PG-2: EF-J

Single consonants which follow a vowel or diphthong in a syllable are cued at the side -- unless the syllable immediately following begins with a vowel (or diphthong) sound. Consonant clusters a the end of a syllable are also cued at the side, although the final consonant in a cluster may be cued with the next syllable. Cueing a single final consonant in a syllable is probably not your concern: you had plenty of practice with the "Beginning Lessons in Cued Speech" tapes. Here are a few examples just as a reminder: "name" [4-c,5-t,5-s] "map" [5-t,1-s] "pet" [1-t,5-s] "Ted" [5-c,1-s] "tack" [5-t,2-s]

You may need additional practice, however, with final consonant clusters such as the following. Practice them until you can cue-and-say without thinking.

"melt"[5-t,6-s,5-s]    "mould"[5-s/f,6-s,1-s]
"test"                 "bronzed"
"left"                 "lived"
"shelf"                "shelve"
"clipped"/klipt/       "tent"
"wasp"                 "lamp"
"ask"                  "think"
"milk"                 "nymph"
"fifth"                "sixth"
"width"                "prince"
"axe"                  "act"
Plural forms of words often give some trouble. As you know, some plural forms of words are made by adding a new syllable: "busses" "matches" "judges" "wishes" "roses" and so on. But most single forms of words in American English have plural "s" added to the same syllable on the printed page. When this happens the "s" is sometimes pronounced /s/[3] and sometimes /z/[2]. Although most hearing children learn this /s -z/ rune without being formally taught, these same children often forget the rule when they groy up to be cueing adults! This is because they are fooled by the spelling on the printed page. So watch out!

Rule #1. For spoken plurals of words ending in a voiceless consonant /p/,/t/,/k/,/f/,/xh/, simply add /s/[3] to the syllable.

step - "steps"[3-s,5-c,1-s,3-s]
kite - "kites"[2-s,5-t,5-s,3-s]
walk - "walks"[6-c,2-s,3-s]
laugh - "laughs"[6-t,5-s,3-s]
giraff - "giraffs"[7-s/d,3-t,5-s,3-s]
fifth - "fifths"[5-t,5-s,7-s,3-s]

Rule #2. For spoken plurals of words ending in a voiced consonant (/b/,/d/,/g/,/v/,/th/,/m/,/n/,/ng/,/l/ or /r/ or a vowel or a diphthong add /z/[2] to the syllable. These examples should help clarify the rune you've actually been following all your life.

tub -"tubz"[5-s/d,4-s,2-s]
kid - "kidz"[2-t,1-s,2-s]
bee - "beez"[4-m,2-s]
lie - "liez"[6-s,5-t,2-s]
(The strange spelling was merely to emphasize what we really say.)
leg - "legs" [6-c,7-s,2-s]
love - "loves" law - "laws" swing - "swings" oil - "oils" car - "cars" boy -"boys" fur - "furs" shoe - "shoes" name - "names"

There are, of course, many exceptions to these rules for saying plurals in English. You won't get caught on the plurals of "foot," "mouse," "life," "ox," "bread," and others -- will you?

These practice sentences contain some of the most complex consonant clusters in American English. We might even call them "Cue Twisters." Try them for fun as well as for building your virtuosity in just about any speaking-cueing situation.

"He acts as though he expects to be repulsed."
The battles were filmed in the Alps."
"He twists his wrists and insists it doesn't hurt."
"She insists the elms were gifts from a prince."
"Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."
"Those masked scamps put wasps in our tents."

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