Decoding exercises: "orV" and "orrV"

From Teflpedia

The letter O in the sequences "orV" and "orrV" where V is any vowel, normally sounds /ɒ/ in Received Pronunciation (as in orange) but in some cases it sounds /ɔː/ (as in story) or /ə/ when unstressed (as in category). It also can be silent as in history.

In General American /ɒr/BrE sounds /ɑːr/ in only 5 words and it sounds /ɔːr/ in the rest.[1]

In regional Atlantic American English /ɒr/BrE sounds /ɑːr/, as in orange pronounced /ˈɑːrɪndʒ/.[1]

Distinctions by dialect[edit | edit source]

Dialect sorry forest glory
Received Pronunciation [ɒ] [ɒ] [ɔː]
Atlantic American English [ɑː] [ɑː] [ɔː]
General American [ɑː] [ɔː] [ɔː]
Canada [ɔː] [ɔː] [ɔː]

Common words[edit | edit source]

  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɔː/AmE: correspond - foreign - forest - historical - majority - moral - orange - origin - priority
  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɑː/AmE: borrow - sorry - tomorrow
  • As /ɔː/: boring - explorer - moreover - story
  • As /ə/: contemporary /kənˈtemprəriː,BrE kənˈtempərəriː/ - corporate - corporation - correct - exploration - factory - /ˈfæktəriː, fæktriː/ - history /ˈhɪstəriː, ˈhɪstriː/ - ignorant - memory - original - temporary /ˈtempərəriː, ˈtemprəriː/- terrorist - theory - victory
  • As /ʌ/ or /ɜː/: thorough /ˈθʌrə,BrE ˈθɜːroʊAmE/ - worry /ˈwʌriː,BrE ˈwɜːriːAmE/

Less common words[edit | edit source]

  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɔː/AmE: categorical - coral - historic - horrible - horror - laboratory /ləˈbɒrətriː,BrE ˈlæbrətɔːriːAmE/ - minority - seniority
  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɑː/AmE: morrow (shortening of "tomorrow") - sorrow
  • As /ɔː/: chlorine - choral - glory - historian - laboratory /ləˈbɒrətriː,BrE ˈlæbrətɔːriAmE/ - memorial - notorious - storage
  • As /ə/BrE or /ɔː/AmE: category - mandatory - territory /ˈterɪtəriː,BrE ˈterɪtriː,BrE ˈterətɔːriːAmE/
  • As /ə/: compulsory - forever - herbivorous

Proper nouns[edit | edit source]

  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɔː/AmE: Boris, Dorothy, Florence, Florida, Oregon
  • As /ɔː/: Dora
  • As /ə/: Colorado, Deborah /ˈdebərə, ˈdebrə/, Korea, Morocco

Spelling rule[edit | edit source]

The sequence "orr" is pronounced /ɔː/ in Received Pronunciation only in verbs ending in "or". There is only one such a verb that appears in normal dictionaries:

  • from abhor: abhorred, abhorring

Note that "abhorrent" /əbˈhɒrənt/ is an adjective, not a verb.

Table "or" and "orr"[edit | edit source]

"or" "orr"
/ɒr/BrE /ɔːr/AmE allegorical, authority, categorical, choreography, coral, coronary, Dorothy, Florence, florist, Florida, foreign, forest, historic, historical, horizontal, horoscope, inferiority, laboratory,BrE majority, minority, moral, oracle, orange, orator, Oregon, orifice, origin, priority, rhetorical, seniority, superiority abhorrent, correlation, correspond, corridor, horrible, horror, porridge, torrent, torrid
/ɒr/BrE /ɑːr/AmE N/A borrow, morrow, sorrow, sorry, tomorrow
/ɔːr/ adorable, auditorium, boring, chlorine, choral, chorus, Dora, deplorable, Ecuadorian, editorial, euphoria, explorer, forum, glory, historian, laboratory,AmE laborious, memorial, moreover, moron, notorious, oral, oriental, porous, sanatorium, storage, story "orr" only sounds /ɔːr/ in-ing forms

These words don't rhyme[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]