A diphthong is a complex sound consisting of two vowel elements pronounced so as to form a single syllable. In the pronunciation of a diphthong, the organs of speech start in the position of one vowel and glide gradually in the direction of another vowel, whose full formation is generally not accomplished. The first element of a diphthong is called the nucleus. It is strong, clear and distinct. The second element is the glide which is rather weak.
There are eight diphthongs in English. There are three diphthongs with an [I]-glide [eI], [aI], [OI], e.g. cake [keIk], right [raIt], noise [nOIz]; two diphthongs with an [U]-glide [aU], [@U], e.g. mouse [maUs], snow [sn@U] and three diphthongs with an [@]-glide [I@], [E@], [U@], e.g. hair [hE@], beer [bI@], moor [mU@].
The diphthongs with an [@]-glide are called centering, because by the end of their articulation the tongue glides to the neutral (centering) position. The diphthongs with the [I]-glide and [U]-glide are called closing because the tongue glides into a higher position and the degree of the mouth opening lessens by the end of their articulation.
There are no such vowel sounds in Ukrainian or Russian. Ukrainian learners are apt to mispronounce both the glides and the nuclei of the English diphthongs.
Mistakes in the pronunciation of the glides consist a) in dropping the glide and thus replacing the diphthong by a monophthong; b) in replacing the glides by different sounds.
Mistakes in the pronunciation of the nuclei of the English diphthongs consist a) in replacing the required vowel sound by a different vowel and b) in not observing the proper length of the nucleus.
The mistake of replacing a diphthong by a monophthong is phonemic: c.f. pain [peIn] – pen [pen], boat [b@Ut] – bought [bO:t], hair [hE@] – her [h@].
3.2. Intonation of Commands
Commands pronounced with the Low Fall (preceded or not preceded by the Falling Head or the High (Medium) Level Head) are very powerful, intense, serious and strong. The speaker appears to take it for granted that his words will be heeded, that he will be obeyed, eg:
>Try the °other key. (H.L.H.)
ÊCome and have "dinner with °Tom. (F. H.)
Commands pronounced with the High Fall (associated with the Falling Head or the High (Medium) Level Head) seem to suggest a course of action rather than to give an order; the speaker does not seem to be worrying whether he will be obeyed or not, eg:
>Put some more èmilk in it. (H.L.H.)
Short commands pronounced with the Low Fall alone sound unemotional, calm, controlled, often cold, e.g.:
°Take it. °Stop it.
3.3. Practise the following commands and imitate their intonation patterns:
1. "Open your "books at "page "forty-°five.
2. "Will you "come to°morrow?
3. "Don’t "stand on °ceremony.
4. Be °quiet for a %moment.
5. I Êcan’t tell you ënow. – Then °phone me a%bout it.
6. "Read the "paragraph be"ginning at the "bottom of the "next °page.
7. ÊFriday is more conÊvenient than âThursday. – "Come on °Friday then.
8. "Don’t say "anything at èall.
9. I’m "not sure I èwant to go. – "Stay at èhome then.
10. I "can’t un˙tie the èstring. – èCut it then.
11. I "shan’t be able to èphone you. – "Drop me a èline then.
12. "Don’t make "so much èfuss a%bout it.
2.3. Answer the following questions with one word or phrase.
JGTest 10. THE ENGLISH DIPHTHONGS:
What are the two elements of a diphthong?
Which element is stronger?
How many diphthongs are there in English?
What types of diphthongs do you know?
How many syllables does a diphthong form?
What type of mistake is dropping of the glide?
What type of mistake is replacing the glide by a different sound?
Name the diphthongs with an [I]-glide.
Name the diphthongs with an [U]-glide.
Name the diphthongs with an [@]-glide.
The number of correct points is
My grade is
2.4. Consult the key to Test 10 given in THE KEYS and count the number of the correct points you’ve scored. Use the following point-to-grade conversion scale to get your grade.
Point-to-Grade Conversion Scale
3. Reading Practice.
3.1. Make an accentual-tonetic analysis of the following extract. Practise its expressive reading.
Reading Passage: Colds and Flu
1 Colds are the most common communicable disease. 2 A cold can be caused by any one of more than 100 different kinds of viruses. 3 A cold attacks the upper respiratory system. 4 Symptoms of a cold may include sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat and coughing. 5 Colds spread easily from person to person, cold viruses can be passed by unwashed hands. 6 People may «catch» colds by breathing in droplets of water coughed or sneezed into the air by others who have colds. 7 For this reason, it is a good idea to stay away from people who have colds.
8 Like colds, «flu» (influenza) is caused by many different kinds of viruses. 9 The most common kind of influenza is an infection of the nose, throat, air passages. 10 Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, coughing, and muscle aches. 11 Like colds, influenza is very contagious, it can be very serious in babies, children with other health problems, and old people. 12 If you got flu, you can help yourself recover more quickly, if you rest, avoid chills, and drink extra water, and fruit juices.
The most Êcommon "kind of influenza | is an in "fection of the nose, | throat, |"air °passages Ç
Intonation of Requests
1. Requests pronounced with the Low Rise preceded by the Falling Head or the High (Medium) Level Head sound soothing, encouraging, perhaps calmly patronizing, e.g.:
>Don’t move. (H.L.H.)
ÊCome and "stay with us again soon. (F.H.)
2. Requests with the Fall-Rise (with the Falling Head or the High (Medium) Level Head) or without Head sound pleading, e.g.:
°Try not to. (No head)
ÊDon’t for"get to re°mind me. (F.H.)
3.3. Practise the following requests and imitate their intonation patterns.
1. I’ve "just "cut my °finger. – "Let me see.
2. We had a èlovely %trip. – "Do tell me about it.
3. I’m "going for a °walk. – "Don’t be long.
4. But "how do you èdo it? – Watch.
5. èSorry to disturb you. – "Come in.
6. "When shall I ècontact you a%gain? – "Ring me "up "sometime on Thursday.
7. I’m èsorry. – Well, "say it as if you meant it.
8. âQuickly. – èWait a minute.
9. I "really must °go. – èPlease %stay a %little longer.
10. "Can I "give you a hand? – âPlease.
11. I’m a"fraid I must èleave. – "Please "wait for the ëothers.
12. I shall be a "little èlate. – ÊTry and be Êthere by âsix.
4.1. Listen to the monologues “Learning Experience”, mark stresses and tunes according to the model. Practice reading one of them after the speakers.
When I was studying Spanish with my flat-mate, she wrote the names of all the words she knew in Spanish on pieces of paper, and stuck them around the house so that she could learn them by heart. She wrote lists of verbs and tenses, and put them in the bathroom, and on the bedroom wall. Everywhere you went you saw Spanish on the walls. It was quite useful.
My art teacher at college had a strange way of teaching us to draw faces. It was learning by doing. He told us to sit opposite a partner, and draw their face without looking. He tied a scarf around your head, so you couldn’t see the paper you were drawing on. Also, you had to keep the pencil on the paper all the time, so the picture was just one line. There were some very funny faces. But it did help not to feel embarrassed.
They say that practice makes perfect. Well, my sister wanted desperately to learn to ride a bicycle, but nobody had time to show her. One day I found her sitting on the bicycle trying to balance it without moving. “I am practicing”, she said. “When I can do it standing still, then I will be ready to start moving forward”.
4.1. Listen to the dialogue “Students’ Life”, mark stresses and tunes according to the model. Practice its reading after the speakers.
Jan: Mmm. This coffee is really strong.
Steve: I like it that way.
Jan: So do I. All during my last class I was thinking about coming here and could almost taste the coffee.
Steve: Sounds like it wasn’t too exciting.
Jan: I was bored to death. I’m in that class only because it’s a requirement, so I have to stick it out. The problem is, the professor doesn’t know how to spark our interest. She just walks in and lectures. There’s no discussion.
Steve: What a drag! Don’t people ask questions?
Jan: Oh, yeah, once in a blue moon. But I always see an awful lot of people doodling, and I can tell their minds are wandering. Do you have any classes like that?
Steve: I have only one big lecture class – world history – and the professor’s the best. It’s so interesting. I’m always on the edge of my seat. And when we have discussions, the room is filled with electricity.
Jan: I’m jealous. Too bad I already took world history.
Steve: You know, one day it dawned on me that I was lucky to be in her class because I found myself thinking a lot about what she said. Did you ever have a teacher like that?
Jan: I’d have to think about it. I don’t know.
Steve: You should come with me to class sometime, just to see what I mean.
Jan: Sounds like you’re in love with her, Steve.
Steve: Very funny. She could be my grandmother. Anyway, I guess what it really comes down to is her enthusiasm for the subject. She just loves history. I remember at the beginning of the semester, I was fooling around a lot and not taking anything in school very seriously. I bombed the first history test, but then I buckled down because I started really enjoying school, especially her class.
Jan: You’ve got me really curious about this teacher. I think I’ll take you up on your idea to visit your class. When does it meet?
READING AND SPEAKING
1. Read and translate the text.
That sixth sense of plus and minus
My last exam was history and finishing it signalled the completion 12 years that I once thought would never end.
For over a decade I have had to trudge off to school five times a week, 39 weeks a year. As the day I had looked forward to for years approached I expected a feeling of elation, of breaking free – just think: old So-and-so cannot criticize me homework never again. Yet in the event it was rather sad. I am going into the sixth year for A-levels, but so many of my friends have left, and the sixth form, while being a whole lot groovier, won’t be the same without my old mates.
It has taken until now for me to understand how important these friendships are. Some have taken years to build up, and it was a jolt to realize that that some people whom I knew and liked had decided to leave, and it is possible that our paths will not cross again. Just two months ago they were lending me their calculators or sharing a bag of crisps and the latest joke. Now they will go off to work in banks, garages, farms and shops.
The comradeship was built not just on similar interests and common attitudes: we were all victims of circumstance, lumped together because of where our parents chose to live. In such an environment there are bound to be disagreements and fights – adolescence is nothing if not volatile, and those who tell us to grow up fail to understand that that is exactly what we are doing, learning by our mistakes and experiences. By sharing the things that naturally befall you, companionships spring up, quietly binding alliances of black and white, male and female.
Luckily, there are some who are staying on for the sixth form, so why should I feel saddened at leaving the fifth year when a lot of my friends will stay on? Well, I consider myself lucky in that I have friends in every year of the school, but sixth-formers rarely seem to socialize with any year below the fifth.
It is one of those peculiar conventions, caused, I suspect, by the sixth form’s wish to seem aloof from the rest. It is a custom that next year, like the insensitive tourist, I shall have great fun disregarding entirely.
So now I return to school to begin the A-level trail. There will be some new faces – my school has the sixth form for a wide area – and the teachers are said to regard you as halfway human, so it should be an enjoyable two years. And once they are over it will be up to me whether I sink or swim. There is no one to copy homework from in big business.
2. Read this newspaper article and then, working in groups, discuss these questions with your partners:
1. How old is the writer of the article?
2. Why is he not looking forward to his to his next year at school?
3. What does he think he will enjoy about next year?
4. How are your own experiences similar of different to the writer’s?