pronunciation: affluence

airelibre

Senior Member
English - London
I was listening to a podcast by Dan Carlin, and he said several times "afFlUence" with stress on the penultimate syllable. I think the standard pronunciation is with stress on the first syllable, so is he just making a mistake, or is it a legitimate pronunciation in some dialects?
 
  • I've only heard it with the stress on the first syllable also. I do note, though, that our WR dictionary gives [often] "afFLUence" as an alternative.

    How often it's actually said that way by people, and where, I have no idea.

    (cross-posted with GF)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    That only appears in the second Random House dictionary. I've always heard it stressed on the first syllable.
     

    airelibre

    Senior Member
    English - London
    Yeah, the dictionaries on wordreference aren't very helpful in this matter. The ones with IPA only give the pronunciation with stress on the first syllable, and the Random House one has a pronunciation guide that I don't really understand, and doesn't say why or where or who says it with penultimate stress.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yeah, the dictionaries on wordreference aren't very helpful in this matter.
    Both dictionaries use ' to show the stressed syllable, but American dictionaries put the stress marker after the syllable.
    (aflo̅o̅ əns or, often, ə flo̅o̅-),
    So this shows that the stress is on the first syllable or, often, on the second syllable.
     

    airelibre

    Senior Member
    English - London
    But why o̅o̅? It seems ridiculous to me to use two symbols and o has a different value to the sound u makes. I can also only imagine that the line above makes it double length or something, which is unnecessary if you already have two letters.

    And it also doesn't explain why or where some people say it differently.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I've never heard it stressed on the second syllable. I imagine that rather than that pronunciation being regional or dialectal, it's one of those "some people just happen to say it that way ... because they don't know better ... or because they're getting 'interference' from things like effusive or effluvia:eek: etc."

    American dictionaries (Americanpersons in general) tend not to use IPA, relying instead on what seems to us dead sophistickated Britishpersons the rather primitive 'spelling-based' system of phonetic transcription: ā (called 'long a') for /eɪ/, oo for /uː/, etc. (It's not so very long since we Brits wrote Hindoo, parsee etc.)

    P.S. I've no idea who Dan Carlin is:)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    But why o̅o̅? It seems ridiculous to me to use two symbols and o has a different value to the sound u makes. I can also only imagine that the line above makes it double length or something, which is unnecessary if you already have two letters.
    Affluence is not pronounce with the sound "u" makes either.
    Is it fun, run, af-lu-en-za? No, it's moon, soon, af-loo-in-za
    Dictionaries use a system of pronunciation that is familiar to the people that they are writing the dictionary for. If you had used American dictionaries growing up, you would find IPA incomprehensible.
     

    airelibre

    Senior Member
    English - London
    Not saying IPA is perfect, it has many flaws, but at least it tries to get one sound=one symbol...
     

    airelibre

    Senior Member
    English - London
    They're not one sound. Just because English chooses to use one letter to represent them, doesn't make them one sound.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    They're not one sound. Just because English chooses to use one letter to represent them, doesn't make them one sound.
    Well, then the American system is better than IPA because it can use one syllable to represent more than one sound. How ridiculous IPA is if it can only represent one sound with one symbol. ;)
    Really, you're just arguing based on your own preference. Neither is better for the intended purpose of a dictionary for native language speakers.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    Back to the original question: in AmE both pronunciations - accent on 1st or 2nd syllable - are common.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Going back to post 1 - from a BrE point of view, I'd say that second-syllable stress would be a mistake.

    LVRBC's post 14 makes it clear that in AmE it wouldn't be:).
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The first Random House dictionary gives only the stresssed-first-syllable pronunciation, and I think that means for some Americans the second-syllable stress is an error.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    The first Random House dictionary gives only the stresssed-first-syllable pronunciation, and I think that means for some Americans the second-syllable stress is an error.
    That's funny. I am looking at Random House Unabridged (1979) - an actual 10 lb. book - and it gives the 1st syllable version first, then says "sometimes" 2nd syllable stress pronunciation. It is, as I said, a common US-E pronunciation, though less common than the first syllable accent. It is included in the dictionary and thus should not be considered an error. It is not the pronunciation I use, personally.
     
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