Still watching TV programmes that I’ve previously recorded, I’ve just caught up with two episodes of the BBC series on the Pre-Raphaelites. One of the experts used in the programmes was Alison Smith, Curator at Tate Britain. She had two unusual pronunciations, one remarkable for not being consistent. She used the word audacious four times in the first of the series. On the first three occasions, her pronunciation was as one would expect: /ɔːˈdeɪʃəs/, but then the fourth time it came out as /aʊˈdeɪʃəs/. Can this have been a simple slip of the tongue? Her other unusual pronunciation was visceral, /ˈvɪskərəl/. This I put down to her having learned it as a written word, one she is not used to hearing pronounced.
The narrator of the series, the well-known actor Nigel Planer, had in his script the word burgeoning, and he chose to make the second consonant a fricative: /ˈbɜːʒənɪŋ/, rather than an affricate: /ˈbɜːʤənɪŋ/. I begin to wonder if the affricate /ʤ/ is losing ground in English except in initial position – so that only those few places where /ʤ/ and /ʒ/ make minimal pairs (such as leisure, ledger in British English) will manage to hold on to the /ʤ/.