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  1. Just Joined
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    #1

    ''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?

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    #2

    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    I'd say the syllables were fam-i-ly.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #3

    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.

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    #4

    Re: ''family'' - why []?

    That's also true of BrE or many speakers.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    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

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    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.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    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?

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    #8

    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)

  9. probus's Avatar
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    #9

    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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