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Thread: Every...

  1. #1
    LeMoyne is offline Newbie
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    Default Every...

    Hello!

    This is about the fairly frequent word "every", no matter whether isolated or as a part of one of its compounds, like "everyone", "everywhere", etc.

    Is it accepted (or standard) to pronounce it with the second "e" included as a schwa? Unfortunately, either the forum or my browser won't let me paste the phonetic schwa-symbol (I'll always get a question mark instead) but you know what I mean?

    Normally, you say /'evri:/. Second "e" drops, is completely silent. This in fact is what nearly all dictionaries give as the only possible pronunciation. Not so with the great OED itself. It gives an alternative, namely with the schwa included: /'everi:/ (Remember, the second 'e' is the schwa-sound.)

    I couldn't tell when and where, but I'm quite sure I have heard it in that form, at least a couple of times. My question would be, is it correct? Accepted? Or is it archaic? Or dialect?


    Thanks a lot,
    LeMoyne

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    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Every...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMoyne View Post
    Hello!

    This is about the fairly frequent word "every", no matter whether isolated or as a part of one of its compounds, like "everyone", "everywhere", etc.

    Is it accepted (or standard) to pronounce it with the second "e" included as a schwa? Unfortunately, either the forum or my browser won't let me paste the phonetic schwa-symbol (I'll always get a question mark instead) but you know what I mean?
    /šeə ʃʊd bi nəu ri:zən ju ka:nt juz fonetɪks hiə/

    Normally, you say /'evri:/. Second "e" drops, is completely silent. This in fact is what nearly all dictionaries give as the only possible pronunciation. Not so with the great OED itself. It gives an alternative, namely with the schwa included: /'everi:/ (Remember, the second 'e' is the schwa-sound.)

    I couldn't tell when and where, but I'm quite sure I have heard it in that form, at least a couple of times. My question would be, is it correct? Accepted? Or is it archaic? Or dialect?


    Thanks a lot,
    LeMoyne
    I think it's a random variant. "evri" is much more common. Why do you ask?

    PS: If you want help to set up IPA, PM me. I might be able to help.

  3. #3
    LeMoyne is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Every...

    Well now, I haven't been here for quite a long time, or, I might say, couldn't be here, unfortunately, but at least this doesn't mean I'm forgetting my threads. Stunning memory, eh?

    So, even if late, thank you for the reply!

    I think it's a random variant. "evri" is much more common.
    Random variant means.. I may pronounce it in both forms?!

    Meanwhile I'm aware of where I hear it regularly with a schwa included; namely in songs, that is, when sung. Seems to be a mere stylistic matter, then. In cases, where /'evri:/ would sound unsatisfactorily, due to reasons of rhyming or rhythmics, they instead opt for the schwa-variant. I'm not sure, whether I've heard it in spoken language at all.

    Why do you ask?
    Two reasons come to mind. Firstly, the fact that in English there are so many words which may be pronounced in more than one way, while none of these options is actually wrong or 'bad pronunciation' at that, is a feature many may despise. Because of perceived "inconsistence" or whatever. Not so with me. It's one of the aspects of English I like most! It allows for sylistic freedom, leaves room for individuality. It only enriches the language, and that is what matters.

    Secondly, and here's the more practical factor I find it personally easier, to speak it with the schwa included. You're right, however, and it is much more common in the other variant. So I should stick with that anyway.

    PS: If you want help to set up IPA, PM me. I might be able to help.
    A very kind offer, indeed, but after all this time I've got a new computer and--what is probably more important here--a different browser. With that, there's no problem anymore, since, as you see: /ə/ ..there it is. It's alright.


    LeMoyne

  4. #4
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    mara_ce is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Every...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMoyne View Post
    I couldn't tell when and where, but I'm quite sure I have heard it in that form, at least a couple of times. My question would be, is it correct? Accepted? Or is it archaic? Or dialect?
    There’s a rule in phonetics that allows to elide the schwa before r. For example in the following words:
    secretary /sekrətri/, laboratory /ləborətri/, elementary /elimentri/

    Maybe every and interesting follow the same rule.
    Last edited by mara_ce; 01-Aug-2009 at 00:04.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Every...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMoyne View Post
    Hello!

    This is about the fairly frequent word "every", no matter whether isolated or as a part of one of its compounds, like "everyone", "everywhere", etc.

    Is it accepted (or standard) to pronounce it with the second "e" included as a schwa? Unfortunately, either the forum or my browser won't let me paste the phonetic schwa-symbol (I'll always get a question mark instead) but you know what I mean?

    Normally, you say /'evri:/. Second "e" drops, is completely silent. This in fact is what nearly all dictionaries give as the only possible pronunciation. Not so with the great OED itself. It gives an alternative, namely with the schwa included: /'everi:/ (Remember, the second 'e' is the schwa-sound.)

    I couldn't tell when and where, but I'm quite sure I have heard it in that form, at least a couple of times. My question would be, is it correct? Accepted? Or is it archaic? Or dialect?


    Thanks a lot,
    LeMoyne

    The word "every" is pronounced ev'ry. The second e sound is entirely eliminated. The OED may list that "every" is a possible pronunciaiton, but I recommend using "ev'ry" or evəry: every (ĕv'rē). The technical word for this vowel sound elimination is "syncope". Syncope does not occur with great frequency, but it does occur in some common words. Here's a list of some words in which syncope occurs. The underlined vowel sound is eliminated in the same way the second e is eliminated in "every".

    Pronouncing "camera" as "camera" instead of "cam'ra" would be an indication that English is not one's first language. The same thing goes for "chocolate", which is pronounced "choc'lət.

    vowel sound elimination.pdf

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