Sunday, June 3, 2012

Place names ending with -ham

ham = hamlet

Streatham (BET vowel)

_ham is not stressed = /əm/

Latham, NY = /ˈleɪ θəm/ LAY thumb

One pronunciation from UK for Latham contains a voiced /th/.

AnonymousI have the same last name as him... It is pronounced state-umm. Hope this helps you! Sincerely, the Statham clan.
Interesting example.

For instance, ham is a clipped version of hamlet. They are places with _ham suffix: Birmingham (Alabama; UK), Cunningham, Chatham (NJ), Trentham (UK), Streatham (UK). In these words, h is not part of either g or t. That's why one hears either /hæm/ or /əm/ for < ham >.

Native speakers don't open pronunciation dictionaries when they encounter a new word. Instead, they use their internalized knowledge to predict the pronunciation. Not all native speakers have same internalized knowledge about _ham and other stuff. It also depends on where they have lived and how frequently they have encountered similar words in their life. That's why we got two pronunciations for Jeremy Bentham: / 'bɛnθəm, -təm/.

Latham, NY is pronounced as /ˈleɪθəm/by locals. Some in UK pronounce it as /ˈleɪðəm/
Waltham, MA: /ˈwɔlθəm or, locally, -θæm/
Grantham, UK: /'ɡrænθəm/
Gotham: /ˈgɑθəm, ˈgoʊθəm/ in the states; /ˈgɒtəm, ˈgoʊθəm/ in UK

This shows that Statham can be pronounced in multiple ways, despite what your pet dictionary claims.

/ˈsteɪθəm, -təm/
/ˈstæθəm, -təm/
/ˈsteɪðəm, 'stæ-/


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