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Some Technicalities in English Words

Some of technical and useful tips on spoken English are as follows :

When a root word that ends with a voiceless sound is pluralised, consonant ‘s’ will be pronounced. Examples: cats, planks, rats, etc.

When a root word that ends with a voiced sound is pluralised, consonant ‘z’ will be pronounced. Examples: kegs, boys, bags, judges, etc.

When a word that ends with ‘er’, ‘ar’ or ‘or’ takes inflectional morpheme /s/ (i.e, is pluralised), sound /z/ is pronounced, because ‘er’, ‘ar’ and ‘or’ are transcribed as /Ə/. Examples: teachers, dancers, slippers, doctors, sailor, cellular, etc.

The last sound of a main verb determines its pronunciation when it is used in past form. Examples: ‘slap’ which ends in voiceless sound /p/ will sound /t/ when pronouncing its past form. However, if the last sound of a main verb ends with voiced sound, such verb will sound ‘d’ in its past form. Example: slam-slammed.

Most of English words that start with ‘ex’ and succeed by vowel sound are pronounced as /igz/. Examples: example, exit, etc. conversely, if it is followed by consonant sound, /iks/ is realized. Examples: except,

excess,excerpt, etc.

Also, when a word ends with ‘r’ and the succeeding word begins with vowel sound, they must be pronounced together (connected speech). Examples: father and mother, for example, over and over again, etc.

Many of words that end with –sion in final positions are realized in speech as /-Ʒn/or/ƷƏn/. Examples: television, revision, vision, etc. Unlike –ssion and –tion which are pronounced as /-ʃ/,e.g. mission, session, communication, introduction, etc.

The following words are wrongly pronounced by Nigerian English speakers: stipend, recitation, dialogue, buyer, diagram, inspire, diabetes, lower, layer, vowel, fire, roar, language, quay, college, etc.

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