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

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2answers
49 views

is the pronunciation of “secret” “/ˈsiːkrət/” or “/ˈsiːkrɪt/”?

I checked some dictionaries and clearly they are saying "/ˈsiːkrɪt/" but their IPAs are "/ˈsiːkrət/" Source 1: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/secret Source 2: ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Why do some words change inflection when used differently?

Are there rules that determine if a word changes inflection depending on its part of speech? Some words seems to change inflection whether a noun or a verb, while others are pronounced the same. I ...
0
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0answers
54 views

The pronunciation of the definite article by American speakers

I was reading an article the other day and I came across an interesting passage: Notice that the weak form of the is typically [ði] before a vowel-initial word (the apple) but [ðə] before a ...
0
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1answer
61 views

How to pronounce 'question'

In all dictionaries the word question is pronounced as /ˈkwɛsʧən/, with ʧ symbolizing the sound ch in ti. I wanted to know if any phonological change happens when pronouncing the word in colloquial ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

“France” pronunciation; /æ/ vs. /e/ in American accents

Native North American speakers! Please, help me understand one thing: I thought I understood the difference between the /æ/ and /e/ sounds, but now I doubt that anyone can. Please listen to the US ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Linking /r/ and elision

In one of my lectures after learning about several processes of connected speech (namely assimilation, elision and linking) we were faced with a transcription exercise with which I have slight problem ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

T- and D-elision: I hateTHem OR I hated'em

I would appreciate your help with these two questions: 1) I hated them. Will the speaker omit the D or TH sound? Will he say: I hateD'em OR I hateTHem. Are both variatons ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Etymologically correct pronunciations that few would accept

Have we been mispronouncing Mount Everest /ˌmaʊnt ˈev(ə)rəst/? It is true that the peak was named after Sir George Everest who pronounced his surname as Eve-rest. But does that etymological detail ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

How did “ass” lose the 'r'?

The word "ass" (usually marked as "vulgar"; the one that means "buttocks," "butt," etc.) comes from Sanskrit, one would think, since the old Germanic version is not a stand-alone, but has its ...
1
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2answers
64 views

How to pronounce shortened words? [closed]

I'm studying programming, and regular English words are often shortened. For example, "previous" is shortened to "prev", "integer" to "int", "character" to "char" etc. How do you pronounce the short ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

How many hours did you spend/spent studying for the test? [closed]

I'm pretty confused on which sentence is grammatically correct just because online and in person, everyone says it differently: How many hours did you spend studying for the test? or is it: ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Why did the pronunciation of Orleans change in New Orleans, while those of French borrowed words were retained?

Words like rendezvous, faux pas, a la carte are still pronounced the same way as they are pronounced in the French language. Why was New Orleans an exception to this?
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Detecting vibration in voiced and voiceless English sounds

I heard people saying that if you put your finger on your throat you would be able to feel voiced sound vibrates and voiceless sound doesn't. I tried it but both sounds seem the same to me. So did I ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Using voice commands to check pronounciation

I'm a non-native speaker and, many time, I struggle to get the proper/accurate pronunciation of a word. To check my pronunciation, I would use voice commands assistance (or whatever they call them) ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Does the [ɒ] in “not” sound different from the [ɒ] in “hot”?

I would like to know why the [ɒ] in not often sounds different (more rounded) than the [ɒ] in hot, father, or car in American English. I know that in British English the vowel in not is an [ɔ], but ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

When do and don't we link 2 adjacent words in pronunciation?

Please see this sentence "Do you like eating fruits?". If we stress the iː in "eating", then do we link k to iː so that it can become ..../laɪ'kiːtɪŋ/....? I guess that we don't link k to iː, but we ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Pronunciation of words that end with two syllabic R's

There are a few words in English that end with two adjacent syllabic R's (in theory). For example, let's take the word deliverer. As a non-native speaker, I find it very hard to pronounce those two ...
0
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0answers
34 views

What is the rule for pronouncing the “a”? [duplicate]

While British people mostly seem to speak a hard "a", American people tend to make an "ae" in some cases. Here are some examples of what I mean, grouped by pattern: glass/grass ...
0
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the origin of the pronunciation of 'Plymouth'? [closed]

It has always confused how my American relatives pronounce the name of their city (Plymouth Meeting) as something like 'Plymeth Meeting'. For me, it seems that the natural way would be something that ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

Resign, resort etc, why is s pronounced as z?

Was wondering why we normally pronounce resign as rezine. sign is part of the words origin. Is it do distinguish it from 're-sign', to sign again?
1
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0answers
52 views

In some parts of America, do people there COMMONLY use flap T after n, ex “/ˈwɪn.t̬ɚ/”?

I noticed that, in some American dialect (maybe in the South of America), people may use "flap T" after "n". For example, "/ˈwɪn.t̬ɚ/" source Other example, "ninety" /ˈnaɪn.t̬i/Source So, my ...
13
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2answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “xth”?

I'm wondering how do you pronounce letters when used in place of ordinal numbers. Examples: The xth root of five. Two to the yth power. The ith odd number. The jth item on the queue. I know how ...
-3
votes
1answer
84 views

Concerning Assonance

Assonance, also known as "slant rhyme," is a repetition of vowel sounds that creates an illusion of rhyming. Wikipedia notes that it's "used in (mainly modern) English poetry." Which leads me to ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Some residual effects of the Great Vowel Shift

Here's the complete text of a poem by Rudyard Kipling (from "Just So Stories"): The Camel's hump is an ugly lump Which well you may see at the Zoo; But uglier yet is the hump we get From ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

A Vowel Shift Question

Two lines from Byron's Don Juan: 'T is said that Donna Julia's grandmamma Produced her Don more heirs at love than law. This is the coda to an octave, the finalizing couplet, and it's ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Pronunciation of ‘an hundred’ [duplicate]

I just saw a number of comments complaining about the first n in the phrase ‘an Herculean task’, claiming it implied a mute h. But is that true? My impression has been that earlier all words on h + ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

How would you pronounce “Avet” [closed]

I'm choosing a name for my boy to be born soon, and there is an Armenian name pronounced as [ɑˈvɛt] that I like. I was wondering if I write it as "Avet", how would English speakers pronounce it. Or if ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Does anywhere else add an 'L' to words ending in a vowel sound?

When I was six I moved from Manchester (northwestern England) to Bath (southwestern England). I was baffled to hear my school mates describe the 'aerials' they lived in. Fast forward many years ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
107 views

What's the correct pronunciation of BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)?

What's the correct pronunciation of BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)? [ˈbaɪɒs], like in growth-promoting substance present in yeast or ['bɪɒs], thus respecting the meaning of the acronym - [input], ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

'Travel' - Place of articulation of /t/

What is a place of articulation which best fits the initial consonant of the word: "travel." It looks like the first sound is /t/ therefore it should be alveolar, but in the Longman pronunciation ...
4
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0answers
94 views

Shakespeare's Scansion: the Sequel

Okay, so we seem to have established (with lots of great and generous help from StoneyB and Peter Shor) that: where it came to certain diphthongs, Shakespeare either elided syllables that didn't ...
0
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2answers
83 views

How does the intervocalic consonant work? Ex, L in /ˈdelɪgeɪt/ “delegate”, N in /ɪnənˈɪn.stənt/ “in an instant” [closed]

Ok, see this word "delegate" /ˈdelɪgeɪt/, the "L" is between "e" & "i". Other example "in an instant" /ɪnənˈɪn.stənt/, the "N" is between "ɪ" & "ə" Ok, now let talk about "intervocalic L". I ...
0
votes
0answers
258 views

Does the word “ball” have a “short a” sound?

Does the word ball have a short "a" sound, or is it there another definition for the vowel sound? It certainly sounds different from tap and cat.
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Can “L” sound be shared by its previous and next vowel? Ex: bellow “/ˈbel.ləʊ/”, color “/ˈkʌl.lər/”?

It seems that no one has brought this issue up. That is, when you search the IPA of words like "bellow" & "color" you will see "/ˈbeloʊ/" & "/ˈkʌlər/" respectively (Source1 & Source2) ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

How to correct/improve 's-' pronunciation at the beginning of a sentence?

As a native Spanish speaker, I tend to mispronounce some letters or words in English. One of them is the 's' sound at the beginning of a word, for example, I pronounce: 'slang' as /eslaŋ/ instead of ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

A tendency to use “a” in place of “an” in American English

I have noticed that a lot of native American speakers use the indefinite article "a" in front of words beginning with vowels, such as interesting, old, apple , etc. Is there any reasonable ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

L in the middle of a word: dark l or light l?

I find it easy to pronounce words like full (/fʊl/, dark l) and light (/laɪt/, light l), but when the letter l appears in the middle of a word, things become tricky. I can hear different ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Aspiration in American English

I would like know which consonants are aspirated in American English and when? Also, when are they not aspirated?
1
vote
1answer
45 views

How to pronounce “CEEAUS”, “ICNALE”, etc.?

Are there rules for pronunciation of acronyms? There seems that acronyms are pronounced differently, for example, TESOL /ti-soul/, UCL /yu-ci-el/. Could I generalize a rule based on my limited ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

When to reduce and when not to reduce a vowel ([ɪ] & [i])

Most of the time people reduce vowels in speech when these are not stressed, but sometimes these unstressed vowels are fully pronounced, too. For example, most people reduce the [ɪ] to schwa and say ...
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
1answer
102 views

American vs British: a “conspiracy” question [closed]

This question has NEVER been asked, never mind answered, here. Goodness. Lighten up, people. Again I must quote Shaw to illustrate a point or two before putting the question to you guys: The fact ...
0
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0answers
163 views

Root pronunciation change when adding suffix

Can someone provide the proper academic terms and explanations for why we pronounce the roots of the following words differently: sociopath vs. sociopathy telepath vs. telepathy ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Audio vs. Law [pronunciation]

I can hear a difference between the pronunciation of the /ɔ/ sound in words like "audio" and "law." In the former, the vowel in question sounds more like the /ä/ in "car" (other words containing this ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Why they pronounce 'Shehab', 'Shebab'? [closed]

My name, Shehab, is an Arabic word. Interesting, more than 10 white Americans and a black American have addressed me 'Shebab' (both in writing and verbally). Why is this particular mistake is so ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

How to pronounce code?

Can someone tell me how to pronounce the word "code"? I am in Hong Kong, and people always pronounce it like "coke," but without the voiceless consonant "k". Is that correct?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“a” or “an” ubiquitous? [duplicate]

I am unsure whether to use "a" or "an" in the following sentence: Video games have become a/an ubiquitous part of American culture. For me, saying the two sentences out loud makes "an" seem like the ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Pronunciation of “t” after “c” and before “l” (“act like”) [duplicate]

"Do you know why they act like that?" Do native speakers pronounce the "t" after the "c" and before the "l" in the sentence above? I'm under the impression that they don't do it and just say "ac like ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Which is the proper way; RBIs or RsBI? [duplicate]

Lately I have been listening to a local morning show, the sports analyst for this show, when referring to "Runs Batted In", always says (Rs - B - I) instead of (R - B - Is). I shudder every time I ...