Description / Labels of Consonants in English Language

/p/ - Voiceless Bilabial Plosive

/b/ - Voiced Bilabial Plosive

/t/ - Voiceless Alveolar Plosive

/d/ - Voiced Alveolar Plosive

/k/ - Voiceless Velar Plosive

/g/ - Voiced Velar Plosive

/tʃ/ - Voiceless Palato-Alveolar Affricate

/dʒ/ - Voiced Palato-Alveolar Affricate

/f/ - Voiceless Labiodental Fricative

/v/ - Voiced Labiodental Fricative

/θ/ - Voiceless Dental Fricative

/ð/ - Voiced Dental Fricative

/s/ - Voiceless Alveolar Fricative

/z/ - Voiced Alveolar Fricative

/ʃ/ - Voiceless Palato-Alveolar Fricative

/ʒ/ - Voiced Palato-Alveolar Fricative

/h/ - Voiceless Glottal Fricative

/m/ - Voiced Bilabial Nasal

/n/ - Voiced Alveolar Nasal

/ŋ/ - Voiced Velar Nasal

/l/ - Voiced Alveolar Lateral (Approximant) (Liquid)

/j/ - Voiced Palatel Approximant (Glide)

/w/ - Voiced Bilabial Approximant (Glide)

/r/ - Voiced Post-Alveolar Approximant (Liquid)

PITSTOP | Learning Phonetic Transcription | Phonetics

Presenting an innovative method to learn phonetic transcription in the classroom, experimented among my students. The students had prepared few packs of cards with phonetic symbols written on them. As the words, phrases and sentences are read out by the facilitator, the students, working in groups, work just like a team in a Formula One PITSTOP would work. As groups competing with each other, they had to share the various duties and arrange the symbols in order, on a rope or table, with accuracy, and to finish it first, to earn their points. It was interesting to see the students involve in the activity with utmost interest and fun. Positively reinforced, the students were able to learn and realise the various difficulties in pronunciation with comparison to the received pronunciation. This initial conception could be developed with further initiatives.

Introductory Phonetics.
Year 2, Semester 01- B.A. in Languages
Department of Languages and Communication Studies, 
Trincomalee Campus, 
Eastern University, Sri Lanka.

Ethnography of Communication | SPEAKING model | Dell Hymes

  • Study of Communication within the background of social and cultural practices and beliefs.
  • Introduced by Dell Hymes in 1962: "Introduction: Toward Ethnographies of Communication."
  • Understanding a language in an anthropological perspective. 

  1. To investigate directly the use of language in contexts of situations so as to discern patters proper to speech activity.
  2. To take as framework a community, exploring its unrestrained habits as a whole.

  • Language cannot be studies in isolation.
  • Has to be studied in the wider context of cultural and social aspects.
  • It has a specific context, individual - cultural norms and beliefs.


S - Setting and Scene - the physical location.

P - Participants - the people taking part.

E - Ends - purpose and outcome.

A - Act Sequence - the speech acts and the                   sequence.

K - Key - tone and manner.

I - Instrumentalities - the medium of communication.

N - Norms of interaction - rules of speech.

G - Genres - the type of speech, cultural context. 

Language Acquisition | Perspectives | Theories

  • David Crystal
  • Children learn language through copying and imitating others.
  • This is how children develop regional accents.

  • Noam Chomsky
  • Language Acquisition Device (LAD) - Special brain mechanism that allows us to learn language.
  • All languages share a structure - universal grammar

  • Jean Piaget
  • A child must understand a word before they use it.
  • If they use a word to describe a feeling, such as "anger", they have to first understand what it is like to have that feeling.

  • Similar to behaviourism  by B.F. Skinner.
  • Child directed Speech is the biggest influence to a child's language development.
  • Slow. high pitch, grammatical. 

Introduction to Language | What is Language?

"A Noiseless Patient Spider" | Walt Whitman

"The Second Coming" | W. B. Yeats | Modern Poetry

Victorian Age | Literary Facts

Monologues | Victorian Age

Victorian Age | Pointers in Literature