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

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2answers
501 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
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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
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?
3
votes
2answers
145 views

What is the history and distribution of the two pronunciations of 'lichen' /ˈlʌɪk(ə)n/ and /ˈlɪtʃ(ə)n/?

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/lichen says 'lichen' has two pronunciations: /ˈlʌɪk(ə)n/, /ˈlɪtʃ(ə)n/. In contrast, Oxford English Dictionary only registers the former. What is ...
41
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is ‘i’ in milk pronounced differently from ‘i’ in find?

As far as I know, in words of the structure CVCC, the vowel is usually short. Examples include milk, front, clamp, wasp, sport, etc. However, with some CC types, the vowel seems to always be long ...
1
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0answers
51 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 ...
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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 + ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Why the does 'tu' get pronounced 'tyu' in British English?

Despite being a native Brit, I've always found it an oddity that words like "tutor", "tube", "tumour", and "duty" are pronounced as "tyutor", "tyube", "tyumour", and "duty" in British English. For me, ...
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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 ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Pronounciation of “neusis”

The ancient Greek "neusis" technique basically means the use of a a straightedge with two marked points on it; as is well known with such a device, in addition to the usual Euclidean tools, one can ...
1
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2answers
130 views

What are the rules to pronounce the suffix “-tion” in English, “/-tʃən/” or “ʃən”? [closed]

Ok, we got a lot of words with suffix "-tion" in English like reflection or congestion. But the way to pronounce "-tion" is different sometimes. congestion /kənˈdʒes.tʃən/ reflection /rɪˈflek.ʃən/ ...
1
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3answers
105 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
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2answers
60 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 ...
0
votes
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
1answer
90 views

How to best correctly spell this sound?

Remember back in school (or still in school, like me) when someone got called to the office and all the kids in the class made an 'ooou' sound with the intonation slowly rising? Yeah... Anyway, I was ...
0
votes
0answers
251 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.
1
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0answers
72 views

“Tried to” versus “try to”: The -ed suffix as an intervocalic tap [duplicate]

This question isn't answered here: Differentiate between past and present just by pronunciation when word is followed by d- or similiar sound That question asks about what happens when the ...
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) ...
3
votes
2answers
193 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
516 views

Mycorrhizae: how the heck do you say “zae” in greek?

So, I'm trying to sound smarter than the people to whom I'm pontificating about no-till gardening, and I'd like to include a pronunciation of "mycorrhizae" (which is, of course the plural of ...
1
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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 ...
7
votes
10answers
64k views

Is there a rule in British English about how to pronounce “either”?

There are two common pronunciations of "either": British /ˈaɪðər/ and American /ˈiːðər/. If Americans are more or less consistent in this regard, then the Brits seem to be freely using both. In fact, ...
0
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
1
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2answers
421 views

Is the diphthong [ai] on a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? [closed]

Is the diphthong [ai] on a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? Some American people pronounce the prefix "anti" like an-tie. For example, here's a pronunciation of "anti-Christian" ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does “ow” have two different sounds

Why is it that the "ow" in now makes the /aʊ/ sound while "ow" in snow makes the /oʊ/ sound? Has this always been, was it spelled differently and then changed, or was it spelled this way but the sound ...
26
votes
5answers
47k views

Why are there two pronunciations for “either”?

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with an individual who told me that pronouncing the word "either" is wrong when pronounced like \ˈī-thər\ instead of \ˈē-thər\ , but I didn't argue the point ...
4
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2answers
221 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 ...
3
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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?
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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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Is Standard American Accent an old British Accent before 17th century?

I heard that American accent is like British accent before 17th Century. About 17th century, in Britain, there was a movement of changing the accent, which creates a new Standard British accent ...
2
votes
1answer
101 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
160 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
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1answer
63 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
36k views

Correct, clear, concise way to use “potato-potato” in writing

"You say tomato, I say tomato" and the song from the beginning. As an informal turn of speech, it can be used to show that two or more parties are talking about basically the same thing but not in ...
0
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3answers
3k views

How to pronounce (OS X) Yosemite in Australian English

In Australian English, is (OS X) Yosemite pronounced to rhyme with "vegemite", or the same as in Yosemite Sam, who is named after the national park?
0
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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 ...
1
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3answers
166 views

Pronunciation Dilemma

How acceptable/appropriate is the pronunciation of words such as "Christian" and "fortune"/"fortunate" with a [t] sound as opposed to [ʃ]? I personally prefer the former but I believe that it's not ...
1
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3answers
74 views

Linking Homorganic Consonants

when native speakers pronounce the phrase "Have a good time" do they tend to drop the "d" in the word "good"? The "t" and "d" are in the same tongue position and the only difference between them is ...
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
2answers
343 views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
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
1answer
131 views

“long” <i> - inconsistencies in the relationship between orthography and pronunciation

I'm wondering about the dual pronunciations of the letter /i/ in open syllables. Usually it has the realization [a͡ɪ], representing the regular outcome of long i after the great vowel shift, but ...
4
votes
2answers
715 views

Pronunciation of double G: soft “gg” versus hard “gg”

When I was a student, I was taught double G is normally hard, as in "agglomerate", "aggregate", "foggy", "aggressive", "dagger", "trigger", "niggard", "doggerel", etc, the exceptions being ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Pronunciation of letter y: asylum vs syrup

I want someone to clarify if there is a rule about how to pronounce the letter Y I've read in another stackexchange post that when it is in a Greek-origin word it is pronounced as uh e.g. analysis, ...
4
votes
3answers
303 views

Can we pronounce the 'th' sound as a d?

I know that there are two ways to pronounce the th sound. Like in the word 'then' and 'thing'. But in a lot of cases I hear it pronounced as a d sound, especially in fast speech or if it comes after ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

How to pronounce Ouroboros?

When i first came across the name Ouroboros it was in Fullmetal Alchemist referring to the tattoos that the Homunculi; I was watching the Dub so it was pronounced in English as Or-Ro-Bo-Ros. However ...
5
votes
8answers
6k views

The + vowel letter

I've been told that when "the" is proceeded by a vowel sound, like "apple" or "hour", it's pronounced as "thee" and not as "thu". But after listening to a couple of songs, I noticed that sometimes ...