Speaking Clearly 口齿清楚


表达: 口齿清楚

为了达到口齿清楚,我们有必要来查看一下我们身体中说话时所用到的器官。这就是说,呼吸、喉咙、下巴、舌头和嘴唇的各个器官。很多人对这些说话时所用的器官不注意,但是专业的演说家和演唱家就都会注意说话时的每一个器官。

呼吸

我们知道呼吸与健康有关,但是很可惜,很多年轻人没有去学呼吸的技巧。因为这样的技巧,常常只对特别的艺术家或者运动员才提供教学。另外,年轻人也不那么容易懂得健康的呼吸。

要把话说清楚,你的语音器官要打开 - 从那使你能够达到深呼吸所需要带动横膈膜的肌肉、肺、胸腔、喉咙,一直到嘴巴,都要打开。如果说话的空气在这条通道中有任何一个部分没有打开,说话的声音就不会响亮或者声音变得很紧。

当你呼吸的时候,务必用你的横膈膜的肌肉来进行腹式呼吸(就是会让肚子一鼓一鼓的)。让肺吸足气(就是让肺的最深的部位或者肺的最底部都吸入空气)挺胸,双肩可略向后,这样的姿势可以打开胸腔。集中精力来观察自己的喉咙是否成为一个敞开的通道。让下巴自然下垂并且放松脸颊,这样就能够使嘴不紧张。

要记住,一个正常的身体是相互关联的。正确的呼吸需要全身的合作。你应该可以感觉到手、脚肌肉轻微的收缩和舒张对整个身体的影响。

喉咙

喉咙是声音通道中的一个很重要的部分。在喉咙里有声带,对声带作轻微的调节就能发出不同的元音。训练有素的歌唱家不需要像普通人那样明显地改变嘴型,就能发出不同的元音。保持喉咙处于正常的状态,而且放松,这对发声很有关系。  

很多人在说话的时候,喉咙很紧张。绝大部人总会在身体的某个部位或者某些部位有紧张情况,不是喉咙,就是背,或者胃(就是那些常常会胃痛的人),甚至脚也会紧张。有人以为喉咙是不会紧张的,但是当你发脾气的时候、感到懊丧的时候、激动的时候,你感到喉咙紧,那就是喉咙紧张的缘故。如果你是这样的一个人,你就需要特别注意保持你喉咙的健康。你应该按摩你的喉咙,喝一些热茶,尽可能地经常查看你的喉咙是否是像一个敞开的通道。事实上,当我们在对话的时候,我们集中精力讲话而不注意自己的喉咙处于什么状态,所以你可能需要进行大声的朗读,从而注意自己的喉咙是否打开。你可以想像,要把喉咙打开就象光一直可以照进你的喉咙一样。

下巴

某些地区的习惯是要克制脸部的动作。但是这美国人常常不是那样做,而且这样做 会妨碍你所发的声音(或者会使你的声音更小)。显然,让声音能够发出来,下巴一定要能够运动自如。当你说话的时候,体内的气体向上移动,声带作一些微小的调节,然后下巴让声音可以转弯到脖子和脸颊中间。想象下巴的两边,就像一副铰链一样可以让门自由地开关。

通常说话时,你不需要把嘴张得很大,但是你不能让你的下巴阻碍你发音。放松你的脸颊,能够帮助你放松你的下巴。当你一个人的时候,你可以以各种方式按摩你的脸,从而放松你脸部的肌肉。这样也帮助你的下巴可以自由移动。

舌头

另外一个妨碍你发声的部位可能是舌头。有些人习惯把嘴里的舌头弄的很粗大。你那从腹腔而来的声音,都被那粗大的舌头给吸收掉了。舌头上有非常复杂的肌肉。我们在说话的时候,用到了舌头的每一块肌肉。为了清晰地发对每一个字,你要你的舌头放在恰到好处的地位。把你的舌头放在牙齿的后面,但是要碰到口腔的上壁,这样我们才能发出TLD N 的音。把舌头放在牙齿的中间或者刚好在牙齿的后面,我们才能发出 TH 的音。舌根是用来发 G K 的音的。把舌头放成平的时候,我们发出 S Z 的声音。当舌头有点像管状的时候,我们可以发出美式英文中的 R 无论你要发什么样的声音,舌头的位置必须准确,多一点不行,少一点也不行。如果舌头不到位,发出的声音就会模糊;过分了,就会把声音吃掉。

用大声朗读来操练你的发音。你也可以把自己的朗读录下来听。琢磨自己的舌头是怎样运作的。考虑舌头应在什么部位。如果你的舌头一下子就感到疲劳了,那你就需要每天一边注意你自己舌头的位置,一边大声地朗读和大声地说话,以此来锻炼你舌头的肌肉。  

嘴唇

如果你的文化或者你家庭的习惯是尽量不动你脸部的肌肉,你可能就对张嘴来说话感到犹豫了。但是有的时候,你就必须张开才能发对那个音。比如说,长音的 E 有时称为微笑的元音。发这个音的时候,需要把嘴唇向后,如同微笑那样,才能发对音。如果没有把嘴唇向后,至少是某种程度的向后,那么那个音就绝不会清晰。其他需要用嘴唇的音有WBPM,和短音的 A,长音的 O,长音的 UJChShQu。专业的演说家和歌唱家,为了使脸部和嘴巴不紧张,不断地用嘴唇做特别夸大的,如同说 W 的嘴型(有点像鱼的嘴那样)。

如果你不习惯在说话的时候运用你的嘴唇,但是希望学习这样的讲话方式,可以试试独自大声朗读和大声说话,并且让你的嘴唇作比较夸大的动作。每天做一些这样的练习。不久,你就会习惯在说话的时候运用你的嘴唇了。

Source:  http://www.speakmethod.com/articulation.html


讨论问题:

1.  你在这篇文章里学到了什么新的东西?

2.  你是否觉得你的文化和俗习对你美式英语的发音有影响?

3.  读了这篇文章以后,你会以什么方式方法来练习美式发音?

4.  除了在这篇文章提到的方面以外,你觉得还有什么是帮助你发音清晰的主要因素?


Articulation: Speaking Clearly

In order to speak clearly, we have to think about the physical body and give attention to the apparatus that we use for speaking. This is literally the breath, the throat, the jaw, the tongue and the lips. Many people never give these basics much thought, but professional speakers and singers do.

The Breath

We all know that breath and health go together. Unfortunately, many people do not learn breathing techniques when young because they are usually taught for specific arts or sports. Also, healthy breathing might not be fully understood by a young person.

To speak clearly, the body needs to be open--from the movement of the diaphragm muscle, where deep breath originates, through the lungs, the chest, the throat and the mouth. If any one of these passages is tight, speech will sound more quiet or strained.

As you breath, make sure you use your diaphragm (the muscle that expands your stomach). Use all of your lungs (try to feel the deepest or bottom-most lungs fill with air). Put your shoulders slightly back for good posture and to open your chest. Concentrate on visualizing your throat as an open passage. Let your jaw drop naturally and relax your temples (the sides of your face) so that the mouth is also free of tension.

Always remember that a healthy body acts as a whole. A healthy breath is a whole body experience. You should be able to feel the subtle expansion and contraction in your arms and legs as well.


The Throat

The throat is an essential passageway for sound. It holds the vocal chords which make slight adjustments for different vowel sounds. A well-trained singer can change vowel sounds without as much difference in mouth position as regular people use. It's very important to keep the throat healthy and in a relaxed state.

Many people hold tension in their throats. Most people have one or more particular area of the body where tension tends to build up: the throat, the back, the stomach (for people who get stomach aches easily) or even the feet. You will know that you hold tension in the throat if you notice that your throat becomes tight when you are angry, sad or experiencing any kind of intense emotion. If you do this, then you want to be especially careful about keeping your throat healthy. You can massage the throat, drink hot tea and visualize your throat as an open passage as often as possible. Since most of us get distracted when involved in a conversation, you may want to read aloud while visualizing your open throat. You can also visualize light inside the throat.   


The Jaw

In some cultures, there is a preference to minimize facial movements. This is not popular in the U.S. and it does obstruct sound (or cause your voice to be more quiet). Clearly, for sound to get through, the jaw has to be able to move freely. As you speak, breath pushes upward, the vocal chords make slight adjustments and then the jaw allows the sound to turn that corner between your neck and your face. Think about the two sides of your jaw as hinges which need to be working well enough for the door to swing easily.

You don't need to open your mouth very wide to speak in a regular situation, but you do need the jaw to be unobstructed. Relaxing your temples helps to relax your jaw. When you are alone, you can squeeze your face around in funny ways to relax all of the facial muscles. This too helps the jaw to move freely.


 The Tongue

Another sound-obstruction can be the tongue. Some people have the habit of letting the tongue be heavy inside the mouth. Now sound has traveled all the way from the diaphragm to the mouth only to get absorbed by a thick tongue. The tongue is a complex muscle. We use all parts of it as we speak. To articulate words, you want your tongue to touch in just the right way. Your tongue touches the roof of the mouth behind the teeth for T, L, D and N. It is between or just behind the teeth for the TH sound. The back of the tongue is used for G and K. The tongue gets into a flattened position for S and Z. It is in a slightly tubular position for the American R. No matter what sound your tongue participates in creating, the touch needs to be correct--neither too light nor too heavy. If it touches too lightly, sounds blur together. If it touches too heavily, sound gets absorbed.

Practice by reading or speaking aloud. You might also record yourself. Concentrate on what your tongue is doing. Think about how your tongue touches. If your tongue feels very tired easily, you may need to make a daily practice of reading or speaking aloud while concentrating on your tongue.


The Lips

Again, if your culture or family believed in minimizing facial movement, you may hesitate to move your lips as you speak. Yet sometimes the lips literally need to make space for sound. For instance, a long E, sometimes called "the smiling vowel," requires the lips to be pulled back in a slight smile position. If the lips are not pulled back at least somewhat, this sound may not be clear at all. Other lip-based sounds are W, B, P, M, short A, long O, long U, J, Ch, Sh, Qu. Professional speakers or singers often remove tension from the face and mouth by moving the lips in an exaggerated W repeatedly (kind of like being a fish).

If you are not used to using your lips, but want to begin doing this, trying reading or speaking aloud (alone) and letting your lips move in a very exaggerated way. Do this for a while once a day. In time, you should begin to naturally move your lips more whenever you speak.  

 

Source:  http://www.speakmethod.com/articulation.html


Discussion Questions:

1.  What is something new that you have learned from this article?

2.  What cultural difference(s), practiced in your culture, do you think may affect articulating American English clearly?

3.  What behaviors will you practice or apply to your study of American pronunciation after reading this article?

4.  What are some other things, not mentioned in this article, that is important to speaking clearly?

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