Questions about vowels in English.

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3
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1answer
246 views

What is modifying the “i” in Thumbelina and Carolina to alter its pronuciation?

While helping my daughter read (she is 5) we encountered two names in a story, Thumbelina and Carolina. The way I've come to pronounce the last four letters of "Thumbelina" is "LEE NAH" and the same ...
3
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
700 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
0answers
89 views

Does “shore” require the “r” sound in the pronunciation (UK pronunciation)? [migrated]

In the Cambridge Dictionary I see the pronunciation of the word shore is represented by /ʃɔːr/. In the WordReference dictionary it is instead pronounced as /ʃɔː/. The "r" sound is silent in the last ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
145 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?
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Can we call something a “word” if it doesn't have a vowel? [closed]

It seems self-evident to me, but in the heat of a Scrabble game (no surprise), my opponent claimed that "sh" was a word. I think it's a diphthong, but the printed dictionary definition of "word" didn'...
2
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6answers
208 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)?
2
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2answers
739 views

Can vowels be combined in English without forming diphthongs?

Usually all combinations of vowels in English function as diphthongs. Are there any combinations of vowels in English that do not function as diphthongs? if there are no such examples - I would be ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

how to pronounce 'Uriel'? [closed]

I have a student whose name is 'Uriel' and I'm just wondering how I should pronounce it!
2
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3answers
908 views

French speaker here — How to pronounce “r” and “l”?

I'm a French speaker and actually I have some problems with the sounds l , r and o in lawyer. Do you have any advice for me on how to place the tongue and so on?
2
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2answers
217 views

“Vowels have no attack”

What is the linguistic meaning of this sentence? Vowels are always voiced, and have no attack of their own.
2
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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/ ...
2
votes
2answers
18k views

Are W and Y vowels? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: When is “Y” a vowel? Is the 'w' in 'cow' a vowel or a consonant? Are W and Y vowels? I learned it depends on the conditions. But I don't know ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Waiteen for waiting

While it's reasonably common for people to drop the g in words such as waiting, hating, and dating, I seem to be stumbling upon a number of Americans additionally drawing out the final syllable of ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Do Americans pronounce “Ellen” and “Alan” in the same way?

Do Americans pronounce "Ellen" and "Alan" in the same way? I am especially concerned with the first vowel. EDIT: Here is a quote that may be a case in point: Being a Brit also, the names "Ellen" ...
1
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4answers
1k views

What is THE shortest English verb?

I have heard that two letter verbs are the shortest verbs in English. Is this totally true? Are any of the letters official recognized as verbs?
1
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2answers
824 views

What is the i with a dot on top and dot on bottom called?

I was watching a foreign film and I saw a "i" with a dot on the top as usual and a dot on the bottom. What is it called and is there a way I can find it and type it? More details: It was a ...
1
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1answer
269 views

The pronunciation of 'Hawaii'

Apparently some parts of the US routinely pronounce the name of our island state as 'Hawaya.' At first, I thought this was just incorrect, but apparently it's a regional usage. Where do they call it ...
1
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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 ...
1
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2answers
86 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
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2answers
152 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
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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/...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Proper way to pronounce and form the word for “The followers of Augusto Pinochet”

An article in this month's Monocle, discussing elections in Chile, referred to anti-Pinochetistas: The vote was attended by a throng of cheering anti-Pinochetistas. I am wondering how the word ...
1
vote
1answer
255 views

Pronunciation of “great” vs. “treat” [closed]

Why is great pronounced /greit/ while in other words the ea is pronounced differently? Take treat, for example: /tri:t/. Why are two words with the same number of vowels and consonants and the same ...
1
vote
1answer
73 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
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1answer
396 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
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1answer
301 views

Why are we supposed to say the “a” as an “e” in “any” and “many”?

I speak Australian English, but I seem to pronounce the words many and anything differently from how the vast majority of people here do so. I pronounce it using an a sound rather than an e sound ...
1
vote
1answer
973 views

How to pronounce '-ing' followed by a vowel

I'm getting into English recently and I'm a little confused by the way people pronounce a word that starts in a vowel right after a word ending in -ing. For example: You have to bring it up now? ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Long vs. short vowels in English words of Latin origin

Is there any way to determine if a vowel is short or long in English words of Latin origin? I've noticed that u is usually long in Latin words (e.g., Jupiter) but what about other vowels?
1
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3answers
97 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
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2answers
33 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 ...
1
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2answers
2k views

How to tell how a vowel should sound like in words?

Why does the 'A' in the word "cat" sound different to 'A' in the word "car"? If I want the 'A' in a foreign name like 'Pardis' to sound like the 'A' in cat, how should I write it?
1
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2answers
3k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
1
vote
1answer
105 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 ...
1
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0answers
86 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 ...
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0answers
67 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. ...
1
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0answers
29 views

Words using all possible vowels [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a word that contains all the vowels? Is there a word in English that contains the 5 letters that are exclusively vowels (a, e, i, o, u) as well as the 3 letters ...
1
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0answers
75 views

“An” versus “a” before a bracketed word that starts with a vowel followed by a non-bracketed word that doesn't start with a vowel [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement Which of the following is right/preferred: The request is fulfilled by an (ideally) close by node. or The ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the most common letters used in pairs after others in the English alphabet? [closed]

I have a question which is somewhat similar to What are the most common consonants used in English? (on wikiHow). What are the most common seven letters that come second in pairs after consonants and ...
0
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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. ;)
0
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1answer
278 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does a silent “-e” at the end of a word lengthen vowels?

There's a common pattern in English spelling where "short" vowels are pronounced as "long" vowels with the addition of a silent "e" at the end of the word. E.g. bit → bite mat → mate pet → pete ...
0
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
440 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 (...
0
votes
3answers
585 views

Coining new words from existing ones: Duplicate last letter?

I am trying to invent a word by taking an existing word and turning it into a noun a person can be called who is interacting with an object. The trouble I ran into was the initial word's ending. ...