aɪ ˈbɔːt sm̩ ˈpaʊdəd ˈwɔːtə | bət aɪ ˈdəʊn ˈnəʊ ˈwɒt tu ˈæd
Key at bottom of page.
I: Although I is a monosyllabic function/grammatical word and is usually unstressed, it doesn’t usually have a weak form.
some: When some is a determiner meaning an unspecified number or amount, it is usually unstressed and has the weak form /səm/. When the syllable /əm/ is preceded by /s/, it readily forms a syllabic consonant, as shown in the transcription, the articulators moving direction from the position for /s/ to the position for /m/.
Note that in English, syllabic /m/ is not a phoneme in its own right, but merely a special way of realising the syllable /əm/. This means that when we use a special symbol [m̩] for it in transcription, it makes our transcription non-phonemic (because we are now using more than one symbol for each phoneme and introducing a special symbol to show a particular phonetic detail).
powdered: The regular -ed ending has three pronunciations:
- /ɪd/ after /t/ or /d/
- /t/ after all other voiceless consonants
- /d/ after vowels and all other voiced consonants
but: When unstressed, as it usually is, the conjunction but has the weak form /bət/.
don’t: Although function/grammatical words are generally unstressed in English, negative contractions such as don’t (and didn’t, won’t, can’t shouldn’t, etc.) are usually stressed.
Although /t/ isn’t usually elided when it is preceded by /n/ (e.g. in bent nail /ˈbent ˈneɪl/, front door /ˈfrʌnt ˈdɔː/), the negative contractions, because of their high frequency, are an exception and their final /t/ can be elided before both consonants and vowels (e.g. I couldn’t say /aɪ ˈkʊdn̩ ˈseɪ/. He didn’t ask /hi ˈdɪdn̩ ˈɑːsk/.), but not before a pause. This is much more common in the case of disyllabic negative contractions (e.g. didn’t, doesn’t, haven’t, hasn’t, hadn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, etc.). In the case of monosyllabic negative contractions (won’t, can’t), elision of /t/ is only usual in rather casual speech.
to: The symbol u represents the same vowel phoneme as the symbol uː. We use u in unstressed syllables and uː in stressed syllables. This distinction isn't very helpful for TEFL purposes and learners should simply treat the two symbols as the same. Because we are using two different symbols for one phoneme, this means our transcription isn't truly phonemic (phonemic transcription = one symbol for each phoneme).