1

I found beholder is pronounced like [bihóuldər] but I heard some speaker in the VOA pronounced it like [bəhóuldər]. Which one is right? Are native speakers confused with them?

1

Which one is right?

[bihóuldər] is technically the correct pronunciation.

Are native speakers confused with them?

As a native speaker, I would say no. Furthermore, I would also point out that it seems very common to use a "lazy" pronunciation and to say [bəhóuldər] (at least in the United States).

  • Exactly. In speech, vowels are often "weakened" (not a technical term, but you know what I mean—not as distinct as the official pronunciation) Still, I doubt you would hear even an American say "Behold!" with a schwa. (But then, you might never hear an American say "Behold!"—it seems to us too quaint/theatrical.) – Brian Hitchcock Oct 26 '15 at 6:03
  • @BrianHitchcock Depends on theatrics, definitely. =P – Anaksunaman Oct 26 '15 at 6:16
  • 2
    I say behold with a schwa. behold with an /i/ sounds like a place you keep your honey. :-) – hunter Oct 26 '15 at 18:21
  • @hunter Lol I was actually thinking the same thing =P – Anaksunaman Oct 27 '15 at 20:47
1

To my (American) ear, both pronunciations are correct. I use both pronunciations myself. I prefer the unstressed first syllable (with the schwa).

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.