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English Phonetics/ConsonantR

< English Phonetics

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For the consonants is possible:

  • Replace the plosives for the respective aspirated allophones. If a consonant sounds too strident or too weak, it's possible to replace it with the corresponding allophone. However is important it may affect the stress, as the aspiration is related to it.
  • Swap a consonant for its respective (un)voiced counterpart.
    • This applies specially well for the end of the syllables, where the coda consonant is prone to assimilate the voicing of the neighbor phonemes.
    • This is harder for a onset consonant (beginning of a syllable), as the voicing can alter the meaning of the word; however still is possible if the user is careful with the consonant length. As the consonant lenght  becomes shorter, it's harder distinguish it's voicing.
  • Replace the alveolar plosives, [t] & [d] by their respective postalveolar affricates, [tS] & [dZ].
    • This often occurs when the alveolar plosive is palatalized by a nearby phoneme.
      Example: 'Don't you' /doʊnt.juː/ → 'Don't ya' /doʊn.jə/ → 'Don't cha' /doʊnə/
    • Similar to the voicing swap, this replacement also is possible when the consonant length and stress somewhat neutralizes the differences between both phonemes.
  • The Dark L is prone to series of phonological processes and sound changes. Taking these ones into account, it's possible replace the [l] accordingly.
    • In the L-vocalization process, where the Dark L is prone to be warped into a close back vocoid, it's possible to replace the [l] phoneme with the [O:], [@U], [U], [u:] or [w] phonemes.
    • Similar previous case, the vowels before the Dark L can be coloured by the velarized lateral consonant. Simplifying, the front vowel tends to become more centralized meanwhile the central and back vowels tends to shift to a close back vowel. Knowing this sound change, is possible replace or insert another vowel before the Dark L in case the phoneme combination sounds awkward.
      Example: [i: l] → [I l] → [@ l]; [V l] → [@ l] → [U l]
    • Also an unstressed vowel before the Dark L can be completely ommited, leaving a naked syllabic L.
      Example: The word 'Twinkle' actually it's pronounced as /ˈtwɪŋkl̩/ instead /ˈtwɪŋkəl/.
      Previously there wasn't a way to imitate this in the synthesizer, as few voicebanks had a syllabic [l] phoneme that could be produced on their own, without a vowel. In general, this was patched adding a vowel like [V] or [U] before the Dark L (Example: Twinkle [th w I N k][U l]), however in some cases this sounded overpronounced. This was fixed with the release of Cyber Songman, which included his own [@l] phoneme for the syllabic L, allowing produce a more cololloquial pronounciation if the user requires it. Example: Twinkle → [th w I N k][@l l].

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