Isn't there 'the' in this audio?


The announcement that Canberra-based Aspen Medical will step into the front line of Australia's response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been widely welcomed.
(Aussie ABC, ABC's original)

Don’t you need ‘the’ in front of ‘Australia’s response’? I think I'm now hearing ‘the’; and for the NP, Australia’s response, is followed by its modifier, it seems that a definite article needs to be in there. Isn’t there ‘the’ in the presenter's saying?


Posted 2014-11-21T02:00:16.827

Reputation: 25 811

1There should not be a the, or any other determiner, because a possessive - in this case Australia's - acts as a determiner. But there is something odd there; the audio drops out almost entirely between the vowel and the consonant of of, which might be interpreted as {o' thAus}. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2014-11-21T02:45:29.103

1I analyzed the clip a little. The best conclusion I have is it's [ɔvɔstreɪs] for the part "of Australia's". (The missing [lia] is intentional.) There are two reasons I believe that his [v] can be easily mistaken for [ð]. First is the there was no fricative noise during his [v], which usually happens when a fricative sound is in an unstressed syllable, and when it happens the difference is really small. (Though it's rather clear in the spectrogram of this clip that it should be a [v].) – Damkerng T. – 2014-11-21T06:50:56.137

1Second, a curious fricative noise exists at the start of [ɔs] ("Aus" in Australia), and it exists all the way through to his [s], though it's less noticeable when he pronounced the vowel. This could make an impression of "fricative-vowel-fricative", but in my opinion, it happened because he adjusted his tongue position for the [s] after the [ɔ]. When a speaker speaks rather fast, it's quite possible that the consonant and the vowel will come together. (One obvious instance is /rɪ/ in "response", where /r/ and /ɪ/ were pronounced together, not one after another.) – Damkerng T. – 2014-11-21T06:55:58.353

Correction: It's [ɔvɔstreɪz]. – Damkerng T. – 2014-11-21T08:15:06.490



No you wouldn't say:

the Australia’s response

You would say:

the Australian response

It is OK as written, unless unique to Australian English (I am AmE).

I can't tell if the announcer said the, if so its barely there.


Posted 2014-11-21T02:00:16.827

Reputation: 29 679

1First time I listened I did not here a the. Next couple times I might have imagined one. But he clearly says Australia's and response, and thus he must not have said the. – None – 2014-11-21T04:25:38.553

2I think that it is an accent issue combined with how quickly the reporter is speaking. He might have tripped up on the reading of the sentence and caught himself before he clearly enunciated a wrong word. – ColleenV – 2014-11-21T04:30:06.063


There is generally no article when a singular proper noun is used as a possessive:

  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphany. John's car. Einstein's theory of relativity.

Plural proper nouns used as possessives generally do use an article:

  • The Beethovens's dinner was getting cold. The Yankees' locker room. The Marx Brothers' last film.

We don't use articles with determiners that function as possessives (sometimes called possessive pronouns):

His most famous work. His car. His theory.

There are exceptions, fixed expressions, and special ways to create particular meanings--That's the Mary's smile I wanted to see.

Jim Reynolds

Posted 2014-11-21T02:00:16.827

Reputation: 9 616