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

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3
votes
1answer
878 views

“dispatch” v “despatch” [closed]

Using it in the example of: Can you log despatch and delivery of documents? Three questions: Is despatch a misspelling of dispatch that made its way into the dictionary? Could I use dispatch ...
2
votes
1answer
644 views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you pronounce coitus? [closed]

Everywhere I've checked for pronunciations online it's CO-IT-TUS. Every time I've heard someone use it in real life it's COY-TIS. Since so many people pronounce it in the latter form, does that mean ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What exactly is the “schwa” sound?

What exactly is the "schwa" sound? As a non-native speaker, I hear this sound as not being a pure and clean sound. I mean I know that every vowel sound may vary depending on whether the syllable is ...
5
votes
1answer
308 views

Why does the “e” in judge vanish in the word “judgment”?

The in the word "judgment", the "e" from "judge" is absent. Three questions on this: Why is this? Is there a name for such a contraction? How and why does the "g" still retain its "soft" ...
3
votes
4answers
864 views

Why does “contrary” have two different pronunciations?

I have the impression all Anglophones pronounce contrary with stress on the second syllable (cont-RARE-ee) when applied to a person's actions or disposition, as in: Mary Mary quite contrary, How ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

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

Why are "put" and "but" different in their pronunciation?
3
votes
1answer
535 views

What is the proper pronunciation of “kitten?”

The American Heritage Dictionary says 'KIT-n' but speakers in my locale (west coast US) say 'Ki with short i, glottal stop, n.' There is no 't' sound. Do we speak slang, a dialect, or are we ...
1
vote
1answer
593 views

Pedagogue vs. pedagogy vs. pedagogical

How do people choose to pronounce the -agogue suffix in these three words? pedagogue pedagogy pedagogical The first is a reasonably common word and its suffix is surely consistently ...
3
votes
1answer
268 views

When a consonant and a vowel meet together, from where the sound start?

By IPA chart in Wikipedia, [m] is made, up in front of the mouth, and [ɑ] down at the back. In this case, where do you say [ma] is made? I mean, is [ma] made in the middle of the both positions of ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

When two open-front vowels meet, does one become, typically, weaker?

. . . at last [ət-lӕst] . . [audio source] I guess, from the two lots’ pronunciations, that when [ӕ] is accompanied by [ӕ], one which is lesser important in meaning becomes weaker and change into a ...
2
votes
4answers
189 views

Why numbers are sometimes pronounced as individual numbers?

456 four hundred fifty-six. four, five, six. Is there any rule or something? Is the second one just for faster pronunciation?
9
votes
0answers
121 views

Pronunciation of '-ing' endings as '-een' [duplicate]

Recently my daughter told us she’d had a supply teacher at school because her regular teacher was “at home pukin’.” The pronunciation of the -ing ending as in’ [ɪn] (rather than [ɪŋ]) seems to be ...
2
votes
1answer
459 views

What’s the difference between /ӕ/ and /ɑ/?

. . . alibis . . . appetite . . . rather . . . Mark . . . [audio source] The first two a’s are different in their phonetic symbols in the dictionaries from the other two, but I can’t differentiate. ...
2
votes
1answer
625 views

Syllable Count for Apparent Monosyllabic Words

How many syllables are there in "child," "wild," and field"? If we look at the dictionary, it will tell us that these are monosyllabic words. There appear, however, to be diphthongs in each of these ...
0
votes
2answers
260 views

Pronunciation of “twenty” in US English

I often hear how people from the United States pronounce "twenty" as "twonny" in movies, etc. Why? Is this an alternative pronunciation?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to stress any word properly?

Personally I think stress is one of the hardest things. There are thousands of words around, so most likely I cannot remember all stress-marks of every word then pronounce them exactly. Is it so ...
16
votes
2answers
530 views

Why is 'worthy' pronounced with a /ði/ unlike 'healthy', 'wealthy' and 'stealthy'?

I don't know how 'worthy' came to be pronounced with a /ði/ whereas 'healthy', 'wealthy', 'stealthy' etc., are pronounced with a /θi/. I am aware that theories of pronunciation in English are far too ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

What is modifying the “i” in Thumbelina and Carolina to alter its pronuciation?

While helping my daughter read (she is 5) we encountered two names in a story, Thumbelina and Carolina. The way I've come to pronounce the last four letters of "Thumbelina" is "LEE NAH" and the same ...
0
votes
1answer
545 views

Term for words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings [closed]

What is the term for words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings? For example, there and their.
3
votes
1answer
182 views

How to understand the pronunciation of “nod” and “node”?

As we know, "nod" pronounces /nɒd/ while "node" pronounces /nəʊd/ (In US style?). So why does the extra "e" change the vocal of letter "o" entirely? My mother language is Chinese, therefore, it ...
5
votes
1answer
193 views

Cardinal British Dates - A Kiwi Original?

I had never heard the use of cardinal numbers in dates when speaking until I moved to New Zealand. It seems particularly prevalent in TV and radio advertising, but doesn't seem to follow either ...
1
vote
1answer
943 views

Difference in pronunciation between “won't” and “want” [closed]

Which is the difference in pronunciation between "won't" and "want"?
3
votes
3answers
306 views

Pronunciation of “lib”

I've been a computer programmer for many years, and recently my father has been learning computer programming. Programmers often times will use a folder called "lib." Not a native English speaker, ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Pronunciations of 'retard' and 'retardation'

Why are the verb form (/rɪtɑːd/, ri-tard) and the offensive noun form (/ˈriːtɑːd/, ree-tard) of the word retard pronounced differently? While I have heard both variants in use as part of the ...
5
votes
1answer
488 views

Intonation and the changing of meaning

Two questions with the same words can have somewhat different meanings. For example, I could ask Do you want to go to the zoo or the museum? with my intonation/pitch rising after zoo, or Do ...
2
votes
1answer
440 views

Learn correct English pronunciation by non-verbal facial expressions [closed]

I met a guy who was born deaf and learned to pronounce and speak English by watching peoples muscle structure change in their face (i.e., their cheeks moving and lips being manipulated) Is there a way ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

1.99 dollar or 1.99 dollars? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are these plural or singular? Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile? I want to write price of some thing in my site. As I know (maybe I am wrong) ...
12
votes
2answers
20k views

Why is the “L” silent when pronouncing “salmon”?

Why is the letter l silent when pronouncing salmon properly?
6
votes
1answer
275 views

Why is “accidentally” pronounced “accident-ly” instead of “accident-tal-y”?

Why is accidentally pronounced accident-ly and not accident-tal-ly? Incidentally, some other adverbs have this same phenomenon, where some dictionaries show the second-to-last syllable as being ...
4
votes
2answers
385 views

Differing pronunciations of “divisive”

I've always pronounced it dɪˈvaɪsɪv (rhymes with incisive). Today at his press conference, President Obama pronounced it dɪˈvɪsɪv (rhymes with dismissive). I've heard the latter pronunciation off ...
1
vote
1answer
449 views

What pronunciation does Google dictionary use?

I generally use the "define" Google search tool to find what a word means, and how it should be pronounced correctly. Unlike websites like thefreedictionary.com, Google doesn't tell you what ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Does the letter i serve as a consonant in words like “onion” and “view”?

Some more words: union, behavior, Daniel. And the second i in opinion, familiar, brilliant, California. I am especially concerned with American English.
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How should an English speaker pronounce “vice versa”?

When using vice versa in spoken English, I tend to just completely Anglicise it and pronounce it vise VER-ser, with only one syllable in vice. The original would be something like VEE-cay VER-sa, but ...
-1
votes
1answer
127 views

What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”_(2)? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”? Mr Torres will be returning to the Amazon rainforest in ...
1
vote
1answer
227 views

Reference request: the pronunciation of Law French?

Would anyone happen to know of a systematic account of the English pronunciation of legal and parliamentary terms and phrases of Anglo-Norman French origin, or more generally, of Law French? When it ...
-1
votes
1answer
157 views

How paragraph numbers are read

I'd be glad if someone could tell me how numbers like "2.3.4.5.6" are read (pronounced)? "Two dot three dot four..." or "two three four" or maybe "two point three point four"?
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Caesar and caesura

Caesar and caesura are two similar-sounding Latin words which have made their way into English unsullied in terms of their orthography. The same can however not be said of their pronunciations. The ...
0
votes
1answer
394 views

What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? “The Weasley twins’ friend, Lee Jordan, was doing the commentary for the match.” Do ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are “flower” and “flour” always homophones?

Flower and flour are said to be homophones. However, considering the number of different pronunciations (/flaʊə/ like BrE sour, /flou(-ə)r/ like AmE sour, /flɑː/ (forvo) like BrE car, etc.) floating ...
6
votes
1answer
486 views

Where does “wicked” get its /ɪd/ from?

There are three ways I know to pronounce the -ed at the end of an adjective: /t/ as in cracked. /d/ as in lined. /ɪd/ as in naked I realise naked is a special case because, as etymonline states, ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

What does the umlaut mean over the E in the name “Zoë”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Zoe” or “Zoë”: which is the correct spelling? The ë in the name Zoë suggests that the e should be pronounced as a long a. The name is from the Greek goddess of ...
6
votes
1answer
427 views

Pronunciation of “-ed” endings

I noticed that the final -ed has different pronunciations. What's the general rule for knowing the correct pronunciation?
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Can't we tell which is which by sound (effect, affect)?

“We’ve adjusted for lots of other things that we know effect children’s development and IQ.” LOE has the “effect” in its transcript above. But the audio from the same page has the sound of ...
0
votes
1answer
341 views

Pronunciation of “Jan. 3” [closed]

Is a date written “Jan. 3” pronounced January third, or is it pronounced January three?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

how to pronounce “twenty” correctly?

Well, I usually say "twenny" instead of "twenty" (not "twendy" even). I recently noticed that I never heard the same from any native english speakers during any talks I ever had with them. Recently I ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How to know how to pronounce an “-e” ending based on spelling?

I’ve always wondered how the -e word ending should be pronounced: For example (correct me if I’m wrong), the words apache, Adobe, Skype, etc. have the -e ending pronounced like in the word be. ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
-1
votes
1answer
89 views

Can schwa be made in the word, calm? [closed]

Can the schwa[ə] sound be made even in the word calm, while which is being said in the sentences?
1
vote
0answers
42 views

How to pronounce al- at the start of a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sounds of the letter a I was wondering if there is a general pronunciation rule for how to pronounce A and L when they start the word. I noticed words Also Almost Always ...