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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

1
vote
4answers
101 views

How to pronounce “locale”?

In computing, a locale is an identifier for a user’s language or region. As a non-native speaker, I somehow came to pronounce it low-kale, while it seems it’s rather enunciated lo-kaal (avowing its ...
1
vote
2answers
119 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

When and where did * become “splat”?

I learned the asterisk character is the reason splatbooks are named such (from *books). However, I've been unable to find any specifics on who started pronouncing * as "splat". I know it's not very ...
0
votes
2answers
407 views

What is the pronounciation of “the” before the vowel “e”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce the vowel in the article "the" when used before "evil"? (American English)
0
votes
1answer
67 views

What English guidelines determine the spelling of a unique name/word? [on hold]

If i only have the pronunciation of a unique name, with no cultural origin, what are the rules to follow, to spell it correctly? Or is it spelled any way i want to, but then i shouldn't expect people ...
2
votes
3answers
534 views

Why do “bomb” and “tomb” have different pronunciations?

For example, "womb" comes from old English, whereas "bomb" and "tomb" come from old French. I'm not sure what import etymology has on pronounciation, but I was just wondering if there is any reason in ...
36
votes
7answers
25k views

Why is “primer” pronounced with a short “i” sound?

This word—used to mean an elementary textbook, not a painting material—annoys me to no end. Does anyone know why, exactly, "primer" is pronounced with a short "i" sound? I don't know why, call it ...
104
votes
15answers
92k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Is there a rule for when to pronounce “ah” instead of “ae” in RP versus GA? [duplicate]

I would like to know if there is a rule when to pronounce ah in RP versus ae in GA. Is it a question of vocabulary or is there a rule for that? Examples: dance- in RP is pronounced ah but in GA it ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
5
votes
4answers
297 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - 'Metallium' or 'Metalium'. The owners of the business went with the latter, but ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Pronunciation of single-syllable words ending in -ost

In Modern English, there are several monosyllabic words ending in -ost, like "most", "cost", "post", "lost", "frost". Assuming RP, some of them are pronounced with /əʊ/ (post) and others with /ɒ/ (...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Pronunciation of “Ozymandias”

Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Ozymandias is written in iambic pentameter and contains the famous lines 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' I can ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

Pronunciation of file format GIF [closed]

While browsing the internet I found several cases in which people argue what is the correct way to pronounce .gif. There are two sides in this argument: People pronouncing it with a hard g as in ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Pronunciation of Gala in different circumstances

It is my understanding that Gala can be properly pronounced three different ways (sorry I don't know IPA): - noun: like GAY-la meaning a party (hopefuly with GAity) - adjective: GAL-uh, describing a ...
7
votes
1answer
183 views

In phonetic writing, what does italics mean?

The word government is supposed to be pronounced guhv-ern-muh nt See here http://www.dictionary.com/browse/government?s=t
3
votes
0answers
161 views

Voiced or voiceless cluster in “Brexit?”

I was watching American national news coverage of the "Brexit" poll, and it seemed to me that none of the news anchors nor commentators used a voiced consonant cluster in their pronunciation of the ...
46
votes
6answers
19k views

How to pronounce the ^ symbol?

How should the ^ symbol be pronounced? I tried searching about this, but could not find the answer.
31
votes
8answers
123k views
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there any words in English pronounced with /e/ at the end?

In first-language English pronunciation (Australian, British, American, etc., not Indian, Malaysian, etc.) are there any words with the /e/ (or /ɛ/) sound in "bed" /bed/ at the end of a word? As a ...
-2
votes
1answer
70 views

Which of my “-ly” pronunciation is the best? [closed]

As a non-native-English speaker, I find myself hard to pronounce the "-ly" sound well, such as: traditionally, simply, only, correctly, etc. When I pronounce "-ly" it sounds like "-ny", I find it ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

How do you pronounce these Greek letters in English dictionary definitions?

Dictionary definitions for the English language usually have the word spelled out in Greek letters to indicate how the word is pronounced phonetically. Examples highlighted: What are these Greek ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “have” pronounced with a “short a” sound?

As far as I'm aware, every word of the form consonant-a-v-e has a long a sound - cave, Dave, fave, gave, lave, nave, pave, rave, save and wave - every word except have. What is the story behind this ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Pronunciation of “Attribute”

My question: Is it common to use the same pronunciation of the word "attribute" for both the verb and noun? If so, how does this vary geographically? Explanation: I'm from Michigan and have always ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

How to correct/improve 's-' pronunciation at the beginning of a sentence?

As a native Spanish speaker, I tend to mispronounce some letters or words in English. One of them is the 's' sound at the beginning of a word, for example, I pronounce: 'slang' as /eslaŋ/ instead of ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Pronunciation of words starting with “a”

I am not a native speaker, and I try to pronounce words as correct possible. I am confused with this group of words: apprehend, application (pronounced with æ) approve, appraisal, appreciation (...
10
votes
1answer
245 views

From the Spanish “xaquima” to the AmE “hackamore”

A hackamore: is a type of animal headgear which does not have a bit. Instead, it has a special type of noseband that works on pressure points on the face, nose, and chin. It is most commonly ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Regional pronunciation of “calliope”?

I’m watching Auction Kings and a lady from Atlanta (who does not have much of a southern US accent) is putting a calliope up for auction. What caught my attention was the way she pronounce it: /...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

why is “schizophrenia” pronounced with a t sound?

One of the ways the word "schizophrenia" is pronounced is ˈskɪt.sə.ˈfri.ni.ə/ My question is where does the t sound in ˈskɪt come from as I can not see any reason for it?
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Strange pronunciation of “door”

I have just heard Australian-English actor Rob Inglis repeatedly pronounce the word "door" so that it rhymes with "poor". In what dialect is that pronunciation found? Is it Australian? Edit - ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What is the correct pronounciation of i18n? [closed]

Is it "internationalization" or "eye-eighteen-n" or both?
17
votes
5answers
4k views

How do you pronounce numbers written in different bases?

The decimal (base 10) number "2" can also be represented as the binary (base 2) number "10". Let's use binary "10" (equivalent to decimal "2") as an example. I could see a few different ways to go ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Differing pronunciations of “divisive”

I've always pronounced it dɪˈvaɪsɪv (rhymes with incisive). Today at his press conference, President Obama pronounced it dɪˈvɪsɪv (rhymes with dismissive). I've heard the latter pronunciation off ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you pronounce the word 'vagary'?

I'm a native speaker, and I would naturally read the word VAY-guh-ri. I've never actually heard anyone say the word, I only ever see it in writing. But I also know that you can pronounce it vuh-GARE-...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Some questions about IPA vowels

I'm studying the English vowels of the IPA. However, I got a few questions which can't be diffused after discussions with my friends. 1. What's the difference between "ə" and "ʌ"? I don't want an ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Why are these spellings pronounced “non phonetically?”

In Anglo English, the word ewe (female sheep) is pronounced "you," rather than, say, "e-weh." Likewise, the surname Ewell, is pronounced "yule," rather than "e-well." Why is that?
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Origin of “Dj” in words

I've seen a couple of references to the combination of "Dj" as part of a word, normally in names, such as Django and Ramin Djawadi. Is the "Dj" always pronounced as a "J" and where is the origin from? ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

The word “royal”

I noticed this because of the Youtube videos about the to-be-released Pokemon game. There is a new battling style called "Battle Royal" and in those videos they pronounce royal as "roi-aww," putting ...
0
votes
2answers
378 views

Are American vowels drifting backwards?

I have 2 young daughters who like many their age are currently obsessed by "Frozen". I watched it for the first time last night and actually ended up googling to work out whether Elsa's sister is ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

The American R Tongue Moving

I heard basically there're two ways to pronounce American R correctly. American Accent Training, on which I'm lately work, says "Another way to get to 'er' is to go from the ee sound and slide your ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

A string of words illustrating the subtle differences between vowel phonemes

The large number of vowel phonemes in English makes learning pronunciation difficult. I am looking for a string of simple words that highlights the differences between the vowels. For example, bad, ...
1
vote
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
votes
1answer
57 views

Could you explain the differences among voiced stop, voiceless unaspirated stop & voiceless aspirated stop?

Look at this picture for explaining various mechanics of pronunciation with the vocal cords. Source: wikimedia commons I don't understand it much. Here is what I understood -voiced stop: your ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

discerning /æ/ and /e/ sounds

As I am a foreigner, I have great difficulty differentiating the sounds /æ/ and /e/ . When spoken softly, it becomes almost impossible for me to discern the sounds. Such as this one from movie ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

How are Hexadecimal Numbers pronounced? [duplicate]

Using different numbering systems/notations, "normal" decimal numeric expressions can be presented variously. For example, my age (57) is represented in hexadecimal as "39" However, once I'm 58, it ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

What's the correct pronunciation of 'improcerous'?

The word improcerous means 'low' or 'short in stature'. How is it pronounced?
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Stress pattern changes with noun and verb homographs: exceptions to the rule

We all know that words that can be used both as nouns and verbs have a different stress pattern: http://www.wordstress.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Stress-Pattern-Change-noun-verb-pairs.pdf As a ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

First or second syllable accent for “tarot”

Is it acceptable to pronounce "tarot" with the accent on the second syllable? So, phonetically it would be pronounced "Ta-ROW." My own online research showed me that there were maybe one or two times ...
45
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is ‘i’ in milk pronounced differently from ‘i’ in find?

As far as I know, in words of the structure CVCC, the vowel is usually short. Examples include milk, front, clamp, wasp, sport, etc. However, with some CC types, the vowel seems to always be long (...