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

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2
votes
3answers
412 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 "ding,...
0
votes
1answer
174 views

Is there any word in English where the sound /o/ stands alone without being part of a diphthong?

See this picture (Source) See the vowel "o"? I couldn't find any word in the English dictionary that has the sound /o/ alone without being part of a diphthong. For example, in /ɡoʊ/ (go), the /ʊ/ ...
-1
votes
2answers
70 views

If a word has multiple pronunciations, how do I know which one is more commonly used? [closed]

When I tried to remember English words, I met some words that has multiple pronunciations, how do I know which one is more commonly used? Or should I remember them all? For example, prospect, as verb ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How do I pronounce the combination of a regnal name/number and a dynasty name?

I know how to pronounce a regnal name with a regnal number after it, like Elizabeth I ("Elizabeth the First") or Charles IV ("Charles the Fourth"). But sometimes I see the regnal name/number followed ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Pronunciation of a made up company name called 'logeek' with domain 'logeek.ly' [closed]

I wanted to ask how native speakers find this made up company name, is it conveying any message to you? I wanted to merge words 'logically' and 'geek' into one. I wonder if you, as native speakers, ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

The indefinite article – does local pronunciation change when I should use a/an [closed]

I have a question about how different pronunciation of words and how this affects the use of indefinite articles. My example is the technical abbreviation URL, meaning "uniform resource location". A ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I pronounce the name “Aurelius”?

I was reading a book out-loud and came across this name. At the time, I pronounced it Aurelius: ur-ell-ee-us The more I think about it, the more I'm sure it is not correct. The word Aura would ...
20
votes
6answers
9k views

Dialects where days of the week end with “dee”?

Someone recently posted a question about the pronunciation of Wednesday, which reminded me of a different question about pronouncing the days of the week I've had floating around in my head for a ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Pronunciation difference between “Mayonnaise” & “Vase”

I've seen quite many people pronounce "Mayonnaise" with "-s" at the end, although its phonetic alphabet is written as '/meɪəneɪz/'. So at first I thought /eɪ/ + s could be versatile as /eɪs/ or /eɪz/, ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Are there any other words that are spelled with “a” but pronounced with /e/ like many, any?

Are there any other words that are spelled with "a" but pronounced with the standard phoneme /e/ in Received Pronunciation like many, any? Exceptions: derivatives of any (anything, anyone, anytime, ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

The X in Xavier

The NOAD lists the pronunciation of Xavier as (ig)ˈzāvēər. In my own experience the parenthetical pronunciation is very common. I, however, do not know of any other x-initial words that are vowel-...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

Why is /ɪŋk/ used with “ink” words when the actual pronunciation is /iːŋk/?

SOURCES 1) Words correctly coded /iː/ sound for "i" a) routine /ruːˈtiːn/ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/routine b) machine /məˈʃiːn/ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/machine 2) Words correctly ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Pronounciation of “nominal” in American English

I heard the term "nominal" pronounced by a native speaker of American English and I realised that it was different from the usual British pronounciation. I checked in online dictionaries and I ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

The pronunciation of the name “Hinds”

As far as I know, the pronunciation of the name "Hinds" is /haindz/. Is there another way to pronounce this word? Many thanks for considering my request.
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Pronouncing 4.5 meters [closed]

What is the right way to pronounce 4.5 meters? Is it Four point five meters. or Four meters point five.
6
votes
1answer
99 views

Why isn't the ‘P’ in psychology pronounced? [duplicate]

Why is the initial letter of some of the words like pneumonia, and psychology not pronounced?
1
vote
2answers
52 views

N or AND in pronunciation

Can I say «n» instead «and»? Example: I like apples n pears.
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Where is the stress in the word “commenting”?

Where is the stress placed in the word commenting? Is it on the first or the second syllable? How do you pronounce it?
2
votes
2answers
12k views

The difference between ''cringy'' and ''cringey'' [closed]

Can anyone explain to me the difference between these two words? I looked up them in a dictionary but I find the both meanings to be quite similar. Also, is there any difference in their pronuncation?...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

How to pronounce Ouroboros?

When i first came across the name Ouroboros it was in Fullmetal Alchemist referring to the tattoos that the Homunculi; I was watching the Dub so it was pronounced in English as Or-Ro-Bo-Ros. However ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Shakespeare's Scansion: the Sequel

Okay, so we seem to have established (with lots of great and generous help from StoneyB and Peter Shor) that: where it came to certain diphthongs, Shakespeare either elided syllables that didn't ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Isn't a “gonner” or “gonna” slang for a person about to die?

(I think this "blank" moment of mine is what is called in AmEng a brain fart, so be it) Isn't ‘a gonner/gonna’ slang for a person who is about to die? It's said in situations where, potentially, ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is “busy” pronounced “bizzy”?

Of all the ways I could come up with to pronounce the word "busy", "bizzy" would be very low on my list. At least "bussy" or "boosy". Why "bizzy"?
2
votes
2answers
129 views

'café' pronunciation

I've found recently a second variant of pronunciation of 'cafe' word: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cafe. The usual one is /ˈkafeɪ/ ˈkæ-'fay But the OD link gives this too: /...
7
votes
1answer
174 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 there'...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Are “dual” and “duel” necessarily homophones?

The pronunuciation of the words dual and duel is generally given in dictionaries as /ˈd(j)uːəl/. Thus the two words are homophones. However, saying these words to myself, I think I detect a slight ...
4
votes
1answer
226 views

Adele's pronunciation - Can't recognise some sounds in 'Rolling in the Deep'

I've listened to Rolling in the deep many times. But I still can't hear the words being pronounced, even when I know what they are. Think of me in the depths of your despair . In "in the depths ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Why does /tər/ (/ˈdɑːktər/ doctor or /ˈsɪstər/ sister) in American Accent sound like /trə/?

I feel like /tər/ (/ˈdɑːktər/ doctor or /ˈsɪstər/ sister) in American Accent sound like /trə/. I couldn't find this info on the internet. It seems that when we curl up the blade of the tongue too ...
5
votes
3answers
25k views

“Ph” for the /f/ sound; Is Old English responsible for this swap?

Is Old English responsible for creating the /f/ sound from ph, as in Philip, Pharoah, Physics, Sophia, etc? Many European countries keep the f for all of their /f/-sounding letters, as in Sofia and ...
-1
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is Levi's pronounced the way it is? [closed]

Why is Levi's pronounced "lee vice" instead of the more logical "levies", i.e. belonging to Levi? Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFfmXl9NJP0
-4
votes
4answers
3k views

It's not proper.. no such thing as “unseeming(ing)ly”? [closed]

I'll keep it simple, as I've learned - the hard way - that schtick does NOT go over well, around here. So.... unseemly |ˌənˈsēmlē| adj. (of behavior or actions) not proper or appropriate: an ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Any website to look up words with similar pronunciation or spelling?

Is there any website(s) to look up words with similar pronunciation or spelling? For example: stack, steak, stake, stick. (It can help me as a non-native English speaker to learn confusing words.)
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do some people pronounce “singer” as “singGer”?

I teach English to elementary students in Korea. One day, I noticed an African American female teacher pronounce the word,"singer" differently- "sinGer" , a strong G-sound. Is it common in America? ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

“zh” vs. “j”. Are these pronounced in the same way?

I've seen some Chinese words like "YUEZHONG". Also in some other languages like Persian and Arabic I've seen words written with "zh". Are these two sounds pronounced in the same way? Is there any word ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

How do I know if I have the Northern Cities Vowel Shift?

I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, where (according to Wikipedia and other sources), many speakers have something called the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (NCS). So I'm trying to figure out if I'm one of them. ...
35
votes
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 "[...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Is there a correct pronunciation for the word “idempotent”?

In mathematics, we like talking about idempotent matrices. In a masters program that I am currently enrolled in, I have heard one professor pronounce it one way, and another professor pronounce it ...
1
vote
3answers
525 views

Why do “bomb” and “tomb” have different pronunciations?

For example, "womb" comes from old English, whereas "bomb" and "tomb" come from old French. I'm not sure what import etymology has on pronounciation, but I was just wondering if there is any reason in ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Kiwi (New Zealand) Pronunciation of “Moscow”

So I was watching some Flight of the Conchords just a moment ago (classic), and they're from New Zealand. In one of their songs, they said "Moscow". I'd assumed that Kiwis would say it "Mos-co" (like "...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
2
votes
4answers
939 views

How to pronounce miracle?

I ask this because I recently had a debate with my family about how to pronounce this word, miracle. They said it was pronounced with the "mir" in miracle the same way "mir" is in mirror. (/ˈmɪɹəkəl/)....
6
votes
1answer
56 views

Pronouncing the definite article

The definite article is mostly pronounced 'thuh' before a noun beginning with a consonant (thuh chair), and 'thee' in front of a noun beginning with a vowel (thee apple). Question 1: what is the name ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

IPA phonetic not phonemic database for english or polish language

Does anyone know place where I could download free or buy database with words and theirs pronunciations in IPA phonetic (not phonemic) and with division into syllables? CMU Dictionary hasn't stored ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “xeno-”

I actually want to present this question in two parts: 1) First of all, xenos comes from ξένος. Nevertheless, it is pronounced with "z" instead of "ks" (/ks/). How come? 2) Let's take the word "...
0
votes
4answers
11k views

Pronunciation of “McLeod”

How do we pronounce the Gaelic name McLeod? Does any Gaelic name have a specific pronunciation? For the continental European it is a real nightmare.
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Anne Boleyn had a brother called Tenpin

Anne Boleyn had a brother called Tenpin Can someone explain this joke? It probably has some sort of colloquial meaning I'm missing or some way of pronunciation that makes it funny. I've found this ...
5
votes
2answers
765 views

Pronunciation of the prefix “tri”

I know that English pronunciation is rather arbitrary. There are still some "rules" that even with many exceptions are useful for non-natives like me. I'm puzzled about the pronunciation of the very ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Is day-ta more common in the South or the North of the US?

So I've read that dah-ta is more common in the US than in other places, but is day-ta or dah-ta more common to hear in the South? I haven't been able to find that out for sure.
0
votes
3answers
62 views

'Controversy' Pronunciation [closed]

May I please ask whether there is a definitive as to whether the word should be pronounced 'contr-o-versy', or 'contro-versy', as this has baffled me for years! There appears to be a difference in ...