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精通美语语音三:Track25

2009-07-02 17:45人人英语听力

 
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  Chapter 5 : The EL

  This chapter discusses the sound of L (not to be confused with that of the American R, which is covered in the next chapter). We'll approach this sound first, by touching on the difficulties it presents to foreign speakers, and next by comparing L to the related sounds of T, D and N.

  L compared with T, D and N

  When you learn to pronounce the L correctly, you will feel its similarity with T, D and N. actually, the tongue is positioned in the same place in the mouth for all four sounds——behind the teeth. The difference is in how and where the air comes out.

  T and D

  The sound of both T and D is produced by allowing a puff of air to come out over the tip of the tongue.

  N

  The sound of N is nasal. The tongue completely blocks all air from leaving through the mouth, allowing it to come out only through the nose. You should be able to feel the edges of your tongue touching your teeth when you say nnn.

  L

  With L, the tip of the tongue is securely touching the roof of the mouth behind the teeth, but the sides of the tongue are dropped down and tensed. This is where L is different from N. with N, the tongue is relaxed and covers the entire area around the back of the teeth so that no air can come out. With L, the tongue is very tense, and the air comes out around its sides.

  At the beginning it's helpful to exaggerate the position of the tongue. Look at yourself in the mirror as you stick out the tip of your tongue between your front teeth. With your tongue in this position say el several times. Then, try saying it with your tongue behind your teeth. This sounds complicated, but it is easier to do than to describe. You can practice this again later with exercise 5-3. our first exercise, however, must focus on differentiating the sounds.

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