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I often talk about the use of reductions in everyday, casual conversation. In this American
English pronunciation video, we're going to take a look at reductions in a more formal
setting: important speeches.
Yesterday, Barack Obama was reelected as the President of the United States. We're going
to take a look at both his speech, and his opponent, Mitt Romney's speech, delivered
at the end of the evening.
First, the word 'wanna'. Both men used this reduction in their speeches. 'Wanna' is a
reduction of the words 'want to'. Wanna, wanna. It has the UH as in BUTTER vowel in the stressed
syllable, and the schwa in the unstressed syllable. Here are 'wanna' examples from the
speeches.
>> I wanna thank every American who participated in this election.
>> I wanna thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign.
>> I also wanna thank Ann.
I wanna, I wanna. Listen to these clips again, repeat in the pause.
>> I wanna thank every American. [3x]
>> I wanna thank Paul Ryan. [3x]
>> I also wanna thank Ann. [3x]
The reduction of the word 'to' was also frequently used. 'To' can either be reduced to 'to',
with the True T, schwa sound, or 'to', with the Flap T/schwa sound. Let's see some examples.
>> The best is yet to come. >> By the way, we have to fix that.
>> To the best campaign team. >> Just for a chance to argue.
>> To the furniture worker's child in North Carolina.
>> And his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.
To, to, listen to these clips again.
>> The best is yet to come. [3x]
>> we have to fix that. [3x]
>> To the best campaign team. [3x]
>> to argue. [3x]
>> To the furniture worker's child [3x]
>> And his commitment to principle [3x] will continue to contribute [3x]
Also, both men reduced the word 'have' to simply the schwa sound, uh. Mr. Obama said
'may-uh' for 'may have', and Mr. Romney said 'would-uh' for 'would have'
>> We may have battled fiercely >> She would have been a wonderful first lady
May have, may have, would have, would have.
>> We may have battled fiercely [3x]
>> She would have been a wonderful first lady [3x]
There were lots of other reductions in these speeches. For example, reducing 'for' to 'fer'
>> But for the United States of America >> I thank my sons for their tireless work.
Reducing 'can' to 'kun'.
>> That's what politics can be. >> That can compare with what you've done.
And use of contractions:
>> And you've made me a better President. >> Because I'm concerned about America.
Watch the speeches in full and study them. What reductions do you notice?
That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.
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Reduction in Presidential Speeches -- American English Pronunciation

1796 Folder Collection
Ya Hui Chang published on June 5, 2014
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