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  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default pronounciation of ending sound

    Some people critize the English pronunciation of some Chinese English speakers. Usually, some Chinese speak with lazy tongue especially in ending sounds. For example 'head' without 'd' sound, 'soap" without 'p' sound and 'heart' without 't' sound.

    I am very confused with the rule of ending sound. An American told me “All ending letters should be pronounced except for English words ending in ONE 'e'.”. I looked up the dictionary for winter [ˈwɪntə], the pronunciation is “ winter”. It seems that the ending word “r” is not pronounced.

    Anybody can help? Thx.


  2. #2
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    There are two issues here:
    • A final 'r' is not usually sounded. There are exceptions. See related threads.
    • Most native speakers, in words ending with a stop consonant (/p t k b d g/}, form the closure but don't release it. This doesn't mean there's no closure - which is what many students do (with /t k d/ and /g/, there are very few visual cues, but that doesn't mean native-speakers don't do it ) . The situation is further confused sometimes, informally, by the Glottal stop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - which reinforces (and sometimes replaces the closure) - but you probably don't need to bother with this.


    b

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Which dictionary did you use?

  4. #4
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Which dictionary did you use?
    TheFreeDictionary,com

  5. #5
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Quote Originally Posted by bh1234 View Post
    TheFreeDictionary,com
    OK. The Free Dictionary uses mostly two dictionaries: The American Heritage Dictionary and the Collins Dictionary. The first one is an American dictionary and the second one is a British dictionary. In America, most people speak so called rhotic accents and in Great Britain, most people speak non-rhotic accents. This means that for most people in America, the letter "r" in the word "winter" is pronounced and for most people in Great Britain, it is not.

    Take another look at the page you have already seen: winter - definition of winter by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. There are two dictionary entries there. The first one comes from the AHD. We can tell, because there is a footnote which says:

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    Can you see it? The second entry (below the thick blue horizontal line) is from the Collins Dictionary. We know this thanks to another footnote which says:

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
    Now compare the pronunciations the two entries give us. Unfortunately, they don't use the same phonetic symbols. The AHD uses its own symbols, which nobody else uses, and the Collins Dictionary uses the IPA, which is used by very many other sources. The different phonetic alphabets make it more difficult to compare the two entries, but it's still quite easy, at least in this case.

    Notice that in the entry from the AHD, the suggested pronunciation has a sound denoted by the letter "r". This is because the AHD is an American dictionary so it prefers a rhotic pronunciation. The entry from the Collins Dictionary doesn't have this sound. This is because the Collins Dictionary is a British dictionary so it prefers a non-rhotic pronunciation.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Quote Originally Posted by bh1234 View Post
    I am very confused with the rule of ending sound. An American told me “All ending letters should be pronounced except for English words ending in ONE 'e'.”
    Let's now consider what the American said. They weren't right. You shouldn't believe any simple rules regarding English pronunciation unless they come from an experienced phonetician or from someone who can prove they're right. Take a look at the following words and their pronunciations.

    dumb /dʌm/
    tomb /tu:m/
    comb /kəʊm/
    bomb /bɒm/
    damn /dæm/
    column /kɒləm/
    beret /bɛreɪ/

    As you can see, in all of these words the final letter is silent! There are many more. Unfortuanately, you have to learn how to pronounce them separately. There is no one simple rule that would explain the pronunciations of these words. English spelling is very strange. Often, the spelling of a word has little to do with the pronunciation.

  7. #7
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Hi Bobk/birdeencall’s call,

    Many Thx to you.

    Do you mean that we need not pronounce the ending sound? "For example 'head' without 'd' sound, 'soap" without 'p' sound and 'heart' without 't' sound".The ending sound can be silent for 'head' & soap"?

  8. #8
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Quote Originally Posted by bh1234 View Post
    Hi Bobk/birdeencall’s call,

    Many Thx to you.

    Do you mean that we need not pronounce the ending sound? "For example 'head' without 'd' sound, 'soap" without 'p' sound and 'heart' without 't' sound".The ending sound can be silent for 'head' & soap"?
    Absolutely not. The sound /d/ in "head" should be pronounced and so should the sounds /p/ and /t/ in "soap" and "heart". I meant something different. Usually, the final letter of a word isn't silent. But sometimes, it is silent, as you can see in my examples.

    What you should do is listen to how native speakers pronounce different words and try to remember that. Another thing to do is to read what dictionaries tell you very carefully. As I said earlier, there are no simple rules here.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Let's now consider what the American said. They weren't right. You shouldn't believe any simple rules regarding English pronunciation unless they come from an experienced phonetician or from someone who can prove they're right. Take a look at the following words and their pronunciations.

    dumb /dʌm/
    tomb /tu:m/
    comb /kəʊm/
    bomb /bɒm/
    damn /dæm/
    column /kɒləm/
    beret /bɛreɪ/

    As you can see, in all of these words the final letter is silent! There are many more. Unfortuanately, you have to learn how to pronounce them separately. There is no one simple rule that would explain the pronunciations of these words. English spelling is very strange. Often, the spelling of a word has little to do with the pronunciation.

    Hi birdeen's call

    What do you mean by "you have to learn how to pronounce them separately"?

  10. #10
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pronounciation of ending sound

    Quote Originally Posted by bh1234 View Post
    Hi birdeen's call

    What do you mean by "you have to learn how to pronounce them separately"?
    I mean that the spelling and pronunciation of many words in English don't follow any rules. When you learn Italian, it's easy. In Italian, "sci" is always pronounced /ʃi/. When you see "sci" in an Italian word, you can safely pronounce it /ʃi/ and it will be correct. You don't need do know this word, because this rule (that "sci" is always pronounced /ʃi/) applies to all Italian words. When you learn Italian pronunciation, it's enough to learn some simple rules and you can read any word you encounter.

    This is not true regarding English. Simple rules don't work for English because there are very many exceptions. You have to learn these exceptions one by one because there isn't any simple rule that would tell you how to handle them. Learning English pronunciation is much more difficult than learning Italian pronunciation because of this.

    Someone told you that there are no silent final letters in English except "e". It's a simple rule. It would be great if it were correct because it would make reading easier. Unfortunately, this rule isn't correct. Many English words have silent final letters. It's true that most English words don't have them, but still there are many which do. You have to learn which.

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