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  1. #1
    yangmuye is offline Newbie
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    Default Pronunciation of the sound "ae"

    Hi all, I have found great difficulty getting the proper pronunciation of the sound "ae".

    This is my transcript for the audio in Improve English Pronunciation with free podcast

    in 3:05:
    Code:
    [bɛd]             [bɛd] / [beɛd]
    [kɛnə]           [kn]/ [kən]
    [gɛs]             [gɛs]
    [hɛd]               [hed]
    [dʒɛm]          [dʒemə]
    [pɛnə]           [pɛnə]/[penə]
    [sɛd]             [sed]
    [tɛn]             [ten]/[tɛn]
    6:15
    Code:
    [kɛp]                 [cɑp]
    [sɛk]                 [sɑk]
    [hɛt]/[hɛt]         [hɑt]
    [den]/[dɛn]     [dɑn]
    ?                         [stɑk]
    [mɛp]                [mɑp]
    The "" he made is usually a [ɛ] sound for me. The [ɛ] is very short, but it is clear a diphthong instead of a long vowel. Sometimes the [ɛ] is higher and close to [e], so it sounds like [e]. In the word "hat", it even sounds like a long [ɛ:] more than [ɛ].
    The "ɛ" sound is a short sound and is sometimes higher than [ɛ]. I should be a sound between [e] and [ɛ]. Sometimes [e] sometimes [ɛ], and in the word "ken", it seems disappeared.

    This is not the only pronunciation I have heard.
    In Fat Definition | Definition of Fat at Dictionary.com, there are two different pronunciation for "fat", the first one is [fɛt], the second is a clear [ft].
    In Man Definition | Definition of Man at Dictionary.com, there are also two different pronunciation, [meən] and [mn].

    ------
    first editing..
    I think the "American ae" may be script as [ɛ̥ː](you need IPA font to display this symbol). It is a voiceless [ɛ] follewed by a long []. It's also a tense sound. There exist more than one pronunciation for "ae", but the dictionary marks no difference. I'd like to know if I should obey the dictionary?
    Last edited by yangmuye; 18-Oct-2009 at 11:09.

  2. #2
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of the sound "ae"

    Hello yangmuye

    I listened to the podcast as well as to the dictionary audio links, and I heard [].

    What you are most likely hearing and transcribing as [ɛ] and [ə] (e.g., [kɛnə] "can") is the release of the consonant--the flow of air through the glottis (what you hear as [ɛ..] after [k]) and the flow of air through the nasal passage (what you hear as [ə] after [n]).

  3. #3
    yangmuye is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of the sound "ae"

    Thanks for answering.
    But to my Chinese ear, [ɛ] is very different [] and [ɛ]. Cantonese simply pronounce [ɛ] and [a] for [ɛ] and [], and Mandarian may prefer [aɪ] and [a]. So Mandarin have problem to distinguish micro[maɪkrəu] and macro[mɛkrəu].

    I have noticed "-tensing" on Phonological history of English short A - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , but I think it at least does not occurs on dictionary.com . The [ɛ] and [] appears arbitrary. No [eə] is heard in the the given example.

    It's interesting that, in podcast when he said "practice", "cast", "capital", "tax", "articulate", "exactly", a [] was heard. When he articulated the words, a [ɛ] was heard.

    I listened to the podcast as well as to the dictionary audio links, and I heard [].
    Does it mean that no difference between this two sound for american ear? So I don't need keep them different?

    An interesting dialogue between my teacher and me.
    I always make [] in words like "ram", and [ɑ] for in words like "example".
    My teacher make [ɐ] instead [ɑ] sound in words like "rom", [a] for words like cast, and [ɛ] in ram.
    We are Chinese BrE vs Cantonese AmE.

    Me: I want a RAM. []
    Mr: ROM? [ɐ]
    Me: No, RAM.
    Mr: ROM or RAM[ɛ]?
    Me: [rɛ:m]...
    Last edited by yangmuye; 22-Oct-2009 at 05:07.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of the sound "ae"

    Quote Originally Posted by yangmuye View Post
    Thanks for answering.
    But to my Chinese ear, [ɛ] is very different [] and [ɛ]. Cantonese simply pronounce [ɛ] and [a] for [ɛ] and [], and Mandarian may prefer [aɪ] and [a]. So Mandarin have problem to distinguish micro[maɪkrəu] and macro[mɛkrəu].
    The [ɛ] and [] appears arbitrary.
    That's a good sign. It means the sounds you hear are phonetic and not a matter of a phonological distinction.

    Quote Originally Posted by yangmuye
    It's interesting that, in podcast when he said "practice", "cast", "capital", "tax", "articulate", "exactly", a [] was heard. When he articulated the words, a [ɛ] was heard.
    That has to do with the environment as well. Words sound different when spoken in a stream of speech. The list of words, however, were spoken in isolation, more slowly and with more care, which is why you heard the extra sounds.


    Quote Originally Posted by yangmuye
    Does it mean that no difference between this two sound for american ear? So I don't need keep them different?
    Right. You have a good ear though. You should consider a career in Linguistics.

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