How acceptable/appropriate is the pronunciation of words such as "Christian" and "fortune"/"fortunate" with a [t] sound as opposed to [ʃ]? I personally prefer the former but I believe that it's not that common. Still, I'd like to hear what others have to say here.
1I think this is an AmE/BrE difference. Nobody pronounces Christian with a /tj/ in AmE, but the pronunciation is present in British dictionaries. And I have heard British speakers pronounce words like this with /tj/, although maybe not the specific words fortune or Christian. The pronunciation /ˈfɔːtjən/ is not in any of the British dictionaries I've checked, so I suspect that particular word is very rarely pronounced with /tj/ in either dialect– Peter ShorMay 21, 2015 at 12:37
2If you pronounce words like this with /tj/ in the U.S., you'll sound like you learned British English. But if you pronounce fortune as /ˈfɔːtjən/ in England (as opposed to words which are sometimes pronounced with /tj/), you may just sound like you don't know English very well.– Peter ShorMay 21, 2015 at 12:46
@PeterShor Fortune or Fortunate pronounced with a "tj" don't implicate that one hasn't received a proper education. In fact, only recently I watched a TV series, Pride and Prejudice, the 1995 version, the character of Mr. Collins - David Bamber demonstrates the "tj" usage in it; I also remember Gwyneth Paltrow opting for this usage in Shakespeare in Love. These are renowned artists and people often tend to imitate their style, which makes me think that this is more a question of preference than of acceptability.– Andy SemyonovMay 21, 2015 at 13:56
Both of these productions are set quite a while ago, when people pronounced things differently. Of course, you wouldn't actually be able to understand them if they authentically pronounced English the way they did in Shakespeare's time, but maybe the actors are using some archaic pronunciations for these shows set in the past.– Peter ShorMay 21, 2015 at 14:37
1if you think the director is going to retake a scene because one of the actors pronounced fortune in a somewhat too-modern manner ... movies and TV series often have accent coaches, but much worse mistakes than that end up slipping through.– Peter ShorMay 24, 2015 at 0:16
I'm British and we would never use the [ʃ] sound in any of these words, always a /t/. In British English the [ʃ] sounds American or (when spoken by a Brit) lazy.
In British English they are pronounced with a [tʃ] i.e. somewhere in the middle of the two. I would regard just the [t] as being a little too stilted and the [ʃ] as a little too lazy.
/t/ is palatalized to /ʃ/ when it precedes the -ian and -ion suffixes. (Well, "Christian" has like two different pronunciations, depends on speaker), except when preceded by S, where it becomes /tʃ/.
/t/ is palatalized to /tʃ/ when it precedes the -ure suffix (e.g. nature), as well as in fortune and its derivatives.
In several American dialects (though not all) /t/ is often retracted to near /tʃ/ when preceding the R sound. (betrayal, nitrogen, try, train, Tracy, etc.)
The cases of -ure and "fortune" are separate. I don't know why I missed -stion. Oct 19, 2015 at 12:59