Unvoiced velar stop

From Teflpedia

k

call /kɔːl/

In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /k/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "kiss", "cold" and "question" and the final one in "book" and "black". There are also a few words, mostly from Ancient Greek, where it corresponds to the digraph "ch".

/k/ is an unvoiced consonant; its voiced counterpart is IPA phoneme /g/.

Common words[edit]

Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /k/ include the following:

  • with "c"
at the beginning of the word: call - clock - coat - come - cross - cut
in the middle of the word: economy - education - fact - include - secret - security
at the end of the word: basic - economic - music - public - specific
  • with "cc": accommodation - account - accuse - occasion - occupy - occur
  • with "k"
as the last sound of the syllable: ankle - bake - book - break - dark - like - look - oak - shake - shark - sink - take - walk - week - weekly - work
before "e" or "i": donkey - keep - kill - kind - kiss - kitchen - skin - speaker - market - worker
exceptionally before "a", "o", "u", "l" or "r" in the same syllable: chakra /ˈtʃʌkrə/ - haiku - kangaroo - Kansas - karate - koala - Korea - okay - Oklahoma - remarkable
  • with "ck": attack - black- check - lock - luck - rock - sock - shock - sick - stick - thick - ticket
  • with "ch": ache - archive - chaos - chemical - chemist - chemistry - psychology - stomach - technician - technology
  • with "qu": quarter - liquor - technique /tekˈniːk/ - conquer
  • with "cq": acquaintance - acquire
  • exceptionally with "kk": trekking
  • initial and final /k/: cake - click - clock - cook - cork - crack - crook - kick - quick

/ks/[edit]

The sequence /ks/ can be spelled in several forms.

Same syllable
  • with "x": box - complex - fix - matrix - mix - next - relax - tax
  • with "ks": books - breaks - cooks - looks - seeks - thanks - walks - weeks
  • with "cks": attacks - checks - clocks - locks - packs - rocks - shocks
  • with "cs": critics - mathematics - plastics - politics - statistics - topics
  • with "chs": matriarchs - monarchs - patriarchs - stomachs
Different syllables
  • with "x": exclude - experience - galaxy - maximum - taxi
  • with "xc": excel - excellent - except - excess
  • with "cc": accept - accident - eccentric - success
  • with "ks": bookstore
  • with "cks": backstage
  • with "cs": facsimile /fækˈsɪməliː/
  • with "chs": dachshund

Variant pronunciations[edit]

  • disgusting /dɪsˈgʌstɪŋ, dɪˈskʌstɪŋAmE/[1]

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit]

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.

Spanish[edit]

The main "problem" here is that Spanish speakers tend to forget that "ch" can, in just a few words, also be pronounced /k/, and will invariably pronounce "ache" with /tʃ/, as if it were a homophone of the letter "h".

References[edit]

  1. "disgusting". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.