Possessive - Charles IX's wive - Hendrix's album ... tricky cases

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DearPrudence

Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
IdF
French (lower Normandy)
Hello everyone

I suppose it has already been done but I think it would take me ages to find it so here are post my questions (several of them but all related)
What do you pronounce:
Jimmy Hendrix's album
Oasis'(s) latest album
Gorillaz'(s) latest album
Charles IX's wife

Personally I suppose it would be strange to pronounce the 's' but really I have no idea how you're supposed to pronounce it and to write it.

Thank you very much in advance.
 
  • Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Here's what I would say:

    Jimmy Hendriksiz album
    Oasisiz latest album
    Gorillaz latest album
    Charles the ninth's wife

    The Gorillaz example is curious. I suppose I don't pronounce anything extra because it's plural, unlike the others (even though it's written as a z) -- just like I would pronounce "the boys' umbrella" as "the boyz umbrella" and not "the boyziz umbrella".


    Funnily enough I was just reading a similar example in Peter Roach's [roachiz] English Phonetics and Phonology: George VI's throne. It's given as an example of elision, since most people would pronounce it as "...the siks throne". Only the most pedantic pronouncer, like the Queen, would say "...the siksthsthrone". But then she probably wouldn't pronounce it at all: she'd just say "my father's throne".
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Thank you very much Aupick
    So if I'm not mistaken, you wouldn't pronounce the 's' of 'Charles the ninth's wife' even if I write it. So not pronounced like 'clothes' /kləʊð/?

    Aupick said:
    Only the most pedantic pronouncer, like the Queen, would say "...the siksthsthrone". But then she probably wouldn't pronounce it at all: she'd just say "my father's throne".
    :D I should try to reformulate as well: 'Do you know Charles IX? So his wife ...'
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    A wise reformulation. :D

    You know, the more I say this phrase to myself, the less I know what I would say normally, in natural conversation. I've got this notion that I would pronounce both the th and the s, but can that really be true when I'm hurtling along in full conversation, telling a racy story about my brush with royalty? If anything gets dropped, though, it's probably the th, but even then only partially: Charles the nine'ss wife. (It's difficult to transcribe.) It might become a glottal stop instead. I'll have to try again in half an hour. My mouth is drying up and my screen's covered in spittle... :p
     

    rsweet

    Senior Member
    English, North America
    I couldn't help doing some practical experimentation here. I can feel the "th" and the "s," in my mouth, but it's pronounced so fast that you don't necessarily hear it.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    As with most pronunciation, the further you get from London, the more likely you are to find that all sounds are pronounced , and no additional unwritten sounds are added.
    So, Charles the sixth's, around here, will end with the full set of k-s-th-s.
    Various of these will vanish in more rapid, or more casual conversation.

    As for writing them, you really should check the threads here.
    A search for possessive apostrophe finds many of them.
    Punctuation - possessive apostrophe
    Doctor's bag, blacksmith's apron, policeman's helmet
    Possessive constructions
    possessive forms
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    You are mispronouncing "clothes" (at least by the American standard): it is normally /kləʊz/. (It is possible that some speakers in unusually careful pronunciation also pronounce the 'th'.)
    DearPrudence said:
    Thank you very much Aupick
    So if I'm not mistaken, you wouldn't pronounce the 's' of 'Charles the ninth's wife' even if I write it. So not pronounced like 'clothes' /kləʊð/?
    I second all of Aupick's pronunciations. You do pronounce the possessive /s/ in "Charles IX's".
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    Aupick said:
    Here's what I would say:

    Jimmy Hendriksiz album
    Oasisiz latest album
    Gorillaz latest album
    Charles the ninth's wife

    The Gorillaz example is curious. I suppose I don't pronounce anything extra because it's plural, unlike the others (even though it's written as a z) -- just like I would pronounce "the boys' umbrella" as "the boyz umbrella" and not "the boyziz umbrella".".
    This is an example of morphological conditioning of a phonological alternation. In everyday words, this means that a phonological alternation depends on the grammatical content of the word.

    Here is another example of morphological conditioning of a phonological alternation. I present this example not to be deliberately naughty by going off topic, but to explain the obscure concept.

    sing > singer
    hang > hanger
    ring > ringer

    but in contrast:

    long, strong > longer, stronger, actually 'longger', 'strongger'

    The morphological conditions in these cases are that the one '-er' means 'agent doing the action of the verb', and the other '-er' means "adjectival comparison".
     
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