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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced “text-ted” and not just “tested”?

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced text-Ted and not just tested? One wouldn't say risk-ked for risked, or ask-ked for asked?
3
votes
1answer
57 views

When does /tjʊ/ (Ex: Nice to meet you /miːt jʊ/) turn to /tʃʊ/ & /ʔjʊ/?

In this Wiki link, it said /tj/ could be pronounced as /tʃ/ So, Nice to meet you /... miːt jʊ/ will be /... miːtʃʊ/ But sometimes, I heard it as /... miːʔjʊ/ Watch this short youtube video, Freddie ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Identify English accent

My English teacher speaks, as far as I can tell as a native speaker of the German language, some really weird English. However, I'm not entirely sure if this is just my twisted perception or really a ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Is she speaking proper Cockney (or whatever it is she's imitating)?

At one point in Witness for the Prosecution, Marlene Dietrich's character is at some pains impersonating a guttersnipe. I've been told that the actress spent quite some time working on her accent for ...
2
votes
4answers
568 views

How to pronounce “Calm”?

I need to know how "Calm" is exactly pronounced (whether the L is silent or not). And I need a good reference as an evidence.
0
votes
0answers
22 views
6
votes
3answers
21k views

“Ph” for the /f/ sound; Is Old English responsible for this swap?

Is Old English responsible for creating the /f/ sound from ph, as in Philip, Pharoah, Physics, Sophia, etc? Many European countries keep the f for all of their /f/-sounding letters, as in Sofia and ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Confusion of the pronunciation of Dark “L” consonant sound?

Dark "L": is "L" at the end of the word or after a vowel sound. Example: ball, pull. Light "L:: is "L" at the beginning or before a vowel sound. Example: light, love. There are 4 explanations of how ...
5
votes
1answer
424 views

Thrown by 'broncho.' Or is it 'bronco'? Or 'bronc'?

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, first edition (1908) has this entry for broncho: Broncho (brŏn´kō), n. {Sp. bronco rough, wild.} A native or a Mexican horse of small size. {Western U.S.} Four ...
26
votes
3answers
35k views

How do you pronounce “Git”?

How do you pronounce Git? Because I don't live in a country that uses English, I haven't heard it yet. In my country, some people use [ɡɪt] and others use [jɪt]. Which is the one that most people use? ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Can you hear the difference between 'Writer' and 'Rider'? Why?

Apologies in advance for the slightly blog-like nature of this question. The Background Some of the comments in relation to this question here: Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position ... ...
5
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
189 views

Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position

It seems to me that both /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ become voiceless (or almost) when they occur in word final position. Is this true? Examples: age, wage, courage, judge garage, sabotage, collage, mirage Does ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Is Dick Schiller pronounced “shiller” or “skiller” in “Lolita”?

In Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," the title character's husband's name is Richard ("Dick") Schiller. Don't hold me to it, but I once heard a radio production (or it may have been a movie, not ...
4
votes
3answers
557 views

Is there a name for words which are pronounced differently depending on which definition is being used?

I was thinking about the word "fillet" recently. When I teach high school freshmen about the word (in a machining/engineering context), they refuse to believe that it is pronounced "FILL-it," rather ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

In which vowel do the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ] start?

Surfing the web, I found the following explanations on how to produce the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ]: "/aʊ/ as in all the words of "How now brown cow!". The starting position is the vowel sound /æ/ as ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

BrE: pronunciation of “to”

My wife is Guyanese and she tells me that in Guyana they are taught to pronounce "to" as an American would pronounce "toe." Guyana was a British colony (the most recent invaders) and their educational ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

Is there a specialised term for words that are almost always mispronounced?

With few exceptions, I hear people pronounce enmity emnity, Wednesday Wensday, and prerogative perogative. Is there a proper term for this phenomenon?
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Strong /strɔːŋ/ → stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ - Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? Is it a rule?

Ok, see this in the dictionary: Strong /strɔːŋ/ --> Stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? But "/sing" /sɪŋ/ & "/singer" /ˈsɪŋər/ do not adhere to that rule. ...
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?
14
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is the “J” in San Jacinto pronounced like an English “J” instead of an “H” in Texas?

Many Spanish words taken into English have a "J" sounding like "H", but San Jacinto follows a different rule: San Jose La Jolla San Juan Jimenez Why is San Jacinto not pronounced San Hacinto in ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

Difference in pronunciation between “your” and “you're”?

I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Proper pronunciation of the short a

When I hear the "short a" vowel pronounced it doesn't seem as fronted as it should. (I'm talking about the vowel found in words such as bad, lamp, clam, crash, usually transcribed with /æ/ in the IPA, ...
0
votes
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: ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Why do they have a dot between a consonant and a vowel (ex “/ˈlɪm.ɪt/”) in dictionary.cambridge.org? [closed]

I often use dictionary.cambridge.org for checking the pronunciation and many times I found they used a dot between a consonant and a vowel (ex, limit "/ˈlɪm.ɪt/", or lemon /ˈlem.ən/). Other ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I pronounce a “t” as a glottal stop in the word “Netflix”

I am talking American English now. Usually when a "t" comes at the end of the word "wheat" or before "n" or "m" sounds as in "mountain" and "treatment", the t sound is not pronounced and i pronounced ...
8
votes
3answers
13k views

Is “po-TAH-to” an acceptable pronunciation for “potato”?

Immortalized in the George and Ira Gershwin song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is the nitpicking of pronunciation differences: You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like ...
3
votes
0answers
91 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
votes
2answers
333 views

What is the pronounciation of “the” before the vowel “e”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce the vowel in the article "the" when used before "evil"? (American English)
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
votes
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
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

how do you pronounce URL?

When pronouncing URL, I say (roughly) "you-are-ell." A colleague insists that (roughly) "earl" is more common. Is there a widely accepted pronunciation? Within the computer world or without?
9
votes
6answers
6k views

Do native speakers understand all the words in songs? [closed]

I'm wondering if native speakers understand all the words in songs. For me it is very very difficult, as I can usually understand only 30% of words and phrases in songs. While listening to people's ...
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
vote
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 ...
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 ...
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
84 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
61 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?
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) ...
4
votes
6answers
14k views

Why “interesting” is sometimes pronounced as “intra-sting”

Why is interesting sometimes pronounced as intra-sting? The same goes for interest sometimes being pronounced without the first e.
1
vote
0answers
198 views

Is a syllable defined phonetically or etymologically?

Reading recent postings about syllables I've been struck and baffled by talk of the possibility that words may have a different number of syllables when they are written than when they are spoken. Is ...
3
votes
1answer
92 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
votes
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 ...
-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 ...