Лекция: Disappearances (elision)

Elision means the dropping of a sound or sounds, either within a word or at a junction of words. Elision is a feature of rapid colloquial speech, while formal speech tends to retain the full form of words under the influence of spelling.

The alveolar consonants /t, d/ are mostly affected by this process. Such disappearances take place most readily when /t, d/ are the middle ones of three consonants (last time /lRs taIm/, best man /bes mxn/, left knee /lef nJ/, next week /neks wJk/, kind nurse /kaIn nE:s/, tinned beans /tIn bJnz/, strict parents /strIk peqrqnts/, etc.). Any consonant may appear in the third position, though disappearances of the alveolar stop consonants are rather rare before /h/ and /j/.

Another example is the elision of /h/ in pronouns and auxiliaries. Pronouns with initial /h/ and the auxiliaries “have, has, had” commonly lose /h/ when they are unstressed within an utterance. /h/ is pronounced in these words when they are initial in an utterance or when they are stressed.

Similar disappearances have taken place in the past inside English words, leaving them with a shape which is now normal. For example: grandmother /'grxnmADq/, handsome /'hxnsqm/, castle /'kRsl/, postman /'pqVsmqn/, etc. There are other cases where two forms may be heard: often /'Pfn, 'Pftqn/, kindness /'kaInnIs, 'kaIndnIs/. You can use whichever you find easier.

It must be remembered that elisions of consonants in consonant clusters are not always permissible. In general, clusters of two identical consonants at a word boundary must not be reduced by elision. The two consonants should be run together smoothly without a break (what time /wPt taIm/, with this /wID DIs/).

Vowels can disappear, too. When one syllable ends with a closing diphthong and the next syllable begins with a vowel, the second element of the diphthong may disappear (going /'gqIN/, I enjoy it /aI InGO It/).

And vowels have also disappeared from English words in the past, leaving a form which is the normal one: garden /'gRdn/, Edinburgh /'ednbrq/, interest /'Intrqst/, history /'hIstrI/. In other cases there are two possibilities, for example: generous /'Genqrqs, 'Genrqs/, deliberate /dI'lIbqrqt, dI'lIbrqt/, etc.


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