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

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1answer
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Pronunciation Dilemma

How acceptable/appropriate is the pronunciation of words such as "Christian" and "fortune"/"fortunate" with a [t] sound as opposed to [ʃ]? I personally prefer the former but I believe that it's not ...
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2answers
80 views

Did I hear rightly – “Shiite Houthis are stated in to return the President to office.”

The answer would be very likely "No." I’ve been listening to AP Radio news, and heard the news of May 15 reporting the outcome of cease-fire negotiation between Saudi-led forces and Shiite Houthis as ...
1
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1answer
73 views

“long” <i> - inconsistencies in the relationship between orthography and pronunciation

I'm wondering about the dual pronunciations of the letter /i/ in open syllables. Usually it has the realization [a͡ɪ], representing the regular outcome of long i after the great vowel shift, but ...
3
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1answer
72 views

T- and D-flapping when at start of word preceded by vowel

It seems to me that the "d" is flapped in "I don't know" in American English. Am I right? If I am, I'm wondering if t/d is always flapped at the begining of the word when it is preceded by a vowel? ...
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6answers
97k 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 ...
16
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2answers
968 views

Why is 'worthy' pronounced with a /ði/ unlike 'healthy', 'wealthy' and 'stealthy'?

I don't know how 'worthy' came to be pronounced with a /ði/ whereas 'healthy', 'wealthy', 'stealthy' etc., are pronounced with a /θi/. I am aware that theories of pronunciation in English are far too ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is “meta” pronounced differently to “beta”?

Is there an etymological explanation to this? Why is "meta" pronounced ˈmɛtə while "beta" is pronounced ˈbeɪtə or ˈbiːtə? (Pronunciations taken from Cambridge Dictionaries Online)
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1answer
46 views

Pronunciation of “I'm going to” - Part 2

This question is a further question regarding my previous thread.(Pronunciation of "I'm going to") Thank you for everyone who answered this question. I read that saying "I muh-nuh" (eg. ...
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2answers
123 views

Fast speech and palatalization T+D

when the phrase "I understand you" is pronounced, does the palatalization happen in fast/connected speech? In other words, does the D+Y sounds more like a J sound as in Joke). Here's the way I ...
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3answers
348 views

Proper pronunciation of ordinal numbers?

Ok, so these few are easy: 1st (first) 2nd (second) 3rd (third) 4th (fourth) ...... And all other ordinal numbers ending in 1, 2 or 3 have their respective values, except ...
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1answer
35 views

Should I use the weak or the strong form in this sentence for the word “as”?

"Went straight up as if from a factory" <---- for the word "as" in this sentence should I say it like /æz/ or like /əz/ ?
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2answers
180 views

Is “fillet” a different word in “salmon fillet” than in “leather fillet”

In the question "Is there a name for words which are pronounced differently depending on which definition is being used?" it was suggested by two people that when the word "fillet" is used to describe ...
23
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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 ...
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7answers
5k views

When do I pronounce a non-existent “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?

If I say two words consecutively, with the first ending in a vowel sound and the second starting with one, when is it correct to include a non-existent r between those two words? Examples from ...
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0answers
31 views

Exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant

Is there a word for exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant by holding it longer than normal? When conveying this in writing, does it fall in the same category as an accent or dialect ...
1
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1answer
174 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 ...
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1answer
36 views

Specifically, what makes some words harder to spell, pronounce, and remember?

Edit: I apologize if my question lacks research effort, and is neither clear nor useful. Perhaps if you could tell me why this is in conjunction with your downvote, the quality of my post might be ...
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4answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “is there” in fast speech?

I'm not a native speaker of English, and I was recently puzzled with the question, "How can Americans put their tongue in z (is) position and then change to th (there) in such short time?" May you ...
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2answers
75 views

Winged or Wingèd?

Okay.. here is the problem: In a certain story I am writing, I have a place called the "Winged Lion Inn" which serves as a locus for several story-related events. I have a friend that insists it ...
2
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1answer
150 views

Ma'am: Is it as in “ham” solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken “ma”+“um” (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
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0answers
46 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?
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0answers
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Are there rules for pronunciation of words ending in “-ton”?

Here are 4 words ending in "_ton": Proton - /ˈprəʊ.tɒn/ Cotton - /ˈkɑt.n̩/ Mutton - /ˈmʌtn̩/ Wanton - /ˈwɒntən/ Even though the words end in -ton, the pronunciation varies. ...
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2answers
103 views

Pronunciation of “I'm going to”

I'm not a native English speaker but I've recently moved to the US. I've been noticing that when people say "I'm going to" (or I'm gonna), a lot of people here always pronounce it like "I muh-nuh", so ...
3
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2answers
177 views

What do you call “rhymes” which are spelt but not sounded the same way?

Here is an example from T. S. Eliot: And even the Abstract Entities Circumambulate her charm; But our lot crawls between dry ribs To keep our metaphysics warm. I expect most people would say ...
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2answers
79 views

How to pronounce “p” in “hospital” and why?

I've pronounced "p" in "hospital" as "p" for many years and just noticed that some people pronounced it as "b". Please refer to http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/british/hospital and ...
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2answers
149 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 ...
2
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1answer
101 views

a flap in “wedding” and “bidding”

I'm wondering if a flap occurs in "wedding", and "bidding" in American pronunciation? I can't hear it out here: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/wedding
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1answer
67 views

Mischievous pronounced (mis-CHEEV-ee-us) [closed]

I'm getting sick of hearing some people pronouncing the word mischievous (mis-CHEEV-ee-us) when there's no I between the V and the O. It's a three-syllable word pronounced (MIS-chiv-us). Why do some ...
7
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1answer
124 views

Pronunciation of Korea and Career

Are the pronunciations of the two words identical? Korea v.s. Career
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2answers
120 views

Is it true that only unstressed words in a sentence, which have H at the beginning of the words, will be dropped in American English?

Is it true that only unstressed words in a sentence, which have H at the beginning of the words, will be dropped in American English? Off course, these H words will not be the beginning of the ...
2
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4answers
175 views

Pronunciation Feedback Required

Did I pronounce the phrase "I'm gonna be gone for five weeks" correctly? https://clyp.it/oobrogbu Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm gɑnə bɪ gɔn fər faɪv wiks]. I have no idea which words should I ...
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5answers
3k views

How do I pronounce “can't” with a British accent without it rhyming with “punt” or “paint”?

How do I pronounce "can't" with a British accent without it rhyming with "punt" or "paint"?
3
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1answer
2k views

Syllable Count for Apparent Monosyllabic Words

How many syllables are there in "child," "wild," and field"? If we look at the dictionary, it will tell us that these are monosyllabic words. There appear, however, to be diphthongs in each of these ...
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1answer
82 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 ...
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2answers
46 views

'What are you' and 'what do you': same pronunciation in AmE…?

The ELL question Do Americans pronounce 'are' as 'do' in 'what are waiting for?' brought to my attention something I've not noticed before. In normal conversational (or faster) speech, it seems What ...
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2answers
165 views

Is there any English word starting with “gh” and “gh” is not pronounced as /ɡ/?

Gh is a digraph in English (and in some other languages). In English, you can see it at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the word. If ⟨gh⟩ is not at the beginning of the word, it is ...
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0answers
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2
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1answer
69 views

Why are “suffice” and “sufficient” pronounced so differently?

Today I heard somebody use a form of the verb "suffice" (which means "to be sufficient") pronouncing it like the verb "surface" without an r (and where that "a" makes more of an "i" sound). This ...
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5answers
1k views

Are there other words with the same weird spelling / pronunciation combo as “victual”?

I've always thought that "victual" was a funny word because its spelling and pronunciation are so alien to anything else I know of in the English language. The free dictionary explains the origin of ...
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2answers
53 views

'Falcon' or 'Fall-con'

I'd appreciate a native speaker's opinion on this. Dictionaries list both pronunciations to be correct. falcon Pronunciation: BrE /ˈfɔːlkən/ ; NAmE /ˈfælkən/ However, I have heard ...
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1answer
89 views

Pronunciation of What do you want to do?

When I pronounce the question: "What do you want to do?", I hear some stress on the first syllable of "whaddya" and "wanna" and a bit stronger stress on "do". This is how I pronounce it: ...
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1answer
66 views

Pronunciation for the word “competent.”

I hope that some of you might be able to quell this dilemma of mine. I would like to know the British pronunciation for the word "competent." Is it pronounced as: "com-pɪ-tent" or "com-pə-tent" with ...
2
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2answers
34 views

Does the word “buttress,” which is both a noun & verb, follow the rules about where to put emphasis based on its part of speech? [closed]

buttress (n.) any prop or support buttress (v.) to support by a buttress; prop up Words like combat, abstract, project, and convict change the syllable that's stressed based on whether ...
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2answers
60 views

UK English pronunciation of word “language” please?

What is the correct British English pronunciation of the word language please? Throughout my education in New Zealand and South Africa the first g was a soft sound as in bang? Here in Australia, on ...
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2answers
80 views

How should one spell the sound “eye” when creating a word?

How can I invent a word (or name) containing the sound "ai" (sounds like "eye") so that an English-speaker is likely to guess the correct pronunciation based on spelling alone, with no outside ...
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1answer
49 views

Pronunciation of the words “clothes” and “February” in American English

What is the correct pronunciation of the words "clothes" and "February" in the American English? A lot of people pronounce "clothes" as /kloʊz/, dropping the 'th', as for "February", I hear that the ...
3
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0answers
148 views

How to pronounce the Polish name “Aronszajn” [closed]

Nachman Aronszajn was an American mathematician born in Poland. I will make a talk (in English) on a subject for which I would like to cite some of his works. But since I am not a native ...
0
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2answers
39 views

Is it common to pronounce 'only' as 'own-knee'?

I personally find it very hard to pronounce the 'L' sound right after 'N'. Would you say it is quite common or at least understandable to pronounce 'only' as 'own-knee' (fastly)?
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4answers
8k views

Pronunciation of words ending with “‑ae”

For example, Styracaceae, Suidae, Sulidae, Sylviidae, Symplocaceae, etc. I don’t know how to pronounce them correctly.
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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 ...