The Vowel in Ear / ɪə / Pronunciation Activation Pack - 13
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Gliding Vowels The green section at the top right of our
IPA chart shows the gliding vowel sounds. The pure vowel sounds we have been looking
at in the last 12 Pronunciation Activation Packs do not change sound from beginning to
end. The gliding vowels do change from the starting
sound to the finishing sound. These sound changes are shown by the two pure
vowel sound symbols which make up each gliding vowel symbol.
Ear / ɪə / In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will
be looking at the first of the gliding vowels / ɪə /.
We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɪə / sound.
We will look at lots of words which have the / ɪə / sound in them.
Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɪə / sound correctly.
Linking Sounds Now is a good time to introduce you to the
concept of linking sounds in British English pronunciation.
Spoken English is like a chain of sounds joined together in short sections.
If we keep the sections linked, it sounds right.
If we break these sections apart, it sounds wrong.
Each link in the chain will be either a vowel or a consonant, and they can be joined in
a number of ways. Consonant sound to consonant sound links.
Consonant sound to vowel sound links. Vowel sound to consonant sound links.
Vowel sound to vowel sound links. Because we are looking at a gliding vowel
/ ɪə /, we will look at vowel sound to vowel sound links in this Pronunciation Activation
Pack. Vowel Sound to Vowel Sound Linking
A gliding vowel is really two vowel sounds together.
In the case of / ɪə / we start with an / ɪ / and end with a / ə / but we have a problem.
Try saying / ɪ / and / ə / together and you find that you cannot say them without
having a gap between them. They are not linked like a chain as they should
be and they sound wrong. What we have to do is use one of the linking
sounds that join vowels together, either / w / or / j /.
Can you hear which one we use when we say / ɪə / correctly?
I’m sure you can hear that we use the / j / sound as a link between the two vowels / ɪ
/ and / ə /. Rules Not Required
There are two linking sounds, / w / or / j /, that join vowels together.
You may be wondering how you can know which one to use.
Don’t worry, if you link two vowels together correctly, without a gap, the correct sound
will appear naturally because it is all down to anatomy.
In order to link two vowel sounds together without a gap, the mouth and tongue naturally
produce the correct / w / or / j / sound. I’ll look at linking sounds in great detail
in later Pronunciation Activation Packs in this course.
Letter Combinations for / ɪə / This gliding vowel sound has these letter
combinations: E, ER, ERE, EAR, EER
IA, EA EU, EO, EOU
IE, IO, IOU, IU EIR
Practice It appears deer hear with their ears.
/ ɪt ə.ˈpɪəz dɪə hɪə wɪð ðeər ɪəz /
Practice A million in the stadium? No, dear, but it
was brilliant. / ə ˈmɪ.lɪən ɪn ðə ˈsteɪ.dɪəm
/ nəʊ / dɪə / bət ɪt wəz ˈbrɪ.lɪənt /
Practice I fear zero heroes will clear this salient.
/ ˈaɪ fɪə ˈzɪə.rəʊ ˈhɪə.rəʊz wl̩ klɪə ðɪs ˈseɪ.lɪənt /
Practice His weird mania for creosote with wisteria
makes me nauseous. / hɪs wɪəd ˈmeɪ.nɪə fə ˈkrɪə.səʊt
wɪð wɪ.ˈstɪə.rɪə meɪks miː ˈnɔː.sɪəs /
Problems for Students There are two other vowel sounds that cause
confusion with the / ɪə / sound. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack I’ll
look at the / ɪə / vs / iː / minimal pairs
and the / ɪə / vs / eə / minimal pairs.
Pronunciation Activator As I said, there are two sets of minimal pairs
in English which cause confusion with the / ɪə / sound.
I have created some interesting exercises in the Pronunciation Activator to help you
better hear and produce the different vowel sounds.
Each time you do the Pronunciation Activator you will be given some random exercises from
a large database of exercises. The exercises will fully activate your use
of the / ɪə / sound for both speaking and listening.
Dictionary There is a
good chance that some of the words used in this Pronunciation Activation Pack will be
new to you. To help you out, I have compiled an extensive
dictionary of vocabulary used. The dictionary gives you the meanings of all
the words used in this Pronunciation Activation Pack.
You can download the dictionary as a PDF document from the resources link at the top left of
the Pronunciation Activation Pack. Vocabulary Activator
In addition to the Pronunciation Activator, I have included a Vocabulary Activator which
will test your knowledge of 139 of the words in the dictionary.
You will be given random definitions of words each time you do the Vocabulary Activator.
This will also give you the opportunity to hear how each word is correctly pronounced
in British English. Add these words to your active vocabulary
and make them your own. Phonetic Transcription
I have also compiled a phonetic transcript of all the words and minimal pairs I included
in the Pronunciation Activator. You can read each word and each minimal pair
in Latin script alongside the British English IPA transcription.
With your growing understanding of the British English IPA chart, this will help you to see
how different letter combinations can produce different sounds.
You can download the phonetic transcriptions as a PDF document from the resources link
at the top left of the Pronunciation Activation Pack.
Use it in combination with the dictionary if you are uncertain of the meaning of any
of the words included in the list. / fə.ˈne.tɪks ˈæk.tɪ.veɪ.tə /
/ ðə ˈmen.i ˈek.sə.saɪ.zɪz ɪn ðə prə.ˌnʌn.sɪ.ˈeɪʃ.n̩ ˈæk.tɪ.veɪ.tə
ər ˈɔːls.əʊ ə.ˈveɪ.ləb.l̩ fə ju ɪn fə.ˈne.tɪk skrɪpt ɪn ðə fə.ˈne.tɪks
ˈæk.tɪ.veɪ.tə / / ðə fə.ˈne.tɪks ˈæk.tɪ.veɪ.tə wl̩
help ju tə dɪ.ˈve.ləp jər ə.ˈbɪ.lə.ti tə riːd ənd ˌʌn.də.ˈstænd ðə ˈbrɪ.tɪʃ
ˈɪŋ.ɡlɪʃ aɪ.pi.ˈeɪ tʃɑːt / / baɪ ˈduːɪŋ ðiːz ˈek.sə.saɪ.zɪz
/ ju wl̩ ˈæk.tɪ.veɪt jə fə.ˈne.tɪk skɪlz ɪn ən ˈiː.zi ənd ɪn.ˈɡeɪdʒ.ɪŋ
ˈweɪ ənd wl̩ peɪv ðə ˈweɪ tə.ˈwɔːdz ə ˈbe.tə ˈbrɪ.tɪʃ ˈɪŋ.ɡlɪʃ ˈæks.n̩t