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

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-1
votes
0answers
31 views

How to pronounce letter “e” in new invented brand names? (in fictional words) [duplicate]

Ok guys, let's imagine that I'm creator of names of legal entities. So, if the name of the next organisation is fully new (the words don't use ever before), then how can I understand what sounds it's ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

How would you say (write) “Where are you going?” in a Yorkshire dialect?

I think that this might be close to: Wɪər ðæ gɔːwɪn? This would roughly be Wi-er tha gaw-in? In this example, the first word would be the two words where and are put together Wɪər, but somewhere in my ...
2
votes
2answers
633 views

Pronunciation of “the” before a long u sound

All my life I have been hearing and pronouncing /ði/(unstressed) in "the US", "the UK" and "the UN", but I'm not sure that was correct. How do you pronounce "the" before a long u sound? I searched ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Foreign name usage in conversation [duplicate]

I’m English and confused. Is jalapeno spoken with the sound ‘jal’ or ‘hal’? ‘Hal’ is how Spanish people pronounce it, but I’m English. If the answer’s ‘hal’, do I say I’m going to ‘Paree’ instead of ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

How to pronounce “gemænscipe”?

I'm not sure if Old English counts here, but I can't find the answer to this anywhere. How would one pronounce gemænscipe? I believe it's Old English for "community".
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you pronounce “read receipt”? [closed]

Is it past tense (/rɛd/) or present tense (/rid/)? I can imagine rationale for either choice. Past tense because it's an acknowledgment that the message has been read, or present tense because it's ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What is the origin of the word “What”?

Where does the word what come from? Why do we say wot when it's spelt the way it is?
5
votes
3answers
639 views

Why is “poignant” pronounced /ˈpɔɪɲənt/?

I felt a little bit strange when I heard poignant pronounced as /ˈpɔɪɲənt/. It is also pronounced as /ˈpɔɪgnənt/, but the former seems to be more popular. A word stagnant has similar spelling, but ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

Pronunciation of the words 'height' and 'weight'

Why is "height" an "weight" pronounced differently, when the spellings are so similar? Is there any logical explanation or it evolved that way?
0
votes
1answer
212 views

Rule to pronounce words ending with “age”

Is there a rule to pronounce words ending with "age" ? ex : usage , outage => normal pronunciation of word "age" ex : sabotage , mirage => seems to be french pronunciation of "age"
1
vote
1answer
263 views

Unnecessarily Using a Long “E” Sound in Plurals Whose Singular Form Ends in “S”

Singular "analysis" becomes plural "analyses". The e has a long sound because otherwise the two would sound the same. This seems to be a pretty solid rule for nouns whose singular form ends in "is" ...
-1
votes
2answers
67 views

Pronunciations of different accent [closed]

Would it be possible for me to to listen different pronunciations in english. Regards, Aboli
2
votes
2answers
93 views

How do you pronounce the surname Derges [closed]

How do you pronounce the english surname of a famous artist-Derges
2
votes
5answers
344 views

Why is “agnostic” pronounced “ag-gnostic” as opposed to “a-gnostic”?

Gnosticism, for example, is obviously not pronounced with a hard g. As far as I know the modern English use of agnostic is said to have originated with Thomas Huxley, who surely would have been aware ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Why are the first syllables of “nature” and “natural” pronounced differently?

The two words nature and natural have the radical, why are they pronounced differently?
5
votes
1answer
342 views

Relaxed Pronunciation

As a court reporter & supervisor for 34 years our rule of thumb in the transcription of evidence, many people relax their pronunciation whilst on the stand, such as "gotta, kinda" but we've always ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Are American vowels drifting backwards?

I have 2 young daughters who like many their age are currently obsessed by "Frozen". I watched it for the first time last night and actually ended up googling to work out whether Elsa's sister is ...
10
votes
2answers
482 views

Pronunciation of street/road/avenue/etc. names

About three decades ago I read a book on English usage that was already quite old at the time—I think it was a 1940s book—which pointed out a pronunciational habit that I hadn't noticed before. The ...
1
vote
2answers
659 views

Why is “threshold” pronounced “thresh-hold”?

Why is threshold pronounced "thresh-hold"?
2
votes
5answers
2k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
2
votes
2answers
208 views

What is the name for “pronunciation spelling”?

Dictionaries often have "pronunciation spelling" listed next to the word. For example: port·man·teau - noun \pȯrt-ˈman-(ˌ)tō\ What is the name for this alphabet/system? Is it a universal ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Where does the intrusive R come from in “warsh”?

My grandmother, who grew up in western Pennsylvania, pronounced wash and Washington with an intrusive R: “warsh” and “Warshington.” Where does the intrusive R come from in that dialect? It doesn’t ...
-1
votes
6answers
200 views

How to pronounce number, say 1024, in programming world? [closed]

This is a 1024-byte length string. How to pronounce the sentence above? This is a one-thousand-and-twenty-four byte length string. or This is a one-oh-two-four byte length string.
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Pronunciation of CH [duplicate]

Why is ch pronounced as "Q", as in choir, and are there any other instances where ch is used as the letter "Q"?
0
votes
3answers
167 views

How can a written language develop with unspoken letters? [duplicate]

English is a language in which you write quite a few letters that you do not pronounce, or you write letters in one order and pronounce it in another. For example, centre. It is pronounced ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

In a combination of two vowels (such as “ae”), what rule determines if the first (“a”) or second (“e”) is silent?

In a combination of two vowels (such as "ae"), what English rule determines if the first ("a") or second ("e") is silent? For example, in the word "praetor", the vowel "a" is silent but in the word ...
4
votes
1answer
586 views

Can I pronounce a “t” as a glottal stop in the word “Netflix”

I am talking American English now. Usually when a "t" comes at the end of the word "wheat" or before "n" or "m" sounds as in "mountain" and "treatment", the t sound is not pronounced and i pronounced ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Why isn't the tonic syllable in “varies” not the same as in “variety”?

I've always pronounced "varies" as /veəˈrɪz/ but recently heard someone say /ˈveərɪz/ in a video. I'm brazilian, so that causes me some confusion as I'm not used to speaking English on a daily basis. ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

How to pronounce “users' email”? [closed]

Minutes ago, I was reading an article "Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim rights to read user emails". As usual I was reading it out loud, and I was stuck at "Following the revelation that Microsoft ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Is 'read' the only word that has the same conjugation with different pronunciation?

The past and present tenses of "read" are spelt the same but have different pronunciation. This question is related to the post Why are the past and present tenses of "read" spelt the same?.
0
votes
1answer
157 views

Does emphasis ever change the fundamental pronunciation of a word?

A friend of mine has a theory that changing the emphasis from one syllable of a word to another never really affects the "core" pronunciation. So for instance, consider the word umbrella. The ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do English people pronounce 'sixth' as 'sicth'? [duplicate]

It's common practice in Ireland (and the US as far as I know) to pronounce the x in the middle of sixth: six-th [sɪksθ]. However, I've noticed from visits to England as well as watching British ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Pronunciation of 'smoothed'

The -ed suffix for the past form of verbs is pronounced /-d/ after a voiced sound (e.g.: allowed: /əˈlaʊd/), /-t/ after a voiceless one and (e.g.: walked: /wɔːkt/) and /-ɪd/ after /t/ and /d/ (e.g.: ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the deal with “fiery”?

How did English end up with the adjective fiery (instead of *firy) from fire, but miry from mire and wiry from wire? Are there any other words where the noun is -ire and the adjective is -iery?
2
votes
3answers
205 views

How to pronounce “80x86”, “Linux 2.6”, and “Figure 3-1”?

As a foreiner, I have been confused with such a simple question: How to pronounce "80x86", "Linux 2.6", and "Figure 3-1"? Thanks in advance.
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Why is 'adjectival' pronounced with [ɑi] in the third syllable rather than [ɪ]?

Recently I asserted that the third syllable in 'adjectival' is different from the same syllable in 'adjective'. I was asked why that is, and all I could do was mutter something about the addition of ...
2
votes
3answers
286 views

Dialect “rules” and the pronunciation of individual words

Consider an American actor who is tasked with mastering British Received Pronunciation for an upcoming role. If he has a talent for vocal mimicry, as many actors do, he should have no trouble picking ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Why does Business read like busyness?

This is a bit weird, but the word business reads like busy-ness, but it sounds like biz-ness. Why is that? What happened to the i?
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Do onomatopoeias have more intrinsic meaning than other words have?

I was taught that words are arbitrary sounds used to represent an abstract concept. In the case of onomatopoeias, are they not so arbitrary? For example the word "buzz" roughly sounds like a bee ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

REpeat and DEfense

The words "defense" and "repeat" are more and more frequently being pronounced DE-fense and RE-peat; i.e., with the accent on the first syllable rather than the second. They seem to have originated in ...
0
votes
1answer
539 views

When does 'gi' sound like 'ji'?

Let us take, ginger, we actually pronounce it as 'jinjer'. But take, giggling, we pronounce it as it is. There are numerous examples of this, and this confuses me a lot. So, how do I come to know ...
0
votes
3answers
617 views

Rationale behind pronunciation of “subtle”

I've read pronunciation, yet I'm still irresolute about the exposition/logic behind the pronunciation of subtle. Why is the b not pronounced? subtle = subtil(e) in French, in which the b is ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Why “qu” is pronounced “qw” (as in quit, question) [duplicate]

Or to put it the other way, why qu is not spelled qw, as qwit, qwestion, for quit, question.
0
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Pronunciation of the prefix “tri”

I know that English pronunciation is rather arbitrary. There are still some "rules" that even with many exceptions are useful for non-natives like me. I'm puzzled about the pronunciation of the very ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Term for words that have different pronunciations depending on the part of speech

Is there a general term for a word that has different pronunciations depending on which part of speech it is taking on in a sentence? For example, "attribute" here is used as a noun She has many ...
-1
votes
5answers
293 views

How do you pronounce “grimace”? [closed]

How do you pronounce grimace? My parents taught me a long time ago to say "gri-MACE". Then the Burger King character Gri... came along.
1
vote
1answer
245 views

Why English does not have diacritics to distinguish between words with different meanings and pronunciations

It just occured to me that there are words in English that have two different meanings, two different pronunciations and are written exactly the same. For example "present" can be interpreted as the ...
3
votes
2answers
222 views

Pronouncing th after r in Standard American English: /ɹð/

I natively speak Flemish (Dutch). We trill the R. I just had a 7-lesson course (over video chat with an American lady) to improve my accent towards Standard American English. According to the test I ...
-1
votes
3answers
571 views

Why does English spoken by a native Spanish speaker sounds pleasant but not so pleasant when spoken by a native Indian/Arabic/Chinese? [closed]

When in fact, both are non-English speakers and are at same level of understanding of English language. Could there be any etymological reason behind this? Added later- As i can see, people are not ...