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

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1answer
147 views

Words pronounced with stress patterns like in “politics”, “lunatics”, etc.?

Could anyone please give a list of words pronounced with no primary stress immediately preceding the suffix -ic, such as in "politics", "lunatic", "arithmetic"? Also, is there an absolute stress ...
35
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4answers
2k views

Why do I pronounce “horrible” so harrhibly?

With Friends Like These A few months ago, a couple good friends brought up a topic they know I disdain, and kept prodding me for my opinion on it. They wouldn't let up, until finally I proclaimed ...
0
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0answers
47 views

'O' Pronunciation

I noticed recently that my friends and I pronounce words like "forest," "orange," and "florida" differently. For example, I noticed that there seem to be three ways that people pronounce these words: ...
1
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1answer
166 views

a flap in “wedding” and “bidding”

I'm wondering if a flap occurs in "wedding", and "bidding" in American pronunciation? I can't hear it out here: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/wedding
1
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2answers
324 views

Why can't I pronounce the ŋ sound? (native English speaker)

I was wondering why it is that I'm unable to pronounce this sound. Apparently, the reason why I pronounce the words "seen" and "sing" the exact same way (as well as "long" and "lawn", "dean" and ...
0
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1answer
137 views

Is there any word in English that has the vowel “o” stands alone without any other vowel standing next to it?

See this picture (Source) See the vowel "o" I couldn't find any word in English dictionary that has vowel "o" stands alone without any other vowel standing next to it. Let say, I can see /ɡoʊ/ ...
5
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1answer
68 views

When did “legend” stop being pronounced “LEE-gend”?

Nowadays, we pronounce the word legend as "LEDGE-end" (IPA: /ˈlɛdʒənd/). But it looks like at least some people used to pronounce "legend" as "LEE-gend." In A General Dictionary of the English ...
0
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0answers
34 views

The /r/ sound in “drawing” in British English? [duplicate]

One of my pet peeves is that, in the UK, many people seem to mispronounce the word "drawing". The correct pronouciation is /ˈdrɔː.ɪŋ/. Why then, do so many people allow that /r/ to creep in to give ...
0
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0answers
52 views

vowel sound in “stair” pronounced similarly as the “eɪ” diphthong in “fake”?

Sometimes in words which have the ɛ sound followed by an "r" as in "stair", "their" "bear", "where" I hear them pronounced like "steɪəɹ", ðeɪəɹ etc. with the "eɪ" as in "fake", "lake","make" and not ...
0
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0answers
73 views

The pronunciation of the letter r in British English

For me as a german speaker, the English "r" sound is one of my most hated sounds in the English language since they're barely any other languages who use this r. I know that the British r is not ...
24
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5answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
48 views

An 'h' or a 'h' when just saying the letter? [duplicate]

I know for words starting with the letter 'h' the usage of "A" vs. "An" depends on how its pronounced. A - Before a word start­ing with a pro­nounced, breathy “h,” use “a.” Examples: A hotel; A ...
1
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0answers
70 views

“hundred” and “pretty” pronounced respectively as [ˈhən-dərd] and [ˈpər-tē]

Merriam-Webster's A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English gives [ˈhən-dərd], [ˈpər-tē], [ˈtem-pə(r)-ˌchu̇r], [ˈse-kə(r)-ˌterē], etc., as alternate ways to pronounce "hundred," "pretty," ...
1
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2answers
69 views

Pronunciation of Mid-Word American English T + D

I'm a native speaker of American English but have a very muddy sounding voice that I'm trying to improve. In my pronunciation the mid-word t/d sound, as in buddy, sweater, or under, is particularly ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

The schwa sound with word “have”

When I looked it up in the dictionary, two versions of pronunciation for word "have" was listed. hǽv and həv. hǽv is the one that I am most familiar with. But this həv with the schwa sound... when ...
0
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2answers
100 views

Pronunciation of the name, “ Leonhard Euler ”

In almost every source I know, Euler has been pronounced as /ˈȯi-lər/ . Nevertheless, in a number of books translated to other languages, it is mentioned as: /ˈjuːlər/ . I doubt in it incorrectness, ...
1
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1answer
3k views

't' pronounced as 'ch'

In some words, the pronunciation of t is actually closer to ch, as in fortune. Is this is a recognized phenomenon in English pronunciation? Does it have a name? What other prominent examples can be ...
12
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4answers
24k views

Why is “sherbet” pronounced “sherbert” so much?

This has often stumped me. Not being a world-traveler, I don't know how widespread this pronunciation is, but if anyone knows: where did the r come from?
12
votes
1answer
155 views

What accents pronounce “quarter” as “korter”? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
6
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3answers
11k views

How common is pronouncing the past tense of beat as /bet/?

Personally, I pronounce the past tense of "beat" (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound identical to the infinitive. However, I have heard a few people under the age of 30 and from either the west or ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does a silent “-e” at the end of a word lengthen vowels?

There's a common pattern in English spelling where "short" vowels are pronounced as "long" vowels with the addition of a silent "e" at the end of the word. E.g. bit → bite mat → mate pet → pete ...
5
votes
2answers
69 views

Why do nouns and verbs which are stressed differently all exhibit the same variation?

I recently stumbled upon an interesting quirk regarding words that are both nouns and verbs. They seem to all follow the same stress pattern. Here are a few examples: NOUNS I have a really long ...
0
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4answers
74 views

The pronunciation of “cult” and “coat”

I feel that they are very similar in the USA by a number of people (some other ones pronounce it like "caught"), how the native people distinguish them, if no context is given? In British English, ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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?
3
votes
1answer
184 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
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2answers
1k views

Why does the word “garage” have so many different pronunciations?

Whenever I'm teaching private students and we are faced with the word garage, I hesitate a little. Italians have borrowed the term garage, which they pronounce /gaˈraʒ/, to stand for the ...
3
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6answers
5k views
1
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1answer
107 views

Is there another way than [ɜr] to pronounce the grapheme “or” in words like “world” in AmEng?

It seems like I've lost count of the number of times that I've noticed some native speakers of American English pronounce the grapheme "or" in words like "world" as [oʊr] or [ɔr] rather than [ɜr]. ...
0
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0answers
52 views

Hard “i” Soft “i” [duplicate]

I teach ESL Conversation classes to adult learners. They know that some words have a hard "i" and some a soft "i". Once I pronounce the words for them, it is just a question of remembering. But how ...
3
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2answers
109 views

Joule Pronounced “Jowl”

In Linus Pauling's book, "General Chemistry", in one of the annotations in the first chapter, he writes the following about the word "joule": " Usually pronounced to rhyme with howl." I have not found ...
11
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5answers
12k views

Why is quixotic pronounced as it is?

Since "quixotic" was coined with Don Quixote as its basis, why is it pronounced "kwicks-OTT-ick" when it should by rights/origin be pronounced "Key-HO-tick"? It even sounds more onomatopoeiatic the ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Is there a rule for the position of the accent (stressed sound) in words ending with -ative?

For example, can declarative be pronounced similar to declaration for the accent (stressed sound)? I thought before that sometimes the position of the "accent", or the stressed sound of a word, ...
8
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2answers
445 views

What source explains the different pronunciations of “hol” in “alcohol” and “hollow”?

According to Merriam-Webster, the pronunciation of alcohol is "ˈal-kə-ˌhȯl" while the pronunciation of hollow is "ˈhä-(ˌ)lō." Why are they pronounced with different vowels? I think I've figured out ...
7
votes
3answers
565 views

Can we pronounce the 'th' sound as a d?

I know that there are two ways to pronounce the th sound. Like in the word 'then' and 'thing'. But in a lot of cases I hear it pronounced as a d sound, especially in fast speech or if it comes after ...
10
votes
3answers
239 views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

How many syllables are in “orange”?

It seems whenever orange is spoken, it is spoken as one syllable. But it appears to be two. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary transcribes the pronunciation of orange as follows: \ˈär-inj, ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
2
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1answer
523 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 ...
62
votes
9answers
8k views

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

According to Wikipedia, y’all’dn’t’ve is a valid contraction. I am having difficulty pronouncing the L-D-N-T-V consonant cluster, especially since there is no vowel at the end (silent E). ...
0
votes
4answers
126 views

How to position the tip of the tongue when pronouncing /s/ & /z/?

This website says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip of the tongue should be close to the upper backside of the top front teeth. But this video says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip ...
14
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
240 views

Do the words with non-palatalized pronunciation of g/c (“get”, “give”) always have a Germanic origin?

In English, ge/gi is sometimes pronounced as [ge]/[gi], but mostly as [dʒe]/[dʒi]. The second form is explained as palatalization in the topic What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C ...
7
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4answers
5k views

Different pronunciation between Thomas and Theodore

Disclaimer: I'm no native speaker. Thomas gets pronounced with a starting "T" (the "h" is silent), while Theodore with a "Th". What rule is followed here?
0
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0answers
28 views

Help with pronunciation: Difference between 2 variations of the “short u” sound

I really need to distinguish between the 2 variations of the short u sound (in the red box in the pic below, many dictionaries have instructions for pronunciation like this). I can understand the ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Two words in a video [closed]

I have watched this video hundreds of times but there are two words I still can't figure out what they are. They have been bugging me and I would really appreciate if anyone could let me know what ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Will we pronounce /t/ like a true T when /t/ is at beginning of a word but the syllable containing T is unstressed?

This website said The t is a regular, aspirated t sound when it is the first sound of a word or a stressed syllable A regular T is the one that is clearly aspirated. So, my question is that: ...
2
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0answers
33 views

Could you explain the differences among voiced stop, voiceless unaspirated stop & voiceless aspirated stop?

Look at this picture for explaining various mechanics of pronunciation with the vocal cords. Source: wikimedia commons I don't understand it much. Here is what I understood -voiced stop: your ...
33
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4answers
2k views

How is “deque” commonly pronounced?

deque is a standard container in the C++ programming language. Its name stands for Double Ended QUEue. I am wondering how this word should be pronounced: like deck (this is how I've pronounced it so ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Could you clarify this “Intervocalic Consonant” theory: “consonants are syllabified with the more strongly stressed of two flanking syllables.”?

There are not many questions of "Intervocalic Consonant" on Stackoverflow. Ok, I found this theory on the internet. It said: The main syllabification principle If allophonic rules are to be ...
17
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2answers
19k views

How do I know when a word with “ch” is pronounced hard or softly?

I'm hard-of-hearing, so when I read, I pronounce things phonetically because I don't hear a lot of soft sounds (like /sh/). To my surprise over the years, I've been continuously corrected on words ...