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

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0
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0answers
25 views

why “come into a place” sounds like /kʌməntsə/ /pleis/

Two sentences from 60-Second Science Now a study finds that a teacher's racial biases come into play in different ways for high-achieving kids versus low-performing ones. While listening to music, ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Tawkin'? Tawk? I don't get the joke

from Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities: "I'll think a something. Half a my practice consists of talking to people who are not anxious to talk." Tawk. Killian leaned forward and said, ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

A tendency to use “a” in place of “an” in American English

I have noticed that a lot of native American speakers use the indefinite article "a" in front of words beginning with vowels, such as interesting, old, apple , etc. Is there any reasonable ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Why does Tom Hanks pronounce “stupid” as “st-you-pid” in “The Bonfire of the Vanities”?

This may or may not related to my previous question. In this movie (which is based on another one of Tom Wolfe's novels, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Hanks plays the lead character who is an Ivy ...
4
votes
2answers
405 views

Since when has “J” been sounding like [dʒ] and no longer “Y” [duplicate]

There are words that have "j" where in most languages it would be pronounced like romaji "y". Take for example "Jesus", "Jehovah", "John". It should be pronounced "Yesus", "Yehovah", "Yohn". Slavic ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Intensification of Consonants in English Pronunciation

In many languages, my mother tongue included, you frequently encounter words that have an intensified consonant within them, especially if the consonant is between two vowels. A good idea to ...
3
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7answers
8k views

Pronunciation difference between “collar” and “color”

What is the pronunciation difference between collar and color? Can a native speaker tell them apart?
9
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1answer
1k 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?
5
votes
1answer
502 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
vote
1answer
103 views

How to make clear the difference between 0 and O?

It's reasonably clear that there's a difference between the lowercase "o" and "0", but it's harder to tell with a uppercase "O" and "0". When saying them, certainly in the UK, "Oh" can be both o and ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Lenis and Fortis Clusters Assimilation

I've been looking for my answer but I still haven't found what I want. I have a question regarding lenis voiceless+fortis voiceless clusters (in American English). Does the fortis voiceless consonant ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

When did “-tile” and “-sile” (in missile and volatile) become “-tl” (or “tahyl”)?

The dictionary states as follows: [vol-uh-tl, -til or, esp. British, -tahyl] Especially British? Hmm. Don't kill me: I've never heard the following lyrics actually performed; I've only read them; ...
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0answers
57 views

Words that are spoken one way but written another

I was recently involved in answering this question: Renumeration vs Remuneration (reimbursed financially), which is correct? Which asks whether "renumeration" or "remuneration" is correct in terms ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

“Potential” pronunciation

I was raised to pronounce "potential" with a long o (ō). This makes sense where the syllables are divided. Yet, the online dictionaries I have checked say it is "puh". Can you comment?
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Pronunciation of anonymize

I “googled” the word anonymize to verify its spelling because it is not in the Chrome’s dictionary. Before I closed the tab, on a whim, I clicked the little speaker icon to hear Google’s pronunciation ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Why are there no English nouns starting with “th” pronounced as /ð/?

I just saw a claim that there are no nouns in English that start with "th" pronounced as /ð/, and I am convinced that is correct for at least Received Pronunciation, General American and Australian ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Are actors taught to roll their “r”'s?

A particularly prominent example of a rolled r user is the actor Jeremy Brett, who played "Sherlock Holmes" in the 1980s Granada adaptations. I've noticed that several other actors, especially from ...
2
votes
1answer
328 views

Pronunciation of “thank” using ð (voiced th) instead of θ (unvoiced th)

Both my younger siblings pronounce "thank" using ð, voicing the "th". I have never heard any other native speaker pronounce it this way. Both my parents, my older sibling, and I all pronounce "thank" ...
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2answers
72 views

How do you pronounce Calvin in British English

How do the British pronounce the 'a' between c and l? Is it like 'callous' or 'call'?
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5answers
9k views

How do you pronounce 'vegan'?

Theoretically, there are four possible pronunciations of 'vegan' due to two syllables constituting this word, namely, 've'('vee' or 'vay'?) and 'gan'('gun' or 'gen' as in 'generate'?). The online ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

English pronunciation of the letter “a” [closed]

I heard the letter a was pronounced /ei/, and sometimes it was pronounced as /ə/. So, can you tell me when is it pronounced as /ei/, and when as /ə/?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why isn't “muscle” pronounced “muskle”?

It comes from the Latin musculus (meaning mouse) and Latin has only hard c's. The "c" has somehow become soft or silent during evolution. Why did this happen? Also, if muscle is pronounced mussle, ...
1
vote
4answers
323 views

What's the name for when a word changes its pronunciation because of how people read?

With greater literacy in the past 100 years, most English speakers are also proficient at writing. Sometimes due to the great divide between English spellings and the true pronunciation, people will ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
4
votes
3answers
935 views

Any example of when one would pronounce the word “a” with a long A sound?

I am trying to think of any example when one might be correct in pronouncing the word "a" with a long A sound. With the word "the," one would use the long E sound only when the word is followed by a ...
4
votes
4answers
280 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - Metallium or Metalium. The owners of the business went with the latter, but my ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the name of the phoneme produced in an upper-class Briton's pronunciation of the word “Duke”? What's different in the articulation?

When someone with a Received Pronunciation accent pronounces the word duke, as in The Duke of York, he doesn't pronounce it with a "hard" 'd', as one might pronounce the word duh, but a softer type ...
6
votes
3answers
840 views

Explanation and rules for adding and subtracting 'r's in British pronunciation?

For example, the sentence, "The Premier of China drank vodka and beer in his car with Obama." A BBC presenter would pronounce it like: The Premieh of Chiner drank vodker and bee'h in his ca' with ...
14
votes
4answers
12k views

Why is “women” pronounced the way it is?

As far as I know, it is the only word where wo is pronounced as wee. What is the reason for this? Does it have to do with the origin of the word?
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there a formal spelling for the English letter names?

The English alphabet has a common pronunciation. For example, B is pronounced as "Bee", C as "See" and I as Aye. Is there a formal spelling for the letter names?
2
votes
1answer
90 views

How do I know where to place the stress?

In questions that start with interrogative pronouns such as: what, when, and why, should they be stressed? For example, is the word "time" stressed in the sentence? Is "What" stressed, too? What ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

how to read numbers of 6 digit in formal english

How to say these two numbers: 112177 eleven hundrends thousands and twenty one hundren and seventy seven one hundred and twelve thousands and one hundred seventy seven the same for this number ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Choose a username is easy to remember and pronounce [closed]

English is not my mother tongue language. But I am trying to pick a good internet user name for my new career life in America. And I read a lot of "How to Naming" article but still have no idea. I ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

New Zealand pronunciation of “women” vs “woman”

I have read in a number of places that the NZ pronunciation of "women" must be rather peculiar. Quoting from just one such place: For some years I've noted the tendency of Kiwis to pronounce ...
83
votes
27answers
8k views

How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”

According to one of the questions already asked on EL&U, “E = mc²” is read as E equals M C squared. How do we read “E = (mc)²” so that it is not mistaken for “E = mc²”?
8
votes
4answers
987 views

How to read “and/or” aloud

Is this read as and or or? Because it doesn't sound right while speaking aloud. Or is there some other way you can say it?
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “SUS” in “Stainless Steel SUS 304”

How do engineers and the like who are native speakers of English pronounce “SUS” (stainless steel)? Like the verb “suss”? Like “SOS” (mayday) but with “U”?
0
votes
1answer
99 views

When do and don't we link 2 adjacent words in pronunciation?

Please see this sentence "Do you like eating fruits?". If we stress the iː in "eating", then do we link k to iː so that it can become ..../laɪ'kiːtɪŋ/....? I guess that we don't link k to iː, but we ...
2
votes
3answers
173 views

Pronunciation of: I want a refund

I noticed in a TV show that the phrase "I want a refund" is pronounced like [I wanna refund]. I think the /t/ is dropped and /n/ is blended into the vowel. But how do Americans differentiate between ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Why do people write “Hellooo” instead of “Heeello” to show a prolonged sound? [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, so I don't know what to search for on Google and similar. In chats I often read words like 'helloooo', or 'sureeee'. And as I understood it, it's meant to mimic the ...
1
vote
4answers
6k views

Why are “put” and “but” different in their pronunciation?

"Put" and "but" both end in the same letters, so why don't they rhyme? Did they start out with the same sound, and then one of them changed? Or did they start out with different sounds, and just got ...
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votes
0answers
476 views

Why there is difference in pronunciation of words PUT and CUT? [duplicate]

I always wonder why the words Put and Cut are pronounced differently.
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Pronunciation of -ar in Madagascar

In the movie by the same name, the characters pronounce Madagascar, /mædəɡæskɑɹ/. However, dictionaries only list the pronunciation /mædəɡæskəɹ/. Just as peculiarly, many pronounce templar as ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Why is /e/ generally transcribed as 'ay'?

I’ve seen pretty often in phonetic transcriptions for English speakers who weren’t familiar with the IPA the phoneme /e/ or /ɛ/ transcribed as ay: Here "lejos" (/'le.xos/) is transcribed as ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Text for exhibiting different pronunciations

I'm looking for a text that can be used to showcase various differences in pronunciation across English accents. For example, it could include examples of the various splits/mergers (Mary/merry/mary, ...
6
votes
13answers
2k views

Does Santy (Santa) exist outside Ireland?

It's common at this time of year for adults to ask small children What's Santy bringing you? (awkward as this is for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas). Is this pronunciation of Santa unique ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

In Jamaican English, why is there no θ sound?

For example, three is pronounced as "tree," and thing is pronounced as "ting." How come Jamaicans do not have a θ sound in their accents?
6
votes
3answers
457 views

'Sag' and 'slant': Is the vowel /æ/ the same in both words?

/sæg/ /slænt/ Transcriptions from Cambridge American English Dictionary Both the words' IPA transcriptions have an /æ/ symbol. Do those two /æ/s sound the same? Are they both short or ...
6
votes
2answers
355 views

Are there rules for pronunciation of words ending in “-ton”?

Here are 4 words ending in "_ton": Proton - /ˈprəʊ.tɒn/ Cotton - /ˈkɑt.n̩/ Mutton - /ˈmʌtn̩/ Wanton - /ˈwɒntən/ Even though the words end in -ton, the pronunciation varies. ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Are the different pronunciations of “species” regional differences?

As far as I know, the word "species" can pronounced either as spee-sheez or as spee-seez. I understand that neither of these is incorrect: they're just two different ways to say the same thing. I also ...