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Open-mid back unrounded vowel
IPA phoneme /ʌ/ Open-mid back unrounded vowel
In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /ʌ/ corresponds to the monophthong vowel sound in words like “strut", "nut" and “bus.”
When this sound is unstressed it sounds /ə/, and conversely, a stressed /ə/ (impossible in American English, very rare in Received Pronunciation) normally sounds /ʌ/; however for many speakers [ʌ] and [ə] are clearly different and any of them can be either stressed or unstressed.
Since /ʌ/ always is stressed and /ə/ never is, in theory there is no confusion if only one symbol is used, and some dictionaries follow that rule. In this case /ˈstətər/ for “stutter" must be interpreted as [ˈstʌtər].
Common words[edit | edit source]
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ʌ/ include the following:
- with "u": bun - bus - but - butter - cut - fun - gun - luck - lunch - run - structure - summer - sun - Sunday - thunder - truck - tunnel - under - up - us
- with "o":
- O adjacent to "m": accomplishBrE - Colombia - come - comfort - comfortable /ˈkʌmftəbəl, ˈkʌmfərtəbəl/ - company - compass - mother - some - stomach
- O adjacent to "m" and "n": among - Monday - money - mongrel - monk - monkey - month
- O adjacent to "n": another - confrontation - done - front - honey - London - none - nothing - one /wʌn/ - once /wʌns/ - onion /ˈʌnjən/ - son - sponge - ton - tongue - tonne
- O adjacent to "n" and "w": won - wonder - wonderful
- O adjacent to "v": above - Coventry /ˈkʌvəntriː, ˈkɒvəntriː/ - cover - covet - discover - dove (bird) - glove - government - love - lover - oven - shovel - slovenly
- Other: brother - colorAmE - colourBrE - dozen - other - thorough /ˈθʌrə,BrE ˈθɜːrəʊAmE/
- with "ou": country - couple - cousin - double - southern - touch - trouble - young
- homophones: none - nun; one - won; some - sum; son - sun;
Spelling anomalies[edit | edit source]
- with “a": was /wʌz,AmE wɒz, wəz/ - wasn’t /ˈwʌzənt,AmE ˈwɒzənt/ - what /wʌt,AmE wɒt, wət/
- with "oe": does (verb) - doesn’t
- with "oo": blood - flood
- with "ough": enough - rough - tough
/ʌ/ and /ɜː/[edit | edit source]
See IPA phoneme /ɜː/ — /ɜː/ and /ʌ/.
Variant pronunciations[edit | edit source]
- accomplice /əˈkɑːmplɪsAmE, əˈkʌmplɪsBrE/
- from /frɒm, frʌmAmE/
- twenty /ˈtwɛntiː, ˈtwʌntiːAmE/
- what /wɒt, wʌtAmE/
- anybody /ˈeniːbɒdiː, ˈeniːbʌdiːAmE/
- everybody /ˈevriːbɒdiː, ˈevriːbʌdiːAmE/
- nobody /ˈnəʊbədiː, ˈnəʊbɒdiː,AmE ˈnəʊbʌdiːAmE/
- somebody /ˈsʌmbədiː, ˈsʌmbɒdiː,AmE ˈsʌmbʌdiːAmE/
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit | edit source]
Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following sections aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.
Spanish[edit | edit source]
Spelling is a big interference for Spanish speakers, and they may rhyme "null" with “full" and "pull": /nʌl, fʊl, pʊl/ pronounced [nul, ful, pul].
See Pronunciation exercises: /ʌ/ vs /æ/ § Spanish
References[edit | edit source]
- ↑ John Wells’s phonetic blog, STRUT and commA, 13 July 2010.
- ↑ Geoff Lindsey, The British English vowel system, 8 March 2012.
- ↑ gdict, stutter /ˈstətər/
- ↑ Nice Definition, stutter /ˈstətər/
- ↑ Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, accomplice.
- ↑ Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, from.
- ↑ "twenty". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.
- ↑ Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, what.