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

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3
votes
4answers
3k views

Neesh or Nitch?

What is the correct way to pronounce niche? I've always said and heard nitch, but now I hear neesh, but it always sounds trendy to me. Thoughts?
16
votes
5answers
7k 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
2answers
77 views

Variations in the pronunciation of “the”

Although there are rather simple rules determining the pronunciation of "the", native speakers quite often deviate from these rules (including, e.g., TV shows). According to the Longman Pronunciation ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

“Flushed out” or “Fleshed out” [on hold]

I think this is a mispronunciation, but I'm not sure... Is "To thoroughly vet something" to "flush it out" or "flesh it out"? "flush" makes intuitive sense, but I've heard "fleshed out" plenty of ...
14
votes
3answers
20k views

How do you pronounce “melee”? [on hold]

I've heard meelee, meyley (maylay), and mehlay. Is there any "correct" way to pronounce it in the U.S.?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Pronunciation of “of”

Is "of" always supposed to be pronounced with the v sound (like "ov")? Or does it depend on the region (e.g. US, UK) or maybe on the word that follows the preposition? For example, how would you ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
5
votes
3answers
83 views

What is the common and/or member pronunciation of 'Marylebone' in 'Marylebone Cricket Club'?

There are lots of Internet discussions on how to pronounce 'Marylebone'. But given the context of 'Marylebone Cricket Club' (MCC), what is the most common pronunciation among UK people and/or MCC ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Words with multiple allowable pronunciations

Long time listener, first time caller. I was chatting with some friends, and GIF and nuclear came up. GIF is pretty unique, we considered, as we allow both /dʒɪf/ and /gɪf/ for its pronunciation. ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is the initial “ts” sound (e.g “tsunami”) pronounced as “s”?

Why is the word "tsunami" often pronounced as "sunami"? Can English speakers pronounce "ts"? Is it because the initial "ts" looks foreign?
9
votes
7answers
2k views

In what dialects does “often” rhyme with “soften”?

I believe in most English dialects soften is pronounced without a t sound. In some dialects, often is similar, but in others a t sound is quite evident in often. I'm interested not only in which ...
0
votes
3answers
6k views

Apostrophe before or after s? [closed]

In the sentence: The author was greatly in love with Annabel Lee and described their love for each other as greater than anyone elses’. Does the apostrophe go before or after the s in else? ...
62
votes
10answers
17k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
7
votes
4answers
592 views

Why “me” instead of “my” in pirate speech?

I don’t understand the usage in constructions like “Spare meself, me ship, me crew” in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Is it a dialect or “bloody pirate’s speech” or what?
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Why does English spelling use silent letters?

Why have a letter in a word when it’s silent in pronunciation, like the b in debt? Can anyone please clarify my uncertainty here?
7
votes
1answer
819 views

Is the [ʊ] sound pronounced with lip rounding?

This [ʊ] sound is the vowel sound for words like hook, pull, and good. When I began to learn English a bit more seriously two decades ago, I used a book that taught me to pronounce it shorter and ...
1
vote
1answer
350 views

Why is “delight” spelt and pronounced the way it is?

This as everything probably has something to do with the GVS, but how?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “k” added to “panic” when suffixes added (as in “panicky”)?

When adding any suffix to the word "panic," a "k" is added after the "c". Examples: panicked, panicking, panicky. Why is this the case? Are there any other English words that do the same? I'm also ...
11
votes
1answer
961 views

Rules for removing last vowel when adding “-able”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to drop the 'e' when ending in -able? Both are correct for these words: sizable, sizeable sharable, shareable takable, takeable But these words are ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
22
votes
8answers
2k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
0
votes
1answer
26 views

difference between the pronunciation of cheating and teaching [closed]

I would like to know if there is any difference between the pronunciation of these two words
2
votes
1answer
39 views

What determines the pronunciation of the prefix 'arch-'? [duplicate]

In the case of an archbishop, or archvillian it is pronounced arch. In the case of archetype, it is prounounced ark-e-type In the case of an archenemy I think you would say ark - enemy Is it simply ...
27
votes
4answers
9k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

What is a good way to learn about words whose pronunciations are very different from how they are spelt

It is embarrassing to be caught mispronouncing an aphonetic(?) word whose pronunciation is not intuitive. Are there any comprehensive word lists (may be the 5000 popular words that are commonly ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

'r' sound before 'th' sound

I'm learning British English. The r is usually dropped, so I never noticed a little thing, most of the time when I use an r before the th sound, my tongue does a kind of a tap or something between r ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Are “flower” and “flour” always homophones?

Flower and flour are said to be homophones. However, considering the number of different pronunciations (/flaʊə/ like BrE sour, /flou(-ə)r/ like AmE sour, /flɑː/ (forvo) like BrE car, etc.) floating ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

How to distinguish “can” and “can't” pronunciation in American English? [duplicate]

I am a student in China learning American English. I have listened to some videos and found it hard to distinguish can from can’t. I am looking for some advice that may help me.
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles?

When saying the title of JRR Tolkien's masterpiece, which is the correct pronunciation (Yes, I know that they're spelled wrong, but I'm trying to emphasize the pronunciation): Thuh Lord of thuh ...
1
vote
0answers
89 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
39 views

Pronunciation of Trapezoid? [closed]

How do you pronounce Trapezoid? Phonetic Alphabet answer preferred.
5
votes
3answers
246 views

Are there any words pronounced with an unstressed short monophthong at the end of word that are not /ə/?

Following my question Are there any words in English pronounced with /e/ at the end? I was wondering if there are any words pronounced with an unstressed short monophthong at the end of word that are ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

How to say “Castile” [closed]

I am from Castile, NY. As far as I can tell it is the only town in the USA with that name. We say the name like /kae-STAI-ol/, but I am aware that many people pronounce it like /kae-STEEL/. The name ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Is there a phonetic difference between the final vowel sounds of “butter” and “action” in Australian English?

The Macquarie Dictionary lists the following pronunciations: butter /ˈbʌtə/, apart /əˈpaːt/ & action /ˈækʃən/. Wiktionary lists them as butter /ˈbʌ.tə/ (RP), apart /əˈpɑː(ɹ)t/ (RP) & action ...
0
votes
0answers
64 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to pronounce family names?

Does anyone know a tool to look up names like Rumbaugh? Sometimes I hear something like "rumba" or even "rambo". Is there a dictionary where I could look up the correct pronunciation?
0
votes
1answer
49 views

“Unionized” vs. ”Un-ionized” [duplicate]

I know there exists a term for the to–too–two situation where the words are pronounced the same but spelled differently. Is there a term for the situation of unionized /ˈjuːnɪənɑɪzd/ and un-ionized ...
13
votes
3answers
699 views

What was going on with “quha”, “quhat” and the like in Scots and English?

From the Dictionar o the Scots Leid: Quha, Quhay, interrog. and rel. pron. Also: qwha, qha, qua, qwa, wha, vha, hua; qhaa; quhaw; quhai qwhay, whay, quay; quhae, whae; quhe, quhey, qwhey. ...
16
votes
7answers
9k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “AJAX”?

I have wondered for a while about how I should pronounce "AJAX" (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). I usually say "I-acs", as in the Amsterdam football club, but should I say "a-jacs" (as it looks in ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Do vowels have a natural pitch?

I cannot help but perceive the [i:] in be as "lighter" (higher in pitch) than the [æ] in cat. Boot sounds even lower (when not altering the pitch intentionally). Is that self-persuasion or could a ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is “bream” pronounced as “brim”?

Every time I catch an Acanthopagrus australis, commonly known as a yellowfin bream, I wonder why its name is prounced "brim", (as in the same way you would pronounce the brim of a hat). ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Palatalization of “t” followed by “y”

I often hear "that you" pronounced (roughly) like "thatch you". I've taken on pronouncing it like that until my English teacher implored me not to do so. Is there a consensus on whether this is rude ...
4
votes
2answers
50 views

pronunciation : Vine vs Vineyard

Why vin in vine sounds similar to vice, but vin in vineyard is similar to that in the name Vincent? I would expect since both vine and vineyard are related to grape in some way, they probably should ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Why we say “an historical” but “a history” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h? Why do we say an historical but a history? This question was ...
0
votes
3answers
62 views

Where should I put stress on these sentences?

I am studying intonation and stress in English, and would like advice on where to put stress on these sentences. "How do you do?" Does it sound like this? HOW do you DO? Where should I put stress on ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

What does 'Roodow (wrongly spelled, only the sound)' mean?

In Australia, I have met a lot of people saying a word (sound like) 'roudow' to respond (mostly to end, like 'alright' equivalent) a conversation. I have been searching around but haven't got any clue ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

TH sound, is it continuant or stop?

How do you all pronounce the TH sound when speaking fast? For example, I've learned to pronounce the TH sound like a continuant sound, for example the hard one: ð. I start doing a Z, so this Z go ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is “busy” pronounced “bizzy”?

Of all the ways I could come up with to pronounce the word "busy", "bizzy" would be very low on my list. At least "bussy" or "boosy". Why "bizzy"?
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Pronounciation of with

For me its quite hard to pronounce 'with' correctly, especially when I try to speak faster. For example saying 'with sauce" nearly breaks my tongue. Do you have any advice for me? Can I reduce the ...