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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saul Bellow Quick Facts

Saul Bellow, Canadian-born American author of fiction and essays, and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, who is widely regarded by many as one of the major representatives of the Jewish-American writers.
  • Full Name: Saul Bellow
    Saul Bellow Quick Facts
  • Birth Name: Solomon Bellows
  • Nick Name: Sollie
  • Birth: 10 June 1915
  • Place of Birth: Lachine, Quebec, Canada
  • Death: 5 April 2005
  • Place of Death: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
  • Cause of Death: Unknown
  • Buried: Morningside Cemetery, Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont, United States
  • Father: Abraham Bellows
  • Mother: Lescha (Liza) Bellow s (née Gordin)
  • Siblings: Jane Zelda Kauffman, Maurice Bellows, Samuel G. Bellows
  • Spouse: Anita Goshkin (1937–1956), Alexandra (Sondra) Tschacbasov (1956–1959), Susan Glassman (1961–1964), Alexandra Bagdasar Ionescu Tulcea (1974–1985), Janis Freedman (1989–2005)
  • Number of Children: 3 sons: Gregory Bellow (1944), Adam Abraham Bellow  (1957), Daniel Oscar Bellow (1964), and 1 daughter: Naomi Rose Bellow (1999)
  • Education: Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Known for: the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work
  • Criticised for: his conventional and old-fashioned works which resemble the 19th-century European novel
  • Influences: William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Anton Chekhov, Marcel Proust, Miguel de Cervantes
  • Influenced: Salman Rushdie, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Joseph Conrad, Philip Roth


“Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.”  Saul Bellow

Major Themes:

  • Jewish life and identity
  • Blemishes of Modern Civilization
  • Analysis of contemporary culture
  • Oedipal conflict
  • Gender
  • Race

Famous Characters:

  • Augie March
  • Moses E. Herzog
  • Arthur Sammler
  • Charlie Citrine

Notable Works:

  • Dangling Man (1944)
  • The Victim (1947)
  • Augie March (1953)
  • Seize the Day (1956)
  • Henderson and the Rain King (1959)
  • Herzog (1964)
  • Mosby's Memoirs (1968)
  • Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970)
  • Humboldt's Gift (1975)
  • To Jerusalem and Back (1976)
  • The Dean's December (1982)
  • Him with His Foot in His Mouth (short stories, also available in Collected Stories) (1984)
  • More Die of Heartbreak (1987)
  • A Theft (1989)
  • The Bellarosa Connection (1989)
  • Something To Remember Me By (1991)
  • It All Adds Up (1994)
  • The Actual (1997)
  • Ravelstein (2000)
  • Collected Stories (2001)
  • To Jerusalem and Back (1976)
  • It All Adds Up (1994)

Media Gallery:

Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow with his Wife Janis Freedman and Daughter Naomi Rose Bellow
Saul Bellow with His Third Son Daniel Bellow
Saul Bellow with his Wife Janis Freedman
Saul Bellow with Daughter Naomi Rose Bellow

Did you Know?

His original birth certificate was lost when Lachine's city hall burned down in the 1920s, but Bellow customarily celebrated his birth date on June 10, although he may have been born in July

Bellow's father was an onion importer who also worked in a bakery, as a coal delivery man, and as a bootlegger

His mother passed away when he was only 17 years old

Bellow was raised in an impoverished, polyglot section of Montreal, full of Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Greeks, and Italians

He was very fluent in multiple languages, such as English, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish at an early age

Bellow’s parents immigrated from Russia to Montreal, Canada in 1913

His family moved to Chicago in 1924 after his father was almost beaten to death because of his dealings with questionable people

Bellow’s mother was very pious so she wanted him to become a rabbi

After his mother’s demise Bellow moved away from religious study and began to read a wide variety of books

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bellow tried to enlist in the Army, but was rejected because he suffered from hernia

Bellow was married five times, but except for the last one all ended in divorce

During his life Bellow allegedly had a number of mistresses

During his fifth marriage in 1989, his bride Janis Freedman was 31 and Bellow was 74 years old

Bellow became the father of his last child, Naomi when he was 84 years old

He died in his residence in Brookline, Massachusetts, United States at the age of 89

He was an avid reader and his desire to read was further developed when he faced many different illnesses that kept him indoors

At first Bellow decided to study literature but when he was warned that many universities would not hire Jewish professors to teach the subject, he opted to graduate with an honours degree in anthropology instead

Bellow’s study of anthropology deeply influenced his literary style

Bellow attained first critical success in his career with the publication of The Adventures of Augie March (1953) for which he received the National Book Award

Bellow received Pulitzer Prize (1975), the Nobel Prize (1976), and the National Medal of Arts (1988) for his unequivocal contribution in literature

Bellow is the only writer to secure the National Book Award for Fiction three times

His Humboldt's Gift (1975) earned him the Pulitzer Prize as well as Noble Prize for literature

Although he was bookish by nature, he worked hard at his physical fitness and lived for optimum health

Bellow worked as an editor for the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1943 to 1944

Even though Bellow identified deeply with the city of Chicago, he often kept his distance from the city's conventional writers

In 1995 Bellow nearly died after eating poisonous fish in the Caribbean

In the year 2000 he was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the New Yorker


“Biography of Saul Bellow.” GradeSaver. 2014. GradeSaver LLC. 24 February 2014

HoCoPoLitSo. "Nobel Prize Winner Saul Bellow Reads His Fiction." Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 16 March 2012. Web. 24 February 2014.

 “Saul Bellow”. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
24 February 2014 <>.

“Saul Bellow.” Wikipedia. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 February 2014

“Saul Bellow, Nobel Prize in Literature 1976.” Geni. 2014. 24 February 2014
“Saul Bellow.” Evi. 2014. Evi Technologies Ltd. 24 February 2014

“Saul Bellow.” 2014. HighBeam™ Research, Inc. 24 February 2014

“Saul Bellow Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2014.
Advameg, Inc. 24 February 2014


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Diglossic Situation in Bangladesh


Diglossia, (also called linguistic duality) is a language situation in which two different varieties of the same language are used in different social contexts or for performing different functions by the same speakers. Trudgill (1995) defined the term as under:

“Diglossia is a particular kind of language standardization where two distinct varieties of a language exist side by side throughout the speech community … and where each of the two varieties is assigned a definite social function”.

Origin of the Term

The Greek word diglossos wasfirst introduced by Emmanuel (also Emmanouil)Rhoides (also Roidis) in the prologue of his Parerga in 1885. In the following year the term was transliterated into French as diglossie by the French philologist of Greek descent Ioannis (also Jean; Yannis) Psycharis (also Psichari) in his Essais de Grammaire Historique Néo-Grecque, citing Rhoides. Subsequently, in 1959 the American sociolinguist Charles A. Ferguson coined the English counterpart diglossia on the pattern of the French term.

Historical Background

With the publication of his famous article “Diglossia” in Word journal in 1959, Charles A. Ferguson introduced a novel idea into sociolinguistic literature. It was later implicitly extended by John J. Gumperz in 1964 and explicitly in 1967 by Joshua A. Fishman. Fishman’s ideas were further extended by Ralph Fasold in 1985.

As Ferguson is the first contributor to describe this notion, his definition of diglossia is considered to be the classic or narrow version, especially in view of the later modifications to the concept proposed by Fishman (1967). The post-1959 researches on diglossia, particularly by Fishman entailed a broad or extended version of definition.
Classic Diglossia
Ferguson defined Diglossia in the following way:

 “DIGLOSSIA is a relatively stable language situation in which, in addition to the primary dialects of the language (which may include a standard or regional standards), there is a very divergent, highly codified (often grammatically more complex) superposed variety, the vehicle of a large and respected body of written literature, either of an earlier period or in another speech community, which is learned largely by formal education and is used for most written and formal spoken purposes but is not used by any section of the community for ordinary conversation.”

Pursuant to Ferguson’s apprehension, diglossia prevails in communities where two varieties of the same language are used for different functions and in different contexts. Ferguson labelled these varieties as under:
  1. High Variety (H variety), and
  2.  Low Variety (L variety).
He elaborated his theory mainly based on the following language pairs:

Situations High Variety Low Variety
Arabic Classical Arabic Colloquial Varieties of Arabic
Swiss German Standard German Swiss German
Haitian Standard French Haitian Creole
Greek Katharevousa Dhimotiki
Characteristics of Classic Diglossia
In order to fully explain the concept, Ferguson explained some typical characteristics or criteriafor determining diglossia:
  1. Function: Diglossia is not merely the alternate usage of a standard language and its variety, rather it is the use of two distinct varieties in a speech community each with a clearly defined role. In true diglossic situations H is used in for writing, formal speech and education while L is used for everyday interaction. For example, he mentioned about the Arabic speaking countries, where there is a High variety and a Low one of the same language fulfilling different functions in society.
  2. Prestige: It is concerned with the attitude of the speakers towards the varieties. Typically the H variety enjoys superiority over the L variety, as the latter is believed to be inferior in a number of respects. The speakers proficient in the H variety may tend to avoid using the L variety with foreigners and may even deny its existence, even though the latter is far more frequently used than the former. For instance, in Arabic communities, if a speaker is not fluent in H he is considered as ignorant of Arabic. This discrimination has arrived from the notion that the H variety is more prestigious since it is more grand, logical, and expressive than the L variety. For this reason, the H variety is deemed to be the appropriate variety for literary use, for religious purposes, and so on.
  3. Literary Heritage: H usually has a long literary tradition and is used in writing. In most diglossic languages, the literature is all in H variety .
  4. Acquisition: The L variety is learnt naturally at home whereas the H variety is taught via schooling.
  5. Standardization: It is predominantly associated with the H variety since it has well established norms for orthography, grammar and pronunciation. In H variety the Grammars and dictionaries are written by the native grammarians. L is rarely standardized. The Grammars of the L variety are usually written by foreigners.
  6. Stability: Diglossia is a highly stable phenomenon and can last several hundreds of years. For instance, diglossia in Arab countries has survived for centuries. H and L borrow from one another. The L varieties displace the H variety, but H only displaces L if H is the mother tongue of an elite.
  7. Grammar: H and L have two different grammatical structures. The grammars of H are more complex than the grammars of the L variety. The H variety has a complex morphology, tense systems, gender systems, agreement, and syntax than the L variety. Cases and verb inflections are reduced in L.
  8. Lexicon: Much of the vocabulary of the two varieties is shared.  However, the H variety includes in its lexicon technical terms and expressions which have no L variety equivalents. The L variety includes in its lexicon popular expressions and some nouns which are absent in the H variety.
  9. Phonology: There are two phonological systems. The phonology of H is more complex. H has usually underlying phonological system while L diverges from this system in the course of development of thousands of years.
Extended Diglossia
In 1967 the American sociolinguist Joshua A. Fishman attempted to redefine and extend Ferguson’s classical idea of diglossia in his article “Bilingualism With and Without Diglossia; Diglossia With and Without Bilingualism” in Journal of Social Issues. Fishman maintained Ferguson’s concept of H and L varieties to characterize the functional difference between them. But he slightly altered his predecessor’s definition to encompass domains more relevant to separate languages that are both used in a spoken form. According to Fishman H variety is used for most written and formal spoken purposes and it is related to and supported by educational, governmental, social and religious institutions. This variety is typically codified and standardized. On the contrary, the L variety is used in unofficial, informal, and private usage. These are generally mother tongues and learnt at home and are used in everyday conversation within the immediate community.

For Fishman, diglossia is: “the stable existence of two or more complementary and non-conflicting idioms used for contact within the same group. Diglossia exists, therefore, when one language is reserved for certain domains and one or more other languages are reserved for other domains...”
Difference Between Classical and Extended Diglossia
Fishman’s version of diglossia differed from Ferguson’s to the following extent:

Firstly, the degree of relationship between the languages or language varieties: Fishman’s view differed from Ferguson’s with regard to the number of languages to be considered. Ferguson’s original formulation explicitly pointed out that diglossia should be confined within two verities. But Fishman argued that diglossia could be also traced in situations with more than two linguistic varieties.

Secondly, the nature of functional differentiation: Ferguson argued that diglossia engenders in multilingual societies within two closely related verities of the same language. Contrariwise, Fishman claimed that diglossic situation may include completely separate languages along with dialects or registers that were reserved for specific social functions. In his words:

 “diglossia exists not only in multilingual societies which officially recognize several ‘languages’, or societies that utilize vernacular and classical varieties, but also in societies which employ separate dialects, registers, or functionally differentiated language varieties of whatever kind” (1972).

Kinds of Diglossia

In his revision, Fishman also attempted to categorize diglossia in number of situations. Following his steps many other linguists also endeavoured to revise and sub-categorize the concept. In his article, Fishman investigated the relationship between individual bilingualism and diglossia with the result being represented as a typology of bilingualism/diglossia combinations:

Kinds of Extended Diglossia
  1. Both diglossia and bilingualism: a situation when almost everyone in the community knows both H and L, and the two varieties are distributed in a manner typical of diglossia. Fishman recognized this as the only stable combination.
  2. Bilingualism without diglossia: refers to communities with a large number of bilingual individuals, but where there is no functional distinction between language varieties.
  3. Diglossia without bilingualism: a situation when there exist two disjunct groups within a single political, religious, and/or economic entity; one is a ruling group who speaks only the H language, the other, normally a larger group, has no power in the society and speaks exclusively the L language.
  4. Neither diglossia nor bilingualism: a hypothetical situation when a small linguistically isolated community does not have any sort of functional differentiation or societal bilingualism.
So far the name (i.e. ‘diglossia’) suggests, Ferguson’s sole motto was to restrict the distribution of diglossia to only two language varieties. Even Ferguson (1991) himself clarified that his original formulation of diglossia was not meant to encompass all instances of multilingualism or functional differentiation of languages. Therefore, the post-Fergusonian efforts to extend diglossia were futile to some extent.

Fishman’s re-conceptualization of diglossia somewhat complicated the original notion since he deviated from the binarity of diglossia. Many linguists found it illogical to ascribe the term diglossia to communities which uses more than two languages for distinct functions. Consequently, in course of time the term polyglossia (also called heteroglossia) was coined to describe complex diglossic situations prevalent in the different countries of the world. Again, various linguists have suggested different terminologies for categorization of polyglossias, including Ralph Fasold (1984). Fasold expanded Fishman’s ideas even further. First, he argued that there could exist several diglossic communities sharing the same H, thus explaining the relationship between diglossia and standard versus dialect variation.

He also resolved the problem of binarity in Fishman’s and Ferguson’s definitions by explaining multi-language differentiation with the existence of essentially binary double overlapping and double-nested diglossias. However, Fasold also identified one non-binary situation of linear polyglossia. Here follows a brief description of his observations:

1.   Double overlapping diglossia (also called triglossia): It is the intersection between two developing diglossic situations. This is a situation where three discrete languages have different roles in individual communities, and where each of the three languages has distinct but interrelated functions. Eastman (1983) defines it as under:

“Triglosssia is a situation in which three languages have some complementary functions in certain contexts”.

According to Abdulaziz Mkilifi (1978), in Tanzania there is an intersection between Swahili and some vernaculars and the other involving Swahili and English. Here, Swahili is both a L variety and H variety depending on the context. For example in rural communities Swahili is H and the Vernaculars is L, whereas in urban communities English is H and Swahili is L:

Double overlapping diglossia in Tanzania

2.   Double nested diglossia: It is the existence of sub-diglossic situations within the major diglossic situations with distinction in varieties of a language (or languages) and their functions. More specifically, double nested diglossia is a situation where within the H and L varieties a higher and lower H and a higher and lower L variety can be distinguished. In 1964, John Gumperz identified double nested diglossia, where, Hindi H is the formal national language, Khalapur L is a local dialect, each of which has a High and Low variety of its own. There are low - conversational Hindi and Moti boli Khalapur, and high - Oratorical Hindi and Saf boli Khalapur, varieties within both languages; so that the high/low within each of the languages is nested within high/low between Hindi and Khalapur:

Double Nested Diglossia in Khalapur, India

3.   Linear polyglossia: This is applicable for a community with more complex speech repertoire. Such a situation could be only represented as orderly choices amongst a list of linear possibilities. Therefore, linear polyglossia refers to the order of choice of language from a linguistic repertoire. The sequence includes one or more High varieties, one or more Medium varieties, and one or more Low varieties. According to Platt(1977) this situation is best manifested in Singapore and Malaysia. The following is an example from Malaysia:

Language Status
Formal Malaysian English H1
Bahasa Malaysian H2
Mandarin DH
Colloquial Malaysian English M1
Dominant Chinese language M2
‘Native’ Chinese language L1
Other Chinese languages L2-Ln
Bazaar Malay L- -

Broad Diglossia

Ralph Fasold’s idea of broad diglossia not only formalized Fishman’s notion of extended diglossia but also confirmed the place of Ferguson’s classic definition of diglossia. After a close analysis of various diglossic models, Fasold concluded that diglossia requires not only separate languages, rather style-shifting and other functional variations as well. In addition, his conclusion made it clear that since style-shifting involves the whole set of varying linguistic alternatives from colloquial to formal, it cannot be represented in a binary form and, consequently, binarity cannot be an absolute criteria for determining diglossia. Fasold (1984) defined broad diglossia in the following way:

Broad Diglossia “is the reservation of highly valued segments of a community’s linguistic repertoire (which are not the first to be learned, but are learned later and more consciously, usually through formal education), for situations perceived as more formal and guarded; and the reservation of less highly valued segments (which are learned first with little or no conscious effort), of any degree of linguistic relatedness to the higher valued segments, from stylistic differences to separate languages, for situations perceived as more informal and intimate”.

On the basis of this definition Fasold then distinguished three subtypes of broad diglossia, according to the degree of relatedness between the languages or language varieties involved:
  1. Classic Diglossia: a type of diglossia which exists whenever divergent dialects can befound;
  2. Superposed Bilingualism: it refers to functional differentiation ofseparate languages;
  3. Style Shifting: this takes place in the case of stylistic differencesbetween varieties.

Diglossic Stability

Although diglossia is deemed to be stable it may become unstable for a number of reasons. The stability of Diglossia could be determined by evaluating two negating criteria:
  1. Language Maintenance: it refers to the stable preference of the use of a particular language/variety as the means of communication by the speakers of a language community.
  2. Language Shift: it to refers to the adoption of a new language/variety by the collective speakers of a language community. Language shift may occur for number of reasons, such as existence of bilingualism during several generations, migration, industrialization, urbanization, modernization, educational and other government decree, decline in speaker population, and changes in language prestige.

Diglossias at a Glance

The following table summarizes the major differences among three types of diglossias:

Classic/Narrow Diglossia (Ferguson 1959) Extended Diglossia
(Fishman 1967)
Broad Diglossia
(Fasold 1984)
Number of Languages Two varieties of the same
Several separate
Any number of
varieties /languages
Linguistic Relatedness Intermediate range
of relatedness
Any degree of
Any degree of linguistic relatedness, from
separate languages to merely stylistic
Acquisition of H vs. L The H variety is never or almost never used in informal conversation, whereas everyone or at least the majority speaks the L as mother tongue Two or more L varieties are spoken as mother tongue, each of different segments of the population H is spoken natively by some,
and L is spoken natively by
Differentiation of Function H and L have separate
Different varieties are allocated to different functions Certain degree of correspondence between
functions of H and L
Stability Usually stable Usually unstable Usually unstable

Diglossic Situation in Bangladesh

Bangla (also spelt Bengali) is the official as well as the national language of Bangladesh. Bangla has two distinct varieties, each having different functions of their own:

Forms of Bangla

Written Forms of Bangla
There are two standard written forms of Bangla:
  1. Sadhu Bhasa (elegant or chaste language): also spelt Sadhubhasa, Shadhubhasha, Shadhu Bhasa, , Shuddhobhasha, a refined literary form of Bangla, which came from the archaic forms of Medieval Bangla of the 16th century. It derived much of its lexicon from Sanskrit. Sadhu Bhasa never deemed to be appropriate for everyday conversation and its use is restricted to only literary and formal contexts. Songs like Jana Gana Mana, the Indian national anthem by Rabindranath Tagore and Vande Mataram, the national song of India by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay were originally composed in Sadhu Bhasha. Today it is an obsolete form and apart from the written constitution of Bangladesh its use is limited to some government letters and notices, legal affairs, special literature, and editorials of some newspapers only.
  2. Cholito Bhasa (current or colloquial language): also spelt Cholitobhasa, Choltibhasa, Chalit Bhasa, Calitbhasa, which came into literary use since the early 20th century, and by the early 21st century it became the dominant literary language as well as the standard colloquial form of speech among the educated people. Interestingly, Cholito Bhasa is not a vernacular of any regions of Bangladesh, it is modelled on the dialect spoken in the Shantipur region in Nadia district, West Bengal. This written standard was publicized primarily by the literary giants in Kolkata, including Peary Chand Mitra, Pramatha Chowdhury, and Rabindranath Tagore (in his later works). Nowadays, it is being used as the means for formal writing (including common literature) and conversation in Bangladesh.
Spoken Forms of Bangla
The inhabitants living in different parts of Bangladesh have separate vernaculars of their own. Therefore, the vernaculars spoken in Bangladesh exist with a number of dialectal varieties. These varieties are existing as a part of a language continuum of the Indo-Aryan languages (also known as Indic languages), such as Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bangla, Marathi, Gujrati, Bhojpuri, Chakma, and so on.

The classification of Bangla speech varieties has always been a debatable issue amongst scholars. However, depending upon various mainstream researches, typically the varieties of Bangla are classified in two groups:
  1. Ancholic Bhasa (Regional Varieties): These are the speech varieties of Bangla spoken by the Bangladeshi people for everyday communication. At present there are at least 16 regional varieties of Bangla spoken in different districts, such as Dhaka, Barisal, Bogra, Comilla, Chittagong, Sylhet,  Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Faridpur, Jessore, Khulna, Kushtia, Noakhali, Mymensingh, Pabna , and Rangpur. The regional varieties of Bangla show variation from one another at different levels, such as phonological level, morphological level, syntactic level and semantic level of their linguistic structure. This variation occurs due to a dialect continuum spanning from the region of Meherpur (formerly a subdivision of Nadia district) to regions of Southern districts, Chittagong or Khulna. Accordingly, a particular variety of Bangla in this continuum shows a deviation from its center or Nadia district on the basis of which the standard variety of Bangla was developed. As a consequence, the more distant is a particular region from Nadia, the more deviant is a speech variety of that region from the speech variety of Nadia. For instance, the varieties from Chittagong and Sylhet regions bear only a superficial resemblance to Standard Colloquial Bangla and are therefore, least intelligible to the speakers of other regional varieties. Notwithstanding, the majority of people in Bangladesh are able to communicate in more than one dialect: often, they are familiar with or fluent in Cholito Bhasa and one or more Ancholik Bhasa.
  2. Upojatiyo Bhasa (Indigenous Varieties): Apart from these regional varieties of Bangla, there are certain languages such as Chakma, Tanchangya, Hajong, Bishnupuryia, Oraon Sadri, Rajbangshi and Mal Paharia spoken by the indigenous people of Mongoloid origin. These languages of minority speech communities evolved from the vernaculars of the Tibeto-Burman origin as a result of a long contact with Apabhramsa and later regional varieties of Bangla. These aboriginal languages were mutually unintelligible to the speakers of other communities. However, these languages gradually helped to shape the regional varieties of Bangla.
Nature of Diglossia in Bangladesh
The diglossic situation in Bangladesh is much more intricate than any other cases found across the globe. As a result, the scholars face a number of problems during defining the nature of diglossic situations in Bangladesh. Up till now two contrary diglossic types have been proposed:
  1. Sadhu Bhasa and Cholito Bhasa
  2. Cholito Bhasa and  Ancholic Bhasa
Previously, many linguists preferred to restrict the diglossic situation in Bangladesh within Shadhu and Cholito pair. But it is not credible under the current socio-political context. As we have mentioned earlier, these days Shadhu Bhasa is almost non-existent in speech and creative writing and even in informal writings. Cholito variety, on the other hand, has been adopted by the majority of Bangladeshi as the standard for spoken and written communication. Due to this shift in preference of language use, a change in the language prestige has also occurred. Cholito Bhasa is as standardized as Shadhu Bhasa and has almost replaced the latter by proving its dominance in a number of domains. In this way, at present the Bangladeshi people use two separate varieties of Bangla for two distinct purposes, that is Ancholik Bhasa in everyday conversation and Cholito Bhasa in official capacities like writing, teaching and speaking at official or formal functions. Now it is a matter of debate whether Shadhu and Cholito pair is logical enough to describe diglossic situation in Bangladesh. In view of the above statement it could be said that at the moment it is more logical to describe the diglossic situation in Bangladesh involving Cholito Bhasha and Ancholic Bhasha.
Probability of  Triglossia in Bangladesh
Although the above linguistic situations are widely accepted by different scholars, still another combination is possible. This one is triglossia or double overlapping diglossia, involving the co-existence of three different languages with distinct functions of their own. Such linguistic situation could be hypothesized since Sadhu Bhasa is basically a written language while Ancholic Bhasa is chiefly a spoken language. On the contrary, Cholito Bhasa falls in between the two since it is used both as spoken and written forms. This linguistic situation could be referred to as double overlapping diglossia:

Probable triglossic situation in Bangladesh


Apparently, all of the aforementioned situations could be deemed as plausible while discussing the nature of Diglossic situations in Bangladesh. But to opt the right situation, the current socio-political context in Bangladesh should be taken into account. Without such consideration, any findings on this subject will certainly become irrelevant.




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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quotations by Walt Whitman

WHITMAN, WALT (1819-1892), American poet

“To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all.”
~Walt Whitman

“I know nothing grander, better exercise, better digestion, more positive proof of the past, the triumphant result of faith in human kind, than a well-contested American national election.”
~Walt Whitman, Democratic Vistas

“I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious about each, am not curious about God - I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.”
~Walt Whitman

“Wisdom is not finally tested in the schools, Wisdom cannot be pass'd from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof.”
~Walt Whitman

“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”
~Walt Whitman

“A great city is that which has the greatest men and women.”
~Walt Whitman

“I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.”
~Walt Whitman

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.”
~Walt Whitman

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
~Walt Whitman

“Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
~Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

“The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.”
~Walt Whitman

“A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.”
~Walt Whitman

“All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.”
~Walt Whitman

“Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.”
~Walt Whitman

“Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.”
~Walt Whitman

“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends.”
~Walt Whitman

“The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.”
~Walt Whitman

“Other lands have their vitality in a few, a class, but we have it in the bulk of our people.”
~Walt Whitman

“You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things.”
~Walt Whitman

“Nothing endures but personal qualities.”
~Walt Whitman

“And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death.”
~Walt Whitman

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself.”
~Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 1855

 “The future is no more uncertain than the present.”
~Walt Whitman

“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.”
~Walt Whitman

“I accept reality and dare not question it.”
~Walt Whitman

“And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral dressed in his shroud.”
~Walt Whitman


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Semantic Feature Analysis


The meaning of each word in a language is formed of a set of  abstract characteristics known as semantic features (also known as Semantic Properties, Sense Components, Semantic Markers, Semantic Components), which acts as the determinant for distinguishing one word from another.The method by which the meaning of a word is analyzed into a set of semantic features is called Semantic Feature Analysis (also called Contrast Analysis, Componential Analysis).

Theoratical Assumptions

The theoretical assumptions underlying this approach are as follows:
  • The total meaning of a word can be analyzed in terms of a number of distinct elements or semantic features.
  • One kind of word can be distinguished from another by extracting the main features.


In Semantic Feature Analysis a word is analyzed in terms of a number of components of meaning. That is, during such analysis, the word is broken down into meaningful components which form the total sum of the meaning in a word. These components are not part of the vocabulary itself; the theoratitians postulated them in order to facilitate the description of the sematic relationship  between the words of a given language. They could be considered as semantic universals as they may possess the same characteristics in all languages.

Semantic Feature Analysis is capable of determining the presence or absence of semantic features. For example, by finding out the right semantic property of a word the learner is able to choose the appropriate noun for using it as the subject of a verb:

Semantic Feature

The above sentence is syntactically sound unless we judge it in terms of meaning. From semantic point of view the sentence is quite nonsensical, because, here the noun “television” has been inappropriately used as the subject of the verb “killed”. That means the noun “television” does have the right property to enable it to kill a person. Therefore, although the sentence is structurally correct, it is odd due to its meaninglessness.


The main objective of Semantic Feature Analysis is to guide the students to analyze the meanings of selected vocabulary items from a topic which they are familiar with. It also aims to show the learners how words are both similar and different, thereby emphasizing the uniqueness of each word in the language.


Semantic Feature Analysis employs a chart to identify the basic features shared by key vocabulary words in a sentence or topic of discussion. By analyzing such a chart the learner is able to detect connections, make predictions and master important concepts. He will be also able to realize things that he doesn’t know yet, so he will know what additional research he need to do. The Semantic Analysis is prepared by observing the following steps:
  1. The teacher first chooses a topic to be studied.
  2. He then draws a chart.
  3. In the left column of the chart the teacher puts some key vocabulary items related to the topic. During selection of key vocabulary words the teacher tries not to list any words which the students already might know.
  4. Then across the top row of the chart the teacher lists a set of meaningful features that some of the vocabulary items might have.
  5. After that the teacher asks the students to put a “+” (plus) sign in cells in which a given vocabulary word possesses appropriate feature, and a “-” (minus) sign where it doesn't. The following is an example of the chart for Semantic Feature Analysis:

The television killed the man
Features/Property/Components of Words ˅
Key Vocabulary ˅

From the above chart we can guess that the word “television” in English involves the features (-animate, -human, -male, -adult). Therefore, it is obvious that the word “television” cannot be related with a living entity.


  1. The Semantic Feature Analysis helps to develop the learner’s ability of comprehension and vocabulary skills.
  2. Such an analysis creates ample scope for the learners to examine the related features to distinguish one word from another.
  3. Semantic Feature Analysis helps the learner to understand the conceptual meaning (also known as denotative meaning) of words, which is the meaning given in the dictionary and forms the core of word-meaning.
  4. Semantic Feature Analysis increases the leaner’s ability to choose the right word in right place.
  5. The Semantic Feature Analysis provides opportunity for the teacher to know the learners’ knowledge about the topic of discussion; therefore, it allows the teacher to mould his instruction accordingly.


  1. Semantic Feature Analysis is incapable of explaining the connotative or figurative meaning of words.
  2. Although Semantic Feature Analysis is capable of describing of words that share certain fairly obvious semantic properties, it fails to analyze all vocabulary items of the language.
  3. Semantic Feature Analysis is Limited in focus and mechanical in style.


“Componential analysis.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 10 November 2013

“Semantic Feature Analysis.” 2013. WETA Washington, D.C. 10 November 2013

“Semantic Feature Analysis.” Reading Rockets. 2013. WETA Washington, D.C.  10 November 2013

“Semantic Feature Analysis.” Edweb. 2013. San Diego State University. 10 November 2013

“The Theory of Componential Analysis in Semantics.” Neo English System. 2013.
Neo English System. 10 November 2013

Yule, George. The Study of Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 1996. 115-116.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lateral Consonant


Lateral (also called lateral approximant), a type of consonant sound, which is produced by allowing the air to escape around the sides of the tongue rather than over the middle of the tongue. The lateral sound is frictionless. It is in many respects vowel-like and could be considered as a continuant. It is to some extent similar to /r/j/.


There is only one lateral consonant in English: /l/. Like other consonants the lateral sound is customarily described on the following three bases:

1. Manner of Articulation: The manner of articulation refers to  how the articulators approach to each other to create a closure. It also determines the type and degree of hindrance the airflow meets on its way out affected by the closure. The closure takes different manners for different sounds. For instance, during the articulation of the lateral sound the following sequence of events occurs:
  • The tip of the tongue makes a firm contact with the upper alveolar ridge to form a complete closure in the middle of the mouth.
  • The soft palate is raised to completely block the nasal passage .
  • The sides of the tongue are lowered to let the air escape along the sides of the tongue without any friction.
2. Place/Point of Articulation: The place of articulator refers to the place or point where the speech organs create a closure by either coming close or near contact. This is the place where the sound is produced. For lateral sound the place of articulation is alveolar, which means it is articulated with the tip the tongue at the alveolar ridge.

3. Voicing/Phonation: Voicing refers to whether or not the vocal folds are vibrating. If the vocal folds vibrate during the articulation then a voiced sound is produced. Contrariwise, if the vocal folds do not vibrate then a voiceless sound is produced. Some phoneticians use the terms Lenis and Fortis to describe the voiced and voiceless sounds respectively. During the production of /l/ the vocal folds vibrate. It is thus a voiced sound.

From the above discussion we can identify /l/ as a voiced alveolar lateral. However, In English the pronunciation of this sound differs from person to person. But the usage of wrong /l/ won’t necessarily change the intended word. Therefore, In English /l/ occurs in two pronunciation variations, that is, /l/ consists of two allophonic variants:

(i) Clear[ l ]: It is also known as light [ l ].

Place of Articulation: The upper alveolar ridge, the tip of the tongue, the front of the tongue, and the hard palate.

Place of Articulation: Clear l

Manner of Articulation:
  1. The tip of the tongue makes a firm contact behind the upper alveolar ridge to form a complete closure in the middle of the mouth.
  2. At the same time the front of the tongue is raised towards the hard palate.
  3. The sides of the tongue are lowered to let the air to escape along the sides of the tongue without any friction.
Voicing: During the production of [ l ] the vocal folds vibrate. It is thus a voiced  lateral variant.

Distribution: [ l ] is found before a vowel. It is distributed in all three basic positions.

Initial Medial Final
[ l ] lee clear ball

(ii) Dark [ l ]: It is also known as velararized [ l ].The IPA symbol for this lateral variant is a " l " symbol with a tilde “ ~ ” symbol superimposed onto the middle: [ ɫ ].

Place of Articulation: The upper alveolar ridge, the tip of the tongue, the back of the tongue, and the velum.

Place of Articulation: Dark l

Manner of Articulation:
  1. The tip of the tongue makes a firm contact behind the upper alveolar ridge to form a complete closure in the middle of the mouth.
  2. At the same time the back of the tongue is raised towards the velum or the soft palate.
  3. The sides of the tongue are lowered to let the air to escape along the sides of the tongue without any friction.
Voicing: During the production of [ ɫ ] the vocal folds vibrate. It is thus a voiced lateral variant.

Distribution: [ ɫ ] occurs before consonants. It is distributed in the final position only.

Initial Medial Final
[ ɫ ] - - pool


“Alveolar Lateral Approximant.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.28 September 2013

“Lateral Consonant.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.28 September 2013

Roach, Peter. English Phonetics and Phonology: A self-contained, comprehensive pronunciation course.
3rd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2000.

“Tilde.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.28 September 2013

Varshney, Dr. R.L.  An Introduction of Linguistics & Phonetics. Dhaka: BOC, n.d.

“Velarized Alveolar Lateral Approximant.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.28 September 2013

Yule, George. The Study of Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 1996.


Friday, September 20, 2013

The Audio-lingual Method


The Audio-lingual Method (also known as the army method, the aural-oral method, or the new key), is a method of foreign language teaching in which the students learn language by repeating/imitating the recurring patterns/dialogues of everyday situations by succession of drills. The Audio-lingual Method strongly dominated the field of education in the 1950s and 1960s.


First Phase
World War II suddenly necessitated the United States to produce a band of orally proficient speakers of different foreign languages. The US government then commissioned the American universities to develop a special language course for the army officials that would focus on aural or oral skills. This project was established in 1942 and labelled as the Army Specialized Training Programme (ASTP). The method was also known as the Informant Method, since it employed a native speaker of the language, the informant, and a linguist. The informant served as a source of language for imitation, and the linguist supervised the learning experience. Due to its association with the army, the method later on came to be known as the Army Method.
Second Phase
Towards the end of the 1950s there had been an increased attention to foreign language teaching in educational institutions. Therefore, the educational planners came forward to develop a new method of language teaching. This need for change was materialized as per the classroom needs of American colleges and universities. The planners modelled their method based on the Army Specialized Training Programme (ASTP),the Structural Linguistics and the Behaviourist Theory. This combination of the trio of approaches led to the development of the Audio-lingual Method (a term coined by professor Nelson Brooks in 1964), which was widely adopted for teaching foreign languages in North American colleges and universities.


The basic distinctive features of the Audio-lingual Method are as follows:
The theoretical bases behind the Audio-lingual Method are as follows:

Theory of language:The theory of language underlying the Audio-lingual MethodisStructuralism. According to the structural view, language has the following characteristics:

  1. Speech is more basic to language than the written form.
  2. Language structure and form are more significant than meaning.
  3. Elements in a language are produced in a rule-governed (structural) way.
  4. Language samples could be exhaustively described at any structural level of description.
  5. Language is structural like a pyramid, that is, linguistic level is system within system.
  6. Languages are different, since every language has its own unique system.

Theory of Learning: The theory of learning underlying the Audio-lingual Method is Behaviorism, including the following principles:

  1. Human beings learn language in the same way as other habits are learned through the process of training or conditioning.
  2. As language learning is a process of habit formation, repetition leads to stronger habit formation and greater learning.
  3. The learning of a foreign language should be the same as the acquisition of the native language.
  4. The habits of the native language will interfere with target language learning.
  5. Language cannot be separated from culture as culture represents the everyday behavior of the people who use the target language.
  6. Language learning is the outcome of stimulus (what is taught) – response (learner’s reaction to what is being taught) – reinforcement (approval or disapproval of the teacher) chain.
  7. Positive reinforcement helps the students to develop correct habits.
  8. Mistakes should be avoided as they help to form bad habits.
  9. Analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis.

The design of the Audio-lingual Method is materialised through the following considerations:

Objectives:  The objectives of the Audio-lingual Method are as follows:

  1. To enable the students to learn how to use English in everyday oral communication.
  2. To encourage the students to produce utterances with accurate pronunciation and grammar.
  3. To grow the students’ ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations like the native speakers.

The syllabus:  The Audio-lingual Method follows a Structural Syllabus.

Learner Roles: In the Audio-lingual method the students play a passive role as they don’t have any control over the content or the method of learning. The students are mere imitators of the teacher's model. Their sole objective is to follow the teacher’s direction and respond as precisely and as promptly as possible.

Teacher Roles: In the Audio-lingual Method the teacher has an active role as he is the sole authority to control and direct the whole learning programme. He monitors and corrects the students’ performance. He is also responsible for providing the students with a good model for imitation. The teacher endeavours to keep the students attentive by varying drills and tasks and choosing relevant situations to practice structures.

The Role of Teaching/Learning Materials: In Audio-lingual Method the materials are predominantly teacher-oriented. The instructional materials basically contains the structured sequence of lessons to be followed, the dialogues, drills, and other practice activities, which would hopefully enable the teacher to develop language mastery in the student.
Typically, the audio-lingual method proceeds through drills or pattern practice. It gives overemphasis on pattern practice since it conditions the students to form habits of correct responses. The teacher strictly conducts, guides and controls the students’ behaviour in the target language. New vocabulary and structural patterns are presented through sentences/dialogues. The teacher presents the correct model of a sentence/dialogue and the students endeavour to repeat it again and again until they achieve the same accuracy. The students' successful responses are positively reinforced. The teacher allows a limited use of mother tongue in the classroom so that the students can learn the target language without any interference from the native language system. In this model, the natural order of skill acquisition is sequenced as listening → speaking → reading → writing. The theory basically concentrates on listening and speaking skills. But it is also true that the oral skills receive most of the attention. The learner’s reading and written work is based upon the oral work they did earlier. In the process of pattern practice, the learner first acquires the structural patterns and then the vocabulary items. The grammar rules are taught through examples and drills, but no explicit grammar rules are provided. The vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in the context. Therefore, it is clear that the lessons in the Audio-lingual Method are chiefly built on drills. Generally the drills are conducted based upon the patterns present in the dialogue:

Repetition Drill: The teacher utters a dialogue and asks the students to listen carefully. The students then try to replicate the dialogue as accurately and as quickly as possible.

Replacement Drill: The teacher utters a dialogue and the students try to repeat the dialogue by replacing a phrase or clause by one word. For instance:

Teacher: I broke the flower vase accidently.
Students: I broke it accidently.

Restatement Drill: The teacher says a dialogue and in response the students rephrase it. For example:

Teacher: Tell me to slice the bread.
Students: Slice the bread.

Expansion Drill:  The teacher says a dialogue and the students respond by adding a new word in a certain place in the sentence. For Example:

Teacher: I get up early. (always).
Students: I always get up early.

Inflection Drill: In such a drill the students repeat the teacher’s utterance by changing the form of a word. Example:

Teacher: I drafted the letter.
Student: I drafted the letters.

Chain Drill: Such a drill features conversation between the students in a circular sitting around the classroom. The teacher initiates the chain conversation by asking a particular student a question. The student responds and turns to the student next to him. In this way, the students continue the conversation by asking and answering questions to each other.

Transposition Drill: This drill enables the students to be able to change the word order in a sentence when a new word is added. For example:

Teacher: I'm not going to come with you.
Student: Neither am I.

Transformation: The teacher says a dialogue and asks the students to change the form of the sentence, such as an affirmative sentence into a negative or an active sentence into a passive. For example:

Teacher: This is my car (affirmative).
Student: This is not my car (negative).

Dialogue Completion Drill: The teacher says an incomplete dialogue by erasing some words that the students learned earlier. The students then try to complete the dialogue with the missing words. For instance:

Teacher: I ____ never seen such a ____ scenery before.
Students: I have never seen such a beautiful scenery before.

Grammar Games: The teacher sometimes creates the opportunity for the students to practice the newly learned grammatical materials through different games. The games help the students to practice grammar elements in context, although in limited scope.

Question-and-answer Drill: In this drill the teacher asks questions and the students try to answer the teacher’s question very quickly.

Contrastive Analysis: It is the comparison between the students’ native language and the target language. This drill enables the teacher to find out where the students will feel troubled by the interference from the target language.

Use of Minimal Pairs: The teacher familiarizes the students with pair of words which differ in only one sound. For example, alter/altar. The teacher asks the students to find the difference in meaning between the two words.

Integration Drill: The teacher says two separate sentences and the students then combine them into one sentence. For example:

Teacher: I fed the dog./ The dog was very hungry.
Students: I fed the dog which was very hungry.

Single-slot Substitution Drill: The teacher utters a dialogue and also says a word or phrase as a cue. The students repeat the dialogue by using the cue in appropriate place.

Multiple-slot Substitution Drill: The teacher utters a dialogue and also provides more than one cues. The students repeat the cues in suitable places in the dialogue with necessary changes.

Restoration Drill: Students create a sentence from a sequence of separate words. For example:

Teacher: ran/away/man.
Students: The man ran away.


  1. This is the first language learning method which is grounded on a solid theory of language learning.
  2. This method emphasises everyday cultural traits of the target language.
  3. It provides the opportunity to learn correct pronunciation and structure.
  4. This method made it possible to teach large groups of learners.
  5. It puts stress on listening and speaking skills.


  1. The theoretical foundation of the Audio-lingual Method suffers from inadequacy.
  2. It is a mechanical method since it demands pattern practice, drilling, memorization or over-learning.
  3. It is a teacher dominated method.
  4. Here, the learners have a passive role, since they have little control over their learning.
  5. This method does not put equal emphasis on the four basic skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  6. It considers only language form, not meaning.
  7. This method does not pay sufficient attention to communicative competence.
  8. It prefers accuracy to fluency.


The acceptability of this theory mainly lies in its solid theoretical base. This is also the first language learning method to consider the learner’s communicative competence to certain extent. Despite these positive traits the theory declined in practice for its dearth of scientific credibility. However, the theory exerted a major influence on the upcoming teaching methods and still continues to be used today in language teaching methodology, although in limited scope.


“Audio-lingual Method.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 4 September 2013

“Audio Lingual Method (ALM).” novaekasari09. 2013. novaekasari09. 4 September 2013

Mendez, Juan Carlos , Brenda , Joaquin, and Mario David Mondragon “The Audio-lingual Method.”
SlideShare. 2013. SlideShare Inc. 4 September 2013

Barman, Binoy, Zakia Sultana, and Bijoy Lal Basu. ELT: Theory and Practice. Dhaka: FBC, 2006. 150-153.

Richards, Jack C., and Theodore S. Rodgers. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching.
2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2001. 50-67.

 “The Audio Lingual Method.” SIL International. 1999. SIL International. 4 September 2013


Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Affricates

Affricates (also known as affricated plosives, semi-plosives, affricatives), types of consonant sounds. These sounds begin as a plosive with a complete closure but ends like a fricative by releasing the air slowly through a partial closurewith an audible friction. However, during the articulation of affricates, the duration of the fricative noise is shorter than that heard in case of fricatives.

Affricates are then composite of plosives and fricatives. Such hybrid characteristics also apparent in their phonetic symbols since all affricate sounds consist of a plosive sound/phoneme followed by a fricative sound/phoneme. For example, the plosive \t\ and the fricative \ʃ\ constitutes the single sound/phoneme \tʃ\ (ch) in the word chaste.


There are only two affricate consonants in English: /tʃ/dz/. They are generally described on three bases:
(1) Manner of Articulation
The manner of articulation refers to  how the articulators approach to each other to create a closure. It also determines the type and degree of hindrance the airflow meets on its way out affected by the closure. The closure adopts different manners for different sounds. For instance, during the articulation of the affricate sounds the following sequence of events occurs:

        I.            The Closing Stage:
  • The soft palate is raised to shut off the nasal passage of air.
  • The air passage is blocked by a closure formed between the tip, blade and rims of the tongue and the upper alveolar ridge and the side teeth.
      II.            The Compression/Hold Stage:
  • At the same time the front of the tongue is raised towards the hard palate in readiness for fricative release.
    III.            The Release Stage:
  • The closure is then slowly released and the air escapes in a diffuse manner over the central surface of the tongue with some fricative noise.
 (2) Place/Point of Articulation
The place of articulator refers to the place or point where the speech organs create a closure by either coming close or near contact. This is the place where the sound is produced. There is only one type of closure producing the nasal sounds: Palato-alveolar. The said closure is made by blocking the air passage by the following articulators:
  • the tip of the tongue
  • the blade of the tongue
  • the front of the tongue
  • the rims of the tongue
  • the upper alveolar ridge
  • the side teeth, and
  • the hard palate
The Affricates in English

(3) Voicing/Phonation
Voicing refers to whether or not the vocal folds are vibrating. If the vocal folds vibrate during the articulation then a voiced sound is produced. Contrariwise, if the vocal folds do not vibrate then a voiceless sound is produced. Some phoneticians use the terms Lenis and Fortis to describe the voiced and voiceless sounds respectively. In English affricates come paired with one voiceless and one voiced sound. For example, /tʃ/ is a voiceless palato-alveolar affricate, whereas, /dz/ is a voiced affricate.


/tʃ/ and /dz/ can occur initially, medially, and finally, for instance:

Affricates Initial Medial Final
/tʃ/ Chip butcher Catch
/dz/ jam aged luggage

Affricates at a Glance

The affricate sounds can be summarized in the following table:

Place/Point of Articulation
Manner of Articulation


“Affricate”. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2013. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 24 August 2013 <>.

“Affricate Consonant.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 August 2013

Roach, Peter. English Phonetics and Phonology: A self-contained, comprehensive pronunciation course.
3rd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2000.

Varshney, Dr. R.L.  An Introduction of Linguistics & Phonetics. Dhaka: BOC, n.d. 91.

Yule, George. The Study of Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 1996. 46.



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