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  1. #1
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    Smile Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    Hello everybody,

    I am looking for pronunciation rules regarding the -s ending of the verbs in the 3rd person singular: for example: sees, listens, asks, lives, sleeps, etc I know that there are three ways of pronunciation:
    It can be pronunced:

    [s].................................................. .......
    [z].................................................. .......
    [iz] for example: watches, washes.

    So, when do we pronunce [s] and when [z]? What is the rule?

    Thank you in advance
    Madox

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    /s/ after unvoiced consonants except /s, ʃ, ʧ/: /kIks, pʊts, kɒfs/

    /z/ after voiced consonants except /z,ʒ, ʤ/, vowels and diphthongs: /hʌgz, siːz, leIz/

    /Iz/(or/əz/) after /s, z, ʃ, ʒ, ʧ/ and /ʤ/: /bɒksIz, bʌzIz, wɒIIz ruːʒIz, kʧIz, ʤʌʤIz/
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Jan-2011 at 10:34.

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    For those who can't read IPA:

    /s/ (as in hiss) after unvoiced consonants: kicks, puts, coughs


    /z/ (as in buzz) after voiced consonants: hugs, sees, lays

    but

    /Iz/(or/əz/) after sibilants (the underlined sounds in: sad, zoo, ship, chip, judge, measure): boxes, buzzes, washes, rouges, catches, judges.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    /z/ after voiced consonants except /z,ʒ, ʤ/, vowels and diphthongs: /hʌgz, siːz, leIz/
    But that leaves out "listens" and all consonantal sonorants... Is there a rule here? I don't think we have a /z/ in "listens" or in "pills".

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    But that leaves out "listens" and all consonantal sonorants... Is there a rule here? I don't think we have a /z/ in "listens" or in "pills".
    I do, and so do John Wells in his Longman Pronunciation Dictionary and Peter Roach et al in their Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary.

    What do you think we have?

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    Having pronounced "pills" several times, I see that "pill[z]" is good, but "pill[s]" doesn't sound wrong to me either. "Listen[z]" sounds strange to me. I say "listen[s]".

    I think these samples have a voiceless [s]:
    Pronunciation of pills - how to pronounce pills correctly.
    Pronunciation of listens - how to pronounce listens correctly.

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of verbs (3rd person singular) ending in -s

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    The speaker there certainly seems to close with /s/, but I think he starts with /z/. The devoicing at the end may be just because the word is spoken in isolation.

    Try saying:
    Ls (as in pill has two Ls) and else, walls/waltz.
    pens/pence, wins/wince, darns/dance


    Are they the same for you?

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