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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

22
votes
6answers
7k views

“Tortoise” and “taught us”

I’m reading Alice in Wonderland, and found the following dialogue: “The master was an old Turtle — we used to call him Tortoise—” “Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Pronunciation of “er” in “farmer” vs. “earth”

I'm confused about the difference in pronouncing "er" in words such as "farmer" and "earth". I hear them the same, but they have different phonetic symbols. Is there any difference in pronouncing "er" ...
2
votes
4answers
635 views

How to pronounce “linearly”?

As the title states, how do I pronounce the word "Linearly"? I did some Google searching on this but I was not able to find any guidance.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Are any of the t-glottolization, th-fronting, h-dropping, etc. in English a phonological complex?

Wikipedia gives the following, with plenty others ommitted by me, as some of the features of Cockney English: T-glottalisation: Use of the glottal stop as an allophone of /t/ in various ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word for “not pronouncing any r's”?

Some find it difficult to form an "r" sound, and some are able to, but just don't. I'm looking for a word which means "not pronouncing r's", without implying inability to pronounce them, though that ...
6
votes
1answer
283 views

Who says /ˈjumə/ for “humor”?

What dialect(s) pronounce humor voiced initially and non-rhotic finally (i.e., with both those features in the same dialect: the word would be pronounced something like /ˈjumə/)?
5
votes
3answers
444 views

Does “fathers” in RP exclude R and unvoice the S?

In received pronunciation, the word "father" ends in /ə/. I haven't found an IPA transcription of the plural form, and am wondering: RP being non-rhotic, is the "r" here excluded? Is the S voiced ...
-1
votes
2answers
635 views

Is 'r' in Br/Amr pronunciation of Arjmand (Persian word) silent?

Is 'r' in Br/Amr pronunciation of 'Arjmand' (Persian word) silent? (In other words, how is this word pronounced in Br/Amr English?)
11
votes
2answers
803 views

Sources say English was rhotic in the 17th century — how do they know that?

Sources say English was rhotic in most places in the 17th century. How do they know that? Obviously, we don't have any samples of recorded speech from that time.
3
votes
3answers
8k views

How Do You Pronounce “Tuesday”?

My friends have a variety of ways of pronouncing "Tuesday": Tooos-day Tyu-sday Choose-day Which one is considered correct?
0
votes
1answer
757 views

How does one pronounce /oʊ/ in /oʊvərˈsiz/ in American English?

Today when I checked the Oxford American Dictionary for the pronunciation of overseas, I got this in IPA: /oʊvərˈsiz/. According to my understanding, the /ʊ/ phoneme is pronounced o or something like ...
4
votes
4answers
66k views

How Many Diphthongs Are There In English?

I was talking to a person who said that there were only two. I think she said that the "ou" in house is one of the two. I told her that the way the letter "i" is pronounced is a diphthong, and she ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

When and why did the letter “u” begin being called [ju]?

We pronounce the name of the twenty-first letter of the alphabet homophonically with the word you. Was this what the letter was always called (ever since the analogous letter in Latin), or did it at ...
0
votes
1answer
812 views

When spelling something phonetically, how do you convey letter case? [closed]

Say you need to read someone their password over the phone and you spell it phonetically so that there is no confusion between M and N etc. Now that is straight forward but what if the password is ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Pronunciation and usage of “bona fide”

As I am reading books and articles, I come across this bona fide. How do you pronounce this? How do you use it properly? I know the definition is in good faith, like if you are welcomed to someone's ...
12
votes
2answers
463 views

Pronouncing x in the name of a CD product

I would like to know how to pronounce 48x Cd-Rw. The problem is how to pronounce the "x" in the context of computing.
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the differences in pronunciation of “borrow”, “burrow” and “burro” in American English?

What are the differences in pronunciation of "borrow", "burrow" and "burro" in American English? To me they all sound quite the same, especially when spoken quickly.
8
votes
3answers
3k views

“Key thob” and “key fob”

I've been receiving emails at work inquiring about registering our key fobs. This is slightly disturbing to me as I've always called it a key thob. An internet search for thob tells me I really mean ...
12
votes
3answers
19k views

How to pronounce “Linux” [closed]

A co-worker and I are fairly strongly divided on how to pronounce Linux. For a northern Midwest American (Milwaukee area, Wisconsin, to be exact), should it be pronounced lin-uh ks or li'nuks? ...
-3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you pronounce “O'Nions”?

I'm going to a talk by Keith O'Nions and I'm wondering how to pronounce his name. Oh neons? Onions?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

The pronunciation of 'Aryan'

An (English) acquaintance of mine pronounces the word Aryan as /ˈɛːrɪən/ (~Aerian). I have only ever heard it pronounced /ˈɑːryən/ (~Aaryun). I have it on good authority that the word comes from ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there /ɔ/ and /ʌ/ sounds in informal American English?

I read a book about American English. It reports that, in standard informal conversations, American English doesn't use the /ɔ/ sound; it uses the /ɑ/ sound and /ʌ/ and /ə/ are not different. Are they ...
3
votes
1answer
555 views

pronunciation: question about dictionary phonetic symbol

I was looking up the word "meditative", and in one dictionary, the fourth letter "i" is pronounced "ə", but in another dictionary it is pronounced "ɪ". I don't know which phonetic symbol I should ...
7
votes
6answers
30k views

Proper/official pronunciation of “conch”

A moment ago on Mr. Sunshine, Matthew Perry pronounced the end of a conch shell as in church. I learned it as being pronounced with a k sound. On WikiPedia, both are listed as pronunciations, but on ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

“ē” and “iː”: I want a tutorial

My English textbook use “iː”, and I find some online dictionaries use “ē”. Where can I find information about this phonics system?
4
votes
2answers
418 views

What is retraction in pronunciation?

As in: [I]n English /t, d, n, l/ are retracted before /r/. [emphasis added] —Wikipedia, “Allophone”
2
votes
2answers
744 views

How to pronounce “derivative” in the phrase “f ′ is a derivative of f ”?

How should I pronounce derivative in the phrase “f ′ is a derivative of f ”? Should I read it as [dɪˈrɪv.ə.tɪv] or [dɪˈrɪv.ɪ.tɪv]? I have heard it as [dɪˈrɪv.ə.tɪv] in this context, but Cambridge ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“The /ðə/ United States” or “The /ðiː/ United States”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of “the”? How to correctly pronounce the the in The United States? Is it the the that’s pronounced /ðə/, or is it the the that’s ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

What's the name of this pronunciation guide

In dictionaries I see two guides for pronunciation. for example, for the word "ambiguity":  [am-bi-gyoo-i-tee] AND /ˌæmbɪˈgyuɪti/ I know the second one is named IPA. My question is, is there a ...
1
vote
3answers
209 views

How should the first “o” in “operator” be pronounced?

I've always been taught that a vowel before a double consonant following another vowel should have a short sound. Conversely, there are many situations where a vowel preceding a single consonant and ...
0
votes
1answer
540 views

What are some good ideas to practice /s/ sound in conversation? [closed]

I have been learning English for seven months. I know the basic grammar rules of final /s/, for example, she like*s* ..., he love*s* ..., and so on. In Thai language, we don't have /s/, /k/, /t/, and ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is “Chop Gate” pronounced so strangely?

I was passing through the hamlet of Chop Gate (in North Yorkshire) the other day, and heard it referred to as "chop yat" (tʃɒp yæt). This source here concurs with that pronunciation. Does anyone know ...
5
votes
1answer
533 views

words pronounced with their letters reversed

Why are some words pronounced as though their letters were reversed? For example, why is bible pronounced “buy-bel” and not “bib-lee”, or Favre pronounced “far-vuh” and not “fav-rah”?
1
vote
1answer
574 views

Is there a software that can help my speech and grammar [closed]

Is there a software that can help me to improve my speech and grammar?...like learning the past participle,present participle and etc...also in constructing the sentences...or if there is no software ...
8
votes
2answers
763 views

“Non-rhotic” is to R-droppers as “non-?????” is to L-droppers

Certain speakers of English have a tendency to “drop” L’s that occur after a vowel but before another consonant, as in balm, calm, golf, gulf, palm, wolf, and many more. Often these aren’t ...
-1
votes
2answers
889 views

How to pronounce 3:1 ratio? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I pronounce “ratio 1:1”? What is the correct pronunciation of 3:1 (as a ratio)? I know this might be simple enough to be answered by any native ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I pronounce “ratio 1:1”?

How do I pronounce "ratio 1:1"? Should I pronounce it "ratio 1 to 1"?
8
votes
1answer
513 views

What does the phonetic symbol after the comma mean here?

I was checking the Pronunciation of enshrine from ODO which lists: Pronunciation: /ɪnˈʃrʌɪn, ɛn-/ Does it mean that there are two different accepted pronunciations?
3
votes
1answer
734 views

Pronunciation of voiced “th” triggers a consonant shift of “d” and “r”

There is a class of words, mainly such as the, this, that, these, those, though, although, then, there, thus, the archaic thou, thee, thy, thine, thyself, thence; which I always find myself ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Intonation in the phrase “How are you?”

From native English speakers I often hear the phrase "How are you?" intonated differently. Sometimes the word "are" is stressed, and sometimes the word "you" is. What is the difference between these ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

When do we pronounce “the” as “the” and when as “thi” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of “the?” I am not from the UK or the US, English is not my mother tongue. I pronounce "the" as "the" (with e sounding like the ...
3
votes
2answers
198 views

How to pronounce acronyms with apostrophes?

Simple question: How do you pronounce acronyms when they're used with apostrophe to express possession? For example: In the NIH's high-risk, high-reward programmes, “if an idea isn't developing ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the correct spelling of the Arabic name سعد in English?

I need help in how to spell the Arabic name (سعد). I previously asked the question Sa'ad : Correct spelling in English and French; however, it got closed. I added a youtube video describing how ...
7
votes
2answers
983 views

When does the name prefix “Mc” take stress?

Mc (or Mac) is often used as a prefix in Gaelic-derived names. In one class containing most such names, prefixing Mc does not affect the position of the accent somewhere on the base name. Thus Mc is ...
3
votes
2answers
593 views

What is the word for obtaining a rhyme by mispronouncing a word using a regional dialect?

Take the lyrics: ... Now he lives in the islands Fishing the pilin's (instead of pilings) ... Is there a word that means to alter the pronunciation to achieve a rhyme (in song)?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How to explain accent variations to students

I am an ESL teacher working in China. During lessons, I am occasional interrupted by students or parents who point out that my pronunciation of some words is incorrect. They then produce a dictionary ...
8
votes
2answers
502 views

History of pronunciation of “moiety”

Wiktionary shows the pronunciation of moiety as /ˈmɔɪ.ə.ti/, which I think agrees with the audio versions at merriam-webster.com and howjsay.com. (Be warned that both those links produce audio when ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you pronounce “Gross”? [closed]

Is it "graws" or "grohs"? I've heard it pronounced both ways. Is it differently pronounced in American and British English? My guess is that it is.
1
vote
1answer
903 views

How do native speakers guess the pronunciation of a word that they've never seen before? [closed]

How do native speakers guess the pronunciation of a word that they've never seen before ? Is there a general rule for that ? For example, someone said : Words that end in -ic or -tion will be ...
2
votes
5answers
654 views

How to pronunce the suffix “-less”

I know how to pronounce less. But in words with the suffix -less, it sometimes sounds like /lis/, other times like /les/. Which is true?