I got a request from guo Huang who wants to know how to pronounce “bounty.”
Apparently, for Taiwanese speakers “bounty”‘s vowel /aʊ/ is pronounced as /æ/ which is in “bag.”
What is the difference between /aʊ/ and /æ/?
American English usually has more vowels than other languages. There are about 19 different American English vowels. Knowing and understanding all the vowels is very important.
/aʊ/ is a diphthong so that it changes the sound in the middle where as /æ/ is just one sound.
To pronounce /aʊ/, you want to take time, enough time to make the two sounds.
For /a/, you want to make your mouth look like an up-side-down triangle. And push out your lips to pronounce /ʊ/. You want to make the transition smooth.
An NT combo!
When it comes to American English consonants, this NT combination confuses many English learners.
Many native speakers of English do not really pronounce T after N. In this case, “bounty” will sound like “bouny.” The tongue position is the same for N and T. They put the tongue up for N, and just release the tongue without pronouncing strong T. As a result, the sound of T does not become audible.
Watch the video and let’s practice
- Bounty hunter
In the video, you will notice that I pronounced “hunter” without pronouncing strong T. You can pronounce the T there, but you do not have to make it audible. It is your choice!
How was it? Comment below if you have questions about this word. Or if you have any words you want me to explain, comment below.
Thanks for reading!
American English pronunciation coach. Studied linguistics at UCLA. Specializing in phonetics, phonology, intonation, and second language acquisition.
She likes music and Toastmasters. Recently she enjoys playing ukulele and hand bells.