Ar’ Sound, ‘Orn’ Sound, Few vs. Fuel, ‘tn’ Sound

I recently got an email asking me to outline several sounds. The first one is the ‘ar’, ‘ar’, that would be the ‘ah’ as in ‘father’ moving into the rr, rr consonant sound. Well, as you can see I’m sure, there is a shift in the jaw. Ah: the jaw is dropped and relaxed. Rr: to make this R sound, the tongue, which went from lying on the bottom of the mouth, has to come up so that the sides of the tongue can touch the inside top of the teeth. Rr, rr. And in order for it to raise (the tongue) the jaw has to go with the tongue. Aah-rr. Ah: the sound is very relaxed and it feels further back here. Rr, rr: when the tongue comes up and presses against the inside of the teeth, that brings the jaw up, which brings the sound more forward. Ahrr, ahrr. Some words: hard, heart, car, marsh. Ar: car, marsh, hard, heart.

The second sound that was requested is the orn sound, orn. Now, written in IPA, the vowel sound here is written as the ‘aw’ as in ‘law’. I really feel though that it’s a separate sound when it’s spelled with an O. It’s closer to the oy as in boy, o, o, I feel. But, how does it transition into that R sound? Orn, thorn, o, you can see the lips start in a little bit in the corners. But the rr, rr, they go back to being out. So that is the first change. Or. Also, just like as in the ‘ar’, the jaw is more dropped in the vowel sound and it needs to come up more to follow the tongue as it rises to touch on the insides of the top teeth. Or, or. Now to make the N for the sound. The tongue, the tip of the tongue, which was touching nothing in the R sound (in the R sound it’s the sides of the tongue that touch), needs to come up and touch the top of the mouth. So it goes from being here, where the sides are touching to form the R, to raising and touching the roof of the mouth. Rrnn. And you can see that the tip of the tongue has to move forward to do that because it is here, just behind the teeth, where the tongue touches to make the N: o-rr-nn, and then the sides of the lips relax. Some words: Worn, morning, born.

The third sound requested: what is the difference between few and fuel? Now, this is interesting, because fuel ends in an L. And it is related to the blog entry I just did on the L sound, the light and the dark. In that blog, I said that when it is at the end of a word, the L takes on a dark quality in which it is preceded by a vowel, uh, before the tongue moves up to position. And that’s exactly what happens here. Few, few, fuel. Uh-ll is the dark L sound. So ‘few’ is part of the word ‘fuel’, however, fuel has those two extra sounds on the end, the uh-ll, the dark L (the two sounds that make up the dark L). Few, fuel.

And the last sound requested is the T N sound. As in mountain, cotton, kitten. On all of these examples, the T is in the middle of the word, which often means it’s not pronounced tt with that escape of air in which the T is really crisp and heard. It often takes on a sound similar to the D. I find it more as a stop than a sound itself. Mount-n. Mountain. Now the thing that’s interesting about this, is when the T is not pronounced sharply in the middle of a word, the tongue position it takes is that of a D, which is its related consonant. Mount-n. Now if I was to say the word dad, dad, which begins with a D, the tongue begins in a position at the top of the mouth. This part is all touching the roof of the mouth. Dad. It’s similar to the N, in which this part touches the front of the mouth, on the roof, nn, but for the dd, it’s more of the tongue, and it’s more of the whole roof of the mouth. Dad, dad. So when we make this T sound in the middle of a word, we bring our tongue up into that position. Mount: it’s touching the roof of the mouth. Now, I said it’s almost more of a stop than of a sound itself because we don’t actually say a D sometimes. We bring the tongue up, which stops the sound. And to the native ear, it makes enough of the sound, that we know what it is [a T]. Now interestingly, it’s very related to the nn sound, so the tongue is pretty much in the position to make the N. Mount-n. The tongue just needs to slide a little bit forward on the roof of the mouth to bring it up to make that nn sound. Mountain. Cotton. Kitten. I have a mountain of work to do. My cotton shirt shrunk. I wanted a puppy but I got a kitten.

Xem thêm:

Holding Out R

[ɹ] ‘r’ as in ‘run’

Listen + Repeat Exercises: R + L

Comparing R and L

R vs. W

VERY: Word of the Week

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