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

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5
votes
1answer
224 views

Cardinal British Dates - A Kiwi Original?

I had never heard the use of cardinal numbers in dates when speaking until I moved to New Zealand. It seems particularly prevalent in TV and radio advertising, but doesn't seem to follow either ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Difference in pronunciation between “won't” and “want” [closed]

Which is the difference in pronunciation between "won't" and "want"?
3
votes
3answers
493 views

Pronunciation of “lib”

I've been a computer programmer for many years, and recently my father has been learning computer programming. Programmers often times will use a folder called "lib." Not a native English speaker, ...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

Pronunciations of 'retard' and 'retardation'

Why are the verb form (/rɪtɑːd/, ri-tard) and the offensive noun form (/ˈriːtɑːd/, ree-tard) of the word retard pronounced differently? While I have heard both variants in use as part of the ...
5
votes
1answer
956 views

Intonation and the changing of meaning

Two questions with the same words can have somewhat different meanings. For example, I could ask Do you want to go to the zoo or the museum? with my intonation/pitch rising after zoo, or Do ...
2
votes
1answer
613 views

Learn correct English pronunciation by non-verbal facial expressions [closed]

I met a guy who was born deaf and learned to pronounce and speak English by watching peoples muscle structure change in their face (i.e., their cheeks moving and lips being manipulated) Is there a way ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

1.99 dollar or 1.99 dollars? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are these plural or singular? Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile? I want to write price of some thing in my site. As I know (maybe I am wrong) ...
16
votes
2answers
45k views

Why is the “L” silent when pronouncing “salmon”?

Why is the letter l silent when pronouncing salmon properly?
6
votes
1answer
398 views

Why is “accidentally” pronounced “accident-ly” instead of “accident-tal-y”?

Why is accidentally pronounced accident-ly and not accident-tal-ly? Incidentally, some other adverbs have this same phenomenon, where some dictionaries show the second-to-last syllable as being ...
4
votes
2answers
823 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
662 views

What pronunciation does Google dictionary use?

I generally use the "define" Google search tool to find what a word means, and how it should be pronounced correctly. Unlike websites like thefreedictionary.com, Google doesn't tell you what ...
4
votes
4answers
364 views

Does the letter i serve as a consonant in words like “onion” and “view”?

Some more words: union, behavior, Daniel. And the second i in opinion, familiar, brilliant, California. I am especially concerned with American English.
3
votes
2answers
9k views

How should an English speaker pronounce “vice versa”?

When using vice versa in spoken English, I tend to just completely Anglicise it and pronounce it vise VER-ser, with only one syllable in vice. The original would be something like VEE-cay VER-sa, but ...
-1
votes
1answer
184 views

What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”_(2)? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”? Mr Torres will be returning to the Amazon rainforest in ...
1
vote
1answer
308 views

Reference request: the pronunciation of Law French?

Would anyone happen to know of a systematic account of the English pronunciation of legal and parliamentary terms and phrases of Anglo-Norman French origin, or more generally, of Law French? When it ...
-1
votes
1answer
192 views

How paragraph numbers are read

I'd be glad if someone could tell me how numbers like "2.3.4.5.6" are read (pronounced)? "Two dot three dot four..." or "two three four" or maybe "two point three point four"?
0
votes
1answer
208 views

Caesar and caesura

Caesar and caesura are two similar-sounding Latin words which have made their way into English unsullied in terms of their orthography. The same can however not be said of their pronunciations. The ...
0
votes
1answer
577 views

What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? “The Weasley twins’ friend, Lee Jordan, was doing the commentary for the match.” Do ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Are “flower” and “flour” always homophones?

Flower and flour are said to be homophones. However, considering the number of different pronunciations (/flaʊə/ like BrE sour, /flou(-ə)r/ like AmE sour, /flɑː/ (forvo) like BrE car, etc.) floating ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Where does “wicked” get its /ɪd/ from?

There are three ways I know to pronounce the -ed at the end of an adjective: /t/ as in cracked. /d/ as in lined. /ɪd/ as in naked I realise naked is a special case because, as etymonline states, ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

What does the umlaut mean over the E in the name “Zoë”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Zoe” or “Zoë”: which is the correct spelling? The ë in the name Zoë suggests that the e should be pronounced as a long a. The name is from the Greek goddess of ...
6
votes
1answer
491 views

Pronunciation of “-ed” endings

I noticed that the final -ed has different pronunciations. What's the general rule for knowing the correct pronunciation?
2
votes
3answers
102 views

Can't we tell which is which by sound (effect, affect)?

“We’ve adjusted for lots of other things that we know effect children’s development and IQ.” LOE has the “effect” in its transcript above. But the audio from the same page has the sound of ...
0
votes
1answer
484 views

Pronunciation of “Jan. 3” [closed]

Is a date written “Jan. 3” pronounced January third, or is it pronounced January three?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

how to pronounce “twenty” correctly?

Well, I usually say "twenny" instead of "twenty" (not "twendy" even). I recently noticed that I never heard the same from any native english speakers during any talks I ever had with them. Recently I ...
5
votes
5answers
4k 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. ...
4
votes
8answers
29k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Can schwa be made in the word, calm? [closed]

Can the schwa[ə] sound be made even in the word calm, while which is being said in the sentences?
1
vote
0answers
49 views

How to pronounce al- at the start of a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sounds of the letter a I was wondering if there is a general pronunciation rule for how to pronounce A and L when they start the word. I noticed words Also Almost Always ...
0
votes
1answer
542 views

What is the correct pronunciation of Hele?

I’ve always wondered what the correct or considered correct pronunciation of the old Saxon word hele is. The Oxford English Dictionary states it should be pronounced as /hiːl/ and that’s what I’ve ...
0
votes
1answer
279 views

What is the correct way to pronounce “Figure 8-1”?

I know that the symbol "-" can be read as hyphen or dash. While I am reading aloud "Figure 8-1" or "Section 8-1", what is the correct name for "-"? Sometimes, I heard people read it as figure ...
3
votes
0answers
558 views

What's the best resource for improving everyday speaking? [closed]

I'm having a job interview in a month. My writing, reading and listening are good. However, I have weak conversation skills. I need an efficient resource to improve my speaking. Any resource is ...
23
votes
3answers
3k 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?
5
votes
1answer
533 views

About pronouncing the 's' in plural nouns

A general rule of English pronunciation states that the 's' in plural nouns is to be pronounced as /z/ if it is preceded by a 'voiced consonant' such as /n/ or /g/, and as /s/ if it is preceded by a ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Words with a leading silent w

My eldest is a beginning reader. Yesterday we read one of my favorite books, The Wreck of the Zephyr. He pointed at wreck and asked me why that one looked like it said "wuh-reck." I explained that ...
3
votes
1answer
515 views

How good is my pronunciation? [closed]

I am not sure if this is the place to post this. If it is not, forgive me. But I need your help. I need to create some instructional videos and do not have the budget to hire a voice talent to dub it ...
-1
votes
1answer
852 views

Is an acronym is always pronounced as a single word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between an acronym and abbreviation? Can a word that sounds the same as the way it is spelt be an initialism and an acronym? With reference to this question ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “regex”?

The term regular expression is often shortened to regex. What is the correct pronunciation of the g in regex? Is it like the g1 in gallium, or is it like the g2 in giraffe? I’ve heard it said both ...
-1
votes
4answers
606 views

The plural of “conch”? [closed]

There is a lengthy thread on the pronunciation of "conch" however I am curious about the plural form "conches." I've noticed that it can be found as "conchs" as well, but "conches" appears to be the ...
0
votes
1answer
917 views

/u/ and /uː/ in pronunciation

What is the regularity of appearance of /uː/ and /u/ (or /ʊ/ in RP)? How can I be most sure deducing from spelling alone, that, say, "ooze" is pronounced /uːz/ and "wool" as /wul/? I know that English ...
1
vote
1answer
457 views

The use of “Que” in pronunciation

In most (or many) words that start with the letters "que", there's generally a Kw sound, such as in "question", "queen" or "quest". However, with the word "queue", it's more of a "Ky" sound. Is there ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the different ways an accent mark can go over the letter A & how are they pronounced? [closed]

I've found specifically these ones: á, à, â, å, ä. I believe they COULD be used in the English language, or root ones such as Celtic & Germanic, but I don't know how they are pronounced. Oh, and ...
3
votes
1answer
275 views

meaning of - rite - at the companies names

There is bunch of companies that use rite at theirs names, like Rite Aid or Shop Rite, I was thinking about it like Right => Rite They looks like similar to pronounce, and you could think Right Aid ...
2
votes
1answer
639 views

Pronunciation of onomatopoeia, pharmacopoeia, etc

Words such as onomatopoeia and pharmacopoeia incorporate the Greek suffix -poeia, meaning to make or to prepare. Wiktionary's provided etymology for onomatopoeia reads: From Ancient Greek ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

Pronunciation of “Celt”: /kɛlt/ vs. /sɛlt/

Both /kɛlt/ and /sɛlt/ are considered acceptable pronunciations of the noun Celt and similarly of the adjective Celtic. Is there a reason for the different pronunciations? Which is the more common? Is ...
0
votes
2answers
862 views

Long vs. short vowels in English words of Latin origin

Is there any way to determine if a vowel is short or long in English words of Latin origin? I've noticed that u is usually long in Latin words (e.g., Jupiter) but what about other vowels?
1
vote
1answer
498 views

Why is “delight” spelt and pronounced the way it is?

This as everything probably has something to do with the GVS, but how?
5
votes
2answers
575 views

What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C and G before different vowels?

In English the letters C and G usually have different pronunciation before a/o/u and before e/i. The same is true for Romance languages - French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian etc. What is the origin of ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
640 views

Pronunciation of Bank, Tank, etc.: Bay-nk, Ray-nk or Baen-k or Raen-k?

What is the standard US pronunciation for words such as the following: Bank Rank At least in my dialect of US English (Inland Northern), the following seem like close transcriptions: Bank: ...