I've got a sample of a few words pronounced by a Nottingham accent representative: https://youtu.be/2fCSeDEZeVU

My ear is far from perfect and this is why I'd like to ask for your help in this analysis.

To me it seems that /ɪ/ is realised in four different ways (from one was obvious and the remaining three - surprising) and /ʌ/ is realised in at least one expected and one unexpected way.


  • ɪ = ɪ (obvious),
  • ɪ = i,
  • ɪ = eɪ,
  • ɪ = ɛ,
  • ʌ = ʊ (expected),
  • ʌ = ɒ (or something close to /ɒ/. To my Polish ears it sounds close to Spanish "o").

Could you, please, help me understand which of my hypotheses are correct and which aren't?

If it's true that the speaker actually realises /ɪ/ or /ʌ/ in more than one way in these recordings, are there any rules on it or is it the speaker who decides on each?

(I posted the exact same post on a different forum and one person told me that maybe posting it here was a better idea)

  • 1
    The "depression" example could just be a "spelling pronunciation"; are there other examples of it becoming /ɛ/?
    – alphabet
    Mar 22 at 0:18
  • (Anyway, the phonetics of English weak vowels are...extremely complicated, so I won't attempt a full answer.)
    – alphabet
    Mar 22 at 0:24
  • @alphabet So you'd agree it's actually /ɛ/? I've managed to find the same pronunciation (I guess...) in the first syllable "effect". However, the first syllable of "destruction" and of "depressing"(!) wasn't pronounced this way (for "depressing" I hear the "ɪ = i" phenomenon). If it is a "spelling pronunciation", it is a local phenomenon for these specific words, isn't it? Or is it all-GB spread?
    – musialmi
    Mar 22 at 19:38


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