TSL569: English Pronunciation and TESOL Assignment, SUSS, Singapore The following pairs of sounds are often confused by English learners in Singapore. Examine and analyze
The following pairs of sounds are often confused by English learners in Singapore. Examine and analyze the essential differences between the two sounds in each pair, and describe their differences in such a way as to help the learner clearly understand how to articulate the two sounds distinctly:
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A ‘minimal pair’ is a pair of words (with different meanings) that have an identical sequence and number of sounds except for one particular sound (as explained in Lecture 1). Examine each of the following pairs of words, evaluate whether it is a minimal pair, and discuss the reason for your answer.
- though / sew
- some / home
- pack /pact
This is a problem for phonological analysis. Among some L2 speakers of English, the consonant cluster [kw] – normally spelled as ‘qu’ (as in queen) – is simplified to [k] in some but not all words. Column A lists some words where [kw] is preserved, and B shows some words where [kw] is simplified to [k]:
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Analyze the above data carefully, and discuss whether the simplification of [kw] to [k] happens at random, or whether it is a systematic and predictable phenomenon. Justify your answer with logical arguments based on the evidence provided. If you think it is systematic, analyze and discuss the phonological environment where [kw] is simplified to [k].
Suppose you want to investigate and analyze how Singaporeans typically pronounce the following five words. Choose a subject (informant) who is a native Singaporean with a university education. Get the subject to read these words aloud, record the readings, and transcribe them in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). For the word television, also mark the stressed syllable with an apostrophe ‘. Submit your recordings along with your transcriptions.
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