This tag is for questions about the sounds, intonation, and stress of how words are uttered or produced.

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Pronunciation Dilemma

How acceptable/appropriate is the pronunciation of words such as "Christian" and "fortune"/"fortunate" with a [t] sound as opposed to [ʃ]? I personally prefer the former but I believe that it's not ...
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80 views

Did I hear rightly – “Shiite Houthis are stated in to return the President to office.”

The answer would be very likely "No." I’ve been listening to AP Radio news, and heard the news of May 15 reporting the outcome of cease-fire negotiation between Saudi-led forces and Shiite Houthis as ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is “meta” pronounced differently to “beta”?

Is there an etymological explanation to this? Why is "meta" pronounced ˈmɛtə while "beta" is pronounced ˈbeɪtə or ˈbiːtə? (Pronunciations taken from Cambridge Dictionaries Online)
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35 views

Should I use the weak or the strong form in this sentence for the word “as”?

"Went straight up as if from a factory" <---- for the word "as" in this sentence should I say it like /æz/ or like /əz/ ?
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31 views

Exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant

Is there a word for exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant by holding it longer than normal? When conveying this in writing, does it fall in the same category as an accent or dialect ...
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0answers
46 views

Why are these spellings pronounced “non phonetically?”

In Anglo English, the word ewe (female sheep) is pronounced "you," rather than, say, "e-weh." Likewise, the surname Ewell, is pronounced "yule," rather than "e-well." Why is that?
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75 views

Winged or Wingèd?

Okay.. here is the problem: In a certain story I am writing, I have a place called the "Winged Lion Inn" which serves as a locus for several story-related events. I have a friend that insists it ...
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Are there rules for pronunciation of words ending in “-ton”?

Here are 4 words ending in "_ton": Proton - /ˈprəʊ.tɒn/ Cotton - /ˈkɑt.n̩/ Mutton - /ˈmʌtn̩/ Wanton - /ˈwɒntən/ Even though the words end in -ton, the pronunciation varies. ...
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Pronunciation of “I'm going to” - Part 2

This question is a further question regarding my previous thread.(Pronunciation of "I'm going to") Thank you for everyone who answered this question. I read that saying "I muh-nuh" (eg. ...
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103 views

Pronunciation of “I'm going to”

I'm not a native English speaker but I've recently moved to the US. I've been noticing that when people say "I'm going to" (or I'm gonna), a lot of people here always pronounce it like "I muh-nuh", so ...
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1answer
67 views

Mischievous pronounced (mis-CHEEV-ee-us) [closed]

I'm getting sick of hearing some people pronouncing the word mischievous (mis-CHEEV-ee-us) when there's no I between the V and the O. It's a three-syllable word pronounced (MIS-chiv-us). Why do some ...
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2answers
165 views

Is there any English word starting with “gh” and “gh” is not pronounced as /ɡ/?

Gh is a digraph in English (and in some other languages). In English, you can see it at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the word. If ⟨gh⟩ is not at the beginning of the word, it is ...
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0answers
40 views

Is there such a thing as a “hard” D and a “soft” D sound? [closed]

Such as in graduation? Is that a soft D like it would be for vowels?
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2answers
46 views

'What are you' and 'what do you': same pronunciation in AmE…?

The ELL question Do Americans pronounce 'are' as 'do' in 'what are waiting for?' brought to my attention something I've not noticed before. In normal conversational (or faster) speech, it seems What ...
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1answer
69 views

Why are “suffice” and “sufficient” pronounced so differently?

Today I heard somebody use a form of the verb "suffice" (which means "to be sufficient") pronouncing it like the verb "surface" without an r (and where that "a" makes more of an "i" sound). This ...
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2answers
53 views

'Falcon' or 'Fall-con'

I'd appreciate a native speaker's opinion on this. Dictionaries list both pronunciations to be correct. falcon Pronunciation: BrE /ˈfɔːlkən/ ; NAmE /ˈfælkən/ However, I have heard ...
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1answer
66 views

Pronunciation for the word “competent.”

I hope that some of you might be able to quell this dilemma of mine. I would like to know the British pronunciation for the word "competent." Is it pronounced as: "com-pɪ-tent" or "com-pə-tent" with ...
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1answer
36 views

Specifically, what makes some words harder to spell, pronounce, and remember?

Edit: I apologize if my question lacks research effort, and is neither clear nor useful. Perhaps if you could tell me why this is in conjunction with your downvote, the quality of my post might be ...
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2answers
34 views

Does the word “buttress,” which is both a noun & verb, follow the rules about where to put emphasis based on its part of speech? [closed]

buttress (n.) any prop or support buttress (v.) to support by a buttress; prop up Words like combat, abstract, project, and convict change the syllable that's stressed based on whether ...
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2answers
79 views

How to pronounce “p” in “hospital” and why?

I've pronounced "p" in "hospital" as "p" for many years and just noticed that some people pronounced it as "b". Please refer to http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/british/hospital and ...
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2answers
60 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 ...
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2answers
80 views

How should one spell the sound “eye” when creating a word?

How can I invent a word (or name) containing the sound "ai" (sounds like "eye") so that an English-speaker is likely to guess the correct pronunciation based on spelling alone, with no outside ...
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1answer
49 views

Pronunciation of the words “clothes” and “February” in American English

What is the correct pronunciation of the words "clothes" and "February" in the American English? A lot of people pronounce "clothes" as /kloʊz/, dropping the 'th', as for "February", I hear that the ...
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2answers
38 views

Is it common to pronounce 'only' as 'own-knee'?

I personally find it very hard to pronounce the 'L' sound right after 'N'. Would you say it is quite common or at least understandable to pronounce 'only' as 'own-knee' (fastly)?
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I`m just curious about how to speak “anti-” is correct? [closed]

I`m just curious about how to speak "anti-" is correct? it`s like ant/ai/ or ant/i/??
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0answers
29 views

How to pronounce Isabirra (type of cheese)?

Isabirra is a type of cheese. http://www.cheese.com/isabirra/ I couldn't find a source of its pronunciation. Can anybody help me with its pronunciation (in the most layman form). Thanks
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2answers
78 views

Pronunciation of diphthongs in English

I found a few similar questions, but none of them gave me the answer to this. I'm a native Serbian, so I have problems understanding diphtongs, because Serbian has none of them. Serbian has only five ...
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1answer
124 views

Pronunciation of Korea and Career

Are the pronunciations of the two words identical? Korea v.s. Career
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1answer
50 views

Word Stress Within the Phrase I'm expecting someone

I tried pronouncing the phrase: "I'm expecting someone". Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm ɪkspɛkt ɪŋ sʌmwʌn] I perceive some stress on the second syllable of expecting and the first syllable of ...
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1answer
184 views

Is the pronunciation of “oa” in “broad” unique?

The "oa" in the word "broad" is pronounced like the words "or" or "awe". In phonetic symbols that is ɔː . However in all other examples I can think of it is pronounced like the "oe" in "toe". Or in ...
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1answer
72 views

Pronunciation of double G: soft “gg” versus hard “gg”

When I was a student, I was taught double G is normally hard, as in "agglomerate", "aggregate", "foggy", "aggressive", "dagger", "trigger", "niggard", "doggerel", etc, the exceptions being ...
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148 views

How to pronounce the Polish name “Aronszajn” [closed]

Nachman Aronszajn was an American mathematician born in Poland. I will make a talk (in English) on a subject for which I would like to cite some of his works. But since I am not a native ...
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0answers
39 views

Pronunciation of Who is it?

I heard the question "Who is it?" in a movie. [Person A] knocked on a door. [Person B] came to open the door, but before that he asks "Who is it?" This three syllables question can be pronounced ...
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1answer
45 views

Stress and intonation in “I'm proud of you”

When I pronounce the phrase: "I'm proud of you" to communicate that I'm proud of the person I'm talking to, do I only need to stress the word "proud" a bit? I think that stressing the pronouns "I" ...
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1answer
72 views

T- and D-flapping when at start of word preceded by vowel

It seems to me that the "d" is flapped in "I don't know" in American English. Am I right? If I am, I'm wondering if t/d is always flapped at the begining of the word when it is preceded by a vowel? ...
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2answers
320 views

A term for words that change pronunciation with part of speech

I'm talking about words like: construct: CON-struct(n.), cun-STRUCT(v.) present: PRE-sent(n.), pre-SENT(v.) record: RE-cord(n.), ri-CORD(v.) They are pronounced differently based on whether they ...
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1answer
150 views

Ma'am: Is it as in “ham” solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken “ma”+“um” (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
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62 views

Words with primary and secondary stress in a phrase

In the phrase "I'm in the same situation" the word "situation" phonetically looks like: [ˌsɪtʃ uˈeɪ ʃən] The first syllable of the word has secondary stress and the third syllable has primary ...
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1answer
68 views

How is the letter “Z” pronounced in Indian English?

How is the letter "Z" pronounced in Indian English? I assumed that Indian English is more similar to British English than to American English, and therefore would pronounce it "Zed". But I came ...
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1answer
55 views

How would a speaker of English vocalize W'soran, a sci-fi/fantasy conlang word, taking into consideration that some languages are unpronounceable? [closed]

There is a character in the Warhammer Fantasy universe by the name of W'soran. I've never been sure how to pronounce his name. He's from an Egyptian type culture. Could anyone tell me if they think ...
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1answer
66 views

The NG sound in casual American speech

I read somewhere (I don't remember the source and I'm not sure if it's true) that Americans tend to replace the "ng" sound with only "n" in casual/fast speech. For example: Who's calling? sounds like ...
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2answers
899 views

Is it acceptable in American English to pronounce “grocery” as “groshery”?

I caught myself pronouncing the "c" in "grocery" as an "sh" sound. Is this commonplace/accepted, or is it perhaps geographic? Does this occur with "c" in other words? As background, I was raised in ...
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55 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 ...
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1answer
61 views

What is the correct pronunciation? [closed]

Today, I talked with my friend. And we both have different opinion to each other. The subject is Does British English (native) speaker pronunce the R letter at end of the word. You only think the ...
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1answer
105 views

How do you pronounce (r) in British English?

For example, we have - car /kɑː(r)/ - or /ɔː(r)/ I thought the brackets means you delete it - i.e. non rhotic - but now I see the phonetic spelling of words like "hard" which don't include the r ...
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9answers
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Is there any English word in which “ph” is not pronounced as “f”? [duplicate]

A few days ago, a friend and I were discussing how every "rule" of English spelling or pronunciation has an exception, and every exception has an exception as well. Then I brought up the rule of a ph ...
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1answer
36 views

Word Stress in “It's up to you”

I watched a video on Youtube about the pronunciation of the phrase "It's up to you": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaZrkhCqWbk and it says that "up" is the stressed word. I think that "It's" can ...
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2answers
123 views

Fast speech and palatalization T+D

when the phrase "I understand you" is pronounced, does the palatalization happen in fast/connected speech? In other words, does the D+Y sounds more like a J sound as in Joke). Here's the way I ...
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1answer
75 views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
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1answer
84 views

TR sound and Word Stress

I read in American accent book that when a "t" is followed by an "r" sound, the "t" changes and becomes an almost "ch" sound. "To create this sound correctly, say "ch" as in chain, but just make the ...