unilateral [pronunciation AE]

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  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    (Just to say, while we're waiting for an AmE-speaker to reply - it's true in BrE too that we pronounce the third and fourth syllables of unilateral like "latter":cool:.)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    (Just to say, while we're waiting for an AmE-speaker to reply - it's true in BrE too that we pronounce the third and fourth syllables of unilateral like "latter":cool:.)
    (The "flap" t is one aspect of AE that I have not adopted or picked up - I still like the distinction between latter and ladder:) - so I'll wait too .)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    (Just to say, while we're waiting for an AmE-speaker to reply - it's true in BrE too that we pronounce the third and fourth syllables of unilateral like "latter":cool:.)
    Yes, but in AE (in the flap T version of the word at least), it literally sounds the same to me, while in BE, it looks to me like -e- gets lost in "unilateral", and -teral- sounds like -tchral- (I don't know what it is called — reducing or something:))
    (The "flap" t is one aspect of AE that I have not adopted or picked up - I still like the distinction between latter and ladder:) - so I'll wait too .)
    I like the flap T, and adopted it so much:D
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes, but in AE (in the flap T version of the word at least), it literally sounds the same to me, while in BE, it looks to me like -e- gets lost in "unilateral", and -teral- sounds like -tchral- (I don't know what it is called — reducing or something:))
    Ah, I take your point: yes, in fast connected speech, the schwa would be lost and the last "chunk" would sound like latral.

    That said, I suspect the schwa would disappear in AmE too....
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    My impression is the same as Vic's. The "e" disappears much more in the BE pronunciation, at least the ones you hear on sites like that. In AE it's a full syllable of its own.

    Lat·er·al as opposed to la·tral

    It's the same phenomenon as mil·i·tar·y vs mil·i·try
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It's the same phenomenon as mil·i·tar·y vs mil·i·try
    Is it? My impression is that AmE "military" doesn't have schwa: it has /ɛ/.

    But I expect you're right that AmE "lateral" keeps the schwa.:)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Is it? My impression is that AmE "military" doesn't have schwa: it has /ɛ/.

    But I expect you're right that AmE "lateral" keeps the schwa.:)
    As it does in natural although both AE and BE have the other as a secondary version (from WRF)
    BE natural /ˈnætʃrəl -tʃərəl/
    AE natural /ˈnætʃərəl/ /ˈnætʃrəl
     
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