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  1. #1
    LordJenkins is offline Newbie
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    Default Batter and Butter RP

    Hi guys, just wondering what the difference is between these two words in recieved pronunciation. Is there a difference?


    butter - batter
    cut - cat



    etc...



    Is it just me who thinks they sound the same? How do you make the destinction?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    Quote Originally Posted by LordJenkins View Post
    Is it just me who thinks they sound the same? How do you make the deistinction?
    If you were German, I could understand your question. The vowel in the German 'hat' is roughly midway between the English 'hat' and 'hut'.

    However, you say that your native language is English. As far as I know, most English dialects recognise a difference between the sounds you write about.

    Cut: in southern BrE and General AmE: /kʌt/; in some northern BrE dialects: /kʊt/
    Cat: in most dialects: /k
    æt/

    We are talking about two clearly different vowels when we consider cut and car.


  3. #3
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    The vowel “a” in “batter” pronounced with an ash /F/ while the “u” in “butter” with /ž/. This is perhaps how a Canuck like me pronounces the two words.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhaheart View Post
    The vowel “a” in “batter” pronounced with an ash /F/ while the “u” in “butter” with /ž/. This is perhaps how a Canuck like me pronounces the two words.
    What IPA program are you using? Your transcriptions appear as /F/ and /ž/ on my screen.

  5. #5
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    To Fivejedjon,

    Cut: in southern BrE and General AmE: /kʌt/; in some northern BrE dialects: /kʊt/
    Cat: in most dialects: /kæt/



    So, some Northern BrE speaking use / ʊ / instead of / ʌ /
    Will people from USA or Australia or NZ or Canada understand it ?
    How about mug, mud, bug, bully, cuddle, dusk, hurry, jug, luggage, nut, up, etc ?

    Many thanks

  6. #6
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    What IPA program are you using? Your transcriptions appear as /F/ and /ž/ on my screen.
    I’m glad the IPA symbols showed up the way I intended. Sorry I didn’t use any “IPA program.” I inserted them from those available in Word’s WP Phonetic Symbols list.

  7. #7
    Gatsby1412 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    'æ' is a very American sound. It exists in British RP, but then it often leans a bit towards sounding like 'e,' as in 'let,' 'wet,' 'met,' etc. If you think of 'batter' and 'cat' in this way, you might hear more of a distinction from the ʌ sound ('butter,' 'cut').

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    So, some Northern BrE speakers use /ʊ/ instead of /ʌ/
    Will people from USA or Australia or NZ or Canada understand it ? Usually, yes. They might not understand an individual word spoken out of context, but there is usually no problem in context. Vowels differ far more in dialects than consonants, and speakers of one dialect may sound strange to speakers of another; there is usually not too much problem with accent, though there may be with lexis and idiom.
    How about mug, mud, bug, bully, cuddle, dusk, hurry, jug, luggage, nut, up, etc ? For many speakers of Northern BrE there is no contrast at all between /ʌ/ and /ʊ/. Such speakers will pronounce all those words with a vowel close to /ʊ/. 'Bully' has that vowel for speakers of RP.
    5

  9. #9
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    most English dialects recognise a difference between the sounds you write about.
    But apparently they're similar enough to be rhymed in some dialects.

    YouTube - The Jolly Beggar - Planxty 1980 (2:50)
    By the way, I'm not sure whether he pronounces "undone" with /ɒ/ (this is my guess) or /ʌ/ in the rime.

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Batter and Butter RP

    Some British/Irish/American folk songs/singers have fun with stretching rhymes. Linguists ignore them at their peril, but must be wary about basing any theses on folk songs alone.

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