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

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5
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
191 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
113 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
161 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
203 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
522 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
39 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
66 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
198 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
151 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
1k 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
97 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.: ...
2
votes
3answers
184 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
55 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
263 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
150 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
131 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
94 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
470 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
544 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
116 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
304 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
182 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
262 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
220 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
215 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
551 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
161 views

Is it technically incorrect to speak English using speech sounds of native language(which is not English)?

Consonants "t" and "p" are not unvoiced in my native language, which is Hindi. So I pronounce "Paint" with voiced "p" and "t", is it technically correct? It is acceptable, I know. But is it correct?
1
vote
0answers
31 views

How do you read “tr”? [duplicate]

I've got this little doubt over the pronunciation of "tr" in words (trial, attraction, actress). I recognized two ways of reading it - either as ch (like CHoose) + r or as t (as in Ten) + r, which I ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Pronunciation: is there a reason why 'gn' in 'reigning' is pronounced [n] while in 'regnant' it is pronounced [gn]?

Both 'reigning' and 'regnant' are related to the same Latin noun 'regnum'. Why is 'gn' is pronounced [n] in the first word but [gn] in the second?
2
votes
3answers
193 views

How do Americans pronounce the word 'progression'?

In British English, we pronounce the word 'progress' as pro—gress. Whereas in American English it's pronounced as prog—ress. So how would Americans pronounce the word 'progression'? It ...
5
votes
1answer
427 views

What syllable is stressed in “complex”?

I've read somewhere that if complex is an adjective, its second syllable is stressed (com-plex), while for noun, the first one (com-plex). But e.g. this link says that adjective can also sound as ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Do you still pronounce the “g” in “language” and “English”?

I'm hearing more and more people pronounce "language" as laŋ-wij instead of laŋ-gwij. The same goes for the word "English" (ˈiŋ-lish instead ofˈiŋ-glish). How prevalent has this pronunciation become ...
1
vote
3answers
163 views

Pronunciation of 'A' [closed]

When a sentence begins with the letter A, e.g., A parent called me about his child. does it matter how the A is pronounced? Is it 'A' parent or 'ah' parent?
2
votes
5answers
778 views

How To Classify A Way Of Speaking Other Than Pronunciation Or Accent?

When you hear certain people talk, there's something distinct about the way they speak that you insist is not their accent. It's not even the pronunciation (e.g. can't vs. cahn't). It's also not their ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Variant pronunciation of “obesity”

A question mainly for Americans: Could you please confirm if some Americans indeed pronounce the "e" of "obesity" as the "ea" of "steady" rather than the "ee" of "bee" (o-be-si-ty instead of ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

How do we know how words were pronounced hundreds of years ago?

Recently, I've spent some time reading "The Canturbury Tales", by Geoffrey Chaucer. There are a number of resources out there to help make sense of the old language he uses, but I've noticed that ...
0
votes
2answers
198 views

How to identify the sound of an “A” without altering the spelling of the word?

I have the word "Carr" (short for the name Carrie). Is there a way to write the 'a' so that a person reading the word 'Carr' would pronounce it like care ('kær), opposed to pronouncing it like car ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Algorithm to determine if an “e” in a word is silent

I'm working on a software that requires me to know if an "e" in a word is silent or not. I thought of using Artificial Intelligence and pattern recognition to determine if the "e" is silent. The AI ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Why not pronounce single characters the same way as they are pronounced in words? [duplicate]

We pronounce most of the characters as if they were words and not characters. For example,"C" is pronounced as "See" but when used in a word, we pronounce it as "K". This is the same case with other ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Where do I make the pause in this sentence

I am a Catholic monk, in our breviaries, in the English edition, we have a response for the night prayer which goes: "Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit." How do I use this? Is it Into your ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

Is /e/ a new trend for /æ/ in America?

paranoid /ˈperəˌnoɪd/ Is there a trend that /æ/ makes a transition to /e/ in America? When I first came across the pronunciation in Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s (2008 version), I ...
2
votes
5answers
830 views

How do students respond to the “roll call” and how do you pronounce it?

I have two questions. In the UK, to do (or is it read?) a roll call is commonly referred to as "calling out the register". It's been so long since I was a child that I'm not absolutely sure how ...
1
vote
4answers
141 views

Character pointer correct pronunciation [duplicate]

In C/C++ language the character pointer is denoted by char * What is the correct pronunciation for this? Is it "char star" where "ch" in "char" is pronounced as in character/choir or is it "char ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

How do I correctly pronounce “sóncræft”

How do I correctly pronounce the Anglo Saxon word sóncræft (music)? I feel it should be "sonn crayfte" or "sonn creft".
1
vote
1answer
269 views

Can a plosive be pronounced without an audible release sound following it?

When a plosive is at the beginning of a word, the pronunciation naturally flows into the vowel which follows it. The extra vowel sound following the plosive seems to give the plosive a very obvious ...
3
votes
1answer
435 views

What is the IPA for “trade”?

Some of my students have a disagreement about transcribing the pronunciation of "trade" in American English. Some say it's (a) [t͡ʃeɪd] while others (and they point to dictionaries that support them) ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

American English Pronunciation of “o” sound long or short?

I'm always confused about how to pronounce words with letter o in spelling. For example, in the word boss, I always pronounce the o as short o, when in fact it is long o. Collar is short, but I always ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we say and write “read” instead of “readed” for the past? [closed]

Why do we write read unchanged for present and past, while study changes; we have studied. The present form of read is read, pronounced as "reed". The past form of read is also read but it is ...