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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 13th, 2014, 10:48 pm
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Default Elision of phoneme /h/ in conversation.

Dear teachers and members:


In american English (AmE), in some multisyllable words the /h/ phoneme is silent or elided when it is isolated or in a conversation, but I am not quite sure if this also happens in british English (BrE) too. The following is my exposition about it.

1) IN ISOLATED WORDS:

Vehicule /ˈviɪkəl/; 2) Durham /ˈdɜrəm/; 3) Pelham /ˈpɛləm/; 4) Fordham /ˈfɔrəm/

2) IN COVERSATION:

a) I worked hard /aɪ wɜrkthɑrd/; tends to elide the /h/, sounding as: /aɪ ˈwɜrktɑrd/

b) He boke his arm / hiˈbroʊkhɪzɑrm / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / hiˈbroʊkɪzɑrm /

3) I also found that the object pronouns HIM HER , YOU, US and THEM are reduced to Schwa in coversation when they are not at the end of a sentence, eliding the /h/ phoneme in most of the times, for examples:

d) Tell him to come / ˈtɛlhəmtəˌkʌm / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / ˈtɛləmtəˌkʌm /

e) I told you to give her the book / aɪˈtəʊldʒjətəˌɡɪvhərəˈbʊk / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / aɪˈtəʊldʒjətəˌɡɪvərəˈbʊk /

4) When HAVE is preceded by the modal verbs WOULD, COULD, SHOULD, MUST and MIGHT, HAVE it is reduced to Schwa eliding the /h/ phoneme and the /d/ phoneme of the preceding modal verb becomes flap or tap /d/. As mentioned above, this happens if HAVE is not at the end of a sentence, for examples:

a) Anything would have been better / ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋˈwʊrəvbɪnˌbɛtər/

b) He could have done much more / hiˈkʊrəvˌdʌnmʌtʃˈmɔr/

c) It should have been you /ɪtˈʃʊrəvbɪnˈju/

d) it must have been love / ɪtˈmʌsəvbɪnˌlʌv / sometimes / ɪtˈmʌstəvbɪnˌlʌv /

e) I might have been an architec / aɪˈmaɪrəvbɪnənˈɑrkɪˌtɛkt/


QUESTIONS :

1) I have noticed that the word that precedes him, her, them, us. you and have it is always stressed, does this have to do anything with it?

f) I know her brother / aɪˌnəʊhərˈbrʌər / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / aɪˌnəʊərˈbrʌər /

2) Does this occur when the word that precedes him, her, his or have ends with a vowel sound?, as in:

g) I know her brother / aɪ ˌnəʊ hər ˈbrʌər /

3) Do the modal verbs change into Schwa in the aforementioned sentences?, as would does in the phonetic transcription:

Anything would have been better / ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋ wəd həv bɪn ˈbɛtər/

4) Do I put the primary and secondary stress properly in the phonetic transcriptions I made?

5) Must the phonetic transcription of the sentence '' I told you to give her the book '' be put into two thought groups?, as follows:

/ aɪˈtəʊldʒju/ / təˌɡɪvərəˈbʊk /

6) I think when the /v phoneme in have is before a consonant it is not supposed to be transcribed it, it seems to me that it loses its sound, doesn't it?

7) Does the possesive adjective HIS, HER YOUR and THEIR takes the Schwa sound in conversation as well as elides the /h/ phoneme?

i) Is this his house? / ɪzˈɪshəzˌhaʊs? / tends to elide the /h/ sounding as: / ɪzˈɪsəzˌhaʊs? /

OBSEVATIONS :


Pronunciation note in the word VEHICLE.

Because the primary stress in vehicle is on the first syllable, the /h/ on the second syllable tends to desapear /ˈviːɪkəl/. A pronunciation with the primary stress on the second syllable and a fully pronounced /h/ is usually considered nonstandard / vɪˈhɪkjʊlər/. In the adjective vehicular, where the primary stress is normal on the second syllable, the /h/ is always pronounced.


I will deeply appreciate your opinion and assistance in this matter


Yours truly.

Last edited by THE APPRENTICE : Feb 14th, 2014 at 12:47 pm.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 15th, 2014, 01:12 pm
Sue
 
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Default Re: Elision of phoneme /h/ in conversation.

First of all, distinguish between "silent letters" and elision. A silent letter is a letter in the written form of a word which is never pronounced - so in the words you mention in (1) the "h" is a silent letter. The pronunciation of those words in a southern British accent would be :

1)vehicle /ˈvi:jɪkl/; 2) Durham /ˈdʌrəm/; 3) Pelham /ˈpeləm/; 4) Fordham /ˈfɔ:dəm/

In a northern British accent, Durham would be /ˈdʊrəm/
In most southern British accents the rhotic /r/ is not used. So the pronunciation of I worked hard (including the /h/ elision but ignoring other potential changes which would occur in rapid connected speech) for the moment would be: /aɪ wɜ:kt hɑ:d. Changes I would make to your other transcriptions to represent them as they might potentially be spoken in rapid connected speech in a standard S. British accent, would be:

He broke his arm /ɪ brəʊkɪzɑ:m/

Tell him to come /'telɪm tə 'kʌm/

I told you to give her the book / ʌ tɔ:lʤə tə gɪvə ə bʊk/
Is this his house? /ɪz ɪs ɪz haʊs/ (the /h/ in house might also be elided in certain varieties - eg London)

Anything would have been better /enɪɪŋ wʊdəbɪn betə/

He could have done much more /ɪ kʊdədʌn mʌʧ mɔ:/(In N.British /ɪ kʊdədʊn mʊʧ mɔ:/)

It should have been you /ɪt ʃʊdəbɪn ju:/ (The pronunciation /ʃʊrəbɪn/ might be used in a N. British accent)

I know her brother /ʌ nəʊwə brʌə/

It must have been love /ɪp mʌstəbɪn lʌv/ (In N.British /ɪp mʊstəbɪn lʊv/)

I might have been an architect /ʌ maɪtəbɪn ən ɑ:kɪtekt/

vehicular : /vi:jɪkjələ/

Some accents would also substitute various allophones for the /t/ sounds - eg the glottal stop in a London accent.

I'll answer your questions another time.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 15th, 2014, 01:56 pm
Sue
 
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Default Re: Elision of phoneme /h/ in conversation.

The questions :

1. There are lots of examples where the preceding word is not stressed - and it makes no difference. For example They were looking at her /him. "at" is not stressed but the pronunciation would still be /tə/ tɪm/

2. See the transcription above. English always tends to interpose a consonant between two vowels. So if the /h/ is elided in eg know her an "intrusive consonant is added - in this case /w/. This is called liaison. /h/ is elided simply because it is very unstable in many accents. Phonetic context is irrelevant. If I use my best London accent for example He has a house in Hampstead becomes : /i:jz ən aʊs ɪn mpstɪd/

3. The /ʊ/ might move towards the schwa, but is unlikely to go all the way. See the transcription above.

4. Remember these aren't phonetic transcriptions but phonemic transcriptions. And what do you mean - word stress or sentence stress? The only word with both primary and secondary stress in your example was /'enɪˌɪŋ/. Sentence stress is impossible to predict without a context.

5. What do you mean by "thought groups"? Tone groups perhaps?? Again, this is impossible to say without a context. It might all be one tone group //I 'told you to 'give her the 'book//, or more than one - eg :

You remember you told 'David to give her the book?
//What? // I told you // to give her the book //

6) Changes that occur in connected speech are potential - never definite. eg It must have been him could be pronounced in any of the following ways. It depends entirely on the speaker:
/ɪt mʌst həv bi:n hɪm/
/ɪt mʌst əv bɪn hɪm/
/ɪp mʌst ə bɪn ɪm/

7. See the transcription in my last post.

8. vehicle /vehicular : as I said in my last post, the "h" is silent, not elided - in British English at least. See the transcriptions of both words in the last post.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 20th, 2014, 09:22 pm
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Default Re: Elision of phoneme /h/ in conversation.

Thank you Susan53

You're always willing help.
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