The Phonological Structures of Open and Close Junctures in Utterances for English Teachers


  • Mehmet Demirezen Hacettepe University


Junctures are specific phonemes in English language and work like what the traffic lights do in the structures of phrases at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. They indicate both the pauses and continuation in the flow of speech in between or among the utterances some of which can be the cause of misperceptions and misunderstandings. At the word and phrase level, open and close junctures come to the stage to give hard times to the non-native speakers in perception of speech and production of speech. By nature, sounds signal pauses, segmentation, and which the listeners need them to perceive the spoken utterances. Close junctures take place in compound words while the open or plus junctures are situated in or among the phrases. They both change the meanings of utterances; therefore, they are accepted as phonemes in English. If they are not perceived by the listeners, they change the meanings of utterances and thus the listeners are misled and soon find themselves in communication breakdown. Key words: juncture phoneme, pause, open juncture, close juncture