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  1. #1
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Pronouncing (and writing) the 'S' after the apostrophe seems to be a bit of a bugbear for lots of native speakers. How would you pronounce the following? phrases:

    Myers' first movie...
    New Orleans' previous mayor....
    Los Angeles' number one priority...
    Naples' most renowned restaurant...
    Jeff Bridges' career....

    Now, the S was not added graphically, but, would you add it phonetically?
    I know I've asked this in a previous thread but the members' views were a bit conflicting.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Pronouncing (and writing) the 'S' after the apostrophe seems to be a bit of a bugbear for lots of native speakers. How would you pronounce the following? phrases:

    Myers' first movie...
    New Orleans' previous mayor....
    Los Angeles' number one priority...
    Naples' most renowned restaurant...
    Jeff Bridges' career....

    Now, the S was not added graphically, but, would you add it phonetically?
    I know I've asked this in a previous thread but the members' views were a bit conflicting.

    Thanks!
    You won't find agreement.
    - For the first, I'd write "Myers's" and say "Myers-iz" but others might leave it as is and just asy "Myers"

    - New Orleans (not "Orleans-iz") for me

    - Los Angeles's for me - and Los Angeles-iz in pronunciation

    Bridges and Naples - no extra "iz" for those.

    I wish I could tell you why.

  3. #3
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Thank you
    The addition (both graphic and phonetic) of the S after the apostrophe is indeed a matter of personal choice, I gather. In other words, if the word sounds pronounceable then the writer (or speaker) will add an S after the apostrophe, or may not, but will pronounce it anyway, is that so?
    I would be most grateful if you could provide me with a few more examples. While I know that not two native speakers of English will agree on the same things, I certainly appreciate your effort to shed some light on this issue where, seemingly, there is no hard and fast rule to go by.
    Thank you ever so much.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    I'm trying to think of other things that end in the sounds of Napels. It seems that it would not get the extra "-iz."

    I really can't think of any rule.

    If you want to throw out a few more "plural sounding" endings, I can tell you what MY pronunciation would be, but I can tell you that for the most part, if I say the "iz" it gets the 's.

  5. #5
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    "zuh" is also heard

    myers' = myers-zuh

    Williams = williams-zuh

    boys' = boys-zuh

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    I would be most grateful if you could provide me with a few more examples. While I know that not two native speakers of English will agree on the same things, I certainly appreciate your effort to shed some light on this issue where, seemingly, there is no hard and fast rule to go by.
    Thank you ever so much.
    I'd draw the line at 2 Ss.
    Mr. Jones
    Mr. and Mr. Jones - the Joneses.
    Their car - the Joneses' car.
    /dʒəʊnz/, /dʒəʊnzəz/, /dʒəʊnzəzəz/ I'd skip the last one

  7. #7
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Thank you Raymott
    The Joneses' house: this is an entirely different case. Here we have a plural. No additional S of the possessive case can be added to the name.
    I knew that.
    My doubt is (and, at this rate, always will be) whether an S should be added when a SINGULAR noun ends in S and the writer only writes an apostrophe. How am I supposed to read that? What was the writer's actual intention while writing it? Did he not add the additional S because he didn't like it graphically (though he would pronounce it)?
    I don't know if I've been able to get message across so far.
    This may not be a problem for a native speaker, but, believe, it is for all those dedicated teachers of English (like yours truly) wish to go to the bottom of things, even when there doesn't seem to be a plausible explanation.
    Thank you all very much for your endeavours.
    Oh ,I nearly forgot: Thank you Barb_D, you've been a great help too.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Thank you Raymott
    The Joneses' house: this is an entirely different case. Here we have a plural. No additional S of the possessive case can be added to the name.
    I knew that.
    Hmm, maybe. Do you mean written or spoken?
    Las Vegas is plural (albeit in Spanish). I'd still say Las Vegas's. I think it would be rare to find a grammar textbook that would touch Joneses' with a barge pole. I haven't been able to find it.

    My doubt is (and, at this rate, always will be) [ ] whether an S should be added when a SINGULAR noun ends in S and the writer only writes an apostrophe. How am I supposed to read that? What was the writer's actual intention while writing it? Did he not add the additional S because he didn't like it graphically (though he would pronounce it)?

    Collin's Cobuild English Grammar
    says that Perkins' can be pronounced Perkins or Perkinses. So, that really throws a cat among the pigeons. It seems they have no respect for the writer's wishes. This would only be important in poetry though.

    I think your message is now clear. You're not asking what we do say, but what we should say. But the answer has to be vague.
    Different grammars give different advice. This is because there is obviously no consensus even among English-speakers, so writers of grammar have no authority to say to what is right. If it were French, the Academie Francais could supply you with an answer, but English doesn't work that way.

  9. #9
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Pronouncing (and writing) the 'S' after the apostrophe seems to be a bit of a bugbear for lots of native speakers. How would you pronounce the following? phrases:

    Myers' first movie...
    New Orleans' previous mayor....
    Los Angeles' number one priority...
    Naples' most renowned restaurant...
    Jeff Bridges' career....

    Now, the S was not added graphically, but, would you add it phonetically?
    I know I've asked this in a previous thread but the members' views were a bit conflicting.

    Thanks!
    The apostrophe+s should be there in all cases, and the es sound should be there in all cases.

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Thank you Raymott
    My doubt is (and, at this rate, always will be) whether an S should be added when a SINGULAR noun ends in S and the writer only writes an apostrophe.
    By "doubt" do you mean "question"?

    (Say: get to the bottom of....)


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