Hi everyone, and welcome to Seattle Learning Academy's 67th American English Pronunciation Podcast, and our seventh video podcast. My name is Mandy.
The show today is the third of the series taken from video lesson 4, which covers the long o, short o, and the aw sound. Today, I'm going to tell you about the aw sound. If you would like to see these all as one single lesson, become a Pronuncian subscriber and you have access to all of the video lessons and their associated quizzes.
The aw sound is quite similar to the short o sound, which was the topic of the previous video podcast.
The aw sound can be difficult for some people to learn to say and hear. It sounds like (aw sound). The aw sound is created with the lips open and rounded. The jaw opens, the middle area and tip of the tongue are pushed low, and the back of the tongue is raised and pushed back.
I want you to see the difference of the outside of my mouth between the aw sound and the short o sound. Here is the aw sound (aw sound), and here is the short o sound (short o). (aw sound, short o).
There is something called the cot/caught merger, which is the actual loss of the aw sound in certain dialects of American English. Those dialects typically only use the short o sound. It is up to you if you want to learn these as separate and distinct sounds, or not. I am neutral on the matter. I say them as separate sounds, but I recognize that some people do not.
I promised Chai, a Forum user from Malaysia, that I would specifically demonstrate a minimal pair between these sounds, the words caller c-a-l-l-e-r, and collar c-o-l-l-a-r. C-a-l-l-e-r is said (by most) with an aw sound. Caller. C-o-l-l-a-r is said (by most) with a short o sound. Collar. I'll say them again in the same order. C-a-l-l-e-r, aw sound, collar, short o sound.
Notice that my lips move more, and become more tense for the aw sound word.
Now, let's watch the video, which gets into more detail, and also gives more examples as well as commons aw sound spellings.
The sound is the aw sound. It sounds like this: (aw sound). The name aw sound is used because that is one of this sound's common spellings, as in the words law and dawn. I also noted this sound when I talked about the o spelling. The o spelling can sound like a long o, as in the word most, or a short o as in the word top. It can also sound like an aw sound, as in the word dog.
This sound can be difficult for some people to learn to say and hear. It sounds like (aw sound).
The aw sound is created with the lips open and rounded. The jaw opens, the middle area and tip of the tongue are pushed low, and the back of the tongue is raised and pushed back.
The difference between this sound and the short o is in the lips. The aw sound has tense lips. The lips get pulled into an open circle. The lips may even stick out some. The lips do not close into a small circle like the long o, however. The lips are open, round, and tense.
Listen closely, and repeat after me.
(aw sound, aw sound)
The aw sound has 4 common spellings, which only adds to its confusion. As noted in the name, it can be spelled as aw. It can also be spelled with an o, and with the letters au. Sometimes, the au can also have a -gh- added to it, making it augh.
Listen for the aw sound (aw sound) in each of the following words. All of these words are spelled with a-w:
Now listen for the same sound (aw sound) in these words, which are all spelled with the letter o:
Here are examples of words with the aw sound being spelled with the letters au and augh:
Now let's practice some minimal sets for these three sounds, the long o, short o, and aw sound.
There you go. Remember to visit Pronuncain.com to see the transcripts to this show, as well as access our forums where you can post your questions about this or any other aspect of English. The forums have been busy lately, including another forum post besides the caller/collar post, that touches on the cot/caught merger. I'll link to those posts from the transcripts for this show. If you're an English teacher, please add your comments and solutions as well. I would love to learn from you and have more teachers involved on Pronuncian.
To have access to the full video lesson, and the quizzes that go with it, go to www.pronuncian.com/join. If you're not sure you're saying these sounds correctly, you can also purchase a Skype assessment from pronuncian. Check out the products page for more information.
Thanks for listening, everyone.
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