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14
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2answers
1k views

What did we gain in return for the loss of phonemic vowel length from Old English?

In Old English, vowel length was phonemic, but stress and certain kinds of consonant voicing were not. In Modern English, that situation is reversed: vowel length is no longer phonemic, but stress ...
13
votes
5answers
451 views

Regarding the “i” in “think” vs “bit”

This is a phonetics question. I am teaching English as a Second Language. In phonetics, we all know the "i" in "think" is a "short i" sound. Additionally, the "i" in "bit" is a "short i" sound. ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Phonetic term for switching first two letters in a word

I read a grammar book a few years ago and remember coming accross a term for switching the first two letters in a word. I cannot for the life of me remember what the term is. An example would be the ...
8
votes
1answer
425 views

What does the phonetic symbol after the comma mean here?

I was checking the Pronunciation of enshrine from ODO which lists: Pronunciation: /ɪnˈʃrʌɪn, ɛn-/ Does it mean that there are two different accepted pronunciations?
8
votes
1answer
564 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

In English, can a whole syllable be aspirated?

Living in Merseyside, I've noticed a phonetic oddity that I can't find described anywhere [I did a Web search and found a transcript of Liverpool speech on a Liverpool University site, but no mention ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the [ʊ] sound pronounced with lip rounding?

This [ʊ] sound is the vowel sound for words like hook, pull, and good. When I began to learn English a bit more seriously two decades ago, I used a book that taught me to pronounce it shorter and ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

When does realisation of velar nasal /ŋ/ as alveolar nasal [n] happen along with tensing of the preceding vowel (/ɪ/ to [i])?

I have observed some English speakers in North America who seem to produce this assimilation in words like "running" /ˈrʌnɪŋ/ (as /ˈrʌnin/) or "winning" /ˈwɪnɪŋ/ (as /ˈwɪnin/). I'm specifically ...
6
votes
2answers
92 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
692 views

Onomatopoeia Across Languages

Every language has its stock of onomatopoeic expressions, but they vary across nationalities and cultures. For example, the American “bow wow” (a rapper’s name) has its Japanese equivalent in ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

phonetics vs. phonology [closed]

I'm reading an article about phonetics and phonology, and it clamis that they are different. But I can't locate where the difference is located. Referring to my dictionary, I can see: Phonetics: ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

Does English really have triphthongs?

Does English really have triphthongs? EDIT/TDLR: It appears that quite a few people have misunderstood this question. In a nutshell, it is asking why many sources, even scholarly ones, claim that the ...
4
votes
2answers
372 views

Are what-cha and arent-cha examples of elision?

Are these words examples of elision? What effect do they create? If a child says them what does this suggest about their language development? Thanks for any help!!
4
votes
1answer
226 views

Plurals in phonetic spelling

If I spell doing as doin' then how should I spell doings? Would it simply be doin's?
4
votes
1answer
105 views

What happened to voiced velar fricative [ɣ] and velar approximant [ɰ] in English language?

The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in various spoken languages. Wikipedia says that it is not found in English today, but did exist in Old English.1 Why did this sound ...
3
votes
3answers
12k views

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: ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Retroflex approximants in AE dialects

While looking up the best way to describe the aboriginal pronunciation of Uluru (/uluɻu/), I stumbled across retroflex approximants. The linked Wikipedia page states: The retroflex approximant ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

The “Bibles” of American English Phonetics

Daniel Jones' Outline of English Phonetics and Alfred C. Gimson's Introduction to the Pronunciation of English are considered the "Bibles" of British English phonetics. Are there equivalent works in ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

AmE Phonetics: T-voicing after <l>

Cut to the chase: While listening Eminem's track Headlights I've noticed a kinda voicing process in the sentence "You're still beautiful to me" around 1:13 on the song, where the preposition seems to ...
2
votes
4answers
546 views

How many syllables does “Science” have?

The pronunciation of the word science seems to vary based on which part of the world you're in. I have heard it pronounced "sai-ens" and "saains" (think "signs"). I have check the dictionary, but ...
2
votes
3answers
221 views

Should 'g' followed by 'e' and 'i' be pronounced with a soft or hard g? [closed]

In English, words with a 'g' followed by a front vowel (e, i, y) can be pronounced with a soft g or a hard g: Words with Germanic roots are usually pronounced with a hard g: gear, get, gift, give ...
2
votes
1answer
405 views

Is there a word that means “over-enunciate the k sound”?

I am trying to say the word week but focus on the k sound at the end and really emphasize it. I tend to do this naturally in my everyday speech. It kinda sounds like an odd throat sound when I do it. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the proper way to mark a letter stressed in a name?

I have a friend named Chloe (pronounced Clo-ee). She writes her name using an accent mark over the e. A friend of ours thinks that the accent mark means unstressed, so that her name is pronounced ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Why Germanic type of Language (German, English,…) uses a lot of air from Lung to contruct the sound?

I speak Thai belonging to Sino-Tibetan language (Chinese, Japanese, Korean..). In Sino-Tibetan language, we mostly use tongue to construct the sound, we use very little air from lung to make sound. ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

What's the name of this pronunciation guide

In dictionaries I see two guides for pronunciation. for example, for the word "ambiguity":  [am-bi-gyoo-i-tee] AND /ˌæmbɪˈgyuɪti/ I know the second one is named IPA. My question is, is there a ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

pronunciation of “yeah”

I have always pronounced "yeah" as /yε/, i.e. as "yes" without the last sound. Recently a friend told me he pronounces it /yæ/, i.e. it rhymes with "nah." This came as a shock to me. Even worse, ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Pronunciation: is there a reason why 'gn' in 'reigning' is pronounced [n] while in 'regnant' it is pronounced [gn]?

Both 'reigning' and 'regnant' are related to the same Latin noun 'regnum'. Why is 'gn' is pronounced [n] in the first word but [gn] in the second?
1
vote
2answers
35k views

What is the difference between “phonetic” and “phonemic”? [closed]

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
228 views

Two types of sound for letter L?

Consider two words, for example, lot and all. The phonetic symbol of l in the two words are the same, which makes me wonder why the sound of l in the first is considered to be the same as in the ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Pronunciation of “i” in the words like “direct”, “organization”, etc

I'm a nonnative speaker of English and I've always been unsure about the pronunciation of "i" inside words like direct, organization, etc. I was thinking that it's a matter of choice between American ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How to pronounce Louisville?

How would I phonetically spell the way locals pronounce Louisville? (Louisville, KY)
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Do “here” and “hear” have the same phonetic transcription in the same country?

Is there any accent that makes a distinction when pronuncing “here” and “hear”? From Wiktionary: Here (UK) /hɪə(ɹ)/ (US) /hɪɹ/ Hear (UK) /hɪə(ɹ)/ (US) IPA: /hiːɹ/ So, according to that, US ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

AmE Phonetics: < I don't n-> /aʊn/ [closed]

Cut to the chase: While listening to the record 2.0 Boys by Slaughterhouse I've noticed that Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden pronounce such sequence of sounds — namely "I don't know" around 1:55 and ...
1
vote
1answer
924 views

Software for transcribing English phonetics

After asking this question and learning a lot of facts from comments I got there, I was wondering about the existence of software that transcribes English text into phonetics. I discovered sites such ...
1
vote
2answers
160 views

Why does U sound like W in words like “penguin”?

A semivowel is a vowel that acts like a consonant (including only W and Y and yet U sounds like W sound in words such as penguin, sanguine, but not in guide. Can anyone tell me why?
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Pronunciation of 'Con' words

Is there any rule for the pronunciation of 'Con' words like : Constant, Constraint, Constitute, Constituent etc. My confusion is with these sounds 'kɒn' and 'kən'. For Constiuent it is ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Learn Phonetics

As a non-native English speaker, I often search for the meaning of words on Google Search. Google provides the word's pronunciation in a written format. I do not understand how that written format is ...
1
vote
1answer
192 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Why is the pronunciation of “th” in “thread” different from “python”? [closed]

I checked the pronunciation of th in thread and python in Google Translate. The sound of the th in thread is similar to t, but in python it instead sounds like s. However, in dictionaries (e.g. ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

How to emphasize pronunciation of a specific letter? [closed]

I have a client whos business name is TradOut — pronounced like “Trade Out”. What would be the best way to show that the pronunciation should sound like “trade” and not like “trahd”? We looked ...
1
vote
2answers
416 views

Difference between ɒ and ɔ: in terms of sound?

Are they same, like, allophones? To me, they sound like same?
1
vote
1answer
763 views

How do native speakers guess the pronunciation of a word that they've never seen before? [closed]

How do native speakers guess the pronunciation of a word that they've never seen before ? Is there a general rule for that ? For example, someone said : Words that end in -ic or -tion will be ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
1
vote
0answers
479 views

How many “monophthongs” are there in RP? Do all the varieties of spoken English in the UK have the same number?

A monophthong is a pure vowel sound. The monophthongs can be contrasted with diphthongs, where the vowel quality changes within the same syllable, and hiatus, where two vowels are next to each ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

What is the difference between /ʃ/ and /ʒ/?

I am trying to understand the difference in pronunciation between the sound /ʃ/ (shell, cash, sure) and /ʒ/ (treasure, pleasure, leisure). I am able to tell these sounds apart when listening; ...
0
votes
3answers
626 views

When we will use soft and hard sound in 'c'? [closed]

Sometimes we use the soft sound, and sometimes the hard – but why? Is there any rule?
0
votes
1answer
284 views

Which is the correct phonetic transcription of the word play, [ple] or [plei]?

In some books, the long "a" found in words like say, play, etc. are transcribed as /sei/, /plei/ respectively but in some others the same words are transcribed /se/ and /ple/. Which one is correct? ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Aspiration in 'lecture'

Why in a word 'lecture' /k/ is unaspirated? Shouldn't it be weakly aspirated because of the fact that it's in unstressed syllable?
0
votes
1answer
503 views

Reform of English writing?

As is commonly known, English is quite notorious for having a writing system that is far removed from the actual way it is most commonly pronounced. I understand that there are important historical ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Do onomatopoeias have more intrinsic meaning than other words have?

I was taught that words are arbitrary sounds used to represent an abstract concept. In the case of onomatopoeias, are they not so arbitrary? For example the word "buzz" roughly sounds like a bee ...