Friday, 4 July 2014

Love IPA!

credit: Pronunciation Studio Ltd.
 There's a new blog up and running dealing with teaching English pronunciation issues and IPA transcriptions. It's called "Love IPA" and to be found here. You may want to take a look at it.


  1. ˈɹɪdld wɪð ˈerəz aɪm əˈfreɪd

    1. That's exactly what I was just going to write!

    2. Take a look at this, for example:

      Notice anything untoward?

      Here's what I wrote them on Facebook:

      " "...that table /ðəʔ teɪbl̩/ [...] that number /ðəʔ nʌmbə/"

      'that' should be [ðæʔ] - the weak form with the schwa is only used in RP when 'that' is a conjunction, not a demonstrative.

      "You can also use a glottal stop before the word final syllabic /n̩/ and /l̩/ in words such as ‘bottle’, ‘little’, ‘cotton’ or ‘rotten’. Yet, it’s worth remembering that this was until recently stigmatized as non-RP (in case you get any frowns from some English language speakers). However, the following pronunciation is now more and more widely acceptable in an RP accent: bottle /bɒʔl̩/, little /lɪʔl̩/, cotton /kɒʔn̩/, rotten /rɒʔn̩/."

      Wrong! The glottal stop before a syllabic /l/ is NOT yet considered RP! It's still typical of regional varieties. See, for example, Cruttenden's "Gimson's Pronunciation of English" (2014, p.178, p.184) and these posts of mine: ".

      And here's three of the answers that I got:

      "Hi Alex. I'm afraid I don't find your links or statement very convincing. Have you happened to come across any empirical research on the use of a glottal stop in RP? Preferably with quite a substantial cohort of RP speakers? If you have, could you please share it? You can't really conclude an accent on the basis of a TV show, can you?"

      "I understand that Gimson's Pronunciation of English is 'the bible'. It's an excellent book and a great reference. However, it's difficult to say what is and what is not the case without the evidence for it from the real speakers at any given time. Language is constantly evolving and changing as is the use of glottal stops."

      " "The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.” And on that note I'm off to get ready to watch football. Thanks for the banter, Alex."

  2. You're right - gentlemen! Maria Kozikowska writes this on the occurrence of the /i:/: You’ll hear /i:/ in stressed syllables, either at the beginning or middle of a word, as in: bee /ˈbi:/, eat /ˈi:t/, uneven /ʌnˈi:vən/, tweet /ˈtwi:t/, reach /ˈri:tʃ/."
    What about her bee and what about addressee, divorcee, Annemarie, ...?
    Next she mentions pre-fortis clipping: "However, when /i:/ is followed by a voiceless consonant within the same syllable, its length is slightly reduced. In phonetics, this process is called pre-fortis clipping. To illustrate this, compare the following utterances and notice that /i:/ in the second word in each pair is clipped, i.e. it is shorter than in the first word as it is followed by a voiceless consonant: leave /ˈli:v/ - leaf /ˈli:f/, bead /ˈbi:d/ - beat /ˈbi:t/, seed /ˈsi:d/ - seat /ˈsi:t/." How can a furreigner compare the word pairs and notice the differences simply by staring at them? How short is shorter? When is the reduction slight or large? A few sound samples could easily illustrate pre-fortis clipping, kʊdnðeɪ?