Voiced palatal approximant

From Teflpedia

j

yes /jes/

The voiced palatal approximant, also known as yod, is a consonant sound with the manner of articulation of an approximant and the place of articulation being a palatal consonant.

Common words[edit | edit source]

The sequence /juː/ is very common in English and it has special spellings: "u", "ue", "eu" and "ew". Before other vowels /j/ is normally spelled "y".

  • /j/ as "y"
Kenya, yard, yarn, year, yellow, Yemen, yes, yesterday, yet, yield, yolk, York, you, young, your, youth, yo-yo
beyond /bɪˈjɒnd,[1] [2] biˈɒnd[2]/
"u" as /juː/: accumulate, Cuba, cute, distribute, stimulate
"ue" as /juː/: argue, continue, hue, value
"ew" as /juː/: few, Matthew, nephew
"iew" as /juː/: interview, review, view, preview
  • Before /ʊə/
"ur" as /jʊə/: cure, curious, pure, security
  • Before /ə/
"u" as /jə/: accumulate, failure, formula, popular

Other cases

"ia" as /jə/: California, Spaniard
"ie" as /jə/: Daniel
"io" as /jə/: behavior,AmE behaviour,BrE million, onion, opinion

Uncommon words[edit | edit source]

  • canyon /ˈkænjən/
  • cognac: /ˈkɒnjæk,BrE ˈkəʊnjækAmE/
  • emu /ˈiːmjuː/
  • fjord /ˈfjɔːrd/
  • hallelujah /hælɪˈluːjə/
  • lasagna,AmE lasagne,BrE /ləˈzænjə/
  • pinata, piñata /pɪnˈjɑːtə/
  • savior,AmE saviourBrE /ˈseɪvjər/
  • yacht /jɒt/

No /j/[edit | edit source]

Many words that have "y" in their spelling don't have a /j/ phoneme in their pronunciation. This in practice means there might be subtle differences in syllabification or a difference in vowel quality. For example "kayak" is /ˈkaɪ.æk/ and not /kɑː.jæk/. In some cases there are alternate pronunciations, as in "lawyer". Note, however, that the realization of some of these vowels may contain a [j] sound, as in royal pronounced [ˈrɔjəl].[3] See IPA phonetic symbol [j]. The pronunciation shown by Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary is shown in square brackets.

Phoneme /ɪ/ is [j] according to Merriam-Webster's Even Merriam-Webster's uses [ɪ] Several dictionaries use /j/
/aɪ/ buyer: /ˈbaɪ.ər/ [ˈbajɚ] coyote: /kaɪˈəʊ.tiː/ [kaɪˈoʊti], /ˈkaɪ.oʊt/,AmE /kɔɪˈəʊ.tiː/BrE

kayak: /ˈkaɪ.æk/ [ˈkaɪæk]

papaya: /pəˈpaɪə/ [pəˈpajə], /pəˈpɑːjə/
/eɪ/ player: /ˈpleɪ.ər/ [ˈplejɚ]

layer: /ˈleɪ.ər/ [ˈlejɚ], /leər/BrE
mayor: /meər/,BrE /meɪ.ər/AmE [ˈmejɚ]AmE

crayon: /ˈkreɪ.ən, ˈkreɪ.ɒn/ [ˈkreɪɑːn]
/ɔɪ/ employer: /ɪmˈplɔɪ.ər/ [ɪmˈplojɚ]

royal: /ˈrɔɪ.əl/ [ˈrojəl].

employee: /ɪmˈplɔɪ.iː/ [ɪmˈploɪiː] lawyer: /ˈlɔː.jər/ [ˈlɑːjɚ], /ˈlɔɪ.ər/ [ˈlojɚ]

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit | edit source]

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

Spanish[edit | edit source]

While /j/ is very similar to the "i" in the Spanish diphthongs "ia", "ie", "io" and "iu", most Spanish speakers pronounce the initial /j/ in words like "yes", "young" and "university" like /dʒ/, i.e. they do not distinguish between "yet" and "jet" or "use" and "juice". This problem can be solved by making them notice that several Spanish words have initial /j/, such as hiato or ion, which are different from "yato" or "yon".

Conversely, Spanish speakers tend to use /j/ before a vowel where English uses /iː/ (or /ɪ/ in some accents). For example vegetarian might be pronounced /ve.dʒəˈteər.jən/ instead of /ve.dʒəˈteər.iː.ən/, blending the last two syllables into one.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, beyond.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dictionary.com. Random House, Inc. beyond.
  3. Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary, royal