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I used to watch some tutorials and the instructor was native American. There was a term in the program that was called "null object". And he used to pronounce "null" like /nʊl/. Recently I faced "null" in Longman Dictionary and I saw it's pronounced like /nʌl/. I'm pretty sure that I had heard it correctly. Because this object was used a lot in the program and the instructor used to call its name every time he wanted to use it. And I think this is why I got shocked when I saw the new pronunciation in Longman. Is that correct to pronounce it like he used to pronounce despite this fact that the pronunciation in Longman Dictionary is different?

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    There is a wide regional variation of the way both vowels and consonants are pronounced. For example in UK the words 'luck' and 'look' are pronounced one way in some areas, or the opposite way round, or the same as each other. Apr 30, 2022 at 10:30
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    Are these tutorials online?
    – James K
    Apr 30, 2022 at 17:13
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    What I mean is, please provide the link to the tutorials. It may be a regional dialect, or you may hear something that native speakers don't, or it may just be a speech defect by this one person. If you can provide the link you may get better answers. By the way take care with "native American". To many people that means the same as "American Indian", ie from the native peoples of America.
    – James K
    May 2, 2022 at 13:03
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    You could say "A native speaker of American English". And you are right, this is indeed a native speaker of English in the video.
    – James K
    May 4, 2022 at 5:10
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    Yes, sounds like /nɜl/ which would suggest the Californian Vowel shift.
    – James K
    May 10, 2022 at 17:38

2 Answers 2

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/I don't hear /nʊl/ I hear something like /nɜl/ even approaching /nɛl/

This is the "California vowel shift, a chain of vowel movements that is occurring among native speakers of English on the West coast of America.

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Best is to follow the below pronunciation:

/nuhl/

Below is the UK transcription for "null":

  1. Modern IPA: /nə́l/
  2. Traditional IPA: /nʌl/
  3. 1 syllable: /"NUL"/

In Faroese, it is pronounced as /nʊl/.

Either way, both should be fine.

More information on "null" on wiktionary

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