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

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2
votes
3answers
265 views

911: nine one one vs. nine eleven

The US emergency telephone number 911 seems to be almost always pronounced as nine one one whereas the Porsche model and the date are typically pronounced as nine eleven One reason I can ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

What's the correct pronunciation of 'improcerous'?

The word improcerous means 'low' or 'short in stature'. How is it pronounced?
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Do you pronounce the T ending sound?

As I was taught in school and , the T ending sound of words is unvoiced and should be pronounced with air, but recently I met a friend from the US, those aired T sounds were missing from her speaking, ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

Does Santy (Santa) exist outside Ireland?

It's common at this time of year for adults to ask small children What's Santy bringing you? (awkward as this is for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas). Is this pronunciation of Santa unique ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Which word(s) are considered to be spelled the least phonetically? [on hold]

Of all the dictionary words, which are considered to have a pronunciation least like their spelling? Also, slightly different question, but I believe that some English surnames can have surprising ...
1
vote
4answers
79 views

Understandable songs to learn English [on hold]

I am not very good at speaking and listening English. Can someone please suggest some songs, which have clear pronunciation of English words, to listen and understand the songs too and also I can use ...
5
votes
1answer
314 views

Syllable — Phonetic Online List/Dictionary with word examples

Is there a homepage or online tool that gives you a list of, let's say, the 2000 most common syllables sorted by their international phonetic alphabet spelling? (e.g. /sɜː(r)/ = the first syllable ...
17
votes
6answers
9k views

How did the Australian accent come about?

Can anybody tell me how the Australian accent came about? It seems strange to me that it is not more like an English accent taking into account that the first and the majority of settlers were ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Does articulation (can't you) as [kæntʃ u: siː] a bit of conversational, not official style?

I'm hearing it in songs sometimes, but I can't remember such pronunciation on English class. Is it some kind of american english or more local dialect? First 'lyrics can't you see' result from ...
7
votes
3answers
410 views

Name for people who cannot pronounce one particular sound

Is there a word in English for the inability to utter a specific sound like the rolled R for instance? In my language, there is a name for people who can only pronounce the uvular/guttural R instead ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Pronunciation of “practical” and “miracle”

I just checked from the Cambridge online dictionary, I found out that written pronunciations of "practical" and "miracle" are /ˈpræk.tɪ.kəl/ and /ˈmɪr.ɪ.kl̩/ I've always thought "cal" and "cle" ...
26
votes
2answers
9k views

What's the deal with “colonel”?

Why does the word colonel (as in military rank) have such a strange spelling compared to how it's pronounced (or vice versa, although I don't know how you would pronounce that)?
6
votes
0answers
127 views

East Yorkshire pronunciation in the mid 20th century

I grew up in Driffield, East Yorkshire, England, in the 1950s, and I seem to remember that my older relatives spoke a variety of English far removed from the general notion of Yorkshire English. It ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Str mispronounced as shtr [closed]

I have noticed a tendency for str being pronounced with a h thrown in - for example, shtreet instead of street. A couple of our local newscasters actually pronounce this blend with the h! Why such ...
0
votes
0answers
89 views

What are the characteristics of the late Mr Bill Bixby's voice?

I watched for the very first time in its original language the first pilot of the American TV series The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982, dir. K. Johnson, with Messrs. Bixby, Ferrigno etc.). The voice of ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Why are 'student' and 'suspend' not pronounced as written?

I am a Chinese student beginning to learn English. I am curious to know why the word student is pronounced with the sound of d instead of t. Likewise, why is the sound of b used instead of p when ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is quixotic pronounced as it is?

Since "quixotic" was coined with Don Quixote as its basis, why is it pronounced "kwicks-OTT-ick" when it should by rights/origin be pronounced "Key-HO-tick"? It even sounds more onomatopoeiatic the ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it affected to pronounce the “h” in wh- words such as “what”?

Almost no one does it except professors and cosmopolitans. Though some books will say that "what" should be pronounced "hwutt" and not "wutt", is it really recommended for us, the common folk, to ...
6
votes
3answers
418 views

Whence came the different varieties of long /i/?

What is the origin of “long long /i/” before voiced consonants (the [ai] of wide, while, & tribe) versus “short long /i/” before unvoiced consonants (the [ʌi] of white, wife, & ...
4
votes
8answers
26k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
14
votes
7answers
79k views

Pronunciation of “cache”

I have been pronouncing the word "cache" as kaysh. I know a few people who pronounce it more like cash, cashay or even catch. After consulting a few dictionaries, it turns out that the correct ...
5
votes
1answer
521 views

“PRETTY good” and “pretty GOOD”, which one is better? [closed]

Speaking-wise, the difference between [ PRETTY good ] and [ pretty GOOD ] is the stress. I wonder would it convey a different feeling when people say [It's PRETTY good] and [It's pretty GOOD]
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Pronunciation of “quasi-”

How is the prefix "quasi-" pronounced? Are there any situations (e.g. depending on the word it prefixes or is part of) in which it would be pronounced differently?
1
vote
1answer
148 views

any rules for pronouncing “V” sound?

For example, "Is there any cars available?" When the speed of speech is getting faster, it isn't really going easy to make sure of making a lip formation about V where the bottom lip must be behind ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Are English speakers reluctant to use /l/ in a consonant cluster mid word?

A relative of mine recently went on a rant regarding the pronunciation of 'jewelry' (as joo-la-ree) and 'realtor' (as ree-la-ter). It reminded me of the oft criticized pronunciation of 'nuclear' and I ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Why a “chef” is a shef but a chair is not a shair" [closed]

I am unable to understand, why the sounds in english are not commonly spread. I looked into the IPA on google and could not understand, why the sounds change. e.g. chef vs chair.
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there a difference in pronunciation between “wood” and “would”?

My friends and I were debating whether would and wood are pronounced differently. Are they?
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Pronunciation of “compact” across English dialects, when used as different parts of speech

Googling suggests that compact has the stress on the last syllable when used as an adjective and on the first syllable when used as a noun. Is this common for all English dialects or are there ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How should “often” be pronounced?

I heard people saying "Of-fen" as well as "Of-ton". Till now I have been using the first one but few days ago I had an interviewer who pronounced often "Of-Ton" while interviewing.
2
votes
3answers
99 views

Phoneme glottalization in English dialects other than /t/?

I've done a bit of reading on t-glottalization, so I'm familiar with how it is used and its prevalence in English dialects. Are other phonemes or sounds similarly commonplace or widely used in ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Pronunciation of 'Arguable'

I know that the proper pronunciation of 'arguable' is /ɑr gju ə bəl/. I do not doubt. But it often bothers me when reading this word, that it somehow sounds like 'argu r able'. While not sure, I ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

pronunciation of PYRamid vs. pyRAMidal

This recently came up in my geometry class: why is pyramid pronounced PIR-uh-mid, while pyramidal is pronounced pi-RAM-idal? From what I can tell, they both have similar roots and etymologies, so ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is a Scot's accent so difficult for Americans to understand? [closed]

When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, the locals could understand me just fine, but I was flummoxed by their accent, which did not remotely sound like English to me. Necessity forced me to request that ...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
21k views

How does one correctly pronounce the letter 'H': “Aych” or “haych”?

What is the correct sound of the letter H when reading the alphabet - is it 'aych' or 'Haych' ?
5
votes
4answers
8k views

Pronunciation of foreign words in American vs. British English?

One of the differences between modern US English (hereafter referred to as "American English") and British English is the way in which we pronounce foreign words, particularly those of French origin ...
1
vote
0answers
109 views

Why do the first and last “t” in “taste” sound different?

When I listened to the audio pronunciation of "taste" /teɪst/, I noticed that the first and last "t" sound different: the first "t" sounds like [tʰ] while the second one sounds more like [tsʰ]. Words ...
18
votes
6answers
62k views
1
vote
2answers
179 views

Pronunciation difference in The and A [duplicate]

When should 'the' be pronounced 'thuh' and when 'thee'? I heard that 'the' should be used as 'thee' before vowels and in some particular cases. All other cases should employ 'thuh'. What are the ...
5
votes
2answers
696 views

Are heteronyms unique to English and why do they exist?

Heteronyms are words with identical spelling and unique definition and pronunciations. For example, read (I have read that book; I will read that book), close (The door is close; I will close the ...
4
votes
5answers
13k views

How is 'via' pronounced and where did these variations come from? [closed]

Over the years, I've heard people say 'v-ē-ə', 'v-ī-ə', and sometimes the 'uh' is an 'ah' sound. (edit- It has come to my attention that 'via' was once a 'wee-ah' from Latin, but I don't feel like ...
4
votes
3answers
793 views

How should “aargh” really be pronounced?

The common interjections "argh!", "aargh!", "aaargh!", etc., is pronounced, as far as I know, the same as "aaa!" For most of my life, however, I (and I imagine many other second language speakers) ...
5
votes
10answers
12k views

How does one pronounce “nihilism”?

I have heard this word pronounced somewhat similar to [the River] Nile-ism as well as similar to Neal-ism. The former is obviously because of the German or possibly Russian pronunciation, but how ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Aspirated letters vs. Silent letters

How are aspirated letters different from silent letters when pronouncing a word?
4
votes
1answer
271 views

What is the proper pronunciation for Kipling's character-name “Mowgli”?

Does the first syllable rhyme with “glow” or with “how”? It is no use appealing to the Hindi for “Little Frog” or anything else, since Kipling confessed to making ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Term for words with identical spelling but different meaning and different pronunciation

What do you call words with identical spelling but different meaning and different pronunciation? A couple examples are bass and resume.
3
votes
5answers
4k views

How are these Brazilian Portuguese names pronounced in English?

How are these Brazilian (Portuguese) names pronounced in (U.S.) English? João Gilberto Astrud Gilberto Bebel Gilberto Vinicius de Moraes Antonio Carlos Jobim Vivo Sonhando
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Words with a leading silent w

My eldest is a beginning reader. Yesterday we read one of my favorite books, The Wreck of the Zephyr. He pointed at wreck and asked me why that one looked like it said "wuh-reck." I explained that ...
16
votes
11answers
30k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “solder”?

I have been listening to a podcast where the host pronounces the word solder as "sodder" or "sod-der", even "saw-der". Same thing happened when the lecturer of one of my EE classes pronounced the word ...