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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

2
votes
1answer
79 views

Inability to pronounce certain variation of the letter “T” in a word

I have a problem where in I am unable to pronounce certain words which has the letter "T" correctly. Is there a term that defines this problem. It would help me in my future conversations with people ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

How to pronounce 'almond' in American English

I cannot count how many times I was told and/or made fun of my allegedly incorrect pronunciation of almond. Every single one of my attempted pronunciations has been 'corrected'; even the so-called ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

Pronunciation of /ə/ followed by /r/ in words such as “history”, “accelerate”, “memorize”, etc.

For the word "history", every dictionary that I have consulted gives the pronunciation as /ˈhɪs tə ri/. However, my personal pronunciation of the word has always been /ˈhɪs tər i/, and for me this ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Is there a connection between the words “illicit” and “elicit”?

The words "illicit" and "elicit" seem to be spelled and pronounced similarly, although their meanings appear different. Is this a coincidence or is there a connection between the two words?
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Should I pronounce is ksenia or zenia?

Xenia is from what I understand a directly borrowed word from Greek. It didn't come through french first or anything, so I see no reason to pronounce is 'z'enia. Why not pronounce as it would be ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

“Kweh-ree” vs. “ Kwee-ree”: which is the more common pronunciation of “query”?

I just watched the Vsauce video "The net is not the web" and heard Michael saying query as kweh-ree. That surprised me since I've always said kwee-ree. So I looked this up on Wiktionary and it seems ...
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
0answers
52 views

origin of the word “Persia”? [closed]

I did some search but only found the following about the origin of the word "Persia" - from Latin Persia "Persia," from Greek Persis, from Old Persian Parsa (cf. Persian Fars, Hebrew Paras, Arabic ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

How to pronounce the names of supersymmetric partner particles of fermions

The names of supersymmetric partner particles of fermions are formed by s- + the name of the normal particle. E.g.: sparticle sfermion squark sup sdown scharm sstrange stop sbottom slepton ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Why are there silent letters? [duplicate]

Why do we put letters in some words which are silent in pronunciation? If they make no sound then why we waste space in words? For example: "Knife"; 'K' is silent "Doubt"; 'b' is silent etc.
6
votes
2answers
350 views

Should I pronounce little as ['lit(ə)l] or ['lid(ə)l]

I guess some people may give a down-vote to my silly question, but I still want to make it clear, at least for myself. Since English is not my first language, I watch a lot of online videos learn the ...
2
votes
2answers
132 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: /...
0
votes
0answers
28 views
2
votes
3answers
533 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Pronunciation of the word “helmet”

Which pronunciation is correct? If both, which one is used more commonly? /ˈhelmɪt/ or /ˈhelmət/
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Why is the word “Cyrillic” pronounced with a soft “c”?

Why is the word "Cyrillic" pronounced with a soft "c" at the start of the word, when the pronunciation of the word in Russian and Mongolian sounds more like a hard "c"?
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Pronouncing the letter z [duplicate]

The letter z is often pronounced as zee. How do we know when to pronounce z as zed or zee ?
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Self conscious when pronouncing “R's”

I remember taking special reading classes in 5th and 6th grade for this, but basically I have trouble pronouncing words that use the letter 'r'. I don't really know why this is as I am fine with all ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Why /t/ after /k/ sometimes is pronounced like a mild aspirated T but sometimes is pronounced like unaspirated T?

See this word: doctor /ˈdɑːktər/, the /t/ in this case seems to be like a mild aspirated T (that is there may have a bit air coming out of your mouth) Source. But expected /ɪkˈspektɪd/, the /t/ in ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Is there a word for knowing the definition, but not the pronunciation of a word?

The word chimera for example. When encountered for the first time in a book, it comes with a description of the beast. There is however no help on its pronunciation. So in your mind, you may ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Why in the song “I miss you” by Blink-182, the singer pronounces something like “yad” instead of “head”? [closed]

In the phrase "You're already the voice inside my head", the pronunciation the singer uses for "head" is bit confusing, I was wondering if it was a "slang" or other particular way of pronunciation of ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

pronunciation of Ammonoids and Trilobites [closed]

How do you pronounce ammonoids and trilobites? These are ancient sea creatures.
-3
votes
1answer
93 views

Correct pronunciation of the word “Radchaai” [closed]

I'm currently reading the wonderful novel "Ancillary Justice" by Ann Leckie, and there's a political force who's name is "Radch" and everything that belongs to them is said to be "Radchaai", like "...
0
votes
0answers
52 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: ...
0
votes
0answers
35 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
votes
0answers
63 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
votes
1answer
160 views

Which words have a long vowel before the suffix -ic?

In many cases in English, vowels followed by a single consonant are pronounced short (also called lax) when followed by the suffix -ic or -ical, even if they are long in other related words. Some ...
0
votes
0answers
87 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
151 views

Letter 'Z' pronounced as 'Izzard' : how widespread and where?

I read at Which is the correct way to refer to the letter "Z" — "Zee" or "Zed"? that the letter Z is pronounced : 'Izzard' (/ˈɪzərd/) in Scottish English. as ...
1
vote
0answers
78 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," "...
3
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
80 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
111 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, ...
0
votes
4answers
82 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
86 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
117 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]. ...
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 "[...
0
votes
0answers
53 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
votes
2answers
123 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 ...
62
votes
9answers
9k 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). Y’all’dn’t’...
0
votes
0answers
35 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
37 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Could you list all stops & continuants?

See this youtube video at 17:18, the lady said that: for the stops, we can't prolong the sound for the continuants, we can prolong the sound as long as we still have air in our lungs. So,...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Was “pronunshiation” ever a common pronunciation of “pronunciation”?

I came across an old prescriptive pronunciation guide from 1843 that says "pronunciation" ought to be pronounced "pronunshiation" (with /ʃi/ instead of /si/). The author says that the pronunciation ...