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

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10
votes
3answers
261 views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
3
votes
1answer
444 views

How many syllables are in “orange”?

It seems whenever orange is spoken, it is spoken as one syllable. But it appears to be two. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary transcribes the pronunciation of orange as follows: \ˈär-inj, ˈär(...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a "...
3
votes
1answer
776 views

Pronunciation of the words “clothes” and “February” in American English

What is the correct pronunciation of the words "clothes" and "February" in the American English? A lot of people pronounce "clothes" as /kloʊz/, dropping the 'th', as for "February", I hear that the ...
62
votes
9answers
9k views

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

According to Wikipedia, y’all’dn’t’ve is a valid contraction. I am having difficulty pronouncing the L-D-N-T-V consonant cluster, especially since there is no vowel at the end (silent E). Y’all’dn’t’...
0
votes
4answers
304 views

How to position the tip of the tongue when pronouncing /s/ & /z/?

This website says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip of the tongue should be close to the upper backside of the top front teeth. But this video says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip ...
14
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

Do the words with non-palatalized pronunciation of g/c (“get”, “give”) always have a Germanic origin?

In English, ge/gi is sometimes pronounced as [ge]/[gi], but mostly as [dʒe]/[dʒi]. The second form is explained as palatalization in the topic What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Different pronunciation between Thomas and Theodore

Disclaimer: I'm no native speaker. Thomas gets pronounced with a starting "T" (the "h" is silent), while Theodore with a "Th". What rule is followed here?
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Help with pronunciation: Difference between 2 variations of the “short u” sound

I really need to distinguish between the 2 variations of the short u sound (in the red box in the pic below, many dictionaries have instructions for pronunciation like this). I can understand the ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

Two words in a video [closed]

I have watched this video hundreds of times but there are two words I still can't figure out what they are. They have been bugging me and I would really appreciate if anyone could let me know what ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Will we pronounce /t/ like a true T when /t/ is at beginning of a word but the syllable containing T is unstressed?

This website said The t is a regular, aspirated t sound when it is the first sound of a word or a stressed syllable A regular T is the one that is clearly aspirated. So, my question is that: ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

How is “deque” commonly pronounced?

deque is a standard container in the C++ programming language. Its name stands for Double Ended QUEue. I am wondering how this word should be pronounced: like deck (this is how I've pronounced it so ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Could you clarify this “Intervocalic Consonant” theory: “consonants are syllabified with the more strongly stressed of two flanking syllables.”?

There are not many questions of "Intervocalic Consonant" on Stackoverflow. Ok, I found this theory on the internet. It said: The main syllabification principle If allophonic rules are to be ...
17
votes
2answers
20k views

How do I know when a word with “ch” is pronounced hard or softly?

I'm hard-of-hearing, so when I read, I pronounce things phonetically because I don't hear a lot of soft sounds (like /sh/). To my surprise over the years, I've been continuously corrected on words ...
98
votes
10answers
19k views

Is there any word in English where “th” sounds like “t+h”?

It might be a strange question, but I, as a non-native speaker (Pakistani), have listened to English pronunciations by my native people who have over time developed their own pronunciations. So, I ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Could you list all stops & continuants?

See this youtube video at 17:18, the lady said that: for the stops, we can't prolong the sound for the continuants, we can prolong the sound as long as we still have air in our lungs. So,...
4
votes
2answers
534 views

Are vowels most often pronounced long or short?

English vowels can have two (or more, many more) different pronunciations: A : /eɪ/, mate or /ɑː/, mat E : /i:/, mete or /ɛ/, met I : /aɪ/, mite or /I/, mitt O : /oʊ/, mote or /ɒ/, moth U : /juː/,...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 "...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Was “pronunshiation” ever a common pronunciation of “pronunciation”?

I came across an old prescriptive pronunciation guide from 1843 that says "pronunciation" ought to be pronounced "pronunshiation" (with /ʃi/ instead of /si/). The author says that the pronunciation ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

How to pronounce “th”

It's a weird question. I want to know how to pronounce "th" correctly, as in 'the' or 'thin'. Should I bring my tongue out of my teeth? In Arabic (as my native language), the correct pronunciation ...
-3
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British? [closed]

car, father, jarring ■ man, lad, mast A British guy would pronounce the vowel "a" equally in all these words. But an American would give one sound for the first three words, and the other for ...
1
vote
0answers
129 views

Why does written English have more variations in pronunciation than other languages? [closed]

According to my experience, in languages like German, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc., there are not so many exceptions in pronunciation as in English. For example, given a word in German or French, ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

How do you pronounce “Lowe” in “Lowe's”

How do you pronounce "Lowe" in "Lowe's", the home improvement store in U.S.? How is it pronounced when it is in a person's name? Is it pronounced in the same way?
0
votes
0answers
76 views

What are the stress patterns and intonation patterns in “wh” questions?

I have a few problems with stress and inotation when asking questions in English. For example Do we need to stress the question words like "where" "how" or "what"? what is the inotation pattern?
5
votes
1answer
148 views

How can I teach an English speaking person to say my name correctly (Kjetil) [closed]

I have a purely Norwegian name, Kjetil. It is old norse and means "kettle" or "helmet". A couple of times now, aquaintances and new friends have asked me in chat or person how my name is really ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Friday pronunciation [duplicate]

How is Friday pronounced? A friend of mine says "fry-deeh" but I've always heard it as "fry-day". Is it an accent?
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Is there a difference in pronunciation between grandma and grammar? [closed]

? Also is there a difference between morning and moaning? Assuming British as spoken in London ("Jafaican") but also interested in other dialects
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Why does “everyone” pronounce “spigot” as “spicket”? [closed]

There are many words that are commonly mispronounced, such as "recurring" being pronounced as "re-occurring," but that one at least has some logic to it, as something that is recurring is, in fact, re-...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Does everyone in the U.S. (and beyond?) pronounce “Buick” with the Spanish B/V, or is this a regional thing?

There's a long and dry story to this, so I'll just get to the point and ask the question: Does everyone in the U.S. (and beyond?) pronounce the beginnng of the word "Buick" with the "Spanish" ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

How to understand the pronunciation of informal English? [closed]

I moved to English speaking country a while ago. I always thought that my English is pretty well in both speaking and listening (understanding) parts. I understand 100% what is being said for ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Pronouncing “found” as “fyound”: why?

I had a teacher in high school who spoke like that, and an elderly neighbor: both women. When I first read Tom Wolfe's novel A Man in Full, I ran across this passage: "You must be Mr. DeCyasi," ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

“In front of” pronunciation [closed]

In the Taylor Swift's song "Red" I heard "in fronning you" for what was supposed to be "in front of you." Why do some people pronounce it like "in fronning you"? I also don't know how I should ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does the ending -ough have six pronunciations?

There are "cough", "tough", "bough", "through", and "though" (and "hiccough", if you're not from the U.S.); each of which has a different pronunciation for the ending "-ough". Why is this? Edit for ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Pronunciation and usage of “bona fide”

As I am reading books and articles, I come across this bona fide. How do you pronounce this? How do you use it properly? I know the definition is in good faith, like if you are welcomed to someone's ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Pronunciation differences between “finite” and “infinite”

In my experience, "finite" is pronounced (IPA) ˈfaɪnaɪt while "infinite" is ˈɪnfɪnɪt. In general, the prefix "in" negates an adjective, but does not change the pronunciation. Based on this, I would ...
6
votes
4answers
9k views

“Multi-” prefix pronunciation

I often hear native English speakers pronouncing "multi-" as ['mʌltaɪ] (mul-tie), however all the dictionaries are saying that the only way to pronounce it is ['mʌltɪ] (mul-ty). Example words: ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Why is “appreciate” pronounced as though the “c” is an “sh”?

Why is it that "appreciate" is pronounced as though it were "appreshiate?"
3
votes
3answers
698 views

Why are “suffice” and “sufficient” pronounced so differently?

Today I heard somebody use a form of the verb "suffice" (which means "to be sufficient") pronouncing it like the verb "surface" without an r (and where that "a" makes more of an "i" sound). This ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Pronunciation of words ending with “-tion” [duplicate]

As far as I can recall there are just a few words in the English language which end with the spelling -tion after an 'S' which have a pronunciation ending as 'chan'. But in South Asia, 99% of the ...
7
votes
2answers
898 views

Is there any rule for pronouncing words beginning with “re-”?

It’s hard for me to guess how to pronounce words beginning with re- correctly. Sometimes it is /rɛ/ as in reference, but sometimes it is /ri/ as in report. Is there any rule about this?
2
votes
1answer
199 views

What's the rule for pronouncing “’s” as /z/ or /s/?

Is there a hard rule for what sound the 's makes? In words like John's, Dave's, man's, lord's, etc. it makes a /z/ sound, but in words like that's, it's, ship's, poet's, etc., it makes an /s/ sound.
3
votes
6answers
4k views

Why is “go” spelled with the same vowel as “do” and “to” since it is pronounced differently?

These two-letter words ending in -o are pronounced with the vowel /oʊ/: bo, go ho, jo, lo, no, so, and yo whereas do and to are pronounced with the vowel /uː/. Is there an explanation for the ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

linking s/z and y

I realize some native speakers will create a new sound when linking s/z and y [j]. For example: Miss you = [mɪʃuː] "mishu" As you = [/æʒuː] "azhu" Is it okay if I just say [mɪsjuː] for "miss you" ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Pronunciation of “to”

After doing some research, I have noticed I have been saying the word "to" as [tʃu:], while most dictionaries and sources say I should pronounce it as [tu:]. But I have the impression that "to" is not ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Can the “t” letter be uttered as a flap t before the letter “h”?

I know the flap-t is usually used when the "t" is between vowels or between an "r" and a vowel, but I think I can also hear it betwenn vowels and the "h". And I noticed the same with the "g" I think. ...
4
votes
3answers
173 views

Could you clarify /e/ and /ɛ/?

This is quite confused! In the Standard IPA Vowel chart, there are /e/ and /ɛ/, see the bellowed picture (Source) However, many American English Vowel charts don't have /e/. So, I think that Some ...
8
votes
1answer
561 views

How to Pronounce “Deictic”

I'm going to be talking about demonstrative pronouns, and I need to say "deictic" aloud. Looking at several dictionaries, I have three options for pronouncing the word: (1) 'dīk-tik (IPA: [ˈdaɪktɪk]), ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

How to pronounce the stop-t

could somebody tell me how would a native american pronounce the stop-t in the following sentences? -It would be nice to meet her. -I've got you. -Right now. I learned that we should bring our ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Words rhyming with “ear” pronounced with the vowel as in “eat”?

For words like ear, year, hear etc., most dictionaries only give the pronunciation /-ɪr/ (with the vowel as in the word it). But I think some native speakers pronounce them /-ir/ (with the vowel as in ...