When he is pronounced as /i/

GoodTaste

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

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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
 

emsr2d2

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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".
 

GoesStation

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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.
 

PeterCW

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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.
 

emsr2d2

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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"! :shock:
 

jutfrank

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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/.
 

jutfrank

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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?
 
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jutfrank

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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.
 

jutfrank

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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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