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  1. #1
    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    When he is pronounced as /i/

    Could you give me some examples of "he" being pronounced as /i/?

    =========================

    he
    pronoun
    UK strong /hiː/ weak /hi/ weak /i/ US strong /hiː/ weak /hi/ weak /i/

    A1
    used as the subject of a verb to refer to a man, boy, or male animal that has already been mentioned:

    Source: Cambridge Dictionary
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/he

  2. #2
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    After a consonant, the "h" is sometimes lost.

    "When he comes" can sound like "Whenny comes".
    "Did he do it?" can sound like "Diddy do it?"

    Some native speakers lose the "h" even at the start of a sentence.

    "He isn't my brother" can sound like "Ee isn't my brother".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    Americans don't drop the H at the beginning of a sentence but otherwise pronounce "he" as emsr2d2 said. For example, "When's 'e coming?"

    Your thread title should have been When "he" is pronounced as /i/. Quotation marks aren't optional. Please pay attention to this in future posts.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    PeterCW is offline Member
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    After a consonant, the "h" is sometimes lost.

    "When he comes" can sound like "Whenny comes".
    "Did he do it?" can sound like "Diddy do it?"

    Some native speakers lose the "h" even at the start of a sentence.

    "He isn't my brother" can sound like "Ee isn't my brother".

    Dropping the "h" is a feature of some, predominantly working class, BrE dialects. You will find in literature characters redundantly adding an "h" to words starting with vowels to indicate that they are trying to affect a more upper class mode of speech.
    Retired magazine editor and native British English speaker - not a teacher

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterCW View Post
    You will find in literature characters redundantly adding an "h" to words starting with vowels to indicate that they are trying to affect a more upper class mode of speech.
    That's what led to someone I was at school with saying "a helephant" and "a haeroplane"!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    The dictionary is talking about weak and strong forms of pronunciation. A weak form of he is pronounced when the word is unstressed. Two very good examples of this have been given by emsr2d2 in post #2:

    when he comes
    Did he do it?


    As mentioned, we drop the /h/ at the beginning of the word when it is in its weak form.

    Contrary to what the dictionary seems to be suggesting, I wouldn't transcribe the weak form vowel as a short /i/.

  7. #7
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    How would you transcribe it, jutfrank?
    As a long vowel, with the two dots. Although the weak form vowel is shorter than the strong one, they both have a similar mouth-widened shape, and I think the long vowel symbol shows that better.

    wɛnzˈkʌmɪŋ

    (When's he coming?)

    Out of interest, Piscean, do you think John Wells would elide the /h/ in the string above? Would you?
    Last edited by jutfrank; 07-Sep-2020 at 22:25.

  8. #8
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I don't follow that. They have identical mouth shapes.
    I don't think that's right at all. Compare he and him, for instance. The vowel in the former is produced with a wider mouth shape.

    The difference between /i:/ and /i:/ is one of length only - that's what the dots signify.
    Well, the dots signify sustainability, yes. (You've made a typo there.)

    I'm referring to the difference in mouth shape between the vowels in he and him.

    Yes to both questions, though both he and I would use /e/ for the first vowel.
    Okay, thank you.

  9. #9
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: When he is pronounced as /i/

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Nobody has been talking about him. That has a different phoneme, /ɪ/, whereas he has /i:/ or /i/
    Oh, I see what you mean now. And yes, I see how what I said didn't make sense. We're on the same page. Apologies.

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