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

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1answer
54 views

Why is 'adjectival' pronounced with [ɑi] in the third syllable rather than [ɪ]?

Recently I asserted that the third syllable in 'adjectival' is different from the same syllable in 'adjective'. I was asked why that is, and all I could do was mutter something about the addition of ...
2
votes
3answers
201 views

Dialect “rules” and the pronunciation of individual words

Consider an American actor who is tasked with mastering British Received Pronunciation for an upcoming role. If he has a talent for vocal mimicry, as many actors do, he should have no trouble picking ...
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2answers
116 views

Why does Business read like busyness?

This is a bit weird, but the word business reads like busy-ness, but it sounds like biz-ness. Why is that? What happened to the i?
0
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2answers
105 views

Do onomatopoeias have more intrinsic meaning than other words have?

I was taught that words are arbitrary sounds used to represent an abstract concept. In the case of onomatopoeias, are they not so arbitrary? For example the word "buzz" roughly sounds like a bee ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

REpeat and DEfense

The words "defense" and "repeat" are more and more frequently being pronounced DE-fense and RE-peat; i.e., with the accent on the first syllable rather than the second. They seem to have originated in ...
0
votes
1answer
289 views

When does 'gi' sound like 'ji'?

Let us take, ginger, we actually pronounce it as 'jinjer'. But take, giggling, we pronounce it as it is. There are numerous examples of this, and this confuses me a lot. So, how do I come to know ...
0
votes
3answers
377 views

Rationale behind pronunciation of “subtle”

I've read pronunciation, yet I'm still irresolute about the exposition/logic behind the pronunciation of subtle. Why is the b not pronounced? subtle = subtil(e) in French, in which the b is ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Why “qu” is pronounced “qw” (as in quit, question) [duplicate]

Or to put it the other way, why qu is not spelled qw, as qwit, qwestion, for quit, question.
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Pronunciations for “Either” [duplicate]

In general, EFL students are taught the two main ways of pronouncing the determiner "either" are the British [ˈaɪðə] and the American [ˈiːðər] varieties. However, I've repeatedly heard from specific ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Pronunciation of the prefix “tri”

I know that English pronunciation is rather arbitrary. There are still some "rules" that even with many exceptions are useful for non-natives like me. I'm puzzled about the pronunciation of the very ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Term for words that have different pronunciations depending on the part of speech

Is there a general term for a word that has different pronunciations depending on which part of speech it is taking on in a sentence? For example, "attribute" here is used as a noun She has many ...
-1
votes
5answers
217 views

How do you pronounce “grimace”? [closed]

How do you pronounce grimace? My parents taught me a long time ago to say "gri-MACE". Then the Burger King character Gri... came along.
1
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1answer
182 views

Why English does not have diacritics to distinguish between words with different meanings and pronunciations

It just occured to me that there are words in English that have two different meanings, two different pronunciations and are written exactly the same. For example "present" can be interpreted as the ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Pronouncing th after r in Standard American English: /ɹð/

I natively speak Flemish (Dutch). We trill the R. I just had a 7-lesson course (over video chat with an American lady) to improve my accent towards Standard American English. According to the test I ...
-1
votes
3answers
499 views

Why does English spoken by a native Spanish speaker sounds pleasant but not so pleasant when spoken by a native Indian/Arabic/Chinese? [closed]

When in fact, both are non-English speakers and are at same level of understanding of English language. Could there be any etymological reason behind this? Added later- As i can see, people are not ...
-1
votes
2answers
135 views

Is it technically incorrect to speak English using speech sounds of native language(which is not English)?

Consonants "t" and "p" are not unvoiced in my native language, which is Hindi. So I pronounce "Paint" with voiced "p" and "t", is it technically correct? It is acceptable, I know. But is it correct?
1
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0answers
29 views

How do you read “tr”? [duplicate]

I've got this little doubt over the pronunciation of "tr" in words (trial, attraction, actress). I recognized two ways of reading it - either as ch (like CHoose) + r or as t (as in Ten) + r, which I ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Pronunciation: is there a reason why 'gn' in 'reigning' is pronounced [n] while in 'regnant' it is pronounced [gn]?

Both 'reigning' and 'regnant' are related to the same Latin noun 'regnum'. Why is 'gn' is pronounced [n] in the first word but [gn] in the second?
2
votes
3answers
145 views

How do Americans pronounce the word 'progression'?

In British English, we pronounce the word 'progress' as pro—gress. Whereas in American English it's pronounced as prog—ress. So how would Americans pronounce the word 'progression'? It ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

What syllable is stressed in “complex”?

I've read somewhere that if complex is an adjective, its second syllable is stressed (com-plex), while for noun, the first one (com-plex). But e.g. this link says that adjective can also sound as ...
2
votes
2answers
190 views

Do you still pronounce the “g” 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" (ˈiŋ-lish instead ofˈiŋ-glish). How prevalent has this pronunciation become ...
1
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3answers
145 views

Pronunciation of 'A' [closed]

When a sentence begins with the letter A, e.g., A parent called me about his child. does it matter how the A is pronounced? Is it 'A' parent or 'ah' parent?
2
votes
5answers
594 views

How To Classify A Way Of Speaking Other Than Pronunciation Or Accent?

When you hear certain people talk, there's something distinct about the way they speak that you insist is not their accent. It's not even the pronunciation (e.g. can't vs. cahn't). It's also not their ...
1
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1answer
138 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
260 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 ...
0
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2answers
156 views

How to identify the sound of an “A” without altering the spelling of the word?

I have the word "Carr" (short for the name Carrie). Is there a way to write the 'a' so that a person reading the word 'Carr' would pronounce it like care ('kær), opposed to pronouncing it like car ...
3
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Why not pronounce single characters the same way as they are pronounced in words? [duplicate]

We pronounce most of the characters as if they were words and not characters. For example,"C" is pronounced as "See" but when used in a word, we pronounce it as "K". This is the same case with other ...
1
vote
1answer
60 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Is /e/ a new trend for /æ/ in America?

paranoid /ˈperəˌnoɪd/ Is there a trend that /æ/ makes a transition to /e/ in America? When I first came across the pronunciation in Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s (2008 version), I ...
2
votes
5answers
618 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
121 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
76 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".
1
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1answer
196 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
369 views

What is the IPA for “trade”?

Some of my students have a disagreement about transcribing the pronunciation of "trade" in American English. Some say it's (a) [t͡ʃeɪd] while others (and they point to dictionaries that support them) ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

American English Pronunciation of “o” sound long or short?

I'm always confused about how to pronounce words with letter o in spelling. For example, in the word boss, I always pronounce the o as short o, when in fact it is long o. Collar is short, but I always ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
592 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
141 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
156 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
279 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
712 views

How to pronounce “Pugh”? [closed]

Does Bill Pugh's last name rhyme with 'tug', 'few', or something else?
2
votes
1answer
113 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. ...
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votes
2answers
180 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is quixotic pronounced as it is?

Since "quixotic" was coined with Don Quixote as its basis, why is it pronounced "kwicks-OTT-ick" when it should by rights/origin be pronounced "Key-HO-tick"? It even sounds more onomatopoeiatic the ...
9
votes
1answer
452 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/, ...
9
votes
1answer
255 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?
3
votes
3answers
412 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?
2
votes
5answers
218 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. ...