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    #1

    Question Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Hello.
    I often hear the // sound as an ''proper //'', like in the words bad or bat and pretty much every other word which doesn't have an m/n/ng sound after the //. But when it comes to these consonant sounds, I get confused. I usually hear an /e/ sound before them.
    Examples:
    Than - Then
    Thank you - Thenk you
    Mango - Mengo

    And if this is a feature of some accent, please let me know!

    Thanks in advance!

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    #2

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Hello ngabriel,

    in RP, that is not the case - see bang, ham, man as examples /bŋ/, /hm/, /mn/

    But I would say there are dialects and accents that treat this the way you described. Something scottish maybe, but I cannot guarantee that so we may wait for another answer...

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    In some varieties of English (such as the 'refined' English of fifty or more years ago)the pronunciation of // was close to that of /e/, but in all words. I don't know of a variety in which it is so pronounced just before a nasal.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    I don't know of any accent that pronounces the // the same in 'bat' and 'man'. I think IPA has it wrong.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I don't know of any accent that pronounces the // the same in 'bat' and 'man'. I think IPA has it wrong.
    // is a phonemic symbol, not a phonetic one. In most accents that I know they are pronounced the same phonologically. It's a different story if one starts on narrow phonetic transcription,

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    #6

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Precisely. I don't think many students of English appreciate (or care very much about) the distinction; (nor do some EFL teachers, come to that)

    b

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    #7

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Let me give you an example with audio: Guthrie Govan - Singing Scales - Session 6 Licklibrary - YouTube


    In this video, the first sentence he says is:


    ''I can't really offer any tips on that idea other -THAN- assuring you it's a healthy way to approach things''


    The than in there is exactly like the word then to me.

    For your native speakers ears is that an //, an /e/ or another sound which doesn't have a IPA symbol?

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    That's an unstressed 'than'. The vowel is /ə/. You can hear this vowel in unstressed 'an' and 'can', but you can also hear it in unstressed 'that'. The weakening of the vowel is nothing to do with the following consonant.

    Guthrie's /ə/ was closer to /e/ than that of many speakers, but I am sure he would use the same vowel in 'that'.
    Last edited by 5jj; 29-Apr-2013 at 17:59.

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    #9

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngabriel View Post
    We probably don't need an example, since no native speaker (yet) has denied your discovery - stressed 'that' and 'than' have different vowel sounds in almost all English accents (all that I know). Unstressed they both use schwa and sound alike.

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    #10

    Re: Do the // sound become an /e/ when said before a m/n/ng sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngabriel View Post
    ...
    For your native speakers ears is that an //, an /e/ or another sound which doesn't have a IPA symbol?
    Interesting choice: either // or /e/ or not IPA.

    b

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