Speech Work: Two Consonant Clusters in Initial Position I
A consonant cluster occurs when two or more consonant sounds occur together in a word.
The spelling of the word may not always be a good guide in determining where consonant clusters occur in a word. Take, for instance, the word rhythm. Looking at its spelling, the word has six consonant letters occurring together. However, when the word is pronounced /rɪðəm/, it contains no clusters at all.
On the other hand, the word axed has no cluster of consonant letters in its spelling. But when the word is pronounced /ækst/, we notice that there is a cluster of three consonants /kst/.
Clusters can be of two, three, or more consonants. They can occur in the initial, medial, or final position in a word.
Note the following examples.
|plait /pleIt/||restore /restɔ:/||task /tæsk/|
|sprain /spreIn/||restrain /restreIn/||asked /æskt/|
Many students face the challenge of pronouncing consonant clusters correctly without inserting a vowel sound between the clusters. Consider the following examples:
star /sta:r)/ not /sɪta:(r)/
strong /strɒŋ/ not /sɪtrɒŋ/