Лекция: Nasal consonants

Nasal/'neIzql/ consonants are consonants for which the mouth is blocked at some point and all the air is forced to go through the nose. For all nasal consonants the soft palate is lowered to let the air pass through the nasal cavity. There are three nasal consonants in English /m, n, N/. All of them are voiced.



For the articulation of the sound /m/ the soft palate is lowered, and the mouth is blocked by closing two lips firmly. So, all the air is pushed out through the nose.

This consonant is voiced. When it stands after a vowel especially at the end of the word, it makes it longer (e.g. /lxm/). But as it has similar characteristics with vowels, /m/ can be also affected by other consonants in the way the vowels are. Thus, before strong consonants it is made shorter; before weak ones it becomes longer (e.g. /lxmp/ and /lxmz/).

Seldom /m/ can be syllabic /sI'lxbIk/: that is, it occupies the place at the centre of the syllable which is usually occupied by a vowel, and forms its own syllable (e.g. /'blP-sm/, /'rI-Dm/, /'bP-tm/, but still more often they are pronounced like /'blPsqm/, /'rIDqm/ and /'bPtqm/).



To pronounce this consonant the soft palate should be lowered. The tip of the tongue is close to the middle of the alveolar ridge and the sides of the tongue touch the sides of the palate blocking the mouth cavity. So, the air is forced to go through the nose.

/n/ is voiced and it makes the preceding vowel longer. At the same time when it stands before a voiceless strong consonant it becomes shorter while the following weak voiced consonant lengthens it (e.g. /sIn/, /sIns/ and /sInz/).

/n/ is very often syllabic: it makes its own syllable by taking the place of a vowel in its centre. It happens usually at the end of the word after or between consonants (e.g. /'gR-dn/, /'rI-tn/, /'dI-dnt/, /'SV-dnt/, etc.).


The place of articulation of /N/ is the same as that of /k, g/: the back of the tongue is very close to the soft palate. The soft palate is lowered letting the air pass through the nose.

/N/ is voiced. This nasal consonant can never be found in initial position. It can only occur in the middle or at the end of words.

There is a rule concerning pronunciation of the sound /N/ in English.

/k/ is always pronounced after /N/when we find the letters ‘nk’ in spelling (e.g. bank /bxNk/, think /TINk/, etc.).

/g/ is not always pronounced after /N/ in the middle of the word when we see the letters ‘ng’in spelling. The useful general rule is that if the word is formed from a verb, no /g/ is pronounced; but if not, we say /Ng/ (e.g. singer is formed from a verb to sing /sIN/ — so it should be /'sINq/; stronger is formed from an adjective strong – so it must be /'strPNgq/; the word finger is not formed out of a shorter word – so it is pronounced like /'fINgq/).

/g/ is neverpronounced after /N/ at the end of the word (e.g. ring /rIN/, morning /'mLnIN/, etc.).



еще рефераты
Еще работы по иностранным языкам