Pronunciation of present participle of words ending on “-‘le” - for native speakers of English When a word that ends on -le, “wobble” for instance, has -ing added to it and becomes “wobbling” then I pronounce it as two syllables, /ˈwɒb.lɪŋ/. But I have noticed when listening to audiobooks read by Americans that such words are often pronounced with (what to me sounds like) three syllables, /ˈwɑː.bəl.ɪŋ/, as if the word was spelled “wobbleing”. I can’t remember exactly which words it happens to, so perhaps not “wobble”, but I know it’s words that end on -le like: double, tickle, shuffle, stumble, rustle etc. I have two questions (it’s all right if you can’t answer both of them): Is this a common trait of North American English? Is it something that also happens in other variants of English? Thanks a lot for your help!
Jan 26, 2017 5:07 PM
Answers · 12
It's an interesting question. I think yes, in all of those cases I pronounce those words with three syllables. But the middle syllable is short, shorter than the two either side. If I try and pronounce them with two syllables it feels horribly unnatural.
January 26, 2017
This is something that I listen for in speech of my fellow native speakers. I've come to the conclusion that three syllables is most common in everyday speech. Two syllables seems to be reserved for journalist-speak and others who are making a point to be careful in their speech. A good Q, Mikkel.
January 26, 2017
If you asked me, I would say yes, it is very commonly used in North American English as well as with other variants. In fact i don't think i have every heard someone pronounce it other wise. Although of course i'm not an complete expert in English, so you might take advice from other answers as well. :)
January 26, 2017
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