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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2answers
177 views

pronunciation rule for grapheme “a” in words like “nefarious,” “variation” and “temporary”

English pronunciation / spelling guides appear to state that the letter/grapheme "a" is pronounced either as the "short a" with IPA symbol /æ/, as in "mat" or the "long a" with IPA symbol /eɪ/, as in ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Variant pronunciation of “obesity”

A question mainly for Americans: Could you please confirm if some Americans indeed pronounce the "e" of "obesity" as the "ea" of "steady" rather than the "ee" of "bee" (o-be-si-ty instead of ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

How do we know how words were pronounced hundreds of years ago?

Recently, I've spent some time reading "The Canturbury Tales", by Geoffrey Chaucer. There are a number of resources out there to help make sense of the old language he uses, but I've noticed that ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Dialects where days of the week end with “dee”?

Someone recently posted a question about the pronunciation of Wednesday, which reminded me of a different question about pronouncing the days of the week I've had floating around in my head for a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

First or second syllable accent for “detail”?

I used to pronounce 'detail' as ['di:teil] with accent on the first syllable. However, these days I hear people (and on the radio) say [di'teil] with accent on the second syllable. Is my pronunciation ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Algorithm to determine if an “e” in a word is silent

I'm working on a software that requires me to know if an "e" in a word is silent or not. I thought of using Artificial Intelligence and pattern recognition to determine if the "e" is silent. The AI ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

How did “invoice” end up with an 's'-sound?

The Etymonline entry for invoice states (source): apparently from M.Fr. envois, pl. of envoi "dispatch (of goods)," Although my French is pretty poor, my understanding is that the 's' is silent. ...
7
votes
6answers
5k views

How to pronounce the “v” sound?

I live in Thailand and we pronounce "w" and "v" the same. When I spoke to American people they told me that the "v" sound was different from "w". They told me to move my lower lip to the upper teeth, ...
34
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6answers
2k views

Pronunciation of the English alphabet

Why are there inconsistencies in the pronunciation of the consonants of the alphabet? For example: 'b' is pronounced like 'bee' but 'm' is pronounced as 'em' rather than 'me'. The pronunciation of 'h' ...
2
votes
5answers
175 views

Is Missouri called /mi.'zuɹ.ə/ outside of Missouri?

Here in Missouri, most people born here pronounce the state as /mi.'zuɹ.ə/ (instead of /miz.'uɹ.i/ or something like it). This is a lot more noticeable in the south/central, rural parts of the state. ...
5
votes
2answers
679 views

Why are “nation” and “national” pronounced differently?

I was wondering why nation is pronounced nay-shun and national is pronounced nah-shu-nal. My question relates to the difference between pronouncing "Nay" and "Nah". The spelling of "nation" in ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Where do I make the pause in this sentence

I am a Catholic monk, in our breviaries, in the English edition, we have a response for the night prayer which goes: "Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit." How do I use this? Is it Into your ...
2
votes
5answers
277 views

How do students respond to the “roll call” and how do you pronounce it?

I have two questions. In the UK, to do (or is it read?) a roll call is commonly referred to as "calling out the register". It's been so long since I was a child that I'm not absolutely sure how ...
27
votes
3answers
7k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
1
vote
4answers
77 views

Character pointer correct pronunciation [duplicate]

In C/C++ language the character pointer is denoted by char * What is the correct pronunciation for this? Is it "char star" where "ch" in "char" is pronounced as in character/choir or is it "char ...
6
votes
8answers
13k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “processes”?

What is the correct pronunciation of the word processes because in my company some say it as "process-eez" and some say it "process-ess"? I am confused, because my mother tongue is not English.
0
votes
1answer
68 views

How do I correctly pronounce “sóncræft”

How do I correctly pronounce the Anglo Saxon word sóncræft (music)? I feel it should be "sonn crayfte" or "sonn creft".
2
votes
2answers
302 views

The pronunciation of “ate”

I was talking to some friends and I said "I ate (/et/) chocolate yesterday...". Then my friend corrected me: "you ate (/eit/) chocolate...". I repeated my sentence with the /eit/ pronunciation and we ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Can a plosive be pronounced without an audible release sound following it?

When a plosive is at the beginning of a word, the pronunciation naturally flows into the vowel which follows it. The extra vowel sound following the plosive seems to give the plosive a very obvious ...
8
votes
2answers
582 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
528 views

Are the different pronunciations of “species” regional differences?

As far as I know, the word "species" can pronounced either as spee-sheez or as spee-seez. I understand that neither of these is incorrect: they're just two different ways to say the same thing. I also ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

The “Bibles” of American English Phonetics

Daniel Jones' Outline of English Phonetics and Alfred C. Gimson's Introduction to the Pronunciation of English are considered the "Bibles" of British English phonetics. Are there equivalent works in ...
3
votes
2answers
463 views

Why do we say and write “read” instead of “readed” for the past? [closed]

Why do we write read unchanged for present and past, while study changes; we have studied. The present form of read is read, pronounced as "reed". The past form of read is also read but it is ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

Why does the word dilemma have two pronunciations?

The word dilemma has caused a dilemma. According to Oxford Dictionary (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/dilemma) Pronunciation is : /dɪˈlɛmə, dʌɪ-/ Which is di-lema or dye-lema. ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Pronunciation difference in The and A [duplicate]

When should 'the' be pronounced 'thuh' and when 'thee'? I heard that 'the' should be used as 'thee' before vowels and in some particular cases. All other cases should employ 'thuh'. What are the ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Why does the pronunciation of “U” vary in English?

The letter U is pronounced differently in different words such as Umbrella and Utensils, as well as when it is Used inside of words such as stUdent and stUdy. Can I please have a grammatical ...
2
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

How to pronounce “Pugh”? [closed]

Does Bill Pugh's last name rhyme with 'tug', 'few', or something else?
3
votes
2answers
722 views

Odd, affected pronunciation of “realtor”

A while back, I noticed that the voice-over on a commercial repeatedly used an odd pronunciation of the word realtor - "real-TORE", with a long O as opposed to "real-tur", like "doc-tur" or ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

pronunciation of foreign cities [duplicate]

When I mentioned to friends I had recently been to Benalmadena in Spain, I was corrected on its pronunciation. I had chosen to pronounce it in an English way rather than in a Spanish pronunciation. ...
6
votes
10answers
819 views

Does Santy (Santa) exist outside Ireland?

It's common at this time of year for adults to ask small children What's Santy bringing you? (awkward as this is for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas). Is this pronunciation of Santa unique ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the history of the pronunciation of Delphi?

There appear to be two ways to pronounce the last syllable based on deeply held beliefs and cultural divides and assumptions: Phi fi fo fum Fee phi fo fum? I've heard that (2) is the American ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

AmE Phonetics: T-voicing after <l>

Cut to the chase: While listening Eminem's track Headlights I've noticed a kinda voicing process in the sentence "You're still beautiful to me" around 1:13 on the song, where the preposition seems to ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

UK emphasis on the second syllable vs US emphasis on the first

Why do some British speakers of English emphasize the second syllable of words such as con-TRO-versy. One British woman I knew (living in Oxford) did this to many words including (unbelievably) the ...
-1
votes
1answer
375 views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
-1
votes
2answers
146 views

Movement to reduce “ing” to “in” [closed]

let's face it. More and more people are not saying the silent "g" at the end of swimming, speaking, cooking etc. When will the "ing" become just "in"? It's already used in almost every song, because ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Proper pronunciation of Neanderthal

Why is Neanderthal pronounced with a /t/ sound instead of a /th/ sound?
9
votes
1answer
249 views

How is “gone” pronounced?

I'm a native Spanish speaker who's trying to grasp some of the subtleties of (American) English pronunciation. I think the sounds that give me the most trouble are the triplet of low back vowels: /ɑ/, ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

Walking and Talking L's

I have a friend who always pronounces the l's in walk and talk. Is this regional? Is there anywhere that standardly pronounces the l?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you pronounce numbers written in different bases?

The decimal (base 10) number "2" can also be represented as the binary (base 2) number "10". Let's use binary "10" (equivalent to decimal "2") as an example. I could see a few different ways to go ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

How should I pronounce “Worcestershire” as a rhotic English speaker?

I'm aware that the English county of Worcestershire is pronounced in Britain as ['wu:stəʃə], more or less. However, this is a non-rhotic pronunciation, and it feels very unnatural for me to use this ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Who speaks about crickeders? [duplicate]

Somebody tweeted: Swann. Among many good traits, he always spoke about crickeTers not #crickeders bit.ly/196Vsxb This was retweeted by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. I don't get it. What's the ...
3
votes
3answers
277 views

Correct pronunciation of “TT”? [closed]

A single t between vowels sounds like a d to me (or like an r in my language, Brazilian Portuguese). May I say the tt spelling the same way, or does that only work for a single t?
16
votes
4answers
45k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Do British speakers have problems understanding Jamaican speakers? [closed]

I'm still learning English but I think that, at the moment, my level is becoming acceptable (I can keep a real conversation with a native speaker without problems). The point is that I've been ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

How to pronounce Abbott?

ABC presenter's pronunciation for his Prime Minister -> Abbott ; original programme The presenter, as do other Aussies in the programme, pronounces Abbott as /ˈɛb ət/, while dictionary.com has ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Can the words 'basic' and 'basically' be pronounced with [z] instead of [s]?

In dictionaries, I have only found the version with [s] but I heard Ryan Stiles on Whose Line Is It Anyway? pronounce "basically" with a [z].
11
votes
5answers
5k views

What are the rules for pronunciation of years in English?

We pronounce 1923 as nineteen twenty-three; but 1900 as nineteen hundred. Why isn't year 2000 pronounced as twenty hundred instead of two thousand? What are the rules for pronunciation of years in ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What exactly is the “schwa” sound?

What exactly is the "schwa" sound? As a non-native speaker, I hear this sound as not being a pure and clean sound. I mean I know that every vowel sound may vary depending on whether the syllable is ...