A. Consonant

A consonant is a speech sound made by partly or completely stopping the flow of air through the mouth. Examples are

[p] pronounced with the lips; [t], pronounced with the front of the tongue; [k], pronounced with the back of the tongue; [h], pronounced in the throat; [f] and [s], pronounced by forcing air through a narrow channel (fricatives); and [m] and [n], which have air flowing through the nose (nasals).

Each spoken consonant can be distinguished by several phonetic features:

  • The manner of articulation is how air escapes from the vocal tract when the consonant  sound is made. Manners include stops, fricatives, and nasals.
  • The place of articulation is where in the vocal tract the obstruction of the consonant occurs, and which speech organs are involved. Places include bilabial (both lips), alveolar(tongue against the gum ridge), and velar (tongue against soft palate). In addition, there may be a simultaneous narrowing at another place of articulation, such aspalatalisation or pharyngealisation.
  • The phonation of a consonant is how the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. When the vocal cords vibrate fully, the consonant is called voiced; when they do not vibrate at all, it is voiceless.
  • The voice onset time (VOT) indicates the timing of the phonation. Aspiration is a feature of VOT.
  • The airstream mechanism is how the air moving through the vocal tract is powered. Most languages have exclusively pulmonic egressive consonants, which use the lungs and diaphragm, but ejectives, clicks, and implosives use different mechanisms.
  • The length is how long the obstruction of a consonant lasts. This feature is borderline distinctive in English, as in “wholly” [hoʊlli] vs. “holy” [hoʊli], but cases are limited to morpheme boundaries.
  • The articulatory force is how much muscular energy is involved. This has been proposed many times, but no distinction relying exclusively on force has ever been demonstrated.

Examples of consonant sounds

/p/  pollute, apple, crisp /b/ burn, absent, labor
/t/ timber, hotel, student /d/ destroy, admire, lady
/k/ contaminate, blanket, sky /g/ gas, global, giggle
/f/ forest, often, deaf /v/ villagers, invest, active
/θ/ breath, author, thank /ð/ breathe, father, bathe
/s/ species, miss, system /z/ fertilise, reason, always
/ӡ/ measure, vision, garage /ʃ/ machine, English, patient
/n/ national, know, dinner /ŋ/ lung, finger, thing
/w/ when, one, quick /l/ local, whistle, final
/r/ revenue, carrot, writing /j/ youth, view, euro

B. Grammar: Sentences

A sentence is a linguistic unit consisting of one or more words that are grammatically linked. Asentence can include words grouped meaningfully to express a statement, question, exclamation, request, command or suggestion.

A sentence is a set of words that in principle tells a complete thought (although it may make little sense taken in isolation out of context); thus it may be a simple phrase, but it conveys enough meaning to imply a clause, even if it is not explicit. For example, “Two” as a sentence (in answer to the question “How many were there?”) implies the clause “There were two”. Typically a sentence contains a subject and predicate. A sentence can also be defined purely in orthographic terms, as a group of words starting with a capital letter and ending in a full stop

There are four types of sentence.

1. A declarative sentence

A declarative sentence states a fact and ends with a period / full stop

For example:

This food is not enough for me

I wonder what Tolu is searching for under the table.

(Remember, a statement which contains an indirect question (like this example) is not a question.)

2. An imperative sentence

An imperative sentence is a command or a polite request. It ends with an exclamation mark or a period / full stop. For example: When the train is coming, wave down.

3. An interrogative sentence.

An interrogative sentence asks a question and ends with a question mark.

For example:

Who knew that dog saliva can mend a broken heart

4. An exclamatory sentence.

An exclamatory sentence expresses excitement or emotion. It ends with an exclamation mark.

For example: What a rough day!

Four Sentence Structures

The structure of sentence is determined by the number and type of clauses it contains. It falls into one of the following:

a) Simple Sentence
A simple sentence conveys a single idea. It has only one subject and one verb.

EXAMPLE: I want to eat. / The baby is crying. / Look at that girl.
The verb in each sentence is in bold.

b) Complex Sentence
A complex sentence has one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. The independent clause is called the main clause, and the dependent clause is called the subordinate clause. These clauses are joined by conjunctions which include: as, as if, even if, if, because, unless, etc.

EXAMPLE: My meat is big, let us share it. / I will do it if I have the time.
The main clauses are in bold; the subordinate clauses are not.

c) Compound Sentence
A compound sentence is composed of at least two clauses or sentences joined together by a conjunction, i.e. words like: and, but, for, nor, or, so, therefore, either … or, neither … nor, not only … but also, etc., or punctuated by a semi-colon. A compound sentence consists of at least two Independent or Main Clauses and verbs. The subordinate or dependent clause may or may not be present in a compound sentence. It is possible for a compound sentence to have three, four or more independent clauses. But commonly, it contains only two clauses.

EXAMPLE: I am fat and you are fair. (Two main clauses joined by a conjunction.)
EXAMPLE: I know what you know. (Main clause: I know; subordinate clause: what you know)
EXAMPLE: I always tell you what I know but you never tell me what you know.

The last example shows a sentence with two main clauses and two subordinate clauses.

d) Compound-complex Sentence
A compound-complex sentence has at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.

EXAMPLE: Although the generator is old, it still works well, but we intend to sell it.
  Dependent  Clause independent clause independent clause

C. Vocabulary Development 

Although Nigeria is home to a wealth of bio-diversity, rich natural resources and a variety of ecosystems, it also suffers from a number of environmental (1) ….. These issues are largely a result of human activities, population (2) ….. and over population in urban centres.

One problem is that of soil (3) ….. Excessive cultivation has resulted in the loss of soil (4)….. Another problem is that of rapid deforestation. Increased cutting of timber has made in roads into forest resources, and the number of trees felled far (5) ….. the number of replantings. By 1985, deforestation claimed over two thousand square kilometres of the nation’s forest land. But as its forest fall, Nigeria has seen wild life populations plummet from poaching and (6) ….. loss, and this has increased soil (7) ….. and particularly in the north (8)…..

In this regard, Nigeria’s Government, in conjunction with a number of international non-governmental organisations, have been developing policies and programmes that address (9) ….. development, environmentally progressive land use management techniques, and the (10) …. of water supplies.

Oil spills, the burning of toxic waste and urban air (11) ….. are problems in more developed areas. In the early 1990s, Nigeria was among the 50 nations with the world highest levels of carbon dioxide (12) …. which totaled 96.5million metric tons, a per capita level of 0.84 metric tons. Water pollution is also a problem due to improper handling  of (13) ….. Fifty-four percent of Nigeria’s fresh water is used for framing activities and 15% is used for industrial purposes. Safe drinking water is  available to 78% of urban dwellers and 49% of the rural population.

The (14) …. environmental agencies are the Environmental Planning Protection Division of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and the analogous division within the Federal Ministry of Industry.

A B C D
Characters Challenges Priorities Probabilities
Density Disturbance Propensity Paucity
Pollution Distraction Degradation Destruction
Maturity Fertility Fertile Enrichment
Increase Exert Accede Exceed
Animal Habit Habitat Habitation
Irrigation Erosion Destruction Desalination
Desert Draft Desertification Exertion
Sustainable Sustained Sustenance Suitable
Collection Construction Containment Conservation
Contamination Destruction Pollution Decant
Emissions Omissions Exertions Immersions
Run off Supplies Sewers Sewage
Priority Vital Principle Principal

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