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Thread: knew/ new

  1. #1
    nyota's Avatar
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    knew/ new

    How do we pronounce those words? I've heard both version /njuː/ and /nu:/ ? Does it depend largely on the speaker or dialect?

  2. #2
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    Re: knew/ new

    Both are pronounced the same way (homophones), but ˈnjuː is British (and AUS, NZ, SA English), ˈnuː is American (and CDN English).
    At least that's what I have noticed.

  3. #3
    Mohammadhelmi is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Re: knew/ new

    they both have the same pronouncation
    in BrE : njuː
    in AmE : nuː

  4. #4
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    Re: knew/ new

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammadhelmi View Post
    they both have the same pronouncation
    in BrE : njuː
    in AmE : nuː
    They have different pronunciation - as you have shown in your transcriptions,

    Quote Originally Posted by emka View Post
    Both are pronounced the same way (homophones),
    They are not homophones, as the transcriptions show.

    @nyota - /nju:/ is British, /nu:/ American.

  5. #5
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    Re: knew/ new

    Maybe it's splitting hairs, but I think it depends what pairs you compare to arrive at the conclusion that they sound the same (= are homophones) or that they donít, respectively.

    Of course the BE pronunciation is different from the AE one, hence the different IPA representations. So if you compare BE to AE, they are not homophones.

    But if you gave a BE speaker a piece of paper with "knew" and "new" written on it and had him or her pronounce both words, they would sound the same (/njuɪ/), i.e. they would be homophones.
    The same goes for an AE speaker. Both words would sound the same (/nu:/).

    Or am I getting something wrong here?

  6. #6
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    Re: knew/ new

    Quote Originally Posted by emka View Post
    Of course the BE pronunciation is different from the AE one, hence the different IPA representations. So if you compare BE to AE, they are not homophones.

    But if you gave a BE speaker a piece of paper with "knew" and "new" written on it and had him or her pronounce both words, they would sound the same (/njuɪ/), i.e. they would be homophones.
    The same goes for an AE speaker. Both words would sound the same (/nu:/).
    Or am I getting something wrong here?
    No, you are not. Within any given dialect, knew and new are homophones. I think there was a possibility of misunderstanding in posts #2 and 3 - indeed, I misunderstood.

    Sorry for accusing you of something you did not actually say.

  7. #7
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Re: knew/ new

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    How do we pronounce those words? I've heard both version /njuː/ and /nu:/ ? Does it depend largely on the speaker or dialect?
    Yes, it depends on the dialect. In American dialects, yod-dropping (before alevolars) is common.

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