pronunciation: -ed in wretched, blessed, wicked, naked etc.

Little_LIS

Senior Member
Arabic,Egypt
Hey all:)

I wonder why this word" wretched" is pronounced as "rech-id" not rech-t".

Is it an exceptional case?

Thanks in advance..
 
  • panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Explicit pronunciation of the -ed suffix also appears in blessed and accursed (sometimes) and beloved (almost always).
    I have no idea why it is retained for these few verbs.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Naked is a little bit different.
    The other words derive from verbs - wretch, bless, accurse, belove.
    There is no original verb "nake" meaning to remove clothes from.
    There is, however, a derived verb "nake" as a back-formation from naked.

    (This is an amateur etymology, based on a quick look at the background in the OED.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Dr.Susy

    This book on teaching pronunciation suggests that:
    (a) most words ending in -ed follow the same rules as the past-tense inflectional ending
    (b) some words ending in -ed have the 'usual' past-tense pronunciation when they are verbs, but end in an 'id' sound as adjectives: blessed, beloved, learned*, dogged, legged (adjectival in eg three-legged)
    (c) some -ed words always end in an 'id' sound because they are adjectives with no corresponding verbs: naked, wretched, rugged, wicked
    *(d) the pronunciation of learned may vary according to context: a learnèd man, but learned behaviour.

    ______

    Ah, I see panj and my source differ over whether there is a verb "to wretch". I've just checked the OED, and I see there was one, but it's now obsolete. So they're both right:D
     
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    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello,

    Here is another another puzzling excerpt taken from M. Swan's book:

    A few andjectives ending in -ed have a special pronunication: the last syllable is pronounced /id/ istead of /d/ or /t/

    wicked, dogged, rugged, naked, beloved, crooked, learned, blessed, sacred, ....
    The question being what makes those adjectives so special. Why can't one apply the regular past ending -ed rules here?

    Thank you.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Relevant previous thread here, audio:)

    Ah, but if you're asking why...

    I suspect the answer is that the "-ed" ending was originally always pronounced "id".
     
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    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Hey all:)

    I wonder why this word" wretched" is pronounced as "rech-id" not rech-t".

    Is it an exceptional case?

    Thanks in advance..
    A search of Google Books for

    wretched beloved learned why pronunciation

    turns up a short discussion of the matter in Teaching Pronunciation: A Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, by Marianne Celce-Murcia, Donna Brinton, and Janet M. Goodwin. The footnotes on that page are interesting as well.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Great minds think alike, mplsray: that's the discussion I gave a link to in post 5 of the now-merged thread:D
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I suspect the answer is that the "-ed" ending was originally always pronounced "id".
    I'm pretty sure you're right about that, Mrs.L. E.g. the past participle of Old English hieran ['hear'] was hiered ~ all letters pronounced.

    Found here, bottom of page.
     

    Johnsyncrony

    Senior Member
    Venezuelan Spanish
    Maybe it's too late. This pronunciation reportedly comes from Early Modern English, in which all past verbs ending with -ED were pronounced -ID- This practice was lost later. Words like beloved, naked, aged, blessed, cursed, wicked.... are "survivors" from this past.

    This information according to the Book Made in America by Bill Bryson
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    And when they are turned into adverbs by adding -ly, the -ed often has its own syllable: markedly, doggedly, supposedly, assuredly, advisedly, unreservedly.

    Markedness is also 3 syllables.
     

    inarticulate

    Member
    Arabic
    This question has been added to a previous thread.
    Please scroll up and read from the top.

    Cagey, moderator

    Hi,
    the rule is if the final consonant sound is voiceless we pronounce /ed/ as /t/ like pluck/plucked (pluck/t/) and it applies to adjectives as well according to this website Pronunciation of ED in English

    Thanks.
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    There are no "rules" for pronunciation by native English speakers, who learned the languge at their mother's knee.

    If your so-called "rules" don't match what we actually say, your "rules" are nonsense.

    ... and that's the nakED truth.
     

    inarticulate

    Member
    Arabic
    There are no "rules" for pronunciation by native English speakers, who learned the languge at their mother's knee.

    If your so-called "rules" don't match what we actually say, your "rules" are nonsense.

    ... and that's the nakED truth.
    Surely what native speakers say is the correct thing but sometimes rules help non native speakers let's say I was reading a book and I came across "Wretched" Which I know what it means but forgot the correct pronunciation by remembering the rules that I had learned I'd be able to read it and move on..
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Surely what native speakers say is the correct thing but sometimes rules help non native speakers let's say I was reading a book and I came across "Wretched" Which I know what it means but forgot the correct pronunciation by remembering the rules that I had learned I'd be able to read it and move on..
    If you will forget "rules" and, instead, think of guidelines, I think your life will be easier:).
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I came across "Wretched" Which I know what it means but forgot the correct pronunciation by remembering the rules that I had learned I
    I'm still trying to figure out what this means:confused:, since I, as a native speaker of nearly 80 years, pronounce the "ed" in wretchED the same as the "ed" in nakED. :confused::confused:
     

    inarticulate

    Member
    Arabic
    I'm still trying to figure out what this means:confused:, since I, as a native speaker of nearly 80 years, pronounce the "ed" in wretchED the same as the "ed" in nakED. :confused::confused:
    It means what it means o_O, I know they're pronounced the same way, What I meant is that if "Wretched" followed what the "guidelines" say I'd be able to pronounce it correctly even if I forgot how to just by remembering "voiceless consonant before ed = ed pronounced as /t/" which isn't the case here because it's pronounce as /ed/. These two words are exceptions :p.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Did you have a question about the exceptions, inarticulate? (There are, of course, more than two, as this thread indicates.)
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Español
    I don't doubt that, do you have a list of them?
    Hi. I have just come across this "list". If any of you happen to know other cases of such _ed adjectives, we learners would be most appreciative... By the way, I wonder in what context the adjective one-legged could be used, but I can't come up with anything sensible. Any hints? Thanks in advance.

    Gonzalo
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    A one-legged man can't compete in a three-legged race.

    At first I had supposed "the dead man's chest" to be that identical big box of his upstairs in the front room, and the thought had been mingled in my nightmares with that of the one-legged seafaring man. – Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Gvergara, thanks for the list (in post #25). Here are some notes about the words in the blue box:

    In AE some of these (as adjectives, with /id/) are old-fashioned and not used much (aged, learned, blessed, beloved). The adjectives "blessed" and "beloved" are still common in religious talk, but nowhere else.

    In AE some of these are also used (with a /t/ pronunciation) as verb past tenses: aged, learned, cursed, dogged, blessed.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Even that list, helpful though it seems, falls far short of being complete. Here are some examples (not rules!). The * means rare.

    naked: always /neikid/
    aged: she is aged 12 /eidʒd/; the sick and the aged were saved /eidʒid/
    learned: the lesson has been learned /lɜ:nd/ or /lɜ:nt/; He is a learned man /lɜ:nid/
    beloved: he's a much-beloved* teacher /bilʌvd/; dearly beloved, we are here today... /bilʌvid/
    crooked: that businessman is crooked /krʊkid/; he crooked his finger at me /krʊkt/
    cursed: this car is cursed /kɜ:st/; Whose is that cursed car? /kɜ:sid/
    dogged: the police dogged his footsteps /dogd/; they were very dogged /dogid/
    wretched: always /retʃid/
    ragged: his clothes were ragged /rægid/; he was ragged by the bullies /rægd/
    rugged: always /rʌgid/
    sacred: always /seikrid/
    wicked: she is very wicked /wikid/; the lamp was two-wicked* /wikt/
    legged: Long John Silver was one-legged /legid/; the escapers legged it over the fence /legd/
    blessed: I have been blessed with good health /blest/; the Blessed Virgin Mary /blesid/

    I bet that's not complete either.
     
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