There was once a survey on ezboard that listed these words and said same or different.
merry, marry, mary
I'm really getting tired of new topics asking if some words are pronounced the same way or how are they pronounced. If you don't know how are these words pronounced, look them up in http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
It includes both BE & AE pronunciation.
Pen/pin different I pronounce pen with the short e and pin with the short i
caught/cot same, I pronounce these exactly the same
father/bother, same vowel sound
Aye, I agree with Jaro.
Yet, I am curious: how can father and bother be pronounced the same?
I assume they meant rhyme or something...
I meant do you pronouce father and bother to where they rhyme, I do.
These pronunciations vary by region. I live in New Jersey in the Northeastern U.S. Pen/pin, caught/cot, merry/marry/Mary.....these all are all pronounced differently where I live.
Antimoon needs a reform to get rid of some topics.
Dictionary transcriptions are not accurate enough to answer the question. Most of these pairs are pronounced the same in certain parts of the US, but not in others. There are great inconsistencies between the ways these pairs are transcribed in dictionaries.
Some of the worse dictionaries give the same phonetic transcription for the "o" in "cot" and the "a" in "father", as if the whole world spoke Standard American English.
I pronounce cot and father with the same vowel sound.
Well, yes, Richard, many people in the U.S. do and the dictionary editors were apparently American. However, almost no one in Britain or Australia does. Thus, the dictionary editors are parochial and are not internationally-oriented enough to work on a dictionary.
I second what Tom wrote. I like that dictionary that you suggest. I often use it but no dictionary encompases the entirity of pronunciation of all the words in English.
You write "It includes both BE & AE pronunciation." yes it does and that is exactly my point. It excludes Aussie, Kiwi, South African, Irish, Cockney, Newfie, Manx, Scouse, Yukon, etc.
There is a huge variation of pronunciation within Britian, within the USA and outside both. How can any dictionary hope to include all of them?
Here's my answer:
Pen, pin ... different ... [pen] verses [pin]
cot, caught ... different ... [kot] verses [ko:t]
hoarse, horse ... same ... [ho:s]
merry, marry, mary ... each different ... [meri(i)] verses [m@ri(:)] verses [meeri(:)]
father, bother ... different: don't even rhyme ... [fa:TH..] verses [br^TH..]
due, do ... different ... [dZu:] verses [du:]
pour, poor ... same ... [po:]
I'm using http://www.antimoon.com/misc/phonetichelp.htm
I pronounce the "eah" in "yeah" with a long vowel rather than a diphthong. It's like the "e" in "pen" but longer. There is no long [e] in the Antimoon transcription, there is only the diphthong [e..] so I used [ee].
When I say I pronounce "mary" as [meeri(:)] I mean /me..ri(:)/ but the /e../ is a long vowel not a diphthong ... or at least this is how I think I'm pronouncing it.
Well, at least the dictionaries can do all of us a favour by including:
1. Received Pronunciation
2. Estuary English Pronunciation
3. Standard American Pronunciation(s)
4. Standard Canadian Pronunciation(s)
5. Standard Australian Pronunciation(s)
(New Zealand is negligible, as its population is only 3.68 million.)
I think that there are no more than seven pronunciation variations for the vast majority of words amongst the varieties of English listed above.
I'm sure New Zealanders would love your comment there...
I'm South African and I pronounce 'cot' and 'father' with almost the same vowel sound - just longer in 'father'.