- For Teachers
When pronouncing the words, "forever" and "wherever," does the /r/ sound "link" with /e/ to form a /re/ sound? The IPA shows that "forever" should be read as / fərˈevə(r)/, with /r/ and /e/ separated by a /'/ symbol, instead of / fə'revə(r)/, is there any special implication?
In fact, I sometimes seem to hear native speakers saying "forever" or "wherever" without the /r/ sound. But because it's in conversational speech, and I am not a native speaker of English, I am not sure if I am right.
Therefore, I have recorded some sound files. In sound files "forever1.mp3" and "wherever1.mp3", I said the /r/ sound, but in "forever2.mp3" and "wherever2.mp3," I tried to omit it. Which ones are more natural to you?
Thank you very much!
Last edited by thincat; 24-Jan-2013 at 18:03.
I wonder what the differences are between the two transcriptions. If we have the stress placed in /e/, does it mean that there will not be a /re/ sound, but something sounds like /fəˈevə/?
My feeling, and I have not discussed this with Wells, is that if the syllable-stress symbol is placed before the /r/, then to second syllable is /rev/, which seems natural to me. If the symbol is placed after the /r/, then it makes the first syllable /fər/ and the second /ev/ which seems less natural to me.
Unfortunately I do not have access to a spectogram these days. When I try the word myself, I am moderately sure that I prefer Roach's Cambridge transciption. However, the more I try it, and get colleagues to say the word (in complete sentences) the less sure I am. I have looked through several dictionaries at onelook.com; they seem to be pretty evenly split. However, where they give a spoken pronunciation, the syllable split does not always agree with the transcribed syllable split.
Thanks a lot for doing so much “research” for me! I am really grateful for that!
As an ESL learner, I feel that sometimes what is written in the IPA may not be what is really pronounced or heard. Just like the word “schedule.” Although dictionaries show me /ˈʃed.juːl/, I hear /dʒ/ in the Cambridge dictionary recording instead of /dj/. I felt quite puzzled before I learned that /d/ and /j/ can combine into /dʒ / in connected speech. Therefore, to me, spoken English is quite an abstract aspect compared to written English. (For the latter, at least what is written is what it truly is!). Learning spoken English really requires native speakers to help sometimes.
But fortunately, I came across UsingEnglish.com, in which there are teachers, native speakers and non-native English learners willing to offer help! I hope I will be able to get assistance from this forum in the future!
Both the EPD and the LPD give both /dj/ and /ʤ/for that consonant, reflecting the fact that both versions, and many in between, are heard. (I'm a /dj/ person.) Except in very careful speech, there is little difference when you hear the two sounds in the middle of a word. Dictionaries, which give phonemic rather than phonetic transcriptions give the versions that are closest to those spoken and recognised by the majority of speakers of the variety they are recording.
*but note the small differences between a,a, a, a, a,a, a,,a, a,a, a,a,a, a, a, a, a, a,a, a,,a, a, and a,
But we were right to do it in the way that we do. In quintessential English words, a syllable quite often has a consonant at the beginning and end of each syllable, which is quite rare in world languages.