Hi again, and welcome back to Seattle Learning Academy's American English pronunciation podcast. My name is Mandy and this is our 92nd podcast, and our 14th video podcast.
Today I'm going to show you the first part of Pronuncian's video for the spelling and pronunciation of the sh sound. While this sound can, at first, appear relatively simple, it gets very complex as soon as we get past the basic sh spelling and suffixes enter the discussion.
I'm going to save the more complicated suffix portion of the video for the next video podcast. Pronunican subscribers, however, can see the entire video now by logging into Pronuncian, going to the Materials tab, and clicking video podcasts.
Here's the first part of the video.
While the sh sound is the common pronunciation of the sh spelling, the sh sound can also be spelled ch, and has many pronunciation patterns within and before suffixes. These suffix-related spelling patterns can make the sh sound difficult to recognize.
The sh sound is a type of continuous consonant called a fricative. The sounds of continuous consonants can be held, smoothly and evenly, for several seconds without changing the sound (sh sound). Fricatives occur as air travels through a small opening in the vocal tract (sh sound).
The sh sound is created as air travels through the vocal tract between the front of the tongue and the rear of the tooth ridge. The tooth ridge is the bony area behind the top front teeth. The sides of the tongue touch the teeth alongside the tooth ridge as the air passes through the groove of the center of the tongue toward the top front teeth.
It is important that the tongue is somewhat tense, and that tip of the tongue is not held too far forward or too high. When this happens, a sound similar to an s sound will be created instead. Listen to the sh sound, then the s sound:
(sh sound), (s sound)
The sh sound is an unvoiced sound. This means that the vocal cords do not vibrate during the sound. Like most unvoiced English consonant sounds, it has a voiced counterpart. The voiced counterpart to the sh sound is the zh sound. Listen to the sh sound, then the zh sound:
(sh sound), (zh sound)
As mentioned earlier, the letters sh are a common spelling for the sh sound. The following are examples of the sh spelling:
The ch spelling can also be pronounced as the sh sound, as in the words:
Note that the ch spelling has two other common pronunciations in addition to the sh sound:
ch sound (as in the word cheese)
k sound (as in the word chorus)
Of these three possible pronunciations, the ch sound is the most common pronunciation.
SH SOUND IN AND BEFORE SUFFIXES
The sh sound has numerous spellings that are related to suffixes. Some suffixes contain the sh sound within the suffix itself, and some cause phonetic changes to the letters s, t, and c when they occur before certain suffixes.
The following suffixes all can contain the sh sound:
Let's look at all of these suffix patterns in detail.
In the -cial/-tial suffix, the letters c and t are generally pronounced as the sh sound:
In the -itious suffix, the letter t is generally pronounced as an sh sound:
In the -tion suffix, the letter t is generally pronounced with the sh sound. Examples include these words:
At this point the study of the sh sound within and before suffixes gets confusing.
I've been releasing video podcasts about every three weeks, so part two of this video should come out toward the end of February. As I said before, the entire video lesson is published on Pronuncian, and subscribers have access to it now. If you're not a subscriber yet, you can join for as little as $15 dollars per month, and you get access to all of our exercises, quizzes, and video lessons.
We do rely on your support to keep this podcast coming to you every week, so please consider supporting us in some way. If you cannot make a purchase or subscribe right now, you can also support us by giving an iTunes review or a YouTube rating. Our YouTube channel is SeattleLearning, all as one word. If you found this video first on YouTube, you can also subscribe to our weekly pronunciation pocasts on iTunes. Just search for SeattleLearning.
Thanks all for today everyone, thanks for listening.
This has been a Seattle Learning Academy digital publication. SLA is where the world comes to learn.