Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More training in pronunciation

Elvis Presley’s “Bosa Nova Baby”— one of the songs he sang in Fun In Acapulco (1963) — will be a very good material for your pronunciation training as well as for your singing practice. Since you have to pronounce almost all the words very quickly throughout the song, there are a lot of examples of elision, assimilation, and of course weak forms.

The sound clip below is of my own version of this song (sung to a commercially available karaoke CD):

As is very often the case with American accents and POP songs, the words ending in “ing” are pronounced with /n/ rather than /ŋ/ as the unauthorised spelling “in’” shows: flyin’ /'flaɪɪn/, workin’ /'wərkɪn/, and dancin’ /'dænsɪn/.

In the phrase “just like” the /t/ of “just” is deleted, i.e. /dʒəs laɪk/. In “You got my...”, “you” will be pronounced in its weak form /jʊ/, or even /jə/ which is very common in an American accent, and an assimilation-plus-weakening process applies to “got my”, i.e. /gɑt maɪ/ → /gɑp maɪ/ → /gɑm maɪ/.

An interesting example of elision plus progressive assimilation is observed in “poppin’”: /'pɑpɪn/ → /'pɑpm/.

The most challenging part is “Keep on dancin’ I’m about to have myself a fit”, for which the final phonetic outcome of “...dancin’ I’m about to have myself...” will likely be [dænsɪn am əbaɾə hæm maseof ə fɪʔ].

The complete version of this song is here.

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