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Voiced labio-velar approximant

From Teflpedia
(Redirected from IPA phonetic symbol 〚w〛)

Voiced labial–velar approximant In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /w/ corresponds to the semivowel sound in words like "world", "week" and "water.” See also IPA phonetic symbol [w].

Common words[edit | edit source]

Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /w/ include the following

"w"[edit | edit source]

  • Initial "w.” Remember that for simplicity /ɒ/ means /ɒ/BrE, /ɑː/AmE
"wa" or "wha"
/weɪ/: wait - wake - waste - way - wave
/wɔː/: walk - wall - Walter - war - warm - warn
/wɒ/: wander - wasp - watch
/wɔː/, /wɒ/AmE: water
/wɒ/, /wɔː/AmE: want - wash - Washington
/wɒ/, /wʌ/AmE: was
other: we - wear - week - well - wife - will - win - wish - with - woman - wonder - word - work - world - worry - would
  • "w" at the beginning of a syllable: always - anyway - award - aware - away - Delaware - forward - framework - Hawaii /həˈwaɪiː, həˈwɑːiː/ - network - otherwise - reward - software - Taiwan
  • "w" in the middle of a syllable: between - Dwight - Gwendolyn - Swede - Sweden - sweet - swim - swing - Swiss - Switzerland - switch - tweet - twice - Twitter

"wh"[edit | edit source]

See also Wikipedia Pronunciation of English ⟨wh⟩.

Currently in most accents "wh" is pronounced /w/. However in some accents this digraph is pronounced /hw/. In some of those accents "wh" is a single sound, transcribed as [ʍ].

  • Initial "wh.” Remember that for simplicity /ɒ/ means /ɒ/BrE, /ɑː/AmE
/weɪ/: whale
/wɒ/, /wʌ/AmE: what
/wɒ/, /wʌ/,AmE /wə/AmE: whatever
other: wheel - when - where - whether - which - while - whisper - white - why
  • "wh" at the beginning of a syllable: anywhere - everywhere - meanwhile

"u"[edit | edit source]

with “g": distinguish - guacamole - Guam - Guatemala - iguana - language - linguistics - Managua - Nicaragua - Paraguay - penguin - Uruguay
with "q": consequence - equipment - quality - quarter - question - quick - quite - request - require
with "s": persuade - suite
with "h": chihuahua /tʃɪˈwɑːwəBrE, tʃɪˈwɑːwɑːAmE/
with "j": marijuana /mærəˈwɑːnə/ - San Juan /sæn ˈwɑːn/
other: Buenos Aires - Ecuador - Kuala Lumpur /ˈkwɑːlə lʊmˈpʊər/ - Puerto Rico - Venezuela

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Ouagadougou /wɑːgəˈduːguː/
  • ouija /ˈwiːdʒə/
  • quinoa /ˈkiːnwɑː/

/w/ not written[edit | edit source]

  • one - once
  • choir /ˈkwaɪər/

Homophones[edit | edit source]

  • one - won; sweet - suite; wait - weight; waste - waist; ware - wear - where; way - weigh; which - witch; why - Y; wood - would;

No /w/[edit | edit source]

Many words that have "w" in their spelling don't have /w/ in their pronunciation. This in some cases means there are subtle differences in syllabification. For example "power" is /ˈpaʊ.ər/ and not /ˈpɑː.wər/. Note, however, that the realization of some of these vowels may contain a [w] sound, as in power pronounced [ˈpawɚ].[1] See IPA phonetic symbol [w]. The pronunciation shown by Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary is shown in square brackets.

  • power: /ˈpaʊər/ [ˈˈpawɚ]
  • rowing: /ˈrəʊɪŋ/ [ˈrowɪŋ]
  • sewage: /ˈsuːɪdʒ/ [ˈsuːwɪʤ]. In this case there is not a /w/ phoneme; however the /uː/ is pronounced as [uw] by most people.

Oddity: Rwanda /ruːˈɑːndə, ruːˈændə/

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 section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.

Spanish[edit | edit source]

In Spanish there is no contrast between /w/ and /gw/ (to be fair in English there is very little). Therefore some Spanish speakers will insert a /g/ sound before /w/: "water" pronounced as */ˈgwɔːtər/. Others will drop the /g/ in words like "language": /ˈlæŋwɪdʒ/ instead of /ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ/. Dropping the /g/ in this case can be regarded as a variant pronunciation rather than a pronunciation error.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary, power