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In this entry, is the American pronunciation (as written) correct? Is there any difference between British and American pronunciations?

oald

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  • Hey, kənˈstʃuənt is kind of fun to say :-) (I wonder if anyone would be able to figure out what a constuent was if you said it to them...)
    – user230
    Aug 22 '13 at 3:33
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    there's similar problem with constituency. OALD sometimes is unfair to American English. Also its old versions were firmer with more examples and less mistakes.
    – user288
    Aug 22 '13 at 5:00
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    Ahh, that's too bad. Do you make a habit of cross-referencing multiple dictionaries? For example, MacMillan gives pronunciations for this word in both AmE and BrE in IPA. (Precious few dictionaries of AmE use IPA, unfortunately.)
    – user230
    Aug 22 '13 at 8:27
  • OALD have updated their entry, which now gives an identical pronunciation for both BrE and AmE - oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/… - namely /kənˈstɪtʃuənt/
    – rjpond
    May 7 at 16:31
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Nice catch! I do believe that pronunciation is incorrect. Dictionary.com has it as:

kənˈstɪtʃuənt

The difference between the British and American pronunciations is in the transition between the second and third syllables: the British is a crisper "stit-yu" whereas the American is a softer "sti-chu".

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  • There is also a difference in the pronunciation of the letter O. American pronunciation of it has a kind of long, rising sound like "aa" and British pronunciation of it has a kind of O sound which does not exist in American and Canadian English.
    – Tristan
    Aug 21 '13 at 22:45
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    @Tristan: But unless you are an extremely fastidious speaker who pronounces all your vowels extremely carefully, this 'o' is normally pronounced as schwa (/ə/) in both British and American speech. Aug 22 '13 at 2:19
  • @Tristan I'm American, and I pronounce the first vowel in constituent the same way I do the first in cunning. I'm curious about this British O that you referenced. Do you happen to know where I could find an audio file to listen to it, so I understand what you mean?
    – WendiKidd
    Aug 22 '13 at 2:32
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    @Tristan Just as there are many types of British accents, there are many types of American accents. Roughly 60% of the U.S. population pronounces two different vowels in hot and dog; these vowels are /ɑ/ and /ɔ/. For more information, please see the low back merger on Wikipedia.
    – user230
    Aug 22 '13 at 16:11
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    Those vowel sounds that you mentioned are noticeably different from the O sound that I mentioned.
    – Tristan
    Aug 22 '13 at 22:49

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