Art / ɑː /
In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eleventh of the pure vowels / ɑː /.
We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɑː / sound.
We will look at lots of words which have the / ɑː / sound in them.
Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɑː / sound correctly.
Letter Combinations for / ɑː /
This long vowel sound has these letter combinations: AR, EAR, ER, A, AL, AU, and OIR
Problems for Students
There are two other vowel sounds that cause confusion with the / ɑː / sound.
We already looked at the following minimal pairs:
- / ɑː / vs / æ / – Vowel in Ant – Pack 9
- / ɑː / vs / ʌ / – Vowel in Sun – Pack 10
I won’t be repeating these minimal pairs in this Pronunciation Activation Pack. Instead, we’ll look at the important Trap-Bath Split.
The English language is changing all the time.
One of the most noticeable changes over the past 400 years or so has been with the pronunciation of the / ɑː / and / æ / sounds in certain words.
This change is known as the Trap-Bath split.
It is responsible for the two pronunciations of words like bath, laughter, glass, and basket.
I will explain all about the Trap-Bath split in the Pronunciation Activator and show you why it is important in RP or BBC English.
Using the / ɑː / rather than the / æ / can make your English sound more refined, but in the north of England it can sound pompous or snobbish.
Personally, having spent more time in the north than the south of England, I tend to use the shorter / æ /.
I have included 133 words from the Bath set in the Pronunciation Activator highlighting the difference between the / ɑː / and / æ / sounds.
Each time you do the Pronunciation Activator you will be given some random exercises from the database of exercises.
There is a good chance that some of the words used in this Pronunciation Activation Pack will be new to you.
To help you out, I have compiled an extensive dictionary of vocabulary used.
The dictionary gives you the meanings of all the words used in this Pronunciation Activation Pack.
You can download the dictionary as a PDF document from the resources link at the top left of the Pronunciation Activation Pack.
Interactive British English IPA Chart
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