1. Accent is a conbination of three main components:intonation,liaisons,pronunciation.
2. One characteristic of a vowel is that nothing in the mouth touches anything else.
3. Americans don't really move them lips. They create most of sounds in the throat,using them tongue very actively.
4. Do not speak word by word. Connect words to form sound groups. Use staircase intonation.
5.When you have a word ending in an unvoiced consonant—one that you "whisper" (t, k, s, x, f, sh)—you will notice that the preceding vowel is said quite quickly, and on a single stairstep.When a word ends in a vowel or a voiced consonant—one that you "say" (b, d, g, z, v, zh, j), the preceding vowel is said more slowly, and on a double stairstep.
6.There are three ways to stress a word.
+ The first way is to just get louder or raise the volume. This is not a very sophisticated way of doing it, but it will definitely command attention.
+ The second way is to streeeeetch the word out or lengthen the word that you want to draw attention to (which sounds very insinuating).
+ The third way, which is the most refined, is to change pitch. Although pausing just before changing the pitch is effective, you don't want to do it every time, because then it becomes an obvious technique. However, it will make your audience stop and listen because they think you're going to say something interesting.
7.Statement Intonation with Nouns :Intonation or pitch change is primarily used to introduce new information. This means that when you are making a statement for the first time, you will stress the nouns.Statement Intonation with Pronouns：When you replace the nouns with pronouns (i.e., old information), stress the verb.
8.a question will step upward until the very end, where it takes one quick little downward step. A question rises a little higher than a statement with the same intonation pattern.
9.Depending on the situation, a word may be stressed for any of the following reasons: New Information, Opinion,Contrast, "Can't"
10.usually in groups of three or four letters or numbers, with the stress falling on the last member of the group.
11.Remember that words that end in a vowel or a voiced consonant will be longer
than ones ending in an unvoiced consonant.
12.Descriptive Phrases ：Nouns are "heavier" than adjectives; they carry the weight of the new information. An adjective and a noun combination is called a descriptive phrase, and in the absence of contrast or other secondary changes, the stress will always fall naturally on the noun. In the absence of a noun, you will stress the adjective, but as soon as a noun appears on the scene, it takes immediate precedence—and should be stressed.
13.When you have a two-word phrase, you have to either stress on the first word, or on the second word. If you stress both or neither, it's not clear what you are trying to say. Stress on the first word is more noticeable and one of the most important concepts of intonation that you are going to study.
14.The confusing part is that in English the verb tenses are very important, but instead of putting them up on the peaks of a sentence, we throw them all deep down in the valleys!
15.Notice that in fluent speech, the th of them is frequently dropped (as is the h in the other object pronouns, him, her). The pronunciation and word connections are on the right, and the tense name is on the far left.
16.Notice that in fluent speech, the th of them is frequently dropped (as is the h in the other object pronouns, him, her).
17.Reduce the positive can to [k 'n] and stress the verb. Make the negative can't ([kæn(t)]) sound very short and stress both can't and the verb. This will contrast with the positive, emphasized can,which is doubled—and the verb is not stressed. If you have trouble with can't before a word that starts with a vowel, such as open, put in a very small [(d)]— The keys kæn(d) open the locks.
18.change the stress from the first syllable for nouns to the second syllable for verbs.This is a regular, consistent change.
19.A different change occurs when you go from an adjective or a noun to a verb. The stress stays in the same place, but the -mate in an adjective is completely reduced [-m't], whereas in a verb, it is a full [a] sound [-mεit].
20.The position of a syllable is more important than spelling as an indication of
21.Syllables that are perched atop a peak or a staircase are strong sounds; that is, they maintain their original pronunciation. On the other hand, syllables that fall in the valleys or on a lower stairstep are weak sounds; thus they are reduced. Some vowels are reduced completely to schwas, a very relaxed sound, while others are only toned down. In the following exercises, we will be dealing with these "toned down" sounds.
22.Articles (such as the, a) are usually very reduced sounds. Before a consonant, the and a are both schwa sounds, which are reduced. Before a vowel, however, you'll notice a change—the schwa of the turns into a long [e] plus a connecting (y)—Th ' book changes to thee(y)only book; A hat becomes a nugly hat. The article a becomes an. Think of [ə●nornj] rather than an orange; [ə●nopening], [ə●neye], [ə●nimaginary animal].
23.you should make extra-high peaks and long, deep valleys. When you are not sure, reduce. In the following exercise, work with this idea. Small words such as articles, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions, relative pronouns, and auxiliary verbs are lightly skimmed over and almost not pronounced.
24.You have seen how intonation changes the meaning in words and sentences. Inside a onesyllable word, it distinguishes between a final voiced or unvoiced consonant be-ed and bet. Inside a longer word, éunuch vs unίque, the pronunciation and meaning change in terms of vocabulary. In a sentence (He seems nice; He seems nice.), the meaning changes in terms of intent.
25.In a sentence, intonation can also make a clear vowel sound disappear. When a vowel is stressed, it has a certain sound; when it is not stressed, it usually sounds like uh, pronounced [ə]. Small words like to, at, or as are usually not stressed, so the vowel disappears.
26.The preposition "to" usually reduces so much that it's like dropping the vowel.Use a t' or tə sound to replace to.If that same to follows a vowel sound, it will become d' or də.
27."At" is just the opposite of to. It's a small grunt followed by a reduced [t].If at is followed by a vowel sound, it will become 'd or əd.
28.It and at sound the same in context — ['t]....and they both turn to 'd or əd between vowels or voiced consonants.
29.“That” is a special case because it serves three different grammatical functions. The relative pronoun and the conjunction are reducible. The demonstrative pronoun cannot be reduced to a schwa sound. It must stay [æ].
30.For clarity, break your sentences with pauses between natural word groups of related thoughts or ideas.
31.With a query, the intonation rises. With confirmation, the intonation drops.
32.Words are connected in four main situations:1 Consonant / Vowel2 Consonant / Consonant3 Vowel / Vowel4 T, D, S, or Z + Y
33.In pronunciation, a consonant touches at some point in the mouth. vowel, on the other hand, doesn't touch anywhere.
34.Liaison Rule 1 : Consonant / Vowel you can feel each sound pushing into the next.
Liaison Rule 2: Consonant / Consonant Words are connected when a word ends in a consonant sound and the next word starts with a consonant that is in a similar position. There are three general locations—the lips, behind the teeth, or in the throat. If a word ends with a sound created in the throat and the next word starts with a sound from that same general location, these words are going to be linked together. The same with the other two locations.When the TH combination connects with certain sounds, the two sounds blend together to form a composite sound. In the following examples, see how the TH moves back and the L moves forward,to meet in a new middle position.
Liaison Rule 3: Vowel / Vowel
When a word ending in a vowel sound is next to one beginning with a vowel sound, they are connected with a glide between the two vowels. A glide is either a slight [y] sound or a slight [w] sound. How do you know which one to use? This will take care of itself—the position your lips are in will dictate either [y] or [w].
Liaison Rule 4: T, D, S, or Z + Y
When the letter or sound of T, D, S, or Z is followed by a word that starts with Y, or its sound,both sounds are connected. These letters and sounds connect not only with Y, but they do so as well with the initial unwritten [y].“T + Y = CH ”“D + Y = J ”“S + Y = SH”“Z + Y = ZH ”.
35.The [æ] Sound .Although not a common sound, As its phonetic symbol indicates,
[æ] is a combination of [ä] + [ε]. To pronounce it, drop your jaw down as if you were going to say [ä]; then from that position, try to say [ε]. The final sound is not two separate vowels, but rather the end result of the combination.
36.The [ä] Sound .The [ä] sound occurs a little more frequently; you will find ten such sounds in the exercise. To pronounce [ä], relax your tongue and drop your jaw as far down as it will go.
36.The Schwa [ə] Sound.Last is the schwa [ə], the most common sound in American English.
37.Rute 1—Top of the Staircase.When a T is at the top of a staircase, in a stressed position, it should be a clear popped sound.
1. In the beginning of a word, T is [t].
Ted took ten tomatoes.
2. With a stressed T and ST, TS, TR, CT, LT, and sometimes NT combinations, T is [t].
He was content with the contract.
3. T replaces D in the past tense, after an unvoiced consonant sound — f, k, p, s, ch, sh, th —
T: laughed [lœft], picked [pikt], hoped [houpt], raced [rast], watched [wächt], washed [wäsht],
D: halved [hœvd], rigged [rigd], nabbed [næbd], raised [razd], judged [j'jd], garaged [garazhd],
Exceptions: wicked [wikəd], naked [nakəd], crooked [krükəd], etc.
Rule 2—Middle of the Staircase.An unstressed T in the middle of a staircase between two vowel sounds should be pronounced as a soft D.
Rule 3—Bottom of the Staircase.T at the bottom of a staircase is in the held position. By held, I mean that the tongue is in the T position, but the air isn't released.
Rule 4—"Held T" Before N.The "held T" is, strictly speaking, not really a T at all. Remember [t] and [n] are very close in the mouth (see Liaisons, Exercise 2-5). If you have an N immediately after a T, you don't pop the T—the tongue is in the T position—but you release the air with the N, not the T. There is no [t] and no [ə].
Rule 5—The Silent T. [t] and [n] are so close in the mouth that the [t] can simply disappear.
38.One is the tense vowel [u],pronounced ooh, and the other is the soft vowel [ü], whose pronunciation is a combination of ih and uh. The [u] sound is located far forward in the mouth and requires you to round your lips.The [ü] is one of the four reduced vowel sounds that are made in the throat: The most tense, and highest in the throat is [ε], next, slightly more relaxed is [i], then [ü], and deepest and most
relaxed is the neutral schwa [ə]. For the reduced semivowel schwa + R, the throat is relaxed, but the tongue is tense.Tense vowels use the lips and jaw muscles
39.The lax vowels are produced in the throat and are actually quite similar to each other.
40.Nasal Consonants：[m] is the easiest and most obvious. Like [b], the lips come together, the air can't get out, so it has to come out through the nose.
[n] is in a position similar to [t], but it can't be at all tense. It has to be completely relaxed, filling the whole mouth, touching the insides of all the teeth, leaving no room for the air to escape,except by the nose.
[ng] is back in the throat with [g]. The back of the tongue presses back, and again, the air comes out through the nose.
41.In English, a pitch change indicates the speaker's intention. In Chinese, a pitch change indicates a different word.
42.There are five consonant sounds that are produced in the throat: [h] [k] [g] [ng] [er]. Because R can be considered a consonant, its sound is included here. For pronunciation purposes, however,elsewhere this book treats it as a semivowel.