Monday, 25 July 2016

intrusive r but no linking r

John Wells spotted an interesting combination of using an intrusive r with avoiding a linking r. This nice example was to be heard in a presentation by Mark Tully on the 24th of September, 2016 on BBC Radio 4 in the weekly series Something Understood. Here are Tully's words:

Is the wind one of the wonders of nature which connect us to God, which so overawe us that we lose our self-awareness and experience the transcendent?
[ɪz ðə wɪnd wʌn əv ðə wʌndəz əv neɪʧə wɪʧ kənekt ʌs tə gɒd wɪʧ səʊ ʔəʊvəʔɔːr ʌs ðt wi luːz ɑː selfəwɛːnəs ənd ɪkspɪərɪəns ðə trænsendənt]
Listen particularly to the highlighted section.
Sir Mark is presently the regular presenter of the weekly programme mentioned above.



Friday, 22 July 2016

from an oral exam

In an oral exam on English literature a student of ours was asked several questions about Anne Brontë's novel Agnes Grey. The (German) candidate described the desire of Agnes to become a governess by citing this sentence from the novel:
To train the tender plants, and watch their /bʌts/ unfolding day by day.

Anne Brontë

Saturday, 28 May 2016

What are [ˈtuːt̬ərz]?

Do you know what triple homophones are? Here's an example: you - yew - ewe.
Another one is [ˈtuːt̬ərz], which does not work in General British however.

credit: Stephan Pastis

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Ze trip to Panama

The German Wikipedia dictionary has a new article on the so-called Panama Papers. The transcription of the compound is given as [ˈpanaˌmaː ˈpeɪpəʳz]. If it is intended to reflect the German pronunciation, there are a few inaccuracies in it:
credit: Amazon/Beltz

  • Panama (country or city) is regularly pronounced /'panama/ in German with a (usually) short final vowel and no secondary stress according to DUDEN;
  • Papers is a bit more varied in its pronunciation because Germans either adapt it to their native phonology and say ['pe:pɐs] or try to pronounce it the English way and produce a diphthong in the first syllable and/or use an r-coloured schwa in the second syllable if they prefer a GA-like accent. They may stick to a final /s/ as is usual in German or use the lenis variant;
  • as a compound I would definitely not assign Papers another primary stress.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Sunday, 20 March 2016

/r/ in preconsonantal positions in GB

Do you know John Maidment's SID? If not, take a look at it here; it's highly recommendable! Once you're there, click the letter R and then the headword rhotic. The last but one sentence is the one that made me write this short blog. I had never before questioned the claim that in General British as an accent of low rhoticity (or non-rhotic accent as some prefer to call it) the letter <r> is never pronounced in a preconsonantal position, e.g. in harm, form, torture. John draws our attention to one of the admittedly rare exceptions - ferrule, which is pronounced /ˈferuːl/ or /ˈferjuːl/. Are there any other words?
Here's a short list:
  • erudite, erudition
  • garrulous, garrulity
  • purulent, purulence
  • querulous, querulousness
  • sporule
  • virulent, virulence
And this is what ferrules look like:

Saturday, 20 February 2016

weakform-based pun

Here's a pun which 'relies' on a weakform pronunciation.

credit: John C. Wells
My thanks go to John Wells for spotting this.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Eau d'Ear

credit: Hancock McDonald

Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Page

I'd like to draw your attention to a new page I've added. It's to be found on the right-hand side of my blog.In the long run this page will replace six separate blog postings in January of 2015.