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

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2
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5answers
1k views

Variations in the pronunciation of “the”

Although there are rather simple rules determining the pronunciation of "the", native speakers quite often deviate from these rules (including, e.g., TV shows). According to the Longman Pronunciation ...
5
votes
7answers
5k views

The + vowel letter

I've been told that when "the" is proceeded by a vowel sound, like "apple" or "hour", it's pronounced as "thee" and not as "thu". But after listening to a couple of songs, I noticed that sometimes ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Pronunciation of “the”: thee versus thuh [duplicate]

We were taught in school that when followed by a noun starting with a vowel sound, "the" is pronounced "thee". In other cases, it's pronounced "thuh" (aside from the emphatic "the"). I have noticed ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Pronunciation of German proper nouns in America [on hold]

Why are American names of German origin pronounced differently than they would be in German? For example: "Kreutz" sounds like "krites", not "kroyts" (same deal with Anheuser-Busch) "Boehner" ...
11
votes
6answers
13k views

The pronunciation of buoy

How did the word buoy come to be pronounced "BOO-ee" in most of the US? The British pronunciation "BOY" as in the word buoyancy or buoyant (which both countries pronounce the same) seems to be pretty ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Is there any online tool to read (pronounce) IPA and APA written words?

I am looking for a tool to read a word written as phonetic transcription (IPA or APA). I need it to provide users with a tool to verify if they've chosen correct IPA transcription (users will need ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

how to pronounce “t's” sound, as in “it's” or “that's”

Currently I'm studying English pronunciation and having a hard time pronouncing the t's sound such as it's and that's. I thought that "t's" sounded the same as the "ch" sound but one of my friend said ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Is there a simple guide for 's' vs 'sh' pronunciation in words?

Consider the following words as examples: 1) Version 2) Progression 3) Differentiation 4) Fission 5) Fusion 6) Insurance 7) Sure I pronounce all these words with a 'sh' sound even though it is not ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Pronounciation of “neusis”

The ancient Greek "neusis" technique basically means the use of a a straightedge with two marked points on it; as is well known with such a device, in addition to the usual Euclidean tools, one can ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

How to pronounce “besieged the” in “The army besieged the town for 30 days.”

How to pronounce "besieged the" in "The army besieged the town for 30 days." As I understand, the [d] sound in the end of besieged can be omitted. So it will be [bɪˈsiːdʒ ðə], which for me is very ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Proper pronunciation of Neanderthal

Why is Neanderthal pronounced with a /t/ sound instead of a /th/ sound?
1
vote
2answers
85 views

the omitted “t” sound

My English teacher told me that some native speakers omit the /t/ sound in some words, for example, writ't'en, Bri't'ain, impor't'ant. That means before pronouncing the /t/, there is a sudden pause ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

How to best correctly spell this sound?

Remember back in school (or still in school, like me) when someone got called to the office and all the kids in the class made an 'ooou' sound with the intonation slowly rising? Yeah... Anyway, I was ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

How to pronounce “digne” and “na”?

I looked up unproduced in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)¹ and it gave an example quotation from the 1965 edition of John Ireland's 1490 compendium The Meroure of Wyssdome ("The Mirror of ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

A recent trend in pronouncing “the”

I have observed a recent trend to pronounce "the" as "thuh" even if it is followed by a vowel (as in "thuh evening.") Is this regional (I live in Alabama) or national? I think it's the latter. And ...
5
votes
1answer
53 views

Why is “renege” pronounced with a hard “g” sound?

The word renege comes from Medieval Latin renegare (source). It is the only English word of Latin origin I'm aware of that doesn't follow the soft g pronunciation rule. The g is hard even though ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Can penult stress for “stigmata” and similar words be explained or justified by any principle?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There appear to be two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “sauté” spelled with an accent and “repartee” not?

Why are these words spelled differently? They have the same sound at the end, right?
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Can the stress pattern of “uroboros/ouroboros” be explained by any principle, or is it random?

The word "uroboros," coming ultimately from Greek, has a couple of spellings and also pronunciations (see How to do you pronounce Ouroboros?). As explained by Nohat in the linked page, the two ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Pronunciation of word “considered”

I have learned in school that letter 'r' is not sounded in the word 'considered', here's an example. But I have been watching the 'How I met your mother' series, and Ted have pronounced that with ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Differing pronunciations of “divisive”

I've always pronounced it dɪˈvaɪsɪv (rhymes with incisive). Today at his press conference, President Obama pronounced it dɪˈvɪsɪv (rhymes with dismissive). I've heard the latter pronunciation off ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Is it OK to pronounce kilogram as “kay gee” (/ˈkeɪˈdʒiː/)?

Would the same also apply to other abbreviations such as km (kay-em) instead of kilometer? I can see an advantage to reading millimeter as mm (em-em) because it's quicker to say.
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Correct way to say “km^2”

How do we say km2 in words? Do we use km exponent by two, square kilometer, kilometer squared or something else?
2
votes
1answer
113 views

The word “mine”: Anyone else use a velar nasal /maiŋ/ for “belongs to me” meaning, but still /main/ for “explosive”/“coal mine”?

I think I naturally distinguish these words: mine (ie "belongs to me") /maiŋ/ mine (ie "explosive" or "coal mine") /main/ I vaguely remember noticing this years ago, but I was only just reminded of ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of verbiage and foliage

To my ear, the former should be pronounced "vurb-ij" and the latter "fohl-ee-ij" (the endings may vary among "aj", "edge" and "ij"). I occasionally hear people say "vurb-ee-ij" and often hear ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How would you pronounce N.B. (nota bene) when reading aloud?

I know how to pronounce nota bene (YouTube can help if your Italian is rusty), but if you were reading an academic paper aloud (or something else that would contain notate bene), how would you go ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

In which varieties of English is 't' in 'often' silent?

I'm an Indian and all my life I've pronounced 'often' with 't' silent. Since we follow British English, I assume British people say it the same way? I guess in American English, one pronounces it with ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Pronunciation of “ikebana” by non-Japanophones

Apart from "very rarely", how is "ikebana" (Japanese flower arrangement) typically pronounced in real life by non-Japanophones? Is it the same as how it's pronounced in Japanese, or has it changed ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Is there a formal spelling for the English letter names?

The English alphabet has a common pronunciation. For example, B is pronounced as "Bee", C as "See" and I as Aye. Is there a formal spelling for the letter names?
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Difference in pronunciation between 'warship' and 'worship'?

I came across these words together in a text, and I was wondering whether they are pronounced the same way. 'War' is actually pronounced as 'wor', so I'm not entirely sure. When I pronounce them, I ...
18
votes
4answers
82k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “Caribbean”?

Sometimes I hear the emphasis placed on the second syllable, and other times on the second to last syllable. I myself use both pronunciations depending on context, and it makes me wonder if there is ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Why does /t/ after a consonant (ex: /ˈnaɪn.ti/) produce less air than /t/ at the beginning of word (Ex: /ˈtaɪlænd/) or after a vowel (Ex: /ˈraɪ.tər/)?

Ok, my mother tongue is Vietnamese and I often got difficulty making the English /t/ sound. Here is what I discovered. -If a /t/ is the beginning of word (Ex: /taɪ/ tie, /tɪn/ tin, /ˈtaɪ.lænd/ ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Pronunciation of anonymize

I “googled” the word anonymize to verify its spelling because it is not in the Chrome’s dictionary. Before I closed the tab, on a whim, I clicked the little speaker icon to hear Google’s pronunciation ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

When speaking, how to link “barged her” in “She barged her way through the shopping crowds”?

She barged her way through the shopping crowds. The complete form should be [bʌdʒd hər]. I'm not sure in order to link those two words when speaking, it should be [bʌdʒ ər] or [bʌdʒd ər]? Thanks.
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How to know how to pronounce an “-e” ending based on spelling?

I’ve always wondered how the -e word ending should be pronounced: For example (correct me if I’m wrong), the words apache, Adobe, Skype, etc. have the -e ending pronounced like in the word be. ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

How to pronounce the letter /r/

I've always had difficulty pronouncing the letter /r/. Whenever i try to say /r/ it comes out as a gha, a sound similar to the arabic letter غ. Any idea how i can fix this?
-1
votes
0answers
35 views

About the pronunciation of “secret” /ˈsiːkrɪt/, should we pronounce /k/ & /r/ at the same time or each sound separately but really continually?

Ok, now see the pronunciation of secret /ˈsiːkrɪt/. I am not sure what is the right way to pronounce /kr/. Since there is no answer on the internet, so I think there are 2 ways to pronounce it: 1- ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

“Accessory” pronounced with a stress on the first syllable

I'm a first language English speaker, but grew up Bilingual in Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Today I was speaking to another first language English speaker (Canadian) and used the word ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

“long” <i> - inconsistencies in the relationship between orthography and pronunciation

I'm wondering about the dual pronunciations of the letter /i/ in open syllables. Usually it has the realization [a͡ɪ], representing the regular outcome of long i after the great vowel shift, but ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

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. ...
6
votes
1answer
971 views

What is the word that sounds like “caromize” which means “cook a dish until we can reduce the juice in that dish to being viscous”?

OK, once I watched the Master Chef program and I heard people use a word that sounds like "caromize" to express the meaning of “cook a dish until the juices of the dish has reduced and is viscous”. ...
5
votes
1answer
490 views

the pronunciation of “get”

Both /gɛt/ and /gɪt/ show up in the Wiktionary. The etymology strongly suggests that the pronunciation /gɛt/ is older. What is the source of the pronunciation /gɪt/? Is it confined to certain ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

So, should “Thailand” be pronounced as /ˈtaɪ.lænd/ or /ˈθaɪ.lænd/? [closed]

OK, I searched on the Internet and found that online dictionaries give the following pronunciation of Thailand as /ˈtaɪ.lænd/. Cambridge English Dictionary says noun /ˈtaɪ.lænd/ Oxford ...
4
votes
3answers
265 views

Is there a word or term to describe mispronouncing a word due to someone else's accent?

In college, I had a Japanese linear algebra teacher who was not a native English speaker. The subject matter was new and difficult, so with new terminology to learn, it was sometimes to difficult for ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Palatalization of the initial “s” in words starting with “st-”

Sometimes I hear native speakers pronounce the s at the beginning of a word as [ʃ]. For example, straight as [ʃtreɪt], or struggle as [ʃtrʌɡl]. It sounds like German words. Is it a certain English ...
10
votes
6answers
10k views

What's with the 'heigth' pandemic?

Recently I've noticed that many people are pronouncing the word 'height' as /haiθ/ That's right, heigth. I've only ever heard this pronunciation mistake in the last few years. Maybe it's just ...
26
votes
3answers
30k views

How do you pronounce “Git”?

How do you pronounce Git? Because I don't live in a country that uses English, I haven't heard it yet. In my country, some people use [ɡɪt] and others use [jɪt]. Which is the one that most people use? ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Can vs that ( /kæn/ vs /ðæt/ )

I’ve finally decided to take a look at my English pronunciation and it is being an awesome new world. I am focused on Received Pronunciation (British Standard) and one question comes to mind for which ...