Questions about vowels in English.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
0answers
48 views

Name for letter U in words like 'suede' and 'penguin'

What is the letter U called when it says the /w/ sound in words like suede and penguin? I've read that y and w are semivowels but the U in suede and penguin doesn't really conform to the definition of ...
1
vote
4answers
53 views

Examples of lenition and fortition usage

The latest XKCD comic is titled Intervocalic Fortition. The latest Explain XKCD says: The linguistic processes of lenition ("weakening") and fortition ("strengthening") refer to a sound becoming, ...
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
votes
0answers
36 views

a before a vowel is possible? [duplicate]

I have come across a couple examples before and I thought they were typo errors. But I've just read this by the Washington Post. "The ex-wife of the 29-year-old man suspected of killing 50 people ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

When is it legit to reduce a vowel in speech?

I want to say peppermint ˈpɛpəmɪnt as pɛpəmənt What, if anything, determines whether I can do so, besides accent?
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

How do I know if I have the Northern Cities Vowel Shift?

I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, where (according to Wikipedia and other sources), many speakers have something called the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (NCS). So I'm trying to figure out if I'm one of them. ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Use of 'an' vs 'a' [closed]

I am a little confused around the usage of an vs a I know the basic vowel rule but the following are the usages that confuse me.Can someone please tell which of the following are correct and the ...
1
vote
2answers
31 views

Apostrophes in plurals

I have always thought plurals in English is always word + s (except for irregular plurals). In my language we use apostrophes when a word ends in a vowel. I have been correcting my friends who write ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

a word that contains every vowel contigiously [duplicate]

I want a word that contains every vowel aeiou in a CONTIGUOUS fashion. Bonus points if it ends with y. ;)
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Why isn't 'there' pronounced /ðir/ or /θir/? [closed]

I noticed similar 'vowled' words pronounced so different. Particularly the first 'e' in these examples. For example: Theme /θim/ & These /ðiz/ vs There /ðeər/ Them /ðɛm/ vs Ther* *Made up, ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

'O' Pronunciation

I noticed recently that my friends and I pronounce words like "forest," "orange," and "florida" differently. For example, I noticed that there seem to be three ways that people pronounce these words: ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

When did “legend” stop being pronounced “LEE-gend”?

Nowadays, we pronounce the word legend as "LEDGE-end" (IPA: /ˈlɛdʒənd/). But it looks like at least some people used to pronounce "legend" as "LEE-gend." In A General Dictionary of the English ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

An unix socket vs A unix socket [duplicate]

just wondering whether it is called an unix socket or a unix socket. It should be an because the next word starts with a vowel but it sounds so weird :).
1
vote
0answers
69 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
61 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. ...
2
votes
6answers
195 views

Polysyllabic Words

Can you list a few polysyllabic words that only have one vowel (not including y, since it is viewed as a vowel in some words)?
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Why do people write “Hellooo” instead of “Heeello” to show a prolonged sound? [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, so I don't know what to search for on Google and similar. In chats I often read words like 'helloooo', or 'sureeee'. And as I understood it, it's meant to mimic the ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Is Lana's “Yup!” a triphthong?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Why “a UAE offical” and not “an UAE official”? [duplicate]

Per http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/58121/want-to-verify-uae-visa/58124#comment119149_58124 I should've used "a UAE official" but I thought U is a vowel and before vowels "an" is used. Where ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

Why is w considered a consonant? [duplicate]

I've always been taught that the character "w" in English was a consonant, except in very specific cases. However, on a recent trip to Wales, I learned that in Welsh it was considered a vowel. And ...
4
votes
4answers
237 views

What is the use of “w” as Semi-vowel?

In English alphabet, there are five (5) Vowels- a, e, i, o and u. And there are two (2) more letters- y and w, which are called Semi-Vowels. In the word "cry", y is considered as Semi-vowel. So, ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Proper pronunciation of the short a

When I hear the "short a" vowel pronounced it doesn't seem as fronted as it should. (I'm talking about the vowel found in words such as bad, lamp, clam, crash, usually transcribed with /æ/ in the IPA, ...
1
vote
2answers
148 views

“Hwyl” - Is the letter “Y” counted as a vowel in this case?

While reading the answers and comments of When is "Y" a vowel? I thought of a few other words that seem to have "w" as a vowel but am not sure. In addition to "cwm" there is also "crwth" and ...
-1
votes
1answer
210 views

Roman alphabet vowel arrangement [duplicate]

Is there any significance to the pattern we get when the Roman alphabet (upon which English is based) is arranged by giving vowels a "lead" column (which I hope you will be able to see as a grid)? ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Are there any words with a hard “C” preceeding an 'I' in words starting with “ci”?

Are there any English words that are pronounced with a hard "keh" sound as their first syllable, and begin with the two letters 'ci' in their spelling? I ask purely out of curiosity, since I was ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

How do you look up what lexical set a word belongs to?

(I mean phonological lexical sets, if that wasn't clear.) How do you look up what lexical set a word is in? Is there any sort of open database anywhere? Like, say I have the LOT/CLOTH merger, and I ...
0
votes
0answers
72 views

What is 'MSTRKRFT' kind of stylistic notation?

Sometimes you see in popular culture the stylistic notation of removing the vowels. For example the electronic music duo MSTRKRFT; or an instagram tag bhnhfsvrtl (German ''Bahnhofsviertel'' for ''area ...
0
votes
1answer
269 views

Phonics, the letter “I” and its rules

Logo/Linguaphiles, I am in need of your guidance. What were you taught when it came to phonics of words that start with the letter "I"? When is a short/long "I" sound used and what are the rules ...
3
votes
3answers
644 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Why are there two sets of vowels in English? [closed]

I'm a native Spanish speaker and I've been learning English for many years. They always taught us that there are two sets of vowels and we learned how to use them mostly by reading and practicing, no ...
0
votes
0answers
221 views

Words Listed by Vowel Sound

I'm working on a libretto for a vocal composition which makes use of vowel formants. It's important that all of the singers can produce exactly the same vowel sound, so I'm using IPA symbols. I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Is /æ/ sound always same?

I have an issue with /æ/ sound. There is no such vowel sound in my native language, which is Russian, so it's quite problematic for me to master this sound. The main problem is I can't even HEAR it as ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

Great Vowel Shift reversed. Is it appropriate? In what region this accent is typical? [closed]

I have been just pointed out that Google translator's GB English speaker pronounces vowels quite differently from the language standard. I made a comparison with Lingvo Online dictionary, which has ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

How do Brits pronounce [ee] in “queen” differently to [i] in “pita”?

This explanation of Welsh pronunciation says Welsh u is pronounced like i in pita, whereas Welsh i is pronounced like ee in Queen. What's the difference?
4
votes
2answers
524 views

Are vowels most often pronounced long or short?

English vowels can have two (or more, many more) different pronunciations: A : /eɪ/, mate or /ɑː/, mat E : /i:/, mete or /ɛ/, met I : /aɪ/, mite or /I/, mitt O : /oʊ/, mote or /ɒ/, moth U : /juː/,...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

The proper way to say “Mocha” the coffee drink

I have noticed that most of the time when I go to Starbucks and order a mocha, the cashier doesn't seem to understand unless I repeat it. I am trying to think why is that the case since it is a very ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are only some “u” words pronounced with a glide in American English?

In most words with a long U that doesn't start a syllable, it is pronounced /uː/. Examples: student, reduce, introduce. However, in some words (such as music, mule, human) it is pronounced /juː/. I've ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between IPA ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ

Wanting to be more Californian and trying to correct my accent, I'm looking at the sound for mother, in the North America column. What is the difference between IPA symbols for ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ. (ɝ is not ...
2
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there such a thing as an unvoiced vowel?

I can't think of any and google has not been helpful.
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Is there a name/term for “multiplied vowels”?

For example if somebody is saying: "Ooooooh myyyyyyy Gooooood" or if they realize something and go "Ooooooh!" or Darth Vader's "NOOOOOOO!", usually all of these extra vowels aren't included in the ...
1
vote
2answers
79 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Last names that are English words with an extra 'e'

I noticed that there are a lot of last names that have an 'e' at the end. The pronunciation usually isn't changed from that of the base word. Poole Steele Browne Clarke Why do English words not ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How to pronounce “aa” vowel pair? [closed]

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 (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/...
0
votes
3answers
562 views

How to make schwa sound?

I'm not a native English speaker, and my language doesn't have the SCHWA sound. It would be so helpful if there are any tips to make the sound. Thanks,
1
vote
1answer
381 views

Origin of oe pronounced as /i/?

/i/ is usually pronounced in English with the vowels: e, ee, ea, ei, ie, and y. What is the origin of the pronunciation of words such as amoeba, phoenix or onomatopoeia? I got curious about this ...
-1
votes
0answers
22 views

Using 'an' before a consonant [duplicate]

Depending on the word, using an before a consonant is not right. What about in this phrase, "David has just gotten an SX250". To me, it does sound a lot better than "David has just gotten a SX250". ...
0
votes
0answers
290 views

“An historian” or “a historian” [duplicate]

Which one should I use for this statement An historian can change the past or A historian can change the past ?
0
votes
2answers
439 views

How to identify the sound of an “A” without altering the spelling of the word?

I have the word "Carr" (short for the name Carrie). Is there a way to write the 'a' so that a person reading the word 'Carr' would pronounce it like care ('kær), opposed to pronouncing it like car (...