Wednesday 21 May 2014


The term assiduity can be pronounced in all sorts of ways in General British (GB). It can be said as ˌasɪˈʤuːəti ~ ˌasəˈʤuːəti (more formally/in a slightly old-fashioned way, also ˌasɪˈʤʊəti ~ ˌasəˈʤʊəti); and without yod coalescence, in a more formal and old-fashioned manner, ˌasɪˈdjuːəti ~ ˌasəˈdjuːəti. (Even more out-dated/formal are the renderings ˌasɪˈdjʊəti ~ ˌasəˈdjʊəti.) Other completely out-of-date variants, which Alan Cruttenden would probably describe as falling within what he has termed 'Conspicuous General British' (see Gimson's Pronunciation of English, 2014, p. 81), have -ɪtɪ or -ɪti as the last two syllables, and æ in the first. 
The corresponding adjective, assiduous, can be əˈsɪdjuəs (compressed, also əˈsɪdjwəs) or assimilated, əˈsɪʤuəs (also optionally compressed to əˈsɪʤwəs). 

Unlike GB, in General American (GA) the only possibilities are əˈsɪʤuəs ~ əˈsɪʤ(ə)wəs for assiduous: yod coalescence in GA is compulsory if, within a word, the vowel after GB tj/dj is weak, i. e. u or ə. On the other hand, coalescent assimilations of the type tj → ʧ and dj → ʤ at the beginning of a stressed syllable before a strong vowel sound, albeit increasingly common in GB, are (still) considered as non-standard in GA. assiduity in GA is normally pronounced with yod-dropping, that is as ˌæsɪˈduːət̬i ~ ˌæsəˈduːət̬i (also, less commonly/more formally, ˌæsɪˈduːəti ~ ˌæsəˈduːəti). Variants with yod in the third syllable are also possible, though less frequent: ˌæsɪˈdjuːət̬i ~ ˌæsəˈdjuːət̬i (or again ˌæsɪˈdjuːəti ~ ˌæsəˈdjuːəti). See, for example, John Wells's Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (LPD), p. 52 and p. 843.

For some unknown reason, and to my complete amazement, the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary Online (OAAD) includes a pronunciation with -ˈʤu- (= -ˈʤuː-) for the term assiduity, which all the other dictionaries I own or use frequently either don't acknowledge or rightly describe as non-GA. See the screenshot below:

Those who understand Italian can read what I say about the topic of this post on page 27 of my recently published book:

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Cambridge Linguistics

Followers of this blog this week might like to read an article of mine published last Friday on the website Cambridge Linguistics. It's a post about /t/-epenthesis in Standard Italian Pronunciation (SIP). Take a look at it here


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Weak, strong, and contracted forms in my book

In my book I discuss weak, strong, and contracted forms in 18 pages, namely from p. 110 to p. 127. To my knowledge, my manual is the only textbook in Italy to deal with this for the EFL learner/teacher most important topic in such a detailed and thorough way. See below for some screenshots of pp. 114, 121 and 122. As ever, click on the pictures to enlarge them.