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   Phonetics 1 - Assignment 2

The deadline for this assignment is 5 November, before class. Remember, I can give no extensions: the answers will be posted that day.You may return it by email to me at, or as a print-out or handwritten answer, in my pigeon-hole (post box) outside the Faculty Office in Nyi garður, or at the Service Desk in Gimli, or at the beginning of the class on 5 November.  You may also send by post (postal date and time before the answers are posted on the Web) to: Pétur Knútsson, Nýja garði, Háskóli Íslands, 101 Reukjavík.

The following are descriptions of RP vowels.
    Give the symbol for each vowel and a word containing that vowel (not the keyword!)

1    lax front mid (between high-mid and low-mid)

2    tense back low

3    lax back fairly high

4    diphthong rising from low front to high front

5    diphthong rising from centre mid to fairly high back

Mark in the positions of these vowels on the vowel chart. Use one chart for the vowels in 1-3, and the other for the diphthongs.


(This is a question on material that has not been covered yet. Do not try to answer it until after the class on 29 Oct!)

(a) Explain the difference betwen rhotic and non-rhotic accents. You should try to answer this question without refering to the spelling of the words (since spelling comes after the fact!).  Assume you are talking about the speech of children or illiterate people.Your answer should include the following:

  • Under what conditions does /r/ appear in non-rhotic accents?
  • How does this differ in rhotic accents?
  • In what areas of the world are rhotic and non-rhotic varieties of English spoken?

(b) In non-rhotic accents, the sound /r/ can appear and disappear again in a word (so-called "linking R"). Describe exactly under what conditions (in what phonetic environments) this happens.

(c) Explain "intrusive R". This time, you may refer to the spelling!
Is intrusive R wrong in any way? Why is it said to be wrong?

In all your answers, (a) (b) and (c), GIVE EXAMPLES of words to explain your points. Do not give the same examples that I give.

Remember that I give no credit for copying and pasting. Rephrase in your own words, to show me that you understand the question.

Transcribe into RP OR GA (say which), using the symbols we have learnt so far:

Anger wells in Gordon's parched throat.

(End of assignment 2)