Initial consonant clusters

  1. Consonants
  2. Consonants and their classification
  3. Day CHBOC with varying initial stop
  4. Delay IDE Initial
  5. Effect of Initial Money Management Stop
  6. Final consonant clusters
  7. Friction consonants

Initial two-consonant clusters are of two sorts in English:

1) / S /followed by one of the following consonants / p, t, k, f, m, n, l, w, j /;

2) one of the consonants (except / S /) Followed by / l, r, w, j /.

When / S /precedes / p, t, k / they lose their aspiration (star, spear, sky).

2.1.1 Voiceless consonants + / n, m, l, r, w, j /

In the clusters of any voicelessconsonant with the sounds / n, m, l, r, w, j / partial or complete devoicing of the second sound takes place, i.e. progressive assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cordscan be observed here.

/ N, m, l, r, w, j / become completelydevoiced after / p, t, k / in a stressed syllable (pleI, tjHn, kwIk). Notice that when / l, r, w, j / follow / p, t, k / they become slightly fricative, i.e. some friction is heard when we pronounce them.

They become partiallydevoiced:

- After / p, t, k / in an unstressed syllable or at a word boundary (prI'peq, 'rItn, 'Help mI);

- After / sp, st, sk / (spreI, stjH, skweq);

- After any voiceless friction consonant / s, f, S, T, h / (smaIl, fjH, SrJk, TrJ, 'hjHmq).

2.1.2 Combinations of alveolar consonants / t, d / with / r /

In these clusters regressive assimilation affecting the place and the manner of articulationtakes place. Under the influence of the post-alveolar / r /, the alveolar consonants / t, d / become post-alveolar, too (traI, drJm), they are pronounced with the tip of the tongue close to the back of the alveolar ridge.

Besides, in / tr / there is progressive assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cords: / R / becomes partially or completely devoiced.

So, in / tr / we have double (reciprocal/ RI'sIprqkql /) assimilation.

2.1.3 Combinations of dental consonants / T, D / with / r /

In these clusters progressive assimilation affecting the place and the manner of articulation takes place. Under the influence of the dental / T, D / the post-alveolar / r / is replaced by an alveolar tap or a flapped variety of / r / (TrJ, wID reIn) - a single short tap is made by the tip of the tongue on the alveolar ridge.

Besides, in / Tr / there is partial devoicing of / r /, i.e. progressive assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cordstakes place.

So, in / Tr / we have double assimilation.

2.1.4 Combination of consonants with / w /

/ W / influences the preceding consonant and it becomes lip-rounded or labialized, i.e. regressive assimilation affecting the position of the lipstakes place (dwel, swetq).

When / w/is preceded by a voiceless consonant, / w / becomes partially or completely devoiced i.e. progressive assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cordstakes place (twIst, swHp, kwaIt).

Thus, in clusters / tw, kw, sw / double (reciprocal) assimilationtakes place.




Closing diphthongs | Lab works | Lab work 4 Plosives | Self-check questions | Nasal consonants | Lateral consonant | Triphthongs | Lab work 5 Revision | Self-check questions | Gliding consonants |

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