Hi everyone (first post here),
I have a lingering question about the rules for the pronunciation of the letter ‘a’ when it occurs at the beginning of a word. I understand the letter can be open or medium, but it does not seem consistent. For example, in the word “amigo” the ‘a’ sounds more closed (like an uh sound). In the phrase “até logo” the ‘a’ sounds open (like the ah sound and the first a in the word casa).
I am not sure if my ears are not trained enough or if my mind is playing tricks on me. To add to the confusion I’ve found the following info on sites describing European Portuguese pronunciation:
- The letter ‘a’ is always closed unless it has a stress mark or falls on a stressed syllable (like casa)
- The letter ‘a’ is usually open at the beginning of words but otherwise it is closed
I’ve watched the vowel pronunciation video (and read the accompanying PDF) from PP over and over. There is only one medium ‘a’ example (amigo) which clearly sounds closed to me. Am I going crazy or does ‘a’ at the beginning of words have varying sounds? If it is the latter, are there any rules or do I simply need to memorize the pronunciation for any given word.
Any help is much appreciated.