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

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5
votes
3answers
443 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
520 views

What is it called phonetically, when Americans change the pronunciation of “pronunciation” to “pro-*noun*-ciation”?

I used to have quite a bit of trouble spelling the word pronunciation because it's a long word, and because the way I pronounce it misleads me — I say "pro-noun-ciation" instead of ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

Is the -re “supposed” to be silent in the pronunciation of “macabre”?

Is the "-re" supposed to be silent in the pronunciation of the word macabre? I'm aware that dictionaries give two pronunciations, \məkäb\ and \mekäbrə\, but is one of them just a fixed "error" of the ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Does the letter C serve any unique purpose? [closed]

Does the letter 'C' make any sound that cannot be made by other letters? "Cat" could be spelled "Kat," "Cinder" could be spelled "Sinder," and "Watch" could be spelled "Watsh." Edit: An excerpt ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of double consonants

How do you pronounce double consonants in American English? For example: Daddy - Do you say "Da-di", "Dad-di" or "Dad-i"? Mommy - Do you say "Ma-mi", "Mam-mi" or "Mam-i"? Swimming - "swi-ming", ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Linking sounds?

When one word ends in a consonant sound and the next begins with a vowel sound, can you tell me how you say these words in American English? can I..? (Can nai or Ca nai?) take it (teɪ kit or teɪk ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Long-Lived … how many pronounce it with a long “i”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pronunciation of “Short-lived” I have read in Beastly Mispronunciations that long-lived is pronounced with a long "i." Does anyone actually pronounce it that ...
1
vote
1answer
596 views

What's the reason for the difference in pronunciation between “dispatch” and “dispatcher”?

I checked some online dictionary and found that the pronunciations of p in dispatch and dispatcher are a little different. What's the reason or pronunciation rule for this difference?
3
votes
2answers
821 views

Can and can't pronunciation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to distinguish can & can't from pronunciation? How do native American English speakers pronounce "can" and "can't" so that these two very similarly sounding ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Pronunciation of the big-O notation

How should I pronounce the following things? (These are complexities of algorithms.) O(n) O(n*log(n)) O(n^2)
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Word contractions in Shakespeare's plays

In Shakespeare's plays it is common to find contracted words, such as "o'er", "e'en", "sulph'uous", "ta'en". Is it just a literary device or those words were actually pronounced (in day-to-day speech) ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What was the original sound of rh?

The subject more or less says it all. I would like to know how rh (as in rhythm) was originally pronounced. It is listed as being something which was originally present in Latin, but, in Latin, "h" is ...
0
votes
1answer
867 views

Which English accent works satisfactorily for speech recognition?

According to “Google iPhone voice-recognition tool baffled by British accents”, mobile phones have trouble recognizing speech. Which accent (probably US) works satisfactorily? Are there any ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Bow vs Bow - etymology of the differing pronunciation

OED states that both "a bow" as in the weapon and "to bow" or "a bow" as in to incline at the knee share a common etymology: Etymology: Common Germanic: Old English boga, corresponding to Old ...
-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?)
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How should “often” be pronounced?

I heard people saying "Of-fen" as well as "Of-ton". Till now I have been using the first one but few days ago I had an interviewer who pronounced often "Of-Ton" while interviewing.
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the name of the phoneme produced in an upper-class Briton's pronunciation of the word “Duke”? What's different in the articulation?

When someone with a Received Pronunciation accent pronounces the word duke, as in The Duke of York, he doesn't pronounce it with a "hard" 'd', as one might pronounce the word duh, but a softer type ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

Is a schwa ever stressed?

Is there a word in RP (Received Pronunciation) where the stressed vowel sound is a schwa?
10
votes
2answers
21k views

Pronunciation of “Azure” in “Windows Azure”

This is not a techie query. I am just unclear on how to pronounce the word "Azure" which is brand name for Microsoft's cloud service offerings.
17
votes
7answers
91k views

Pronunciation of “cache”

I have been pronouncing the word "cache" as kaysh. I know a few people who pronounce it more like cash, cashay or even catch. After consulting a few dictionaries, it turns out that the correct ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there an English word containing the vowels ɤ or ɐ, and if not, which similar-sounding vowels are there in English? [closed]

I need examples for English words which contain the sounds ɤ (close-mid back unrounded vowel) and ɐ (schwa, an unstressed neutral vowel). But I am not sure if there are such words at all. If there ...
2
votes
3answers
23k views

Why is “hyperbole” pronounced so differently from its spelling?

I've often heard people say "hyperbole" exactly as it is written, "hi-per-bole", instead of how it is actually pronounced: "hi-pear-bow-lee". How did it get such an unusually different pronunciation ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there a difference in pronunciation between “wood” and “would”?

My friends and I were debating whether would and wood are pronounced differently. Are they?
112
votes
2answers
10k views

Why is “bicycle” pronounced differently from other obviously related words?

The word bicycle is pronounced /'baɪsɪkəl/ (bahy-si-kuhl), like sickle. However, the words unicycle and motorcycle both have the -cycle pronounced as /-'saɪkəl/ (sahy-kuhl). Is there some sort of ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

Pronunciation of “err”

I use to pronounce this word so that it rhymes with 'her', but recently I've been told to pronounce it like "air". Which pronunciation was it originally, and which pronunciation was correct?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

British upper-class pronunciation of words like “what” and “when”

More from the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. I've noticed in these sort of movies, when some very upper-class speakers talk, like the lawyer in the series, Mr. Tulkinghorn, they have ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is The Mall (Westminster, London) pronounced like mawl?

Why is The Mall pronounced differently even though it shares the same spelling as mall (shopping)?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Pronunciation of the word Leicester

I was playing Monopoly the other day (haven't played for some time) and I bought Leicester Square. However, everytime someone landed on my block, I was unsure as to its pronunciation. So far I've ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Accent of the word “invalidity” [closed]

In my legal studies class, this word cropped up and the whole class, including the teacher, couldn't pronounce it. They usually tried it several times and then ended up with different results. Where ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

Is the “-b” to be pronounced in the word “limb”? What about “thumb”? “Crumb”?

I'm confused about the differing pronunciations of words that end in "-b". For example, I remember being told by some of earliest teachers that the "-b" in limb was meant to be silent, and one ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation: “use” versus “use”

Compare pronunciations: "I want to use the bathroom" (yoos) "I made use of the bathroom." (yus) My poor attempt at creating a phonetically descriptive syntax is supposed to convey that, with the ...
12
votes
3answers
56k views

Correct pronunciation of “herbs”

In the past, I used to say "Herbs", then I was corrected and told that the "H" is muted and one should say "Erbs". Watching some video, the instructor keeps saying "Herbs". What is the right ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

How do you pronounce 'news'?

My coworker and I have been having this discussion for a day or two... What is the most correct way to pronounce 'new' or 'news' ? Does it rhyme with 'few' ? or 'snooze' ? Does 'new crew' rhyme? I ...
2
votes
2answers
563 views

Does the incorrect pronunciation of a word make it incomprehensible? [closed]

Not being an English native speaker, I find there are many words I pronounce differently from how an anglophone would (and differently from the phonetics prescribed in typical dictionaries). However, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Was what happened to the pronunciation of the word “church”, as compared to the Scots-English “kirk”, a general phenomenon in Middle English?

The other day, I was reading a history of the Norman and Angevin kings, and came across the word kirk in an ecclesiastical context, which I had to look up, having no clue of its meaning. The Online ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “macrame”?

I've heard a couple of pronunciations "macra may", "ma craym", "ma craym". So, which is the correct one?
11
votes
5answers
13k views

The pronunciation of buoy

How did the word buoy come to be pronounced "BOO-ee" in most of the US? The British pronunciation "BOY" as in the word buoyancy or buoyant (which both countries pronounce the same) seems to be pretty ...
-5
votes
2answers
553 views

Why is “insatiable” pronounced as if it was “unsatiable”? [closed]

Why is insatiable pronounced as if it was unsatiable?
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is “chore” pronounced differently from the “chore” in “choreography”?

How come the word "chore" is pronounced like it is, when the word "choreography", which has the same initial letter combination, is pronounced differently? Is there a phonetical rule to explain this?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Correct pronunciation of “the” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles? What is the pronunciation of “the?” What would be the correct way to ...
0
votes
0answers
456 views

which is correct “a ear” or “an ear”, conversely “a year” or “an year” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct- “A Year” or “An Year”? Use of “a” versus “an” A(n) ear vs. a(n) year in speaking is very confusing, please clarify.
20
votes
2answers
83k views

The British pronunciation of the word “schedule”

Is pronouncing the word "schedule" as "shed-ule" only an upper class thing in the UK? Which pronunciation, "sked-ule" "or "shed-ule" is more faithful to the original etymology of the word, i.e. which ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “zounds?”

I came across the sentence "Fortunately their are a variety of different offerings out there with zounds of features." Disregarding the misuse of "zounds," how would Elizabeth I have pronounced the ...
15
votes
3answers
836 views

Are there sounds where the tongue is not symmetrical?

Are there sounds in English languages and accents where the tongue does not move symmetrically in the mouth, i.e. the right side of the tongue is not moving like the left side?
12
votes
6answers
3k views

How would you spell “Tehran” in English for it to be pronounced “correctly” (i.e. as in Persian)?

Native English speakers do not pronounce the h in Tehran so it is pronounced like "Teran". But in the original pronunciation in Persian the h is pronounced, resulting in /tehˈɾɒːn/. Is there any ...
12
votes
5answers
26k views

How does one correctly pronounce the letter 'H': “Aych” or “haych”?

What is the correct sound of the letter H when reading the alphabet - is it 'aych' or 'Haych' ?
17
votes
6answers
16k views

How did the Australian accent come about?

Can anybody tell me how the Australian accent came about? It seems strange to me that it is not more like an English accent taking into account that the first and the majority of settlers were ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How should one pronounce the “rofl” in “roflstomp” or “roflcopter”?

"ROFL" stands for rolling on the floor laughing but has been mushed into other words with their own meanings. Two examples: Ouch, that was a roflstomp. I'm on a roflcopter! While these are ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Is misplaced emphasis a form of mispronunciation?

I was speaking with someone today and he brought up the TV show "South Park", and he emphasized the "Park" whereas most people (and the show itself, I believe) emphasize the word "South". This got me ...
-5
votes
2answers
445 views

Does the word “amen” have anything to do with men? Which is the correct pronunciation? [closed]

I don't understand how the word amen was coined by breaking it down to what I presume to be its constituents, a- and men. It seems to be a phrase of affirmation — I don't see what men has ...