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

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1
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1answer
4k views

't' pronounced as 'ch'

In some words, the pronunciation of t is actually closer to ch, as in fortune. Is this is a recognized phenomenon in English pronunciation? Does it have a name? What other prominent examples can be ...
12
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4answers
24k views

Why is “sherbet” pronounced “sherbert” so much?

This has often stumped me. Not being a world-traveler, I don't know how widespread this pronunciation is, but if anyone knows: where did the r come from?
12
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
11k views

How common is pronouncing the past tense of beat as /bet/?

Personally, I pronounce the past tense of "beat" (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound identical to the infinitive. However, I have heard a few people under the age of 30 and from either the west or ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
81 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 ...
0
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4answers
75 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, ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Pronunciation of UI

I heard someone pronounce UI as yooey. I guess this comes from the pronunciation of GUI, which is gooey. How common is this compared to yoo-eye and user-interface?
3
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1answer
186 views

The word “mine”: Anyone else use a velar nasal /maiŋ/ for “belongs to me” meaning, but still /main/ for “explosive”/“coal mine”?

I think I naturally distinguish these words: mine (ie "belongs to me") /maiŋ/ mine (ie "explosive" or "coal mine") /main/ I vaguely remember noticing this years ago, but I was only just reminded of ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the word “garage” have so many different pronunciations?

Whenever I'm teaching private students and we are faced with the word garage, I hesitate a little. Italians have borrowed the term garage, which they pronounce /gaˈraʒ/, to stand for the ...
3
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6answers
5k views
1
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1answer
114 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]. ...
0
votes
0answers
52 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
114 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 ...
11
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5answers
13k views

Why is quixotic pronounced as it is?

Since "quixotic" was coined with Don Quixote as its basis, why is it pronounced "kwicks-OTT-ick" when it should by rights/origin be pronounced "Key-HO-tick"? It even sounds more onomatopoeiatic the ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

Is there a rule for the position of the accent (stressed sound) in words ending with -ative?

For example, can declarative be pronounced similar to declaration for the accent (stressed sound)? I thought before that sometimes the position of the "accent", or the stressed sound of a word, ...
8
votes
2answers
455 views

What source explains the different pronunciations of “hol” in “alcohol” and “hollow”?

According to Merriam-Webster, the pronunciation of alcohol is "ˈal-kə-ˌhȯl" while the pronunciation of hollow is "ˈhä-(ˌ)lō." Why are they pronounced with different vowels? I think I've figured out ...
7
votes
3answers
657 views

Can we pronounce the 'th' sound as a d?

I know that there are two ways to pronounce the th sound. Like in the word 'then' and 'thing'. But in a lot of cases I hear it pronounced as a d sound, especially in fast speech or if it comes after ...
10
votes
3answers
247 views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

How many syllables are in “orange”?

It seems whenever orange is spoken, it is spoken as one syllable. But it appears to be two. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary transcribes the pronunciation of orange as follows: \ˈär-inj, ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
2
votes
1answer
582 views

Pronunciation of the words “clothes” and “February” in American English

What is the correct pronunciation of the words "clothes" and "February" in the American English? A lot of people pronounce "clothes" as /kloʊz/, dropping the 'th', as for "February", I hear that the ...
62
votes
9answers
8k 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). ...
0
votes
4answers
157 views

How to position the tip of the tongue when pronouncing /s/ & /z/?

This website says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip of the tongue should be close to the upper backside of the top front teeth. But this video says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is “sergeant” pronounced “sargent”?

I remember when I first came across this word, I thought it was pronounced /'sɜr-dʒint/ (SER-jeent). Now I am curious as to why the first syllable is pronounced /sar/ rather than /sɜr/. I looked at ...
4
votes
2answers
244 views

Do the words with non-palatalized pronunciation of g/c (“get”, “give”) always have a Germanic origin?

In English, ge/gi is sometimes pronounced as [ge]/[gi], but mostly as [dʒe]/[dʒi]. The second form is explained as palatalization in the topic What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C ...
7
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4answers
5k views

Different pronunciation between Thomas and Theodore

Disclaimer: I'm no native speaker. Thomas gets pronounced with a starting "T" (the "h" is silent), while Theodore with a "Th". What rule is followed here?
0
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0answers
31 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
32 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
59 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: ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

How is “deque” commonly pronounced?

deque is a standard container in the C++ programming language. Its name stands for Double Ended QUEue. I am wondering how this word should be pronounced: like deck (this is how I've pronounced it so ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
17
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2answers
19k views

How do I know when a word with “ch” is pronounced hard or softly?

I'm hard-of-hearing, so when I read, I pronounce things phonetically because I don't hear a lot of soft sounds (like /sh/). To my surprise over the years, I've been continuously corrected on words ...
97
votes
10answers
19k views

Is there any word in English where “th” sounds like “t+h”?

It might be a strange question, but I, as a non-native speaker (Pakistani), have listened to English pronunciations by my native people who have over time developed their own pronunciations. So, I ...
1
vote
1answer
58 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
513 views

Are vowels most often pronounced long or short?

English vowels can have two (or more, many more) different pronunciations: A : /eɪ/, mate or /ɑː/, mat E : /i:/, mete or /ɛ/, met I : /aɪ/, mite or /I/, mitt O : /oʊ/, mote or /ɒ/, moth U : ...
4
votes
4answers
940 views

Is the 'th' sound usually reduced in spoken English?

I am working on my accent and pronunciation. I use American Accent Training and it says that in spoken English, speakers usually run words together. For example, "Run them all together" turns into ...
0
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0answers
25 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

How to pronounce “th”

It's a weird question. I want to know how to pronounce "th" correctly, as in 'the' or 'thin'. Should I bring my tongue out of my teeth? In Arabic (as my native language), the correct pronunciation ...
-3
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British? [closed]

car, father, jarring ■ man, lad, mast A British guy would pronounce the vowel "a" equally in all these words. But an American would give one sound for the first three words, and the other ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Pronunciation of single-syllable words ending in -ost

In Modern English, there are several monosyllabic words ending in -ost, like "most", "cost", "post", "lost", "frost". Assuming RP, some of them are pronounced with /əʊ/ (post) and others with /ɒ/ ...
1
vote
0answers
108 views

Why does written English have more variations in pronunciation than other languages? [closed]

According to my experience, in languages like German, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc., there are not so many exceptions in pronunciation as in English. For example, given a word in German or French, ...
6
votes
4answers
5k 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?
2
votes
0answers
95 views

How do I pronounce the combination of a regnal name/number and a dynasty name?

I know how to pronounce a regnal name with a regnal number after it, like Elizabeth I ("Elizabeth the First") or Charles IV ("Charles the Fourth"). But sometimes I see the regnal name/number followed ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

What are the stress patterns and intonation patterns in “wh” questions?

I have a few problems with stress and inotation when asking questions in English. For example Do we need to stress the question words like "where" "how" or "what"? what is the inotation pattern?
5
votes
1answer
139 views

How can I teach an English speaking person to say my name correctly (Kjetil) [closed]

I have a purely Norwegian name, Kjetil. It is old norse and means "kettle" or "helmet". A couple of times now, aquaintances and new friends have asked me in chat or person how my name is really ...
36
votes
7answers
24k views

Why is “primer” pronounced with a short “i” sound?

This word—used to mean an elementary textbook, not a painting material—annoys me to no end. Does anyone know why, exactly, "primer" is pronounced with a short "i" sound? I don't know why, call it ...
0
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0answers
20 views

Friday pronunciation [duplicate]

How is Friday pronounced? A friend of mine says "fry-deeh" but I've always heard it as "fry-day". Is it an accent?
0
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3answers
64 views

Is there a difference in pronunciation between grandma and grammar? [closed]

? Also is there a difference between morning and moaning? Assuming British as spoken in London ("Jafaican") but also interested in other dialects
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Why does “everyone” pronounce “spigot” as “spicket”? [closed]

There are many words that are commonly mispronounced, such as "recurring" being pronounced as "re-occurring," but that one at least has some logic to it, as something that is recurring is, in fact, ...