mass, enhance, sample

Denis   Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:08 pm GMT
Question for British native speakers:

Do you pronouce the 'a' in 'mass' like the 'a' in 'pass'?
Or is it like the 'a' in 'lass'?

What about 'enhance' and 'sample'?
How do you pronouce the 'a's?
Jim   Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:54 pm GMT
Answer from Australian native speaker:

I pronounce the "a" in "mass" like the one in "lass" i.e. /{/. The "a"s in "enhance" and "sample" are different vowels: they are longer /{:/ like the one in "bad".

Sorry I can't speak for the British. I can't even guarantee I speak for all Aussies: this varies across the country. I can say that there is also a lot of variation in Great Britian too.
Josh Lalonde   Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:09 pm GMT
The OED lists both pronunciations for mass, with [m{s] first. For 'enhance', [InhA:ns] comes first, and for 'sample', only [sA:mpl] is listed.