pronunciation: dissect, dessert [-ss]

jkerchek

Member
Cantonese
Has anyone noticed some words with ss have very irregular and strange reading
such as dissect and dessert
dis-sect should never read die-sect
and
des-sert should never read dizurt
Does anyone know reasons?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello jkerchek

    I'm sorry, I don't think I understand your question.

    "Dissect" can have the first-syllable pronunciation "die"; and "dessert" definitely has a /z/ sound in it.

    Can you explain what your question is?:)

    --------

    Added
    : Ah, are you saying that English spelling is strange? If so, the answer is - yes, it is:D.

    Added2
    : And if you're wondering why it's strange, the main reason is that English spelling is to a very large extent historical - it reflects the way English used to be pronounced in the past....
     
    Last edited:

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, <ss> is generally pronounced /s/. Unfortunately, there are exceptions when /z/ is required: dessert (as you mentioned), scissors, possess and dissolve are the main ones.

    I don't really know the history of the pronunciation change, but dessert as a loan-word from French, it would presumably have had /s/ at first.
     

    jkerchek

    Member
    Cantonese
    Yes, <ss> is generally pronounced /s/. Unfortunately, there are exceptions when /z/ is required: dessert (as you mentioned), scissors, possess and dissolve are the main ones.

    I don't really know the history of the pronunciation change, but dessert as a loan-word from French, it would presumably have had /s/ at first.
    In French, dessert is pronounced as [desεr]
     

    jkerchek

    Member
    Cantonese
    Thanks, I didn't even know there are so many exceptions.
    Yes, <ss> is generally pronounced /s/. Unfortunately, there are exceptions when /z/ is required: dessert (as you mentioned), scissors, possess and dissolve are the main ones.

    I don't really know the history of the pronunciation change, but dessert as a loan-word from French, it would presumably have had /s/ at first.
     
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