Recently, I got to know that letter 'p' along with 8 others i.e. b, t, d, k, g, tS as in chin, dz as in age, and f are voiceless.
The consonant sounds are categorised in two terms voiceless and voiced, but Oxford doesn't differentiate while writing their phonetic transcription.
If they are voiceless, how they are pronounced.
Like Pen, fall, got, tea, did, king etc.
I didn't get any support from the oxford dictionary that I have.
A simple explanation of voiced consonants is that they use the voice. This is easy to test by putting your finger on your throat. If you feel a vibration the consonant is voiced. Voiceless consonants do not use the voice. They are percussive and use hard sounds. Once again, you can test if a consonant is voiceless by putting your finger on your throat. You will feel no vibration in your throat, just a short explosion of air as you pronounce. Pronounce each of these consonant sounds and feel NO vibration in your throat.
Many British and International dictionaries use the International Phonetic Alphabet to describe the pronounciation of words. I believe that most, if not all, of the various recent editions of the Oxford Dictionary use the IPA to describe pronounciation (it is used in the version of Oxford I have).
Using the IPA is not intuitive. It is overly simplistic to divide consonant sounds into just two categories -- voiced and voiceless. The IPA recognizes more than twenty different categories and does not help us by using the terms voiced and voiceless with any. Unless you are a linguist, it is best not worry about the multiple classifications and focus on the pronounciation.
Because of the complexity of the IPA, many American dictionaries use a simplified version. However, even my favorite dictionary -- Merriam-Webster Collegiate -- does not use the terms voiced and voiceless in its pronounciation guide.
I find the best use of the pronounciation guide is to compare a word where I know the pronounciation to an unknown word. By making the comparison, I begin to understand how the dictionary's system uses symbols to represent sound. Often the dictionary has a guide to pronounciation that helps explain the symbols.
I hope this helps.
(You may want to read the International Phonetic Alphabet Association's website at http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/ )
|link||edited Jun 26 '12 at 04:31 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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