different ways to pronounce the word "comfortable"
I'm coming in late, but let me say I pronounce it cumf-ter-bul.
Kirk, what is the /Ff/ assimilation? Does that mean the "m" in comfortable disappears? Because if it does, I'm sure I don't have it. I sat here and said it ten times and I'm pretty sure I heard an "m". Will have to test myself throughout the day.
Tiffany, what [Ff] assimilation is is where a nasal in an /mf/ or /nf/ cluster becomes a labiodental nasal stop (as opposed to being a bilabial or alveolar nasal stop, that is, [m] or [n] respectively).
Like Travis said, it's not really that /m/ "disappears," it's just that when /m/ or /n/ (nasal stops) is followed by a labiodental fricative /f/ or /v/, then a typically assimilation is that you get kind of an "in between" sound, which is both labiodental (like the following /f/ or /v/) and nasal (like the preceding /m/ or /n/). The X-SAMPA symbol for this sound is [F], and the IPA symbol is [ɱ], if you can see it. If you can't it looks like a /m/ but it has a little hook on it.
You may not have [F] if repeating the word slowly to yourself, but it's very common in normal speech, but few people are aware of it since it's not phonemically contrastive at all.
typo: <<then a typically assimilation>> should be "then a typical assimilation"
No, actually, I do think I have it. The position of my tongue is entirely different for the "m" sound when I say "come" versus "comf". So count me in as having it!
<<No, actually, I do think I have it. The position of my tongue is entirely different for the "m" sound when I say "come" versus "comf". So count me in as having it!>>
Most people do :) Anyway, welcome to the labiodental nasal club (which you were already in anyway but hey!) :)
I'm in the club too:)
Kirk, as for my parents, my mother is a typical non-rhotic New Englander and my father is from London. So as a kid I was often taken for a British or sometimes even Australian(!)
Anyway, I think my accent is very Americanized now since i've been living here for my entire life (for 19 years), but maybe comfortable is an exception because of its spelling... Well now that you mention it maybe I do sometimes say an r before "bul"...
Both my parents say "kum-fuh-tuh-bul" or (sometimes) "kumf-tuh-bul". I'm cot-caught merged but my parents aren't.
I wonder if there's any other words that have r's in places where it's not in the spelling, or vice versa? thanks!
I'm just curious, Guy, do you preserve the father-bother distinction?
[k@mf@rtbl] is the way I pronounce it.
I'm from Sacramento.
In casual conversation I don't make the distinction but when I'm asked to speak slowly or reading a passage or something, i might make the distinction.
I can't see any difference besides the vowel length.
No actually... I pronounced it several times and I found out that bother vowel is a little bit more rounded for me. So possibly it can be transcribed as;
bother /bQ(:)D@`/ or /bA(:)D@`/
caught /k_hQ(:)t/ or /k_hA(:)t/
cot /k_hQ(:)t/ /k_A(:)t/
So I have cot-caught merger but maybe I lack father-bother merger. However it kind of depends on the mood etc, and as I said when I'm not reading a passage or trying to speak formally, I have father-bother merger too.
My caught vowel or cot vowel could be either rounded or not, but my father vowel is never rounded.
I pronounce it 2 ways: com-fer-tah-bul (affected) and comf-tahbul
yes, i do say com instead of cum. What does that say about me?
<<So I have cot-caught merger but maybe I lack father-bother merger. However it kind of depends on the mood etc, and as I said when I'm not reading a passage or trying to speak formally, I have father-bother merger too.>>
Yeah, it's a typical New England thing to have the cot-caught merger but not the father-bother merger. I pronounce those words pretty much the same as you do, except I think my father-bother distinction is more entrenched (I make the distinction even in rapid informal speech). My cot-caught vowel is always rounded.
I say /kamft@b@l/, or using a pseudo-English orthography, CUM-ftuh-buh or CUM-fter-bel or CUM-ftuh-berl or whatever, all the same in my non-rhotic accent. No /mf/ -> [Ff] change for me. I am an Australian.
No labiodental nasal whatsis for you, then -- NOT in the club!
Speaking of nasal, though - does anyone here think Americans sound particularly nasal? I keep hearing this accusation, but it's pretty hard for me to evaluate, so....