Pronunciation Question: Can you explain why the sound /a/ is different in cash and wash?

Today’s pronunciation question is:  “Can you explain why the sound /a/ is different in cash and wash?” Sure. That is a great question!  I will respond in two parts: 1.  why the same vowel is different in two words 2.  why the same vowel in the same word is different at times   Why is the same vowel sound different between two words? Speech sounds, especially vowels which do not have a specific “place” of articulation (i.e. your tongue does not touch a specific place in the mouth), are influenced by the sounds around it. A /w/ sound is a semi vowel meaning it has properties of BOTH vowels and consonants. So the /w/ sound influences the /a/ sound making it sound slightly different. In this case, the vowel will be made with more rounded lips than it would in the word cash. This also happens in words with sounds

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How to Pronounce PERSUASIVE – American English Pronunciation Lesson

Learn how to pronounce the English word PERSUASIVE correctly with this American English pronunciation lesson. Jennifer Tarle from Tarle Speech and Language guides you through a quick pronunciation lesson with quick tips to have you sounding clearer in no time. The word is pronounced PER-SWAY-SIV. We love to hear from you so leave us a note in the comments section. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/user/TarleSpeech BLOG/SHOP: http://www.tarlespeech.com FB: http://tinyurl.com/create.php TWEET: https://twitter.com/tarlespeech GOOGLE+: http://tinyurl.com/ol5x762 PODCAST: http://tinyurl.com/q82ph7c IBOOKS: http://tinyurl.com/nfwe2sf

Linking: Articles (A, An, The)

Linking is used by American speakers during conversation.  It is essentially connecting words by having NO pauses between them.  We do this in thought groups, or phrases.  Sounds complicated, right?  No worries, start with this quick and easy tip. Link articles to the following noun.  Do this by not pausing between the article and the noun.  Say it as if they become one word.  If I say “the cat”, it sounds like “thecat”.  If I say “the cat and the dog”, it would sound like “thecat and thedog”. This will greatly improve your intonation.  Try it…people will notice a difference.

Word Stress: schwa syllable

Most ESL speakers mispronounce my name, Jennifer.  They say Jen Ni Fer.  American English speakers say Jen uh Fer. What is the difference?  The schwa.  One of my students commented that it is what gives Americans their “casual” sound.  It helps to provide the rhythm to words. A schwa is basically the “uh” sound.  It occurs in words longer than one syllable.  Pronounce it shorter and softer than the other syllables.  It is ALWAYS unstressed.   When spelling, it can be represented by any vowel. Here are some examples (schwa is written as uh): Jennifer:  pronounced /Jen uh fer/ experiments:  pronounced /Eks peer uh ments/ beautiful:  pronounced /B yout uh ful/

Word Stress: Difference between nouns and verbs spelled the same

When a noun and verb are spelled the same but sound different, remembering how to say them can be very confusing.  In most cases, there is a simple rule to help you. If the word is a noun, stress the first syllable. If the word is a verb, stress the second. It helps if you remember that in many instances, we say the noun FIRST, then the verb SECOND in sentences.  Here are some examples.  The stress is shown as CAPS.  The NOUN and VERB are highlighted: polish:  The POLish woman will polISH her shoes. conflict:  The CONflict conFLICTS with the UN’s charter.

Syllable Stress: Stressing numbers with TENs.

When counting the “tens”:  20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90, stress the first syllable.  Stress the number word, not the “ty”.  Remember, stress means to make the syllable louder and longer than the others. For example: 20 is pronounced TWENty 50 is pronounced FIFty 90 is pronounced NINEty

Syllable Stress: Stressing numbers with TEENs.

When counting the “teens”:  13, 14, 16, 17, 18, and 19, stress the SECOND syllable.  In other words, stress the TEEN.  Remember, stress means to make the syllable louder and longer than the others. For example: 13 is pronounced thirTEEN 15 is pronounced fifTEEN 19 is pronounced nineTEEN

How to Pronounce TODAY, TONIGHT, TOMORROW

Learn how to pronounce the English words TODAY, TONIGHT, TOMORROW correctly with this American English pronunciation lesson. Jennifer Tarle from Tarle Speech and Language guides you through a quick pronunciation lesson with quick tips to have you sounding clearer in no time.

How to say THERMOMETER

Learn how to say the word THERMOMETER in this American English Pronunciation Lesson. Learn how to say TH, ER, M, short o, short u, T, and where to break syllables to say this word correctly.

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