Phonetics and Phonology

Read the following poem from The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Focus on the initial sounds only.

How many fricatives do you find?

Roads go ever on and on

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

(:vips 7277:)

Solution Poem 1

Now have a look at the second part of the poem and focus on the sounds.

How many nasals do you find?

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

(:vips 7278:)

Solution Poem 2

Now have a look at this poem, also taken from The Return of the King. Focus on initial sounds only. How many approximants (including the headline) do you find? How many plosives?

The Road Goes Ever On

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

Approximants (:vips 7279:)

Solution Poem 3

Plosives (:vips 7280:)

Solution Poem 4

Poems taken from