4

When pronouncing the word changed, how to do that? It is giving me a hard time because of the G and D part. It is so difficult to pronounce. Can I skip the G and pronounce chaned or what is the alternate way?

I don't know much phonetic symbol but I learned some and here is it from a dictionary:

  • change ➜ /tʃeɪndʒ/ + ED
  • changed ➜ /tʃeɪndʒd/

How do natives deal with this?

  • "chain" "ijd" "duh" - fast. from the "n" in "chain" run everything together from there. – Fattie Nov 22 at 1:22
  • 2
    English native speakers deal with this the same way that German native speakers deal with the difference between something like "er quetscht" and "du quetschst". The learning process starts at birth. – alephzero Nov 22 at 4:18
  • 2
    The pronunciation of "changed" and "chained" is not the same. The "g" sound is critically important. You can't just "skip it". – alephzero Nov 22 at 4:19
8

Try pronouncing two words, first "change" and then "do", with a little pause. Then practice saying them with a smaller and smaller pause, until you are saying "changedo". Then drop the "o".

| improve this answer | |
8

English consonant clusters are usually difficult for learners. In 'changed' ([t͡ʃeɪnd͡ʒd]), we have a cluster of three consonants, including the affricate [d͡ʒ], which is a complex consonant.

The short answer is: replace the affricate [d͡ʒ] with [ʒ] and pronounce it [t͡ʃeɪnʒd]. [ʒ] is the sound at the end of the word garage, so it should be easy for you.

Preliminaries

The word 'change' starts with the sound [t͡ʃ] and ends in [d͡ʒ], both of which are complex consonants and are called affricates.

Affricates are complex consonants; they start off as plosives (stop) and finish as fricatives.

A plosive (or 'stop') is a consonant produced by completely blocking the air at a particular place of articulation. For instance, the sound /p/ at the beginning of the word pin is a plosive. It's produced by blocking the air completely at the lips and then suddenly releasing it with a big puff of air. /p t k b d g/ are plosives in English.

A fricative is a consonant which is produced by bringing together the articulators (organs which are involved in articulating the sound e.g. tongue, lips, alveolar ridge etc) to the point where the airflow is not quite fully blocked; there's enough gap for the airflow to escape, but the articulators are so close together that friction is created as the air escapes. English fricatives are /f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ/.

Affricate is a consonant that is produced by blocking the air completely (as in plosive) and releasing it as a fricative. But it happens so quickly that we don't even realise as we articulate them. There are two affricates in English: /t͡ʃ/ (as in chin) and /d͡ʒ/ (as in jug).

/t͡ʃ/ starts off as /t/ and is released as /ʃ/ whereas /d͡ʒ/ starts off as /d/ and released as /ʒ/.

Let's move on to the original question.


Pronunciation of 'changed'

If you omit the /d͡ʒ/, you'll get chained, which is a completely different word. So how to deal with it?

If you look at its pronunciation: [t͡ʃeɪnd͡ʒd], you'll see that there are three consonants (including the affricate) at the end of 'changed'.

The affricate [d͡ʒ] is a single consonant, but more complex than other simple consonants. In order to deal with the pronunciation of the cluster [nd͡ʒd], you can think of the affricate [d͡ʒ] as two consonants; [d] and [ʒ]. Now if we break up the affricate in 'changed', we'll get four consonants: [t͡ʃeɪ n d ʒ d], here we have four consonants now ([n d ʒ d]).

If we omit:

  1. [n], we'll get *[t͡ʃeɪdʒd]: it's chaged which is incorrect
  2. [d], we'll get [t͡ʃeɪnʒd]: [ʒ] is the sound at the end of the word massage, if we omit it, it can still be understood as 'changed' and doesn't change the meaning at all (try it!). Most native speakers pronounce [ʒ] rather than [d͡ʒ] in clusters like this without realising it
  3. [ʒ], we'll get *[t͡ʃeɪndd]: ill-formed because it has *[dd] in the same syllable and English cannot have a geminated consonant within the same syllable (Phonotactic constraint). It's also incorrect
  4. ending [d], we'll get *[t͡ʃeɪndʒ]: it's 'change' and we need changed, so it can also be incorrect, however, some people do pronounce changed that way in some situations.

So the best way to deal with 'changed' is to follow option no. 2 in the above options. If you omit the [d] part of the affricate [d͡ʒ], everyone will understand and it doesn't change the meaning of the word. I'd say no one will even notice.


/t͡ʃ/ is the sound in chin
/d͡ʒ/ in jug
/ʃ/ in ship
/t/ in time
/d/ in date
/ʒ/ in vision (or German garage or French jour)

I've marked ill-formed or incorrect pronunciations with a preceding asterisk (*)

| improve this answer | |
  • Affricates are really single consonants, but just to deal with the problem, the OP can think of them as two consonants. (An affricate is a 'single' consonant characterised by a slow release of the stop into a homorganic fricative.) – Void Nov 21 at 9:27
  • 2
    +1 for this -- I was going to suggest your [t͡ʃeɪnʒd] variant myself, but you have done it so much better! – TonyK Nov 21 at 15:33
  • 2
    Perhaps this is because I speak BrE, but I think I say [t͡ʃeɪnʒd] (for "changed") and for that matter [t͡ʃeɪnʒ] (for "change") in any case. I am pretty sure I am easily understood by both BrE and AmE speakers. – abligh Nov 21 at 19:23
0

I'm assuming you are OK with 'change' but are struggling to get that fast switch to the 'd' at the end without almost adding a spare vowel sound in there.

Practise on "change diapers" - I'll lose that silent 'a' in diapers from here on in...

at first it's change… dipers (you can hold the pause between the two initially until you start to be able to make it flow)
after a while you can think of it as changed… ipers (not a word, but easily pronounced)
all you need to do then is lose the 'ipers' part & you're left with changed.

You could replace diapers with destination or dance or anything with an easy-to-pronounce second word beginning with 'd'.

The overall advantage of practising with two entire words rather than just one added syllable is mental separation of the two ideas. Rather than having to concentrate on just removing one syllable you have an entire word you can mentally separate out from the first, even if it's no longer a real word.

There is real-world analogy for this, though it tends to be with the letter 'n' in real life. Look up the history of the word 'apron' (or adder or orange - though that's not as straight-forward) & see how via rebracketing the word moved from 'a napron' to 'an apron'. There's a whole list of words we arrived at by similar moves on How A Napron Became An Apron (I haven't fact-checked them all).

Note the 'd' in changed never turns into a 't', it always remains a 'd', unless you were going for something tortuous, like 'changed test' which even a Brit would almost fall over.

Late thought
If you struggle with the 'j' sound* in 'change', practise on 'judge' - it begins & ends with the same sound.
It's also the same sound used in the English word for Deutschland… Germany.

*I don't speak phonetics, at all, I'm afraid.

| improve this answer | |
-1

In German there is a phenomenon called Auslautverhärtung, where a final D is pronounced as a T.

The same thing always occurs in English when the consonant before the -ed is unvoiced, for example rinse ->rinsed /rɪnst/.

In English, words flow together more than in German, and so the production of the final consonant of a word is also affected by the phoneme that starts the next word. Consider these two phrases:

judged on Monday - followed by vowel
two-edged sword - followed by consonant

In the first, the D is clearly pronounced as a D, but is fused with the on, so that it sounds similar to "Judge Don Monday", apart from the fact that on is unstressed and Don is stressed. In the second, the D is softened and becomes closer to a T. When the word appears at the end of a sentence, it is generally softened and more T-like.

These two adaptations help to make words like changed easier to say.

| improve this answer | |
  • 6
    This is wrong. The final consonant of 'change' is voiced, so the d stays voiced. As a native English speaker, I can't even pronounce 'changed' with a final t. (If you are a native German speaker yourself, you might pronounce 'change' with an unvoiced final 'ch'; but a native English speaker would never do this.) – TonyK Nov 21 at 15:31
  • 1
    As a native (British) English speaker, I can pronounce it with a final t, but I don't pronounce "changed" that way. – alephzero Nov 22 at 4:15
  • @TonyK, I have added a more detailed explanation of my reasoning. – JavaLatte Nov 23 at 0:59
  • But your facts are simply wrong -- word-final devoicing doesn't exist in English. – TonyK Nov 23 at 9:05
  • @TonyK, yes, Final Obstruent Devoicing does not occur in English, and clearly does in German. I merely referred to the German form to introduce the general concept: that probablycaused some confusion. There is no Final Obstruent Devoicing in English, but that's looking at things at a phonemic level. If you look in more detail (the phonetic level), the phones that are used to produce a final consonant are clearly different depending on the initial consonant of the following word. Just take a look with a spectrum analyser at the two examples that I quoted, and you will see the difference. – JavaLatte Nov 23 at 10:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.