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Pronunciation

In this dictionary slashes (/../) bracket phonetic pronunciations of words not found in a standard English dictionary. The notation, and many of the pronunciations, were adapted from the Hacker's Jargon File.

Syllables are separated by dash or followed single quote or back quote. Single quote means the preceding syllable is stressed (louder), back quote follows a syllable with intermediate stress (slightly louder), otherwise all syllables are equally stressed.

Consonants are pronounced as in English but note:

		ch	soft, as in "church"
		g	hard, as in "got"
		gh	aspirated g+h of "bughouse" or "ragheap"
		j	voiced, as in "judge"
		kh	guttural of "loch" or "l'chaim"
		s	unvoiced, as in "pass"
		zh	as "s" in "pleasure"


Uppercase letters are pronounced as their English letter names; thus (for example) /H-L-L/ is equivalent to /aych el el/. /Z/ is pronounced /zee/ in the US and /zed/ in the UK (elsewhere?).

Vowels are represented as follows:

		a	back, that
		ah	father, palm (see note)
		ar	far, mark
		aw	flaw, caught
		ay	bake, rain
		e	less, men
		ee	easy, ski
		eir	their, software
		i	trip, hit
		i:	life, sky
		o	block, stock (see note)
		oh	flow, sew
		oo	loot, through
		or	more, door
		ow	out, how
		oy	boy, coin
		uh	but, some
		u	put, foot
		*r      fur, insert (only in stressed
			syllables; otherwise use just "r")
		y	yet, young
		yoo	few, chew
		[y]oo	/oo/ with optional fronting as
			in `news' (/nooz/ or /nyooz/)


A /*/ is used for the `schwa' sound of unstressed or occluded vowels (often written with an upside-down `e'). The schwa vowel is omitted in unstressed syllables containing vocalic l, m, n or r; that is, "kitten" and "colour" would be rendered /kit'n/ and /kuhl'r/, not /kit'*n/ and /kuhl'*r/.

The above table reflects mainly distinctions found in standard American English (that is, the neutral dialect spoken by TV network announcers and typical of educated speech in the Upper Midwest, Chicago, Minneapolis/St.Paul and Philadelphia). However, we separate /o/ from /ah/, which tend to merge in standard American. This may help readers accustomed to accents resembling British Received Pronunciation.

Entries with a pronunciation of `//' are written-only.

(1997-12-10)


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