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  1. #1
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default Questions about English /ɒ/ sound

    Hi,

    I have some questions about the /ɒ/ sound in British English. As far as I know, it is a sound found only in British English, but not in American English, which sometimes replaces it with an / ɔː/, such as the case of “because.”

    I am learning British English, but sometimes I am told that my /ɒ/ sounds more like an / ɔː/. I try to rectify it. Could you help me to listen to my recording (because1.mp3) and see if it is better now?

    I know that the other way of pronouncing “because” is /bɪˈkəz/ (because2.mp3). Which one, /bɪˈkɒz/ or / bɪˈkəz/, is more frequently used? Or is there any “rule,” such as the language context, that governs their uses? Sometimes I wonder whether the /kɒz/ would sound obtrusive or too prominent to listeners if it is put in a sentence.

    Moreover, there is a particular English word with /ɒ/ sound that confuses me a lot. It is the word “involve” /ɪnˈvɒlv/. (http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/involve)
    I reckon it is the dark /l/ which makes the /ɒ/ different from what it should be like.
    I try to imitate the dictionary pronunciation (involve.mp3), and I would appreciate it very much if you would give me some comments.

    The sentences I read in the recording:
    1. Well, it really depends. Because you are a tourist, it might be harder for you to get good prices.
    2. There was a serious incident involving a group of youths.

    Thank you very much!
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  2. #2
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions about English /ɒ/ sound

    Hello thincat,

    I can only speak for myself but I'd use because2. Your pronunciation, however, is not natural. I have recorded the following sentence which I found in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:

    Just because you’re my brother doesn’t mean I have to like you!

    Listen to the recording (England - English) attached to this message.

    Quote Originally Posted by thincat View Post
    Which one, /bɪˈkɒz/ or / bɪˈkəz/, is more frequently used?
    I checked the pronunciation in the aforementioned dictionary and they use the first one, the one you used in because1.mp3. I think that their pronunciation of 'because' is more common than mine.
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    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 08-Jan-2013 at 22:04.

  3. #3
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default Re: Questions about English /ɒ/ sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Hello thincat,

    I can only speak for myself but I'd use because2. Your pronunciation, however, is not natural. I have recorded the following sentence which I found in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:

    Just because you’re my brother doesn’t mean I have to like you!

    Listen to the recording (England - English) attached to this message.



    I checked the pronunciation in the aforementioned dictionary and they use the first one, the one you used in because1.mp3. I think that their pronunciation of 'because' is more common than mine.
    Thank you very much! Perhaps I may use / bɪˈkəz/ as well since the stress of /kɒz/ in /bɪˈkɒz/ sometimes sounds obtrusive to me when it is put in a sentence. By the way, it's a surprise to know that your native language is Russian instead of English as your spoken English is so native-like!

  4. #4
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    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions about English /ɒ/ sound

    Quote Originally Posted by thincat View Post
    By the way, it's a surprise to know that your native language is Russian instead of English as your spoken English is so native-like!
    Thanks. 5jj and Tdol reviewed my accent a while back (here and here) and they said the same thing - that I sounded like a native speaker from England.

    It just occured to me that I hadn't addressed your second question. Your pronunciation of 'involve' sounds good! Keep at it .
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 13-Jan-2013 at 09:12.

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