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  1. #1
    jerry081958's Avatar
    jerry081958 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    I teach American English pronunciation to ESL students. I was teaching the pronunciation of plurals. For example, if the word before adding -s, that is, to make the word plural, has a voiced consonant or is a vowel sounds, the /s/ is pronounced like a /z/. Such as: carz, boyz, etc.

    My question is: do Brits or other speakers of English pronounce these plurals in the same way? My student (from India) insisted that he was taught to pronounce these plurals with an /s/ sound, not /z/. So, my British/UK/Australian or other English speakers, please let me know about this.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry081958 View Post
    I teach American English pronunciation to ESL students. I was teaching the pronunciation of plurals. For example, if the word before adding -s, that is, to make the word plural, has a voiced consonant or is a vowel sounds, the /s/ is pronounced like a /z/. Such as: carz, boyz, etc.

    My question is: do Brits or other speakers of English pronounce these plurals in the same way? My student (from India) insisted that he was taught to pronounce these plurals with an /s/ sound, not /z/. So, my British/UK/Australian or other English speakers, please let me know about this.
    Your Indian student had a strange teacher. We use /z/ in BrE, too.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry081958 View Post
    I teach American English pronunciation to ESL students. I was teaching the pronunciation of plurals. For example, if the word before adding -s, that is, to make the word plural, has a voiced consonant or is a vowel sounds, the /s/ is pronounced like a /z/. Such as: carz, boyz, etc.

    My question is: do Brits or other speakers of English pronounce these plurals in the same way? My student (from India) insisted that he was taught to pronounce these plurals with an /s/ sound, not /z/. So, my British/UK/Australian or other English speakers, please let me know about this.

    Thanks!
    /z/ in AusE and NZE as well.

  4. #4
    thatone is offline Member
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    Default Re: Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    Wikipedia says :

    Sometimes, Indian speakers interchange /s/ and /z/, especially when plurals are being formed. Whereas in international varieties of English, [s] is used for pluralization of a word ending in a voiceless consonant, [z] for that ending in a voiced consonant or vowel, and [ɨz] for that ending in a sibilant.

  5. #5
    jerry081958's Avatar
    jerry081958 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    Thank you everyone for your replies. I just wanted to be sure out of my own curiosity. With my Indian accent students, I am sometimes asked about "British English" which most Indians insist they speak well. And, I tried to 'hear' British English in my head and though I know a lot of the common vowel usages, I couldn't say with absolute certainty about this question. Many thanks!

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    There are some features of Inidan English that have preserved features we have changed in BrE, but I haven't come across this pronunciation in the UK.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Britsh and American English the same for pronouncing plurals?

    Sometimes, Indian speakers interchange /s/ and /z/, especially when plurals are being formed. Whereas in international varieties of English, [s] is used for pluralization of a word ending in a voiceless consonant, [z] for that ending in a voiced consonant or vowel, and [ɨz] for that ending in a sibilant.
    The writer of the wikipedia article may have evidence for this.
    I can say only that all of the many Indians I met when I was working in Oman, native and non-native speakers, used /s/ and /z/ as we do in BrE. Some of the speakers spoke with strong Indian English stress and intonation patterns and reflexive plosives, as well as using distinctively Indian English structures and vocabulary, but they didn't interchange /s/ and /z/.

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