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Thread: ɪ, ɨ IPA

  1. #1
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    ɪ, ɨ IPA

    I have a question about these vowels in English. The ɨ sound is one the six oral vowels in my language and I can remember being surprised that this isn't a common sound in other European languages. So I thought I'd try to understand this fact a little bit better now, and started to read about it. And to my great delight, I found out that the sound ɨ actually exists in English, in "roses" for example. Looking for other examples (different from "houses", etc.) I wondered about "mrs" I thought it could be the same sound in the end of it.

    I looked it up and learned that its IPA symbol is ɪ. I've been thinking if I can see the difference and I think I can. But I have a doubt if native speakers can always tell it. Can they? Or maybe some would pronounce both with the same vowel? Which?

    And finally, could you give me any other examples of ɨ's occurance in English that wouldn't be just like those I already know?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Do you hear roses differently from /I/? I can't say that I do.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Do you hear roses differently from /I/? I can't say that I do.
    This answers a part of my question.

    I certainly can pronounce it so as to get a different sound. I don't know if I hear any difference when said by native speakers, as I lack examples at the moment. I couldn't find any sample pronunciation of "roses" on the web.
    I did find Houses - definition of Houses by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. though and there's a clear ɪ there.

    I've just found Close central unrounded vowel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So "roses" is pronounced as [ˈɹoʊzɨz] only in some dialects, not everywhere, which pretty much explains it.

    The only question that remains unanswered is are there any other occurances of ɨ in English?

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    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Whereas a majority of UK speakers of English would say /rǝʊzɪz/ [in a narrow transcription one could use the inverted R, but speaking phonemically why bother?], some do centralize the /ɪ/ to a schwa - Tony Blair did (much to the delight of impressionists). I would transcribe this /ǝ/, but maybe that's because I've been programmed not to hear [ɨ].

    b

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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    in a narrow transcription one could use the inverted R, but speaking phonemically why bother?
    I just copied it from wikipedia, I don't even know how to type these symbols
    some do centralize the /ɪ/ to a schwa - Tony Blair did (much to the delight of impressionists).
    I don't understand. Who are impressionists?
    I would transcribe this /ǝ/, but maybe that's because I've been programmed not to hear [ɨ].
    Thanks for this answer!

  6. #6
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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    'Impressionists' are comedians such as Rory Bremner who make a living as satirists by imitating the voices of the rich and famous.

    b

    PS Here's an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8tNJ4MPHG4 . There are the beginnings of this vowel at 1'57" and 2'26". But this followed his first election victory in 1997, and Tony Blair's accent has changed a lot since then.
    Last edited by BobK; 19-Jul-2010 at 15:12. Reason: Added PS

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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    These vowels have always been schwas to me, and probably most Aussies.

  8. #8
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    PS Here's an example: YouTube - Rory Bremner - Tony Blair Post Election . There are the beginnings of this vowel at 1'57" and 2'26". But this followed his first election victory in 1997, and Tony Blair's accent has changed a lot since then.
    Do you mean the sound in "did" in "I... They did it"? I can't find anything like this in 2'26''... I hear "lame people, cast aside your crutches..." Do you mean "e" in "crutches"? But it's 2'28''...

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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Do you mean the sound in "did" in "I... They did it"? I can't find anything like this in 2'26''... I hear "lame people, cast aside your crutches..." Do you mean "e" in "crutches"? But it's 2'28''...
    'electeed' and 'crutches' (the interface isn't precise enough to note such a small difference - I took a few readings and chose the mean)

    b

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    Re: ɪ, ɨ IPA

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    'electeed' and 'crutches' (the interface isn't precise enough to note such a small difference - I took a few readings and chose the mean)

    b
    To me it doesn't sound strange at all. Certainly not American, that's all I can say. I also pronounce "elected" with a shwa usually (probably because it's so very similar to the Polish sound). So it sounds ridiculous! Well, good to know

    PS: BTW, this guy is really good! I loved his Clinton's "Hi, y'all, I'm Bill"
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 19-Jul-2010 at 19:20.

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