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Read these jokes. Define what intonation patterns should be used to convey humour

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Asking Too Much

An Englishman was driving along a country road in Ireland and met a man carrying a heavy bag.

"Can I take you into town?" the Englishman asked.

The Irishman said, "Thank you," and got into the car.

In a few minutes the driver saw that the Irishman was sitting with the heavy bag still in his hand.

"Why don't you put your bag down?" he asked.

"Well," answered the Irishman, "you've given me a ride in your car. I can't ask you to carry my bag as well."

# * *

"You say that I am the first model you ever kissed?"


"And how many models have you had before me?"

"Four. An apple, two oranges, and a vase of flowers."

* * *

Soph: But I don't think I deserve ari"absolute zero.

Prof; Neither do I, but it is the lowest mark that I am allowed to give.

* * *

A young writer sent a number of manuscripts to a celebrated news­paper columnist, asking his advice as to the best channel for mar­keting the writings. The manuscripts came back with'this curt note: ■"The one channel I can conscientiously recommend as the greatest outlet for articles of this type is the English Channel,"

Read these texts as if you were readinglthem to a) children; b) students. Learn the poem by heart.

a) The Rooster

by Hilda I. Rostron

What would we do, I'd like to know, Without that bird That loves to crow?

Who wakes him up, I'd like to know, To tell him when It's time to crow.

8* аи

I'll get up early One day, too, And shout out: "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo."

b) Still not Perfect

A small schoolboy often wrote: "I have went," instead of "I have gone". At last his teacher said:

"You must stay after school this afternoon and write 'I have gone' a hundred times.. Then you will remember it."

When the teacher came back he found a letter from the_boy on his desk. It said: ■

Dear Sir,

I have wrote "I have gone" a hundred times, and now I have went.


The English language is spoken in Great Britain, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and the greater part of Cana­da. It is native to many who live in India, Israel, Malta and Ceylon

All the national varieties of the English language have very much 4n common but they differ from standard pronunciation. Standard pronunciation is the pronunciation .governed by the orthoepic norm. It is the pronunciation of the educated circles. It is used by radio and television, and is regionally neutral.

In the British Isles the regional types of the English language are: (1) the Southern English, (2) the Northern English and (3) the Stand­ard Scottish.

In the United States of America the regional types of the American
variant of the English language are: (1) the Eastern type, (2) the South­
ern type, (3) the General American type (Northern, Midwestern,
Western). '

The social standard within Britain is the so-called Received Pro nunciationor RP. It is the teaching norm at schools and higher learn­ing establishments of the Soviet Union because of (1) the degree of understandability in English-speaking countries, (2) the extent of RP investigation, (3) the number of textbooks and audio-visual aids'.

In the United States of America the most wide-spread type is General American. Like RP in Great Britain GA in America is the social standard: it is regionally neutral, it is used by radio and TV, in scientific and business discourse, it is spoken by educated Americans'.

Since RP and GA are the most widely accepted types of pronuncia­tion the learners of English should know the principal differences between them.


The total number of RP and GA consonants differ in one phoneme, it is the GA /W. The rest of the RP and GA inventory of consonant phonemes coincides.

The main peculiarities in the pronunciation of GA consonants concern the following phonemes.


This sound is one of the most characteristic of GA pronunciation. In its articulation the tip and blade of the tongue are turned upward, toward the hard palate, the tip pointing to the area immediately be­hind the alveolar ridge (it does not touch it) — a retroflex position. Its pronunciation is accompanied by some slight protrusion of the lips.

The sides of the tongue are in contact with the bicuspid and molar teeth, as for /n/ or /d/. /r/ is more sonorous in GA than in


RP. When preceded by /t, d, 9, J7, /r/ is pronounced with an audible friction.

GA /r/ is pronounced not only initially but also before a con­sonant and in the word final position, e. g. /farm, berd. sistsV.

American scientists consider that /я, зг/ and /э, з7 are tense and lax allophones of /r/ phoneme in /faöar/, /тзгтэту, /fia7-


There are two allophones of /1/ phoneme in GA: dark and light, but most of the GA speakers use the dark III in all positions: initially, .medially and finally.

Clear or light allophone of IM is commonly used in the South Atlan­tic regions of the USA.

The dark/1/is pronounced when the major portion of the tongue is raised to the velar part of the mouth cavity.


This phoneme is highly variable in AE.

(1) A voiced variety of /t/ is used in a) intervocalic position before
an unstressed vowel as in butter, Ы him in, Ы another; h) preceding a
syllabic /1/ as in beetle, subtle; c) between a nonsyllabic /1/ and an un­
stressed vowel as in malted, altogether, salted; d) between /n/ and an
unstressed vowel as in twenty, wanted, seventy, want to see; e) between
unaccented vowels as in at another place, if it is convenient.

/t/ is not voiced initially or terminally, or when it precedes syl­labic /n/ as in button.

(2) An unconsciously inserted /t/, or /d/ ("excrescent" /t, d/) is
recognized to be standard in such words as dense, mince, prince, which
become homonyms of dents, mints, prints.

(3) In careless or indistinct speech /t/ and /d/ may be lost a) as in
eighth, width, breadth, lists, posts; b) after /n/ and before an unstressed
vowel as in want to, twenty, find another, centre, wonderful, blinding,
storm, land of plenty.

(4) /1/ is dropped and a glottal plosive is inserted, when it is
immediately preceding a syllabic /n/ or /I/ as in kitten /ki?n/,
mitten /mi?n/, bottle /bü?l/, settle /se?l/.

The Glottal Stop /?/

f i It results from the compression^and sudden release of air at the glottis. It is produced when the compressed air is pushed through the separating vocal bands. This sound is known as laryngeal stop, it is voiceless and unaspirated. It is used by GA speakers before initially stressed vowels (sometimes between vowels) when the second vowel begins a stressed syllable, and as a transition sound from a final to an initial vowel as in triumphant, a^orta, Indiafoffice, ?/ did.1

1 Used frequently, it interrupts phrasing and distorts the rhythm of speech, г or. these reasons, it is usually counseled against.

/м/ and/hw/

Either of these symbols represent the pronunciation of words spelt with the initial wh as in where, when, etc, [hwl is an aspirated on-glide to the /w/ sound. /W is a voiceless, fricative, labiovelar or a voiceless /w/. Either of them is the norm, but /hw/ is the predominant lorau


The glottal, fricative or whispered GA /h/ is similar to the RP /h/. However the GA /h/ is frequently voiced in intervocalic position as in perhaps [f[]. /h/ is lost when used initially in unstressed or weak forms within a phrase, as in:

has — Where has he gone? have — I have gone to the store, had — He had twenty of them, his — I saw his car. he — Did you see how he ran?

/h/ has an independent phonetic value used initially before stressed syllables as in:

he — He gave John the bag.

whose — Whose book is this?

whole — The whole group came.

/h/ is omitted in a stressed word in: Come herel


f'/w> h r/ are called, "glides" because the initial area of their formation is closely, associated with a Vowel: /w/ begins at or near [v, ul; /r/—near fcr, ar]; /j/^-at or near [i, i\ position, the glides appear only prevocally.

/j/ is the Hngua-palatal glide which in GA has^severalj modifi­cations:

(1) The [ju] variants are pronounced in words like tune, duty,
when u, iew eau are preceded by /p, b, f, v, m, k, h/ as in pure,
beauty, few, view, music, cupid, human.

(2) A slightly fronted [u] may be heard in all other instances
as in tune, new, duty, suit, enthuse.

(3) After fa J1, tj\ d3/ or a consonant + /l/> [u], fronted [uj or
[iu] are used by GA speakers as in rumor, shoe, chew, June, flew,

(4) In huge, human type of words /h + j/ combination is pro­
nounced as the German "ich laut" [9]. The words huge, human,
humane, humor, humorist, humoristic
and humorous can be pro­
nounced with the initial (hju) or [ju].

(6) Itj], [djl + [uj are assimilated in GA into '[tf] and [dg] as in tune [tfunl, due [dsub education dkjj

1 The /hw/ is usual in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England, is more usual in Southern^England.



This sound is vocalized in final unstressed syllables ending in -ion, -ia.as in version !W$n/, Asia /eiga/. /J7 is not vocalized in depressipn, aspersion.

Nasals /m, n, g/

A common characteristic of GA is the so-called "American twang", which is the nasalizing of a vowel before a nasal conso­nant which results from the lowering of the soft palate,_while the vowel is being spoken as in candy [.kädi], manner [тагпэг], man

[msen], fine [famj.

In, m/ may be omitted followed by /f, v/ as in some vines

[sAvamz], come further [kÄf3röar], one fine day [ш. fai dei].

Sometimes syllabic (g] is substituted for }$] or [эп1 as in taken

[teikg], sicken [sikn], chicken [tjikn].

GA speakers may pronounce [beikn] for bacon, [ai kg gau] for / can go, [baeg g bsegidg] for bag and baggage, [brsukn glaes] for broken, glass, [азаекд keit] for Jack and Kaie.

"English Pronouncing Dictionary" by D. Jones notes that in the words listed below Americans use /n/, while RP speakers use both /n/ and /n/:

conclude conglomeration
enclose encompass
encrust engraft
engulf enquire
incapacitate incline
inclement ingratitude
inglorious synchron ic









Principal Peculiarities of^GA Consonants

1. Voiceless, fricative, labiovelar /м/.

2. The GA /r/ is more sonorous than the RPJ/r/. It is retroflex

3. /1/—predominantly dark.

4. /t/—short, voiced, intermediate between /d/ and /t/ and a
one tap /r/. /t/ may be omitted in twenty, plenty. It may change
into a glottal stop: that one, or turn into silence; twenty.

5. Glottal stop /?/.

6. /h/—voiced in intervocalic position; lost initially in un­
stressed or weak forms within a phrase.

7. /ju/ may change into a) fronted [a] in tune, duty, b)
/as/ in due, tune, c) "ich laut" in huge, human.

8. Я/—vocalized in version, Asia.

9. "Nasal twang" as in man.


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