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  1. #1
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    Default purchase and perches

    Is there any difference in pronouncing other than the vowel spelling in perches and purchase? in British English?
    I feel there is as they are stressed differently but a colleague said there is none. Pls help us out. Thanks

  2. #2
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: purchase and perches

    Quote Originally Posted by dranoelwcs View Post
    Is there any difference in pronouncing other than the vowel spelling in perches and purchase? in British English?
    I feel there is as they are stressed differently but a colleague said there is none. Pls help us out. Thanks
    The main difference is that the final consonant is voiced in "perches" and unvoiced in "purchase". I think also the second vowel in "purchase" may vary between speakers (in my pronunciation it is closer to a "schwa").

    Not a phoneticist, comes without warranty.

  3. #3
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: purchase and perches

    In Standard British English the only difference is the voicing at the end - /s/ for 'purchase' and /z/ for 'perches'. The second vowel is different too - /əs/ in 'purchase' and /ɪz/ in 'perches'. However, the difference between these two vowels in connected speech would be minimal and difficult to tell the difference between.

    I'd guess there is a greater difference in pronunciation depending on accent. I was suprised to find that these words were pronounced the same in standard English. In my own accent, they would never be confused:

    Purchase - ['pʌɾʧɪs]
    Perches - ['pɛɾʧɪz]

  4. #4
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: purchase and perches

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    In Standard British English the only difference is the voicing at the end - /s/ for 'purchase' and /z/ for 'perches'. The second vowel is different too - /əs/ in 'purchase' and /ɪz/ in 'perches'. However, the difference between these two vowels in connected speech would be minimal and difficult to tell the difference between.
    Yes, my initial reaction was that the vowel was the same. I think for many speakers, in England as well, it is.

    I'd guess there is a greater difference in pronunciation depending on accent. I was suprised to find that these words were pronounced the same in standard English. In my own accent, they would never be confused:

    Purchase - ['pʌɾʧɪs]
    Perches - ['pɛɾʧɪz]
    That is interesting - thank you.

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