/ʃɔː/ can you pls help me what word is this po?

  • The only English word po I know is in the term "po' boy", a kind of sandwich, meaning "poor boy" as pronounced in an r-less dialect of English. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po%27_boy – Greg Lee Apr 19 '20 at 9:23
  • "Shaw", "Shah", "Hsiao", "sure", "shore" are all candidates. Context may tell. – user6726 Apr 19 '20 at 14:19
  • @user6726 Who on earth would pronounce hsiao (=_xiao_) as /ʃɔː/? Presumably they’d pronounce shower the same, I suppose? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 20 '20 at 12:39
  • It's is one adaptation of Chinese pronunciation into American English. That's how she says it. Shower = [ʃæwɹ̩], two syllables. – user6726 Apr 20 '20 at 14:05

/ʃɔː/ is the IPA transcription of the word 'shore' in non-rhotic accents. Sometimes 'sure' is also pronounced as /ʃɔː/.

/ʃ/ is called 'voiceless postalveolar fricative'. It is the shhh sound present in the beginning of words like shy, shore, she etc.

/ɔː/ is called 'open-mid back rounded vowel or low-mid back rounded vowel'. It is present in words like north, law, thought etc.

In rhotic accents, the /r/ sound is always pronounced so /ʃɔː/ in rhotic accents would be pronounced as /ʃɔːr/ (with 'r' sound).

In non-rhotic accents, the /r/ sound is not pronounced unless it precedes a vowel sound so /ʃɔːr/ becomes /ʃɔː/.

Generally, in General American the 'r' in /ɔːr/ is pronounced while in RP, the 'r' is not pronounced.

  • 1
    It’s also shaw in both rhotic and non-rhotic. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 20 '20 at 19:23
  • Good point. @JanusBahsJacquet – Joyful Sadness Apr 20 '20 at 19:29

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