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

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6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why English pronunciation differs so much from written language, compared to German?

Given that English is derived mostly from German, when Anglo-Saxons (German tribes) migrated to Britain, how do you explain that although German has a strict correspondence between written language ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there different types of Pronunciation Guides?

In dictionaries you'll often see a pronunciation guide next to words like (bakery would be beɪkəri). Are there different standards of these pronunciation guides? Also, where can I learn how to ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some good books on articulation?

I am fully capable of speaking, reading and writing (British-)English and my native language, but I find that I tend to mumble and muffle my voice. Furthermore, I would love to perfect my speech in ...
9
votes
2answers
931 views

Expansion and pronunciation of “Mrs”

Wikipedia says it used to stand for mistress. But you don't read it as mistress, do you? What is the pronunciation like? I think it would depend on the expansion.
17
votes
4answers
61k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “Caribbean”?

Sometimes I hear the emphasis placed on the second syllable, and other times on the second to last syllable. I myself use both pronunciations depending on context, and it makes me wonder if there is ...
20
votes
4answers
21k views

Why are there two pronunciations for “either”?

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with an individual who told me that pronouncing the word "either" is wrong when pronounced like \ˈī-thər\ instead of \ˈē-thər\ , but I didn't argue the point ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How should a (North American) Native English Speaker prounounce the word 'Afrikaans'?

I've always had trouble with the word 'Afrikaans'. I could say it the way South Africans say it, but then I'm not sure if I'd just be saying the word with a South African accent. After all, I don't ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I practice differentiating between the “æ” and “ɛ” sounds in English phonology?

For a non-native English speaker like me, it's always been hard to sound æ and ɛ differently. For example, "salary" and "celery" are two words that I tend to pronounce identically. Is it OK to go on ...
60
votes
12answers
34k views

When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h?

A basic grammar rule is to use an instead of a before a vowel sound. Given that historic is not pronounced with a silent h, I use “a historic”. Is this correct? What about heroic? Should be “It was a ...
6
votes
4answers
612 views

How to pronounce abbreviations by prefix part?

For example, how to pronounce the following: dir (directory), deer or /də:/? char (character), /kær/ or /tʃa:r/? def (define), deff or diff? mic (microphone), mik or mike? var (variable), vaar or ...
156
votes
7answers
23k views

How are “i.e.” and “e.g.” pronounced?

How are i.e. and e.g. pronounced?
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “especially”

In some podcasts (it seems the speaker was from California) I heard that the word "especially" was pronounced with "ks" sound like "ikspeshally". What was it likely to be, personal way of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Are actors taught to roll their “r”'s?

A particularly prominent example of a rolled r user is the actor Jeremy Brett, who played "Sherlock Holmes" in the 1980s Granada adaptations. I've noticed that several other actors, especially from ...
67
votes
13answers
23k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...