IPA phoneme /ɪ/
In Received Pronunciation, the IPA phonetic symbol /ɪ/ (sometimes written /i/ when no confusion arises) corresponds to the vowel sound in words like "sit" and "English". It is one of the two vowel sounds we use in English for unstressed syllables, the other one being /ə/.
Some common words which practice this pronunciation include the following:
- with "i": bit - chips - fish - fit - hip - hit - kill - kiss - link - lip - sing - sit - thick - thin - thing - think - this - win - with;
- with "e": England - English;
- with "qu": liquid – quick;
- with "'-age": average - mortgage - package - percentage - village;
- with "ui": biscuit - circuit;
- others (repeated in same word): begin - biscuit - busy - city - English - finish - gimmick - limit - minute - physics - rigid - silly - timid - visit - women;
- others: lettuce;
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1
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.
The Spanish sound represented by the spelling "i" is similar to /i:/ but shorter, and also similar to /ɪ/ but longer (and of a different quality). Most Spanish speakers have difficulty distinguishing between the vowel sound in "sin" and that of "seen".