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In today’s class, we will be talking about nasal consonants and adjectival clauses. Enjoy the class!
Nasal Consonants and Adjectival Clauses
If you remember, during our class on vowel and consonant sounds, we mentioned some nasal consonants. Of course, I didn’t pay attention to them, but you probably recognize them when you see them.
There are three nasal consonants in English sounds. The bilabial nasal /m/, the alveolar nasal /n/ and the velar nasal /η/ sounds.
Let us take them one after the other.
The bilabial nasal sound /m/
This is called bilabial because it requires the upper lip and the lower lip coming together to pronounce it. See examples below:
madam home madam
minute come mummy
most lamb member
me name mum
man lame September
may farmer emblem
minus family small
month remember seem
The alveolar nasal sound /n/
We call this sound nasal because it requires the alveolar ridges to come together in order to pronounce it. See examples below:
name gnaw sinner
nine next pencil
nice went none
nimble know run
knife naught when
The velar nasal sound /η/
The velar nasal sound is produced with the aid of the soft palate. It appears before velar plosive sounds (/k/, /g/) in most words. See the following examples:
thing singer finger
sing hanging anger
song singing longer
sink thinker language
bank anchor drink
blink conquer wink
This refers to any subordinate clause that performs the function of an adjective. Many dependent adjectival clauses are introduced by the word ‘that’ which in some cases may be omitted. The dependent adjectival clause may also be introduced by relative adverbs like who, which, whose and whom:
- The house that the contractor built has collapsed.
- The dress which I bought yesterday was very expensive.
- I can’t find the person whose wallet was snatched.
As mentioned above, adjectival clauses perform the function of adjectives in sentences. The above sentences are good examples of that fact. The adjectival markers (that, which and whose) are underlined, while the adjectival clauses (that the contractor built, which I bought yesterday and whose wallet was snatched) are in boldface. Therefore, the adjectival clause in each sentence performs the function of qualifying the nouns before them.
Hence, if you see a question like this in your examination:
- What grammatical name is given to the expression above?
- What is its function?
Give your answer for (a) simply as ‘adjectival clause’, while your answer for (b) is simply that ‘it qualifies the noun ‘house’’ in the first instance, ‘it qualifies the noun ‘dress’’ in the second instance, and ‘it qualifies the noun ‘person’’ in the third instance.
I believe that was clear enough to understand.
Note that adjectival clauses are also known as relative clauses.
Combine each of the following pairs of simple sentences into one complex sentence containing an adjective clause. Number one has been done for you.
- The theft was committed last night. The police have caught the man.
The police have caught the man who committed the theft last night.
- The French language is different from the Latin language. Latin was once spoken throughout Europe.
- You are looking upset. Can you tell me the reason?
- He had several plans for making money quickly. All of them have failed.
- The landlord was proud of his strength. He despised the weakness of his tenants.
- This is the village. I was born here.
- You put the keys somewhere. Show me the place.
- Paul was an old gentleman. He was my travelling companion.
- A fox once met a crane. The fox had never seen a crane before.
- The shop keeper keeps his money in a wooden case. This is the wooden case.
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