The How do you Pronounce X Thread

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darkina
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Postby darkina » 2006-04-01, 18:58

How do you pronounce "fragile"?
I've always thought that it was with a "ai" sound "frag-ail", but I heard it in a song as something more like "ee", "frag-eel"
(hmm sorry I should re-learn IPA... :oops: )
век живи, век учись, а дураком помрешь

Pleasures remain, so does the pain

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2006-04-01, 19:06

Darky wrote:How do you pronounce "fragile"?
I've always thought that it was with a "ai" sound "frag-ail", but I heard it in a song as something more like "ee", "frag-eel"
(hmm sorry I should re-learn IPA... :oops: )

According to the Cambridge English Pronouncing dictionary, it has an "i" /aɪ/ sound in RP, and may have a schwa /ə/ or just a syllabic final "l" in GA.
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Postby JackFrost » 2006-04-01, 19:06

My case, it's fagile with "ail".
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Postby darkina » 2006-04-01, 19:09

Psi-Lord wrote:
Darky wrote:How do you pronounce "fragile"?
I've always thought that it was with a "ai" sound "frag-ail", but I heard it in a song as something more like "ee", "frag-eel"
(hmm sorry I should re-learn IPA... :oops: )

According to the Cambridge English Pronouncing dictionary, it has an "i" /aɪ/ sound in RP, and may have a schwa /ə/ or just a syllabic final "l" in GA.


Makes sense...
век живи, век учись, а дураком помрешь

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Postby Kirk » 2006-04-01, 23:18

There's a group of words which historically had -[ɪɫ] or syllabic -[ɫ]̩ for orthographical "-ile" in English. In British English those began to change around the later decades of the 1700s and the early 1800s, but many of the older pronunciations have survived in the US. However, sometimes both forms exist--it depends on the word. Here's how I pronounce the following words (notice some words have interchangeable pronunciations for me):

"mobile" [ˈmo̜ːbɫ̩]
"futile" [ˈfjɯɾɫ̩] (so, it's homophonous with my "feudal")
"missile" [ˈmɪsɫ̩]
"fertile" [ˈf3˞ɾɫ̩]
"fragile" [ˈfɹæːdʒɫ̩]
"juvenile" [ˈdʒɯːvənɫ̩] or also [ˈdʒɯːvənaɪɫ]
"hostile" [ˈhɑstɫ̩] (homophonous with my "hostel")
"volatile" [ˈvɑɫəɾɫ̩]
"docile" [ˈdɑsɫ̩]
"sterile" [ˈstɛɹɫ̩]


but

"reptile" [ˈɹɛptʰaɪɫ]
"gentile" [ˈdʒɛntaɪɫ]
"exile" [ˈɛksaɪɫ]
"projectile" [ˈpʰɹo̜dʒɛktʰaɪɫ] or also [ˈpʰɹo̜ˈdʒɛktʰɫ̩]
"senile" [ˈsinaɪɫ]
"textile" [ˈtʰɛkstaɪɫ] (historically [ˈtʰɛkstɫ̩] in GA but rarely heard now--probably in analogy with "tile" [tʰaɪɫ])
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2006-04-10, 12:51

If the w isn't pronounced in write, does this word sounds the same as the word right?
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Corrections appreciated.

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Postby Stan » 2006-04-10, 12:55

Vogelvrij wrote:If the w isn't pronounced in write, does this word sounds the same as the word right?


yes
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Postby Stan » 2006-04-10, 12:59

Kirk wrote:"mobile" [ˈmo̜ːbɫ̩]
"futile" [ˈfjɯɾɫ̩] (so, it's homophonous with my "feudal")
"missile" [ˈmɪsɫ̩]
"fertile" [ˈf3˞ɾɫ̩]
"fragile" [ˈfɹæːdʒɫ̩]
"juvenile" [ˈdʒɯːvənɫ̩] or also [ˈdʒɯːvənaɪɫ]
"hostile" [ˈhɑstɫ̩] (homophonous with my "hostel")
"volatile" [ˈvɑɫəɾɫ̩]
"docile" [ˈdɑsɫ̩]
"sterile" [ˈstɛɹɫ̩]


I pronounce hostile the other way. same with juvenile and futile. and I think maybe also volatile. the rest I pronounce the same way.
if I was President,

I'd get elected on Friday

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buried on Sunday

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Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2006-04-10, 13:01

Stan wrote:
Vogelvrij wrote:If the w isn't pronounced in write, does this word sounds the same as the word right?


yes
That is funny :D It is so differently spelt. I pronounced it very wrong, I think, as I pronounced a w and another sounding r and t.
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Postby Stan » 2006-04-10, 13:20

Vogelvrij wrote:
Stan wrote:
Vogelvrij wrote:If the w isn't pronounced in write, does this word sounds the same as the word right?


yes
That is funny :D It is so differently spelt. I pronounced it very wrong, I think, as I pronounced a w and another sounding r and t.


Anywhere you see wr at the beginning you can be sure that the w is silent. :wink: write, wreck, wrestle, etc all pronounced starting with an r
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Postby Canard » 2006-04-10, 17:08

? Unless I missed something, feudal and futile are pronounced very differently in my parts. Since I lack IPA voodoo, feudal is like "fyoo-duhl" and futile is "fyoo-tile", though I've heard "fyoo-till" too. But I've never heard the two as equivalents.
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Postby Stan » 2006-04-10, 17:23

Canard wrote:? Unless I missed something, feudal and futile are pronounced very differently in my parts. Since I lack IPA voodoo, feudal is like "fyoo-duhl" and futile is "fyoo-tile", though I've heard "fyoo-till" too. But I've never heard the two as equivalents.


IPA voodoo... :lol:

I also horribly lack the gift of IPAcraft :wink:
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Postby Kirk » 2006-04-10, 22:44

Canard wrote:? Unless I missed something, feudal and futile are pronounced very differently in my parts. Since I lack IPA voodoo, feudal is like "fyoo-duhl" and futile is "fyoo-tile", though I've heard "fyoo-till" too. But I've never heard the two as equivalents.


Do you not know IPA or do you just not know how to input it here? (if the latter is the case just go to insert special characters and choose IPA. Then type in the X-SAMPA equivalent, assuming you know that too).

As for "futile," I hear both "fyoo-tile" and "fyoo-till." Of course the latter really receives a voiced alveolar tap/flap. Then, since the "-ill" is almost always a syllabic /l/ there and not [ɪɫ], in conjunction with the voiced tap/flap and syllabic velarized /l/ which is in "feudal," they have the same pronunciation for NAE speakers who are using the so-called "-ill" vowel and not the "-ile" one.
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2006-04-11, 3:42

Stan wrote:I also horribly lack the gift of IPAcraft :wink:

/bɪˈweərəvˈmɑːstəˈkɜːkənɪzˈkʌvnðen/ ;)

Do I even know what I'm doing? :P :P :P
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Postby Canard » 2006-04-11, 3:55

I'm trying to learn IPA and I'm confused... for a word like "may", would you write [mej], [mɜː], [mɛj] or [me]? And what's this nonsense of dictionaries having their own little phonetic world, like webster.com says "may" is "mA"

Also having trouble finding a guide that isn't a "learn English!" or "buy this software!" site with no useful information.
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Postby Travis B. » 2006-04-11, 7:29

Canard wrote:I'm trying to learn IPA and I'm confused... for a word like "may", would you write [mej], [mɜː], [mɛj] or [me]? And what's this nonsense of dictionaries having their own little phonetic world, like webster.com says "may" is "mA"

Also having trouble finding a guide that isn't a "learn English!" or "buy this software!" site with no useful information.


What you would write depends on what you say in your native dialect, or whatever other particular dialect you may happen to be transcribing. In my own dialect, I would transcribe such as [meː] (or without allophonic vowel length as [me]), but in other dialects one is likely to encounter things like [meɪ] (without allophonic vowel length included, that is).

Note that [meɪ] is effectively just a slight notational variation from [mej]. However, it seems that in at least most IPA transcription, diphthong glides not corresponding to phonemic semivowels are generally marked with vowels rather than with semivowels.

As for dictionaries, I would say they should be best simply ignored for purposes like these; the notation that many of them use here is in most cases effectively limited to the dictionaries themselves, dictionaries that use IPA aside. Furthermore, the pronunciations specified by dictionaries are of no consequence to actual phonetic or phonemic transcription to begin with.
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Postby skye » 2006-04-11, 7:47

Where can you get the IPA transcription, so I can stop looking at the lovely squares? We learnt IPA transcription at college, I want to see if I can still remember it.

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Postby Kirk » 2006-04-11, 9:03

Psi-Lord wrote:
Stan wrote:I also horribly lack the gift of IPAcraft :wink:

/bɪˈweərəvˈmɑːstəˈkɜːkənɪzˈkʌvnðen/ ;)

Do I even know what I'm doing? :P :P :P


[ɑɫso̜ biˈwɛɹ əv saɪ lɔrd n̩ hɪːz ˈikwɫ̩i ˈmɪstʃəvɪs əˈtʰɛmps əɾ ɪnˈs3˞ɾiŋ aɪpʰiˈe əɾ ˈɪni tʃænts] ;)

And by the way, what's [ˈkʌvnðen]? "Cuvventhen?" "Coventhen?" Am I being dense or is this just some out-there word from like a story or something that I shouldn't be expected to know?

Travis B. wrote:Note that [meɪ] is effectively just a slight notational variation from [mej]. However, it seems that in at least most IPA transcription, diphthong glides not corresponding to phonemic semivowels are generally marked with vowels rather than with semivowels.


Technically there is a difference between [meɪ] and [mej] in that the first is truly a diphthong while the second is better analyzed as a vowel followed by a true voiced palatal glide. In English "may" I'm not familiar with dialects that truly have [mej].

I know of no languages which would phonemically contrast something like [mej] and [meɪ] but I can compare how I pronounce English "eye" [aɪ] to Spanish "ay," which is clearly [aj]. The difference is noticeable (and not just because the English ends in a lax vowel).

Canard wrote:I'm trying to learn IPA and I'm confused... for a word like "may", would you write [mej], [mɜː], [mɛj] or [me]? And what's this nonsense of dictionaries having their own little phonetic world, like webster.com says "may" is "mA"

Also having trouble finding a guide that isn't a "learn English!" or "buy this software!" site with no useful information.


Well, you've come to the right place! There are plenty of people here who can help you learning IPA. I actually wrote a tutorial on learning phonetic transcription here. I would recommend focusing on the "IPA for English" article I link towards the top at first, as you don't need to know hundreds of IPA symbols to transcribe just one language.

As for dictionaries like Webster, there is some logic to their wacky transcription systems for vowels in that its arbitrary symbols match up to how individuals would pronounce a word based on other words in similar sound environments. This avoids the approach of seeming to prescribe a clear-cut pronunciation in IPA as, say, the OE does (transcriptions are only in RP). Webster's system isn't perfect but I understand why they do it.

Anyway, good luck with learning IPA and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions :)

Travis B. wrote:What you would write depends on what you say in your native dialect, or whatever other particular dialect you may happen to be transcribing. In my own dialect, I would transcribe such as [meː] (or without allophonic vowel length as [me]), but in other dialects one is likely to encounter things like [meɪ] (without allophonic vowel length included, that is).


Yes, that vowel has some differing pronunciations. In normal speech mine is typically monophthongal while the diphthong may show up on my slower, emphatic speech, my "reading voice," and open position. It is worth noting that even diphthongal North American realizations of the vowel typically are less extreme as diphthongs than their RP counterparts.

Skye wrote:Where can you get the IPA transcription, so I can stop looking at the lovely squares? We learnt IPA transcription at college, I want to see if I can still remember it.


Does your computer support Unicode? Anyway, here's a good site for IPA fonts.
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby Stan » 2006-04-11, 12:46

Psi-Lord wrote:
Stan wrote:I also horribly lack the gift of IPAcraft :wink:

/bɪˈweərəvˈmɑːstəˈkɜːkənɪzˈkʌvnðen/ ;)

Do I even know what I'm doing? :P :P :P


Beware of....the rest I can't figure out.
if I was President,

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buried on Sunday

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2006-04-11, 13:53

Kirk wrote:[ɑɫso̜ biˈwɛɹ əv saɪ lɔrd n̩ hɪːz ˈikwɫ̩i ˈmɪstʃəvɪs əˈtʰɛmps əɾ ɪnˈs3˞ɾiŋ aɪpʰiˈe əɾ ˈɪni tʃænts] ;)

:twisted:

Kirk wrote:And by the way, what's [ˈkʌvnðen]? "Cuvventhen?" "Coventhen?" Am I being dense or is this just some out-there word from like a story or something that I shouldn't be expected to know?

In theory, 'coven' and 'then' – since Stan brought the idea of IPAcraft up. ;)

Stan wrote:
Psi-Lord wrote:
Stan wrote:I also horribly lack the gift of IPAcraft :wink:

/bɪˈweərəvˈmɑːstəˈkɜːkənɪzˈkʌvnðen/ ;)

Beware of....the rest I can't figure out.

See? I said I didn't know what I was doing! :lol: But then, I can only handle (poorly) broad transcriptions anyway – sometimes very broad. And adding some spaces could only come in handy, right? :P

/bɪˈweər əv ˈmɑːstə ˈkɜːk ən ɪz ˈkʌvn ðen/
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