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  1. #1
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    English sound question

    I am studying a master of English teaching. I have a course English Pronunciation. There are American English pronunciation /i/(for instance tree) and /I/(for instance sit). What's the difference of these two sound? In British English it is clear that /i:/(tree) is longer, however /I/(sit) is shorter.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    tareq10's Avatar
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    Re: English sound question

    /i:/(tree) is longer, however /I/(sit) is shorter.


    You're right, /i:/ is a long vowel and /I/ is a short one.


    Keep going!

  3. #3
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    Re: English sound question

    Quote Originally Posted by tareq10 View Post
    /i:/(tree) is longer, however /I/(sit) is shorter.


    You're right, /i:/ is a long vowel and /I/ is a short one.


    Keep going!
    But what is the difference between /i/ and /I/? In the course book, it is written like this,
    American British
    Tree /i/ /i:/
    Sit /I/ /I/
    So I don't understand well /i/ and /I/. Are they the same?

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    Super Sonic is offline Member
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    Re: English sound question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarahliu View Post
    But what is the difference between /i/ and /I/? In the course book, it is written like this,
    American British
    Tree /i/ /i:/
    Sit /I/ /I/
    So I don't understand well /i/ and /I/. Are they the same?
    /i/ is something in between /i:/ and /ı/.

  5. #5
    M.Mozaffary is offline Junior Member
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    Re: English sound question


  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Re: English sound question

    Americans say tree and sit the same way the British do. Many of our words sound the same.

  7. #7
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    Re: English sound question

    Sarahliu,
    Hello. You might find these comparison videos helpful:

    ee vs. ih, tense vs. lax

    and

    long vs. short vowel

    Hope this helps!
    Rachel

  8. #8
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Re: English sound question

    Also, in my view, it's important to note that the British only began calling the vowels long and short by analogy with Latin, in which the vowels really were long and short: "latus", side, "la:tus", wide.

    The short vowels are different in quality, but often exactly the same in length. I hear no difference between feet and fit except in vowel quality. So they are merely names, a shorthand to distinguish between the commonest pairs of pronunciations of individual letters.

    Also, I am sure we do this similarly on both sides of the Atlantic. Sheet and shit are distinguished by the same phoneme pair here and in England.
    Last edited by konungursvia; 27-Mar-2009 at 00:44.

  9. #9
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Re: English sound question

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Also, iin my view, it's important to note that the British only began calling the vowels long and short by analogy with Latin, in which the vowels really were long and short: "latus", side, "la:tus", wide.

    The short vowels are different in quality, but often exactly the same in length. I hear no difference between feet and fit except in vowel quality. So they are merely names, a shorthand to distinguish between the commonest pairs of pronunciations of individual letters.

    Also, I am sure we do this similarly on both sides of the Atlantic. Sheet and shit are distinguished by the same phoneme pair here and in England.
    Well, shee-it! I always wondered why we call vowels long and short when they take the same length of time to say.

    Cool.

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