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Thread: Only

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    #1

    Only

    Today, I discovered that the pronunciation of the word only is /oʊnli/. I could swear I've heard /onli/ from native speakers. Am I right?

    How would you transcribe Rihanna's only in this song?

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    #2

    Re: Only

    She doesn't have enough time to realize much of a diphthong in the song. I'm pretty confident she pronounces only (and "tone", "bone" and so on) with /oʊ/ in speech.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Only

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    She doesn't have enough time to realize much of a diphthong in the song. I'm pretty confident she pronounces only (and "tone", "bone" and so on) with /oʊ/ in speech.
    How about yourself?

    Is there a chance that in casual conversation, when speaking fast, people reduce the diphthong to a simple vowel? Or is it just that I think I've heard them doing so because I don't know any better?

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    #4

    Re: Only

    I suspect that all speakers tend to reduce diphthongs to monophthongs in rapid speech.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Only

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    How would you transcribe Rihanna's only in this song?
    I would transcribe it as a diphthong.

    My BrE pronunciation is /ˈəʊnli/. I am fairly sure I never produce the first sound as a monophthong.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I suspect that all speakers tend to reduce diphthongs to monophthongs in rapid speech.
    I am pretty sure they don't - at least not in BrE.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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