Key to Pronunciation

Pronunciation of place names in The Columbia Gazetteer of the World appear in parentheses next to place names. Generally, it has been our aim to "sound out" pronunciations in a way that approaches that of newspapers, and we believe that in the vast majority of cases our pronunciations are phonetically self-evident. However, we decided to avoid the ambiguity involved in showing, to take one instance, the pronunciation of the long "i" in "fight" as "eye" to produce "feyet." Instead, we adopted the scheme, shown below, which was used in Kenneth Wilson's Columbia Guide to Standard American English, showing the pronunciation of "fight" as "feit," and that of "fate" as "fait." Hyphens are used to separate syllables, and capital letters are used to indicate stressed syllables.

The List of Symbols for the Pronunciations

Stressed Vowel Sounds

EE (FEET) feet
I (FIT) fit
E (BED) bed
A (KAT) cat
  (KAD) cad
AH (FAH-thur) father
  (PAHR) par
AH (HAHT) hot
  (TAH-dee) toddy
UH (FUHJ) fudge
  (FLUHD) flood
UH (CHUHRCH) church
AW (FAWN) fawn
U (FUL) full
OO (FOOD) food
OU (FOUND) found
O (FO) foe
EI (FEIT) fight
AI (FAIT) fate
OI (FOIL) foil
YOO (FYOOR-ee-uhs) furious

Unstressed Vowel Sounds

uh (SO-fuh) sofa
  (FING-guhr) finger
  (SING-uhr) singer

Certain Vowel Sounds with R

AHR (PAHR) par
ER (PER) pair
IR (PIR) peer
OR (POR) pour
OOR (POOR) poor
UHR (PUHR) purr

Consonant Sounds

B (BED) bed
D (DET) debt
F (FED) fed
G (GET) get
H (HED) head
HW (HWICH) which
J (JUHG) jug
K (KAD) cad
L (LAIM) lame
M (MAT) mat
N (NET) net
NG (SING-uhr) singer
P (PET) pet
R (RED) red
S (SET) set
T (TEN) ten
V (VET) vet
Y (YET) yet
W (WICH) witch
CH (CHUHRCH) church
SH (SHEEP) sheep
TS (ITS) its
  (PITS-feeld) Pittsfield
TH (THEI) thigh
ZH (A-zhuhr) azure
  (VI-zhuhn) vision
  (mi-RAHZH) mirage
Z (GOODZ) goods
  (HUH-buhz-tuhn) Hubbardston