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

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3
votes
1answer
1k views

Pronunciation of “Nevada” [closed]

People in the state of Nevada insist that it should be pronounced /nəˈvædə/ (with the vowel of TRAP)—this "issue" always comes up during campaigns—while much of the country typically pronounces it /...
2
votes
5answers
593 views

Pronunciation difference between “cycle” and “psycho”

When I speak English, I can't tell the difference between cycle and psycho, I pronounce them the same. And it's not only cycle vs. psycho; when words end in -le or -o, I always confusee them. How to ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Retroflex approximants in AE dialects

While looking up the best way to describe the aboriginal pronunciation of Uluru (/uluɻu/), I stumbled across retroflex approximants. The linked Wikipedia page states: The retroflex approximant ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is “str” sometimes pronounced as “shtr”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pronunciation of voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ as ʃ (/sh/) in slang? My understanding was that the cluster "str", for example in "stress", is usually pronounced /stɹɛs/, ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

Is there a term or short description for an accent you “can't place”?

Some examples of this might be Standard American English (though this may still be tied to geography) or, more likely, Received Pronunciation. The speaker's language doesn't have to be English, of ...
0
votes
1answer
919 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
13k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Where is “Wednesday” pronounced “Wedinzday”?

I recently heard a BBC radio announcer pronounce "Wednesday" in a peculiar way. The 'd' wasn't dropped, resulting in something like "Wedinzday" (wɛdnzde). I've read some Scottish dialects use this ...
6
votes
1answer
338 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/)?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why “me” instead of “my” in pirate speech?

I don’t understand the usage in constructions like “Spare meself, me ship, me crew” in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Is it a dialect or “bloody pirate’s speech” or what?
2
votes
1answer
236 views

Waiteen for waiting

While it's reasonably common for people to drop the g in words such as waiting, hating, and dating, I seem to be stumbling upon a number of Americans additionally drawing out the final syllable of ...
12
votes
2answers
471 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.
4
votes
5answers
98k views

How do we differentiate long vowels from short vowels in English

I was finding a school for my toddler. I saw this new theory called long vowels and short vowels The teacher talk about apple, which she read something like "eiple" and the hat, which she claims use ...
-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?
4
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

How to read parentheses equation [closed]

I have problems with reading mathematical equations in which there are parentheses; could anybody help me? For example: (x−a) (x+b) = 5 (x−a) + 2 (a+10) = z 2 + (10−a) d =...
4
votes
2answers
551 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
771 views

Does a second meaning of “Hypotenuse” exist?

I've recently read this joke: You may be right, Pythagoras, but everyone’s going to laugh if you call it a “hypotenuse”. Does "hypotenuse" have a second meaning? What's funny about the word? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
615 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
627 views

What is retraction in pronunciation?

As in: [I]n English /t, d, n, l/ are retracted before /r/. [emphasis added] —Wikipedia, “Allophone”
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Regional pronunciation of “calliope”?

I’m watching Auction Kings and a lady from Atlanta (who does not have much of a southern US accent) is putting a calliope up for auction. What caught my attention was the way she pronounce it: /...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What was going on with “quha”, “quhat” and the like in Scots and English?

From the Dictionar o the Scots Leid: Quha, Quhay, interrog. and rel. pron. Also: qwha, qha, qua, qwa, wha, vha, hua; qhaa; quhaw; quhai qwhay, whay, quay; quhae, whae; quhe, quhey, qwhey. [...
7
votes
2answers
534 views

Pronunciation of “-thwaite”

Planning a trip to Huddersfield the other day, I happened across the nearby villages of Linthwaite (pronounced lin-fit) and Slaithwaite (pronounced slow-it, or slaw-it depending who you ask). Thinking ...
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
129 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
993 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
296 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
355 views

Pronunciation of 'Superman'

How do you pronounce the word, Superman? For example the pronunciation of man seems equal in American and British English. But this is not the case for Superman. It seems that in American English, it ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Pronunciation of “Einstein”

Why is Einstein pronounced with a s instead of sh, while the ei is pronounced ine? This looks inconsistent.
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
661 views

Why is service pronounced the way it is?

Why is service pronounced the way it is and not like device even though the last 4 letters of the words are identical? I would think that if they end the same way, the same pronunciation rules should ...
0
votes
1answer
594 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
786 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.
5
votes
1answer
636 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”?
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Looking for a minimal triple

I am looking for a minimal triple for a particular set of phonemes. By minimal triple, I mean three actual English words that differ in one and only one phoneme between them. Examples therefore ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any shorter pronunciation of W than double-U?

When spelling, every letter in the Alphabet is pronounced by a single syllable, with the only exception of W being pronounced "double-U". (Fun fact, in German it's approximately pronounced like the "...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

How do you pronounce “Lowe” in “Lowe's”

How do you pronounce "Lowe" in "Lowe's", the home improvement store in U.S.? How is it pronounced when it is in a person's name? Is it pronounced in the same way?
1
vote
1answer
642 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

Any rule for pronouncing “e”?

I hear three different sounds for the letter e in precious, bean, and Peru. Is there a rule that covers the different pronunciations that a written letter e can represent in speech?
8
votes
2answers
876 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
626 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?
-1
votes
2answers
1k 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 speaker ...
3
votes
1answer
818 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Rules for removing last vowel when adding “-able”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to drop the 'e' when ending in -able? Both are correct for these words: sizable, sizeable sharable, shareable takable, takeable But these words are ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

Should I use period pronunciation when reading poetry aloud? [closed]

I find that when I read older poetry, the rhyme scheme is sometimes broken and I assume that the problem comes from changes in pronunciation over time. For example, Poe keeps up a pretty impressive ...
2
votes
0answers
68 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
206 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
6answers
4k views

Why is “go” spelled with the same vowel as “do” and “to” since it is pronounced differently?

These two-letter words ending in -o are pronounced with the vowel /oʊ/: bo, go ho, jo, lo, no, so, and yo whereas do and to are pronounced with the vowel /uː/. Is there an explanation for the ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Variations in the pronunciation of “ea”

Perhaps this is more of a Linguistics question, so I apologize if this is not posted in the right place. Why is it that these words in English sound so different? earth   = /ɜrθ/     “urth” hearth =...