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    #1

    Elision of the /h/ phoneme in connected speech

    Dear teachers and members:

    Once I asked this same query but it was not well organized as I drew it up this time.

    In american English (AmE), in some multisyllable words the /h/ phoneme is silent or elided in isolated words when the previous syllable is stressed; this phonological phenomen also ocurrs in the connected speech. I am not quite sure if this also happens in British English (BrE) too. The following is my exposition about it.



    I - IN ISOLATED WORDS:


    Vehicule /ˈviɪkəl/; 2) Durham /ˈdɜrəm/; 3) Pelham Bay /ˈpɛləm beɪ/; 4) Fordham Road; /ˈfɔrəm roʊd/; the /h/ sound has been elided in all these words.


    Pronunciation note in the word VEHICLE.


    Because the primary stress in VEHICLE is on the first syllable, the /h/ on the second syllable tends to desapear /ˈviːɪkəl/. A pronunciation with the primary stress on the second syllable and a fully pronounced /h/ is usually considered nonstandard / vɪˈhɪkjʊlər/. In the adjective VEHICULAR, where the primary stress is normal on the second syllable, the /h/ is always pronounced.


    II - IN CONNECTED SPEECH.


    a) I worked hard /aɪˈwɜrkthɑrd/; tends to elide the /h/ sound, sounding as: /aɪ ˈwɜrktɑrd/


    b) He broke his arm / hiˈbroʊkhɪzɑrm / tends to elide the /h/, sounding as: / hiˈbroʊkɪzɑrm /


    c) He worked here in 1970. /hiˈwɜrkthɪər ɪn1970/ eliding the /h/ phoneme and sounding as /hiˈwɜrktɪər ɪn1970/


    III - WITH THE OBJECT PRONOUNS (HER) AND (HIM).


    I also find the object pronouns HIM and HER elide their /h/ phoneme in most of the times when the previous syllable is stressed in conversation, for examples:


    d) Tell him to come / ˈtɛlhɪmtəˌkʌm / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / ˈtɛlɪmtəˈkʌm /


    e) I told you to give her the book / aɪˈtəʊldʒjətəˌɡɪvhərəˈbʊk / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / aɪˈtəʊldʒjətəˌɡɪvərəˈbʊk /


    IV - WHEN THE AUXILIARY (HAVE) IS PRECEDED BY A MODAL VERB.


    When the auxiliary HAVE is preceded by the modal verbs WOULD, COULD, SHOULD, MUST and MIGHT, the auxiliary HAVE elides its /h/ phoneme; the /d/ or /t/ phoneme of the preceding modal verb always becomes flap or tap /d/ or /t/, thus taking the /r/ sound. For examples:


    f) Anything would have been better / ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋˈwʊrəbɪnˌbɛtər/


    g) He could have done much more / hiˈkʊrəˌdʌnmʌtʃˈmɔr/


    h) It should have been you /ɪtˈʃʊrəbɪnˈjə/


    i) it must have been love / ɪtˈmʌsəbɪnˌlʌv / sometimes / ɪtˈmʌstəvbɪnˌlʌv /


    j) I might have been an architec / aɪˈmaɪrəbɪnənˈɑrkɪˌtɛkt/


    QUESTIONS :


    1) In the connected speech, the syllable preceding HIM, HER and HAVE is always stressed and end with a consonant sound, different than in isolated words which may be preceded by both, a consonant or a vowel sound.


    Does this ─a stressed syllable ending with a consonant sound─ have anything to do for /h/ to lose its sound?


    2) Regarding the connected speech again, I haven't seen a phoneme /h/ elided its sound when it's preceded by a syllable ending with a vowel sound.


    k) I know her brother / aɪ
    ˈnəʊ hərˌbrʌər /


    Could this be possible to happen with a preceding syllable ending with a vowel sound?


    OBSERVATION.


    *The stress syllable preceding the syllable losing its /h/ sound is always a primary stress; in other words, it's the strongest one.


    Hoping to receive your valuable feedback and insight.
    Last edited by The apprentice; 31-Mar-2015 at 15:20.

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    #2

    Elision of the phoneme /h/ in connected speech

    Dear teachers and members:

    Once I asked this same query but it was not well organized as I drew it up this time.

    In american English (AmE), in some multisyllable words the /h/ phoneme is silent or elided in isolated words when the previous syllable is stressed; this phonological phenomen also ocurrs in the connected speech. I am not quite sure if this also happens in British English (BrE) too. The following is my exposition about it.



    I - IN ISOLATED WORDS:


    Vehicule /ˈviɪkəl/; 2) Durham /ˈdɜrəm/; 3) Pelham Bay /ˈpɛləm beɪ/; 4) Fordham Road; /ˈfɔrəm roʊd/; the /h/ sound has been elided in all these words.


    Pronunciation note in the word VEHICLE.


    Because the primary stress in VEHICLE is on the first syllable, the /h/ on the second syllable tends to desapear /ˈviːɪkəl/. A pronunciation with the primary stress on the second syllable and a fully pronounced /h/ is usually considered nonstandard / vɪˈhɪkjʊlər/. In the adjective VEHICULAR, where the primary stress is normal on the second syllable, the /h/ is always pronounced.


    II - IN CONNECTED SPEECH.


    a) I worked hard /aɪˈwɜrkthɑrd/; tends to elide the /h/ sound, sounding as: /aɪ ˈwɜrktɑrd/


    b) He broke his arm / hiˈbroʊkhɪzɑrm / tends to elide the /h/, sounding as: / hiˈbroʊkɪzɑrm /


    c) He worked here in 1970. /hiˈwɜrkthɪər ɪn1970/ eliding the /h/ phoneme and sounding as /hiˈwɜrktɪər ɪn1970/


    III - WITH THE OBJECT PRONOUNS (HER) AND (HIM).


    I also find the object pronouns HIM and HER elide their /h/ phoneme in most of the times when the previous syllable is stressed in conversation, for examples:


    d) Tell him to come / ˈtɛlhɪmtəˌkʌm / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / ˈtɛlɪmtəˈkʌm /


    e) I told you to give her the book / aɪˈtəʊldʒjətəˌɡɪvhərəˈbʊk / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / aɪˈtəʊldʒjətəˌɡɪvərəˈbʊk /


    IV - WHEN THE AUXILIARY (HAVE) IS PRECEDED BY A MODAL VERB.


    When the auxiliary HAVE is preceded by the modal verbs WOULD, COULD, SHOULD, MUST and MIGHT, the auxiliary HAVE elides its /h/ phoneme; the /d/ or /t/ phoneme of the preceding modal verb always becomes flap or tap /d/ or /t/, thus taking the /r/ sound. For examples:


    f) Anything would have been better / ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋˈwʊrəbɪnˌbɛtər/


    g) He could have done much more / hiˈkʊrəˌdʌnmʌtʃˈmɔr/


    h) It should have been you /ɪtˈʃʊrəbɪnˈjə/


    i) it must have been love / ɪtˈmʌsəbɪnˌlʌv / sometimes / ɪtˈmʌstəvbɪnˌlʌv /


    j) I might have been an architec / aɪˈmaɪrəbɪnənˈɑrkɪˌtɛkt/


    QUESTIONS :


    1) In the connected speech, the syllable preceding HIM, HER and HAVE is always stressed and end with a consonant sound, different than in isolated words which may be preceded by both, a consonant or a vowel sound.


    Does this ─a stressed syllable ending with a consonant sound─ have anything to do for /h/ to lose its sound?


    2) Regarding the connected speech again, I haven't seen a phoneme /h/ elided its sound when it's preceded by a syllable ending with a vowel sound.


    k) I know her brother / aɪ ˌnəʊ hər ˈbrʌər /


    Could this be possible to happen with a preceding syllable ending with a vowel sound?


    OBSERVATION.


    *The stress syllable preceding the syllable losing its /h/ sound is always a primary stress; in other words, it's the strongest one.


    Hoping to receive your valuable feedback and insight.
    Last edited by The apprentice; 26-Mar-2015 at 09:50.

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    #3

    Re: Elision of the phoneme /h/ in connected speech

    It does happen in BrE too. I think that in older RP, there is more of a tendency to keep the /h/, but it does get dropped a lot. With k) I know her brother / aɪ ˌnəʊ hər ˈbrʌər / you'll find many who drop the /h/.
    Last edited by Tdol; 01-Apr-2015 at 08:19. Reason: typo

  1. mandrews01's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Elision of the phoneme /h/ in connected speech

    You asked 'Does this ─a stressed syllable ending with a consonant sound─ have anything to do for /h/ to lose its sound?'

    As a general rule, I would say that the vast majority of native AmE and BrE speakers nowadays would certainly drop the /h/ in 'his, her, him, herself, himself' when those words are preceded by any consonant sound, whether it be a voiced or unvoiced consonant. It is the consonant itself that results in the elision of /h/' in the following word, nothing to do with the stress.

    He told his friend something = tolDis = 'told' is a one syllabled word, so 'word stress' does not apply, yet the /h/ is elided.
    He berated his friend = berateDis = the stress in 'berated' is in the middle of the word, not in the last syllable, yet still the /h/ is elided.





  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Elision of the phoneme /h/ in connected speech

    No, in AmE we sometimes say "I see 'er." You could even elide when the pronoun is stressed. I'm not sure your 'rules' are so solid.

  3. mandrews01's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Elision of the phoneme /h/ in connected speech

    Hi,

    You are right, thank you for pointing this out.
    Regarding 'I see 'er', it's the same in BrE.
    That is actually exactly what I meant, if the pronoun is stressed or not, elision has nothing to do with stress.
    It is usually the ending of the preceding word that determines what happens to the next word. It is simply a question of linking and assimilation. The /h/ is only elided to make the linking of words easier and to aid speech 'flow' so to speak. Especially in high frequency words such as 'his, her' etc.
    Also, one should note that there is no consonant at the end of 'see'. Therefore a slightly different rule applies when a vowel precedes these words.
    Again, in order to link 'see' and 'her' both in AmE and BrE we apply 'y insertion'. Therefore, strictly speaking, we don't really say 'I see 'er' but 'I seeYer'.

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    #7

    Re: Elision of the phoneme /h/ in connected speech

    Thank you Mandrews01

    I agree with you in regard to your viewpoint whether the consonant phoneme prior to the /h/ one is stressed or not for the elision to happen, but if the syllable having the phoneme /h/ is stressed, the elision cannot occur.

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