What is the pronunciation of mutinous?
I looked at the pronunciation reported in a dictionary, which uses /ˈmjutn=əs/ as American English IPA transcription, but I don't understand which sound should be associated with /=/. I have already seen /ː/ used in British English IPA, but it is the first time I see /=/.

  • I don't recognise '=' as a phonetic symbol. I suspect it is marking a syllable boundary (i.e. that 'n' is syllabic): is the word bisyllabic or trisyllabic in US pronuncionation? – Colin Fine May 25 '11 at 13:27
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    @Colin: I think it's usually trisyllabic, but the middle syllable can be a syllabic 'n'. I suspect the IPA symbol for a syllabic 'n' ( n̩ ) got mangled by software. – Peter Shor Jun 12 '14 at 1:56

I would suggest: first, say it as though to rhyme (in stress and vowels) with ‘beautiful’.  This should be close to correct.

Now, say it like that again, but a bit less carefully (or trying to imitate a native speaker speaking carelessly).  The last vowel should reduce a bit, into a schwa; and the ‘t’ and the central vowel should reduce together, the ‘t’ getting nasalised a bit by its closeness to the n.  In British pronunciation, the central vowel should not get completely lost [going by my own experience and the OED].  In US pronunciation, the central vowel may disappear entirely [according to M-W and OED], so as Hellion says, it becomes very similar to ‘muteness’.

The OED gives /ˈmjuːtɨnəs/ (British) and /ˈmjutnˌəs/ (US).  By comparison, it renders ‘beautiful’ as /ˈbjuːtɪfʊl/.  The symbol /ɨ/ represents “free variation between /i/ and /ə/” (where /ə/ is a schwa), if I’m understanding the OED’s use of IPA correctly.

  • You're misunderstanding the OED's IPA: it has /ˈmjutn̩əs/, where there is a dot under the /n̩/. meaning a syllabic 'n'. So it's still three syllables. Merriam-Webster indeed gives an alternate two-syllable pronunciation, but I would think that's less common than the three-syllable pronunciation. – Peter Shor Apr 3 at 15:50

m-w.com lists \ˈmyü-tə-nəs, ˈmyüt-nəs\ , which I would spell out without IPA as "MYOO-t'-nuss" or "MYOOT-nuss". (It's very similar to "muteness".)

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    +1: yeah like muteness but mute-in-us – Adam Feb 2 '11 at 21:24

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