Category Archives: Studies in English

SinEb, wk5, October 24th 2014


  1. Choose a topic for your presentation
  2. Choose a partner for your presentation
  3. Choose a date for your presentation (any Friday between Nov. 7th and Dec. 19th)
  4. Next week no class.
  5. Next class is Nov. 7th

Today’s class

  1. Review of the places of articulation
  2. What English sounds are difficult for Japanese speakers?
  3. What sounds are difficult for ventriloquists?
  4. What are the characteristics of Cockney dialect versus standard British English?


SinEb, wk3, October 10th 2014



Today’s class

      1. English vowels  – what are their different pronunciations? Unlike Japanese vowels which only have 1 pronunciation each, English vowels have up to 4 different pronunciations. To show the different pronunciations, we must use IPA symbols instead of alphabet letters.
      2. Write the different English vowel pronunciations using example words and the IPA symbols.
      3. Mark the position of the English vowels in the mouth, using the chart.
      4. Mark the position of Japanese vowels using the chart.
      5. japanese_vowels


      1. Watch the scene in “My Fair Lady” between Eliza and her father. Notice the characteristics of the Cockney accent (dropped aitches, “ain’t”, other elided consonants, “meself” instead of “myself”, etc.)


vowel diagram

SinEb, wk2, October 3rd 2014


  1. What is the Professor writing in his notebook? Why can’t the flower-girl, Eliza, read it?
  2. What is the big difference between the rich people like the Professor, and the poor people like Eliza?
  3. What does the Professor claim he can do in 6 months?

Today’s class.

  1. If you were absent last week, please read the blog.
  2. What is the difference between パパ and ババ?Or what is the difference between ‘p’ and ‘b’?
  3. What is the difference between ママ and ナナ? Or what is the difference between ‘m’ and ‘n’?
  4. What is the difference between ババ and ママ? Or what is the difference between ‘b’ and ‘m’?
    1. ‘P’ is an unvoiced bilabial stop, and ‘b’ is a voiced bilabial stop.
    2. ‘M’ is a voiced nasal bilabial, and ‘n’ is voiced nasal alveolar.
    3. ‘B’ is a voiced bilabial stop, and ‘m’ is  a voiced nasal bilabial.








SinEb, wk1, September 26th 2014

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Studies in English B (SinEb).

It is almost exactly 2 months since the last class in the first semester. I hope you enjoyed your 2 months’ holiday.

This semester will be more or less the same as last semester, except that

  • we will spend more time practicing writing about linguistics topics, both for classwork and for homework.
  • I will give more precise instruction in how to write.
  • presentations will begin later in the semester.


  1. Are all possible combinations of Japanese sounds used in the Japanese language?
  2. Write 5 possible combinations which are not actually used.

Today’s class

  1. Imagine you are teaching someone Japanese.
    1. Choose one Japanese sound and describe/explain how to make this sound.
    2. Look at handout #1 which has a table showing the main consonant sounds in English together with their scientific names and a description.
    3. Look at handout #2 which has a diagram of the human head showing the different positions for making the main English vowel sounds.
  2. Using handout #1, what English sounds are difficult for you to make?
  3. What kinds of sounds are difficult for ventriloquists to make? Why?
  4. What English sounds are also used in Japanese?
    1. What English sounds are NOT used in Japanese?
  5. What Japanese sounds are NOT used in English?
  6. What parts of the mouth are important when making vowel sounds?
  7. Invent a name for a new brand of Japanese car or drink or cartoon character.

american english pronunciation

Vowel Sounds

SinEa, wk15, July 25th 2014


Enjoy your summer holidays.

Today’s class:

  1. Final check of essay:
    1. Name, class, instructor, date in top corner?
    2. Title?
    3. Double-spaced?
    4. Bibliography? In alphabetical order? Everything in Roman letters?
    5. How many paragraphs?
    6. No contractions (“I’ll, they’re, don’t”, etc)
    7. No sentence beginning with “And, So, But, Because”.
  2. Watch these videos and write a comment:
    1. なぜ英語が難しいか httpv://
    2. Benny’s Japanese: Skype conversation over the half-way point ベニーの日本語:中間地点でのスカイプの会話  (YouTubeで見れば、英語と日本語の字幕がある)httpv://
    3. Inspired Bicycles – Danny MacAskill April 2009 httpv://
    4. Danny MacAskill – “Way Back Home” httpv://
    5. Jeff Dunham & Peanut (Spark of Insanity) httpv://
    6. Jeff Dunham And Walter Arguing With Myself (the “Oh, Mike!” part begins at 11:00) httpv://

SinEa, wk14, July 18th 2014


Finish writing your final essay.

  • Final essay should be 800-1000 words (excluding the bibliography).
  • The topic can be any topic connected with linguistics.
  • Choose something you are interested in.
  • Choose something you want to find out about.

Today’s class:

Rules for writing:

  1. Format:
    1. Double-spaced?
    2. Indent-style paragraphs?
    3. Nice big indent (at least 5 characters, 10 is ok)
    4. At least 5 paragraphs?
    5. At least 3 items in the bibliography?
    6. One item must be the textbook. Use your MLA Guildebook
    7. Reference in the body of the essay?
  2. Everything in your essay, including the bibliography, must be in Roman letters only.
    1. If you used Japanese sources, write them in Roman letters. Don’t translate them!
  3. Don’t use contractions like  “don’t, aren’t, isn’t, it’s, they’re” etc.
  4. Don’t write names in ALL CAPITALS. It’s like shouting.
  5. Don’t being a sentence with “And, So, But, Because”. Use “In addition,” “However,”  “Therefore,”. Or combine with the previous sentence to make a single sentence (and keep the “and, so, but or because”).
  6. Give your opinion with evidence: facts, numbers, etc.
  7. Say where you got the information from.
  8. Make sure your introductory (first) paragraph has the outline of your essay.

SinEa, wk12, July 4th 2014

Have something to say? Let me know in the comments or send me a private email.

The latest presentation schedule can be viewed and downloaded here: SinEa_Schedule



  1. Read chapter 6 (second half) “Morphemes and Words”.
  2. Choose your final essay topic and start writing your essay (800-1,000 words).

Presenters, prepare your presentations.

In today’s class:

  • There was a presentation about the first half of chapter 6 “Morphemes and Words”.
  • Morpheme: from French, from Greek morphē  form
  • Phoneme: via French from Greek phōnēma  sound, speech
  • “The sleepwalking albatross chanted a sleepy lullaby”.
    • 1 sentence. How many words? A: 7
    • How many morphemes? A: 11
    • How many phonemes? A: 37
  • かきくえばかねがなるなりほうりゅうじ
    • 1 sentence. How many words?
    • How many morphemes?
    • How many phonemes?