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What do natives do?

 
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Metamorfose



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 345
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 5:35 pm    Post subject: What do natives do? Reply with quote

Hello People

That just came on my mind, English is known for being a language with poor ortographical x phonetical relationship (for instance the letter 'a' can bear the sounds of /a/ as in fAther, /ea/ as in bAd, /eI/ as in mAde, /I/ as in villAge) and adding the fact that there is no graphical accents to signal the stressed syllable of larger words, taking these facts in consideration, How do natives do when they see a new word and by chance want to pronounce it? Do they always look for it in an dictionary? Try to guess it? Or are there any specific internalised rules which natives resort to whenever they need?

Josť
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, not all natives are the same. Natives of each country / region do their own thing with vowels. American consonants aren't the same as British consonants, as I learned recently. I was amazed when I compared the Oxford English phonemic guide to pronunciation with an American version. Shocked

Most good dictionaries provide a phonetic version of each root word, because it's virtually impossible for foreign learners to figure out how the word should be sounded. Native speakers also have problems. I remember on my teacher training course that some natives couldn't agree on how to pronounce the word gist, for example, ie. /dj/ or /g/. What about the word celtic? And CELTA? Celtic, the football team from Glasgow, gets an /s/, where are Celtic Art gets a /k/. How should we sound CELTA? Weirdly, it gets an /s/.

You gotta love it!
Iain
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Metamorfose



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 345
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iain

Indeed, no native is the same as another one, but my question was in fact focused in the big picture, for example, a Portuguese speaker may have problems in identifying 'g' or 'j' when these letter gather with 'e' or 'i' (for both letters bear the sound /j/) or identifying 's' or 'z' gathered with vowels in the middle of a word (for in this circumstance both bear the /z/ sound.)

I didn't know that General American consonants sounds differ from the British ones, I knew that some Britons drop the /r/ when this /r/ is not linked to a vowel, and that the flapping rule is not always applied in General British (I'll call it General British to avoid the RP terms for I mean to gather all variations of British/Irish English) but in what extend does it differ? Now I'm curious !!!!!

Josť
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to your original question, I think native speakers do what you'd expect (in no particular order):

1. Guess
2. Ask
3. Look it up
4. Avoid using the word

For example, I just never got my head around medical terminology. Those long words are just too difficult for me. If I REALLY had to use them, I'd end up having to ask hundreds of questions. Sad

Iain
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Metamorfose



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 345
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Iain

I got you, in fact sometimes we come across some words that seem unpronuncedable (this one would be a very good example, if it exists Shocked ) anyway, our pupils tend to think that we should know the foreign language we teach even more than our own, and the book I use is the kind of shows you lots of lists of words (some of them which rarely would occur in a day-by-day basis or are even out-dated) and every new chapter I have to get a dictionary and look up the pronunciationkey of tens of words, that's really tiring...

But I guess I can tell them what natives do when they come across unpredictable words.

Thank you very much

Josť
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