occasional observations on English pronunciation features, phonetics, teaching and learning
There are words like bomb, aplomb in /-ɒm/, and others like tomb, womb in /-uːm/ — but is morpheme-final /-mb/ phonotactically possible at all in RP or GA?Charlie
Yes, take, for example, the words "iamb" and "dithyramb" which also have a rare variant with /-mb/.
Oh, the Greek contribution to poetry doesn’t seem to have undergone plosive dropping in certain consonant clusters as completely as the rest.Thanks for the information, Alex. I wasn’t aware that such pronunciations were considered RP.Charlie
As Alex rightly points out, the pron of iamb or dithyramb with a final /b/ is the less frequent variant. As we talk about words with -mb-, items such as clamber or amber are pronounced with /b/ whereas bombing, plumber or climbing are not. The whole thing is rule-governed.
There is at least one homograph where "mb" is pronounced differently depending on the meaning. The spelling is "number" and it's |ˈnʌmbə| meaning "1, 2, 3, ..." but |ˈnʌmə| meaning "more numb".
Excellent example, Mariano!