Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Ducklet Cat's Avatar
    Ducklet Cat is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Kuwait
      • Current Location:
      • Kuwait
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question I can't (with dark a)!

    Hello,

    I've noticed that the phrase "I can't" is pronounced in two different ways:
    Pronunciation of can't - how to pronounce can't correctly.

    With usual a (like the a in bat)
    and with "dark a"! (not sure what it is called :) , but it is like the a in the word far)

    I've also noticed that it is common in British English to pronounce it with the "dark a".
    1. But are these accents in America that will pronounce "can't" with dark a?

    2. Do all British say "can't" with dark a?

    3. How do those who say "can't" with dark a, say "can"?


    And finally, I "can't" thanks you enough for your help :D

  2. #2
    thatone is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    In standard British English (RP) and most British dialects can't is pronounced /kɑnt/, while can is /kæn/.
    In standard American English (GA) and almost every American dialect both are pronounced with an a nasalized /æ/ (which can be /eə/, /ɛə/ or /ɪə/).

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,766
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    I have heard very few North Americans pronounce 'can't' with a nasalised vowel.

  4. #4
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,099
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I have heard very few North Americans pronounce 'can't' with a nasalised vowel.
    That's strange. How about YouTube - ‪Robert Downey Jr. On The Late Late Show‬‏ (0:18) for example? (I was just watching it. )

  5. #5
    thatone is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I have heard very few North Americans pronounce 'can't' with a nasalised vowel.
    That's indeed strange, a non nasalized /æ/ would be dialectal. A /ɛ/ maybe, but /æ/?

    can't pronunciation: How to pronounce can't in English

  6. #6
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,766
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    I can't decide whether I hear any nasalisation in the examples you have both provided, but the American female about 10 down from the top in Thatone's example seems particularly clear in its non-nasalisation. But maybe you're right, and I haven't noticed it, as it may be less nasalised than the French and Portuguese nasal vowels I'm used to hearing.

  7. #7
    thatone is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    I guess saying it's tensed is a more general and better way of putting it.

  8. #8
    Ducklet Cat's Avatar
    Ducklet Cat is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Kuwait
      • Current Location:
      • Kuwait
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    Thanks all. :)
    What I've heard in the clip is that Craig Ferguson pronounced "I can't" the usual normal way (non-nasalised).


    birdeen's call,
    I'v googled and found out that the presenter is "Scottish-born, naturalized American". So I guess he might have pronounced it the American way, didn't he?

  9. #9
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,099
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat View Post
    birdeen's call,
    I'v googled and found out that the presenter is "Scottish-born, naturalized American". So I guess he might have pronounced it the American way, didn't he?
    I don't think Ferguson pronounces the word in a very American way. However, I meant Downey's pronunciation in my post and that pronunciation is American.

    Ferguson is a naturalized American, but he still has a clearly Scottish accent, although it has changed over the years. He's quite good at doing different accents too.

  10. #10
    Ducklet Cat's Avatar
    Ducklet Cat is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Kuwait
      • Current Location:
      • Kuwait
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I can't (with dark a)!

    I've heard the clip over and over, and both the host and the guest pronounce "can't" in a non-nasalised typical American way.
    Didn't they?

    Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. What is a dark /l/ (L)???
    By anussky in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 24-Mar-2009, 01:59
  2. Dark vs Darkness
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Feb-2009, 16:43
  3. go dark
    By bieasy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Jul-2007, 01:24
  4. Dark L
    By Whitesnow in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 18-Nov-2006, 15:49

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk