Pronunciation of “lugubrious” - for native English speakers. How would you pronounce “lugubrious”? Actually it's only the vowel in the "lu" part I'm unsure of. Is it a /ʊ/ like in “put” or a longer vowel, /uː/, as in Lucy, or is it a schwa? Most dictionaries I have checked have /lʊˈɡuːbrɪəs/ or /luːˈɡuː.bri.əs/ as pronunciation, but when I listen to audios (including on Forvo) it often sounds to me like it’s pronounced /ləˈɡuːbɹi.əs/, that is, the “lu” is pronounced with a schwa. Thanks for your help!
Aug 29, 2018 11:18 AM
Answers · 14
Hi. Lugubrious like Lucy. As I practiced it, I realized I 'got lazy' and it began to sound like ləˈɡuːbɹi.əs. I hope this helps. Have a great day, Stephen
August 29, 2018
I think you're right. It isn't 'loogoo..'. . The first syllable isn't stressed enough for it to be 'lu' as in Lucy. So was intrigued by Natalia's suggestion that the Oxford had /u:/ as ( as in Lucy). Followed the link - saw /ʊ / Listened to the audio - heard /ə/.
August 29, 2018
I think it has to do with English phonotactics, specifically vowel reduction in unaccented syllables. /uː/ can be reduced to /u/ (same quality but short — this sound is not even an English phoneme, and never occurs in accented syllables) in unaccented syllables. On the other hand, /ʊ/, like most unaccented vowels, is normally reduced to /ə/. Thanks you, Mr Hsia. “American” English (based on the accent of Southwest England) is indeed more “Englishy” (not a real word) than “British English” (which includes accents like Scottish, Welsh, and Norther Ireland — countries outside of England, if I’m not mistaken).
August 30, 2018
I'm Not a native English speaker, but I'd venture to say a few words. As far as I know, it's not a matter of which (of /lʊˈɡuːbrɪəs/, /luːˈɡuː.bri.əs/ and /ləˈɡuːbɹi.əs/) is more right or more common, but a matter of how the native English people speak. In English, as we all know it well, a vowel does not always pronounce the same, even in an identical root or stem. The position of the stresses (especially the primary one) in a word (...) and the speed of speech are two key factors that determine the particular sound value of a vowel in a syllable or a word. Examples: ...... With regard to 'lugubrious', when you say it at a fairly low speed, it's normal you articulate it as /luːˈɡuː.bri.əs/; if you speak faster, /lʊˈɡuːbrɪəs/ is more possible; and if more faster, /ləˈɡuːbɹi.əs/, or even /ləˈɡʊbɹi.əs/ is natural. In addition, the American pronunciation of English is closer than that in Britain to the older pronunciation before they began to diverge from each other. Example: literature.
August 29, 2018
I would say either lʊ or lə, but not luː(too much stress on first syllable).
August 29, 2018
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