Is there liaison in these word combinations in Québécois?

  • Two native French speakers, both teachers, both from Quebec, have given me contradictory answers.
  • Google Translate has the liaison in its automated recording pronouncing them as "di-minut" [diminyt].
  • Two Quebec speakers on the street have confirmed that /s/ is voiced in dix minutes [disminyt].

Copy/paste of the answer i provided here : Six janvier, dix mars, etc There are actually three possible situations, depending mainly on the word following six or dix :

  1. If the following word starts with a conson or an aspirated h, then the final conson shouldn't be pronounced. Examples : Le six mars, le dix mai, pronounced si and di.
  2. If the following word starts with a vowel or a mute h, then the final conson is pronounced as a (z). Example : Le six avril pronounced le sizavril.
  3. In the other cases (mainly when six or dix are alone, or finishing a sentence, but also when they are used as a pronoun), the final conson is pronounced (s). Example : Il m'en reste dix à faire (diss à faire). Le mot que tu cherches se trouve à la page six. (siss). Source : https://www.fpjq.org/pdfs/08-05_outils-nombres.pdf (along with my everyday experience of my native language).

To take in consideration : according to the region of France you live in, liaisons and pronounciation of a final letter are subject to change ; in the south, people are more up to pronounce the final x of six & dix as an s, less in the northern half ; there are even some regions (more in the north-eastern country) where the final t in vingt is being pronounced(but not the g), which always surprises me.

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  • I agree about an ending "t" being sometimes pronounced in an isolated vingt in Eastern France, but I'm skeptical about a difference between Northern and Southern France regarding six and dix. Which of the rules 1., 2. or 3. do you believe is not followed, and where? – jlliagre Jan 22 '17 at 0:10

In french, "x" of "six minutes" is not pronounced because of "contraction des consonnes x et m" rule. However, if we ask "combien de minutes?", the response should be "six" (pronounced "sis"). When the same rule is is applied to "dix minutes", it gives "di-minut"

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  • what about "kilométrés" ou "dollars"? – Natalia Jan 20 '17 at 17:08
  • also would love to hear from somebody living in Quebec – Natalia Jan 20 '17 at 17:08

In term of word (category) combination, Num-Measure is a liaison context

Deux z-euros

But most measure nouns are not liaison triggers. None of your examples feature liaison triggers (minute, kilomètre).

Quantifiers like 6 and 10 have a special property for French liaison, they have three different forms:

  1. liaison context before a trigger (e.g. enfants): siz, diz
  2. liaison context not before a trigger (e.g. personnes): si, di
  3. not liaison context: sis, dis (six sont venus, dix ont séché)
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There's a pretty comprehensive write-up on six and dix on the Québec banque de dépannage linguistique detailing when the final x is pronounced like an s, like a z or not at all.

To answer your question directly, the standard pronunciation of French would not voice the final x in your examples (i.e. pronounce like si-minutes, etc.):

  • As-tu vu les six mignons chatons? [simiɲɔ̃] (si-mi-gnon)
  • Vingt-six mille billets sont disponibles. [vẽtsimil] (vin-tsi-mil) [...]
  • Cette entreprise vaut environ soixante-dix millions de dollars. [swasãtdimiljɔ̃] (swa-san-t-di-mi-li-on)
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    Can someone from Quebec tell me if "x" at the end is pronounced SOMETIMES without the usual liaison rules (vowel in the beginning of the next word, etc), in a case such as six dollars? – Natalia Jan 20 '17 at 17:16
  • Sorry, I'm not from Québec. I guess there could be regional variation but even in Québec I believe the dominant form is the one I referred to. – qoba Jan 21 '17 at 8:10
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    @Natalia See this answer. There are contexts in which you could say [dis] and even [diz]. As I noted there, here in Ontario I heard someone say "Dix dollars !" with a [z]. :) – Luke Sawczak Jun 4 '17 at 18:12

Yes there is.

It is pronounced "si-minut" and not "sis-minut". Same apply for "dix".

In fact, I can only found sample of "sis" and "dis" when enumeration number (i.e. in a standalone way).

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But for "dix mars", we could maybe say it both ways. Both di-mars and dis-mars could be used, although di-mars is probably the most common by a wide margin. dis-mars is not shocking to me though.

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    That's a very singular pronunciation. I never heard a native saying \dis maʁs\. – jlliagre Jan 20 '17 at 17:56
  • Now you have :-) I use it, probably for emphasis, sometimes. I'm not saying it's common by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not shocking to me. – Frank Jan 20 '17 at 18:07
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    "By a wide margin" is an understatement… – jlliagre Jan 20 '17 at 19:43

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