Hi everyone, I'm new here and I joined this forum so I could ask this question. For many years I've pronounced desert (with meaning of leaving/forsaking) and dessert as [di-zurt], and desert (with meaning of a dry and arid region) as [dez-ert].
I use the Dictionary.com's pronounciation key: Dictionary.com Unabridged Pronunciation Key
I live in Australia and I've heard people pronounce dessert as [duh-zurt]. I've recently adopted this pronounciation style for dessert. I guess I was trying to sound Australian, but I also really like the fact that a different pronounciation for dessert means that people won't be confused with what I say (despite the fact that context would probably save them from confusion).
However, a look into my Oxford dictionary and Dictionary.com proves me wrong (see above). My question is probably most relevant to Australians, but I'd like to hear from anyone how you pronounce these 3 words!
I utter "desert (with meaning of leaving/forsaking)" as /dw.Zert0/ (IPA symbols) where /w/ is as in <it> & /e/ as in <let>. My "desert" rhymes w/ "dessert".
I pronounce "desert (with meaning of a dry and arid region)" as /0deZ.crt0/ (IPA symbols) where /e/ is as in <let> & /c/ as in <ago>.
Linguists would probably say thereís no right or wrong as such; thereíre only dialectal variants. Aussies, like others, donít necessarily pronounce words like we do here in NAmer.