To pronounce the different words
"Pronunciation" refers to the way in which we make the sound of words.
- To pronounce words, we push air from our lungs up through our throat and vocal chords, through our mouth, past our tongue and out between our teeth and lips.
- To change the sound that we are making, we mainly use the muscles of our mouth, tongue and lips to control the shape of our mouth and the flow of air. If we can control the shape of our mouth and the flow of air correctly, then our pronunciation is clearer and other people understand us more easily.
- Speakers of different languages tend to develop different muscles of the mouth for pronunciation. When we speak a foreign language, our muscles may not be well developed for that language, and we will find pronunciation more difficult. By practising the foreign language pronunciation, our muscles develop and pronunciation improves.
- As well as creating correct vowel and consonant sounds using the muscles of our mouth, tongue and lips, there are other important aspects of pronunciation, including
- word stress - emphasis on certain syllables in a word
- sentence stress - emphasis on certain words in a sentence
- linking - joining certain words together
- intonation - the rise and fall of our voice as we speak
A phoneme is a sound or a group of different sounds perceived to have the same function by speakers of the language or dialect in question.
An example is the English phoneme which occurs in words such as cat, kit, scat, skit.
Lexicon is simply a set of words with their pronunciations broken down into phonemes, i.e. units of word pronunciation.
The other way that the word lexicon is used is to refer to the finite state transducer which results from the lexicon preparation, sometimes referred to as “L.FST”.
A finite state transducer is a finite state automaton which maps two sets of symbols together.
In the case of the lexicon, such a transducer maps the word symbols to their respective pronunciations.