As this question points out, there are two different meanings of undoable.

I can't find any phonetics how they are pronounced. I guess that the difference is barely audible. Or do you stress the word so that it is capable of being differentiated?

I found phonetics for undo and doable(copied from OALD)

  • undo: ʌnˈduː
  • doable: ˈduːəbl

It would be logical that both undo-able and un-doable are pronounced equal.

  • ʌnˈduː has a trailed əbl
  • ˈduːəbl has a precedent ʌn.

Both leads to: ʌnˈduːəbl.

But I conjecture this pronunciation to differentiate them:

  • un-doable: ʌnˈduːəbl
  • undo-able: ˈʌnduːəbl

Is there any audible difference in pronunciation? Perhaps are there also any difference between British and American English?

  • 9
    There is no difference in pronunciation. In both cases the stress would fall on the middle syllable.
    – Robusto
    Feb 17, 2012 at 12:41
  • "too localised" - who apart from OP would conjecture this difference in pronunciation? Feb 18, 2012 at 0:46

1 Answer 1

  • your pronunciation of 'doable' looks correct (for AmE)
  • the phonemes you have for 'undo' look correct, but the stress pattern, though formally correct may not allow you to draw inferences about changes well. It is more a word with two stressed syllables (a 'spondee')
  • adding on affixes is not independent in English. You have to take in to account the whole word to get it right.
  • so the correct pronunciation is your first one ʌnˈduːəbl

As an aside, the schwa in English (or GenAmE, I can't speak for others) is always in an unstressed position, and the 'ʌ' is almost a schwa.

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