Past Meetup

More "th" practice, "schwa," and when is a "t" really a "t?"

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"Th" again.

Many of the Americans who don't pronounce "th" correctly may be well educated, but they don't sound educated. Suffice to say that a correct "th" will earn you greater respect from whomever you're talking to. This week we'll finish up the "th" words that we began last Saturday and we'll do a challenging (but fun) "th" exercise to limber up the tongue.

Getting around to "Schwa."

Since we didn't get to it last time, this Saturday we'll explore and practice speaking with "schwa." In normal speech, vowels in unstressed (weak) syllables are often shortened to the "schwa" sound. The "schwa" phoneme sounds like the grunt you might make if someone punched you in the gut! "Uh!" Unraveling the English "t," American style. "T" is a funny animal in American English. Sometimes it's unvoiced, as in "table tennis," sometimes it's changed to a voiced "d" sound, as in "my dog's 'bedder' than your dog," and sometimes it's "stopped," or not sounded at all, as in "button." For example, most non-native English speakers don't say "Manhattan" correctly because they don't use a "stopped t." When you learn to stop your "t's" you'll be able to say words like "button," "kitten," "satin," "cotton," "Latin" and "fatten" the right way.

You are welcome to attend whether you're signed up for all eight sessions of this class, or just want to come now and then. You can come without RSVP-ing, but we do have a 15-person limit on participation (speaking). If we're over the limit, you will only be able to audit (observe) without speaking.

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