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

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11
votes
6answers
3k views

Is a schwa ever stressed?

Is there a word in RP (Received Pronunciation) where the stressed vowel sound is a schwa?
3
votes
0answers
147 views

Spelling of one syllable changes pronunciation of another [closed]

I've been fascinated by word pronunciations where changing the spelling of one syllable doesn't change its pronunciation, but rather changes another syllable in the word. The only two examples I can ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Pronunciation of Fete as in Village Fete [closed]

I don't know how this site appeared in my pc, but I was using an old pc. Maybe my Greek Lady companion logged on at one time. She is multilingual whereas I am a Monoglot ( English only, with a ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

The pronunciation of ending “s”

I know the rule of pronouncing s at the end of words(plural nouns and singular verbs) that if s follows a voice sound(d, l, etc.), it will be pronounced as /z/ sound. For example, "words" is ...
3
votes
2answers
247 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 ...
63
votes
12answers
43k views

When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h?

A basic grammar rule is to use an instead of a before a vowel sound. Given that historic is not pronounced with a silent h, I use “a historic”. Is this correct? What about heroic? Should be “It was a ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

How to pronounce Netflix's?

An article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30932399 on the BBC website, regarding apps not being available for Blackberry phones has the following As an example, he said, this ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Append consonants when linking words?

How is "in an instant" to be spoken? /ɪ nə nɪn.stənt/ or /ɪn nən nɪn.stənt/ If we speak like the (2) then we appended /n/ before /ən/ & before /n.stənt/ How to ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

Why does this video say that /aɪ/ is to glide from /ɑ/ to /i/?

look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjYVGAKQMdI It said that to pronounce /aɪ/, we need to glide from /ɑ/ to /i/ /i/ long /ɪ/ short In the above video, they don't teach /a/ sound ...
2
votes
4answers
198 views

Phoneme glottalization in English dialects other than /t/?

I've done a bit of reading on t-glottalization, so I'm familiar with how it is used and its prevalence in English dialects. Are other phonemes or sounds similarly commonplace or widely used in ...
55
votes
5answers
41k views

In the word “Scent”, is the S or the C silent?

So I saw a post on a funny pictures site... "In the word "Scent", is the S or the C silent?" And I thought I could ask about it here. In particular, how does the pronunciation of "scent" differ ...
-1
votes
2answers
83 views

Saying a word in a way that describes its meaning

Is there an English term that is used when one says a word in a way that somewhat describes what it means? For example "Peter was really ANGRY at you Damien!"... Here, large emphasis would be placed ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

How do you pronounce “the Jones'”

How do you pronounce "the Jones'"? as it pertains to the following: "Mr. Jones and the rest of his family enjoyed the party, therefore the Jones' plans for another party were eagerly anticipated."
18
votes
4answers
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

How to pronounce Alois in A Dog of Flanders? [closed]

The e-book I have downloaded from Amazon has Alois, but Wikipedia seems to have Aloise. I do not know which one is correct in the first place. I shall assume Alois is the correct one. A Dog of ...
1
vote
1answer
478 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Must the tongue contact the alveolar ridge anteriorly in order to pronounce /t/ properly?

Some textbooks teach that when making /t/ sound, the front and sides of the tongue contact the alveolar ridge anteriorly and laterally. However, I feel very uncomfortable if I follow the above rule ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between IPA ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ

Wanting to be more Californian and trying to correct my accent, I'm looking at the sound for mother, in the North America column. What is the difference between IPA symbols for ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ. (ɝ is not ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

The word “mine”: Anyone else use a velar nasal /maiŋ/ for “belongs to me” meaning, but still /main/ for “explosive”/“coal mine”?

I think I naturally distinguish these words: mine (ie "belongs to me") /maiŋ/ mine (ie "explosive" or "coal mine") /main/ I vaguely remember noticing this years ago, but I was only just reminded of ...
8
votes
1answer
205 views

East Yorkshire pronunciation in the mid 20th century

I grew up in Driffield, East Yorkshire, England, in the 1950s, and I seem to remember that my older relatives spoke a variety of English far removed from the general notion of Yorkshire English. It ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

pronunciation of PYRamid vs. pyRAMidal

This recently came up in my geometry class: why is pyramid pronounced PIR-uh-mid, while pyramidal is pronounced pi-RAM-idal? From what I can tell, they both have similar roots and etymologies, so ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What’s the word for the habit of writing “play’d” or “revolv’d”?

I’m working on an 18th-century manuscript, and I’m trying to explain to others the use of ’d in past tense verbs. Is there a word that encompasses the usage of ’d in early 18th-century manuscripts? ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Accent on second syllable for “preference”

Dictionaries say that the word "preference" has got the accent on the first syllable. In a film the actor Jonny Lee Miller pronounced it with accent on the second syllable. It was not the first time ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Aspirated letters vs. Silent letters

How are aspirated letters different from silent letters when pronouncing a word?
9
votes
4answers
11k views

The pronunciation of buoy

How did the word buoy come to be pronounced "BOO-ee" in most of the US? The British pronunciation "BOY" as in the word buoyancy or buoyant (which both countries pronounce the same) seems to be pretty ...
1
vote
1answer
459 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
382 views

Syllable — Phonetic Online List/Dictionary with word examples

Is there a homepage or online tool that gives you a list of, let's say, the 2000 most common syllables sorted by their international phonetic alphabet spelling? (e.g. /sɜː(r)/ = the first syllable ...
7
votes
4answers
613 views

Why do people often say 'hambag' for 'handbag'?

Edit The comments here are full of disbelievers! "I've never heard handbag pronounced that way. Which country are you from?" Oh ye of little faith! So - I've attached a couple of examples here ...
2
votes
3answers
553 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
1answer
93 views

Different pronunciation of the suffix '-ege-': 'allege' vs 'renege'?

1. What are some terms that relate to this phenomenon? I want to beware of similar cases. 2. What are the reasons?
1
vote
1answer
587 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?
1
vote
3answers
253 views

Older and Odor - Pronunciation

I know the only difference between the two is that "Older" has an "L" sound. But I want to know if that "L" is obvious to native speaker? Or it could be easily mistaken.
0
votes
2answers
223 views

Stress shift amongst speakers from India

I've noticed that speakers from India shift the stress in some words such as 'adjective', 'sentence' or 'tendency'. They normally stress the second syllable and not the first one as most people are ...
61
votes
2answers
10k views

Why is Sean pronounced Shawn?

I've always had this question about the pronunciation of Sean. Is Sean a word from another language? Is it actually not pronounced Shawn and instead it's some sound between Shawn and Seen? Also, why ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Allophones of /ə/

In (non-rhotic) British English there seem to be two major allophones of the phoneme /ə/. The first which can be heard in potato, career or the weak form of from as an [ə]. However, there's also a ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

How is the word “Cactaceae” pronounced?

I was wondering how the word Cactaceae, which is the botanical taxon for the Cactus family, is pronounced. I searched for "Cactaceae pronunciation" and found the following pronunciations: ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

Great Vowel Shift reversed. Is it appropriate? In what region this accent is typical? [closed]

I have been just pointed out that Google translator's GB English speaker pronounces vowels quite differently from the language standard. I made a comparison with Lingvo Online dictionary, which has ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

911: nine one one vs. nine eleven [closed]

The US emergency telephone number 911 seems to be almost always pronounced as nine one one whereas the Porsche model is typically pronounced as nine eleven One reason I can think of for ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

What's the correct pronunciation of 'improcerous'?

The word improcerous means 'low' or 'short in stature'. How is it pronounced?
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Do you pronounce the T ending sound?

As I was taught in school and , the T ending sound of words is unvoiced and should be pronounced with air, but recently I met a friend from the US, those aired T sounds were missing from her speaking, ...
6
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
282 views

Understandable songs to learn English [closed]

I am not very good at speaking and listening English. Can someone please suggest some songs, which have clear pronunciation of English words, to listen and understand the songs too and also I can use ...
17
votes
6answers
13k views

How did the Australian accent come about?

Can anybody tell me how the Australian accent came about? It seems strange to me that it is not more like an English accent taking into account that the first and the majority of settlers were ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Does articulation (can't you) as [kæntʃ u: siː] a bit of conversational, not official style?

I'm hearing it in songs sometimes, but I can't remember such pronunciation on English class. Is it some kind of american english or more local dialect? First 'lyrics can't you see' result from ...
7
votes
3answers
567 views

Name for people who cannot pronounce one particular sound

Is there a word in English for the inability to utter a specific sound like the rolled R for instance? In my language, there is a name for people who can only pronounce the uvular/guttural R instead ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Pronunciation of “practical” and “miracle”

I just checked from the Cambridge online dictionary, I found out that written pronunciations of "practical" and "miracle" are /ˈpræk.tɪ.kəl/ and /ˈmɪr.ɪ.kl̩/ I've always thought "cal" and "cle" ...
26
votes
2answers
13k views

What's the deal with “colonel”?

Why does the word colonel (as in military rank) have such a strange spelling compared to how it's pronounced (or vice versa, although I don't know how you would pronounce that)?
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Why are 'student' and 'suspend' not pronounced as written?

I am a Chinese student beginning to learn English. I am curious to know why the word student is pronounced with the sound of d instead of t. Likewise, why is the sound of b used instead of p when ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it affected to pronounce the “h” in wh- words such as “what”?

Almost no one does it except professors and cosmopolitans. Though some books will say that "what" should be pronounced "hwutt" and not "wutt", is it really recommended for us, the common folk, to ...
6
votes
3answers
489 views

Whence came the different varieties of long /i/?

What is the origin of “long long /i/” before voiced consonants (the [ai] of wide, while, & tribe) versus “short long /i/” before unvoiced consonants (the [ʌi] of white, wife, & ...