our
Posted: 06 November 2019 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  556
Joined  2007-02-24

There are several pronunciations for our from both sides of the pond. Examples from Collins English Dictionary: aʊər, aʊr, aʊə. Are they all considered to be correct? Or are there preferred pronunciations, depending on country?

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/our_1

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 November 2019 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  556
Joined  2007-02-24

Maybe I was not clear about what I would like to know. Americans say it as “ow-er/hour”, or “are”. British say it like “ow-ah” or simply “ah”. And there are slight variations from those pronunciations also.

The pronunciation of some words are all over the place. How are we to know which is the most preferred? Or does it even matter? What do English teachers do under these circumstances. And who makes the determination what should be taught?

As I get older, I what to know more. But it feels like I know less.

[ Edited: 06 November 2019 06:27 PM by Eyehawk ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2019 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1379
Joined  2007-03-01

In Britain the possible variations in pronunciation are not ‘slight’ in the least, believe me. For example, in Geordie (the dialect of Newcastle, and more loosely the area of North East England around it, although the natives contest this), our is pronounced as a (non-rhotic) wor. Go 140 miles northwest to Glasgow, and in the local speech it’s a (rhotic) oor

You ask: what do teachers do about it? I don’t think they do anything, tbh. They don’t need to. These variant pronunciations of the word are not random, but inherent in the dialect and accent in which they occur. In Scots, for example, words that in British RP are pronounced with an ow sound are regularly pronounced with an oo; e.g. flower becomes flooer (and is so spelt in written Scots). If a Scots speaker takes lessons in RP, the teacher will address this consistent difference, by making him/her repeat ‘How now, brown cow’ or some such method, and once the pupil has mastered this the pronunciation of our will fall naturally into line whenever he or she speaks in RP. It would be absurd to pick out our for special treatment. If a schoolchild in Newcastle says ‘Coom doon the toon, wor Jonty!’, no teacher trying to impose RP is going to say ‘No, no, Billy - it should be ‘Coom doon the toon, our Jonty’.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2019 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  570
Joined  2007-02-13

Where I grew up, in the Ozarks, a lot of people pronounce “our”, “or” and “are” identically.  My father, for instance, does this.  I’ve always distanced myself from that and pronounce “our” to rhyme with “hour”; “or” to rhyme with “oar”.  This has always seemed more proper to me, or at least more consistent with the spelling.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ kept it a buck      mentalese ››