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    #1

    Some questions about ʊ and ʌ

    Hi guys, first of all, just wondering why we invented [ʌ] for words such as blood, when we have [ʊ] in words like book?

    I tried pronouncing blood with a [ʊ], didnt sound to bad lol


    Also, [ʌ], there seems to many qualities to this vowel sound. When i hear the word cuts for example, i hear many say cats. But if you push your tongue further back from the standard central positon, you get something closer to the (ʊ ) sound. So cuts sounds like cuts, not cats.

  1. nyota's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Some questions about ʊ and ʌ

    I've only done a quick search but here's what wiki says on /ʌ/

    The regular spelling system of Old English was swept away by the Norman Conquest, and English itself was eclipsed by Norman French for three centuries, eventually emerging with its spelling much influenced by French. (...)

    For example, the sound /ʌ/, normally written u, is spelled with an o in son, love, come, etc., due to Norman spelling conventions which prohibited writing u before v, m, n due to the graphical confusion that would result. (v, u, n were identically written with two minims in Norman handwriting; w was written as two u letters; m was written with three minims, hence mm looked like vun, nvu, uvu, etc.) Similarly, spelling conventions also prohibited final v. Hence the identical spellings of the three different vowel sounds in love, grove and prove are due to ambiguity in the Middle English spelling system, not sound change.

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    #3

    Re: Some questions about ʊ and ʌ

    Quote Originally Posted by LordJenkins View Post
    Hi guys, first of all, just wondering why we invented [ʌ] for words such as blood, when we have [ʊ] in words like book?

    I tried pronouncing blood with a [ʊ], didnt sound to bad lol
    In some regions, you can hear it pronounced that way or close to it.

    In addition to Nyota's points about the Normans, as English is a mixture of languages, different pronunciations of spellings can also be brought with the words.

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