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  1. #1
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    Question Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Hi,

    There are two commonly used pronunciations for the prefix "anti-" in the US: [an-tie] and [an-tee]. In many words - not all - the two seem to be in free variation. I need accurate information on what determines which of the two pronunciations an American speaker opts for. Is it a matter of the region they come from, is it determined by their social status, or is it totally a matter of personal taste and choice? I'd be grateful if some American teachers would provide an answer. The info available on the Web is not detailed and complete and it seems many Americans are not fully clear about this either.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    There is also personal choice, as many educated people know there are multiple possibilities.

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    yiuho is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerxes View Post
    Hi,

    There are two commonly used pronunciations for the prefix "anti-" in the US: [an-tie] and [an-tee]. In many words - not all - the two seem to be in free variation. I need accurate information on what determines which of the two pronunciations an American speaker opts for. Is it a matter of the region they come from, is it determined by their social status, or is it totally a matter of personal taste and choice? I'd be grateful if some American teachers would provide an answer. The info available on the Web is not detailed and complete and it seems many Americans are not fully clear about this either.

    Thank you.
    I agree with konungursvia. This is the personal choice.....not only Anti.....When they say "semi"...they sometimes pronounce [sem-mee] or [sem-mai].....
    Last edited by yiuho; 21-Nov-2009 at 04:55.

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    LeMoyne is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    I've never ever heard "semi-" spoken as sem-mai-

    In matters of pronunciation though, the English language is full of surprises. Not long ago and for the first time I heard "data" being spoken (by an American) like dadda. I only knew it as day-ta.

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMoyne View Post
    I've never ever heard "semi-" spoken as sem-mai-

    In matters of pronunciation though, the English language is full of surprises. Not long ago and for the first time I heard "data" being spoken (by an American) like dadda. I only knew it as day-ta.
    Please see the following link

    Semee' is the english pronounciation and 'semai' is the american pronunciation for both semi and semi-. Actually, I watched the American car racing TV programme, the host always says 'semai' final.....

    semi , semi- /semee or semai/ - WordReference Forums

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerxes View Post
    Hi,

    There are two commonly used pronunciations for the prefix "anti-" in the US: [an-tie] and [an-tee]. In many words - not all - the two seem to be in free variation.
    Here's the pattern I see. Adding stress to the already stressed -ti of anti- changes its weight: /ti/ (your <tee>) becomes /tai/ (your <tie>) and the reason some US speakers say [ai] (<ie>), other US speakers say [i] (<ee>), and yet other US speakers appear to use [i] (<ee>) and [ai](<ie>) interchangeably:


    normal stress: an[ti]social
    added stress: an[tai]social

    Note that the added-stress pronunciation occurs where the morpheme following anti- is free (e.g., social of antisocial), and the reason that borrowed words (e.g., antipasto) and fused words (e.g., antidote) are not privy to the rule--unless, that is, the speaker believes otherwise, in which case said pronunication is a matter of idiolect (e.g., Pass me the an[tai]freeze).


    Hope that helps.

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    There is also personal choice, as many educated people know there are multiple possibilities.
    What does that mean ...

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    While working at a chemistry lab at the Univ. of Toronto, I noticed a number of North Americans chose to pronounce the prefix one way, and another chose to pronounce it another way. As there are two or more ways to pronounce it, and people can make a decision about it, this is a matter of choice to some people (like the pronunciation of either).

    I thought that was a fairly clear answer: possibilities refers to pronunciations. Is it not easy to understand what I wrote?

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    While working at a chemistry lab at the Univ. of Toronto, I noticed a number of North Americans chose to pronounce the prefix one way, and another chose to pronounce it another way. As there are two or more ways to pronounce it, and people can make a decision about it, this is a matter of choice to some people (like the pronunciation of either).
    That a variation exists has already been established--by the poster. Why is there a variation? That is, is there a pattern and if so what is it? That is the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by kongursvia
    I thought that was a fairly clear answer: possibilities refers to pronunciations. Is it not easy to understand what I wrote?
    No. And the reason I asked for clarification. I'm still confused though, as you have yet to clarify what you meant by 'as many educated people ... .' What does it mean ...

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "anti-" in AmE

    Some people have an education. Many of these make a deliberate choice about how to pronounce words having two or more pronunciations. That is what I mean.

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