Technical questions about the sound patterns of English.

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39
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4answers
6k views

Why is ‘i’ in milk pronounced differently from ‘i’ in find?

As far as I know, in words of the structure CVCC, the vowel is usually short. Examples include milk, front, clamp, wasp, sport, etc. However, with some CC types, the vowel seems to always be long ...
36
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is “cupboard” pronounced with a silent “p”?

According to Google at least, the word "cupboard" originated in late Middle English as denoting a board that held cups. Since then, the word has evolved to mean a kind of cabinet. My question is, ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Do you pronounce the T ending sound?

As I was taught in school and , the T ending sound of words is unvoiced and should be pronounced with air, but recently I met a friend from the US, those aired T sounds were missing from her speaking, ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Looking For an Excellent Resource for People Learning Linguistics [migrated]

Was wondering if anyone knows of a solid resource (site) on the web or even an app in the play store that would be a good place to go to supplement my learning in school...i.e. someplace that has a ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Missing sound: final skt letters

I've noticed that many Americans in movies usually omit letter k when it falls between s and t sounds at the end of any word like in asked, tasked, Can we generalize that as a rule, so the word ...
10
votes
2answers
503 views

Why did /x/ change to /f/ in English?

As we know, the English language doesn't have the /x/ phoneme anymore (at least in an everyday kind of context*) and the sound seems to have been dropped in many words, such as in light or eight. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation of final T sounds in English

What's the word to describe the phenomenon of the final 't' sound becoming a stop without aspiration, vs. how it sounds at the beginning of a word? Does any one particular dialect/accent of English ...
3
votes
3answers
788 views

Correct pronunciation of “TT”? [closed]

A single t between vowels sounds like a d to me (or like an r in my language, Brazilian Portuguese). May I say the tt spelling the same way, or does that only work for a single t?
9
votes
3answers
4k views

“nt” pronounced as “n” in American English (as in “Internet”): what is it called?

I know that pronouncing "t" as "d" is called a flap t, but is there a name for pronouncing "nt" as "n" in some words, as is common in American English? Examples: "Internet" is pronounced as "inner ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Is tapping common in English?

From Bruce Hayes' Introductory Phonology, I am presented with the following phonological rule called tapping: /t/ -> [ɾ] / [+vowel] ___ [+vowel -stress] That is, /t/ has an allophonic realization as ...
0
votes
2answers
594 views

Reform of English writing? [closed]

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
714 views

Why do people often say 'hambag' for 'handbag'?

Edit The comments here are full of disbelievers! "I've never heard handbag pronounced that way. Which country are you from?" Oh ye of little faith! So - I've attached a couple of examples here ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

When do I pronounce a non-existent “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?

If I say two words consecutively, with the first ending in a vowel sound and the second starting with one, when is it correct to include a non-existent r between those two words? Examples from ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Pronunciation of 'Arguable'

I know that the proper pronunciation of 'arguable' is /ɑr gju ə bəl/. I do not doubt. But it often bothers me when reading this word, that it somehow sounds like 'argu r able'. While not sure, I ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

UK English pronunciation of word “language” please?

What is the correct British English pronunciation of the word language please? Throughout my education in New Zealand and South Africa the first g was a soft sound as in bang? Here in Australia, on ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

What is the term for when a word begins with the previous word's ending sound?

What is the term for when a word begins with the same sound as the previous word's ending sound? For example, there are three instances of this in one line of the lyrics to For the First Time in ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Is there a rule for pronouncing “th” at the beginning of a word?

Consider the th in thistle versus the th in this: the former is unvoiced, while the latter is voiced. Is there a rule or reason for the differences?
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What are the types of the phoneme distribution? How to define them?

I was given a task to define the types of the phoneme distribution in these words: tea [tiː] – stay [steɪ] – try [traɪ] – twice [twaɪs] – little [ˈlɪtl] But I have no idea how to do that. Could ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Why are there two sets of vowels in English? [closed]

I'm a native Spanish speaker and I've been learning English for many years. They always taught us that there are two sets of vowels and we learned how to use them mostly by reading and practicing, no ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

What is the word for inserting additional letters when pronouncing a word?

A while back I ran across a word that described the act of inserting additional letters or sounds when a person pronounces a word (which results in a mispronunciation). What is the word that has this ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Pronounciation of w at the end of a word - and what does ʊ mean?

I noticed that when I pronounce words like Show or fellow I seem to drop the w and just say Sho or Fello. My countries English is similar to British English. I wonder if that is normal or if maybe I ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Why is “t” sometimes pronounced like “d” in American English?

Why, in American English, is the word Italy is pronounced /ˈɪdəli/ and not /ˈɪtəli/? What is the rule that is followed in the pronunciation of Italy to make the letter t pronounced like a d? Why is ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Do we need to put extra sound W or J in front of L in the case of /ei+L/ or /ee+L/ or /ai+L/ or /oo+L/ or /oi+L/ in American English?

Ok, let see the sale /seɪl/, that is from IPA but when speak American English, do we have to put /seɪ-jl/ (sound like sei jo) Similarly, feel /fiːl/ will become /fiː jl/ or mile /maɪl/ will become ...
2
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
381 views

Dialect “rules” and the pronunciation of individual words

Consider an American actor who is tasked with mastering British Received Pronunciation for an upcoming role. If he has a talent for vocal mimicry, as many actors do, he should have no trouble picking ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

'confusion matrix' for English phonemes

Is there a measure of distance somewhere that tells me that certain phoneme A is more "distant" or "different" to phoneme B that it is to phoneme C in english? For example, that the phoneme /k/ is ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

Morphemic versus phonemic approach to teaching the many sounds of “ou”

Is there a way I can explain the many sounds of the phoneme "ou" using the morphemic structure of words instead of the phonemic way?
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Why is “I believe in woman” ok? Or isn't it? (from Slade's “My Oh My”)

This first line of the song is I believe in woman, my oh my. I'm not a native speaker, but that sounds odd to me. I'd either expect women (I believe in women [in general]) or some kind of determiner ...
0
votes
0answers
90 views

Did the Great Vowel Shift on the long vowel /i/ occur in non-primary stressed syllables?

From the Wikipedia article on the Great Vowel Shift . Middle English [iː] diphthongized to [ɪi], which was most likely followed by [əɪ] and finally Modern English [aɪ] (as in mice). I think the ...
0
votes
2answers
271 views

Is the diphthong [ai] in a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? [closed]

Is the diphthong [ai] in a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? Some American people pronounce the prefix "anti" like an-tie. For example, here's a pronunciation of "anti-Christian" ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Diminished “R” Phoneme in NE AmE & BrE

Q: New Englanders habitually mute or diminish the R phoneme (?) in many words, (park, car, Harvard, etc.). What is the name of this characteristic of their speech? So many of the patterns of New ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Coalescence of /t/ and /r/ in 'train', 'tram', 'traffic' etc [duplicate]

Could we say that when saying the 'tr' in words like 'train', 'tram' etc, that the /t/ and /r/ often coalesce to make a sound which is more similar to 'tchr'? I myself definitely do this, but I have ...
1
vote
0answers
133 views

Is a syllable defined phonetically or etymologically?

Reading recent postings about syllables I've been struck and baffled by talk of the possibility that words may have a different number of syllables when they are written than when they are spoken. Is ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

The pronunciation of the word “window”

As you know when the letter w placed at the end of a word, it is pronounced like 'oo' in the words book and could as seen on the chart below.It can be shown as /w/ or /ʊ/ too in dictionaries. I am ...
8
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

Are English speakers reluctant to use /l/ in a consonant cluster mid word?

A relative of mine recently went on a rant regarding the pronunciation of 'jewelry' (as joo-la-ree) and 'realtor' (as ree-la-ter). It reminded me of the oft criticized pronunciation of 'nuclear' and I ...
1
vote
1answer
208 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
0answers
101 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
137 views

Affricate variations in English: t͡s d͡z?

the T between vowels change to t͡s in some english speakers? Usually when I heard "What's, that's" or similar constructions, where the T come with S, I always consider like a t͡s, so I really don't ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Sounds of the letter a

How can I know, precisely, when to differentiate the sounds of the letter a, like in: apple and vault?
5
votes
1answer
8k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Pronunciation of vowel in vague as [æ] instead of [eɪ]

I have a friend who pronounces the vowel in plague, vague, and bagel as [æ] instead of the standard [eɪ] (so plague rhymes with flag, for instance). Interestingly, he apparently can't tell the ...
3
votes
2answers
297 views

Words like “threshold”?

Threshold is pronounced like "thresh-hold" as noted in this question, however, what is interesting is that there is only one h in the word, and it serves two phonetic roles (being part of sh and as a ...
18
votes
2answers
54k views
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Silent letters in English [closed]

With the help of dictionaries, I’ve assembled a list of letters that can be silent in English: For most letters, I found more than one example, what are the other examples of a silent z ...
14
votes
1answer
891 views

Is the pronunciation of the letters “Y” and “I” supposed to be identical?

My son and I were reciting the Spanish alphabet recently. "Y" is i griega, which means "Greek i." This got me thinking about the English letter Y and its function in our alphabet. All of the words ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

American English Pronunciation of “o” sound long or short?

I'm always confused about how to pronounce words with letter o in spelling. For example, in the word boss, I always pronounce the o as short o, when in fact it is long o. Collar is short, but I always ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any “-nk-” or “-nc-” words in English where there isn't a “ng” before the “k” sound?

In words like think and lank, we actually seem to be saying "thing-k" and "lang-k." Can anyone thing-k of any words or rules for sound use where this doesn't happen?
0
votes
3answers
719 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?