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    #1

    Why is "incredulous" pronounced with a "ju" sound?

    It can be frustrating pronouncing English words because they are often not spelt the way they are meant to be pronounced.

    The word "incredulous" is pronounced as "in-cre-ju-lous" instead of "in-cre- du - lous" .

    Why is it so ? Is the "ju" sound due to the word's etymology or Germanic root ?

  1. xpert's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why is "incredulous" pronounced with a "ju" sound?

    Have you ever heard of "yod coalescence"? If not, click here

    Start reading from page 219

    I hope I helped you

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why is "incredulous" pronounced with a "ju" sound?

    Also, there's a difference between 'do', 'dew' and 'Jew' (in Br English, that is, though maybe not in Am English where 'do' and 'due' are homophones; I'm not sure if 'dew' even exists).

    b

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    #4

    Re: Why is "incredulous" pronounced with a "ju" sound?

    Here we need a French teacher. ;) The most important reason is that Middle English speakers could make out the difference between the vowels /u/ and /y/ in the new Norman French imports but couldn't reproduce the latter accurately. The closest approximation everyone could say was /ju/. So /ju/ it became.

    Vue /vy/ > view /vju/

    etc.

    Note that none of the words mentioned before BobK's last post was Germanic, all were French.

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    #5

    Re: Why is "incredulous" pronounced with a "ju" sound?

    It is the stress placement that dictates whether coda needs be weakened.

    In this case, the stress is on the second syllable, whose coda contains d. Here, you see lenition: a stop /d/ will become the corresponding affricate /dʒ/

    You can hear /dʒ/ in the following words as well.

    congratulation kən ˌgrædʒə ˈleɪʃən
    gargantuan gɑrˈgændʒuən

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