Reading the SoundWhen you read the following schwa paragraph, try clenching your teeth the first time.It won't sound completely natural, but it will get rid of all of the excess lip and jaw movement and force your tongue to work harder than usual.Remember that in speaking American English we don't move our lips much, and we talk though our teeth from far back in our throats.I'm going to read with my teeth clenched together and you follow along, holding your teeth together.What Must the Sun Above Wonder About?Some pundits proposed that the sun wonders unnecessarily about sundry and assorted conundrums.One cannot but speculate what can come of their proposal.It wasn't enough to trouble us, but it was done so underhandedly that hundreds of sun lovers rushed to the defense of their beloved sun.None of this was relevant on Monday, however, when the sun burned up the entire country.Pause the CD and read What Must the Sun Above Wonder About? twice.Try it once with your teeth clenched the first time and normally the second time.Chapter 4. The American TThe American T is influenced very strongly by intonation and its position in a word or phrase.At the top of a staircase T is pronounced T as in Ted or Italian;a T in the middle of a staircase is pronounced as D [Beddy] [Idaly] ;whereas a T at the bottom of a staircase isn't pronounced at all [ho(t)].Look at Italian and Italy in the examples below.The of Italian is at the top of the staircase and is strong: Italian.The of Italy is in the middle and is weak: Italy.Exercise 4-1:Stressed and Unstressed TRepeat after me.Italian Italyattack atticatomic atomphotography photographExercise 4-2:Betty Bought a Bit of Better ButterIn the sentence Betty bought a bit of better butter, all of the Ts are in weak positions, so they all sound like soft Ds.Repeat the sentence slowly, word by word:[Beddy ... bad... bid... bedder ... budder].Feel the tip of your tongue flick across that area behind your top teeth.Think of the music of a cello again when you say, Betty bought a bit of better butter.Repeat.Betty Bought a Bit of Better ButterBut, said she, This butter's bitter.If I put it in my batter, It'll make my batter bitter.Exercise 4-3:Rule 1—Top of the StaircaseWhen 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 — (except T).T: laughed , picked [pikt], hoped [houpt], raced [rast], watched , washed , unearthed [uneartht]D: halved , rigged [rigd], nabbed , raised [razd], judged [j'jd], garaged [garazhd], smoothed [smoothd]Exceptions: wicked , naked crooked etc.Read the following sentences out loud.Make sure that the underlined (stressed) Ts are sharp and clear.1. It took Tim ten times to try the telephone.2. Stop touching Ted's toes.3. Turn toward Stella and study her contract together.4. Control your tears.5. It's Tommy's turn to tell the teacher the truth.
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