Questions about vowels in English.

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0answers
43 views

Can you end one syllable words with a lax-vowel?

Is it OK proper to end a one-syllable word in a lax vowel? I only ask because of this comic strip XKCD. Hint - you have to hover your mouse over the image a bit for the alternate text to display.
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2answers
89 views

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

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 ...
4
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2answers
121 views

Why do we pronounce a long second vowel in “decide”, but a short second vowel in “decision”?

The "i" in "decide" is pronounced [aɪ], whereas the first "i" in "decision" is pronounced [ɪ], at least in American English. The same with pairs like collide/collision, divide/division, etc., despite ...
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 ...
4
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1answer
105 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 ...
11
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4answers
20k views

Why doesn't “ninth” have an “e”, like “ninety”?

Is it just because "ninth" has only one syllable? That wouldn't make sense, though, because saying "NINE-ith" wouldn't be worse than saying "NINE-e-tee". If we were used to "nineth", we would have ...
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/ ...
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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, ...
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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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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Distinctive features of English diphthongs

I am looking for a table of distinctive features for English dipthongs along the lines of that available for other vowels here. I don't trust my purely book learned linguistic skills to produce an ...
5
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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
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1answer
66 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
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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 ...
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. ;)
3
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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
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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, ...
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0answers
53 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
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1answer
103 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 ...
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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
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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 :).
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2answers
534 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/,...
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2answers
1k views

Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British? [closed]

car, father, jarring ■ man, lad, mast A British guy would pronounce the vowel "a" equally in all these words. But an American would give one sound for the first three words, and the other for ...
3
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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
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6answers
4k views

Why is “go” spelled with the same vowel as “do” and “to” since it is pronounced differently?

These two-letter words ending in -o are pronounced with the vowel /oʊ/: bo, go ho, jo, lo, no, so, and yo whereas do and to are pronounced with the vowel /uː/. Is there an explanation for the ...
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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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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/...
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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. ...
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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.
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5answers
3k 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 "...
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)?
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1answer
98 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 ...
4
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4answers
257 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
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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
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1answer
83 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
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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 ...
6
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2answers
7k views

Participle of “center/centre” in UK English — “centring”? Seriously? [closed]

As an American, I was never shocked to see the word "center" spelled as "centre." It didn't bother me at all. Honestly. But then I saw the participle of it spelled as "centring" as opposed to "...
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3answers
1k views

What is the overlap between “Y” and “I”?

My son and I were reciting the Spanish alphabet recently. "Y" is i griega, which means "Greek i." This got me thinking about the English letter Y and its function in our alphabet. All of the words ...
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6answers
37k views

When is “Y” a vowel?

In school we are taught the vowels: A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. Today's XKCD got me thinking about when the letter Y is considered to be a vowel. I understand (perhaps incorrectly) that in ...
0
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0answers
53 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, ...
8
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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 ...
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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 ...
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8answers
8k views

The + vowel letter

I've been told that when "the" is proceeded by a vowel sound, like "apple" or "hour", it's pronounced as "thee" and not as "thu". But after listening to a couple of songs, I noticed that sometimes ...
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1answer
3k views
2
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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 ...
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1answer
215 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)? ...
2
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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 ...
0
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1answer
136 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 ...
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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 ...