Palatalisation/labialisation 1Listen to the following words:
In these words, the vowel written 'u'
is pronounced very much in the front of the mouth, rather like French 'u'
or German 'Ł'. This is an instance of what
is called palatalisation. Palatalisation is an important characteristic
of Akan/Twi pronunciation (cf. Dolphyne,
Now listen to the digraph consonant dw in the following examples:
The digraph dw is pronounced very much in the front of the mouth, and at the same time with lip rounding. Its release sounds like a shorter version of the 'u' in the previous examples.
The pronunciation of dw
the beginning of English jewel
in rapid pronunciation:
is already anticipated
at the moment of pronouncing je-.
Consequently, the onset of the word is accompanied by lip rounding. Lip
rounding is also called labialisation. Just as palatalisation, labialisation
is an important characteristic of many Akan words. Both may occur at the
same time, as in the examples just given.
Notice the pronunciation of the digraph ky-, being rather like English ch in chew:
-> Notes on pronunciation 2