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

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2
votes
4answers
161 views

How to pronounce a superscript ə?

And why there's a superscript ə? just found this on the dictionary.cambridge.org ...
7
votes
1answer
64 views

History/origin of the pronunciation/spelling of “Butcher”?

The pronunciation of the first syllable of butcher as /ˈbʊt͡ʃ ..../ is for non-native speakers astonishing. From spelling alone, one would probably guess that it's pronunciation would be more like ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

BrE: monophthong in here, clear, mere, etc

Usually in BrE words like clear, fere, clear, mere, etc are pronounced with a diphthong comprising an open high front vowel followed by something resembling a schwa. However, they are sometimes ...
6
votes
2answers
279 views

Are you googlable?

The search engine Google was launched in 1998 and on that same year, the term googling was first used. The verb “to google” earned its official status in the Oxford English Dictionary on June 15, ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Do people really say “What is that mean” or it just sounds like that?

I often hear people saying something that sounds like "What is that mean" on TV and the Internet but I am wondering whether they really mean that or they actually say "What does it mean". If the ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Which one of the following is the standard American accent of the word “badminton”: “/ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/” “/ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/”?

Ok, let check this word "badminton". In online Cambridge dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/ Source In online Merrian-Webster dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/ Source When ...
5
votes
2answers
759 views

How do Americans pronounce the 't' in “romantic”, “countable”, etc?

As for a 't' trapped between /n/ and a vowel, I've heard it pronounced in three different ways: Maybe the formal, standard way is to fully pronounce the /t/ sound: romantic: /roʊˈmæntɪk/ ...
6
votes
5answers
776 views

Do we pronounce a “t” sound in negative contractions “n't”

I'm faced with difficulties how to pronounce contractions like don't, wouldn't, and etc. correctly. Somehow I read from some grammar British student book that "t" is not pronounced but I didn't pay ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

What dictates how new words should be pronounced? [closed]

Say the word 'libuv', which is a relatively new support library in computer programming. If I can't find any references on the web as to how it should be pronounced, how do I say it? And in general ...
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. ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

which is the different ea pronunciation : really /ideas/disappear/mean [closed]

a couple of my classmates and I had a discussion about which is the different word.Some said it's ideas, others said "mean". and as a follow up questions does the sound of "ea" change between ideas ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Is Lana's “Yup!” a triphthong?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Why is w considered a consonant? [duplicate]

I've always been taught that the character "w" in English was a consonant, except in very specific cases. However, on a recent trip to Wales, I learned that in Welsh it was considered a vowel. And ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views
2
votes
0answers
66 views

How does this word sound to English-speakers? [closed]

I want to name my project with a word from Ukrainian language. Transliterating it would be spelled as Ostriv. And I'd like to be sure that it doesn't sound bad for English-speakers or isn't hard to ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

How to pronounce “do you”, “would you” and their negative contractions

I don't know now how to pronounce phrases like "do you", "would you" and their negative contractions. For a while ago I though it's correct to pronounce "do/would you" (and even have [not] + V3) ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

So, “carrots too” (/ˈkærəts tuː/) can sound like “Carrot Sue” (/ˈkærət suː/), right?

Look at this video at 1:09 (Source). The man said "carrots too" /ˈkærəts tuː/ but it sounds like he said /ˈkærət suː/. The /t/ got omitted completely. However, I don't see people omit /t/ in "stamp" ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Participle of “center/centre” in UK English — “centring”? Seriously? [closed]

As an American, I was never shocked to see the word "center" spelled as "centre." It didn't bother me at all. Honestly. But then I saw the participle of it spelled as "centring" as opposed to ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What's the right prosody/pronunciation in “possessive + gerund” constructions?

From a previous post, I’ve seen that both (a) and (b) are acceptable, the difference lying in the register (formal vs colloquial) each sentence conveys. (a) She resented him being invited to open ...
13
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
607 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
471 views

Words which are pronounced differently depending on where they are in the sentence

Is there a term for words which are pronounced differently depending on where they are in the sentence? For example, when I use the word "to" at the beginning or end of a sentence (or when I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
584 views

How do you pronounce the “ng” in “language” and “English”?

I'm hearing more and more people pronounce "language" as [laŋ-wij] instead of [laŋ-gwij]. The same goes for the word "English": [iŋ-lish] instead of [iŋ-glish]. How prevalent has this pronunciation ...
10
votes
1answer
126 views

Night rain vs Night train, gemination?

The Wikipedia article on gemination claims that gemination of /t/ is the distinguishing factor between the pronunciation of the two phrases night train and night rain. In my whole life, I've almost ...
-1
votes
1answer
118 views

How to pronounce the letter /r/

I've always had difficulty pronouncing the letter /r/. Whenever i try to say /r/ it comes out as a gha, a sound similar to the arabic letter غ. Any idea how i can fix this?
22
votes
6answers
8k views

“Tortoise” and “taught us”

I’m reading Alice in Wonderland, and found the following dialogue: “The master was an old Turtle — we used to call him Tortoise—” “Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any online tool to read (pronounce) IPA and APA written words?

I am looking for a tool to read a word written as phonetic transcription (IPA or APA). I need it to provide users with a tool to verify if they've chosen correct IPA transcription (users will need ...
3
votes
3answers
247k views

Difference Between “Sell” and “Sale”?

I'm a copy editor at a law firm and need to give a quick-and-dirty explanation of the difference between "sell" and "sale" to a native English speaker (a legal secretary) who is very self-conscious ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

a ssl or an ssl? [duplicate]

I was talking about ssl somewhere, then I saw 'an ssl' was used on some other websites. For example, https://www.globalsign.com/en/ssl-information-center/what-is-an-ssl-certificate/ But SSL word ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

The pronunciation of “peripheral”

Some time ago, I heard the pronunciation of the word peripheral on a TV show (Brain Games, to be exact). Very surprised to hear /pəɹɪfəɹəl/, I asked two close relatives whether that was how the word ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Differences between formal and colloquial English? [closed]

What are the basic differences between formal and colloquial English? Is it right that colloquial English uses more contracted forms, slang expressions, phrasal verbs, subjunctive, and euphemisms? ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

The X in Xavier

The NOAD lists the pronunciation of Xavier as (ig)ˈzāvēər. In my own experience the parenthetical pronunciation is very common. I, however, do not know of any other x-initial words that are ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “Paraguay”

The English article for Paraguay in Wikipedia mentions that Paraguay is pronounced as /ˈpɛərəɡweɪ/, which matches the pronunciation recommended by Merriam-Webster. However, inogolo recommends ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the overlap between “Y” and “I”?

My son and I were reciting the Spanish alphabet recently. "Y" is i griega, which means "Greek i." This got me thinking about the English letter Y and its function in our alphabet. All of the words ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

About pronunciation of 'g' in words ending in -ng

Some people pronounce the g at the end of words like spring and listening as [g] (as in guard) instead of [ŋ]. First, I thought only some Russians tend to do this, but the other day I heard a British ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Why “house” /haʊs/, but “houses” /ˈhaʊzɪz/? “s” changes to “z”?

OK, "house" /haʊs/, but "houses" /ˈhaʊzɪz/ Source Why does "s" changes to "z"? I thought it should be /ˈhaʊsɪz/.
2
votes
2answers
706 views

Why do some people pronounce “singer” as “singGer”?

I teach English to elementary students in Korea. One day, I noticed an African American female teacher pronounce the word,"singer" differently- "sinGer" , a strong G-sound. Is it common in America? ...
15
votes
2answers
18k views

Why is the “a” in “cocoa” silent?

Not being a native speaker of English, one of those words that tripped me up is “cocoa”. Besides having its vowels inverted from “cacao”; it also is pronounced exactly the same as “coco”, whereas ...
-1
votes
2answers
91 views

How to pronounce epitome? [closed]

I have always been pronouncing it as ye-pi-to-m. Usage Kala was considered the epitome(ye-pi-to-m) of success by her gym trainer after she lost 30 kgs in just 3 months. Is it not the case? ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Pronunciation of “I'm going to” - Part 2

This question is a further question regarding my previous thread.(Pronunciation of "I'm going to") Thank you for everyone who answered this question. I read that saying "I muh-nuh" (eg. ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Technique of pronouncing the rhotic “r”

I, as a German native speaker, have two "techniques" of pronouncing the rhotic "r." I describe them as follows: I move my tongue upward, so it touches the upper row of my teeth and then just make a ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Is there a standard for simplified pronunciation hints?

Often in introductory textbooks, new terms are introduced with a simplified pronunciation hint. For example, pharmaceutical (FAR-muh-sue-ti-kal) It's certainly not IPA or even the types of ...
6
votes
4answers
988 views

The term 'vocal fry': where does it come from?

On a recent Language Log posting Vocal fry: "creeping in" or "still here"?, Mark Liberman discusses an (also) recent article about the phenomenon of 'vocal fry' and shows how it has been around for ...
7
votes
8answers
760 views

Differentiate between past and present just by pronunciation when word is followed by d- or similiar sound

How can we distinguish, for example, these two sentences just by listening to the pronunciation? They first kill the trees. They first killed the trees. When pronouncing kill the trees, ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

clothing should be pronounced as /ˈkloʊ.zɪŋ/ or /ˈkloʊ.ðɪŋ/?

Ok, I checked up some dictionary and found that most dictionaries pronounce "clothing" as /ˈkloʊ.ðɪŋ/ Cambridge, Oxford, M-w However, when checking the voice, Cambridge & Oxford seem to ...
10
votes
3answers
398 views

“penny LANE” vs “PENNY street” [duplicate]

Why do English speakers say "penny LANE" (emphasis on LANE) but would say "PENNY street" (emphasis on PENNY)?
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Do we link (in speech) between 2 stressed words in a sentence?

Ok, see this word "good" /ɡʊd/ & this word "idea" /aɪˈdɪə/ Ok, now if we have a phrase "I have a good idea" /aɪ həvə ɡʊd aɪˈdɪə/, then which of the followings are right and which are wrong: ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Does /ðz/ create 1 sound or 2 separated sounds?

Look at this word "clothes" /kloʊðz/ (source ) To create the /ð/, the tip of the tongue has to be placed under the upper teeth & then release the air from your throat to your mouth so that the ...
10
votes
8answers
4k views

In what dialects does “often” rhyme with “soften”?

I believe in most English dialects soften is pronounced without a t sound. In some dialects, often is similar, but in others a t sound is quite evident in often. I'm interested not only in which ...
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 ...