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

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2answers
94 views

Etymologically correct pronunciations that few would accept

Have we been mispronouncing Mount Everest /ˌmaʊnt ˈev(ə)rəst/? It is true that the peak was named after Sir George Everest who pronounced his surname as Eve-rest. But does that etymological detail ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How did “ass” lose the 'r'?

The word "ass" (usually marked as "vulgar"; the one that means "buttocks," "butt," etc.) comes from Sanskrit, one would think, since the old Germanic version is not a stand-alone, but has its ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

How to pronounce shortened words? [closed]

I'm studying programming, and regular English words are often shortened. For example, "previous" is shortened to "prev", "integer" to "int", "character" to "char" etc. How do you pronounce the short ...
0
votes
1answer
237 views

How many hours did you spend/spent studying for the test? [closed]

I'm pretty confused on which sentence is grammatically correct just because online and in person, everyone says it differently: How many hours did you spend studying for the test? or is it: ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Why did the pronunciation of Orleans change in New Orleans, while those of French borrowed words were retained?

Words like rendezvous, faux pas, a la carte are still pronounced the same way as they are pronounced in the French language. Why was New Orleans an exception to this?
2
votes
2answers
154 views

Detecting vibration in voiced and voiceless English sounds

I heard people saying that if you put your finger on your throat you would be able to feel voiced sound vibrates and voiceless sound doesn't. I tried it but both sounds seem the same to me. So did I ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Using voice commands to check pronounciation

I'm a non-native speaker and, many time, I struggle to get the proper/accurate pronunciation of a word. To check my pronunciation, I would use voice commands assistance (or whatever they call them) ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Does the [ɒ] in “not” sound different from the [ɒ] in “hot”?

I would like to know why the [ɒ] in not often sounds different (more rounded) than the [ɒ] in hot, father, or car in American English. I know that in British English the vowel in not is an [ɔ], but ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Pronunciation of words that end with two syllabic R's

There are a few words in English that end with two adjacent syllabic R's (in theory). For example, let's take the word deliverer. As a non-native speaker, I find it very hard to pronounce those two ...
0
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0answers
36 views

What is the rule for pronouncing the “a”? [duplicate]

While British people mostly seem to speak a hard "a", American people tend to make an "ae" in some cases. Here are some examples of what I mean, grouped by pattern: glass/grass ...
0
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2answers
186 views

What is the origin of the pronunciation of 'Plymouth'? [closed]

It has always confused how my American relatives pronounce the name of their city (Plymouth Meeting) as something like 'Plymeth Meeting'. For me, it seems that the natural way would be something that ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 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?
1
vote
0answers
54 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
votes
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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
99 views

Concerning Assonance

Assonance, also known as "slant rhyme," is a repetition of vowel sounds that creates an illusion of rhyming. Wikipedia notes that it's "used in (mainly modern) English poetry." Which leads me to ...
1
vote
1answer
131 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
75 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
100 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 + ...
1
vote
0answers
48 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Does anywhere else add an 'L' to words ending in a vowel sound?

When I was six I moved from Manchester (northwestern England) to Bath (southwestern England). I was baffled to hear my school mates describe the 'aerials' they lived in. Fast forward many years ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

BrE: monophthong in here, clear, mere, etc

Usually in BrE words like clear, fere, clear, mere, etc are pronounced with a diphthong comprising an open high front vowel followed by something resembling a schwa. However, they are sometimes ...
1
vote
3answers
134 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], ...
2
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Shakespeare's Scansion: the Sequel

Okay, so we seem to have established (with lots of great and generous help from StoneyB and Peter Shor) that: where it came to certain diphthongs, Shakespeare either elided syllables that didn't ...
0
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2answers
98 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
0answers
454 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.
0
votes
1answer
60 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) ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

How to correct/improve 's-' pronunciation at the beginning of a sentence?

As a native Spanish speaker, I tend to mispronounce some letters or words in English. One of them is the 's' sound at the beginning of a word, for example, I pronounce: 'slang' as /eslaŋ/ instead of ...
3
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
374 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
145 views

Aspiration in American English

I would like know which consonants are aspirated in American English and when? Also, when are they not aspirated?
1
vote
1answer
63 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Why “house” /haʊs/, but “houses” /ˈhaʊzɪz/? “s” changes to “z”?

OK, "house" /haʊs/, but "houses" /ˈhaʊzɪz/ Source Why does "s" changes to "z"? I thought it should be /ˈhaʊsɪz/.
2
votes
1answer
129 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
321 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
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

How to pronounce code?

Can someone tell me how to pronounce the word "code"? I am in Hong Kong, and people always pronounce it like "coke," but without the voiceless consonant "k". Is that correct?
1
vote
1answer
2k 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
3answers
75 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
1answer
65 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
2answers
154 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
243 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/ ...
0
votes
1answer
214 views

American pronunciation of Eva Braun?

I've heard it all kinds of ways, & now I have to pick one for an audiobook I'm narrating. I'm inclined to say EE-vuh BRAWN, but I just checked youtube(the fount of all pronunciation knowledge) ...
3
votes
3answers
384 views

Not fully pronounced oʊ (ō) sound in some words

Words like so, no, vocabulary, and don’t all contain the long o sound inside them. But I regularly hear native English speakers pronouncing the [oʊ] sound in these words (and some others containing ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you pronounce 'frappé'?

How is 'frappé' correctly pronounced? I know that it is from French origin and I used to pronounce it \fra-ˈpā\ (as I've seen on Merriam-Webster). But when my classmates heard me, they corrected me ...
7
votes
3answers
674 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
239 views

A rule for identifying the stressed syllable in abstract nouns ending in -ity. Is it foolproof?

When I was a student I was taught that the stressed syllable in an abstract noun ending in -ity is always the antepenultimate. e.g. reliability spontaneity ability felicity eternity rarity ...