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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
4answers
235 views

How to pronounce a superscript ə?

And why there's a superscript ə? just found this on the dictionary.cambridge.org ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What's the right prosody/pronunciation in “possessive + gerund” constructions?

From a previous post, I’ve seen that both (a) and (b) are acceptable, the difference lying in the register (formal vs colloquial) each sentence conveys. (a) She resented him being invited to open ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

a ssl or an ssl? [duplicate]

I was talking about ssl somewhere, then I saw 'an ssl' was used on some other websites. For example, https://www.globalsign.com/en/ssl-information-center/what-is-an-ssl-certificate/ But SSL word ...
10
votes
1answer
142 views

Night rain vs Night train, gemination?

The Wikipedia article on gemination claims that gemination of /t/ is the distinguishing factor between the pronunciation of the two phrases night train and night rain. In my whole life, I've almost ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

The pronunciation of “peripheral”

Some time ago, I heard the pronunciation of the word peripheral on a TV show (Brain Games, to be exact). Very surprised to hear /pəɹɪfəɹəl/, I asked two close relatives whether that was how the word ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

The X in Xavier

The NOAD lists the pronunciation of Xavier as (ig)ˈzāvēər. In my own experience the parenthetical pronunciation is very common. I, however, do not know of any other x-initial words that are vowel-...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

So, “carrots too” (/ˈkærəts tuː/) can sound like “Carrot Sue” (/ˈkærət suː/), right?

Look at this video at 1:09 (Source). The man said "carrots too" /ˈkærəts tuː/ but it sounds like he said /ˈkærət suː/. The /t/ got omitted completely. However, I don't see people omit /t/ in "stamp" /...
-1
votes
2answers
111 views

How to pronounce epitome? [closed]

I have always been pronouncing it as ye-pi-to-m. Usage Kala was considered the epitome(ye-pi-to-m) of success by her gym trainer after she lost 30 kgs in just 3 months. Is it not the case? ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Technique of pronouncing the rhotic “r”

I, as a German native speaker, have two "techniques" of pronouncing the rhotic "r." I describe them as follows: I move my tongue upward, so it touches the upper row of my teeth and then just make a ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Is there a standard for simplified pronunciation hints?

Often in introductory textbooks, new terms are introduced with a simplified pronunciation hint. For example, pharmaceutical (FAR-muh-sue-ti-kal) It's certainly not IPA or even the types of ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Differences between formal and colloquial English? [closed]

What are the basic differences between formal and colloquial English? Is it right that colloquial English uses more contracted forms, slang expressions, phrasal verbs, subjunctive, and euphemisms? ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

clothing should be pronounced as /ˈkloʊ.zɪŋ/ or /ˈkloʊ.ðɪŋ/?

Ok, I checked up some dictionary and found that most dictionaries pronounce "clothing" as /ˈkloʊ.ðɪŋ/ Cambridge, Oxford, M-w However, when checking the voice, Cambridge & Oxford seem to ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Do we link (in speech) between 2 stressed words in a sentence?

Ok, see this word "good" /ɡʊd/ & this word "idea" /aɪˈdɪə/ Ok, now if we have a phrase "I have a good idea" /aɪ həvə ɡʊd aɪˈdɪə/, then which of the followings are right and which are wrong: ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Does /ðz/ create 1 sound or 2 separated sounds?

Look at this word "clothes" /kloʊðz/ (source ) To create the /ð/, the tip of the tongue has to be placed under the upper teeth & then release the air from your throat to your mouth so that the ...
10
votes
3answers
403 views

“penny LANE” vs “PENNY street” [duplicate]

Why do English speakers say "penny LANE" (emphasis on LANE) but would say "PENNY street" (emphasis on PENNY)?
2
votes
3answers
69 views

Pronunciation of iff

Do most of English speakers understand the word "iff" in text, and is there a standard pronunciation other than the full "if and only if"?
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced “text-ted” and not just “tested”?

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced text-Ted and not just tested? One wouldn't say risk-ked for risked, or ask-ked for asked?
6
votes
1answer
250 views

“Carbine” rifle | is there pronunciation demographic data?

Let me count the ways: Car-bine (like: dine, refine, canine.) Car-bean (like: green bean, ravine, serpentine.) CAR-buhn (like: ..like the right and proper way to pronounce the scotch 'Oban'.) ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Roaming and Coming in William Shakespeare's O Mistress Mine

William Shakespeare's O Mistress Mine, Feste's song from Twelfth Night, seems to have the rhyming scheme AABCCB. However, the first two lines are problematic for that scheme with modern pronounciation:...
1
vote
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
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
124 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
votes
1answer
421 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....
0
votes
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?
0
votes
3answers
96 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
vote
1answer
53 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
vote
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
votes
2answers
235 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
votes
0answers
125 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
votes
1answer
105 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
votes
2answers
276 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
votes
2answers
370 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
votes
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?
0
votes
0answers
53 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
votes
1answer
42 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
votes
2answers
67 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
vote
1answer
76 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
99 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
92 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
votes
1answer
141 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
vote
1answer
104 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
votes
2answers
98 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
vote
2answers
99 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
377 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
86 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
197 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
68 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) ...