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85

There are several factors in play here. Difficult consonant clusters are often reduced in rapid speech or over time; think of friendship, spendthrift, twelfth, months. Much of the difference between an unvoiced and a voiced stop in English is actually not its voicing but its aspiration, and because one normally only aspirates stops that are both unvoiced ...


17

These are all quite old names with many syllables—an ideal place for ellipsis, elision, and contraction. The -cester bit is from the Old English word ceaster, which in itself is borrowed from Latin castrum. It is thus cognate to castle. (The palatalisation of the initial /k/ to /tʃ/ is common in Old English and was more widespread in some dialects than in ...


15

The cester/chester ending can be traced back to the Roman occupation: castra is Latin for camp, so these placenames indicate Roman army encampments (or more likely permanent garrisons, given the names' persistence). The Grammarphobia blog gives a good run down of the evidence which traces these pronunciations through history; the scansion in Shakespeare, ...


9

This is a simple case of cluster reduction of /db/ → /b/, combined with assimilation: /n/ is labialised to /m/ before a bilabial consonant /b/ or /p/, and velarised to /ŋ/ before a velar consonant /g/ or /k/. I expect the cluster is reduced because it’s relatively uncommon. This is often where you encounter reduction and epenthesis. Compare: nuclear /klj/ ...


7

Just to emphasise the pronunciation guides that people have given elsewhere, it's not pronounced as "cup-board" or "cu-board" but really "cubbered" very similar to "covered". You have to really think of English as 2 separate languages; the spoken one that has dynamically evolved for a thousand years and the written one which was codified 500 years ago into ...


4

According to the online Merriam-Webster, Mocha is a small town and seaport in southwest Yemen that as early as 1773 had already given its name to the style of coffee. The Arabic pronunciation of the name of the town can be heard here. However, nobody in the English-speaking world says the name that way, and I therefore doubt that your local Starbucks ...


4

This is an interesting question. Several comments and one of the answers here make it sound like any word can go through this radical kind of transformation if it is used in a different part of the sentence. This is not true!! We can split words up, generally speaking, into two types for our purposes here. There are the kinds of words that you look up in ...


4

Having mulled over this a bit, I have come to the following conclusion(s). I should note that I have no sources and am aware of no prior research to back up my claims; but I hope they bear themselves out. There are two levels of sound change at play here, as others have said: cluster reduction and nasal assimilation. [Note: For the sake of simplicity, I ...


3

Neat observation. Here is a rule that works for American pronunciation only; I don't know how this works in other dialects: (Usual in American:) Syllable-final /t/ is replaced by glottal stop before a consonant or a pause. (Your observation:) This glottal stop is then further reduced to zero when preceded by a voiceless consonant. Note that in all your ...


3

It is actually pronounced winjde (wɪn(d)ʒ) A simple google search would tell you - it has a listen button.


3

It really doesn't matter much what spelling alphabet you stick to, unless you are working in a specific branch of industry where people expect a specific alphabet. In general, people just want to know if you mean N or M, and whether you make that clear by saying Nancy or November, your message will be clear. In situations where a specific alphabet is used ...


3

The letter W is known in the NATO phonetic alphabet as "whiskey". I am not sure if that counts as "semi-officially accepted" though.


2

According to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, u: (or "oo") is predominantly used in American English, whereas ju: (yoo) is preferred in British English. However, variations exist, and for the case of student, their data shows that around 90% of American English speakers say u:. (Edited) On page 850, you can find the following "rules": In the case ...


2

I am unaware of a single word that encapsulates the idea, but the topic usually comes under the phrase word stress in English. This is commonplace when it comes to words that are used as both verbs and nouns. They set a world record. They're recording the song this fall. The pronunciation (i.e. syllable stress) is different. Where "record" is used as ...


2

What you're looking for, in the general case, is a guide to the International Pronunciation Alphabet (IPA). Wikipedia's Multilingual Guide (I'll try to add more when I get home from work.)


1

It's called elision or cluster simplification and is common in many languages other than English. In all of the examples two consecutive stop gestures (where the oral airway is completely blocked) are simplified to one, making pronunciation easier. Elision tends to be regressive (i.e., the gesture that is omitted is the first one).


1

Remember, there's no single American accent. Different Americans will say things somewhat differently, depending on what dialects they were exposed to when. My own accent still has a lot of New York in it but has been sliding toward Bostonian. My brother's picked up a bit of Northern Californian and Wisconsin influence in his speech. However: Yes, I've ...


1

I think it is an instance of phonotactics constraint of a consonant cluster: Phonotactics (from Ancient Greek phōnḗ "voice, sound" and taktikós "having to do with arranging") is a branch of phonology that deals with restrictions in a language on the permissible combinations of phonemes. Phonotactics defines permissible syllable structure, ...


1

The OED gives both /ɪnʌnsɪˈeɪʃən/ and /ɪnʌnʃɪˈeɪʃən/, although I have heard only the former not the latter. The leading /ɪ/ is the so-called KIT vowel.


1

Please see the link below for recordings of the word. As we know, pronunciation varies widely from region to region. These samples should give you an idea of its pronunciation in a variety of world Englishes: Recordings of the word "mocha" on forvo.com


1

I think the pronunciation /beŋk/ is found all over the U.S. (although certainly lots of Americans say /bænk/). We have comments saying that it occurs in the Northeast, the South, the Upper Midwest, and the West. I know it's also found in the Midland accent (the lower Midwest). What proportion of speakers use it probably varies regionally, but I don't know if ...


1

The difference between these two pronunciation stems from which syllables are stressed; the difference in vowels follows by the process of reduction of unstressed vowels in English. As discussed in the comments, and verified by Cambridge dictionaries](http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/british/nomenclature) no-MEN-cla-ture is the British ...


1

To add to CarSmack's comment, you may want to look into the term, intonation, for the apparent difference in "pronunciation" although it is the pitch (high/low) and length of vowels that provide the word with a different "tone." In theory, any word (with a vowel, of course) can have such effect you described.


1

This has been bothering me as well, but for other (non-English) languages I'm studying. As @ObiWanShanobi points out the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) can be very helpful if you can get comfortable reading the somewhat obscure symbols. But far and away the most useful resource I've found for pronunciation is Forvo which has Geotagged recordings of ...


1

"Sc" in "scent" or "science" is used as a consonant digraph (two consonant combined to make one sound); therefore, neither are silent (they are being used as a consonant digraph). "Sc" in "scare" is used as a consonant blend (two consonants combined to make two different sounds), so the two different usages can't be compared effectively.


1

It depends on the sound of the word following the article. If the following word has a vowel sound, use an. If the word has a consonant sound, use an a. See.Purdue Notes There are a few exceptions to this.


1

Define "proper." Language change, including pronunciation change is inevitable. And reference books, no matter how prescriptive, cannot stem the tide of change, which can come from overwhelming use by the masses. Frankly, I've never heard forte (meaning strength) pronounced as anything other than for-tay, and I am fifty two. If you are unsure or waffling, ...


1

It is very often contracted, even erroneously. What's it all about, Alfie? What's It? - The Award Winning Game Where Creative Minds Think Alike! Sun, sea and silver service: what’s it like crewing on a superyacht? What's It? - Information Today What's It Like on the Pope's Plane? What's it to you, anyway? *What's it do?" The problem ...



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