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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
3answers
1k views

English pronunciation of “charade” as in Pink Floyd song Pigs

I was recently listening to the Pink Floyd song "Pigs (Three different ones)" and a line in the chorus goes, Ha ha, charade you are! In the context of the song I am nearly sure that the word ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Pronouncing “vis-à-vis”?

When saying "vis-à-vis" in English, would you pronounce it veez-uh-veez before a word beginning with a vowel sound, as you would in French?
6
votes
4answers
5k views

“Multi-” prefix pronunciation

I often hear native English speakers pronouncing "multi-" as ['mʌltaɪ] (mul-tie), however all the dictionaries are saying that the only way to pronounce it is ['mʌltɪ] (mul-ty). Example words: ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the 18th century contraction “on't” survive phonologically in English today?

The February 18th-24th edition of The Economist has an article titled "Neurons v free will" in which the author, Anthony Gottlieb begins by quoting Dr. Johnson's statement about free will: "Sir ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Pronunciation of “-sts” at the end of the word?

How can we pronounce words ending with -sts? lists costs tests I often heard people pronunce its like, lɪsts and kɒsts lɪsː kɔsː but which one is acceptable?
4
votes
3answers
689 views

How should “aargh” really be pronounced?

The common interjections "argh!", "aargh!", "aaargh!", etc., is pronounced, as far as I know, the same as "aaa!" For most of my life, however, I (and I imagine many other second language speakers) ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Pronunciation of “undoable”

As this question points out, there are two different meanings of undoable. I can't find any phonetics how they are pronounced. I guess that the difference is barely audible. Or do you stress the word ...
2
votes
2answers
298 views

Pronunciation of “you're”

Dictionaries list the pronunciation of you're as jɔː(r) jə(r) jʊə(r) Which one is more common in British or American English?
3
votes
2answers
914 views

Pronunciation of 'educate'

In India, this word is quite frequently pronounced as e-JU-cate (with a J-sound). In the dictionaries I have referred to, the pronunciation is the predictable e-dyu-cate. Is the Indian pronunciation ...
1
vote
2answers
604 views

Is it right to call it “SEO” and how do you pronounce it? [closed]

Two questions: I couldn't find a source to decide whether to assume SEO an acronym or not. How should I pronounce it? SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization" while it is the process of improving ...
1
vote
1answer
871 views

Mixing British and American spellings in writing [closed]

I like color more than colour, but I like favourite more than favorite. For me it is better to write My favourite color is blue. Is it wrong to mix British and American spellings in writing, and ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Different pronunciations of “she's” depending on the meaning

According to The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, the contraction she's may be pronounced both with a short [i] sound(as in pit) and a long [i:] sound(as in sheep) when it means she is, but it ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Pronunciation and usage of “bona fide”

As I am reading books and articles, I come across this bona fide. How do you pronounce this? How do you use it properly? I know the definition is in good faith, like if you are welcomed to someone's ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How to pronounce 'foci' and 'loci'? [closed]

What is the correct way to pronounce 'foci' and 'loci'?
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
44k views

How do you spell “Aye Yai Yai”

The phrase that's spoken when someone is hand-wringing about a thorny problem. Speaker One: Uh-oh -- we have to reformat ALL THE DOCUMENTS! Speaker Two: Aye Yai Yai, that's a lot of work! "Aye ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

How would you express colons in speaking?

There are two colons in the following lines a radio personality is speaking. How does the speaker get his listeners to feel the existence of colons? Maybe intonation? or a shorter pause? (On the ...
2
votes
3answers
606 views

French speaker here — How to pronounce “r” and “l”?

I'm a French speaker and actually I have some problems with the sounds l , r and o in lawyer. Do you have any advice for me on how to place the tongue and so on?
4
votes
1answer
418 views

Why do some people pronounce 'a' as 'u'?

I often hear English people pronounce 'a' as 'u' when using words like 'rather' and 'bravo'. Why is this?
4
votes
1answer
633 views

Pronunciation of letters “g” and “c” in blend words

According to this article: The Pronunciation of ‘C’ and ‘G’ generally (but not always) depends upon the letter following either 'C' or 'G'. If the following letter is ‘E’, ‘I’ or ‘Y’, the ...
1
vote
3answers
531 views

How exactly to pronounce 'alphabetical' and 'pharmaceutical' in American English [closed]

How does one pronounce 'alphabetical' and 'pharmaceutical' in American English? Is it phar•ma•ceu•di•cal or phar•ma•ceu•i•cal? And is it al•pha•bet•di•cal or al•pha•bet•i•cal? Do you pronounce 'ti' ...
2
votes
2answers
23k views

What's the correct way for pronouncing “route” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct pronunciation of the word “route”? I always thought that the word route should be pronounced as ru:t (my english dictionary also says ...
1
vote
1answer
613 views

How to describe the sound of the English language as spoken by someone with Asperger's Syndrome? [closed]

I've heard many people say that individuals with Asperger's Syndrome seem to have a distinctive way of speaking the English language. I've heard descriptions such as "The cadence of the words is ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “accept” [closed]

When I hear people say I accept especially in the U.S., it sounds like they are saying "I except". What is the correct pronunciation?
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is “sergeant” pronounced “sargent”?

I remember when I first came across this word, I thought it was pronounced /'sɜr-dʒint/ (SER-jeent). Now I am curious as to why the first syllable is pronounced /sar/ rather than /sɜr/. I looked at ...
0
votes
2answers
355 views

How do you pronounce PIPEDA?

I'm wondering how to pronounce the acronym for Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. PIP eh duh? pie PEED uh? other?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “automata” [closed]

Automata theory is a study in the fields of theoretical computer science and mathematics. See this Wikipedia page for more information. What is the pronunciation of the word automata? Is it ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why is Tesco often pronounced Tesco's? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Store names & possessive “Ear doctor's” vs “Ear doctor” I have often heard members of the British public pronounce the name of the ...
15
votes
5answers
21k views

How to pronounce the letter 'i'

Every time I read a new and unknown word containing the letter 'i' I wonder how I should pronounce it. What's very frustrating for me is that, when I look up the words, I find out that my gut feeling ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

Is there a rule for the correct pronunciation of words starting with “ex”?

The following words are pronounced starting with an iks / igz: extent [ɪkˈstent] expect [ɪk'spekt] exterminate [ɪk'stɜːmɪneɪt] external [ɪkˈstɜːn(ə)l] exhaust [ɪg'zɔːst] examine [ɪg'zæmɪn] ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Pronunciation of plural form of words ending in “-th”

I have realized that to pronounce the plural form of words ending in -th, we have to drop the letter "h". e.g. Months is pronounced /mʌnts/. But I have never seen this point mentioned in any context. ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there rules of pronunciation for words in English? [closed]

I know that there is at least one language we can pronounce based on the word's form (Vietnamese) which means that once you know how to write it, you will also know how to pronounce it. But in ...
-2
votes
2answers
472 views

Pronunciation of “xenophobia,” “xenon,” and “Xena” [closed]

I've heard all of the above words with X as zeh. Is that an American English thing? What's the correct way to pronounce each word?
4
votes
3answers
788 views

Pronunciation of UI

I heard someone pronounce UI as yooey. I guess this comes from the pronunciation of GUI, which is gooey. How common is this compared to yoo-eye and user-interface?
7
votes
3answers
11k views

Why do people pronounce “Naomi” as “Niomi”?

The Wikipedia page for "Naomi (given name)" says "pronounced nay-oh-mee" which is how I pronounce my daughter's name, but quite often people pronounce it "nigh-oh-mee" (that is, with a long "i" ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

How to pronounce the “v” sound?

I live in Thailand and we pronounce "w" and "v" the same. When I spoke to American people they told me that the "v" sound was different from "w". They told me to move my lower lip to the upper teeth, ...
5
votes
3answers
461 views

The term 'vocal fry': where does it come from?

On a recent Language Log posting Vocal fry: "creeping in" or "still here"?, Mark Liberman discusses an (also) recent article about the phenomenon of 'vocal fry' and shows how it has been around for ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Pronunciation of “a”

I'm really confused about the pronunciation of the letter "a". Why is there a difference when it is used in a sentence and when "a" is single? When it is single, we read it like dwelling on it, like ...
0
votes
2answers
364 views

What dialect is this man speaking?

Ignoring the linguistically incorrect and wrong-headed things said in this video, the more puzzling problem: I have no idea what dialect or type of English the man in the video is speaking. I have ...
7
votes
3answers
473 views

Do people who metathesize “ask” do it to other words as well?

As most of us have heard (and some people get offended about), there are dialects of English in which the word ask undergoes metathesis and is pronounced aks. Are there English dialects in which this ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Is “po-TAH-to” an acceptable pronunciation for “potato”?

Immortalized in the George and Ira Gershwin song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is the nitpicking of pronunciation differences: You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like ...
3
votes
1answer
721 views

Is there a rule for the pronunciation of words with the suffix -ative?

I have observed that there are, at least, two patterns of pronunciation for words ending in -ative: The first syllable is stressed and the suffix is pronounced as /eɪtɪv/ (e.g. qualitative) The ...
3
votes
2answers
812 views

Different pronunciation of /iks/ in “excuse” and “sixteen”

Excuse is pronounced as /ɪkˈskjuːz/ while sixteen is pronounced as /sɪksˈtiːn/. You see a ' in the middle of k and s in excuse while ' is after both k and s in sixteen. Why?
3
votes
3answers
934 views

How to pronounce “s” at end of word when next word starts with “s”

How do we pronounce "s" at the end of the word when the next word also starts with "s"? For example, She has some apples: Do we need to add "s" after has and before some like "she has s some ...
2
votes
4answers
218 views

What is the pronunciation for the word 'pluriharmonic'?

Maybe this problem is a bit too trivial for some people. I could not find any dictionary giving me a pronunciaiton for the word 'pluriharmonic'. Google does not work, either. Will someone be kind ...
-1
votes
2answers
752 views

Pronunciation of “status”, “bomb”, “database” and “Wednesday” [closed]

How are the following words pronounced? I always get confused on pronunciation. I put the pronunciation I think is correct next to the words: Status - (Stat-us with Stat rhyming with mat) Bomb - Is ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you pronounce numbers written in different bases?

The decimal (base 10) number "2" can also be represented as the binary (base 2) number "10". Let's use binary "10" (equivalent to decimal "2") as an example. I could see a few different ways to go ...
6
votes
10answers
866 views

Does Santy (Santa) exist outside Ireland?

It's common at this time of year for adults to ask small children What's Santy bringing you? (awkward as this is for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas). Is this pronunciation of Santa unique ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

When is “marked” pronounced with 2 syllables?

I have heard "marked" pronounced with 2 syllables, like "mar-ked": http://forvo.com/word/marked_(adj_-_distinctive_character) but online dictionaries show only the 1-syllable pronunciation. When ...