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

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1answer
55 views

Is she speaking proper Cockney (or whatever it is she's imitating)?

At one point in Witness for the Prosecution, Marlene Dietrich's character is at some pains impersonating a guttersnipe. I've been told that the actress spent quite some time working on her accent for ...
3
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1answer
86 views

When does /tjʊ/ (Ex: Nice to meet you /miːt jʊ/) turn to /tʃʊ/ & /ʔjʊ/?

In this Wiki link, it said /tj/ could be pronounced as /tʃ/ So, Nice to meet you /... miːt jʊ/ will be /... miːtʃʊ/ But sometimes, I heard it as /... miːʔjʊ/ Watch this short youtube video, Freddie ...
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2answers
107 views

Identify English accent

My English teacher speaks, as far as I can tell as a native speaker of the German language, some really weird English. However, I'm not entirely sure if this is just my twisted perception or really a ...
3
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1answer
331 views

Are “lb” or “lbs” ever pronounced differently from “pound(s)”?

The “standard” pronunciation of lb or lbs is the same as for pound(s). However, given the nature of humans, I find it likely that in some slang a pronunciation based on the written word is used, e.g....
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0answers
23 views

How do I pronounce some possessive forms of words whose pronunciations end with s? [duplicate]

The examples come below. Sussex's Case's anus's How do I pronounce them?
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3answers
95 views

which is the different ea pronunciation : really /ideas/disappear/mean [closed]

a couple of my classmates and I had a discussion about which is the different word.Some said it's ideas, others said "mean". and as a follow up questions does the sound of "ea" change between ideas ...
1
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1answer
48 views

Which one of the following is the standard American accent of the word “badminton”: “/ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/” “/ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/”?

Ok, let check this word "badminton". In online Cambridge dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/ Source In online Merrian-Webster dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/ Source When ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Is Dick Schiller pronounced “shiller” or “skiller” in “Lolita”?

In Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," the title character's husband's name is Richard ("Dick") Schiller. Don't hold me to it, but I once heard a radio production (or it may have been a movie, not ...
5
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2answers
227 views

Can you hear the difference between 'Writer' and 'Rider'? Why?

Apologies in advance for the slightly blog-like nature of this question. The Background Some of the comments in relation to this question here: Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position ... ...
2
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0answers
114 views

In which vowel do the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ] start?

Surfing the web, I found the following explanations on how to produce the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ]: "/aʊ/ as in all the words of "How now brown cow!". The starting position is the vowel sound /æ/ as ...
3
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1answer
103 views

BrE: pronunciation of “to”

My wife is Guyanese and she tells me that in Guyana they are taught to pronounce "to" as an American would pronounce "toe." Guyana was a British colony (the most recent invaders) and their educational ...
2
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2answers
269 views

Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position

It seems to me that both /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ become voiceless (or almost) when they occur in word final position. Is this true? Examples: age, wage, courage, judge garage, sabotage, collage, mirage Does ...
5
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2answers
346 views

Strong /strɔːŋ/ → stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ - Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? Is it a rule?

Ok, see this in the dictionary: Strong /strɔːŋ/ --> Stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? But "/sing" /sɪŋ/ & "/singer" /ˈsɪŋər/ do not adhere to that rule. ...
4
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2answers
89 views

Is there a specialised term for words that are almost always mispronounced?

With few exceptions, I hear people pronounce enmity emnity, Wednesday Wensday, and prerogative perogative. Is there a proper term for this phenomenon?
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0answers
50 views

Proper pronunciation of the short a

When I hear the "short a" vowel pronounced it doesn't seem as fronted as it should. (I'm talking about the vowel found in words such as bad, lamp, clam, crash, usually transcribed with /æ/ in the IPA, ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Why do they have a dot between a consonant and a vowel (ex “/ˈlɪm.ɪt/”) in dictionary.cambridge.org? [closed]

I often use dictionary.cambridge.org for checking the pronunciation and many times I found they used a dot between a consonant and a vowel (ex, limit "/ˈlɪm.ɪt/", or lemon /ˈlem.ən/). Other ...
0
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2answers
63 views

is the pronunciation of “secret” “/ˈsiːkrət/” or “/ˈsiːkrɪt/”?

I checked some dictionaries and clearly they are saying "/ˈsiːkrɪt/" but their IPAs are "/ˈsiːkrət/" Source 1: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/secret Source 2: http://www....
1
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1answer
67 views

Why do some words change inflection when used differently?

Are there rules that determine if a word changes inflection depending on its part of speech? Some words seems to change inflection whether a noun or a verb, while others are pronounced the same. I ...
0
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0answers
65 views

The pronunciation of the definite article by American speakers

I was reading an article the other day and I came across an interesting passage: Notice that the weak form of the is typically [ði] before a vowel-initial word (the apple) but [ðə] before a ...
0
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1answer
91 views

How to pronounce 'question'

In all dictionaries the word question is pronounced as /ˈkwɛsʧən/, with ʧ symbolizing the sound ch in ti. I wanted to know if any phonological change happens when pronouncing the word in colloquial ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

“France” pronunciation; /æ/ vs. /e/ in American accents

Native North American speakers! Please, help me understand one thing: I thought I understood the difference between the /æ/ and /e/ sounds, but now I doubt that anyone can. Please listen to the US ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Linking /r/ and elision

In one of my lectures after learning about several processes of connected speech (namely assimilation, elision and linking) we were faced with a transcription exercise with which I have slight problem ...
1
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1answer
101 views

T- and D-elision: I hateTHem OR I hated'em

I would appreciate your help with these two questions: 1) I hated them. Will the speaker omit the D or TH sound? Will he say: I hateD'em OR I hateTHem. Are both variatons ...
0
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2answers
96 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
154 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
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2answers
91 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
304 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
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1answer
74 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
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2answers
177 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
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0answers
67 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
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3answers
119 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 I'...
0
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1answer
100 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
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1answer
109 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 ...
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0answers
37 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 cast/past/vast/...
0
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2answers
192 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
46 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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votes
1answer
108 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
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1answer
135 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 ...
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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
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1answer
106 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 + ...
6
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1answer
198 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
53 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
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3answers
143 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
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2answers
82 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
155 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 ...
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2answers
101 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
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0answers
489 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
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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) ...