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  1. #1
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    Default How do you pronounce this word?

    Dear sir:

    I was wondering How you pronounce 'clothes', if you will bite your tongue's top for pronouncing the 'th' before the 'es'. or you won't pronounce the 'es'?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce this word?

    You just pronounce it as close

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce this word?

    really?

    but thanks for your reply anyway.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce this word?

    Some people do drop the 'th' sound, but if you move your tongue fast enough back, it does work.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce this word?

    Quote Originally Posted by harrymick
    Dear sir:

    I was wondering How you pronounce 'clothes', if you will bite your tongue's top for pronouncing the 'th' before the 'es'. or you won't pronounce the 'es'?
    I agree. clothes and close, as in Please, close the door, are pronounced the same:

    I have new clothes [klo:z].
    Please, close [klo:z] the door.

    (Note, close, as in We are very close friends, is pronounced with an [s], not [z]: close [klo:s])

    Some people pronounce 'th' as [l], like this:

    clothes [klo:lz]

    Some people pronounce 'th' as a voiced sound, like in the word that:

    clothes [klo:]th[z].

    Some non-native English speakers pronounce the '-es' in clothes as

    clothes [klo:]th[i:z]

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce this word?

    Thank you very much.

    No wonder native speaker can speak so fast, they always do drop some sound , or donít pronounce it at all. Frankly, but I always pronounce every sound as I can as possible, how stupid it looks, doesnít it.
    I really want to know, why you created these rules , but you didnít stand to (should I use 'abide by' instead of 'stand to')it?
    How can I do?
    Last edited by harrymick; 02-Dec-2004 at 03:51.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce this word?

    Quote Originally Posted by harrymick
    Thank you very much.
    I really want to know, why you created these rules , but you didnít stand to (should I use 'abide by' instead of 'stand to')it?
    How can I do?
    You're welcome, and 'abide' is a good word.

    The rules were created by speakers. They are the result of natural processes, and they are found in all human languages. For example, in our example (1) below the symbol <th> is pronounced as a voiced sound, as th in that, and it's pronounced that way because of where it sits in the array of sounds.

    (1) clothes [klo:]th[z] (th as in that)

    th occurs between two vowels, -o..e-, and since vowels are voiced sounds, or rather they require that you vibrate your vocal folds, it's easier to pronouce three voiced sounds in a row than it is to pronounce voiced [o], then stop and pronounce voiceless <th>, then stop and pronounce voiced [e]. So you see, it's easier if all three sounds in that row are voiced. And that's why <th> is pronounced as th in that, rather than th in think. The process by which a voiceless sound is pronounced as a voiced sound is called Voicing, and it's a result of our human anatomy. That is, if you're human, then you're language will have examples of Voicing.

    As for why some speakers pronounce <th> as [l], well, that involves two other process: some speakers use Assimilation and other speakers use Disassimilation.

    (2a) clothes [klo:lz] Assimilation
    (2b) clothes [klo:lz] Disassimilation

    The process in (2) could be either Assimilation (to make sounds the same: l...th => l...l) or Disassimilation (to make sounds different: thz => lz).

    Assimilation
    The speaker, upon pronouncing the first <l> carries that sound over to the next consonant <th>, giving [klo:lz]. Speakers do it because it's more efficient: It's easier on the lips, tongue, and other articulators, and so the speaker doesn't have to spend much energy on forming two sounds, when one sound, [l], will do. Assimilation is found in all human languages, even yours.

    Disassimilation
    Since th and [z] are very similar sounds, they are difficult to pronounce one after the other, so the speaker changes <th> to [l], to make pronunciation easier.

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