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  • Publicado : 11 de agosto de 2010
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Consonant Comparison


This exercise was developed with a Doctor, who studied English for two years in London, England. Its purpose was observe and identify the differences of pronunciation of sounds like medial stops, final stop, final “r” and interdental fricatives(voiced and voiceless) between one of us and the subject.

ObjectiveTo find the similarities and differences between the pronunciations of medial stops, final stop, final “r” and interdental fricatives (voiced and voiceless), through the analysis of a speaking exercise made by a English teaching student and an advance student.

Description of the exercise

This exercise was conformed by two parts (see annex A)

• In the first part there are sixsentences, these sentences have words related with medial stops, final stop, final “r” and interdental fricatives (voiced and voiceless).

• In the second point there are five lists of words each of one relate with each sound: medial stops, final stop, final “r” and interdental fricatives (voiced and voiceless).

Description of the subject

The subject was a gynecologist, who was livingand studying in England for two years. He has an advance English, but contrary of what everybody can think his English accent isn’t British, it is a standard English.


In the first part and in the first sentence the pronunciation is almost equal, there’s only one difference in the word “Thelma”, the subject pronouns the first interdental fricative consonant with a voiceless sound(/θ/) and the student pronounced it like a voiced sound (/ð̟ /). (See the two first audio files in the CD)

In the second and third sentences the pronunciation is the same. We can notice that the final r pronunciation is very similar. The only think that sound strange is the intonation, because he made it more natural.

In the fourth sentence there was a difference in the medial stopconsonant, specifically in the word “aggregate”, he reduced the pronunciation the pronunciation of the word but the stop is the same.

The fifth sentence is almost the same in both cases.

Finally in the last one the subject used the voiceless sound of the interdental fricative in the word “things”, and the student pronounced a voiced sound in the same word. The correct way presented in theCambridge dictionary is with the voiced sound (/ð̟ /).

A similar difference was observed in the word “thank” the student pronounce the initial consonant with the voiced sound (/ð̟ /), and the subject pronounce in a correct way, with a voiceless sound.

Regarding to the second part, in the list of medial stops, the pronunciation is almost equal, the aspect that change is the speed andintonation.

In the list of final stop, in the word “cup”, the subject made emphasize in the final sound of “p”, but the student pronounced it very weak.

As we can see the final R is in the two participants is very similar however we can observe that he is influenced a little bit by British English because when he said for example papers he try to not pronounce the final R instead ofthat, he pronounce that such as final vocal /'peɪpə/ and she is more influenced by American English because when she is reading the sentences we notice that the phonemes that she produces is remarkable the final R such as later.

In the interdental fricatives list, first we found the voiced set of words, and then the voiceless words, but the subject pronounce in the same way all the words and heassimilate the consonant “th”, always like a voiceless sound (/θ/).


It’s important to recognize that not all people who is learning English have excellent pronunciation because this is a process in which step by step is gone be improved with different things for example travelling to another country or practices a lot of with someone who knows about the language. In this...
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