Re: Is fire and fee a minimal pair?
Please do not tell me I am wrong about the accent (RP) I have spoken for much of my life.
Originally Posted by lsah3
Peter Roach's Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (2003) gives it as /faɪə*/ (my asterisk stands for Roach's superscript r). Roach gives /faɪɚ/ for the American pronunciation.
John Wells's Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (2008) gives it as /ˈfaɪ◡ə/ (the I is italicised in the LPD. This, with the ◡ symbol, indicates possible compression into /fajə/). Wells gives /ˈfaɪ◡*r/ (this time the asterisk stands for Wells's superscript schwa) for the American.
Cruttenden (2001) writes that the /aɪə/ of 'fire' may be smoothed into /aːə/ . He also notes that i the diphthongal pronunciation /ɑ:ə/ is sometimes reduced to a long monophthong /aː/ in refined RP and some other accents such as Cockney and Liverpool. As I pointed out to you in another thread, Upton (2004) described Refined RP as "[o]utmoded and, when heard (typically in old movies and newsreel commentaries) attracting amused comment". The Cockney and Liverpool dialects are not generally regarded as standard English.
In most varieties of British English, fire and fee are not a minimal pair.
ps, Even if one regards Roach's transcription as that of a monosyllabic pronunciation, triphthongs are not regarded as phonemes in British English.
Last edited by 5jj; 29-Apr-2013 at 00:11.
Reason: ps added
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