Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

sanctuary (Oxford) /ˈsæŋktʃuəri ; ˈsæŋktʃueri/

It is /k/ that I don’t hear in the website’s pronunciation. Do they drop /k/ under some pronunciation rule? - it happens that /ŋ/ and /k/ all are velar sounds.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is an example of elision:

Elision is the omission of one or more sounds (such as a vowel, a consonant, or a whole syllable) in a word or phrase, producing a result that is easier for the speaker to pronounce. Sometimes, sounds may be elided for euphonic effect.

In this case, some speakers find the all-dental ˈsæntʃuəri or stopless ˈsæŋʃuəri easier to pronounce than the velar-to-dental transition of ˈsæŋktʃuəri.

share|improve this answer
2  
In fact, /sæŋʃuəri/, with no stops at all between the velar nasal and the palatal sibilant, seems to be what I hear and pronounce most. Since nasal continuants like /ŋ/ are oral stops -- i.e, the mouth is closed at the velum, just like a /k/ -- the transition to /ʃ/ is impossible to make without producing an oral stop. I.e, you don't need to pronounce the other stops separately. –  John Lawler Apr 29 '13 at 23:15
    
@JohnLawler Yes, I think I say sæŋʃuəri myself. I'll edit it into the answer. Need to fix it anyway, because ˈsæŋtʃuəri is not “all-dental.” (I personally find /ŋt/ even harder to pronounce than /ŋkt/.) –  Bradd Szonye Apr 29 '13 at 23:21

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.