Friday, 28 June 2013

Tortoise again

  People are telling me that the -oyze tortoise pronunciation is not AmE or AusE but just a spelling pronunciation. Happy to hear that, in a way. We, or I, probably do ascribe too much to US influence. But I feel that there is a growing "international pronunciation", often following or at least strongly influenced by spelling. BrE seems to be losing confidence, perhaps regarding RP pronunciations as old-fashioned. The change of "wonder" and "wander" back towards spelling seems another example. And I certainly don't blame AmE for that one - haven't noticed Americans say it yet.


  1. My favorite spelling pronunciations are "because" with unvocalized /s/, "calm" with an /l/ (sounds odd), and "often" with /t/ sounded. There are many others. Speech, of course, has a lot of natural and dialectical variation, but spelling pronunciations sort of jump out at you. Most of us use them at times in unfamiliar words. What else are you going to do?

  2. Yes, necessary with new words. Old established ones also seem to be changing.