Voiced bilabial nasal

From Teflpedia


man /mæn/

In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /m/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "make" and "meet" and the final one in "team" and "arm".

The phoneme /m/ is spelled very reliably with the letter M, lower case m (pronounced /em/). M is silent in the word "mnemonic".

Common words[edit | edit source]

Initial pronunciation of /m/:

  • make - man - many - market - may - me - mean - meet - money - more - most - move - much - must

Medial pronunciation of /m/:

  • almost - common - company - example - family - important - information - number - recommend - small - something - summer - woman

Final pronunciation of /m/:

  • arm - column - come - from - him - home - name - problem - same - some - system - team - them - time

Assimilation[edit | edit source]

Before /f/ or /v/, /m/ and /n/ may be neutralized and pronounced [ɱ], a labiodental nasal.[1] This explains common misspellings such as *circunference and *imfamous.

/m.m/[edit | edit source]

Normally double "m" is pronounced as a single /m/ (as in "summer" or "common"). In the following examples two /m/'s are pronounced.

  • roommate, teammate

Other examples of /m.m/

  • homemade, homemaker

The prefix "in" becomes "im" before "m"[2] and only one /m/ is pronounced.

  • immature, immediate, immigrant, immoral, immune

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]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. SLTinfo, Labialization
  2. Dictionary.com Unabridged, Random House, Inc. im-