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Introducing "English Pronunciation: the American Way"

  1. English Pronunciation: the American Way is available in the formats of e-book and the audio-book. The e-book is available on the Amazon site, and the audio book is available on the Google Classroom site. The Google Classroom site opens automatically once the purchase of the audio book is made. More information on the audio book can found here.    
  2. The audio book is the narration of the e-book. 
  3. The e-book is written by Nanhee Byrnes PhD, and the audio-book is narrated by John Byrnes PhD. 

Table of Contents for English Pronunciation: the American Way

Part I. Introduction

1-1. Pronunciation, the foundation

1-2. Characteristics of American English

Part II: Vowels

2-1. American vowels

Vowel definition

American elementary school classification

International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

        Rhotic R

American vowels vs British vowels

15 vowel phonemes of standard American English



2-2. Vowel Diagram

Tongue height


Vowel diagram


Similar sounding vowel pairs

2-3. Front high vowels: /i/ vs /ɪ/

/i/ words

/ɪ/ words

/i/ vs /ɪ/ minimal pairs

/i/ vs /ɪ/ in sentences

2-4. Front low vowels: /ɛ/ vs /æ/

/ɛ/ words

/æ/ words

/æ/ vs /ɛ/ minimal pairs

/æ/ vs /ɛ/ in sentences

2-5. Back high vowels: /u/ vs /ʊ/

/u/ words

/ʊ/ words

/u/ vs /ʊ/ minimal pairs

/u/ vs /ʊ/ in sentences

/ju/ sound

Yod dropping

2-6. Back low vowels: /ɔ/ and /ɑ/

The cot–caught merger

Homophones due to /ɔ/ and /ɑ/ merger

Pronunciation of /ɔ/

/ɔr/ words

/ɑ/ words

R-colored /ar/ words

/ɑr, /ɔr/ minimal pairs

/ar/, /ər/ minimal pairs

/ɔr/, /ər/ minimal pairs

/ɔr/ vs /ər/ vs /ar/ comparison sentences

2-7. Middle center vowels: /ʌ/ vs /ə/

/ʌ/ words

Schwa for de-emphasis

Multisyllabic words

Function words

/ər/ words

/ʌ/, /ər/ minimal pairs

2-8. Diphthongs: /eɪ/, /aɪ/ & /ɔɪ/


/eɪ/ words 

/ɛ/, /eɪ/ minimal pairs


/aɪ/ words

/aɪər/ words


/ɔɪ/ words

/eɪ/, /aɪ/ & /ɔɪ/ sentences

2-9. Diphthongs /aʊ/ and /oʊ/


/aʊ/ words

/aʊər/ words

/aʊ/ sentences


/oʊ/ words

/oʊ/ homophones

/oʊ/ sentences

/oʊ/, /aʊ/ minimal pairs

/oʊ/, /ɔr/ minimal pairs


Part III: Consonants

3-1. Introduction to Consonants
            Vocal tract
            The tongue
            The IPA chart for English consonants
3-2. Place of articulation








3-3. Manner of articulation


Plosives (stops)







3-4. Voicing          

Voicing for grammar

    From noun to verb

    From adjective to verb

    From singular to plural

Voice assimilation

    Voicing of -s or -es

    Voicing of -ed

Consonant dropping in consonant clusters

Pre-fortis clipping

Minimal pairs for pre-fortis clipping

3-5. Plosives (Stops)

Phonemes vs allophones

Glottal stopping for /t/, [ʔ]

Alveolar flapping for /t/, [ɾ]

Allophones of plosives

Allophones of voiceless plosives




Devoicing of voiced plosives

3-5-1. Bilabial plosives /p/ and /b/

3-5-2. Alveolar plosives /t/ and /d/
            Allophones of /t/

Flap T

        After stressed vowel and before unstressed vowel

        Before syllabic L

        After an r-colored vowel

Silent T

Glottal stop /ʔ/

                 Before syllabic N

3-5-3. Velar plosives /k/ and /g/

3-6. Fricatives

3-6-1. Labiodental fricatives /f/ and /v/

/f/, /v/ minimal pairs

/f/, /v/ sentences

/f/, /p/ minimal pairs

/f/, /p/ sentences

/b/, /v/ minimal pairs

/b/, /v/ sentences

3-6-2. Interdental fricatives /θ/ and /ð/

/θ/, /ð/ words

/f/, /θ/ minimal pairs

/t/, /θ/ minimal pairs

/t/, /θ/ sentences

/d/, /ð/ minimal pairs

/d/, /ð/ sentences

3-6-3. Alveolar fricatives /s/ and /z/

/s/, /z/ minimal pairs

/s/ and /z/ as grammar particle sounds

/s/, /θ/ minimal pairs

/ð/, /z/ minimal pairs

/s/, /z/, /θ/, and /ð/ sentences

3-6-4. Palatal fricatives /ʃ/ and /ʒ/

Words with /ʃ/

Words with /ʒ/

French origin words

Word endings with -SION, -SUAL, -SURE

From /z/ to /ʒ/

/ʃ/ and /ʒ/ minimal pairs

/ʃ/ and /Ʒ/ sentences

/s/, /ʃ/ minimal pairs

/z/, /ʒ/ minimal pairs

3-6-5. Glottal fricative /h/

Silent H words

/h/, ∅ minimal pairs

/f/, /h/ minimal pairs

/h/ dropping in connected speech

 The ‘h’ pronouns

The ‘have’ verb

3-7. Affricates /ʧ/ and /ʤ/

/ʧ/, /ʤ/ minimal pairs

/ʧ/, /ʤ/ sentences

/ʒ/, /ʤ/ minimal pairs

/ʃ/, tʃ/ minimal pairs

/ʤ/, /z/ minimal pairs

3-8. Nasals, /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/

3-8-1. Syllabic consonants

3-8-2. Bilabial nasal: /m/

Syllabic /əm/

3-8-3. Alveolar nasal: /n/

Syllabic /ən/

3-8-4. Velar nasal /ŋ/

Syllabic /əŋ/

/m/, /n/ minimal pairs

/n/, /ŋ/ minimal pairs

/m/, /n/ and /ŋ/ sentences

3-9. Liquids, /l/ and /r/

3-9-1. Lateral liquid /l/

Light L

Light L words

L Blend words

Light L sentences

Dark L

Dark L words

Dark L sentences

3-9-2. Retroflex Liquid /r/

3-9-2-1. Prevocalic R

Prevocalic R words

R bland words

3-9-2-2. Vocalic R

Vocalic R words

Vocalic R sentences

3-9-2-3. Intervocalic R

“A” before “R”

“E” before “R”

Mary–marry–merry merger

“I” before “R”

Mirror–nearer merger

“O” before “R”

“U” before “R”

/l/, /r/ minimal pairs

Challenging words with L and R

/lr/ combination words

/rl/ combination words

3-10. Glides, /w/ and /j/

Semivowels vs their vowel counterparts, /u/ and /i/

3-10-1. Labial glide /w/

Words with /w/

/w/, ∅ minimal pairs

/v/, /w/ minimal pairs

/w/ sentences

3-10-2. Palatal glide /j/

‘Y’ as a vowel

‘Y’ as consonant

Words with /j/

Words with yod- dropping

Posh English vs working-class English

/j/ - ∅ minimal pairs

/w/, /j/ minimal pairs

/j/, /dʒ/ minimal pairs

/j/ sentences


Part IV: Connected Speech

4-1. Introduction to Connected Speech

Syllable-timed rhythm vs stress-timed rhythm

Thought groups

Predictable patterns of sound change

Five methods of connected speech

4-2. Intrusion

/j/ intrusion

/w/ intrusion

4-3. Catenation

Catenation after H dropping

“My seat” vs “mice eat”

4-4. Gemination

Continuous consonants

“I scream” vs “ice cream”


“Red eye” vs “red dye”


4-5. Elision

Elision in function words



Pronunciation of contracted words

Negative contractions

Inferring elided sounds


Syllable elision

Elision in consonant clusters

-nt, -nd ending in word boundary

4-6. Assimilation

Assimilation of voice

Alveolar consonant assimilations

/t/ to /p/ or /k/

/d/ to /b/ or /g/

/n/ to /m/ or /ŋ/

Nasal, lateral plosives