PG-2: EF-H2

If you've ever watched part of a movie where the lips of the actors are slightly ahead -- or slightly behind -- their audible speech, you know this can be distracting, if not downright confusing. Just imagine how much more confusing it would be to a deaf child if your hand cues and speech movements were "out-of-sync"! The cues without lip/tongue movements are useless in the same way that lip/tongue movements without synchronized hand cues may be useless to the severely hearing impaired. Furthermore, if your cues are behind your speech this will probably force you to slow down your natural speech rate in order to catch up. Speech may become unnecessarily halting and choppy. After completting as much of this practice session as you need, turn to PG-2: EF-J to reinforce your skills with some more difficult final consonant clusters.

It is easier to synchronize final consonants in a syllable which have duration in time: consonants which we ordinarily hold onto. These are called "continuants," and the best examples of continuants are the sounds /m/, /n/, /ng/ and /l/. Other continuants are /s/,/z/,/sh,/zh/,/f/,/v/ and the two /th/ sounds. Let's begin with the easier ones.

Repeating the same four steps as long as necessary, practice these words:

"team" "tomb" "Em" "term" "tam" "Tim" "mum" [5-s/d,5-s] When you practice "mum," drop your hand slightly and keep it lowered until you close your lips for the final /m/, at which time you must snap your hand back up briefly to its original side position.

Practice these other final consonant continuants until you can cue and say the syllables with perfect synchronization.

Shorter duration (usually) of these final consonant continuants will require more critical timing, but by this time they should pose no real challenge to you.

"furz" [5-m,2-s] "tease" "fez" "flaws" "Ms" /Miz/ "Ma's" "toes" "fuzz" "terse" "peace" "moose" "moss" "mess" "miss" "puss" "muss" "fuss" "leash" "Hirsh" "mash" "mush" "dish" "rush" "gauche" [7-s/f,6-s] "rouge" [3-c,1-s] "surf" "beef" "deaf" "roof" "off" "laugh" "tiff" "tough" "rough" "oaf" "peeve" "nerve" "move" "Bev" "live" "have" "stove" "love" "worth" "teeth" "moth" "Beth" "tooth" "math" "myth" "both" "breathe" "seethe" "loathe" "clothe"

If you think you need still further practice with these single final consonants, try these words where you must cue a diphtnong before the continuant.

"tithe"[5-s,5-t,2-s] "bathe" "lathe" "beige" "mouthe" "mouth" "faze" "maze" "face" "faith" "cows" "house" "south" "ice" "eyes" "ties" "tame" "main" "mail" "oil" "boil" "boing" "town" "owl" "foul" "loin" "join" "boys" "Joyce" "choice" "joys" "noise"

The "stop" consonants (or "plosives") /p/,/b/,/t/,/d/,/k/ and /g/ require much more careful synchronization because they are brief by nature -- not continuants.

/p/ "weep" "chirp" "soup" "pep" "hip" "map" "cup"
    "dope" "top" "type" "tape"
/b/ "Herb" "verb" "tube" "daub" "deb" "dab" "bib"
    "robe" "rub" "rob" "babe" "jibe" "scribe"
/t/ "meet" "hurt" "hoot" "caught""met" "mit" "put"
    "nut" "boat" "bite" "bait" "Voight" "doubt"
/d/ "seed" "bird" "bed" "pawed" "dude" "dad" "did"
    "good" "road" "bud" "cod" "hide" "loud" "void"
/k/ "peak" "work" "Luke" "gawk" "peck" "pack"
    "pick" "book" "luck" "soak" "bike" "bake"
/g/ "league" "burg" "leg" "dog" "moog" "bag" "big"
    "bug" "Borg" "rogue" 
When a final consonant cluster is cued at the side, be extra careful to cue each one as you actually say it. Start with the continuants again where natural duration wil allow you some timing leeway.

"teams" [5-m,5-s,2-s] "tunes" "dawns" "tens" "tense" "Dan's" "dance" "dolls" "falls" "false" "sings" "wrongs" "rungs"

With stop consonants added to continuants in final clusters the synchronization becomes more demanding.

"lamp" "camp" "dump" "limp" "bulb" "Kalb" "dent" "fault" "won't" "wilt" "wind" "rained" "fund" "rolled" "roamed" "rhymed" "wronged"[3-t,8-s,1-s] "rink" "think" "bunk" "tank" "punk" "rank" "drunk" "milk" "elk" "bulk" "talc"

When both final consonants are stop consonants, you must be fast as well as synchronized.

"apt" "kept" "slipped"/slipt/[3-s,6-t,1-s,5-s] "robbed" "rubbed" "rocked" "raked" "clapped" "ached" "act" "leaked" "looked" "lagged" "backed"

There is one cueing consolation: some consonants in final clusters disappear from the speech of most people -- and, therefore, don't have to be cued. From the "Beginning Lessons in Cued Speech" tapes, remember the example "hand"[3-t,4-s,1-s] and "han(d)s"[3-t,4-s,2-s]? Here are some more examples: "wind"[6-t,4-s,1-s] "winds"[6-t,4-s,2-s] "ten(t)s" "prin(t)s" "thin(k)s"[7-t,8-s,2-s]"than(k)s" "chun(k)s" "lim(p)s" "fin(d)s" "fien(d)s" "lends" "faults" "chants" "once" "ounce" "mince" "mints"

Here are some final consonant clusters which pose an interesting problem of enunciation as well as synchronization. You probably say "ninth"[4-s,5-t,4-s,7-s], but do you really say "ninths"[4-s,5-t,4-s,7-s,3-s]? Or do you say "nin(th)s"[4-s,5-t,4-s,3-s]? Could this be confused with saying "nines"[4-s,5-t,4-s,2-s]? No, because "nines" is said with a /z/ sound at the end. Rather than quibble about these, simply cue the way you actually say them: "fifths" "health's" "lengths" "strengths" "sixths" "widths"

Ironically, these words are harder to enunciate than to cue! This should give your morale a considerable boost.

For further practice in synchronization of final consonant clusters see PG-2: EF-J.

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