American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

The English plural morpheme has three shapes (or ‘allomorphs’): /ɪd/, /t/ and /d/. They are used as follows:

Shape 1

/ɪd/ after /t,d/, as in fitted, loaded;

fitted – /ˈfɪt̬ɪd /

loaded – /ˈloʊdɪd/

Shape 2

/t/ after the fortis obstruents /p, k, f, θ, s, ʃ/, as in helped, knocked, stuffed, pronounced, leashed;

helped – /hɛlpt/

knocked – /nɑːkt/

stuffed – /stʌft/

leashed – /liːʃt/

Shape 3

/d/ in other situations, i.e. after /b, g, v, ð, z, ʒ, m, n, ŋ, l, r/ and after all vowels, as in stabbed, bagged and in showed, tied, etc.

stabbed – /stæbd/

bagged – /bægd/

showed – /ʃoʊd/

tied – /taɪd/

In irregular verbs these rules of course do not apply.

Note that –edly is always pronounced /ədli/ when the accent falls on the last syllable of adverbs:

marked /mɑrkt/ markedly /ˈmɑrkədli/
assured /əˈʃʊrd/ assuredly /əˈʃʊrədli/

but: good-humouredly /ˈgʊd ˈhjuːmərdli/.