Phonetics (pronounced /fəˈnɛtɪks/, from the Greek: φωνή, phōnē, 'sound, voice') is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign.

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Non-phonetic words

I am looking for a word with the definition "a word that is not spelled phonetically", that is, "a word that is pronounced very differently than the way it is spelled." For example, victuals (...
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Is there a definitive spelling for the shortened version of “as per usual”?

A shortened version of the phrase “as per usual” is now used as slang when referring to something that is typical or expected, often in an exaggerated or hyperbolic manner. For example: Bill: ...
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“Is there a term for the silent letters in a word?”

Such letters are employed in spelling but are not pronounced, and English offers a wealth of examples more than any other language . most final "b's" preceded by "m" (dumb, climb, thumb, etc) most "...
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40 views

Ipa vowels relationships

Lately I'm into improving my english (UK) pronunciation. I'm using the IPA chart for such purpose. I was wondering if there's any relationship between the ə sound and the several diphthongs that ...
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2answers
78 views

Deletion of /h/

I was once told by my BrE teacher that when we have a word ending with a consonant followed by another word starting with h, the h is deleted, meaning that the pronunciation is different. For ...
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32 views

Is there a difference between /daʊn/ and /dʌʊn/

The phonetics for down is /daʊn/. I know it can't be /dʌʊn/. What's the main reason? Because aʊ is a diphthong? Does /dʌʊn/ have a different sound?
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301 views

Why are we supposed to say the “a” as an “e” in “any” and “many”?

I speak Australian English, but I seem to pronounce the words many and anything differently from how the vast majority of people here do so. I pronounce it using an a sound rather than an e sound ...
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433 views

What is the pronounciation of “the” before the vowel “e”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce the vowel in the article "the" when used before "evil"? (American English)
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Why are the vowels in Christ and Christmas different? (and other strange diphthong behaviour)

Why are certain words pronounced with diphthongs on their own but with monophthongs in compounds? For example: Words pronounced with diphthongs on their own: Michael, Christ, wise, drive Their ...
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61 views

How do you pronounce these Greek letters in English dictionary definitions?

Dictionary definitions for the English language usually have the word spelled out in Greek letters to indicate how the word is pronounced phonetically. Examples highlighted: What are these Greek ...
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58 views

Could you explain the differences among voiced stop, voiceless unaspirated stop & voiceless aspirated stop?

Look at this picture for explaining various mechanics of pronunciation with the vocal cords. Source: wikimedia commons I don't understand it much. Here is what I understood -voiced stop: your ...
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105 views

discerning /æ/ and /e/ sounds

As I am a foreigner, I have great difficulty differentiating the sounds /æ/ and /e/ . When spoken softly, it becomes almost impossible for me to discern the sounds. Such as this one from movie ...
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130 views

Does the [ɒ] in “not” sound different from the [ɒ] in “hot”?

I would like to know why the [ɒ] in not often sounds different (more rounded) than the [ɒ] in hot, father, or car in American English. I know that in British English the vowel in not is an [ɔ], but I'...
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73 views

If a word has multiple pronunciations, how do I know which one is more commonly used? [closed]

When I tried to remember English words, I met some words that has multiple pronunciations, how do I know which one is more commonly used? Or should I remember them all? For example, prospect, as verb ...
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1answer
84 views

Why does /tər/ (/ˈdɑːktər/ doctor or /ˈsɪstər/ sister) in American Accent sound like /trə/?

I feel like /tər/ (/ˈdɑːktər/ doctor or /ˈsɪstər/ sister) in American Accent sound like /trə/. I couldn't find this info on the internet. It seems that when we curl up the blade of the tongue too ...
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38 views

What is the Jones Method?

My coteacher told me the following about it. It was adopted into Japan in the early 1900s for IPA which was so complicated for Japanese to speak precisely. Every Japanese word sticks vowels onto ...
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34 views

How could rhythmic regularity be present in normal speech? [closed]

I understand that English is a stress-timed language and so stressed syllables occur at regular intervals. Would speech only be considered as having rhythmic regularity if isochrony was present? I ...
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41 views

What is the phonetic realization of a sequence of “voiced-voiceless” or “voiceless-voiced” obstruents of the same place of articulation?

What is the phonetic realization of a sequence of "voiced-voiceless" or "voiceless-voiced" obstruents (especially sibilants) of the same place of articulation? For example, /zs/ as in "Mrs. Stratford",...
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American refusal of the IPA: why?

Are there any historical or political reasons for the rather consistent refusal of the International Phonetic Alphabet on the part of American academics? Did Mark Twain's home-made-English-spelling-...
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1answer
80 views

Why /t/ after /k/ sometimes is pronounced like a mild aspirated T but sometimes is pronounced like unaspirated T?

See this word: doctor /ˈdɑːktər/, the /t/ in this case seems to be like a mild aspirated T (that is there may have a bit air coming out of your mouth) Source. But expected /ɪkˈspektɪd/, the /t/ in ...
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53 views

'O' Pronunciation

I noticed recently that my friends and I pronounce words like "forest," "orange," and "florida" differently. For example, I noticed that there seem to be three ways that people pronounce these words: ...
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49 views

Is peppermint tea autological [closed]

Basically as the question says. Is peppermint tea autological because it tastes pepperminty. I know they are different words but phonetically they are identical. If not, is there another word which ...
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2answers
84 views

Pronunciation of Mid-Word American English T + D

I'm a native speaker of American English but have a very muddy sounding voice that I'm trying to improve. In my pronunciation the mid-word t/d sound, as in buddy, sweater, or under, is particularly ...
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938 views

Words Starting with Double Consonants

Double consonants often appear in the middle or at the end of a word like: kitty, Eiffel, thriller, brilliant bass, guess, basketball However, I wonder if there are any words (including ...
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307 views

How to position the tip of the tongue when pronouncing /s/ & /z/?

This website says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip of the tongue should be close to the upper backside of the top front teeth. But this video says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip ...
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60 views

Will we pronounce /t/ like a true T when /t/ is at beginning of a word but the syllable containing T is unstressed?

This website said The t is a regular, aspirated t sound when it is the first sound of a word or a stressed syllable A regular T is the one that is clearly aspirated. So, my question is that: ...
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148 views

How can I teach an English speaking person to say my name correctly (Kjetil) [closed]

I have a purely Norwegian name, Kjetil. It is old norse and means "kettle" or "helmet". A couple of times now, aquaintances and new friends have asked me in chat or person how my name is really ...
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67 views

Relationships between Grammar and Phonetics

When I look at some grammar rules such as: With (He, she and it) we add (es) to verbs ending with (sh, o, ch and ss) in present simple, and so on. I wonder if there is a link between grammar and ...
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1answer
113 views

Do we have any English dictionary that shows precisely both letters and diacritics?

Dictionary uses IPA to depict the sound. However, most of them do not include diacritics, and thus it is very hard for learner to distinguish the sound. See this quote from Wiki IPA symbols are ...
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5answers
128 views

How do I find examples where phonetic spelling is useful? [closed]

My son is learning English as a second language. Of course the phonetic alphabet is something they have to learn. Now he keeps telling me that it is a completely pointless endeavour, because he knows ...
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167 views

'Parasitic' Phonemes

In searching for the reason for the message -> messenger shift, I came across the theory of the 'parasitic n.' Essentially, the idea is that during the post-Norman Conquests period in England, ...
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/ə/ in a stressed syllable?

According to this description of the English phonotactics, the schwa /ə/ doesn't occur in stressed syllables. But Cambridge Dictionary Onlines, Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and Longman ...
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135 views

Why is /e/ generally transcribed as 'ay'?

I’ve seen pretty often in phonetic transcriptions for English speakers who weren’t familiar with the IPA the phoneme /e/ or /ɛ/ transcribed as ay: Here "lejos" (/'le.xos/) is transcribed as lay-hoss1....
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489 views

'Sag' and 'slant': Is the vowel /æ/ the same in both words?

/sæg/ /slænt/ Transcriptions from Cambridge American English Dictionary Both the words' IPA transcriptions have an /æ/ symbol. Do those two /æ/s sound the same? Are they both short or ...
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Aspiration of plosives in final position and word boundaries

In a sentence like It is a cat, is it? I'm not sure what kind of aspiration the various /t/ should have. I guess the first one in "it" would be weakly aspirated, as it's followed by a stressed ...
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1answer
70 views

Theoretical Phonemes [closed]

I have been looking at IPA recently and I was wondering if there are any sounds that can theoretically be created by humans but do not exist or have not existed in any known languages. Or maybe a ...
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43 views

Is Lana's “Yup!” a triphthong?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
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142 views

Night rain vs Night train, gemination?

The Wikipedia article on gemination claims that gemination of /t/ is the distinguishing factor between the pronunciation of the two phrases night train and night rain. In my whole life, I've almost ...
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2answers
222 views

How widespread is labialization of [ʃ] and [ʒ] in 'dish' and 'beige'?

I'm reading The Sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008), which is an introductory textbook in Japanese articulatory phonetics. The first chapter lays out some basic concepts in phonetics, and although the ...
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1answer
141 views

Linking /r/ and elision

In one of my lectures after learning about several processes of connected speech (namely assimilation, elision and linking) we were faced with a transcription exercise with which I have slight problem ...
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What is it called when words are deliberately spelled incorrectly but pronunciation is kept unchanged?

For example, Night -> Nite Through -> Thru The -> Da Though -> Tho Nite even appears in some dictionaries as having the same meaning as night. What is it called when words are ...
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How do you pronounce “I'm going to buy a cat tomorrow.”, in a natural sounding sentence. (in your accent)

I'm going to buy a cat tomorrow. Specifically, I'm asking those whose natural accent does not include glottal stopping for a post-vowel t. Are there two consecutive t sounds between cat and tomorrow,...
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2answers
235 views

Can you hear the difference between 'Writer' and 'Rider'? Why?

Apologies in advance for the slightly blog-like nature of this question. The Background Some of the comments in relation to this question here: Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position ... ...
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276 views

Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position

It seems to me that both /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ become voiceless (or almost) when they occur in word final position. Is this true? Examples: age, wage, courage, judge garage, sabotage, collage, mirage Does ...
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125 views

In which vowel do the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ] start?

Surfing the web, I found the following explanations on how to produce the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ]: "/aʊ/ as in all the words of "How now brown cow!". The starting position is the vowel sound /æ/ as ...
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121 views

schwa sound in IPA?

I have a small problem in schwa sound: When I used Oxford online dictionary and searched "fossil", Its pronunciation is /ˈfɒsl/, but the Cambridge Dictionaries Online gave me: /ˈfɒs. ə l/ As you can ...
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2answers
197 views

Detecting vibration in voiced and voiceless English sounds

I heard people saying that if you put your finger on your throat you would be able to feel voiced sound vibrates and voiceless sound doesn't. I tried it but both sounds seem the same to me. So did I ...
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176 views

/ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ as phonemes?

From what I understand on phonetics/phonology, /ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ can simply be considered as allophones of /ɪr/, /er/, /ʊr/, but most traditional dictionaries treat them as distinct phonemes. Is that ...
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2answers
77k views

What is the difference between “phonetic” and “phonemic”?

I've read several descriptions but I still don't understand. From what I can gather, the main (or only) difference is phonemics is not concerned with "nondistinctive elements" but I don't know what ...
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'Travel' - Place of articulation of /t/

What is a place of articulation which best fits the initial consonant of the word: "travel." It looks like the first sound is /t/ therefore it should be alveolar, but in the Longman pronunciation ...