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The pronunciation of the letter "X" followed by a vowel letter, by a consonant letter(phonetics) Options
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2017 6:13:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,389
Neurons: 8,723
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi Everyone!
I have really been faced with an issue spelling out some English words, such as:
E xaggerate
E xcuse
E xcise
E xhaust
The issue lies in the pronunciation of the letter "X" followed by a vowel letter is "/gz/" as in "exaggerate, example, etc", and the pronunciation of the letter "X" followed by a consonant letter is sometimes "/gz/", like in "exhaust", and other times is "/k/", as in "excuse", "excise". As I highlighted above.



Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:41:04 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,224
Neurons: 150,994
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi.

I understand the difficulty - the letter 'X' is used in modern spelling to replace several different foreign letters. The pronunciation often depends on whether the 'x' comes after the stressed vowel (ks) or before it (gz), but this is not a definite rule. I have marked the stressed vowel with blue colour.

Exaggerate - Eksadjerate or Egzadjerate
Example - egzample
Excuse - Ekskuse
Excise - Eksize or Eksize
Exhaust - Egzaust as a noun or adjective - Egzaust as a verb
Xenon - Zenon (from Greek letter X)
Mexico - Meksiko or Mechiko
Xhosa - (click)oza (this sound is one which few British people can duplicate)
Xiang - shiang (used mainly in names)



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Monon Bhuyan
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 12:58:59 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/15/2017
Posts: 3
Neurons: 7,890
Location: New Delhi, NCT, India
Good explanation above, but I would like to add my 2 cents.

The Chinese (and some other SE Asian languages) X is not really pronounced as "SH." The X is a stand in for certain alphabets that have a semi-aspirated sound that has no real equivalent in English. One of the best ways to describe how to reproduce the sound is to do this:
1. Relax your tongue and touch the tip below your front teeth.
2. Try and push the middle of your tongue towards the roof of the mouth, but not actually touch it. Remember to keep the tongue relaxed.
3. Try and say "She" with the tongue in that position.

The sound comes out more like "see" or even "he." If you keep your hand in front of your mouth, you will feel a puff of your breath hit it.

Failing to describe it any better, I managed to find a good resource here at resources (dot) allsetlearning (dot) com /chinese/pronunciation/The_"j"_"q"_and_"x"_sounds

Add h t t p s : // before it, replace (dot) with actual . and remove spaces since i cant post links.The page has an audio guide near the bottom of the page too.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 1:16:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,224
Neurons: 150,994
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

Here's the link.

Thanks Monon Bhuyan!
Yes - my explanation was rather short - the Spanish/South American; Chinese and Xhosa/Zulu pronunciations are not quite equivalent to any sounds used in 'normal' English. They are mostly used in names of countries, cities and people, but you do find occasional food items with names borrowed from these languages.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 8:47:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,389
Neurons: 8,723
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hi.

I understand the difficulty - the letter 'X' is used in modern spelling to replace several different foreign letters. The pronunciation often depends on whether the 'x' comes after the stressed vowel (ks) or before it (gz), but this is not a definite rule. I have marked the stressed vowel with blue colour.

Exaggerate - Eksadjerate or Egzadjerate
Example - egzample
Excuse - Ekskuse
Excise - Eksize or Eksize
Exhaust - Egzaust as a noun or adjective - Egzaust as a verb
Xenon - Zenon (from Greek letter X)
Mexico - Meksiko or Mechiko
Xhosa - (click)oza (this sound is one which few British people can duplicate)
Xiang - shiang (used mainly in names)


Thanks a lot, Darag0nspeaker, Monon Bhuyan!
It is not a matter of pronouncing the letter "X". However, how to spell out "X" while his sound is pronounced with the compound phonetic "ks" or "zg", etc.
In my Arabic language, what my tongue pronounces will be written down/ spelt out. No letters having two phonics such as as "X" /gz/, no silent letters.



Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
thar
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 9:12:57 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,002
Neurons: 64,112
'-Ex' was originally a 'foreign' addition to English, although it is in so many words and has been around for a millenium. But the prefix ex- is Latin, French. So in English, a word might end in -ec and the plural would be -ecs. Totally phonetic. That later changed to -ecks - still phonetic, just a bit redundant.
Then all those Latin words came along with -ex, meaning 'out'. And as you have found, a lot of words use that prefix to form a particular meaning. They just got put into English, and now they are there. Whistle

The -ex is pronounced phonetically - it is just the letters after it that might not be so clear, especially if they are not words themselves, only with the prefix.Whistle
but if you remember the -ex is a suffix, so it is unstressed, and you run smoothly into the next syllable, then they are generally phonetic.
exaggerate is a bit of an anomaly because a double g should be hard, not soft. This is really two single g sounds, one after the other, both soft.
ex ag gerate


Changing the subject slightly, the word 'taxi' is a word which has been adopted by a lot of languages around the world. (Originally it meant a cab where you pay a charge, a tax to travel).
But in many languages, the spelling is changed to get rid of that ridiculous x - in many places it is a taksi.
You are not alone in your frustration! Whistle
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 4:24:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,389
Neurons: 8,723
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
thar wrote:
'-
Changing the subject slightly, the word 'taxi' is a word which has been adopted by a lot of languages around the world. (Originally it meant a cab where you pay a charge, a tax to travel).
But in many languages, the spelling is changed to get rid of that ridiculous x - in many places it is a taksi.
You are not alone in your frustration! Whistle

Thanks a lot, Thar,
Yes, you are right. In my Arabic language, which has 28 letters, I was firstly taught the letters and how to pronounce and write them down(spell them out). Only one letter which is silent in only some words. However, it is pronounced phonetically in some other words. Each letter is pronounced phonetically with one sound.

Besides, yes "X" is pronounced phonetically, but I mean why it is pronounced as "gz" in "exaggerate". "gz" is two sounds, "g" and "z" for only one letter "X".

BTW, you have the same frustration.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
thar
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 6:53:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,002
Neurons: 64,112
From what little I understand of Arabic, you write the consonants as simple phonemes and interpolate the vowel sounds more.

You have to understand that -ex is considered one phoneme - a complete unit of sound.

You can write it using various letters, because they can build up to similar sounds.

Eg
Ex
Ecks
Egz
Egs

I don't know what the linguistic ternm for it, but the fact is, the English alphabet is only used semi iPhone tidally.

If someone writes a word like 'sow', without context I don't know how to pronounce it. If someone says the sound 'tu', then I don't know how to spell it without context. There are just too many ways of coding the sounds of the language.

But trust the language,here. It is phonetic.

Exaggerate -ex ag gerate. If you run that together you get 'eksajerate'.

Exhaust - ex haust. If you run that together you get 'eksorst'

The 'ex sound is consistent. Just think of -ex' as more efficient coding of the sound than 'eks'.


And don't get too focused on the need to get it perfect. Native speakers realize it is a silly situation, having so many similar sounds. There is natural variation in how you say it. Lots of puns express this idea.

Eg






(That should be 'egg- staordinarily' with an i.)

You can't fix it - you just have to accept it as it is. Whistle



A cooperator
Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 6:47:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,389
Neurons: 8,723
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
thar wrote:
From what little I understand of Arabic, you write the consonants as simple phonemes and interpolate the vowel sounds more.

You have to understand that -ex is considered one phoneme - a complete unit of sound.

You can write it using various letters, because they can build up to similar sounds.

Eg
Ex
Ecks
Egz
Egs

I don't know what the linguistic ternm for it, but the fact is, the English alphabet is only used semi iPhone tidally.

If someone writes a word like 'sow', without context I don't know how to pronounce it. If someone says the sound 'tu', then I don't know how to spell it without context. There are just too many ways of coding the sounds of the language.

But trust the language,here. It is phonetic.

Exaggerate -ex ag gerate. If you run that together you get 'eksajerate'.

Exhaust - ex haust. If you run that together you get 'eksorst'

The 'ex sound is consistent. Just think of -ex' as more efficient coding of the sound than 'eks'.


Thanks a lot, Thar,
Firstly: I am expecting that the 'e' is a vowel letter, which is a standalone from 'X', and 'X' is a consistent. Thus, why do you say 'Ex' as a unit one in 'example /igˈzampəl, exaggerate /ɪɡˈzadʒəreɪt/. I don't have any issue with 'e' in either. The 'e' is pronounced phonetically alone. And 'X' is pronounced phonetically alone. However, my issue is why 'X' has been written with two phonetics 'gz'. I.e. 'X' has the phonetics of the 'g' in 'got' and 'z' in 'zoo'.

Look at the pronunciation of 'exaggerate' from some app, and my own pronunciation of it.

This is the phonetic for 'exaggerate' from Elsa app.


This is the shared link of folder having the recorded files for the pronunciation of 'exaggerate' from some Elsa app, and my own pronunciation of 'exaggerate'. I have uploaded them into my OndDrive account, and shared the link below:


The shared folder link on OneDrive





Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
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