IPA phoneme /ʌ/

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Revision as of 22:27, 28 October 2013 by Ghoti (talk | contribs) (Common words: London does not have a "u")


In Received Pronunciation, the IPA phonetic symbol /ʌ/ corresponds to the monophthong vowel sound in words like "strut", "nut" and "bus".

Common words

Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ʌ/ include the following:

  • with "u": bun - bus - but - butter - cut - fun - gun - luck - run - lunch - summer - sun - Sunday - thunder - truck - tunnel - under - up - us;
  • with "o": another - brother - color - come - company - cover - done - does - front - London - love - lover - Monday - money - mother - one - once - other - southern - stomach - wonder;
  • with "oo": blood - flood;
  • with "ou": country - couple - cousin - double - trouble - young;
  • with "ough": enough - rough - tough;
  • homophones: none/nun - one/won - some/sum - son/sun

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


While /ʌ/ is very similar the Spanish letter "a", it is in fact somewhat shorter and many Spanish speakers have difficulty distinguishing between "hungry" and "angry". Another difficulty is remembering that there are many common words with the letter "o" pronounced /ʌ/ (see above).

Spelling is a big interference for Spanish Speakers, and they may rhyme "null" with "full" and "pull" (/nʌl, fʊl, pʊl/).

Note that in Spain, Chile and Argentina /ʌ/ is heard as /a/, whereas in Mexico, Central America and Venezuela it is heard as /o/. This means that in spoken Spanish Seven Up is normally pronounced /sebe'nap/ in the first three countries and /sebe'nop/ in the others. This is transferred to English.

See also

External links