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## How do you pronounce these words?

 Quote by loseyourname In fact, strictly speaking, neither is a phoneme, as they are both compound sounds, the former being a dipthong and the latter being a vowel sound that fades into a consonant (although, in Irish, the latter is a grapheme).
We have different definitions of phoneme then. Perhaps your 'phoneme' is my 'phone'. ?

My phone is an 'atomic' unit of speech sound. The role of the sound in a specific language isn't important. The physical properties of the sound are the focus. Phone = speech as a physical event.

My phoneme is an 'atomic' unit of sound meaning. The sound must make a difference in the meaning of words. The physical properties of the sound aren't important. The role of the sound in the language is the focus. Phoneme = speech as conveying meaning.

So a phoneme can consist of two or more phones occurring together, as in diphthongs. For instance, partly because twos, shoes, and choose are different words, /t/, /$/ (sh sound), and /t$/ (ch sound) are phonemes. The sounds make a difference in the meaning of the words. But /t$/ is actually made up of two phones, /t/ and /$/.

Two different phones can also be counted as (variations of) the same phoneme, as in people pronouncing Boston differently - different sounds, same meaning; or in the above example of the short /e/ and long /e/ phones - different phones, same phoneme. Well, those examples are iffy, but I can't think of better ones.

That's what I gather so far, at least. I'm still learning and there seems to be a lot of um 'room for interpretation', even amongst professionals.

Oh, and the reason I said 'atomic' is that they aren't always strictly atomic in every way. /t/ and /$/ are also phonemes, so you could look at /t$/ as consiting of two phonemes, but that's a bit misleading. /e/ (the long a in bay) contains the phoneme /j/ (the y in yes), as you pointed out. But /t$/ and /e/ are still single phonemes for more complicated reasons, most of which I don't even know yet. Part of /e/ being a single phoneme would be that you can't separate the /j/ part from the rest of it. That is, the first half of /e/ is always followed by the second half - the first half never appears alone. The second half, /j/, can and does appear alone and makes a difference in the meaning of words, so it's a phoneme. So it's more like dealing with patterns of sounds than with individual sounds. Meh, if that makes sense.  Quote by honestrosewater My linguistics book says that some people pronounce the following words differently, but it doesn't say how these people pronounce the words! So... what do you do? (I think they're talking about American English, but any English dialect is welcome.) witch - which horse - hoarse morning - mourning sot - sought cot - caught bawdy - body father - farther Mary - merry - marry poor - pour - pore I pronounce father and farther differently - there's an /r/ sound after the a, as in far, in the latter. There's no consistent difference in my pronunciations of the others. I am the same as you - except that in my language, there is no such word as 'sot'.  Quote by hitssquad ...I pronounce them all the same... It must be very difficult to have a conversation with you. "Hey hitssquad, which horse is your father going to ride in the morning?" hitssquad: "My which is going to ride the which named Which, which will be in the which." Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by DaveC426913 It must be very difficult to have a conversation with you. "Hey hitssquad, which horse is your father going to ride in the morning?" hitssquad: "My which is going to ride the which named Which, which will be in the which." Gravedigger. Er, so I'm not alone in this, I mean the gravedigger in Hamlet. "How absolute the knave is. We must speak by the card or equivocation will undo us." Sorry, language and Shakespeare make me giddy. It's funny - trust me.  hone: yeah the chinese languages are tonal(sorry i used the word tonality). Bad grammar on my part(heh i went to ESL my first few years as a child). Too my knoweldge that link nereid provides suggests...that all three of duration, loudness,pitch are involved in teh 5 mandarin tones. Duration however is more effective in the reading of chinese poetry called "tze yue"(good old chinese soaps). I only known them as tones 0-4. 0 being #5 in that link. But i believe those properties are listed in correct order...its so hard to think from english to chinese and back to see if someone did ti right. as for the issue of english letters and phonemes. if you convert them to a tonal language...some of different spellings spell different tones of a tonal language. Though the the english language they may be considered different. Again its pretty hard to map phoneme to phoneme(letter2letter...yes there is an unrecognized mandarin alphabet(i think its only recognized in Taiwan...but it sthe way i learned and its the way i think westerners should learn bbecase of the tendency to replace sounds with their native lnaguage using the same alphabet.). I've tried and i've also seen the pinyin mapping from chinese2english which i don't like(i prefer the taiwanese though because it tries to use the exact english sound rather than convert things like X,Q...that is they use chi and shi...i hope those are the write mappings). havent' tried english 2 chinese but i should Recognitions: Gold Member Staff Emeritus  Quote by honestrosewater My phoneme is an 'atomic' unit of sound meaning. The sound must make a difference in the meaning of words. The physical properties of the sound aren't important. The role of the sound in the language is the focus. Phoneme = speech as conveying meaning. So a phoneme can consist of two or more phones occurring together, as in diphthongs. For instance, partly because twos, shoes, and choose are different words, /t/, /$/ (sh sound), and /t$/ (ch sound) are phonemes. The sounds make a difference in the meaning of the words. But /t$/ is actually made up of two phones, /t/ and /\$/.
Actually, I'm using the same definition, but I looked at it differently. To use the sounds he was talking about, take the words "Pau" and "Paw." They differ only in the final sound that makes a dipthong with the "ah" sound. Since changing half the dipthong can make a difference in meaning, I didn't consider the entire dipthong to be a phoneme.

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 Quote by loseyourname Actually, I'm using the same definition, but I looked at it differently. To use the sounds he was talking about, take the words "Pau" and "Paw." They differ only in the final sound that makes a dipthong with the "ah" sound. Since changing half the dipthong can make a difference in meaning, I didn't consider the entire dipthong to be a phoneme.
How do you pronounce pau? The only definition I found was Pau - /po/ - a city in France.

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 Quote by honestrosewater How do you pronounce pau? The only definition I found was Pau - /po/ - a city in France.
"Pow," like in the old Batman comics. It's a Spanish first name.

 Recognitions: Gold Member Okay. I can't come up with my own argument for or against your interpretation. I don't see anything wrong with either, but maybe that'll change when I get into the process of determining phonemes and variants.

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 Quote by selfAdjoint witch - which I pronounce which with a little more breath. horse - hoarse The same. morning - mourning The same. sot - sought Different: saht - sawt cot - caught Likewise: caht - cawt bawdy - body Bawdy as spelled vs. bahdy father - farther I pronounce the first r in farther Mary - merry - marry The same
Must be a Wisconsin thing... I pronounce everything the same as you.
Cheers,
Ryan

 Quote by selfAdjoint witch - which I pronounce which with a little more breath. horse - hoarse The same. morning - mourning The same. sot - sought Different: saht - sawt cot - caught Likewise: caht - cawt bawdy - body Bawdy as spelled vs. bahdy father - farther I pronounce the first r in farther Mary - merry - marry The same
I live in Illinois. Wisconsin is above illinois. I live very close to the border of wisconsin though.

 Recognitions: Gold Member Staff Emeritus I actually only moved to Wisconsin a couple of years ago. My formative years were spent in Southern California. I was born in Maryland and have also spent years of my life in Indiana and Illinois.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Staff Emeritus My aunt lived the first 35 years of her life in SoCal, then moved to Wisconsin about 10 years ago or so. She speaks like a native Upper-Midwesterner. Same thing happened to my cousin when she moved to Missouri. It's funny because she doesn't even realize that she sounds any different.

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 Quote by loseyourname My aunt lived the first 35 years of her life in SoCal, then moved to Wisconsin about 10 years ago or so. She speaks like a native Upper-Midwesterner. Same thing happened to my cousin when she moved to Missouri. It's funny because she doesn't even realize that she sounds any different.

My daughter, who was born in Indiana and grew up in Illinoois, has been in Wisconsin for 15 years. She used to say that when she visited us in Illinois for Christmas, her workmates would kid her about her "southern accent" when she got back. She couldn't hear the difference either.

 Quote by honestrosewater My linguistics book says that some people pronounce the following words differently, but it doesn't say how these people pronounce the words! So... what do you do? (I think they're talking about American English, but any English dialect is welcome.) witch - which horse - hoarse morning - mourning sot - sought cot - caught bawdy - body father - farther Mary - merry - marry poor - pour - pore I pronounce father and farther differently - there's an /r/ sound after the a, as in far, in the latter. There's no consistent difference in my pronunciations of the others.
Fire - far , down in the south sometimes.

 It's commonly the case that Midwesterners and people from the West Coast (of the US) will not distinguish between /a/ and what is called the "open o." You'll find the difference most noticable in the a New Yorker saying "coffee" and a Wisconsinite saying the same thing. The open o is basically a little more rounded. We discussed the Mary, merry, marry example and came up with one of the pronunciations is a raised r-colored epsilon, one is a normal r-colored epsilon and I don't exactly remember the last (ash perhaps?). I'm not sure which one is which, beause I pronounce them all the same. Any ideas?

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 Quote by Flyer It's commonly the case that Midwesterners and people from the West Coast (of the US) will not distinguish between /a/ and what is called the "open o." You'll find the difference most noticable in the a New Yorker saying "coffee" and a Wisconsinite saying the same thing. The open o is basically a little more rounded.
Yeah, I've learned a little more about it, though I still don't have a clear, um, 'picture' of it. I can't find my notes now, but I remember seeing it used for north in the English narrow transcription in the IPA Handbook (pg. 44). (Do you have it? I thought about getting it, but I'm not sure I'll even use most of it.) In a transcription for my own personal use, I'm using /ɔ/ for cold, though it may be an allophone - do you know? I haven't gotten that far yet. Sorry I'm rambling - I'm just excited to meet you. I think everyone else I've checked uses /kold/, but I don't pronounce it that way - I would say their /kold/ more like /'koəld/ or maybe with a syllabic /l/ or maybe just a short /o/. Eh. But I guess they're broad anyway. So far, I'm only using my personal system for a broad transcription. Rhoticity is the only diacritic I'm using, and only for the following vowels:

/i/ beard
/e/ bared
/a/ barred
/ɔ/ bored
/ə/ bird

I just mention it in case you have an opinion about my choices. I'd love to get some feedback. I spent quite a while trying to figure them out and make a decision.
 We discussed the Mary, merry, marry example and came up with one of the pronunciations is a raised r-colored epsilon, one is a normal r-colored epsilon and I don't exactly remember the last (ash perhaps?). I'm not sure which one is which, beause I pronounce them all the same. Any ideas?
You discussed it!? Are you taking a class, working on your own, as a hobby...? I pronounce them all the same too. Broad transcriptions are given later in the chapter (I discovered too late) - the author's pronunciation and the 'more common' one:

word : author's : common
merry : mɛri : meri
marry : mæri : meri
Mary : meri : meri
__

rare : /rer/

is the only comparison I can find of author's other broad transcriptions. Is that close to what you had in mind?