Jim   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 03:05 GMT
To Re Eastie,

Hast thou not thine own name? Not that it really matters. What I'd be interested in is what the buggery you're on about when you write "the dictionary". As we all know there is in reality no "the dictionary" but many. Which dictionary?

To all,

Here's a dictionary, the Cambridge Dictionary, which only lists [bi:n] for "been".


It also only lists [klOuTHz] for "clothes".


And, as for "quart" it gives [kwo:(r)t]


Well, no dictionary can really hope to encompass the wide variety of accents there are out there but this one agrees with my pronunciation and with the way these words are spelt.
Re Jim   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 03:22 GMT
My dictionary lists where there are homonyms. For example, it said ''The words two, to and too sound alike. The words ''clothes'' and ''close'' sound alike. Actually, I pronounce ''clothes'' differently depending on where it is. For example, The mother clothes her children with clothes. The mother [KlOuTHz] her children with [KlOuz]. I pronounce the noun [KlOuz] and the verb [KlOuthz].
Re Jim   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 03:25 GMT
Words that are homonyms for some people, but not me.

pecan/pea can
Jim   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 00:14 GMT
Re Jim,

Are you the same person as Re Eastie? I guess so because in both posts you're talking about your dictionary without telling us which dictionary it is. For all I know you could have written the dictionary yourself/yourselves. I'm not saying that that's what I think but I'd just like to know what dictionary it is that you're referring to.

I've heard the word "clothes" pronounced as [klOuz] before (on TV) so I believe you. It did sound sort of strange to me when I heard this, though: as if the woman had some kind of speech impediment. It is, of course, only natural for things to have seemed this way: it's quite different to my pronunciation and I'm not used to hearing the word pronounced that way.
Tom   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 00:25 GMT
[klOuz] is listed as the first pronunciation in the Random House Webster's Electronic Dictionary, College Edition (1992). I'm pretty sure m-w.com lists [klOuz], too, as one of the variants.
Re Jim   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 01:02 GMT
Clothes pronounced as [KlOuz] is commonly heard in the United States.
Jim   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 03:22 GMT
Well, the Cambridge Dictionary says one thing and others say another, for example, the American Heritage Dictionary says:

"7. Pronunciation Challenges: Confusions and Controversy

"§ 48. clothes
"The pronunciation [klOuz] has been recorded in various dictionaries since the 1700s including Samuel Johnson’s (1755) and Noah Webster’s (1828). The pronunciation [klOuTHz], while not incorrect, is sometimes considered pedantic. Either pronunciation is acceptable, but [klOuz] is much more common." (note: I've changed the phonetic notation.)

And, yes, m-w.com lists both.

Well, it may be true of American dialects but not of Australian ones. In Australian dialects [klOuTHz] is considered normal, never pedantic. In Australian dialects only [klOuTHz] is acceptable, [klOuz] is never heard.

Re Jim   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 03:49 GMT
In the U.S. it's common to hear [klOuz], in aussie it's common to hear [KlOuTHz].
Alice   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 16:15 GMT
I'm from the US, and I always say [KlOuTHz]. No one has ever accused me of being pedantic, (at least not in the context of a discussion regarding my prnunciation of "clothes"). I always think it counds sloppy the other way. I feel the same way when people don't pronounce the "h" in "wh" words, for me "whine" is not at all the same as "wine". Many of the homonyms listed sound similar to me, but hardly the same, quart and court for example are easily distinguishable in my accent.
mjd   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 22:05 GMT
While "whine" and "wine," "court" and "quart" are homonyms in my accent, I never pronounce "clothes" as "close." I agree with Alice that this sounds sloppy and I'd argue that this is not "common" as the individual responding to Jim stated.

The "TH" can be a bit subtle at times, but it is definitely there.
Re mjd   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 22:24 GMT
To me ''clothes and close are homonyms. It's common in the area that I live in to hear people say [klOuz]. [klOuthz] is rarely heard in my area.
What about   Thursday, December 11, 2003, 22:36 GMT
What about ''Antarctica'' and ''February'' I say ant-artica and Feb-you-erry.
Some people pronounce them as Ant-ark-ti-ca and Feb-roo-erry, sometimes people consider ''Ant-ark-ti-ca and Feb-roo-erry pedantic.
Alice   Friday, December 12, 2003, 02:33 GMT
The "r" in February is there in my accent, but it's subtle, and barely noticible if I'm speaking quickly, though I very often hear it the other way round. I definately articulate each letter in "Antarctica", (just out of curiosity, do you also say "artic" for "arctic"?), but I've heard the other on occasion. I don't know if it's a regional thing, or an age thing. I've really only heard it used, (as best I can remember), by people my age, (college-age) or younger. Any thoughts?
Jim   Friday, December 12, 2003, 04:15 GMT
For me it's [febju:ri(:)] and [@nta:ktik..] and "whine" and "wine" are homonyms.


I'm not to sure what you meant by "people don't pronounce the 'h' in 'wh' words," what I guess you meant is that they say [w] instead of [hw]. However, I don't think of it in terms of dropping the [h].

There are three different ways that people tend to pronounce "wh": [w], [hw] and [W]. What [W] is is a different sound, like an unvoiced [w]. As far as I gather, [w] is the most common form in every English-speaking country, [hw] is mostly found in the USA and [W] is found in Britian (Scotish and RP accents as far as I've read).

With this in mind, pronouncing "wh" as [w] can be seen as no more a dropping of the [h] in [hw] than it is a merging of the phoneme [W] with [w]. I normally pronounce "wh" as [w] but [W] does not seem unnatural to me (in fact from time to time I even use [W] on purpose, usually just for fun).

For me it's a [w]/[W] merger that's going on not a dropping of the [h] in [hw]. I don't believe that the strand of English which has evolved into Aussie English ever had a [h] to drop. What happened was the merger ... I could be wrong though. However, for most Americans you could say that they have dropped the [h].
Alice   Friday, December 12, 2003, 06:02 GMT
Wow! I think I followed most of that, but it's difficult for me to process this kind of information visually. I think your interperetation of my comment about "w" and "wh" words is accurate, but I haven't really looked at an IP chart since taking voice & diction in my sophomore year of high school, so my memory is failing me. I am, however, curious about the [W] phenome, since I can't quite grasp what kind of sound you're describing. In my accent, at any rate, there is a distinct "h" sound in the afforementioned words. Forgive my description, but I lack the popper terminology to better explain myself. The sound I tend to place before words such as where, whether, & whine, (to differentiate them from wear, weather, & wine), is rather like a quickly spoken, unvoiced "hoo". To be fair, I really don't think this is generally present in casual American speech, atleast not to the extent that it is present in my accent, (I have had it commented upon). I don't do it to be affected, but I have sung in choires since I was a very small child, & it was drilled into my head at an early age that this was the proper way to articulate one's words.

Anyway, thanks for the info!