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  • a falling diphthong
  • Now his voice abruptly lost the faint throaty Negroid quality with which it had been touched; in moist metamorphosis the Southern accent faded and died, replaced by thorny Polish diphthongs that were in almost exact mimicry of Sophie’s own speech.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Bringing his host down and kneeling he heard twine with his second bell the first bell in the transept (he is lifting his) and, rising, heard (now I am lifting) their two bells (he is kneeling) twang in diphthong.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • He wanted me to study his tongue positions as he demonstrated the pronunciation of consonants, diphthongs, long and short vowels.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise

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  • We’re too unlikely a sight to be harmless, pluckable; it’s Lelia’s deadly-looking elbows and knees, it’s my special street face (learned working with my father) looking already cheated and intolerant, and in a pinch we do instant run-throughs of her speech lessons, the most bending diphthongs, to ward off the especially hostile and brave.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  Native Speaker
  • Consider, for example, the pronunciation of the diphthong /oi/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • Originally, the English pronounced it /quate/, but now they pronounce the diphthong as in /doily/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • Even when no accent betrays it, the foreign diphthong is under hard pressure.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • We cling to the /r/, we preserve the final [Pg172] /g/, we give /nephew/ a clear /f/-sound instead of the clouded English /v/-sound, and we boldly nationalize /trait/ and pronounce its final /t/, but we drop the second /p/ from /pumpkin/ and change the /m/ to /n/, we change the /ph/(=/f/)-sound to plain /p/ in /diphtheria/, /diphthong/ and /naphtha/,[87] we relieve /rind/ of its final /d/, and, in the complete sentence, we slaughter consonants by assimilation.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • …the Italian, the Jewish, and so on—and these quasi-dialects undoubtedly leave occasional marks, not only upon the national vocabulary, but also upon the general speech habits of the country, as in the case, for example, of the pronunciation of /yes/, already mentioned, and in that of the substitution of the diphthong /oi/ for the /ur-/sound in such words as /world/, /journal/ and /burn/—a Yiddishism now almost universal among the lower classes of New York, and threatening to spread.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language

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  • Among them were the dropping of the silent letter in such words as /head/, /give/, /built/ and /realm/, making them /hed/, /giv/, /bilt/ and /relm/; the substitution of doubled vowels for decayed diphthongs in such words as /mean/, /zeal/ and /near/, making them /meen/, /zeel/ and /neer/; and the substitution of /sh/ for /ch/ in such French loan-words as /machine/ and /chevalier/, making them /masheen/ and /shevaleer/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • In /König/ the German diphthong succumbs to a long /o/, and the hard /g/ becomes /k/; the common pronunciation is /Cone-ik/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • …such words as /mould/ and /baulk/; the /e/ from /annexe/, /asphalte/, /axe/, /forme/, /pease/, /storey/, etc.; the duplicate consonant from /waggon/, /nett/, /faggot/, /woollen/, /jeweller/, /councillor/, etc., and the silent foreign suffixes from /toilette/, /epaulette/, /programme/, /verandah/, etc. In addition, simple vowels have been substituted for degenerated diphthongs in such words as /anaemia/, [Pg246] /oesophagus/, /diarrhoea/ and /mediaeval/, most of them from the Greek.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
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