American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

When you ask a native speaker of Dutch to read out the sentence ik heb haar gezien, they are more than likely to pronounce it differently than if they were to say this sentence as a natural, spontaneous utterance. In a conversation, they would probably have said kepter gezien. The more explicit pronunciation they might have used when reading the sentence out is of course based on the spelling, and the spelling, in its turn, is based on the way words are pronounced in isolation.

It appears, however, that in Dutch as well as in English, there are quite a number of words that have a particular pronunciation when said in isolation (called the strong form or SF), but, except when they occur in certain positions, have a different pronunciation when they are used in connected speech (called the weak form or WF).