Saturday, 25 October 2014

How to pronounce 'population'

LPD3 offers this pronunciation for the GB version of population:

EPD18 has this entry:

Both dictionaries have a yod as onset of the second syllable. Now listen to Bishop Richard Harries and General Sir Nicholas P Carter using this word without yod.
Bishop Harries says this
[...] up to 60% of the population

and this:
[...] 15% of the population at the time

General Carter, head of the British Army, says:
[...] but I'm absolutely confident that the majority of the population in central Helmand will be secured by Afghan forces.


  1. I think I can detect a phantom yod in the first video, so I wouldn't dare to imply that BRH is a foreign spy.

  2. Ahem, sorry. After listening to the first video more carefully, I admit there is no phantom yod whatsoever.

    1. That's typical of phantoms, isn't it?

  3. An interesting example of the differing approaches of the two dictionaries to the symbolization of weak vowels. For LPD3, [u] does the job of covering a vowel of FOOT-like quality or of GOOSE-like quality, while schwa is just schwa. For EPD18, the GOOSE-like weak vowel quality isn't included at all, but just a rather old-fashioned weak FOOT vowel as an alternative to schwa.

  4. You could also say that every dictionary is correct, and together they off the (almost) total possible variation. All you need now is to find someone saying poplation.