1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

When the end of a word is "ally ary ory", Whether we need pronounce "a,o"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nakatakangaroo, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. nakatakangaroo Junior Member

    Tianjin,China
    Chinese
    Hi Friends,
    When the end of a word is "ally / ary / ory / ully"
    Whether we need pronounce "a / o / u"? Or the native speakers often drop the pronunciation?
    For example:
    1.elementary / təri/ or /tri/?
    2.secretary / təri/ or /tri/
    3.dictionary / təri/ or /tri/
    4.lavatory / təri/ or /tri/
    5.history / təri/ or /tri/
    6.carefully /fuli/ or /fli/
    7.finally /nəli/ or /nli/
    Whether the AE and BE pronounce the different pronunciation?
    Thanks!


    Jimmy

    Jimmy
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Is the vowel pronounced sometimes, and dropped other times? Yes.
    Is the vowel dropped most of the time? No.
     
  3. ceznaldo Senior Member

    English - UK
    Depends on where the English speaker comes from, or how fast they are talking, how drunk they are etc etc. I can only speak for the south of the UK where the vowels are tending to be dropped more and more. But if you go up north to Liverpool/Manchester you will find that that particular vowel position in those words can often be emphasised.
     
  4. Loopin Junior Member

    Cape Town
    English - South Africa
    I think that it depends on whether the speaker has a rhotic or non-rhotic accent. A rhotic speaker will pronounce the /ə/ before the /r/ a non-rhotic speaker will not.

    If someone with a rhotic accent can confirm this it'd be great (I have a non-rhotic accent and NEVER pronounce the /ə/).
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  5. ilcigno

    ilcigno Senior Member

    I think it's more regional and even more personal than this. I have a rhotic accent. But, for example, I do pronounce the o in lavatory but not the o in history; I pronounce the a in dictionary but not the a in elementary.
     
  6. ceznaldo Senior Member

    English - UK
    "I think that it depends on whether the speaker has a rhotic or non-rhotic accent. A rhotic speaker will prounce the /ə/ before the /r/ a non-rhotic speaker will not."

    Yes I guess youre right, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset all the West of the UK would all pronounce the vowel
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  7. nakatakangaroo Junior Member

    Tianjin,China
    Chinese

    Noted your comments!
    But if I see a new word with the end of "ory / ary", how do I pronounce it native?
    Thanks!

    Jimmy
     
  8. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    If you are talking with AE speakers, you will always be safe if you pronounce the final vowel.
     
  9. ceznaldo Senior Member

    English - UK
    Same with UK Speakers, you will always be understood if you pronounce the vowel.
     
  10. nakatakangaroo Junior Member

    Tianjin,China
    Chinese
    I want to know how the AE speaker pronounce it?
    When AE speaker pronounce the vowel?
    When AE speaker drop the pronunciation of vowel?
    Thanks!

    Jimmy
     
  11. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Boston
    English--American

    Looks like he's taking a poll. I'm American, and I pronounce the final vowel on all these words except "elementary." I say "elementri" unless I am making fun of Sherlock Holmes, in which case I say "ElementAAHRY my Dear Watson."

    With the word "history" I usually pronounce the vowel but might drop it if history is an adjective, as in "I'm going to history (pronounced histri) class."

    Embonpoint


    P.S. Edited to add that sometimes I also drop the vowel on "finally." It depends on the context. If the emphasis is on finally I will always pronounce it, "I'm done, FINALLY." If the emphasis is on another word I might drop the vowel. "I'm finally (pron. finely) DONE."
     
  12. mplsray Senior Member

    I'm an American raised in the Midwest.

    In isolation, I would pronounce this with five syllables. It's possible I would shorten it to four syllables in some circumstances.

    I would always pronounce these in four syllables, the next-to-last vowel being the same as I use in terry cloth.

    I would always pronounce this with four syllables, with the next-to-last vowel being the same as I use in store.

    In isolation, I would pronounce this with three syllables, with a schwa as the next-to-last syllable. In some circumstances I might pronounce it with two syllables.

    In isolation, I would pronounce these with three syllables. In some circumstances, I might pronounce them with two syllables.

     
  13. Yôn Senior Member

    English
    For 2-4, Americans will use the first pronunciation, BE tends to use something more on line with the second. For 1, and 5-6 (including both fives ;) ), Americans and Brits use the second pronunciation, though 'carefully' and 'finally' may sometimes be heard with the first pronunciation in careful speech.

    Jon

    (ps) Hello fellow Minnesotan Mplsray. Always good to see extra home language representation :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  14. Whizbang Senior Member

    Texas
    English - American
    1. vowel, always
    2. vowel, always. Not a schwa, but [e]
    3. vowel, always. Not a schwa, but [e]
    4. vowel, always. Not a schwa, but [o]
    5(a). vowel, always, but very short
    5(b). vowel, always, but very short
    6. vowel, generally, possibly so short that the IPA could omit it

    EDIT: Difference between 5a/b and 6 may be that [n] is articulated so closely to [l] that there's little room for an intervening vowel in rapid speed. [st] and [f] offer more time to insert a transitional vowel.
     
  15. nakatakangaroo Junior Member

    Tianjin,China
    Chinese
    Thanks for your comments!
    I think if I can't make sure that how to pronounce it, I'd better pronounce the vowel?
     
  16. mplsray Senior Member

    That sounds like a good strategy, yes.


    I would note, however, that of the examples you gave, there is a strong difference between British English and American English in the treatment of the next-to-last vowel in lavatory. When that vowel is pronounced in British English, it is a schwa, but in American English, where it is always pronounced, it is an "o" sound (according to the Cambridge Dictionary of American English, either /ɔː/ or /oʊ/).
     
  17. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I think some of the possible differences BrE vs AE treatment of the penultimate vowel relate to where the stress in the overall word is (such as in 2., 3., and 4. of the examples). This can be a distinguishing feature between the two; so, if the penultimate vowel is in a stressed (or where a secondary stress occurs) syllable (more AE-like) it will be different from the BrE version, with stress earlier in the word, where the vowel goes to a schwa or disappears. This seems to be similar to what Yon is saying.
     

Share This Page