I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
The American English pronunciation for you're is /jʊ(ə)r/, /jər/; the pronunciation for your is /jʊ(ə)r/, /jər/.
I looked up the dictionary, since I'm not a native speaker and the IPA gives the same pronunciation, even though there are two possible pronunciations.
So I suppose that what you referred to was about the accent? Considering you said you are from Texas and not, for example, from England or another English speaking country.
In the U.K. we are taught that they all sound the same (at least I was). Its this that gives the words their difficulty for native speakers. When you learn to write you realize that one spoken word is written in different ways that depends upon the context.
It could be that in some schools they give slightly different pronunciations to the words, so that when children learn to speak they realize that they are different words from an earlier age - ready for when they learn to write.
A German speaking friend remarked once that he found the mistake very funny. But he learnt to write English at the same time as he learnt to speak, so they were always different words. There was never the confusion.
Its similar to their, there and they're - for me they are all said the same.
UPDATE: The American Heritage Dictionary agrees with you. They list /yôr/ as an acceptable variant pronunciation for your but not for you're. However, since they don't say what dialects this pronunciation is found in, I don't know whether the speculation in my original post below is correct.
ORIGINAL POST: In the U.S., there are a number of accents which don't have the phoneme /ʊɹ/ in moor. (My mother, from rural Illinois, had one of these accents, and I used this accent's pronunciation for many of these words when I was young.) In these accents, the phoneme is replaced by either /ɝ/ as in purr or /ɔɹ/ as in pore; the rule is that generally, words that are pronounced with /jʊɹ/ (pure, cure) the phoneme is replaced by /jɝ/, and words that are pronounced with no /j/ (poor, moor, sure), the phoneme is replaced by /ɔɹ/.1 It may be that in some of these accents, you're and your get disambiguated by having you're rhyme with purr, and your rhyme with pore. I do know that pronouncing you're with /ɔɹ/ sounds wrong to me, whereas pronouncing your either way sounds fine.
I'm just guessing, but it's possible that one of these accents influenced your pronunciation of your and you're.
1 This rule only works for the final syllable of words. Otherwise, the sound generally changes to /ɝ/.
This is intriguing.
In theory, they should sound the same; though one person might pronounce the words differently from another person, they should only have one pronunciation for both words.
That said, I am a from England and there are indeed many pronunciation variations without even travelling to the other Eng speaking countries (America, Canada, Australia - even India and Singapore).
What makes this even more difficult to comment on is that I don't know how you pronounce the words 'core' and 'cure' as there are places in England where these words would 'rhyme' with each other - of course 'cure' has a diphthong (the inclusion of the 'y' sound at the beginning of the vowel sound) but they could both end with the same sound (like the word 'or').
c - or
c - y - or
Your - you're
There is no real reason that one person should pronounce these two words differently; they are homophones, which means they sound identical.
However, dialectical variations are innumerable and so we can't really tell you you are wrong.
I tend to pronounce your/you're differently. I pronounce "your" as [jɔ˞] or [jɻ̩] and "you're" as [ju.ɻ̩] or [jʊ˞]. However in fast speech, you're can become [jɻ̩] as well. I typically say you're as 2 syllables, because I almost always pronounce "'re" as /ɻ̩/ except in fast speech. Similarly, I differentiate between there/their/they're. "There" becomes [ðɛ˞], "their" [ðeɻ], and "they're" [ðe.ɻ̩]. However the distinction is lost in fast speech when they all become [ðɛ˞].
You’re is a contraction of you and are. We remove/clip the ‘ay’ sound leaving ‘re’ ([r] for ‘Rudolph’, not [ar] for ‘arse’), and then we run the two words together forming [you-r].
To pronounce your and you’re the same creates confusion, and personally I think it is incorrect: they are not homophones.
protected by tchrist May 25 at 12:41
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