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IPA choosing correct pronunciations of words

  1. Dec 21, 2009 #1

    Char. Limit

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    IPA "choosing" correct pronunciations of words

    I was reading a thread here (yes, I can read) when I saw people talking about the IPA "choosing" correct pronunciations of words.

    Who are they to do this? How can this bunch of lowlifes say that how I pronounce "egg" or "pretend" is wrong?

    Btw, "egg" has an "a" sound in it, a long a, and pretend has a long e and a short e, in that order. There's no short i's in pretend, and no short e's in egg.
    Also, cot and caught are homophones to me.

    Bonus points for guessing the thread I was reading, or my region of living.
     
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  3. Dec 21, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Ipa

    They don't decide the pronunciation they just list what they consider to be the most common, it's usually different in English and America dictionaries.

    It's a goo point though when anyone proposes simplifying English spelling so that it's more like how the word sounds - but 'sounds' in whose accent ?
     
  4. Dec 21, 2009 #3
    Re: Ipa

    I don't see why egg should have a long "a" sound in it if all words beginning with "e" don't have that as well.
    What you have is an accent. Some accents are close to the correct pronunciation and some are way off. Your egg example is one that is way off.
    The most common way of saying "elephantiasis" is "elephantitis", but that's still an incorrect way of saying it.
     
  5. Dec 21, 2009 #4

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    Lol, you know that to me, you'd be the one with the accent?

    That's part of my point. Which accent do you choose as the correct one? A Southern accent? Perhaps Bostonian or Cockney? My accent is of the Pacific Northwest dialect. To me, I sound accentless. You'd disagree.

    And in English, spelling in no way dictates sound. Just look at the "ghoti" joke. So the e in egg doesn't mean it's pronounced like a short e. Not at all.
     
  6. Dec 21, 2009 #5

    Monique

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    Re: Ipa

    What's the point? People make up rules to strive for homogeneity. If I watch a news cast I want to understand the news anchor and not be puzzled about the incomprehensible accent that they speak (which happens in local newscasts).

    I can pronounce the word "egg" in a way that you would never imagine, does that mean that I should?
     
  7. Dec 21, 2009 #6
    Re: Ipa

    I come from South Jersey. We have no accent.
     
  8. Dec 21, 2009 #7

    ranger

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    Re: Ipa

    Who cares? English is not a phonetic language. Once you can spell correctly, theres no need to create a storm. Lots of people pronounce 'saw' as 'sore', but they still know that the correct spelling is 'saw'
     
  9. Dec 22, 2009 #8

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    Re: Ipa

    I'm from Eastern Washington. We also have no accent, to me at least.

    Wouldn't it be great if Cockney was the "correct" way of speaking?
     
  10. Dec 22, 2009 #9
    Re: Ipa

    I think the accent that pronounces most words how they're meant to be pronounced is the most correct way. Dictionaries have pronunciation guides in them. Do different parts of the country have different dictionaries so that they have different pronunciation guides?
    For your egg example, do your local dictionaries back you up on that pronunciation?

    I live in Florida. Most black people here have a different accent than most people. You'll sometimes here white kids try to mimic it to sound cool, like Eminem. Their accent is somewhat southern mixed with a unique accent that they created on their own. It's hard to understand sometimes. Is that also a correct way of speaking English? They're not taught that in school, but they're so used to speaking that way casually that it continues despite learning the correct way. All these different accents can't all be perfectly legitimate ways of speaking the same language.
    Spelling dictates sound. It's just that a lot of words in English come from languages where their rules are applied to the word.

    I'm unfamiliar with the "ghoti" joke.

    The E in egg does mean that it at least has an "e" sound. You can't just apply any sound to it and expect everyone to accept that as an equally valid alternate pronunciation.
     
  11. Dec 22, 2009 #10

    Char. Limit

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    Re: Ipa

    The "ghoti" joke:

    Say I spell the word "ghoti". How do I pronounce it? Well, using the "gh" sound from "enough" (an f sound), the "o" sound from "women" (a short i), and the "ti" sound from "nation" (a sh sound), it's obviously pronounced like "fish".

    This just shows the absurdity of the spelling of our language.

    Some people pronounce "egg" as "igg", some pronounce it as "aigg", some pronounce it as "egg". Who's correct? Depends on where you live.

    Also, Merriam-Webster supports me on the pronunciation of egg:

    See? Long a. It's an "aigg" sound. And I believe Merriam-Webster.
     
  12. Dec 22, 2009 #11
    Re: Ipa

    That's pretty funny.
    Not really, since you have to break a bunch of rules to get to that conclusion.
    Call me crazy, but I tend to think the one who pronounces E's like E's is correct.
    That's interesting. But notice it's the second one, indicating it's less common. And if you click to hear the pronunciation, he only says it with the E sound.
    A lot of people do pronounce it like that, god knows why, but I guess that's the reason for having it show up as an alternate pronunciation.
     
  13. Dec 22, 2009 #12
    Re: Ipa

    This makes for an amusing topic.

    I was taught to read using the "Hooked on Phonics" method. (Does anyone remember that stuff?)

    I grew up in Mississippi, but have little or no southern accent. It doesn't mean I don't have an accent, everyone has an accent. While some dialects have unique ways of pronouncing words, most words can only be read one way using the standard rules. I can honestly hear the difference between cot and caught from a person who is reading the word. Egg can be said different ways by different people, but it can only be read one way. With the letters it is given. I have friends who pronounce oil, ole. They poke fun at the way I say it, but its just a result of my learning to say words as they are spelled. One of my favorites is against. People around where I live say aginst by spelling but the spelling suggests that the a says its name.
     
  14. Dec 23, 2009 #13

    Char. Limit

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    Re: Ipa

    Pattonias, I pronounce "against" yet a third way: as if it were spelled "agennst", like the "enn" in Glenn.

    Even if it's an "alternate" pronunciation, it's still one of two correct pronunciations.

    Also, to me, "cot" and "caught" both have the o sound in "dog", "Bosnia", and "rotting".

    Hopefully the three word examples will cover any differences in dialect.
     
  15. Dec 23, 2009 #14
    Re: Ipa

    Me too. The only person I've heard say it with the "gain" part pronounced like "gain" by itself is Jean Grey from the X-Men cartoon.
    Me too. I honestly don't see how you could pronounce it any other way. The "au" part is pronounced like an "o" and the "gh" is silent. So you're left with a word sounding like "cot".
     
  16. Dec 23, 2009 #15
    Re: Ipa

    As far as sounding like Jean Grey, I don't remember lol

    I can hear the gh in caught it makes the word a little longer and I can hear the h sound. In cot, the word is shorter (takes less time to say) and has no h sound. I kind of wish we had audio for this discussion. It would be really neat to hear eachothers dialects.
     
  17. Dec 24, 2009 #16

    Char. Limit

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    Re: Ipa

    Oh, if only Wiis had microphones...

    Actually, I looked up my own dialect, and the "cot-caught merger" essentially is the only thing we do, apparently...
     
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