pronunciation: Grotto, risotto, concerto grosso

JulianStuart

Senior Member
English (UK then US)
pronunciation: Grotto, risotto, concerto grosso <Topic added to thread by moderator (Florentia52)>

May seem like multiple topics but I hope the single question is simple.

Do the o's in each word (derived from Italian but now considered accepted for use in English) match? in AE? in BE?

For me the first is always a short o like hot and not and the second is always long as in owe.
I hear many AE speakers say owe for both vowels in grosso and risotto but I've not heard one say grotto. (Sorry I don't do IPA well, and they seem not be consistent anyway:()

(If it's too complicated for one thread please delete and I'll do them separately :))
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Hot
    owe
    Grotto, risotto, concerto (I've never heard of 'grosso' but would stab at it as grosso)
     

    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hot
    owe
    Grotto, risotto, concerto (or concerto, but then I might trill the r), grosso, and I do trill the r, as I don't think it's any more accepted in AE than Bon Giorno.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I agree with dojibear and srk. I have never heard anyone in the US say risotto; it sounds very wrong to me, and if I heard that, it would take a minute to figure out that the person really meant "risotto".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    For me, all the non-final o's are /ɒ/ as in hot. However, concerto might have the first vowel reduced to /ə/.

    English pronunciation rules requires vowels at the end of words to be long (except /ə/) and therefore I say /əʊ/ as in owe.

    I don't know if there is a different stress pattern for AmE speakers. I say grotto, risotto, concerto and grosso.
     

    pickarooney

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Like natkretep but a long o in grosso, as I would only ever use it in the sense of 'grosso modo' and the assonance is more pleasant on the ear. Also, it's reminiscent of 'gross'.

    I think the one difference between AE and BrE is 'risotto'. The double T should mean it's a short T but that same rule goes out the window with 'grosso'!
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Exactly as Paul Q, Nat and Pickarooney for grotto, risotto* and concerto. Not sure about grosso as I don't recall ever saying it, but probably grosso.

    *Except at home: A long time ago (before we realized it was excruciating) we used to watch a show called Hell's Kitchen in which the excruciating English chef G. Ramsay oversaw an excruciating cooking competition between excruciating American wannabe chefs. They made risotto virtually every week: all the natives pronounced it American-style. Ramsay began by pronouncing it English-style, but gradually adopted the American, before ending by clipping off the first syllable, as we English sometimes do. And that, folks, is why in this household we pronounce it zodo ~ to rhyme with Dorothy's dog in The Wizard of Oz.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    the excruciating English chef G. Ramsay
    English? Born in Scotland, and his mum's from Glasgow. But I take your point that he has an English accent. I would expect Scottish pronunciations to parallel the English ones.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    From a musical background which uses Italian terminology, I would never say "grosso" but always "grosso"

    (And the same goes for "risotto").

    P.S. In Italian a double consonant shortens the preceding vowel. Italian pronunciation is generally kept in loan words in BrE. AE tends to lengthen many vowels that BrE keeps short.
     
    Last edited:

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    But what about the musical term concerto grosso (a composition for a few solo instruments, accompanied by an orchestra)? Oxford Dictionaries gives /ˈɡrɒsəʊ/ for BrE, and /ˈɡrôsō/ for AmE.
    concerto grosso - definition of concerto grosso in English | Oxford Dictionaries
    concerto grosso - definition of concerto grosso in English | Oxford Dictionaries
    Thanks - that was the specific grosso I was asking about. Our wonderful local classical radio station folks all use grow-so and it still grates given how I grew up with it in the UK and how the Italians say it (I know that words often change when imported) - I wondered if it was related to the more common word "gross" which uses the owe vowel. But then I wondered how it became riz-oh-toe, and why no-one says grow-toe.

    Thanks all - these AE/BE differences are just the way they are, and along with all the other differences, are not easily rationalized:)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    There is clearly an AmE preference for the row vowel, and I think it might be perceived as being more appropriate for obviously 'foreign' words. This will be true of Davos for example where there is again an AmE-BrE difference.

    I think the existence of a similar known word will influence the pronunciation. So yes, there's gross, but there's also grotty.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There is clearly an AmE preference for the row vowel, and I think it might be perceived as being more appropriate for obviously 'foreign' words. This will be true of Davos for example where there is again an AmE-BrE difference.

    I think the existence of a similar known word will influence the pronunciation. So yes, there's gross, but there's also grotty.
    Which seems to have entered AE as grody grody - WordReference.com Dictionary of English with the long o again - go figure!
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    From a musical background which uses Italian terminology, I would never say "grosso" but always "grosso"
    :thumbsup: That's how I've always heard and used it.

    I pronounce them all the same way:
    Grotto, risotto, concerto grosso
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Allied question. The Italian musical term sotto voce also sometimes finds its way into ordinary English. Do AmE speakers also say sotto the same way they say risotto?
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Hot, owe
    Grotto, risotto, cəncerto grosso.
    Sotto voce.

    (With the ce in both concerto and voce pronounced "chay," rhyming with they.)
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top