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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.

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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.

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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

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