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I am pretty sure that I have heard the word negotiations being pronounced in one TV show in two different ways:

  1. Nego(sh)iations
  2. Nego(s)iations

What's the deal here? Just different accents?

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    The pronunciation I imagine when I read (2) sounds non-native to me. I could be wrong--could you make a recording?
    – user230
    Sep 3, 2013 at 15:06
  • What @snailboat said. The French would be likely to substitute "s" for "sh", as I believe they do in words like "station". Sep 3, 2013 at 16:29
  • Merriam-Webster says it can be pronounced either way. ODO only gives pronunciation (1). I think it's probably a British-American difference. But even in the U.S., pronunciation (2) is much less common. Was it an American TV show? Sep 3, 2013 at 17:59
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    I found a non-American example: youtube.com/watch?v=49zF8m7ys24
    – user230
    Sep 3, 2013 at 18:36
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    A-ha, I found a reference! phonetic-blog.blogspot.com/2010/10/negotiating.html
    – user230
    Sep 3, 2013 at 21:14

1 Answer 1

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In the midwest US, we use pronunciation #1. I have even heard President Obama use this proununciation.

I have heard #2 used on the BBC for certain accents of British English.

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    You must have a trained ear! I (and probably most native speakers) would be hard-pressed to actually hear the difference. Since they don't mean anything, we "unconsciously" learn to ignore minor variations in articulation. Maintaining the s / sh distinction is obviously inherently tricky, which is why the standard representation of a drunk Anglophone speaking involves changing all the s's (and often certain other consonant sounds) to sh. Thus "I'm shlightly pished!" = "I'm slightly pissed!". (BrE pissed=drunk). Sep 20, 2014 at 16:57

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