Monday 3 January 2011


I’ve just come back from a short trip to the Italian region of Umbria (pronounced ˈumbɾia in Italian but ˈʌmbriə in English), where I visited some very interesting towns: Spoleto, with its majestic cathedral of S. Maria Assunta; Deruta, known for its ceramics, which are exported worldwide; San Gemini, famous for its mineral waters; and Perugia, the capital city of the region.

On my way home yesterday, I started wondering how many pronunciations of Perugia are possible in RP. Well, apart from the very common pəˈruːdʒə, other variants include pɪˈruːdʒə, pe-, -ˈruːdʒiə, even pəˈruːdʒɑː (GenAm), according to EPD – even though that sounds quite odd to me!

But what about pəˈrʊːdʒə? This transcription is obviously wrong, although it’s what you find in both the Oxford BBC Guide to Pronunciation (2006, p.294) and the Oxford Dictionary of English (2006, 2nd edition, p.1316). Take a look at these entries below:

Oxford BBC Guide to Pronunciation

Oxford Dictionary of English

1 comment:

  1. Addendum: Please note that /perˈuːdʒɑː/ is ONLY GenAm for EPD, not RP. Also notice the way it is syllabified and the first syllable which is strong-vowelled.