Speaking clearly. Improving voice and articulation: Фонетический практикум
В практикуме указываются причины появления русского акцента в речи русскоязычных студентов, говорящих на английском языке, и приводятся методические приемы и упражнения по его устранению. Упражнения способствуют лучшему усвоению и тренировке английского произношения, ритма, закреплению интонационных моделей в двух видах речевой деятельности: чтении и спонтанном говорении. Данный практикум предназначен для студентов гуманитарных факультетов, факультетов прикладных наук, аспирантов, преподавателей, а также всех желающих улучшить английское произношение и приобрести английский акцент при изучении английского языка.
71 into the back of the wardrobe after the party — the way you usually do. Mike. I’ve looked for it everywhere. And it’s not in the wardrobe. Have you tidied up my bedroom again and put all my things away in new places where I’ll never find them? Mother. I always put ties away in the wardrobe where they belong, so don’t blame me. Are you sure you haven’t worn that tie since Saturday? Mike. No, I don’t think so. Mother. On Tuesday you went out with Janet and I think you put it on then. You didn’t come in until one o’clock in the morning and I was already in bed. Perhaps you took it off in Janet’s house and left it there. Mike. Ah! I remember now. It was a bit hot and I took my tie off in the car on the way home on Tuesday. I suppose it’s still on the shelf under the dashboard. Mother. As usual you’ve only got yourself to blame. It’s a good job your head is firmly fixed to your shoulders — otherwise I’m sure you’d lose that too. Lecture O’Connor J.D. (Extract) Miss Tooley. How do you think we ought to start? J.D. O’Connor. My idea is this. Suppose we just say a few ordinary sentences. After that we’ll go back again and notice how we’ve said them and what sort of tune we’ve used, and then we’ll try to make some clear and general rule about them. Miss Tooley. Yes, that’s a good idea. Now the first thing I said was this: «How do you think we ought to start?» I wonder if the listeners can hear the tune. «How do you think we ought to start?» J.D. You see, listeners, that sentence starts on a fairly high note and it continues on that same note until it reaches the word «ought». Just listen. Miss Tooley. «How — How do you think we — How do you think we ought to start?» 72 J.D. Like that, you see. The word «ought» is said on a slightly lower note, and the sentence continues on that lower note until it gets to the very last syllable. Miss Tooley. How do you think we ought to start? How do you think we ought to start? J.D. Again, you see. The word «start» is on a slightly lower note and not only that, it falls as you say it: «start — start». Miss Tooley. Yes, it does. It falls right down to the bottom of my voice, listen: «How do you think we ought to start? How do you think we ought to start?» J.D. So the sentence is really in three parts, corresponding to the number of stressed syllables: «how», followed by four weak syllables, then «ought», followed by one weak syllable; and, lastly, «start», followed by nothing at all. Miss Tooley. How do you think we — ought to — start? J.D. We can make a good rule out of that. In sentences like this, the first stressed syllable and any weak or unstressed syllables following it, are said on a fairly high note; the second stressed syllable and any more weak syllables after that, are said on a slightly lower note, and the same with the third, and the fourth, and so on until you come to the last stressed syllable of all, which not only begins on a lower note than the previous one, but also falls right down until it can scarcely be heard at all. Well, now we must go back to the beginning and see if our rule works for some of our other sentences. 73 S E C T I O N III THE EXPRESSIVE VOICE MUSIC TO YOUR EARS There is a unique instrument, developed somewhat indepen- dently by a number of cultures, that most of us admire and consider musical. It’s called the bagpi pe. The bagpi pe has a bag — a bellows — that is squeezed by the pi per to produce the breath of the instrument. That air is then directed into as many as five drones, each of which emits a different pitch. Those sounds remain constant, unmodulated, ...as long as air passes through them. They begin tentatively, but build quickly to full volume. At that point, the bagpi pe is not fully functional. Ah, but then the remaining component of the instrument, the reed melody pi pe, the chanter, begins to skirl, laying the tune over the drones, and music happens! The music is sometimes plaintive, sometimes exuberant, as the pi per varies the phrasing and tempo of the piece. Many of us have seen and heard the massed pi pers and drum- mers of the famous Black Watch, in their ribbons and kilts, proudly marching down a field. When that stirring melody, «Scotland the Brave» fills the air, everyone present must respond with excitement and awe! That’s an expressive musical voice! Your voice, if you use it effectively, is just as expressive! The human voice can be a mirror of your thoughts and emotions. …... Nothing equals the beauty, the power, the flexibility, or the expressiveness of the human voice! That expressiveness comes from the use of a variety of techniques that impart vitality to speech. Your voice is unique and instantly recognizable because of six characteristics in your delivery. These are pitch, inflection, energy, duration, tempo, and volume. … Pitch. High or low, the pitch of your everyday voice has been developed throughout your life. It has been influenced by your gen- der, your physical size and the kind of life you’ve led. All of these characteristics interact to give your voice expressiveness and to make you a concise articulator. A woman’s vocal cords vibrate about twice as fast as those of a man’s, so her normal pitch is usually about an octave higher. The 74 effect of physical size on the voice is best appreciated by the changes in your natural pitch that occur as you pass from childhood into maturity. The female voice reaches full maturity at about age 35, the male voice at around age 25. Lifestyle exerts considerable effect on both the quality of the voice and the pitch at which you normally speak. If you often shout or yell, if you use tobacco, or must take medicine that dries the mouth and throat, your vocal cords are being mistreated. At the very least, your voice may become husky and your pitch range may be affected. Keeping these cautionary words in mind, let’s consider the ways you can enlarge your pitch range. With practice, almost every adult speaker can develop a range of about two octave…... …...your voice will sound most pleasant to listeners if you use, primarily, pitches within the lower half of your range. Extremely high and low pitches are often annoying or grating to hear. Speaking at unnaturally low or high pitches is very tiring for the vocal organs. Since your goal is to develop a pleasant and interesting speaking voice, we’ve developed the following Practice Session for this purpose. This exercise will help you to locate the pitches at which your voice achieves the most resonance. ...… DETERMINING OPTIMUM RESONANCE. Place the palms of your hands on your cheeks and rest a finger lightly on either side of your nose. Read a series of sentences you have chosen from books or magazines for this purpose. Vary your voice pitch while doing so. You will feel your nose and cheeks vibrate when you reach your optimum (most pleasing, effective) resonance. Then, to eliminate the distraction of tissue- and bone-conducted sound, tape record your delivery (at that optimum pitch) so that you can experience your voice as others hear it. Next, listen to the tape recording you’ve made of your speaking voice. ...…You may need to change speech behaviors. Solicit and con- sider the opinions of friends and relatives, but remember, you must please yourself first! Inflection. This term refers to the rising and the falling of the pitch of the speaking voice. Inflection adds variety to your speech and gives words and sentences their meanings. Use inflection with discre- tion. Vary the pitch as you speak. Avoid both monotone and sing-song deliveries. Rapidly alternating swings between high and low pitches usually make a speaker sound affected or unnatural. It is very impor- 75 tant to make full use of inflection to emphasize words and to add interest and vitality to your speech. Work diligently on your inflection. INFLECTION and MEANING. Vocal inflection gives added meaning to the words we speak. In early infancy, we learn to distin- guish the difference between mother’s «Don’t cry», spoken harshly, severely, and her, «Don’t cry», tenderly uttered in comforting tones. Practice the following phrases to improve your ability to change their meaning by varying your vocal inflection. Deliver each phrase three times in succession into your tape recorder, changing your vocal inflection each time. For example: • «Don’t leave!» — Strong, harsh, commanding. • «Don’t leave!» — Pleading, begging, whining. • «Don’t leave.» — Simple statement, very little emotion. 1. Shut the door. I don’t want to talk about it. 2. Take the papers with you. You’ll see samples of his work. 3. Sit down here and don’t argue with me anymore. 4. Vote for Roger Reese for President. He’s a good choice! 5. Your feelings are a complete surprise to me, Mary. 6. Suddenly, I feel something special is happening in my life. 7. Billy, you’re not telling the whole story to your mother. 8. Kevin, I worry about you. You work so hard! 9. Don’t be so shy when you telephone Bob. 10. I think you should tell me the real story. 11. Darling, you look like you’re feeling tired today. 12. Mother, don’t ask me that again. 13. Why can’t I convince you? You don’t seem to believe me. 14. I’ve explained it to you so many times. 15. Hush. I’m tired of hearing it. 16. Do you really believe Lisa? If you do, you’re naive! 17. If you spend more time studying, you’ll get better grades. 18. Don’t be afraid. Take the exam. 19. Do you like me? Then show me that you do. 20. Come into the kitchen and eat dinner now. 21. Don’t say that to me again. Remember, your goal is a conversational delivery. In practice sessions, it’s good to exaggerate inflections you use. Your actual deliv- 76 ery, however, should be smoothly inflected and not exaggerated. Also, speech should always be smooth, never halting or abrupt. Inflecting pitch requires practice. You’ll become better at it with time. Energy. The level of enthusiasm or vitality that put into speak- ing is important. In normal conversations, the level of energy you use will depend upon your interest in the subject and upon your sur- roundings at the time. You would not become overly enthusiastic while speaking in a chapel, a quiet living room, or an intimate restaurant. Your energy level would increase, however, during a conversation at a sporting event. A sales presentation may call for a great deal of excite- ment. A discussion with your child may require subtle, earnest tones. In any case, although the energy or intensity level at which you speak may vary, your enthusiasm for, and interest in your message, must shine through. Duration. Every sound wave has duration, that is, it lasts a cer- tain period of time. Syllabic stresses also have duration…... The duration of vowels actually determines which sounds listeners perceive most clearly during speech. To emphasize certain words or sentences, a speaker may choose to draw out or to lengthen certain portions of a word or phrase. Duration is closely tied to intensity, volume and tempo. Tempo. There is no correct rate of speed at which one should speak. That rate depends on a speaker’s mood and upon the content of the message. Slowing down slightly to stress important words or phrases adds emphasis and variety to speech. Speaking at a constant rate of speed makes one sound robotic and dull. A faster tempo is appropriate when a message has great urgency or holds special interest. However, no matter how urgent the mes- sage, crisp enunciation continues to be of primary importance. Un- fortunately, at a faster, more energetic tempo, precise articulation becomes more difficult. Never sacrifice clarity for speed. A speaker slows down the tempo of a message that is not com- pletely thought out. People tend to speak more slowly when thinking about the content of a message to be delivered. The fact points up the importance of marshaling our thoughts before we speak. A familiar adage says, «Put your brain in gear before engaging your mouth!» 77 Speaking at a slow rate of speed can sound boring or lack-luster. In our fast-paced world, people who speak too slowly are often inter- rupted or, worse, are totally ignored. Your goal should be a conversational tempo that uses natural speech rhythms. Remember, natural rhythms are never constant ones. Speed up and then slow down. Vary your tempo. Variety is the spice of life and of speech! Volume. Volume pertains to the relative loudness or softness of speech sounds. If people sometimes have difficulty understanding your speech, if others have trouble hearing you clearly, you may be speak- ing at a volume level that is too soft. Conversely, if your speaking voice sounds harsh, or if you are sometimes perceived as bossy or over-bearing, you may be speaking at a volume that is too loud. Your volume level should be appropriate to the message delivered and to one’s environment. The intensity of a sound concerns the force with which air particles are displaced by vibrating sound waves. Intensity is closely associated with volume. Zoller B.P., Watkins J.A. and Lampman H. Power Talk. Dallas. Texas, 1994. P. 85—92 A speaking or reading rate of 120 to 140 w. p. m. can irk your listeners even more than the «faster-than-a-speeding-bullet» rate some hyperkinetic individuals use. Not only does it suggest that the speaker is unsure of the information, but it hints of illness, timorousness, or stupidity. (Actors playing not-too-swift characters often speak at a tor- toise crawl.) People can listen faster than you can talk, and if your rate is draggy or funeral, you’ll not only bore your listeners and lose their attention, you’ll soon lull them into a catatonic state. <...…> Even though you’ll rarely have an occasion to read or speak in slow motion, get the feel of it. The selection below contains exactly 140 words. The number of words up to the diagonal lines is 120. A maximum and a minimum are established. Practice, timing yourself, until it takes you close to a minute to reach either terminal point. All of you who live on after us, don’t harden your hearts against us. If you pity wretches like us, maybe God will be merciful to you on Judgment Day. You see us here, five or six of us, strung up. As 78 for the flesh we loved too well, it’s already devoured and has rotted. And we, the bones, now turn to ashes and dust. Don’t mock us or make us the butt of jokes. The rain has rinsed and washed us; the sun dried us and turned us black. Magpies and crows have pecked out our eyes and torn away our beards and our eyebrows. Never are we at rest. The winds keep swinging us — now here, now there. / / Lord, keep us out of hell! There’s nothing for us to do there! Friends, don’t jeer! May God forgive us! [Villon «Ballard of the Hanged»]. A rate of 180—200 w. p. m. may exhaust your listeners. Burning up the road tells the world that you’re highly nervous, unsure of yourself, or emotionally rattled. Faster speaking isn’t necessarily bet- ter speaking. And have you noticed? We tend to be suspicious of fast talkers; we pigeonhole them as slick operators, shady lawyers or poli- ticians, or high-pressure used-car salesman. Unlike cigarettes, which carry warnings that smoking may be hazardous to your health, excessively fast talking won’t destroy you physically. But a 190-word-per-minute speaking rate is apt to pulverize sounds and is certainly not conducive to sharp articulation and intel- ligible communication. A few professionals get by with it. But most of us who speak that rapidly turn our sentences into mush. A fast rate, however, is proper for some humorous material, elation, excite- ment, fear, or anger. Even then — use it sparingly. The selection will give you a general idea of this rate. It contains exactly 200 words. The diagonal lines are placed after the 180 th word. What is it, then? What do you want? What have you come for? What do you mean by this flightiness? Bursting in all of a sudden, like a cat having a fit! Well, what have you seen that’s so surprising? What kind of an idea has gotten into your head? Really, you know, you act like a three-year-old child and not in the least like what one would expect from a girl of eighteen. I wonder when you’ll get more sensible, and behave as a well brought-up young lady should and learn a few good manners? Oh, your head’s always empty! You’re coping the neighbour’s girls. Why are you always trying to be like them? You’ve no business using them as models. You have other examples, young 79 lady, right in front of you — your own mother. I repeat — your own mother! That’s the model you ought to imitate! There, now you see — it was all because of you, you silly child, that our guest was on his knees in front of me — proposing — then you blunder in. / / You come snooping around, just as though you’d completely out of your mind. Just for that, I refused him! [Gogol «The Inspector General»] The most tolerable and useful all-purpose rate is 140 to 180 w. p. m. If you have to handle material that expresses sorrow, gravity, meditation, or material that is technical — aim for the lower end of the range: 140 w. p. m. If your material expresses happiness, humour, or, on occa- sion, wrath, target the upper end of the range: 180 w. p. m. Purely conversational situations? 150 to 180 w. p. m. is excellent. Have to deliver a speech? Our best public speakers find that 160 w. p. m. is a congenial and efficient average. This selection contains 180 words; the diagonals are placed after the 140th word. Practice at the different rates until you feel natural and at ease. Just how different are college students of today from students of the Middle Ages? Not much. They complained much more about food than we do. For a five-year period at the University of Paris, however, a lot of students discovered they could eat well and cheaply. Near the campus were the shops of a pieman and a barber. The pieman specialized in meat pies. Students could chi p in and buy one and have a filling, delicious, inexpensive meal. The barber had the sharpest and fastest razor in Paris. So skilled was he that a client coming into his shop at the end of the day never felt the blade that shaped his beard until it slit his throat. The body was then dropped through a trap door into a cellar which connected with that of the pieman. / / You’ve guessed the rest. But one day a neighbourhood dog got into the baker’s backyard and dug up human bones. He took them home; his owner was a constable. The two men were caught and burned alive at the stake. 80 Look over the selections below and decide on a general rate that fits the mood of the material. When you read aloud, however, be sure that you vary the rate: accelerate, decelerate, hold steady. a) One dark and stormy night, а shi p struck а reef and sank.But one of the sailors clung desperately to a piece of wreckage and was finally cast up exhausted on an unknown beach. In the morning he struggled to his feet and, rubbing his salt-encrusted eyes, looked around to learn where he was. The only thing he saw that could have been made by man was a gallows. «Thank God!» he shouted. «Civilization!» b) A majority of gunslingers from the Wild West weren’t too bright. A bad man named Wes Hardin was determined to shoot it out with Wild Bill Hickok. Hardin was extremely jealous of Wild Bill, because Bill was rated as number one gunman, but Hardin was only number two. Hardin heard that Wild Bill was in El Paso, so he rode there, went into a popular bar and was given the corner seat — in those days, the best seat in the house. He sat in the corner for three days, staring into the long mirror behind the bar so that he could instantly see anybody who came through the door. And on the fourth day, who should enter the bar with gun drawn? Wild Bill Hickok? No! The sheriff. And guess what Hardin did. He shot the mirror instead of the sheriff. The sheriff then shot Hardin. You can visit his grave in El Paso today. c) Tell General Howard I know what is in his heart. What he told me before, I have in my heart, I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. … The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. My brother, who led on the young men, is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more, forever. [Chief Joseph to the Nez Perce Indians] d) There is one contemporary artist who refuses to go along with all the wild and weird «modern» art — square-faced ladies with three ears and a nose sprouting from the middle of the forehead. Phil