Talking about the English plural morpheme on Diction Avenue


The English plural morpheme or marker is the letter –S.

It has three sound variants -/s/,/z/ and /ɪz/.  It’s important to know when the plural marker –S makes this different sounds in words.

/s/ is the voiceless sound of the plural marker –S. And so, the plural marker –S is realized as /s/ when its follows voiceless consonants such as /k/, /p/,/t/,/f/,/θ/ etc

You pronounce the plural marker –S as /s/ in the following words:

Written:                                 spoken:

Books                                              Books

Hooks                                              Hooks

Cups                                                 Cups

Hats                                                  Hats

Months                                            Months

/z/ is the voiced sound of the plural marker –S. When the plural marker –S is after a voiced consonant such as /d/,/g/,/v/,/l/,/b/ etc its realized as /z/.

Pronounce the plural marker- S as /z/ in the following words:

Written:                                 Spoken:

Heads                                              Headz

Bags                                                Bagz

Legs                                                  Legz

Hands                                               Handz

Caves                                                Cavez

The plural marker –S  is also realized as /z/ when it follows a vowel at the end of a word.

Pronounce the plural marker-S as /z/ in the following words:

Written:                                   Spoken:

Boys                                                   Boyz

Doctors                                             Doctorz

Goes                                                  Goez

Teachers                                           Teacherz

Layers                                                Layerz

The plural marker – S is realized as /ɪz/ when it follows consonant /tS/,/ʤ/ and /s/.

Pronounce the plural marker –S as /ɪz/ in the following words:

Written:                                    Spoken:

Churches                                           Churchɪz

Judges                                                Churchɪz

Peaches                                             Preachɪz

Buses                                                  Busɪz


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