce, providing the answer to the second research problem. Last but not least, the third section discloses some possible implementations of the contrastive analysis to be implemented as recommendations in developing English pronunciation learning for Cantonese EFL learners. It is corresponding to the third, which is also the last research problem.
4.1 English and Can tonese Consonants’ Similarities and Differences
In general, there are three levels in which the similarities between English and Cantonese consonant speech sounds can be found. The first level is the most basic, which is on the speech production organs. Th e fact that man‟s vocal airstream goes throughout the human vocal tract; being stored and pumped from the lungs, being processed in the larynx, passing through the vibrating vocal cords towards the pharynx to be filtered, and then released as the designated speech sound through either the oral or the nasal cavity. Evidently, it is clear that both speakers of English and Cantonese rely on these vital organs of speech in producing the language.
James (1980, p 73) mentions that even though the human vocal apparatus is capable of producing an enormous possible variety of sounds, only “a small fraction of this potential variety is actually put to use in natural languages”. These small fractions are formed by combinations of airstream modification throughout the human vocal tract, also known as the articulation of speech sound. This is the second level in which people can equate and differentiate one language from another. However, even though every language has their own set of articulated sound which makes them unique from one to another, there are always sounds that are similar from one language to another. English and Cantonese are no exception.
The third level is that English and Cantonese are similar in the way they classify their speech sounds. One is known as vowel, and the other, consonant. In both languages, the speech sounds which are produced by involving an audible friction created by temporary obstructions of the speech cavities are known as consonants, whereas the non-obstructed ones are called vowels. Together with those two, speakers of both languages also acknowledge another class, a combination of consonant and vowel called the semi-vowel or the approximant. place of articulation, manner of articulation, whether they are voiced or voiceless, and whether they should or can be aspirated, or not.
4.1.1 Description of the Similar Consonants of English and Cantonese The rules of English and Cantonese phonetics are all agree that the speech sounds of their languages can be identified and described according to two parameters, namely: based on its place of articulation and based on its manner of articulation. The two languages also recognize yet another parameter that can be used in specifying their consonant speech sounds, that is the voicing dimension. For example, from its place of articulation, the speaker of English, would identify the sound /p/ as a bilabial according to the location this sound can be produced within the oral cavity. The same sound /p/ also occur in Cantonese, in which they also believe that according to its manner of articulation, this /p/ sound is called as a stop, or a plosive. In terms of voicing, both languages agree that /p/ sound is a fortis, therefore voiceless.
Being produced by similar organs of speech production, and organs of articulation, also having similar sound classification system, both Cantonese and English do share a large number of consonant that are similar articulation and acoustic wise. There are twelve groups of consonant speech sounds which are shared by both languages. The discussion on each of them will be explained thoroughly in the next parts of the discussion. Prior to the description of the groups, the phonemic inventory of the consonants of both English and Cantonese
/h/. Still on the palato-alveolars are the affricates . It has three voiced approximants: /r/, /j/, /w/, and one voiced lateral approximant /l/.
VCD Bilabial p b - m - - - - - - - - Labio- dental
alveolars /s, z/, the palato-alveolars , and the glottal fricative
. From the table it can be known that the fricative group has more members than the rests. English fricative minimal pairs are: the labio-dentals /f, v/, dentals
As seen from Table 4.1 that English has a total of 24 chief consonants. It consists of six plosives, three nasals, eight fricatives, two affricates, three approximants, and one lateral approximant. The plosives of English lie in three places of articulation, namely bilabial /p,b/, alveolar /t, d/, and velar /k, g/. English has no voiceless nasals. The three nasals are the bilabial /m/, the alveolar /n/ and the velar
Glottal - - - - h - - - - - - -
Palatal - - - - - - - - - j - -Velar k g -
Alveolar t d - n s z - - - - - lPalato- alveolar
[Table 4.1 English Phonemic Inventory] Manner Plosive Nasal Fricative Affricate Approximant
Lateral Approximant Place
- - - - - f v - - - - - -
- - - -
- - - - - - -
- - -
- - r - -
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - w - -
. On the other hand, Cantonese has only three fricatives instead of nine. It only has the voiceless labio-dental fricative /f/, the voiceless alveolar fricative /s/, and the voiceless glottal fricative
w/, both alien to English. The nasals of Cantonese are exactly similar to English, /m,
Like its counterpart, Table 4.2 displays the phonemic inventory of one of the contrasted language. From the table, it can be comprehended that Cantonese has a total of 19 chief consonants. Compared to English, Cantonese has more plosives. Besides the bilabial, alveolar, and velar plosives, Cantonese has a pair of voiceless labio-velar plosive /kw/ and /k
Glottal - - - - h - - - - - - -
Labio- velar kw k h w
l Palato- alveolar
n s - ts ts h
Alveolar t t h
VCD Bilabial p p h
[Table 4.2 Cantonese Phonemic Inventory] Manner Plosive Nasal Fricative Affricate Approximant
Lateral Approximant Place
- - m - - - - - - - - Labio- dental
- - - -
- f -
- - - - - - ->- - -
- - - - - - -
- - - - - >- - >- - - -
- - <
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - w - -
Palatal - - - - - - - - - j - -Velar k k h
Cantonese has two voiceless alveolar affricates, namely /ts/ and /ts /. Cantonese has one voiced palatal approximant /j/ and one voiced labio-velar approximant /w/, similar to English. It also has one alveolar lateral approximant /l/, in which the sound is also a lenis.
The first two displayed tables are the implementation of the first step in executing a contrastive analysis of the sound systems of two languages according to James (1980). The following descriptions are the rest three steps being implemented in describing how the consonants of English and Cantonese each in their own respective group are similar and different. The discussion on each group will consist of an equation table of the two contrasted languages
‟ phonemic inventory, list of the allophonic variants of the related phoneme, and the conveyance of the distributional restrictions on the consonants of English and Cantonese together with the allophonic variants.
The tables, as featured previously as an example in Table 3.3 of the third chapter, consist of six defining columns, namely: phoneme, variant, manner, place, aspiration, and voicing. The phoneme column displays the phonemes owned by the two languages in that certain group. The variant column states the allophonic variants of the stated phoneme. The next two columns, manner and place, state the manner and place of articulation of the selected phoneme. The aspiration column informs the reader whether the variant is aspirated, unaspirated, or is unreleased. The last column called voicing provides the reader with the
18.104.22.168 Bilabial Plosives of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.3 Equation on the Bilabial Plosives of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicingh
[p ] plosive bilabial aspirated Voiceless [p] plosive bilabial unaspirated Voiceless
1. /p/ [p plosive bilabial unreleased Voiceless h ˺] h [p ] plosive bilabial aspirated Voiceless
- [b] plosive bilabial Voiced
3. /b/Table 4.3 displays the bilabial plosives of English and Cantonese combined. English has two bilabial plosives: /p/ and /b/. The first is voiceless and
the second is voiced. English /p/ can be realized as [p] or as [p ], whereas the voiced plosive /b/ has no allophonic variants.
Equally, Cantonese also has two voiceless bilabial plosives, namely /p/
and /p /. The prior is unaspirated and the later is aspirated. Cantonese
acknowledges as many as two variants for the sound /p/; [p] and [p / ˺], while /p has both phonemic and allophonic status.
As for the distributional restrictions, the English allophone [p ] occurs in word-initial and medial position. Its counterpart, [p] occurs in word-medial and
final position. The Cantonese allophonic variant [p ] occurs only in word-initial position. Variant [p] occurs only as a word-initial, while the syllabic plosive [p ˺]
occurs exclusively in word-final. The English allophonic variants [p] and [p ] has phonemic status in Cantonese.
22.214.171.124 Alveolar Plosives of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.4 Equation on the Alveolar Plosives of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicingh
[t ] plosive aspirated Voiceless alveolar
[t] plosive unaspirated Voiceless 1. /t/ alveolar
[t plosive unreleased Voiceless ˺] h h alveolar
[t ] plosive aspirated Voiceless 2. alveolar
/t / [d] plosive Voiced -
3. /d/ alveolar Table 4.4 equates the alveolar plosives owned by English and Cantonese.
It can be observed from the table that each of the contrasted language has a pair of
h alveolar plosives. English has /t/ and /d/, whereas Cantonese has /t/ and /t /. h
English /t/ is voiceless with two allophonic variants [t] and [t ], while on the other hand, Cantonese /t/ can be pronounced as the unaspirated [t] or as the unreleased
[t / has no allophonic variants in their
˺] . Both English /d/ and Cantonese /t realization.
As for the distributional restrictions, the English allophone [t ] occurs in word-initial and medial position. Its counterpart, [t] occurs in word-medial and
final position. The Cantonese allophonic variant [t ] occurs only in word-initial position. The allophonic variant [t] occurs only as a word-initial, while the syllabic plosive [t
˺] occurs exclusively only as a word-final. The English
h allophonic variants [t] and [t ] has phonemic status in Cantonese.
126.96.36.199 Velar Plosives of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.5 Equation on the Velar Plosives of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicingh
[k ] plosive aspirated voiceless velar
[k] plosive unaspirated voiceless 1. /k/ velar
[k plosive unreleased voiceless ˺] h h velar
[k ] plosive aspirated voiceless 2. velar
- [g] plosive voiced
3. /g/ velar
The minimal pairs of the velar plosives of English as seen in Table 4.5 are the voiceless /k/ and the voiced /g/. Like their bilabial and alveolar counterparts,
the voiceless velar can be realized in two variants: [k] or [k ], whereas the voiced velar plosive /g/ has no allophonic variants. The variants of the firstly mentioned phoneme /k/ are differentiated only by their aspiration.
As for the distributional restrictions, the English allophone [k ] occurs in word-initial and medial position. Its counterpart, [k] occurs in word-medial and
final position. The Cantonese allophonic variant [k ] occurs only in word-initial position. The allophonic variant [k] occurs also as a word-initial, while the syllabic plosive [k
˺] occurs exclusively in word-final. The English allophonic
variants [k] and [k ] like the rests of the plosives has phonemic status in Cantonese.
188.8.131.52 Bilabial Nasals of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.6 Equation on the Bilabial Nasals of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing
- [m] nasal bilabial voiced
1. /m/ nasal bilabial syllabic voiced
[m]Table 4.6 displays the only consonant sound which phonemic status and allophonic variants is shared by both English and Cantonese articulatory grid. It is
the voiced bilabial nasal /m/. Its allophones [m] and [m] occur in English and Cantonese words. In Cantonese, the syllabic [m] can appear as a stand-alone speech sound of a word whereas in English, the syllabic variant of this nasal sound appears only in the final position of a syllable.
The distributional restriction of the phoneme /m/ is explained as follows, the allophone [m] in English can co-occur in word-initial, medial, and final position. In Cantonese, on the other hand, the allophonic variant can only occur in word-initial and final position. The syllabic allophone [m] occurs in English exclusively in word-final position, whereas in Cantonese, the sound occurs only as a stand-alone allophone for certain words such as [m]
184.108.40.206 Alveolar Nasals of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.7 Equation on the Alveolar Nasals of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing
- [n] nasal alveolar voiced
1. /n/ nasal alveolar syllabic voiced
The alveolar nasal /n/ as featured in Table 4.7 is also shared by the contrasted languages. One of its allophones [n], however, occurs exclusively in English and is missing in Cantonese articulatory grid. This is a unique turn of event since its „sibling‟ nasal sound, the syllabic [m] does exist in Cantonese. In any syllable positions, the Cantonese /n/ remained being realized as clear [n], even in the final position. Meanwhile, whenever the English /n/ appears as a syllable final, it can be pronounced as [n] or [n].
The distributional restriction of the phoneme /n/ shared by both contrasted languages is explained as follows, the allophone [n] in English can co-occur in word-initial, medial, and final position. On contrary, in Cantonese the allophonic variant can only occur in word-initial and final position. The syllabic allophone [n] occurs exclusively in English in word-final position, for words such as [
„bʌtn] „button‟ or [haɪdn] „hidden‟.
220.127.116.11 Velar Nasals of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.8 Equation on the Velar Nasals of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing
- 1. /
[ nasal velar voiced ŋ]
ŋ/ nasal velar syllabic voiced
English and Cantonese do share yet another nasal sound, which is the . voiced velar nasal / Contradictorily to what happened with the variant
ŋ/ realization of the alveolar nasals, the syllabic variant to this sound, [ ŋ] is exclusive to Cantonese. Like [m], the Cantonese Chinese has some words that has the pronunciation of this single syllabic nasal sound.
The distributional restriction of the phoneme / ŋ/ can be explained as follows, the allophone [
ŋ] in English occurs only in word-final position. While in Cantonese the allophonic variant co-occurs in both word-initial and final position.
The syllabic allophone [ ŋ ] occurs only in Cantonese as a stand-alone allophone for certain words such as [ ŋ] 五„five‟.
18.104.22.168 Labio-dental Fricatives of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.9 Equation on the Labio-dental Fricatives of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing
2. /v/ [v] fricative - labio-dental voiced
1. [f] fricative labio-dental voiceless
One out of the two featured fricatives occurs only in English, and is missing in Cantonese. Such argument can be made by looking at Table 4.9 which features the minimal pair of English labio-dental fricatives /f/ and /v/. The voiced labio-dental fricative [v] is alien to the Cantonese people, even though they share the sound [f] in various syllable positions.
The distributional restriction of the phoneme /f/ shared by both contrasted languages is explained as follows, the allophone [f] in English can co-occur in word-initial, medial, and final position. On contrary, in Cantonese the allophonic variant can only occur in word-initial position. The allophone [v] occurs exclusively in English in word-initial, medial, and final position.
22.214.171.124 Alveolar Fricatives of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.10 Equation on the Alveolar Fricatives of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing
1. /s/ [s] fricative alveolar voiceless2. /z/
- [z] fricative alveolar voiced The labio-dental [v] is not the only fricative that Cantonese does not have.
When the tongue is moved to the alveolar, the Cantonese will be able to produce yet another fricative sound of English, namely the voiceless alveolar fricative /s/.
However, the Cantonese will soon realized that the voiced version of this fricative does not exist in their phonemic inventory. It can be seen from table 4.10 which displays the alveolar fricatives of both English and Cantonese /f, v/ in which one of them is shared by both languages and thus pronounced similarly, and another sound exists only in English.
As for the distributional restrictions, the English allophone [s] occurs in word-initial, medial position and final position. Its counterpart, [z] occurs also in the three available positions. The Cantonese allophonic variant [s] occurs only in word-initial position.
126.96.36.199 Glottal Fricatives of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.11 Equation on the Glottal Fricatives of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing1. /h/ [h] fricative glottal voiceless -
The glottal fricative shared equally by both English and Cantonese is the only consonant found in this comparison, which is found to be exactly the same in pronunciation when it occurs in English or Cantonese. Table 4.11 states that the discussed phoneme /h/ has no allophonic variants. It is a fortis fricative that speakers of both English and Cantonese can easily produce in the epiglottis part of the organs of speech. The distributional restriction of the phoneme /h/ is explained as follows, the allophone [h] in English can co-occur in word-initial, and medial position. In Cantonese, on the other hand, the allophonic variant can only occur in word-initial position.
188.8.131.52 Palatal Approximants of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.12 Equation on the Palatal Approximants of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing
/j/ approximant - palatal voiceless
1. [j] approximant palatal voiced
The condition of Table 4.12 is similar to Table 4.9 and Table 4.10, in which one of the two variants exists only in English. Table 4.12 exhibits the palatal approximant /j/ which is recognized by both English and Cantonese phonemic inventory. One of its allophones, however, is exclusive to English. The voiceless palatal approximant occurs in the middle position of any English words containing this allophonic variant.
The distributional restriction of the phoneme /j/ shared by both contrasted languages is explained as follows, the allophone [j] in English can co-occur in word-initial and medial position. On the contrary, in Cantonese the allophonic variant can occur in word-initial and final position. The voiceless allophone occurs exclusively in English in word-medial position, for words such as
„pew‟ or „accute‟.
184.108.40.206 Labio-velar Approximants of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.13 Equation on the Labio-velar Approximants of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing1. /w/
- [w] approximant labio-velar voiced
- [w] approximant labio-velar voiceless
variants. The phoneme can be realized into two variants, namely the voiced labio- velar approximant [w] and the voiceless labio-velar approximant [w]. The voiceless variant of this approximant is missing in Cantonese phonemic inventory.
The distributional restriction of the phoneme /j/ shared by both contrasted languages is similar to its fellow palatal approximant. It can be explained as follows, the allophone [w] in English can co-occur in word-initial and medial position. On the contrary, in Cantonese the allophonic variant can occur in word- initial and final position. The voiceless allophone [w] occurs exclusively in English in word-medial position, for words such as „tweet‟ or „quark‟.
220.127.116.11 Alveolar Lateral Approximants of English and Cantonese
[Table 4.14 Equation on the Alveolar Lateral Approximants of English and Cantonese]
No. Phoneme Variant Manner Place Aspiration Voicing1. /l/ [l] lateral approximant alveolar voiced -
lateral approximant alveolar velarized voiceless
[ ] lateral approximant alveolar syllabic voicelessTable 4.14 presents the last similar consonant shared by English and Cantonese. It is the sound called as the alveolar lateral approximant, the sound /l/.
From this table, it can be learned also that Cantonese clearly does not have voiceless variant among its approximants. The table stated clearly that three out of four possible variants of the phoneme are exclusive to English. As easy as it may seem for this [l] sound to be pronounced, the rest three nonexistent variants
] can be quite challenging to be properly identified and later be accurately pronounced by Cantonese EFL learners.
The distributional restriction of the lateral phoneme /l/ shared by both English and Cantonese can be explained as follows, the allophone [l] in English can co-occur in word-initial and medial position. On the contrary, in Cantonese the allophonic variant can occur only in word-initial position. The voiceless allophone occurs exclusively in English in word-medial position, for words such as
„plague‟ or „clan‟. The velarized and the syllabic [ ] can occur only in word- final position for words such as ‘reel’ or ‘silk’, and ‘shuttle’ or ‘riddle’.
4.2 Possible Problematic English Consonants for Cantonese EFL Learners
Based on the conducting of the previous step of the contrastive analysis, it can be understood that the possibly problematic English consonants for Cantonese EFL learners are the nonexistent sounds of English in Cantonese phonemic inventory. Not only these sounds are alien to for those who are yet unfamiliar with the sound of English, these sound might be inaccurately distributed with the ones they know that the learners‟ considered similar. The followings are the problematic nonexistent English consonants for Cantonese EFL learners:
4.2.1 The Voiced Plosives of English These voiced plosives might be inaccurately pronounced as their fellow
h h h
aspirated voiceless plosives /p t k /. This is due to how similar the two groups sound like when realized, and notice that the Cantonese Chinese pay a great attention to aspiration as it plays a great role in differentiating and determining the meaning of a Chinese character. The concept of a voiced sound and an aspirated sound is related to sound being produced with extra effort, whether it is a vibration in the vocal cords, or a powerful puff of air accompanying the forming of the sound as compared to the voiceless and the unaspirated ones.
The mispronunciation tendency is most likely being caused by these three factors found by the writer: First, notice how these sounds belong to the plosive group, which production involve a bit puff of air coming out of the speaker. Added by that the fact that the concept of a voiced allophonic variant of /p, t, k/ is nonexistent. The third factor is pragmatic. Based on the fact that the Cantonese there is a high possibility that they consciously or unconsciously comprehend the concept of „voiced sounds‟ to be equal to „aspirated sounds‟ despite the fact that voiced sounds are never aspirated.
4.2.2 The Majority of the Fricatives of English By the word majority, the writer refers to the six out of total eight English fricatives that are nonexistent in the Cantonese phonemic inventory. They are the voiced labio-dental fricative /v/, the two dental fricatives of English /
θ, ð/, the voiced alveolar fricative /z/, and the two palate-alveolar fricatives / ʃ, ʒ/. Further explanations about how each one of these sounds can be mistakenly identified and inaccurately pronounce are as follows:
18.104.22.168 Voiced Labio-Dental Fricative /v/ The minimal pair of this sound, the voiceless labio-dental fricative /f/ coexists in both English and Cantonese phonemic inventory. This variant is unavailable in Cantonese. Its minimal pair, however is the closest sound which one can get to try to pronounce this sound. From this point on, it can be said that when the Cantonese EFL learners meet the English /v/ in the initial or medial position of a word, it is most likely that the sound will be replaced with either /f/ or /w/, due to the auditory likeness of the two sounds (/v/ and /w/). It is positive that the conscious or unconscious confusion on the pragmatic conceptual comprehension concept of „voiced sounds‟ to be equal to „aspirated sounds‟ as mentioned in point 4.2.1 can be used to explain the tendency.
22.214.171.124 Voiceless and Voiced Dental Fricative / θ/ and /ð/
This pair of fricatives of English is also considered to be problematic for Cantonese EFL learners to properly pronounce. The first factor being, these sounds simply do not exist in Cantonese. To add the challenge, not a single dental sound can be found within the Cantonese phonemic inventory.
The closest sounds to these dental fricatives are the labio-dental and the alveolar fricative /f/ and /s/.
Thus, judging by the „light‟ nature the sound /θ/ has, when found in the initial position, it will most likely be replaced by /s/, as the two of them are quite similar auditorily. Notice that the production of the English sound /s/ has the tongue touched the back of the upper front teeth a bit. Even more so with the labio-dental fricative /f/ will most likely be used to replace the English /
θ/ when the sound appears as a syllable final. The voiced one /ð/ will most likely
h be replaced with the aspirated voiceless plosive /t /.
126.96.36.199 Voiced Alveolar Fricatives /z/ Having the same problematic issue with /b, d, g, v/ and /ð/, the voiced fricative is without a doubt, also can be considered as problematic for Cantonese
EFL learners. The alveolar fricative /z/, being a sound carrying a voiced feature just like the rests of the voiced consonants. Secondly, with /z/ being a fricative means that the closest sound to „imitate‟ it is the minimal pair of /z/, /s/.
188.8.131.52 Voiceless and Voiced Palato-alveolar Fricatives / ʃ/ and /ʒ/
The absence of the sound / ʃ/ in Cantonese phonemic inventory is quite intriguing for the writer, the moment the writer discovered the data. It is due to the fact that Mandarin Chinese has this voiceless fricative /
ʃ/ in its inventory. Being the national language of the People‟s Republic of China, it is safe to assume that the majority of the Cantonese speaking people who both living in the mainland China or overseas, will usually be able to speak Mandarin Chinese as well, and therefore the palate-alveolar fricative is not alien at all. The writer believes that Cantonese EFL learners will find this one specific sound, positively shared by English and Mandarin, will not be that difficult for these learners to learn, despite the fact that their mother tongue does not recognize the sound as one of their own.
In its distributional process, the tendency is that when English / ʃ/ appears in initial position, it will most likely be pronounced as /s/ instead.
The pronunciation of English / ʒ/, however, as the only voiced of the group is believed to be still quite challenging for the Cantonese EFL learners to learn. This is, again, due to its voiced nature, in which according to the previously mentioned analysis on the other voiced phonemes has the tendency to be inaccurately pronounced as the aspirated version of its voiceless counterpart. The learning process, however, is believed to be easier as compared to learning process to master the other voiced members of Cantonese consonants. This will be even more so for Cantonese EFL learners whom is able to speak Mandarin Chinese.
4.2.3 Voiceless and Voiced Palato-alveolar Affricates /tʃ/ and /dʒ/
The analysis on the next two palate-alveolar affricates of English is similar to the one of the palate-alveolar fricative. From both phonemic inventories of English and Cantonese, as seen in Table 4.1 and Table 4.2 earlier in this chapter, it is evident that these minimal pairs too are nonexistent in Cantonese. Thus, these sounds are deemed having the potential to be problematic for Cantonese EFL learners.
Fortunately it might not be as challenging as it is supposed to be. This is one benefit that can be gained from learning the International Phonetics Alphabet.
Every sound in every human language, then, can be equated properly. The affricate /t ʃ/, like the fricative /ʃ/ does exist in Mandarin Chinese. Therefore it is safe to believe that the affricate /t
ʃ/ will be easier to be learned by Cantonese EFL learners who can also speak Mandarin Chinese. This advantage does not apply for the voiced pair of this sound, the voiced /d
ʒ/. This is due to the absence of the voiced consonant even in Mandarin Chinese.
The fact that Cantonese has a pair of affricate which difference with the palato-alveolars is of the slightest shall now be elaborated in this part. Instead of palate-alveolars, the Cantonese has a pair of alveolar affricates, namely /ts/ and
/ts /. The first one, /ts/ is defined as the voiceless unaspirated alveolar affricate, affricate. Though these two sounds is nonexistent in English, their existence is believed by the writer to be able to act as intermediates to learn the English palato-alveolar affricates properly. Not only does these sounds are close to be similarly articulated with the target sounds, but also may act as an affective value to emotionally boost the learning process for the target learners.
4.2.4 Voiced Palato-alveolar Frictionless Approximant /r/
Cantonese is a language which majority of its available consonants found in its phonemic inventory is voiceless. Only six voiced sounds found among as many as its nineteen cardinal consonants owned by Cantonese. They are the three nasals: /m, n,
ŋ/, the two approximants /j, w/, and the alveolar lateral approximant /l/. The rest of the sounds are voiceless. Some are aspirated, the others are unaspirated. Being one of them is this voiced palato-alveolar frictionless approximant /r/. Based on this preliminary contrastive analysis, the writer has discovered and proved his early assumption that the English /r/ is also problematic. The English /r/ found in the initial or medial position of a syllable most likely will be replaced by the closest sound, its fellow approximant, the lateral /l/.
4.3 Possible Implementations of the Research Findings
Following the four obligatory steps of conducting a contrastive analysis on the similarities and the differences of the consonantal phonemes and allophone variants of English and Cantonese, the writer has elaborated three possible implementations in form of recommendations. The first two of the recommended implementations can be done and developed as an academic research, following the preliminary steps which have been done in this research. The third recommended implementation is a practical development which can be done based on this research to teach the designated learners. The followings are the three possible implementations of the contrastive analysis‟ findings to be implemented as considerable recommendations in developing English pronunciation learning for Cantonese EFL learners.
4.3.1 Auditory Phonetics based Contrastive Analysis
As mentioned in the problem limitation of this research, this research was completed under the boundary of articulatory and acoustic phonetics in which the discussion is around how the consonant speech sounds of English and Cantonese can be produced, what makes them sound similar one another, and to discover the distributional restrictions of the phonemes and their allophonic variants. The auditory phonetics based contrastive analysis is a step which belongs to the domain of functional phonetics. It serves as the foundation for phonological contrastive analysis.
By using the phonemic inventories, as well as the tables of equation featured in this research, a proper auditory phonetics based contrastive analysis can be done. Take for example a case in which a Cantonese EFL learner wished to master the variants of English lateral /l/. The employment of an equation table is not enough. To have the learner can actually comprehend the differences, even to the slightest level, the learner should listen to the actual sound, and begin to illustrate in mind, the difference between the /l/ in the English words „low‟, „pluck‟, „full‟, and „cuddle‟. Cantonese lateral approximant does not have the variants necessary to be able to pronounce those English /l/ allophones accurately, therefore they need to be told the differences. This is where auditory approach takes place.
The auditory phonetics approach allows such explanations to emerge: while the English [l] is easy to pronounce and it sounds exactly the same like the Cantonese [l], other variants of the English /l/ needs further manipulation than just producing the seemingly light and crispy /l/ sound. Take for example the velarized lateral
as found in the English word „full‟. It has a more heavy sound of lower tone to it as compared to the clearer and higher pitch [l]. Insisting on pronouncing it with the voiced variant instead of the velarized will result in an unnatural way of pronunciation. For Cantonese EFL learners, all the variants might be considered the same as the voiced [l] they normally use. The learners need to be careful for ignorance to this concept can create confusion, inaccurate pronunciation of the minimal pairs, and even may result in a funny yet unnatural
4.3.2 Phonological Contrastive Analysis on the Suprasegmental Features
The second possible implementation of the attained knowledge is the deepening of the research into the domain of suprasegmental phonologies. Up to this point, this research was restricted to the segmental features of both English and Cantonese, thus the term preliminary is used to explain that the discussion of this research is still possible to further. A phonological contrastive analysis on the suprasegmental features will deal with features such as stress/rhythm, and the intonation of the two or more compared languages. The discussion on such research wil be around the detailed distribution of the features of phonology of both languages, the analysis on which rules of phonology applies to a certain phoneme.
To know the phonemes and the allophones of English available is not enough for Cantonese EFL learners who want to master the accurate and proper pronunciation of English. They need also to comprehend that there are some rules attached to the sound which explains why the English /l/ when placed in a different word position, or placed before, or after a certain vowel should be read differently. The mastery on the knowledge about the phonological environments of a sound will eventually be useful in assisting the teachers of English as a Foreign Language to help the learners overcoming the difficulties they face in learning to pronounce the sounds of English.
4.3.3 Recommendations in Developing Learning Material for English
Pronunciation Teaching for Cantonese EFL Learners All of the detailed theories, the rhetorical discussion, the thorough analyses, and even the publication of the research findings will be of no use when it stays only as an academic research in papers. The holy grail of the study on the phonetics and phonology of English is the production of EFL learners who are able to fluently be engaged in an English conversation by using the proper and accurate pronunciation of the spoken English words. The writer believes that the study of phonetics and phonology is not about learning abstract symbols. The very essence of mastering the international alphabet opens a wide opportunity to learn any languages easily. Studies such as this research merely serve as a basic of teaching material making used for teaching English pronunciation for EFL learners such as the Cantonese Chinese people.
The teaching materials that can be made from this research is various, from the making of simple flashcards, up to a flash videos containing the practices necessary for the Cantonese EFL learners to first get to know to the sounds of English, and then to distinguish each sounds based on its group, and eventually to be able to practice speaking English. Teachers of English for Cantonese EFL learners should make a good use of the contrastive analysis findings about the similar sounds of English and Cantonese to encourage these EFL learners that English, though very much different from Cantonese is not impossible to master, there are many sounds shared by both languages. The similarities between the two learning activities, whereas the nonexistent English sounds can be drilled to the students patiently in classroom meetings. To get the Cantonese EFL learners to comprehend the nonexistent English sound in the Cantonese phonemic inventory, the teachers must understand the minimal pairs that are similarly pronounced with the target sound to be learned. These minimal pairs which are similar to the problematic sounds are the bridge to help the Cantonese EFL learners to overcome their problems.
Last but not least, it is better for a good English teacher to understand the EFL learner‟s mother tongue. By understanding their language, the teacher can identify what sounds of English, or later on what words of English are seemingly difficult for the learners to master. Only by the comprehension on the learners‟ first language can a teacher of English as a foreign language be able to conduct a needs analysis which can be used as a base to make innovations in English language teaching and learning activity.
CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS In this chapter, the writer summarizes the major findings aimed to answer the
research objectives of this study as well as to give some suggestions for future writers who are interested to continue or perhaps to do more researches dealing with similar topic.
The first question of the research problems is: how are the consonants of English and Cantonese similar and different? The answer to the question is that Throughout the research it was found that English and Cantonese consonant speech sounds do have similarity in three major levels, namely speech production, articulation and the classification of sound. English and Cantonese consonants are produced by similar organs of speech production, organs of articulation, and both have similar classification system. Both Cantonese and English share a large number of consonants that are similarly produced articulation and acoustic wise.
There are 12 groups of consonant speech sounds which are shared by both languages. They are the three plosives: bilabial, alveolar, and velar; the three nasals: bilabial, alveolar, and velar; the three fricatives: labio-dental, alveolar, and glottal; and the three approximants: palatal, labio-velar, and alveolar lateral. The not problematic for Cantonese EFL learners. The differences lie in the distributions of the mentioned sounds’ allophonic variant. These are the answers to the first problem formulation of the research.
The second question of the research problems is: What English consonants are considered as problematic for Cantonese EFL learners to pronounce? The answer to the question is: the English consonants that can be considered as problematic for the learners are: / b, d, g, v, θ, ð, z, ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ, r/. These sounds are predicted to be difficult to be accurately pronounced by Cantonese EFL learners due to their nonexistent status in their Cantonese phonemic inventory. These are the answer to the second problem formulation of the research.
The third question of the research problems is: how can the research findings of the contrasted English and Cantonese consonants be implemented as recommendations in developing learning material for Cantonese EFL learners? The three possible implementations are: the conduction of an auditory phonetics based contrastive analysis, a phonological contrastive analysis on the suprasegmental features of the studied consonants, and and last but not least, is the the statement of some considerable recommendations in developing learning material for English pronunciation learning for Cantonese EFL learners. These are the answers to the third problem formulation of the research.
This research is but a preliminary study of a full set of the actual contrastive phonetics and phonology research. Therefore, this research is still far from perfect as there are still many points this research have not discussed yet. Due to the limited access to potential research subjects at the moment this research was written, audio evident is unavailable. Thus, question like: are the predicted problematic sounds indeed difficult to be pronounced by Cantonese EFL learners, cannot possibly be answered within this researc h’s preliminary state. To do so, further studies are needed. The writer would like to recommend lecturers and teacher- candidates of Sanata Dharma University’s ELESP who are interested in doing the research on the phonetics and phonology, or contrastive analysis on English and Cantonese in auditory phonetic scope and phonological contrastive analysis on the suprasegmental features of both English and Cantonese’s consonants and vowels. Future interested writers might also be interested in developing a set of pronunciation teaching material.