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  1. #1
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    Default help for rules in pronouncing ex- [egs][igs] or [eks][iks]

    hello... i am a (first time) teacher of speech in a high school here in the Philippines (middle school in US)... and I have been looking for a site or reference book that could specifically and in detail explain when is a word with the -x- should or could be pronounced either as [eks] [iks] or [egs] [igs]

    I'm stumped... please help... thanks

  2. #2
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    Default Re: help for rules in pronouncing ex- [egs][igs] or [eks][iks]

    It really depends on what phonemic trasncript you wanna use. THere is the official english phonemic chart which is for example here: Phoneme chart: English vowel and consonant sounds for phonology and language study


    There are many versions of it since every language has different types of pronunciation. For example Czechs, like myself, use often a very diffrent than the one above.

    As for your inquiry about pronunciation of "x", i use kind of /egz/.

    i am a teacher.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: help for rules in pronouncing ex- [egs][igs] or [eks][iks]

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    hello... i am a (first time) teacher of speech in a high school here in the Philippines (middle school in US)... and I have been looking for a site or reference book that could specifically and in detail explain when is a word with the -x- should or could be pronounced either as [eks] [iks] or [egs] [igs]

    I'm stumped... please help... thanks
    You never need to say /igz/ or /iks/. That is simply a variant of /egz/ and /eks/.
    The pronunciation has evolved depending on the surrounding phonemes.
    Here are some clues:

    • Use /eks/ if the stress is on the“ex”. For example: exercise, x-files, execute.
    • Use /eks/ if the following phoneme begins with a consonant: expect, extend, exfoliate, extort, extinguish, excited.
    • Use /egz/ if the following is a vowel: examples, exam, exact, existence, existential, exert.

    Since these are not “rules”, but merely what we tend to say because of the phonemic environment, if a word sounds strange using one variant, use the other. Some words are pronounced either way: exit, exhibit …
    I wouldn't call a student wrong as long as the word is understandable.
    (even using /igzample, iksited/, etc.)
    Someone else might have other ideas.

  4. #4
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: help for rules in pronouncing ex- [egs][igs] or [eks][iks]

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You never need to say /igz/ or /iks/. That is simply a variant of /egz/ and /eks/.
    The pronunciation has evolved depending on the surrounding phonemes.
    Here are some clues:

    • Use /eks/ if the stress is on the“ex”. For example: exercise, x-files, execute.
    • Use /eks/ if the following phoneme begins with a consonant: expect, extend, exfoliate, extort, extinguish, excited.
    • Use /egz/ if the following is a vowel: examples, exam, exact, existence, existential, exert.
    Since these are not “rules”, but merely what we tend to say because of the phonemic environment, if a word sounds strange using one variant, use the other. Some words are pronounced either way: exit, exhibit …
    I wouldn't call a student wrong as long as the word is understandable.
    (even using /igzample, iksited/, etc.)
    Someone else might have other ideas.
    Your explanation is very clear. In fact, for words where "ex" is followed by a consonant like the ones you quote (expect, extend etc) Daniel Jones' "English Pronouncing Dictionary" gives /ik/ in first position, with /ek/ as an alternative pronunciation.

    ("exfoliate" is given as /ek/ with no alternative pronuniciation. Possibly because, for me, the stress is on the "ex", even though Jones puts the stress on the second syllable. Maybe you agree?)

    In fact, where "ex" is followed by a vowel like the ones you quote (examples, exam, exact, existence, existential, exert) the same dictionary gives /ig/ in first position with /eg/ as an alternative.
    Last edited by naomimalan; 29-Sep-2008 at 16:04. Reason: Additional comments

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