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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:49 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:For me, aura/aural/Laura match "story", and Lauren/laurel match "torrent".


Ditto.

Laura the scorer had a poorer aura than foreign Lauren during their laurel quarrel.

"Poorer" most mismatches for me, there. More 'oo' than the rest of that sequence's 'aw's (but less than "pool" would have been). But I' m imagining you're pronouncing it as I would (relatively, give or take a global vowel-shift betwixt us) the word "pourer", as in one who pours.

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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby CharlieP » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:07 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:For me, aura/aural/Laura match "story", and Lauren/laurel match "torrent".


Ditto.

Laura the scorer had a poorer aura than foreign Lauren during their laurel quarrel.

"Poorer" most mismatches for me, there. More 'oo' than the rest of that sequence's 'aw's (but less than "pool" would have been). But I' m imagining you're pronouncing it as I would (relatively, give or take a global vowel-shift betwixt us) the word "pourer", as in one who pours.


Indeed I am. Poor, pour and paw are all synonyms when coming from my mouth.
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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby Mega85 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:10 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:For me, aura/aural/Laura match "story", and Lauren/laurel match "torrent".


Ditto.

Laura the scorer had a poorer aura than foreign Lauren during their laurel quarrel.

"Poorer" most mismatches for me, there. More 'oo' than the rest of that sequence's 'aw's (but less than "pool" would have been). But I' m imagining you're pronouncing it as I would (relatively, give or take a global vowel-shift betwixt us) the word "pourer", as in one who pours.


Indeed I am. Poor, pour and paw are all synonyms when coming from my mouth.


You mean homonyms. The words mean different things. They're not synonyms.

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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:38 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:You mean homonyms. The words mean different things. They're not synonyms.
I held off from suggesting "homophones" earlier, knowing what was meant, but as you've raised it...

(Handy Venn.)

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Re: Many people apparently think there's a [g] sound in words like "sing" and "thing".

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:27 am UTC

bloomsbury wrote:When I was training for a TEFL course a few years back I was reading an English pronunciation guide that mentioned in most English dialects 'singer' and 'finger' don't really rhyme because of the ng coalescence in the former. It totally blew my mind; how could any one possibly pronounce singer in a way that doesn't rhyme with finger? I even checked with my flatmate and she was as incredulous as me. Anyway it turns out we were both from the relatively small Manchester - Birmingham- Stoke triangle area which maintains the g in singer. When we asked our other flatmates (Southern BrE-ers) they confirmed the non rhymingness, and we spent the rest of the evening over- and under- pronouncing the 'g's in various words. Good times.

It still confuses me tbh (from North Carolina). I'm pretty sure I either coalesce both or neither, but I'm not even sure which. In any case I've never consciously perceived any difference between [ŋ] and [ŋg].

Carlington wrote:Is this just a beginner's transcribing error, or could it speak to how our perception of pronunciation is informed by spelling?

I think the latter is a subset of the former. I know when I was beginning with IPA I would make mistakes influenced by spelling like this.

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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby CharlieP » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:01 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:For me, aura/aural/Laura match "story", and Lauren/laurel match "torrent".


Ditto.

Laura the scorer had a poorer aura than foreign Lauren during their laurel quarrel.

"Poorer" most mismatches for me, there. More 'oo' than the rest of that sequence's 'aw's (but less than "pool" would have been). But I' m imagining you're pronouncing it as I would (relatively, give or take a global vowel-shift betwixt us) the word "pourer", as in one who pours.


Indeed I am. Poor, pour and paw are all synonyms when coming from my mouth.


You mean homonyms. The words mean different things. They're not synonyms.


Oops! What a paw standard of proof-reading. :wink:
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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby CharlieP » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:15 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Mega85 wrote:You mean homonyms. The words mean different things. They're not synonyms.
I held off from suggesting "homophones" earlier, knowing what was meant, but as you've raised it...

(Handy Venn.)


Cool Venn - they used to have a boxier version, but I prefer this one.

One question though - if you had two words from completely different sources that were spelt differently but by chance happened to be pronounced the same, couldn't they be synonyms? I'm thinking loanwords from other languages.
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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:38 am UTC

The only sort-of example I can immediately bring to mind, for that, is "irrevocable" vs "irrecoverable", which can be easily misheard as the same if mumbled/not paying attention and also tend to get used for the same concept (one is "something that cannot be revoked", the other "something that cannot be recovered [to a prior state]"), pretty much interchangably.

Though my brain is racking to remember an actual same-word I heard about recently, that has two almost-alike meanings arising from two distinct indo-european roots. I'll get back to you.

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Re: Pronunciation of "aur" words like "aura", "aural", "Laura", "Lauren" and "laurel".

Postby CharlieP » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:05 pm UTC

Oh, hang on a minute, what about "bleu", which I'm led to understand Americans pronounce as "blue"?
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"par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:57 pm UTC

Would you consider these words to phonemically end in a sequence of vowel plus /r/ in North American English or single rhotic diphthongs? What about in Scottish English, where they distinguish the vowels in "fern", "fir" and "fur" and the vowels in "horse" and "hoarse"? Surely in Scottish English they would be phonemically vowel plus /r/.

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Lazar » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:45 pm UTC

Yeah, in analyzing rhotic North American speech I consider them to be distinct phonemes, /ɑɚ/, /ɛɚ/, /ɪɚ/, /ɔɚ/ and /ʊɚ/ (along with /ɚː/. I have an interesting perspective because I speak a GenAm-ENE hybrid dialect, so I'm rhotic but make a lot of the pre-/ɹ/ distintions associated with non-rhotic speech. In my case at least, these rhotic phonemes are indispensible, because the sounds in question are different from both simple lax vowel + /ɹ/ sequences (Mary [ˈmɛɚi] ≠ merry [ˈmɛɹi]) and tense vowel + /ɹ/ sequences (jury [ˈdʒʊɚi] ≠ Jewry [ˈdʒuːɹi]; see also [ˈmoʊɹi], one possible pronunciation of "Maori"). Cases of the latter seem to be vanishingly rare, but I do find them to be phonotactically allowable: I'd analogize them to the similarly rare [ɑːw] sequence (≠[aʊ]) that I use in words like "Kurosawa" or "Peshawar". But anyway, the crucial thing is that the rhotic sound is inseparable from the vocalic sound that precedes it: I can split "merry" into "meh-ree", but "Mary" only into "mare-ee".

Now a lot of sources will tell you that Northeasterners like me have special "extra" phonemes in words like "mare/Mary" and "near/nearer", which are lacked by those in the rest of the country – but I think this is a backwards way of analyzing things. When I hear people from most of the rest of the country speaking, I don't usually notice any difference between their "mare" and "near" (or "Mary" and "nearer") and mine – what I notice instead is that they seem to be using those sounds everywhere. GenAm "merry, ferry", "mirror, Sirius" and (especially) "worry" sound to me like "Mary, fairy", "merer, serious" and "whirry" (and other people who I've spoken to seem to agree on this point too). So I think what's happening isn't that we distinguishers have more phonemes, but rather that distinguishers allow sequences of lax vowels + /ɹ/, whereas in merging speech these sequences are disallowed and collapse into the nearest free rhotic phoneme.

Merriam-Webster, despite its non-standard notation, does essentially agree with my approach: for "ferry" they give \ˈfer-ē, ˈfe-rē\ – merging and distinguishing, respectively – whereas for "fairy" they give only \ˈfer-ē\. (Even though their general practice is to assign consonants to the following syllable wherever possible: for example, for "messy" they give \ˈme-sē\.) Likewise, for "hurry" they give \ˈhər-ē, ˈhə-rē\; for "furry" only \ˈfər-ē\. (I'd note that even sources that take the misguided approach I mentioned above often still end up positing a distinct r-bound phoneme in "tore, Tory". They also seem more amenable to positing a distinct r-bound phoneme in "fur, furry", perhaps because the phonetic gulf between [ɚ] and [ʌ] is so great.)

Now I'll admit that some of the strength of this approach is that it makes interdialectal comparisons nicer: if we were dealing with a world with only mergers, then analyzing their pronunciations as sequences of lax vowels + /ɹ/ would be less objectionable. But I still think that the rhotic element tends to combine with preceding vowels in a distinct way, and that a typical GenAm speaker, if asked (as a phonetic exercise) to produce "meh-r" or "meh-ree", wouldn't find those to be identical to "mare" and "Mary/merry" in the way that they would find "meh-ss" or "meh-see" to be identical to "mess" and "messy". My impression is that they act just like diphthongs, and that trying to split them into diphonemic sequences would be about as fruitful as trying to analyze /aɪ/, /aʊ/, /ɔɪ/ as /ɑː/+/j/, /ɑː/+/w/, /ɔː/+/j/.

In Scottish English, yes, I'd analyze them as having sequences of vowel phonemes + /r/. The phonemics and phonetics of Scottish English are quite distinct from those of other dialects, retaining many elements from Scots (which is arguably a distinct language). The realization of /r/ as [ɾ] helps it to act more like a "normal" consonant, rather than blending with nearby vowels as we see in other dialects.
Last edited by Lazar on Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:01 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:55 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Yeah, in analyzing rhotic North American speech I consider them to be distinct phonemes, /ɑɚ/, /ɛɚ/, /ɪɚ/, /ɔɚ/ and /ʊɚ/ (along with /ɚː/. I have an interesting perspective because I speak a GenAm-ENE hybrid dialect, so I'm rhotic but make a lot of the pre-/ɹ/ distintions associated with non-rhotic speech. In my case at least, these rhotic phonemes are indispensible, because the sounds in question are different from both simple lax vowel + /ɹ/ sequences (Mary [ˈmɛɚi] ≠ merry [ˈmɛɹi]) and tense vowel + /ɹ/ sequences (jury [ˈdʒʊɚi] ≠ Jewry [ˈdʒuːɹi]; see also [ˈmoʊɹi], one possible pronunciation of "Maori"). Cases of the latter seem to be vanishingly rare, but I do find them to be phonotactically allowable: I'd analogize them to the similarly rare [ɑːw] sequence (≠[aʊ]) that I use in words like "Kurosawa" or "Peshawar". But anyway, the crucial thing is that the rhotic sound is inseparable from the vocalic sound that precedes it: I can split "merry" into "meh-ree", but "Mary" only into "mare-ee".

Now a lot of sources will tell you that Northeasterners like me have special "extra" phonemes in words like "mare/Mary" and "near/nearer", which are lacked by those in the rest of the country – but I think this is a backwards way of analyzing things. When I hear people from most of the rest of the country speaking, I don't usually notice any difference between their "mare" and "near" (or "Mary" and "nearer") and mine – what I notice instead is that they seem to be using those sounds everywhere. GenAm "merry, ferry" and "mirror, Sirius" and (especially) "worry" sound to me like "Mary, fairy", "merer, serious" and "whirry" (and other people who I've spoken to seem to agree on this point too). So I think what's happening isn't that we distinguishers have more phonemes, but rather that distinguishers allow sequences of lax vowels + /ɹ/, whereas in merging speech these sequences are disallowed and collapse into the nearest free rhotic phoneme.

Merriam-Webster, despite its non-standard notation, does essentially agree with my approach: for "ferry" they give \ˈfer-ē, ˈfe-rē\ – merging and distinguishing, respectively – whereas for "fairy" they give only \ˈfer-ē\. (Even though their general practice is to assign consonants to the following syllable wherever possible: for example, for "messy" they give \ˈme-sē\.) Likewise, for "hurry" they give \ˈhər-ē, ˈhə-rē\; for "furry" only \ˈfər-ē\. (I'd note that even sources that take the misguided approach I mentioned above still end up positing a distinct r-bound phoneme in "tore, Tory" – because you clearly can't dump it with /ɔː/, since many North Americans lack that phoneme, and on the other hand the case for lumping it with /oʊ/ is pretty weak too. They also seem more amenable to positing a distinct r-bound phoneme in "fur, furry", perhaps because the phonetic gulf between [ɚ] and [ʌ] is so great.)

Now I'll admit that some of the strength of this approach is that it makes interdialectal comparisons nicer: if we were dealing with a world with only mergers, then analyzing their pronunciations as sequences of lax vowels + /ɹ/ would be less objectionable. But I still think that the rhotic element tends to combine with preceding vowels in a distinct way, and that a typical GenAm speaker, if asked (as a phonetic exercise) to produce "meh-r" or "meh-ree", wouldn't find those to be identical to "mare" and "Mary/merry" in the way that they would find "meh-ss" or "meh-see" to be identical to "mess" and "messy". My impression is that they act just like diphthongs, and that trying to split them into diphonemic sequences would be about as fruitful as trying to analyze /aɪ/, /aʊ/, /oɪ/ as /ɑː/+/j/, /ɑː/+/w/, /ɔː/+/j/.


What about in Scottish English however? Would you analyze "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour" as sequence of vowel plus /r/? I think in Scottish English they would be, because they allow more vowels before syllable final /r/. "fern", "fir" and "fur" each have a different vowel in Scottish English.

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Lazar » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:57 pm UTC

Yeah, I mentioned that in an edit. Scottish English is very distinctive in its phonology.
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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

Merriam-Webster seems to represent the cot-caught merger pronunciations as optional before /n/, but it doesn't show them as an option before other consonants or word finally.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/draw

It gives "drawn" as optionally having the pronunciation /drɑn/, but doesn't give a /drɑ/ option for "draw".

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Lazar » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:08 pm UTC

That's interesting. I've read that some speakers merge the vowels before /n/ but keep them distinct elsewhere.
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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:31 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Merriam-Webster, despite its non-standard notation, does essentially agree with my approach: for "ferry" they give \ˈfer-ē, ˈfe-rē\ – merging and distinguishing, respectively – whereas for "fairy" they give only \ˈfer-ē\. (Even though their general practice is to assign consonants to the following syllable wherever possible: for example, for "messy" they give \ˈme-sē\.) Likewise, for "hurry" they give \ˈhər-ē, ˈhə-rē\; for "furry" only \ˈfər-ē\. (I'd note that even sources that take the misguided approach I mentioned above often still end up positing a distinct r-bound phoneme in "tore, Tory". They also seem more amenable to positing a distinct r-bound phoneme in "fur, furry", perhaps because the phonetic gulf between [ɚ] and [ʌ] is so great.)


They mention such in their pronunciation guide.

Many varieties of English do not allow \e\ to be followed
by an \r\ which begins the following syllable. In
such a case, the sequence of \e-r\ is replaced by \er\, and
word pairs like very and vary are homophones. This is not
always indicated in transcription. The reader should assume
that any sequences of \e-r\ will be \er\ for such
speakers.


http://assets2.merriam-webster.com/mw/s ... iation.pdf

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Aiwendil » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:14 am UTC

I'm by no means an expert phonologist, and it's possible that I don't fully understand the question, but would it not be correct to state that such a word should be considered to end in a vowel plus /r/ or /ɹ/ if a minimal pair can be found of that word and another ending in some other consonant?

I usually merge the "Mary" and "marry" sounds, but I distinguish "merry". Naively, I would say that in these cases, for me, the vowel and the /ɹ/ are separate phonemes, because I have minimal pairs such as "carry"/"canny" and "berry"/"Benny". That is, my vowel in "carry" seems to me to be the same phoneme as my vowel in "canny" (in both cases, it is the "short a" vowel in its diphthongized realization that occurs for me before "m", "n", and "r").

On the other hand, the vowels that I use in "par" and "pour" (and note, I don't distinguish "Tory" and "torrent" vowels), it seems to me, never occur in my speech without "r". (They are both similar to my vowel in "caught", but neither is identical to it, nor do I feel them to be the same vowel). So in these cases, I would call them rhotic diphthongs.

But then, as I said, this is based on my rather basic understanding of what exactly gets counted as a phoneme. Is my understanding incorrect?

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby JackHK » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:18 am UTC

And of course, just for variety's sake, it is entirely different in nonrhotic dialects, such as my own (NW England) :
par [pʰɑː]
pair [pʰɛː]
peer [pʰɪː]
pour [pʰoː]
purr [pʰəː]
poor [pʰoː ~ pʰɵː] (casual ~ careful)

For reference, my vowel inventory:
Spoiler:
Short Vowels
/a/ TRAP-BATH
/ɛ/ DRESS
/ɪ/ KIT
/ɔ/ LOT-CLOTH
/ʊ/ STRUT-FOOT
/ə/ THE

Long Vowels/Diphthongs
R-Liaison
/ɑː/ PALM-START
/ɛː/ SQAURE
/ɪː/ NEAR
/oː/ NORTH-FORCE-THOUGHT
/əː/ NURSE
(/ɵː/ CURE - often merged with NORTH-FORCE in casual speech)

Y-Liaison
/ɑj/ PRICE
/ɛj/ FACE
/ɪj/ FLEECE
/oj/ CHOICE

W-Liaison
/aw/ MOUTH
/əw/ GOAT
/ɵw/ GOOSE

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Derek » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:20 pm UTC

JackHK wrote:And of course, just for variety's sake, it is entirely different in nonrhotic dialects, such as my own (NW England) :
par [pʰɑː]
pair [pʰɛː]
peer [pʰɪː]
pour [pʰoː]
purr [pʰəː]
poor [pʰoː ~ pʰɵː] (casual ~ careful)

For reference, my vowel inventory:
Spoiler:
Short Vowels
/a/ TRAP-BATH
/ɛ/ DRESS
/ɪ/ KIT
/ɔ/ LOT-CLOTH
/ʊ/ STRUT-FOOT
/ə/ THE

Long Vowels/Diphthongs
R-Liaison
/ɑː/ PALM-START
/ɛː/ SQAURE
/ɪː/ NEAR
/oː/ NORTH-FORCE-THOUGHT
/əː/ NURSE
(/ɵː/ CURE - often merged with NORTH-FORCE in casual speech)

Y-Liaison
/ɑj/ PRICE
/ɛj/ FACE
/ɪj/ FLEECE
/oj/ CHOICE

W-Liaison
/aw/ MOUTH
/əw/ GOAT
/ɵw/ GOOSE

Should not some of those words be diphthongs? Admittedly I'm more familiar with RP than other English accents, but I usually see nonrhotic "Vr" transcriped with a diphthong ending on something like a schwa. For example wiktionar gives /pɪə̯/ for "peer".

Or if that's not the case, does this plus your vowel inventory above imply that "peer" and "pee" are homophones for you?
Last edited by Derek on Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby chridd » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:38 pm UTC

My intuition (as a rhotic American English speaker with many mergers before r) would be to consider them as vowel + r, but with restrictions on the vowel and some vowels probably pronounced a bit differently (different allophones). I'm not sure about syllablic r/ɚ though (which I have in fern, fur, fir, jury, worry, whir, purr). For me, "tour" would definitely be two separate phonemes, since I pronounce it as two syllables (/ˈtu.ɚ/). There are also restrictions on the vowels before /l/ and /ŋ/ in my idiolect; ing seems to me like it would make more sense as a separate phoneme than most of the -r sounds, since the vowel doesn't quite sound like anything I use in other contexts.
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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:36 am UTC

I'm an American English speaker (South Midland region). My intuition is that some of them have diphthongs in them and some of them don't.

par [pʰaɹ]
power [pʰæʊ.əɹ]
pair [pʰeɪ̆əɹ]
payer [pʰeɪ.əɹ]
peer [pʰiə̆ɹ]
pyre [pʰaɪ̆əɹ]
pore [pʰɔɹ]
pour [pʰɔɹ ~ pʰʊə̆ɹ] (casual ~ careful)
tour [tʰu.əɹ]
pure [pʰjəɹ ~ pʰjʊə̆ɹ] (casual ~ careful)
purr [pʰəɹ]

The vowels I've marked with breves tend to disappear in unstressed syllables and/or fast speech.

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby JackHK » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:06 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
JackHK wrote:And of course, just for variety's sake, it is entirely different in nonrhotic dialects, such as my own (NW England) :
par [pʰɑː]
pair [pʰɛː]
peer [pʰɪː]
pour [pʰoː]
purr [pʰəː]
poor [pʰoː ~ pʰɵː] (casual ~ careful)

For reference, my vowel inventory:
Spoiler:
Short Vowels
/a/ TRAP-BATH
/ɛ/ DRESS
/ɪ/ KIT
/ɔ/ LOT-CLOTH
/ʊ/ STRUT-FOOT
/ə/ THE

Long Vowels/Diphthongs
R-Liaison
/ɑː/ PALM-START
/ɛː/ SQAURE
/ɪː/ NEAR
/oː/ NORTH-FORCE-THOUGHT
/əː/ NURSE
(/ɵː/ CURE - often merged with NORTH-FORCE in casual speech)

Y-Liaison
/ɑj/ PRICE
/ɛj/ FACE
/ɪj/ FLEECE
/oj/ CHOICE

W-Liaison
/aw/ MOUTH
/əw/ GOAT
/ɵw/ GOOSE

Should not some of those words be diphthongs? Admittedly I'm more familiar with RP than other English accents, but I usually see nonrhotic "Vr" transcriped with a diphthong ending on something like a schwa. For example wiktionar gives /pɪə̯/ for "peer".

Or if that's not the case, does this plus your vowel inventory above imply that "peer" and "pee" are homophones for you?


Well, the /Və̯/ is the traditional representation of those vowels, but honestly that pronunciation makes me think of either the Queen or 1950's BBC, i.e. posh and/or dated. I think it's stuck around in dictionaries mostly by inertia. I do not hear any change in vowel quality when I say, for example, "square".

As to your other question, no, "peer" is [pʰɪː] and "pee" is [pʰɪj].

There's an article describing Standard Southern British English, a dialect similar to my own (but I, being a northerner, don't have the TRAP/BATH nor the FOOT/STRUT splits), which can be found here.

A Vocaroo recording of myself saying "square", "peer", and "pee".

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Lazar » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:47 pm UTC

A few years ago Oxford's dictionaries switched from [ɛə] to [ɛː]; they still use [ɪə] and [ʊə] though. They also switched from [æ] to [a] and from [aɪ] to [ʌɪ]. (That last one seems a bit too West Country; I think [ɑɪ] would have been a better choice.)

I think at least for "modern RP", as J.C. Wells would put it (i.e. posh but not too posh speech), the diphthongal [ɪə] may still have some life to it. For example, Oxford's word reader has a long monophthong in "bare" but a slight diphthong in "beer"; Cambridge's reader has a long monophthong in "bare" and a pretty clear diphthong in "beer".
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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:53 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:I'm an American English speaker (South Midland region). My intuition is that some of them have diphthongs in them and some of them don't.

par [pʰaɹ]
power [pʰæʊ.əɹ]
pair [pʰeɪ̆əɹ]
payer [pʰeɪ.əɹ]
peer [pʰiə̆ɹ]
pyre [pʰaɪ̆əɹ]
pore [pʰɔɹ]
pour [pʰɔɹ ~ pʰʊə̆ɹ] (casual ~ careful)
tour [tʰu.əɹ]
pure [pʰjəɹ ~ pʰjʊə̆ɹ] (casual ~ careful)
purr [pʰəɹ]

The vowels I've marked with breves tend to disappear in unstressed syllables and/or fast speech.


By "pour", did you mean write "poor"? I've never heard of "pour" being pronounced [pʰʊə̆ɹ].

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:59 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:A few years ago Oxford's dictionaries switched from [ɛə] to [ɛː]; they still use [ɪə] and [ʊə] though. They also switched from [æ] to [a] and from [aɪ] to [ʌɪ]. (That last one seems a bit too West Country; I think [ɑɪ] would have been a better choice.)

I think at least for "modern RP", as J.C. Wells would put it (i.e. posh but not too posh speech), the diphthongal [ɪə] may still have some life to it. For example, Oxford's word reader has a long monophthong in "bare" but a slight diphthong in "beer"; Cambridge's reader has a long monophthong in "bare" and a pretty clear diphthong in "beer".


The most conversative RP had four centering diphthongs

"bear" - [bɛə]
"beer" [bɪə]
"bore" [boə] ("horse" and "hoarse", "saw" and "sore" were distinct)
"poor" [pʊə]

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:29 pm UTC

Grownup or grown-up? Which is the correct spelling from the noun and adjective?

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:By "pour", did you mean write "poor"? I've never heard of "pour" being pronounced [pʰʊə̆ɹ].
Well, I meant what I wrote, but it's probably a hypercorrection. Neither [ʊə̆ɹ] nor [ɛn] occur in my casual speech--[ʊə̆ɹ] goes to [əɹ] before /j/ and to [ɔɹ] in other contexts, and [ɛn] goes to [ɪn]--so when I'm trying to speak carefully I pretty much have to guess which lexical set a word belongs to on the basis of its spelling.

So, sure, for purposes of this thread, read that as "poor".

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Mega85 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:47 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
Mega85 wrote:By "pour", did you mean write "poor"? I've never heard of "pour" being pronounced [pʰʊə̆ɹ].
Well, I meant what I wrote, but it's probably a hypercorrection. Neither [ʊə̆ɹ] nor [ɛn] occur in my casual speech--[ʊə̆ɹ] goes to [əɹ] before /j/ and to [ɔɹ] in other contexts, and [ɛn] goes to [ɪn]--so when I'm trying to speak carefully I pretty much have to guess which lexical set a word belongs to on the basis of its spelling.

So, sure, for purposes of this thread, read that as "poor".


Yeah. [pʰʊə̆ɹ] for "pour" would be a hypercorrection. [pʰʊə̆ɹ] is the traditional pronunciation for "poor", but not for "pour".

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:50 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:Yeah. [pʰʊə̆ɹ] for "pour" would be a hypercorrection.
Just for my own reference, am I at least right in thinking that "yore", "your", and "you're" should rhyme with "pore", "poor", and "tour" respectively?

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Re: "par", "pair", "peer", "pour" and "tour".

Postby Lazar » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:10 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:Just for my own reference, am I at least right in thinking that "yore", "your", and "you're" should rhyme with "pore", "poor", and "tour" respectively?

For me – yes, no, yes. I say stressed "your" as [jɔɚ] and stressed "you're" as [jʊɚ]. (When unstressed they're both [jɚ], though.)
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:28 am UTC

Grown-up is conventional, with around 100 times more uses on Google as grownup (though this count probably also includes the non-hyphenated "grown up," so it might be an exaggeration), but both seem to be fairly common.

"Grown-up" with the hyphen follows the standard production rule, whereas "grownup" would be a neologism derived from that construction (sort of like "today").

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Syllabic l and n.

Postby Mega85 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:31 pm UTC

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ribbon?s=t

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ribbon

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kitten

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kitten?s=t

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/little

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bubble

Merriam-Webster and dictionary.com both indicate a syllabic "l" and syllabic "n" in words after alveolar consonants in words like "little" and "bitten", but after other consonants in words like "bubble" and "ribbon" they show a sequence a schwa + l or n. Why is this?

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Re: Syllabic l and n.

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:40 pm UTC

Because the tongue has to move far enough between /b/ and /l/ or /n/ that there's (almost) always going to be a vowel between them.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:09 pm UTC

Mega85: Since you already created a thread for your miscellaneous language questions, please use it when you have new little one-off inquiries.

(I've merged the existing threads into one, so the flow of some conversations has been a bit disrupted. Apologies for that.)
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:46 pm UTC

How do you pronounce the year 2016? "twenty sixteen" or "two thousand sixteen"? I hear both.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:10 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:How do you pronounce the year 2016? "twenty sixteen" or "two thousand sixteen"? I hear both.

By preference, the former. On occasion, usually where there's a desired rhetoric contrast, "two thousand and sixteen" in the UK manner of such numbers (i.e. with the 'and', unstressed and often reduced to " 'n ").

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:47 pm UTC

The former. The latter form is due entirely to Arthur C Clarke and 2001; until that everyone said years in number pairs.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:57 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The former. The latter form is due entirely to Arthur C Clarke and 2001; until that everyone said years in number pairs.

I'm not entirely sure about that.

Hard to tell if they were representative of the eras they came from, or twerked for purposes of scansion but eighteen hundred and six and similar poetic versions for "eighteen hundred and forty-two", "sixteen hundred and sixty-six", "fifteen hundred and eighty-eight", etc. have been frozen in time and seems like authentic older-English.

I've been trying to find any useful authority on the pre-Clarke situation (I'm a tad too young to reliably draw on personal usage), but managed to find nary a one. I know I would have personally said "nineteen oh-one", not '[nineteen hundred|one thousand nine hundred] and one' but "nineteen hundred" for 1900 itself. "Twenty-hundred [and...]" definitely gets overtaken by "Two thousand [and...]", as per the usual pre/post vigesimal rule-break in English.

Unless perhaps pretending to be a time-displaced (original) Elizabethan expressing surprise at his time-displacement.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:51 am UTC

Hmm. I guess this is a british/us difference. We wouldn't say the numbers 1866, 1844, 1666, 1588 with the word hundred in them (as you say) but with a thousand there ("one thousand, eight hundred and sixty six"; "one thousand, eight hundred and forty four"; "one thousand, six hundred and sixty six"; "one thousand, five hundred and eighty eight") so the way you list there reads to me more like the paired version than the post-clarke version.

So it's possible that the us used to do long-form but the uk did paired.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:21 am UTC

I wouldn't normally 'hundredise' my low-thousands, really, but definitely with years I would say "the University of Cambridge was founded in the year"... {"twelve oh-nine" > "twelve hundred and nine" >> "one thousand two hundred and nine"} yet "the third London Olympics was in..." {"twenty twelve" > "two thousand and twelve" >>> "twenty-hundred and twelve"}.


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