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

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5
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5answers
6k views

What's the correct pronunciation of “Israel”?

From Google I have gathered there are several ways for pronounce Israel, I have pronounced it is-rye-el. From googling it some seem to indicate it acceptable and another says it is vulgar and should ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Thrown by 'a broncho.' Or is it a 'bronco'? Or a 'bronc'?

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, first edition (1908) has this entry for broncho: Broncho (brŏn´kō), n. {Sp. bronco rough, wild.} A native or a Mexican horse of small size. {Western U.S.} Four ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a regional preference for accenting the first syllable in “finance” vs. the second syllable?

I accent the first syllable in "finance", but I have a colleague who accents the second syllable. The debate in my office (which is strictly American) now falls between people who say accenting the ...
6
votes
4answers
670 views

Why do people often say 'hambag' for 'handbag'?

Edit The comments here are full of disbelievers! "I've never heard handbag pronounced that way. Which country are you from?" Oh ye of little faith! So - I've attached a couple of examples here ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What do they say in a linked video? (5 words)

A video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUVvDM0tIjU Now parts I'm not getting: 0:21 'till my father was (?). I've been so (?) for quite...' 2:09 '...a shift from (?) enlighting to...' 2:21 ...
1
vote
1answer
111 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
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Pronunciation of “compact” across English dialects, when used as different parts of speech

Googling suggests that compact has the stress on the last syllable when used as an adjective and on the first syllable when used as a noun. Is this common for all English dialects or are there ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

The mysterious, unenunciated “w” in the “-wich” of English place names

Doing some reading lately, I've been pondering the strange pronunciations of English place names — namely, that of the 'w' in the "–wich" suffix, which, as I understand it, is not ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

Why do we say “archenemy” differently from “archangel” and “architecture”?

Like other words that start with "arch-", archenemy is partly derived from arkhi or arkhos from the Greek (Wikipedia), meaning chief. But why is it said differently, using a "ch" sound, from ...
1
vote
3answers
49 views

How do you pronounce ACoA? [closed]

How should I pronounce ACoA - the acronym standing for Adult Children of Alcoholics?
3
votes
2answers
153 views

Should the IPA of the word “conscious” be /ˈkɑːnʃəs/ or /ˈkɑːntʃəs/?

Ok, see the word "conscious" has the IPA /ˈkɑːnʃəs/ in the Oxford Learner's Dictionary However, when you listen clearly, you will feel like it should be /ˈkɑːntʃəs/ not /ˈkɑːnʃəs/. So it should read ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Is it true that only unstressed words in a sentence, which have H at the beginning of the words, will be dropped in American English?

Is it true that only unstressed words in a sentence, which have H at the beginning of the words, will be dropped in American English? Off course, these H words will not be the beginning of the ...
1
vote
4answers
183 views

Pronunciation Feedback Required

Did I pronounce the phrase "I'm gonna be gone for five weeks" correctly? https://clyp.it/oobrogbu Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm gɑnə bɪ gɔn fər faɪv wiks]. I have no idea which words should I ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

Is effect pronounced as /ɪˈfekt/ or as /əˈfekt/?

This page ( https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/effect ) lists it as /əˈfekt/ for American English, but when you click on the pronounce button it is pronounced as /ɪˈfekt/. ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Are there rules for pronunciation of words ending in “-ton”?

Here are 4 words ending in "_ton": Proton - /ˈprəʊ.tɒn/ Cotton - /ˈkɑt.n̩/ Mutton - /ˈmʌtn̩/ Wanton - /ˈwɒntən/ Even though the words end in -ton, the pronunciation varies. ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Why do the first and last “t” in “taste” sound different?

When I listened to the audio pronunciation of "taste" /teɪst/, I noticed that the first and last "t" sound different: the first "t" sounds like [tʰ] while the second one sounds more like [tsʰ]. Words ...
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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Might use help transcribing a sentence

Could someone please help me with the following: What are man's words from 1:13 time mark to 1:16 in this video: How Were the Pyramids Built? I'm making subtitles for that video, so I'd really like ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Has there ever been “ 'tis ” in AmE?

'Tis which is the contraction of it is. I heard it was contracted due to the way it's pronounced--the accent; because the accent is at the T. So, just wondering if AmE uses this 'tis, where T's tend ...
0
votes
4answers
9k 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.
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it affected to pronounce the “h” in wh- words such as “what”?

Almost no one does it except professors and cosmopolitans. Though some books will say that "what" should be pronounced "hwutt" and not "wutt", is it really recommended for us, the common folk, to ...
8
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Pronunciation of “Personally” and “Finally”

I always hear people say "personly" and "finely" instead of "personally" and "finally" when they speak. I wonder whether this reduction can apply to other words ending with "-nally"? Just like ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Pronunciation of double G: soft “gg” versus hard “gg”

When I was a student, I was taught double G is normally hard, as in "agglomerate", "aggregate", "foggy", "aggressive", "dagger", "trigger", "niggard", "doggerel", etc, the exceptions being ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Difference in pronunciation between “your” and “you're”?

I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Did I hear rightly – “Shiite Houthis are stated in to return the President to office.”

The answer would be very likely "No." I’ve been listening to AP Radio news, and heard the news of May 15 reporting the outcome of cease-fire negotiation between Saudi-led forces and Shiite Houthis as ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

T- and D-flapping when at start of word preceded by vowel

It seems to me that the "d" is flapped in "I don't know" in American English. Am I right? If I am, I'm wondering if t/d is always flapped at the begining of the word when it is preceded by a vowel? ...
20
votes
6answers
103k views

How is “æ” supposed to be pronounced?

The Encyclopædia Brittanica still uses the symbol "æ". However, I still hear everyone pronounce it as "Encyclo pee dia", when their spelling suggests more along the lines of "Encyclo pah dia" or ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is 'worthy' pronounced with a /ði/ unlike 'healthy', 'wealthy' and 'stealthy'?

I don't know how 'worthy' came to be pronounced with a /ði/ whereas 'healthy', 'wealthy', 'stealthy' etc., are pronounced with a /θi/. I am aware that theories of pronunciation in English are far too ...
3
votes
2answers
365 views

Proper pronunciation of ordinal numbers?

Ok, so these few are easy: 1st (first) 2nd (second) 3rd (third) 4th (fourth) ...... And all other ordinal numbers ending in 1, 2 or 3 have their respective values, except ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Should I use the weak or the strong form in this sentence for the word “as”?

"Went straight up as if from a factory" <---- for the word "as" in this sentence should I say it like /æz/ or like /əz/ ?
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 ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

When do I pronounce a non-existent “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?

If I say two words consecutively, with the first ending in a vowel sound and the second starting with one, when is it correct to include a non-existent r between those two words? Examples from ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant

Is there a word for exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant by holding it longer than normal? When conveying this in writing, does it fall in the same category as an accent or dialect ...
-2
votes
1answer
48 views

Specifically, what makes some words harder to spell, pronounce, and remember?

Edit: I apologize if my question lacks research effort, and is neither clear nor useful. Perhaps if you could tell me why this is in conjunction with your downvote, the quality of my post might be ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “is there” in fast speech?

I'm not a native speaker of English, and I was recently puzzled with the question, "How can Americans put their tongue in z (is) position and then change to th (there) in such short time?" May you ...
6
votes
2answers
95 views

Winged or Wingèd?

Okay.. here is the problem: In a certain story I am writing, I have a place called the "Winged Lion Inn" which serves as a locus for several story-related events. I have a friend that insists it ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Why are these spellings pronounced “non phonetically?”

In Anglo English, the word ewe (female sheep) is pronounced "you," rather than, say, "e-weh." Likewise, the surname Ewell, is pronounced "yule," rather than "e-well." Why is that?
3
votes
2answers
151 views

Pronunciation of “I'm going to”

I'm not a native English speaker but I've recently moved to the US. I've been noticing that when people say "I'm going to" (or I'm gonna), a lot of people here always pronounce it like "I muh-nuh", so ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

What do you call “rhymes” which are spelt but not sounded the same way?

Here is an example from T. S. Eliot: And even the Abstract Entities Circumambulate her charm; But our lot crawls between dry ribs To keep our metaphysics warm. I expect most people would say ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

How to pronounce “p” in “hospital” and why?

I've pronounced "p" in "hospital" as "p" for many years and just noticed that some people pronounced it as "b". Please refer to http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/british/hospital and ...
-1
votes
1answer
83 views

Mischievous pronounced (mis-CHEEV-ee-us) [closed]

I'm getting sick of hearing some people pronouncing the word mischievous (mis-CHEEV-ee-us) when there's no I between the V and the O. It's a three-syllable word pronounced (MIS-chiv-us). Why do some ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Pronunciation of Korea and Career

Are the pronunciations of the two words identical? Korea v.s. Career
3
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I pronounce “can't” with a British accent without it rhyming with “punt” or “paint”?

How do I pronounce "can't" with a British accent without it rhyming with "punt" or "paint"?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Syllable Count for Apparent Monosyllabic Words

How many syllables are there in "child," "wild," and field"? If we look at the dictionary, it will tell us that these are monosyllabic words. There appear, however, to be diphthongs in each of these ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Pronunciation of 'Arguable'

I know that the proper pronunciation of 'arguable' is /ɑr gju ə bəl/. I do not doubt. But it often bothers me when reading this word, that it somehow sounds like 'argu r able'. While not sure, I ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

'What are you' and 'what do you': same pronunciation in AmE…?

The ELL question Do Americans pronounce 'are' as 'do' in 'what are waiting for?' brought to my attention something I've not noticed before. In normal conversational (or faster) speech, it seems What ...
4
votes
2answers
225 views

Is there any English word starting with “gh” and “gh” is not pronounced as /ɡ/?

Gh is a digraph in English (and in some other languages). In English, you can see it at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the word. If ⟨gh⟩ is not at the beginning of the word, it is ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Why are “suffice” and “sufficient” pronounced so differently?

Today I heard somebody use a form of the verb "suffice" (which means "to be sufficient") pronouncing it like the verb "surface" without an r (and where that "a" makes more of an "i" sound). This ...