Tuesday, 16 July 2013

bargains galore!

It's pronunciation assessment time in my phonetics classes. My young professionals are supposed to read a text they had time to prepare for about a week and a few sentences they have about 3-5 minutes to familiarise themselves with before they enter the phonetic torture chamber.

One of these sentences contains the word 'bargain'. Many a student pronounces the word to rhyme with 'gain'. There aren't many English words ending in the letter sequence '-gain': again, against, bargain, gain, regain.

Again: both prons are used - /əɡen/ and /əɡeɪn/ - sometimes by one and the same speaker. LPD3 tells us that 80% of the GB informants preferred /əɡen/.

credit: LPD3 - headword again

Against: again both variants are possible.
Gain, regain: they have /eɪ/ only.
Bargain: for this word the GB prons are /bɑːɡɪn, bɑːɡən, bɑːɡn/
So, boys and girls, watch out!

Update: A few candidates pronounced 'bargain' as /bɑːdʒɪn/. Tsk - tsk - tsk

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