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

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22
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did the letter “o” disappear in the word “pronunciation”?

The verb pronounce has the letter o in its second syllable, but in the noun pronunciation, that same letter disappears from the corresponding position. Why is that?
61
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is Sean pronounced Shawn?

I've always had this question about the pronunciation of Sean. Is Sean a word from another language? Is it actually not pronounced Shawn and instead it's some sound between Shawn and Seen? Also, why ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

911: nine one one vs. nine eleven [closed]

The US emergency telephone number 911 seems to be almost always pronounced as nine one one whereas the Porsche model is typically pronounced as nine eleven One reason I can think of for ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What's the correct pronunciation of 'improcerous'?

The word improcerous means 'low' or 'short in stature'. How is it pronounced?
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Do you pronounce the T ending sound?

As I was taught in school and , the T ending sound of words is unvoiced and should be pronounced with air, but recently I met a friend from the US, those aired T sounds were missing from her speaking, ...
1
vote
4answers
203 views

Understandable songs to learn English [closed]

I am not very good at speaking and listening English. Can someone please suggest some songs, which have clear pronunciation of English words, to listen and understand the songs too and also I can use ...
7
votes
3answers
532 views

Name for people who cannot pronounce one particular sound

Is there a word in English for the inability to utter a specific sound like the rolled R for instance? In my language, there is a name for people who can only pronounce the uvular/guttural R instead ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

Pronunciation of “practical” and “miracle”

I just checked from the Cambridge online dictionary, I found out that written pronunciations of "practical" and "miracle" are /ˈpræk.tɪ.kəl/ and /ˈmɪr.ɪ.kl̩/ I've always thought "cal" and "cle" ...
5
votes
1answer
576 views

“PRETTY good” and “pretty GOOD”, which one is better? [closed]

Speaking-wise, the difference between [ PRETTY good ] and [ pretty GOOD ] is the stress. I wonder would it convey a different feeling when people say [It's PRETTY good] and [It's pretty GOOD]
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Why a “chef” is a shef but a chair is not a shair" [closed]

I am unable to understand, why the sounds in english are not commonly spread. I looked into the IPA on google and could not understand, why the sounds change. e.g. chef vs chair.
8
votes
1answer
199 views

East Yorkshire pronunciation in the mid 20th century

I grew up in Driffield, East Yorkshire, England, in the 1950s, and I seem to remember that my older relatives spoke a variety of English far removed from the general notion of Yorkshire English. It ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

pronunciation of PYRamid vs. pyRAMidal

This recently came up in my geometry class: why is pyramid pronounced PIR-uh-mid, while pyramidal is pronounced pi-RAM-idal? From what I can tell, they both have similar roots and etymologies, so ...
3
votes
2answers
222 views

Which rules define how to pronounce a consonant? [closed]

My question might appear silly and pointless to some, but I find it pretty interesting myself. If we look at the word 'circus', it has 3 consonants and 2 vowels. However, the 2 c in the words are ...
8
votes
3answers
368 views

Why does the word “coffee” have two “e’s”?

We know what coffee is and where the word comes from. Coffee was originally borrowed from: The word "coffee" entered English language in 1582 via Dutch koffie,[4] borrowed from Turkish kahve, in ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Why is the pronunciation of “th” in “thread” different from “python”? [closed]

I checked the pronunciation of th in thread and python in Google Translate. The sound of the th in thread is similar to t, but in python it instead sounds like s. However, in dictionaries (e.g. ...
1
vote
1answer
257 views

Why does Northern Ireland pronunciation sound similar to American?

Recently, I started watching a TV show The Fall, which takes place in Northern Ireland. Their intonations and accents are unique, but their pronunciation sounds a lot like North American English to ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

RP English pronunciation of 'the', 'this' and so on. Diphtong /əʊ/

I'm learning, that pronunciation of words like 'that', 'this', 'the' and so on is through /ð/ consonant. And I get it. But how native speakers say words like that in everyday speech? While listening ...
-2
votes
1answer
201 views

What is the pronunciation of “ttiwdty”?

ttiwdty Not an initialism AFAIK (as far as I know) but an acronym like LASER and NATO. It's apparently trending on Urban Dictionary, although the down-votes outnumber the up-votes. It stands for The ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Why are 'student' and 'suspend' not pronounced as written?

I am a Chinese student beginning to learn English. I am curious to know why the word student is pronounced with the sound of d instead of t. Likewise, why is the sound of b used instead of p when ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

The american R sound

After doing many research and find more than one result, I would like to know how exactly the R sound is pronounced in American English. On this video, the woman describes two ways. Firstly, the ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Why do people pronounce “f***ing” like “f***en”? [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker so I might not be exactly accurate with this, but whenever people (e.g. in films) say fucking, it sounds something like fucken. There's no "g" at the end and instead ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Regional pronunciation of “houndstooth” as “houndsooth”

I have always pronounced "houndstooth" as ˈhau̇n(d)z-ˌtüth , the exact same way I would pronounce the phrase "hound's tooth". Recently, I was told that the pronunciation should be "hound sooth", ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

What is the phonological error pronouncing /θ/ as /s/ called?

How can I explain the error of pronunciation in the sentence I sink I'm going to bed where the word pronounced sink is actually think?
5
votes
2answers
111 views

President “Obamar”

I noticed few days ago that a CNN International anchorwoman (don't know her name) is pronouncing president Obama's name as "Obamar", with an "R" sound at the end. This is similar to certain people ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

Where did the L in talk go?

So, this came up in the recent silent letter post in the comment section. Looking up pronunciations of talk gives things like: /tɔːk/ per oxforddictionaries.com, Google's definition page (on this ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Does articulation (can't you) as [kæntʃ u: siː] a bit of conversational, not official style?

I'm hearing it in songs sometimes, but I can't remember such pronunciation on English class. Is it some kind of american english or more local dialect? First 'lyrics can't you see' result from ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Help me understand what man says in the video

In this clip staring on about 00:21 sec, Elijah says: Yes, ... the most human of experiences. Can't understand what words is he pronouncing in the place of three dots. Pleas, help me, I really ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

How to pronounce Louisville?

How would I phonetically spell the way locals pronounce Louisville? (Louisville, KY)
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Pronouncing Methane

The first “e” in methane is pronounced like the “e” in metal in the US but it is pronounced like the “e” in me in the UK. I asked a friend how this difference in pronunciation came about. She ...
0
votes
3answers
101 views

Pronunciation of “I'd like” and “You've got”

I am not a native speaker so i wanted to ask this. When you say "You've gotta be careful" do you pronounce 'have' part and when you say "I'd like to..." do you say 'would' part?
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Pronunciation of 'Con' words

Is there any rule for the pronunciation of 'Con' words like : Constant, Constraint, Constitute, Constituent etc. My confusion is with these sounds 'kɒn' and 'kən'. For Constiuent it is ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

“P-U-L-L” vs. “P-U-double L”

I have heard some people spell double letters individually, e.g. "B-B", "C-C", or "D-D". But I have also heard others use the word double instead. Is there any dialectical preference? Is there any ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Where in the U.S. do people change the stress of umbrella, adult and TV to the first syllable?

Is it just a small percentage of the population in that region who stress the first syllable, or is it widespread? In other words, if I visit such region will I find almost everyone talking like that ...
2
votes
3answers
460 views

Why do some people say “v” as “w”?

I've noticed that Germans and Indians will sometimes say "/w/ector space" instead of "/v/ector space". I get that in German "w" is pronounced /v/. But "vau" (German "v") is pronounced like /f/. So ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Should /l/ sound be always pronounced completely?

Normally, your tongue should touch the roof of your mouth when you pronounce the /l/ sound. The light /l/ sound and some of the dark /l/ sound, such as 'look', 'cancel', can be pronounced easily. But ...
0
votes
3answers
203 views

How are you supposed to pronounce “Fragile” [closed]

I usually say "Frah JI all" Some people say "Frah jell" Which way do you pronounce it? Which is the correct way?
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How do Torontonians pronounce the name of their hometown?

Toronto - The capital and largest city of Ontario, Canada, in the southern part of the province on Lake Ontario. [tə-ˈrän-(ˌ)tō, -ˈrän-tə] — Merriam-Webster [tuh-ron-toh] — Reference.com ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Difference between word-final iː, i and ɪ

As we know, English usually contrasts the two high front vowels /i:/ and /ɪ/, and many different minimal pairs exist for this (e.g. /sli:p/ vs /slɪp/). However, at the end of a word, we usually have ...
-1
votes
2answers
147 views

How to spell the word 'trie'? [closed]

In computer science, there is a word trie. It is pronounced either /tri:/ or /trai/. However, according to the common spelling rule, "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking", the ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Why does child sometimes become a two-syllable word?

I have noticed, mostly in American English, that people sometimes say "child" as a two syllable word : Chi-ald. I wish i could represent this using phonetic symbols, but I'm bad at that, so please ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Accent on second syllable for “preference”

Dictionaries say that the word "preference" has got the accent on the first syllable. In a film the actor Jonny Lee Miller pronounced it with accent on the second syllable. It was not the first time ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

How can I improve my pronunciation? [closed]

I've left high school and we don't study English at University and I feel that I haven't learnt to pronounce at all yet. What habits or routines can I do to speak better and fluent? Thank you so ...
1
vote
2answers
316 views

How do I pronounce the name “Aurelius”?

I was reading a book out-loud and came across this name. At the time, I pronounced it Aurelius: ur-ell-ee-us The more I think about it, the more I'm sure it is not correct. The word Aura would ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

How is “viz.” pronounced?

How does one read out “viz.”? “Namely”, “to wit”, or something else entirely?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two Italian textbooks. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private student that the verb was ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Different pronunciation of the suffix '-ege-': 'allege' vs 'renege'?

1. What are some terms that relate to this phenomenon? I want to beware of similar cases. 2. What are the reasons?
0
votes
3answers
122 views

Verbally differentiating between “prince's” and “princess”

In Trondheim (Norway) we have a set of streets named after royal titles; Kongens Gate, Dronningens Gate, Prinsens Gate Directly translated, they mean "The King's Street", "The Queen's Street", "The ...
0
votes
2answers
175 views

Stress shift amongst speakers from India

I've noticed that speakers from India shift the stress in some words such as 'adjective', 'sentence' or 'tendency'. They normally stress the second syllable and not the first one as most people are ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

How do you pronounce an obscure name like Kaiomi [closed]

Our company name is Kaiomi and it's actually a female name, although very very rare. We pronounce it ourselves as kayh-oh-mee, but we hear people say keyh-oh-mee for example.
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Pronunciation of file format GIF [closed]

While browsing the internet I found several cases in which people argue what is the correct way to pronounce .gif. There are two sides in this argument: People pronouncing it with a hard g as in ...