A PRELIMINARY PHONOLOGICAL CONTRASTIVE
ANALYSIS ON THE CONSONANTS OF ENGLISH AND
A SARJANA PENDIDIKAN THESIS
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Sarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
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 YOGYAKARTA
A PRELIMINARY PHONOLOGICAL CONTRASTIVE
ANALYSIS ON THE CONSONANTS OF ENGLISH AND
A SARJANA PENDIDIKAN THESIS
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Sarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
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 YOGYAKARTA
Sutono, Bezaliel Aditya Agung. 2014. A Preliminary Phonological Contrastive Analysis on the Consonants of English and Cantonese. Yogyakarta: English Education 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: Program Studi 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 pembelajar bahasa 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 orang Tionghoa 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 sistem bunyi 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 tersebut yakni: /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 yang belajar Bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa asing.
THE LORD IS
MY ROCK, AND MY FORTRESS, AND MY DELIVERER;
MY GOD, MY STRENGTH, IN WHOM I WILL TRUST; MY BUCKLER,
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
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 Agus Tandany 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 fellow ’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.
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 ………..
4.1 English and Cantonese Consonants’ Similarities and Differences 69 4.1.1 Description of the Similar Consonants of English and Cantonese 71
22.214.171.124 Alveolar Plosives of English and Cantonese ……… 76
126.96.36.199 Velar Plosives of English and Cantonese ………. 77 188.8.131.52 Bilabial Nasals of English and Cantonese ……….. 78
184.108.40.206 Alveolar Nasals of English and Cantonese ………... 79
220.127.116.11 Velar Nasals of English and Cantonese ………... 80
18.104.22.168 Labio-dental Fricatives of English and Cantonese ……….. 81
22.214.171.124 Alveolar Fricatives of English and Cantonese ……… 82
126.96.36.199 Glottal Fricatives of English and Cantonese ………... 83
188.8.131.52 Palatal Approximants of English and Cantonese ……….. 84
184.108.40.206 Labio-velar Approximants of English and Cantonese ……….. 85
220.127.116.11 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
18.104.22.168 Voiced Labio-Dental Fricative /v/ ………. 88 22.214.171.124 Voiceless and Voiced Dental Fricative /θ/ and /ð/ ………. 89
126.96.36.199 Voiced Alveolar Fricatives /z/ ……… 89 188.8.131.52 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
5.1 Conclusions ……… 98
REFERENCES ……….. 101
APPENDIX A ……… 104
APPENDIX B ……… 105
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 .……… 73
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 Nasals 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 English 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
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
LIST OF APPENDICES
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.
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 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.
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
15th 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 non-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.
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 18thcentury” (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
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
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).
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 [kwʌn‟hwʌ] 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 [j eɪ‟ j ] 粤语„Yueyu‟. The dialect covers the varieties spoken
to the east and the 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.
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”.
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
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.
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.
Based on the research background, the writer formulates three questions. 1. How are the consonants of English and Cantonese similar and
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
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. Contrastive phonetics‟ boundary is within the discussion of articulatory phonetics. This research deals
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.
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.
1.5Definition of Terms
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 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.
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) elaborate it as a branch of linguistics that has to do with “examining the inventory
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 as “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 “pronunciationand 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
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 the respiratory tract … (p. 1)” This is what differentiate human sound with those of animals‟, that the sound produced by
people “undergoes important modifications” so that “it acquires the quality of a
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.
184.108.40.206 The Air Stream Mechanism
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).
220.127.116.11 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).
18.104.22.168.1 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
About the primary role of the lungs, Indriani (2005) mentions “the most usual source of energy for … vocal activity is provided by an air-stream expelled from
the lungs”. Since “the nature of the air-stream” exhaled from the lungs determine the speech sound production, “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
Figure 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.
22.214.171.124.2 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) regard 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 appearance 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.
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 2.3The 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
close the vocal folds” (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.
126.96.36.199.3 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
The position of the cavities and the organs that are situated inside the vocal tract can be seen in Figure 2.5 as follows:
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
188.8.131.52.3.1The 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 /ŋ/, are all called nasals.
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 English /ʃʒtʃdʒ/, e.g. 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 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).
The teeth, also called the dentes, helps forming dental sounds. For instance, when the “tip of the tongue interacts with the front teeth, dental sounds such as the English /θ/ and /ð/” (Collins and Mees, 2005, p. 35). They
making a whole range of sounds, e.g. [θ ð f v s z ʃʒ]”. According to them, a 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.
184.108.40.206.3.4The 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 hard 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
articulation, are including /s/, /z/, /t/, /d/, /l/, /n/, and /ɹ/, they are called the alveolars.
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 calls 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/, /ʒ/, /tʃ/ and /dʒ/. Collins and Mees (2003, p. 36) mention another alias;
and /ʒ/ are described as palato-alveolar fricatives, whereas the sound /tʃ/ and /dʒ/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/, /ŋ/. 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 its fullest extent it touches the back wall of the pharynx … (p. 15)”, which is, leading to the pharyngeal cavity.
At the very end of the palates, in the inner-most side of the mouth, lies this
of this organ, call it “a little pink grape”. The uvula can be vibrated to produce a uvular trill /ʀ/, which is “muchthe same kind action as gargling” (p. 26).
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 mouth, 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
Figure 2.7 Divisions of the Tongue. Taken from http://www.personal.rdg.ac.uk/~llsroach/phon2/artic-basics.htm
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.
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
18.104.22.168 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 meaning “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 transcription 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.
22.214.171.124 Phonemic Transcription
Phonemic transcription, also called the broad transcription is the „less
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: / /.
126.96.36.199 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 [ð] (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 main 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 from
Figure 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 from langsci.ucl.ac.uk, shows the next 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
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 rounding”. 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
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
2.1.5 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 another phonological class comprised of “voiceless
lateral-approximant /l/, post-alveolar approximant /r/, labial-velar central-approximant /w/, and last but not least, the palatal central-central-approximant /j/.
PLACE OF ARTICULATION
Figure 2.12 Chief English Consonantal Articulations. Taken from Indriani (2005: 11)
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.
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 /tsʰ/, namely the fortis alveolo-palatal fricative [ɕ], unaspirated fortis alveolo-palatal affricate [tɕ], and aspirated fortis alveolo-palatal affricate [tɕʰ]. The sounds involve a new symbol which Bauer and Benedict (1997) call as “curly-tail c”; /ɕ/. They convey allophone /ɕ/ “only occurs before high, front rounded vowel [y:] as
PLACE OF ARTICULATION
Figure 2.13 Initial Cantonese Consonants and Syllabics. Taken from Bauer and Benedict (1997: 40)