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prince's / princess (pronunciation)

English translation: YES

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15:06 Feb 13, 2005
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics / Phonetics
English term or phrase: prince's / princess (pronunciation)
Is there any difference in pronunciation?
As in "The Prince's cat seemed to dislike the Princess"
George Rabel
Local time: 12:53
English translation:YES
Explanation:
The E in princess is longer than in prince's

I am American....

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Note added at 4 mins (2005-02-13 15:10:58 GMT)
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Also

The intonation is on the second syllable in princess and on the first in prince\'s

Hope that helps

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Note added at 12 mins (2005-02-13 15:18:31 GMT)
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BTW- if someone were to mumble, you may not hear a difference at all!!
Selected response from:

msherms
Local time: 18:53
Grading comment
Thanks to all. All answers, as well as the comments to each, have been very informative.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5YesKarin Walker
3 +6YES
msherms
5 +1'prinsiz and 'prins€s or prin'ses
Monica Colangelo
4 +1not for gradingCharlie Bavington


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
Yes


Explanation:
Yes, there is. As I can't use phonetic alphabet here (might not display correctly), I'll use an example: Prince's would use the same vowel as the one in 'it's' or 'in' (closer to the front of the vowel space), while Princess uses the same vowel sound as in 'embattled' or 'egg'. I use British English, so there may be some variation according to what variety people use. But there is definitely a difference.

Karin Walker
Germany
Local time: 18:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nesrin
2 mins

agree  Maria Karra
7 mins

agree  Marian Greenfield: yup, here in the U.S. also.
12 mins

agree  Amy Williams
27 mins

agree  juvera: And as armaat says below, in Prince's the s is pronunced z.
31 mins

disagree  Ghyslaine LE NAGARD: yes, absolutely correct
6 hrs

agree  Tehani
9 hrs
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2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
YES


Explanation:
The E in princess is longer than in prince's

I am American....

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2005-02-13 15:10:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Also

The intonation is on the second syllable in princess and on the first in prince\'s

Hope that helps

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2005-02-13 15:18:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

BTW- if someone were to mumble, you may not hear a difference at all!!

msherms
Local time: 18:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Thanks to all. All answers, as well as the comments to each, have been very informative.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Melanie Nassar : and the s in prince's is pronounced z
2 mins
  -> thanks - and you're right

agree  Trada inc.
3 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Nesrin: According to Merriam Webster, Americans put the accent on the first syllable and the British on the second - but you say you're American, so there are obviously regional variations too.
5 mins
  -> Hi Nesrin -- I am from Maryland, near Washington D.C. But, you're right.. I was just thinking about it - you hear both!

neutral  Maria Karra: I don't believe that the E in princess is longer at all. In fact it's shorter than the E in prince's. I agree that princess can be stressed on either syllable (I stress it on the first).
13 mins
  -> The e does seem to be longer if you stress the second syllable

agree  NancyLynn
34 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Rania KH
47 mins
  -> thanks

agree  humbird: I agree with Maria -- E is not longer. However it is clearer instead.
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
not for grading


Explanation:
As has been explained, there is a difference. Interestingly, on the radio when they announced that Prince Charles was to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, there WAS confusion between the presenters (when I was listening, anyway!) as to her new title, between whether she was going to become the Prince's Consort or the Princess Consort precisely because the pronounciation IS so close.

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 17:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mstkwasa: Just to clarify: "It is intended that Mrs Parker Bowles should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne." (http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/) // Well, don't be too hard on poor old Prince Charles!
45 mins
  -> thanks - I couldn't remember which one it was, so I thought I'd just leave the point hanging. I like the "when" in your quote - surely "if..." ??!!
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
'prinsiz and 'prins€s or prin'ses


Explanation:
Actually I didn't know how to represent the "schwa" (the sound for a in "a tree" or er in "butter") so I opted for the euro. This is what I learnt in my Phonetics classes at University (we obviously studied RP English, which is said to be "the English of the Queen and of the BBC"): the word "princess" is stressed on the first syllable when the name follows and on the second when it is used alone. In phonetics, the stress mark is placed before the syllable. So you will say 'princess Anne is here... but "the prin'cess is here"

Monica Colangelo
Argentina
Local time: 13:53
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, Ruth
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