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

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4
votes
4answers
99 views

Why is “poignant” pronounced /ˈpɔɪɲənt/?

I felt a little bit strange when I heard poignant pronounced as /ˈpɔɪɲənt/. It is also pronounced as /ˈpɔɪgnənt/, but the former seems to be more popular. A word stagnant has similar spelling, but ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Pronunciation of the words height and weight

Why is "height" an "weight" pronounced differently, when the spellings are so similar? Is there any logical explanation or it evolved that way?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Rule to pronounce words ending with “age”

Is there a rule to pronounce words ending with "age" ? ex : usage , outage => normal pronunciation of word "age" ex : sabotage , mirage => seems to be french pronunciation of "age"
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Reason for different pronunciations of “lieutenant”

While Americans (and possibly others) pronounce this as "loo-tenant", folks from the UK pronounce it as "lef-tenant". Why?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Unnecessarily Using a Long “E” Sound in Plurals Whose Singular Form Ends in “S”

Singular "analysis" becomes plural "analyses". The e has a long sound because otherwise the two would sound the same. This seems to be a pretty solid rule for nouns whose singular form ends in "is" ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

How to pronounce “worried”?

I have no idea whatsoever about IPA, so I apologise now for any ambiguity or difficult-to-understand-ness in this question. Me and a friend both disagree on the correct pronunciation of "worried". I ...
15
votes
8answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “Short-lived”

What is the correct way of pronouncing the i in "short-lived"? Particularly, I'm looking for whether it's a short or long sound for this vowel. I've heard it both ways.
0
votes
1answer
48 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.: ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
48 views

Pronunciations of different accent [on hold]

Would it be possible for me to to listen different pronunciations in english. Regards, Aboli
0
votes
0answers
25 views

English spelling/pronunciation example [migrated]

I think most of us can agree, English pronunciation vs spelling (vs conjugation) is strange: Read (present tense) Read (past tense) Red (color) Reed (plant) contrast with Lead (direct, present ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

How do you pronounce the surname Derges

How do you pronounce the english surname of a famous artist-Derges
2
votes
5answers
109 views

Why is “agnostic” pronounced “ag-gnostic” as opposed to “a-gnostic”?

Gnosticism, for example, is obviously not pronounced with a hard g. As far as I know the modern English use of agnostic is said to have originated with Thomas Huxley, who surely would have been aware ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

Relaxed Pronunciation

As a court reporter & supervisor for 34 years our rule of thumb in the transcription of evidence, many people relax their pronunciation whilst on the stand, such as "gotta, kinda" but we've always ...
8
votes
1answer
213 views

Pronunciation of street/road/avenue/etc. names

About three decades ago I read a book on English usage that was already quite old at the time—I think it was a 1940s book—which pointed out a pronunciational habit that I hadn't noticed before. The ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Why are the first syllables of “nature” and “natural” pronounced differently?

The two words nature and natural have the radical, why are they pronounced differently?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Aspirated letters vs. Silent letters

How are aspirated letters different from silent letters when pronouncing a word?
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “especially”

In some podcasts (it seems the speaker was from California) I heard that the word "especially" was pronounced with "ks" sound like "ikspeshally". What was it likely to be, personal way of ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Pronunciation of “comparable”

I was talking to my boyfriend about this but I wanted to get some more opinions. "Comparable" can be pronounced as: COMP-er-uh-bul (which is how I usually pronounce it) Com-PAIR-ah-bul (which ...
1
vote
1answer
64 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
79 views

When one of our proper nouns such as “Zeus” was translated from Greek to English, do all languages pronounce “Zeus” the same as us? [closed]

When one of our proper nouns such as "Zeus" was translated from Greek to English, do all languages pronounce "Zeus" the same as English speakers?
2
votes
5answers
942 views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Why is “threshold” pronounced “thresh-hold”?

Why is threshold pronounced "thresh-hold"?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

New Zealand pronunciation of “women” vs “woman”

I have read in a number of places that the NZ pronunciation of "women" must be rather peculiar. Quoting from just one such place: For some years I've noted the tendency of Kiwis to pronounce ...
14
votes
6answers
39k views

How is “æ” supposed to be pronounced?

The Encyclopædia Brittanica still uses the symbol "æ". However, I still hear everyone pronounce it as "Encyclo pee dia", when their spelling suggests more along the lines of "Encyclo pah dia" or ...
2
votes
3answers
234 views

How does one pronounce “hath” and “doth”?

Old English verb forms such as "hath" and "doth" are, I believe, normally pronounced with the /θ/ sound as in the word "think." But somebody once told me that that is actually a mistake. The words, ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the commonly accepted pronunciation of FAQ?

I hear FAQ(s) pronounced like a word in "FACK(s)", while I go letter by letter. In usage, what is more common? (Similar to SQL vs Sequel)
-1
votes
0answers
42 views

Is it all right to pronounce “bitchin'” with the “g” at the end?

I am wondering if, in situations of special emphasis, the implied "ing" ("ɪŋ") at the end of "bitchin'" may be pronounced instead of "in'" ("ɪn"). Example of contrast: "That is a bitchin' ride." ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

West Country Pronunciation 17th to 18th century

I read somewhere that the West Country pronunciation of oi for words like fight and like would become foight and loik. Was this really more common in the 17th and 18th Century?
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a rule for pronouncing “th” at the beginning of a word?

Consider the th in thistle versus the th in this: the former is unvoiced, while the latter is voiced. Is there a rule or reason for the differences?
2
votes
2answers
61 views

What is the name for “pronunciation spelling”?

Dictionaries often have "pronunciation spelling" listed next to the word. For example: port·man·teau - noun \pȯrt-ˈman-(ˌ)tō\ What is the name for this alphabet/system? Is it a universal ...
3
votes
1answer
280 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) ...
-1
votes
6answers
97 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.
3
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
79 views

How can a written language develop with unspoken letters? [duplicate]

English is a language where you write quite a few letters that you do not pronouce. Or you write letters in one order and pronounce it in another. E.g. centre. Its pronounced /ˈsɛn.tə(r)/, so you ...
0
votes
1answer
65 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"?
2
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is “one” pronounced as “wan”, not “oh-ne”?

Why is one pronounced as "wan", not "oh-ne"? Why are the spelling and pronunciation of one so strange? In French, one is written as un, and pronounced as "oe" (with nasal sound). The sound is similar ...
0
votes
1answer
29 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How should an English speaker pronounce “vice versa”?

When using vice versa in spoken English, I tend to just completely Anglicise it and pronounce it vise VER-ser, with only one syllable in vice. The original would be something like VEE-cay VER-sa, but ...
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
39k views

How do we differentiate long vowels from short vowels in English

I was finding a school for my toddler. I saw this new theory called long vowels and short vowels The teacher talk about apple, which she read something like "eiple" and the hat, which she claims use ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

the pronunciation of “get”

Both /gɛt/ and /gɪt/ show up in the Wiktionary. The etymology strongly suggests that the pronunciation /gɛt/ is older. What is the source of the pronunciation /gɪt/? Is it confined to certain ...
1
vote
0answers
27 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
3answers
350 views

Why is soldier ˈsōljər? Where did the “j” come from?

Just a pronunciation question. Is it a vestige of the spelling battle between i and j, where in English the j lost out to the i, but with soldier we retained the sound?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

In IPA, what is the difference between ə and ʌ?

In all the examples I've seen they seem to be the same sound. Examples of ə: a in about a in comma Examples of ʌ: u in run o in won I am trying to decipher the difference between these sounds ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

pronunciation of “a”

I'm really confused about the pronunciation of "a" letter. Why is there a difference when it is used in a sentence and when "a" is single? when it is single, we read it like dwelling on it, like /eɪ/. ...
23
votes
5answers
12k views

Why are Greek letters pronounced incorrectly in scientific English?

In Greek, for example, the letter β is pronounced "veeta", but in science, people use "beta". Some other offenders are η "eeta", ι "yiota", μ "mee", ν "nee", π "pee", τ "taf", χ "hee", ψ "psee". I ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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?.