R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɔr / as in “sport” – American English Pronunciation

R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɔr / as in “sport” – American English Pronunciation


Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video, we’re going to talk about the American R-colored vowel /ɔr/, as in the word “sport.” You can also hear this sound in words like “four”-“orange” – “port” or “sword.” We’ll be using special phonetic symbols — /ɔr/ — for this sound. Let’s recap what we’ve learned in the R-Colored Vowels Overview video: The /ɔr/ is one of the seven American R-colored vowel sounds. The /ɔr/ is an R-colored diphthong… and it’s made by merging the /ɔ/ and the /r/ sounds. As with all R-colored vowel sounds, the /ɔr/ is often distorted by non-native English speakers. The spelling for /ɔr/ could be confusing as this sound is represented by several different combinations of letters. Now, let’s find out how to pronounce this R-colored vowel. To make the /ɔr/ sound correctly, focus on pronouncing two sounds and making a smooth connection between them. This is how you do that. Start with making the /ɔ/ sound. Open your mouth as wide as possible, and round your lips. Now, let’s place your tongue in the correct position for the /ɔ/ vowel. Flatten your tongue and pull it back. Place your tongue very low in your mouth. The tip of your tongue should be touching the back of your bottom front teeth. By the way, there are some variations in how the vowel in the /ɔr/ sound could be pronounced. It’s okay to place your tongue a little higher in your mouth and not pull it back as far, making a sound that falls somewhere in between the /oʊ/ and the /ɔ/ vowels. For the rest of this video, we’ll stick with the /ɔ/ for the sake of simplicity. Next, connect the /ɔ/ to the /r/ sound with a long gliding movement. Curl back the tip of your tongue. Now, slightly lower the center of your tongue and raise its back. Your tongue should be tensed. Now, let’s color the /ɔ/ with the /r/ and blend the two sounds together: Let’s talk about the most typical mistakes that people make when pronouncing the /ɔr/ sound. Number one. Many non-native English speakers reduce the /r/ sound in the /ɔr/ vowel. This would be fine in British English, but an American accent requires the /r/ to be pronounced. So, if you reduce the /r/, your American /ɔr/ sound will be distorted and it may lead to misunderstandings. Compare: Number two. Some non-native speakers trill the /r/ in /ɔr/. That’s not how Americans pronounce this sound! Remember, Americans never trill their R-colored vowel sounds. Compare: How do you avoid trilling? The tip of your tongue should never touch the alveolar ridge when you pronounce the R-colored vowel sounds. Remember, if you want to sound like an American, don’t reduce the /r/ when pronouncing the R-colored vowels and avoid trilling them. Now, let’s practice the /ɔr/ sound in some words. This is how we’ll do it. You’ll see a word on the screen and hear its pronunciation. Like this: You’ll have a few seconds to pronounce the word. ♪ Do your best and practice as many words as possible! This is the only way to learn to speak with an American accent. Let’s begin! You’re done! Congratulations! By the way, did you know that the /ɔr/ sound is represented by several combinations of letters? Take a look: Most often, the /ɔr/ sound is represented by ‘or’ as in “sport” or “north.” Less often by ‘ar’ as in “warm” or “quarter,” and ‘oar’ as in “board” or “roar.” There are quite a few words with ‘our’ as in “four’ or “source,” and ‘oor’ as in “door” or “floor.” And there are a couple of other variants, like in the words “horrible” and “warranty.” While several of these combinations of letters represent the /ɔr/ sound in some words, they may also represent other R-colored vowels in other words. Yes, it’s confusing, but you’re used to it already, aren’t you? 🙂 Click Like if you liked this video. By the way, did we say that we like your comments? Like this one: One of our subscribers with the nickname “linking932” said: “.. I thought /ɝ/ and /ɛr/ were the same things, always learning new things with your videos.” We’re always happy to help! Yes, these are different sounds. Listen: Share this video with your friends, pets and relatives. Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned on our Sounds American channel!

32 Replies to “R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɔr / as in “sport” – American English Pronunciation”

  1. This is my go to channel! I've learnt a lot from you Sir, and I notived that you covered the hardest word in american language which's of course "order". I'm gonna spread the word because your channel deserves a lot of recognition!

  2. I'm working in my pronunciation , so the Sound American help me a lot, thank you so much . I need to ask you about the how can I pronounce Science in correct way ?again I appreciate

  3. It seemed to me that /ɔr/ is in open variety for /ɔːr/ or are they interchangeable? As for (10:11) /ɝ/ and /ɛr/ evokes dogs or bears (?) growling.

  4. can i ask something , why do you use 'an R-colored' instead of ' a R-colored' ? and the first letter it's not vowel !

  5. What kind of an app do you use (I mean the one in which the words appear)? Would be quite useful to always have it on hand in an iPhone.

  6. Hello, professor!Could you tell me what is this video talking about??/ɔ/ and /o/ merged before /r/ and /u/ / ʊ /.I don't understand what he said. Thank you for your help!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxBcIWvI364

  7. Hi, thanks for the detailed and useful lessons. However, I noticed that you guys are missing the ʊr sounds. Can you help making that tutorial? Many thanks!

  8. Hi guys. Thanks for your awesome work. I have a question, isn't it "or" instead of "ɔr"? I mean, it sounds like o in the "ou" vowel.

  9. I love the way you teach american pronunciation it's the best teaching channel that i came across on YouTube Thank you !

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