hurtle vs hurdle

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hal 2001

Banned
Russian - Russia
Hi,

Is there an audible difference between the pronunciations of "hurtle" and "hurdle"? I remember someone telling me that just because two words are spelled differently and mean different things doesn't mean they are actually pronounced differently. He gave me the example of "internet" and "inner net". He said that there was absolutely no difference in how they were pronounced. Another example he gave was "rider" and "writer".

Thanks!
 
  • AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    I pronounce rider and writer differently, but hurtle and hurdle the same unless I'm speaking very carefully.
     

    hal 2001

    Banned
    Russian - Russia
    Interesting! I listened to both "rider" and "writer" at forvo.com and for the life of me couldn't hear any difference between them. By the way, I'm talking about American and Canadian pronunciation.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can’t imagine any of those examples sounding the same (except maybe inner net for Internet if there’s a glottal stop).
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    AE (me):

    Writer and rider are definitely different. Especially the length of the i.

    Hurdle and hurtle are closer, and more subtle, but hurtle has more "punch" to it.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    (I still haven't completely understood the "American Flap T" phenomenon and whether this is an example, but) often butter sounds like budder in (some) AE (like latter/ladder and batter/badder etc).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Is there an audible difference between the pronunciations of "hurtle" and "hurdle"?
    There are two problems in answering this question:

    1. There may be a difference that is audible to native speakers and linguists, but not audible to you.

    2. Different speakers speak differently, even within the US.

    It's true that the phoneme 'T' has 4 different sounds in American English, depending on where it is in a word and what other sounds are before and after it. Mid-word, unstressed, between two vowel sounds it is very close to a D sound. For some speakers in some words, it is identical. For others it is similar.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think rider and writer is a great example. Even if you try to say the t and the d exactly the same, they still sound different because the (w)ri- is said differently. Rider is much more relaxed than writer.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm intrigued....

    How different, in most AmE accents, are (1) "The writer was from Texas" and (2) "The rider was from Texas"?
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    I'm intrigued....

    How different, in most AmE accents, are (1) "The writer was from Texas" and (2) "The rider was from Texas"?
    The first vowel is distinctly different to me. I think in some southern accents, including at least one spoken in parts of Texas, it would be the same.

    I think the vast majority of Americans would pronounce the middle consonant of rider and writer the same.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The first vowel is distinctly different to me. I think in some southern accents, including at least one spoken in parts of Texas, it would be the same.

    I think the vast majority of Americans would pronounce the middle consonant of rider and writer the same.
    Just out of interest - is the first vowel of "writer" longer or shorter than the first vowel of "rider"?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Here are two pages from Forvo. One for writer and one for rider. Listen to the male speaker from Canada - quentindevintino. He's saying both words so it's a direct comparison. I suggest opening the pages in two different tabs and going back and forth. He says them exactly how I would expect to hear them. (Except for the unfortunate v-ish sound he puts at the beginning of writer - vriter.)

    How to pronounce writer in English - Definition and synonyms of writer in English
    How to pronounce rider in English - Definition and synonyms of rider in English

    The male US voice saying "rider" in the WR dictionary is actually clearly saying "writer" in my opinion. writer is shorter and sharper. rider is softer and more drawn out, especially in the first syllable. It's rye versus rah-yee the way I hear it (if that makes sense).
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    The male US voice saying "rider" in the WR dictionary is actually clearly saying "writer" in my opinion.
    It sounds like "writer" to this American's ear, too — as do some of the North American voices on forvo.it. I hadn't noticed before but evidently some North Americans do indeed pronounce the words the same.
     

    hal 2001

    Banned
    Russian - Russia
    It sounds like "writer" to this American's ear, too — as do some of the North American voices on forvo.it. I hadn't noticed before but evidently some North Americans do indeed pronounce the words the same.
    Boy, am I glad to hear that! I thought my ears were deceiving me! :)
    And I'm glad everyone agrees that in American English "inner net" and "internet" are pronounced the same way.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's better to say "can be" than "are", because there's a lot of variation in that one.
     
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