This Theory . . .

Questions of pronunciation in all languages.
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This Theory . . .

Postby brogine » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:11 pm

What, if anything, can we make of the fact that, among words beginning with 'th', pronouns and prepositions get the soft sound, and other words the hard? There might be exceptions, but not available to me now.


Re: This Theory . . .

Postby bnjtokyo » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:25 am

I'm not sure what you mean by "hard" and "soft" pronunciations of "th" word initially. I used "th*" in the search box on the top page of the alphaDictionary ("Search 1065 Online English Dictionaries at Once!") for common English words beginning with "th." I found three patterns: 1) voiced (IPA ð) as in "this" or "there" 2) unvoiced (IPA θ) as in "think" or "theta" and 3) Indication of aspiration as in "Thailand." I didn't try to count, but I think roots with unvoiced [θ] are more common. (By "root" I want to consider "there" and "therefore" to be variations on the same basic pattern.)

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