Speech Simplification Strategies in English

Josephat B. Maghway


Speakers of English, of whichever accent, base their speech on the phonemes of their accent. Speakers do not, however, speak with any articulatory purity to manifest each phoneme in its ideal phonetic features. This is a consequence of the contextual influence which adjacent phonemes subject phonemes in their neighbourhood. Some of these influences are due to natural phonetic environments of phonemes; others are consciously effected by speakers in order to simplify their speech. The most important speech simplifications that result are assimilation, elision, liaison and l-darkening.

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