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Thread: Phonetics

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    #1

    Phonetics

    Hi,
    I was thinking about these weak forms - is there a rule for determining when to use them? I know that at the end of a sentence the preposition has the strong form: to, as, for, her, him...or "shall" in the beginning forming question but what about this:
    I gave it to her (emphasis on HER/no emphasis)
    Itīs for him (the same)
    - as Iīm studying BrE I would preferably welcome RP IPA transcription or some sort of discription of the individual sounds. Are there more variations of the 2 sentences? I mean words like "her, him, to" have 3 possible readings - with schwa, a long vowel or either H is dropped or a short vowel is pronounced in the case of TO.
    I also wonder about the word FOR - it is often pronounced in the strong form in the middle of a sentence though I would expect the weak form - is it a matter of preference?
    Finally in the collocations like FOR HIM how to pronounce it - should I pronounce the linking R and drop the H or vice versa - taking into account that the WEAK/STRONG forms I can think of 4 possible pronunciation - are they all correct?
    Thanks a lot!

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    #2

    Re: Phonetics

    Try asking one question at a time and you might get an answer or three!
    There is a 'Pronunciation and Phonetics' sub-forum. If you post your questions there, you are more likely to attract the attention of people who are able to to answer.

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    #3

    Re: Phonetics

    Regarding the short answer "Itīs for him" - how many correct pronunciations are there for the RP (received pronunciation) speaker?
    - Taking into account that the pronoun HIM may be or may be not stressed, weak/strong form distinction as well as the H dropping or the linking R.
    Thanks a lot

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    #4

    Re: Phonetics

    Regarding the short answer "Itīs for him" - how many correct pronunciations are there for the RP (received pronunciation) speaker?
    How long is a piece of string?

    Depending on how scientifically you analyse the utterances, there could be an almost infinite number of acceptable pronunciations.

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    #5

    Re: Phonetics

    OK, are all the following correct pronunciations of FOR HIM (as for RP)?
    /fo: him/
    /fo: rim/
    /f@ him/
    /f@ rim/
    @ = schwa
    Thanks

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    #6

    Re: Phonetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    OK, are all the following correct pronunciations of FOR HIM (as for RP)?
    /fo: him/ /fo: rim/ /f@ him/ /f@ rim/
    @ = schwa
    Thanks
    I'd use /ɔ:/, /I/ and /ə/ for your /o:/, /i/ and /@/. Apart from that, I'd agree that you hear all these as natural pronunciations. I prefer 'natural' to 'correct'. I'd also add /frIm/.

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    #7

    Re: Phonetics

    Thanks, thatīs exactly what I wanted to hear.
    As you say, they are all natural so then, which of them do you use? Or do you alternate between them? (taking into account that the first two apeear in a strong form so the pronoun HIM is emphasized, I suppose)
    Thanks!

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    #8

    Re: Phonetics

    I suspect that in normal conversation I use /fər Im/ if I am not emphasising any part.

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    #9

    Re: Phonetics

    And as for FOR I often hear it in the strong form though I would expect the weak one (apart from the case when one wants to emphasize it). Does it matter which variant to use, then?
    Thanks!

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    #10

    Re: Phonetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    And as for FOR I often hear it in the strong form though I would expect the weak one (apart from the case when one wants to emphasize it). Does it matter which variant to use, then?
    Thanks!
    In what situations do you often hear the strong form? When Czechs speak English? When teachers are speaking to their students. If so, then we cannot really think of this as natural speech.

    In my experience, most native speakers use a weak form most of the time in normal conversation.

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