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

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0
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2answers
53 views
72
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12answers
59k views

When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h?

A basic grammar rule is to use an instead of a before a vowel sound. Given that historic is not pronounced with a silent h, I use “a historic”. Is this correct? What about heroic? Should be “It was a ...
0
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
1
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0answers
14 views

Could you Clarify the Front - Back & Close - Open position & other positions in between in IPA vowel chart?

See the IPA vowel chart A front vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far in ...
-4
votes
0answers
51 views

Pronouncing vote as voyt? [on hold]

I constantly hear television announcers who have a British accent pronounce vote as voyt, boat as boyt and ocean as oyshun. They almost always say oy instead of the long o (oh). Why is that?
15
votes
7answers
7k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two English coursebooks used by Italian students. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private ...
2
votes
2answers
902 views

English, Latin, or Malay pronunciation of betta fish

The genus name of the aquarium fish Betta splendens derives from the Malay word "ikan betah." The common name of the fish is also "betta," which in English we'd pronounce with a soft e. I often hear ...
1
vote
1answer
157 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
0
votes
1answer
53 views

How do native English speakers pronounce these Vietnamese words “Le” & “Bo”?

I am Vietnamese & If I see "Le" & "Bo" I will pronounce them as /le/ & /bo/. But seem English doesn't have any /e/ or /o/ as a phoneme. A phoneme /ˈfoʊniːm/ is one of the units of sound ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Am I thinking right about “Front”, “Near-Front”, “Central”, “Near-Back”, “Back” position of IPA vowel chart?

See this Standard IPA Vowel chart Source I am confused of the "Front", "Near-Front", "Central", "Near-Back", "Back" position of the tongue. If you draw a straight line from the position ...
1
vote
2answers
231 views

Why can't I pronounce the ŋ sound? (native English speaker)

I was wondering why it is that I'm unable to pronounce this sound. Apparently, the reason why I pronounce the words "seen" and "sing" the exact same way (as well as "long" and "lawn", "dean" and ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Could you clarify /e/ and /ɛ/?

This is quite confused! In the Standard IPA Vowel chart, there are /e/ and /ɛ/, see the bellowed picture (Source) However, many American English Vowel charts don't have /e/. So, I think that Some ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there any word in English that has the vowel “o” stands alone without any other vowel standing next to it?

See this picture (Source) See the vowel "o" I couldn't find any word in English dictionary that has vowel "o" stands alone without any other vowel standing next to it. Let say, I can see /ɡoʊ/ ...
0
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3answers
3k views

How to pronounce “aa” vowel pair? [on hold]

The word in question is "thraal", a species from the Dr. Who universe (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Thraal) and coincidentally also a species from the Transformers universe ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Yod dropping - Why is there a distinction in the pronunciations of “sewn” and “hewn”?

"Sewn" is pronounced /sōn/, whereas "hewn" is pronounced /hyo͞on/. Is there a reason for the difference in their pronunciations despite their spellings and origins being similar?
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Does anywhere else add an 'L' to words ending in a vowel sound?

When I was six I moved from Manchester (northwestern England) to Bath (southwestern England). I was baffled to hear my school mates describe the 'aerials' they lived in. Fast forward many years ...
0
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0answers
31 views

How do you tell the difference between “wrong” and “run” in perception test?

Background Just developing a linguistic test - native English speakers can pass(100% correct), and L2 learners cannnot pass(even though they are very proficient). "Wrong vs run" pair was chosen. ...
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0answers
33 views

Why is 'Sesame' pronounced as 'se-see-me'? [on hold]

Why is the word 'Sesame' pronounced 'se-see-mi' instead of 'se-sa-me' (like in French)? Are there any other words have similar pronunciations, and can these types of words be classified under a ...
0
votes
4answers
260 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

how to pronounce “th”

It's a weird question , I want to know how to pronounce "th" correctly as in (the or thin) should i bring my tongue out of my teeth :D In Arabic(as my native lang.), the correct pronunciation of ...
5
votes
0answers
127 views

Why does “alcohol” end with /ɔl/ for some American speakers? Which ones?

For American English speakers, the written sequence "ol" usually corresponds to the pronunciation /oʊl/ (like in cold), /oʊ/ (like in yolk), or /ɑl/ (like in collar); or to /əl/ when unstressed (like ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

How do you pronounce “bald”?

I've always heard it pronounced /bɒld/ (rhymes with scald, for those of you who don't know IPA), however the dictionary and some of my friends say /bɔ:ld/ (rhymes with mauled). I'm British, by the ...
1
vote
3answers
25k views

What's the right way to pronounce “Louis”?

The name of the comedian Louis C.K. is pronounced LU-EE-SEE-KAY. Is the S pronounced as a part of the given name "Louis", or just the first constant of the of the letter C? Is there a canonical way ...
2
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2answers
437 views

Why the extra syllable in words like these ending in -r and -l?

First-off, I'm not a native speaker. I've noticed that a lot of words ending in -r and -l are pronounced as if they had an extra syllable. Especially when they have a -ee- or -ai- sound. Consider ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Words pronounced with stress patterns like in “politics”, “lunatics”, etc.?

Could anyone please give a list of words pronounced with no primary stress immediately preceding the suffix -ic, such as in "politics", "lunatic", "arithmetic"? Also, is there an absolute stress ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Isn't a “gonner” or “gonna” slang for a person about to die?

(I think this "blank" moment of mine is what is called in AmEng a brain fart, so be it) Isn't ‘a gonner/gonna’ slang for a person who is about to die? It's said in situations where, potentially, ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

“Accessory” pronounced with a stress on the first syllable

I'm a first language English speaker, but grew up Bilingual in Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Today I was speaking to another first language English speaker (Canadian) and used the word ...
6
votes
1answer
210 views

“Carbine” rifle | is there pronunciation demographic data?

Let me count the ways: Car-bine (like: dine, refine, canine.) Car-bean (like: green bean, ravine, serpentine.) CAR-buhn (like: ..like the right and proper way to pronounce the scotch 'Oban'.) ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Pronunciation of luxury

Is there a reason that Americans now pronounce luxury "lugsury" instead of "lucshury" while still pronouncing "extract" and "extra" with the more common "x" sound?
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Does Bender from Futurama sound like a non-American? [closed]

Robot Bender is one of the main characters in the animated television series 'Futurama'. Bender — Best moments (5 minute video). Does Bender speak ‘proper’ American English? Does he have an ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

How do New Yorkers pronounce “oil”? [closed]

There's a list of "New York" words and phrases that's been surfacing on the Web periodically for quite a few years. Not all New Yorkers speak like that, I assure you. Only barely-above-the-gutter ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Roaming and Coming in William Shakespeare's O Mistress Mine

William Shakespeare's O Mistress Mine, Feste's song from Twelfth Night, seems to have the rhyming scheme AABCCB. However, the first two lines are problematic for that scheme with modern ...
6
votes
6answers
505 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Pronounciation of “string”

According to Wiki "string" is pronounced as /stɹɪŋ/. However, all of my acquaintances have split opinions about the 'g' at the end. I'm of a mind that the 'g' is pronounced, e.g. two strings, not two ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Phonograms ey and ie

My son is using Spalding phonogram cards in his kindergarten class. I like them for the most part, aside from a few weird examples and explanations that aren't quite right, but that I can live with. ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

why “come into a place” sounds like /kʌməntsə/ /pleis/

Two sentences from 60-Second Science Now a study finds that a teacher's racial biases come into play in different ways for high-achieving kids versus low-performing ones. While listening to music, ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Tawkin'? Tawk? I don't get the joke

from Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities: "I'll think a something. Half a my practice consists of talking to people who are not anxious to talk." Tawk. Killian leaned forward and said, ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

A tendency to use “a” in place of “an” in American English

I have noticed that a lot of native American speakers use the indefinite article "a" in front of words beginning with vowels, such as interesting, old, apple , etc. Is there any reasonable ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Pronouncing “found” as “fyound”: why?

I had a teacher in high school who spoke like that, and an elderly neighbor: both women. When I first read Tom Wolfe's novel A Man in Full, I ran across this passage: "You must be Mr. DeCyasi," ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Why does Tom Hanks pronounce “stupid” as “st-you-pid” in “The Bonfire of the Vanities”?

This may or may not related to my previous question. In this movie (which is based on another one of Tom Wolfe's novels, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Hanks plays the lead character who is an Ivy ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

The word “mine”: Anyone else use a velar nasal /maiŋ/ for “belongs to me” meaning, but still /main/ for “explosive”/“coal mine”?

I think I naturally distinguish these words: mine (ie "belongs to me") /maiŋ/ mine (ie "explosive" or "coal mine") /main/ I vaguely remember noticing this years ago, but I was only just reminded of ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

Since when has “J” been sounding like [dʒ] and no longer “Y” [duplicate]

There are words that have "j" where in most languages it would be pronounced like romaji "y". Take for example "Jesus", "Jehovah", "John". It should be pronounced "Yesus", "Yehovah", "Yohn". Slavic ...
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Intensification of Consonants in English Pronunciation

In many languages, my mother tongue included, you frequently encounter words that have an intensified consonant within them, especially if the consonant is between two vowels. A good idea to ...
0
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
3
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7answers
8k views

Pronunciation difference between “collar” and “color”

What is the pronunciation difference between collar and color? Can a native speaker tell them apart?
9
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1answer
871 views

Walking and Talking L's

I have a friend who always pronounces the l's in walk and talk. Is this regional? Is there anywhere that standardly pronounces the l?
25
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8answers
2k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
5
votes
1answer
432 views

Difference between word-final iː, i and ɪ

As we know, English usually contrasts the two high front vowels /i:/ and /ɪ/, and many different minimal pairs exist for this (e.g. /sli:p/ vs /slɪp/). However, at the end of a word, we usually have ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How to make clear the difference between 0 and O?

It's reasonably clear that there's a difference between the lowercase "o" and "0", but it's harder to tell with a uppercase "O" and "0". When saying them, certainly in the UK, "Oh" can be both o and ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Lenis and Fortis Clusters Assimilation

I've been looking for my answer but I still haven't found what I want. I have a question regarding lenis voiceless+fortis voiceless clusters (in American English). Does the fortis voiceless consonant ...