Best resources for pronouncing English phonograms?
June 1, 2014 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Hi AskMetafilter. I've found that I have properly enunciating the 'o' related English phonograms. Especially 'our.' I went to a speech pathologist who claimed (reasonably) that I wasn't moving my upperlip properly and moving my jaw done enough. But I wasn't satisfied by the resources he provided for correcting those problems. Does anyone have any suggestions about the best resources for learning the proper lip/jaw movement of English phonograms?
posted by earlsofsandwich to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
Consult a handbook of articulatory phonetics? or English phonology?
posted by bertran at 11:03 PM on June 1, 2014

Is your target for 'our' to rhyme with 'hour' or with 'are'? I know that's a regional difference but it's formed differently.
posted by a halcyon day at 11:13 PM on June 1, 2014

Which English? American? British? Australian?

The 'o' in 'our' is represented by different phonograms depending on language variety. It can be ɑː, ɑ, aʊ, or æ.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:16 AM on June 2, 2014

My OED says it's the vowel in "our" is represented by (aʊə) and that it has the same sound as the one found in "sour". I think it's a triphthong, a combination of three vowel sounds in a single syllable.

Here's a Wiktionary page with words containing that sound. If any of them are easier for you to say, perhaps you could try working on those and then generalising your technique to the other words?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:38 AM on June 2, 2014

My OED says it's the vowel in "our" is represented by (aʊə) and that it has the same sound as the one found in "sour".

This would be correct.
Judging from the OP's description, I would wager they are pronouncing "our" exactly as large swathes of middle and southern America does...exactly the same as they pronounce "are". I could fill pages with similar such regional pronunciations.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:11 AM on June 2, 2014

I grew up in suburban Chicago, raised by parents who grew up in suburban Chicago, and when I moved to the East Coast I got dinged repeatedly by Northeasterners who told me I was pronouncing vowel sounds "wrong," when I was actually pronouncing them perfectly correctly for my dialect.

I understand you went to a professional, but professionals can be parochial, too; I would make sure this is actually a speech impediment rather than a regional variation before you worry too much about it. (Unless you're in a professional or personal situation where you need to sound accent-less and/or local.)
posted by jaguar at 7:25 AM on June 2, 2014

It's not a matter of whether or not you are physically doing the correct thing to make the correct sound, so much as it is that you are able to hear the sound you want to make and then correctly reproduce that sound. if this were not true there would be no ventriloquists.
You might want to listen to several recordings of the words you want to correctly enunciate, and then record yourself attempting to say them.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:54 AM on June 2, 2014

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