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  1. #1
    pavelij is offline Just Joined
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    ''family'' - why []?

    Why do we pronounce ''family'' as a /ˈfməli/, but not /'feɪməli/? Stressed syllable ends with a vowel, but why do we pronounce it as a closed type of syllable?

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    Or fam-ly in American English. We don't pronounce the middle syllable unless we're speaking very slowly and carefully.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
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    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
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    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    I'm in the habit of pronouncing all three syllables: fam-i-ly.

    I might sometimes leave out the middle syllable. I'm not sure.
    Not a professional teacher

  4. #4
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    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I'm in the habit of pronouncing all three syllables: fam-i-ly.

    I might sometimes leave out the middle syllable. I'm not sure.
    Back in Ohio I heard fambly sometimes: Let's warsh up and take the fambly to the thee-ay-ter.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. #5
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    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    When you say "closed type of syllable" I understand you mean that the syllable contains a short vowel.

    There's no rule that says short vowels can't be stressed. Who told you there is?

  6. #6
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Or fam-ly in American English. We don't pronounce the middle syllable unless we're speaking very slowly and carefully.
    I'm American and I have always pronounced it with three syllables.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  7. #7
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    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    In phrases like "family law" and "family matters" I do give it three syllables but the "i" is so extremly short it almost vanishes. Most Canadians do the same I think.

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