Update: 2012-01-01 12:20 AM +0630


Pronouncing the letters


Daniel Jones. Edited by Peter Roach, James Hartman and Jane Setter. Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Scanned by Maung Kan Tun and edited by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.). Not for sale. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR .

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L | LL | M | MN
N | NG
Myanmar {ma.}

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letter L

p304. In general, the consonant letter [ l ] is pronounced / l /, e.g.:

    <like> /laɪk/        
    <wool> /wʊl/        

However, [ l ] is frequently silent, particularly when preceded by an [a], e.g.:

    <calf> /kɑːf/        
    <calm> /kɑːm/        

In the past tense form of modal verbs spelt [ould], [ l ] is also silent, e.g.:

    <could> /kʊd/        
    <would> /wʊd/        

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letters LL

p318. In general, the consonant digraph [ ll ] is pronounced / l /, e.g.:

    <fall> /fɔːl/ us /fɑːl/    
    <illustrate> /ˈɪl.ə.streɪt/        

Where the [ ll ] is produced by adding the suffix -ly or -less to a word ending in a single [ l ], the pronunciation reflects this, e.g.:

    <coolly> /ˈkuːl.li/        
    <soulless> /ˈsəʊl.ləs/ us /ˈsoʊl-/    

In addition

In Welsh words, [ ll ] may be pronounced by English speakers in a variety of different ways. In this dictionary, we suggest / hl / (note: h is italicized, but l is not) , which stands both for the phonetic [ɬ] used in Welsh and for the English approximation of either a voiceless or voiced [ l ], and also for the variant /θl/ for British English speakers, e.g.:

    <Llanberis> /hlænˈber.ɪs , θlæn-/ us /hlæn-/    

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letter M

p325. The consonant letter [m] is always realised as /m/.

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letters MN

p347. The consonant digraph [mn] is word or morpheme final and usually realised as /m/, that is, the [n] is silent, e.g.:

    <hymn> /hɪm/        
    <condemning> /kənˈdem.iŋ/        

UKT: Compare the pronunciation of <hymn> with:
• <him> (strong from) /hɪm/; (weak form) /ɪm/.
Note: The strong form is mainly used for contrastive purposes. e.g., "The gift is for him, not her." -- DJPD16 p253.

However, in some cases the [n] is pronounced, particularly (as in the case of <condemnation>) where the vowel following the [n] is in a stressed syllable, e.g.:

    <hymnal> /ˈhɪm.nəl/        
    <condemnation> /ˌkɒn.demˈneɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌkɑːn-/    

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Myanmar {ma.}

by UKT

Myanmar {ma.} is the bilabial nasal, and the corresponding bilabial plosives (or stops) are {pa.} (voiceless) and {ba.} (voiced). See IPA consonants.

It is the only Myanmar consonant that forms conjuncts with all the 4 conjunct formers: {ya.} {ra.} {wa.} {ha.}.

{ma.} + {ya.} —> —> {mya.}
{ma.} + {ra.} —> —> {mra.} (commonly pronounced as {mya.}
{ma.} + {wa.} —> —> {mwa.}
{ma.} + {ha.} —> —> {mha.}

None of these conjuncts have counterparts in English, and the only entry in DJPD16 is:
<Myanmar> /ˈmjæn.mɑːʳ/ (us) /mjɑːnˈmɑːr/.

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letter N

p358. The consonant letter [n] has two pronunciations: /n/ and /ŋ/. In most contexts, it is realised as /n/, e.g.:

    <nail> /neɪl/        
    <mine> /maɪn/        

Preceding the letters [k], [qu], [x] and [c] realised as /k/, [n] is pronounced /ŋ/, e.g.:

    <bank> /bæŋk/        
    <anxious> /ˈæŋk.ʃəs/        

UKT: The problem met in the English-transliteration of Myanmar {nga.} is due to the absence of a letter corresponding to /ŋ/ in English. The digraph [ng] becomes cumbersome in words like {tin} which should be transliterated as *{tang}. (Note * indicates that transcription {ting} is considered wrong.} And I am forced to transliterate as {tin} dropping the [g].
{ta.} + {nga.} + {athut} —> {ta.} {ng} —> {tang} written as {tin}.
                                                                         Note that [ang] is changed to [in]
{ta.} + {na.} + {athut} —> {ta.} {n} —> {tan}
Compare the above discussion with the pronunciation of <bank> as /bæŋk/.

However, when [k] is silent, [n] is pronounced as /n/, e.g.:

    <unknown> /ʌnˈnəʊn/ us /-ˈnoʊn/    

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letters NG

p365. The main realisation for the consonant digraph [ng] is /ŋ/, e.g.:

    <sing> /sɪŋ/        
    <ringing> /ˈrɪŋ.ɪŋ/        

Other pronunciations are possible, one being /ŋg/, e.g.:

    <finger> /ˈfɪŋ.gəʳ/ us /-gɚ/    
    <English> /ˈɪŋ.glɪʃ/        

In addition

In many words spelt [nge], or where [ng] is followed by [i] or [y], the pronunciation is /nʤ/, e.g.:

    <change> /ʧeɪnʤ/        
    <engine> /ˈen.ʤɪn/        

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UKT notes

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