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  1. #1
    thincat is offline Member
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    Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Hello everyone,
    I am not a native English speaker.
    Can anybody tell me the differences in pronouncing /əl/ and /əʊ/?
    To me, it seems that they sound the same.
    It's quite confusing.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    thincat is offline Member
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    To be more specific:
    For example, according to dictionary, "financial" is pronounced as /faɪˈnnʃ
    ə
    l/
    If I pronounce it as
    /faɪˈnnʃ
    əʊ
    /, is there any difference?
    If yes, what is the major differences in the position of tongue, roundedness of lips etc.?

    Thank you very much!

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Quote Originally Posted by thincat View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I am not a native English speaker.
    Can anybody tell me the differences in pronouncing /əl/ and /əʊ/?
    To me, it seems that they sound the same.
    It's quite confusing.

    Thank you in advance for your help!
    /əʊ/ is the 'o' sound in "photo, phone, bone, no, know ..."
    I don't think /əI/ (small cap I) is used. Where did you see it? In any case, it's not the same as /əʊ/; it can't be.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I don't think /əI/ (small cap I) is used. Where did you see it?
    It's supposed to be schwa followed by lower case L.

  5. #5
    thincat is offline Member
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It's supposed to be schwa followed by lower case L.
    Yes, you are right. It's lower case L.
    (financial: /fa ɪˈnn. ʃəl/)

    So, do you know what's the differences in the
    manner of articulation between /əl/ and /əʊ/?

    Thanks a lot!

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Sometimes the /l/ is subject to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labialisation; in this case //əl/ approaches [əʊ].

    My phonetics teacher (early '70s) had been a teacher of German. He told us that when he was teaching in the East End of London, he got his students to pronounce the German /o/ (very close to the cardinal [o]) by telling them to copy the vowel sound that they used at the end of the word 'people'.

    b

  7. #7
    thincat is offline Member
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Bobk:
    Thank you very much for your reply.
    Do you mean that there is lip-rounding in /l/ of /əl/, so that /əl/ resembles /əʊ/?
    If it is the case, do I need to move my tongue to the alveolar ridge when approaching /l/ in /əl/, or just simply use a /əʊ/ sound to replace?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Yes, that's what happens (lip-rounding) in some cases (some /l/s in some phonetic contexts, more so in some accents than in others). But note that the Wikipedia article refers to it as a feature of 'secondary articulation'. It's never essential, and it's often wrong. Don't do it.

    b

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    Yes, that's what happens (lip-rounding) in some cases (some /l/s in some phonetic contexts, more so in some accents than in others). But note that the Wikipedia article refers to it as a feature of 'secondary articulation'. It's never essential, and it's often wrong. Don't do it.

    b

  10. #10
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Difference between /əl/ and /əʊ/

    The first is made with the tongue touching the palate, the second is produced with the lips closing into a small opening.

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