Why is the 'i' in Lancashire and Yorkshire pronounced with an 'ur' sound and not an 'ee' sound?

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Stewart

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2017

9 replies

Why is the 'i' in Lancashire and Yorkshire pronounced with an 'ur' sound and not an 'ee' sound?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Venir de, d', du, des + country / state / region = To come/be from"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2017

1/12/17

Because it is a French speaker saying it. -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2017

1/12/17

'i' is normally pronounced 'ee' by french speakers (as is the case with 'viens' in the Lancashire sentence) but this is not the case with the 'i' in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2017

1/12/17

Well, there are several ways "i" could be pronounced. Take, e.g., "impossible". It's just the way it is. Take English: the "gh" in "rough" is different from the "gh" in "ghost" and the ine in "through". -- Chris.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

2 December 2017

2/12/17

Bonjour Stewart, It seems to me that there are two things in the word that causes a bit different pronunciation: 1) the «i» is followed by an «r», which is not the case for viens 2) the second is that -shire ends in a silent «e», this does change the pronunciation some, i.e. consider the pronunciation difference between «lire» and «lis» or «lit».

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 December 2017

4/12/17

Hi Ron, I must confess that I can't discern any difference in pronounciation of the "i" among "lire", "lis" and "lit". But I do between "lire" and "imparfait". -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

6 March 2018

6/03/18

Hi Stewart,  

A French person living in Britain would try to pronounce the words Lancashire and Yorkshire like a native ( but with a French accent ) . A French person never having heard of these would pronounce the "i" as an "ee" " sound.

In the word "impossible " the sound "im " is a nasal sound and pronounced the same as "un" , "in", "ain" .

Hopes this helps! 

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

8 March 2018

8/03/18

Hi Stewart - as Cécile has explained, a French native with a good grasp of English would pronounce an English place name as close to the correct English pronunciation as possible. We use state-of-the-art synthethic voices which are trained to speak using very large databases of experienced French natives narrating texts, and since "-shire" is not a sequence of letters that appears in any French words the synthetic voice learns to pronounce English place names in the same manner as the experienced narrator.
It's quite likely though that in France you might hear other pronunciation attempts from people who had less familiarity with how we pronounce our place names.
Hope that helps!

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

8 March 2018

8/03/18

Thanks, that makes sense to me.

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

8 March 2018

8/03/18

Hi Gruff ... Yes that looks to be the answer.

Thanks

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