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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default -less

    Is the letter "e" in words such as "meaningless", "priceless" etc. ever read "i" or is it always pronounced just e?

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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Is the letter "e" in words such as "meaningless", "priceless" etc. ever read "i" or is it always pronounced just e?
    Usually the vowel sound in unstressed syallables becomes a schwa. This can be heard as a very soft short i or e or u.

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    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Usually the vowel sound in unstressed syallables becomes a schwa. This can be heard as a very soft short i or e or u.
    Are there any exceptions, then?

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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Are there any exceptions, then?
    The schwa is most common in unstressed, normal speech. If someone is speaking very slowly or has reason to place extra emphasis on a particular word, the vowel sound can change.

    That rule is MEAN ing liss. (normal speech)

    Didn't you hear me? I SAID it was MEAN ING LESS. (emphatic speech)

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    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The schwa is most common in unstressed, normal speech. If someone is speaking very slowly or has reason to place extra emphasis on a particular word, the vowel sound can change.

    That rule is MEAN ing liss. (normal speech)

    Didn't you hear me? I SAID it was MEAN ING LESS. (emphatic speech)
    Thank you... I am not sure I will remember that or ever use it; anyway, could you choose the vowel from the table? (and send me a link) If you say it's read "liss", I still don't know whether it's rather "i" or "e schwa". I can't recognise it in English... it seems to be so difficult!

    Vowel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Thank you... I am not sure I will remember that or ever use it; anyway, could you choose the vowel from the table? (and send me a link) If you say it's read "liss", I still don't know whether it's rather "i" or "e schwa". I can't recognise it in English... it seems to be so difficult!

    Vowel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    That's one of the features of a schwa. The volume is so low and the emphasis is so slight, that the vowel sound is all but lost. I have no expertise in reading phonetic charts.

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    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -less

    Hmmm... Thanks.

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    Default Re: -less

    /ˈmi:nıɲlǝs/ is my pronunciation (or is it /ɳ/ ? - I forget). I don't know about Mike's. Some people tend in informal speech to say /ˈmi:nınlǝs/. Not only informal speech, now I come to think of it: dropping final g in -ing endings used to be characteristic of the upper-class accent - affected by arrivistes, who claimed to spend their lives "huntin' shootin' and fishin'".

    When you say 'words such as "meaningless", "priceless" etc.' I presume you mean words that have a noun followed by the suffix -less. I've thought of two -less words that don't fit this meaning, and don't follow this pronunciation; there may be more - nevertheless and nonetheless are pronouced with a clear /e/.


    b

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    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    /ˈmi:nıɲlǝs/ is my pronunciation (or is it /ɳ/ ? - I forget). I don't know about Mike's. Some people tend in informal speech to say /ˈmi:nınlǝs/. Not only informal speech, now I come to think of it: dropping final g in -ing endings used to be characteristic of the upper-class accent - affected by arrivistes, who claimed to spend their lives "huntin' shootin' and fishin'".

    When you say 'words such as "meaningless", "priceless" etc.' I presume you mean words that have a noun followed by the suffix -less. I've thought of two -less words that don't fit this meaning, and don't follow this pronunciation; there may be more - nevertheless and nonetheless are pronouced with a clear /e/.

    b
    It is interesting, Bob!

    Do you mean that more and more people start to pronounce normal "n" instead of the nasal "n"?
    I myself don't think I can pronounce the nasal well. I have problems with it and it doesn't sound to nasal, when I read it, I think.

    Thank you for mentioning the two words with -less. I wouldn't be aware of it if you didn't mention it. I guess that it is read with normal "e" because the stress is put on the last syllable, with the "e". Is it really the reason?

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    Default Re: -less

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Hmmm... Thanks.
    You're welcome.

    I'm sorry that I can't find a way to be more precise. Phonetic symbols are not my forte.

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