Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

35

Both zeros and zeroes are acceptable, see e.g. Merriam-Webster, Wiktionary or TheFreeDictionary. The usage stats from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and the British National Corpus (BNC) look as follows: COCA BNC zeros 312 132 zeroes.[n] 106 5 So in practice zeros is preferred in the US and ...


34

Interestingly, this question appeared as number 15 on the Harvard Dialect Survey, so it is possible to give a good summary of the pronunciation differences in these three words as they are spoken in the United States. The 11,422 respondents were asked to choose from five options given the following prompt: How do you pronounce Mary/merry/marry? The ...


26

Starting in the 1400s, English vowels began a change known as the Great Vowel Shift, resulting in the change from English vowels being pronounced similarly to how the German vowels are pronounced now to how English vowels are pronounced today. The diagram in that article explains the shift much more clearly and completely than I could, but the gist of it is ...


23

If you wish to try to simulate the distinction for people who do not normally make it, I have found that it is best to illustrate it this way: Marry has the same vowel as Matt or mat, so IPA /æ/. Merry has the same vowel as met, so IPA /ɛ/. Mary has the same vowel as mate or may, so IPA /eɪ/ or /e/, depending on just how glide-y you are feeling. Not that ...


21

Cameron's excellent answer shows that most people in the US do indeed pronounce these words the same. Although I see that you are a native US English speaker, I'd thought I'd contribute the British English version. In British English, these words typically sound distinctly different. Anecdotally, I think the difference is fairly consistent across the ...


19

Other interesting references on the Great Vowel Shift: See and Hear the GVS (excellent visual and audio!) Brief History of English More English History The Great Vowel Shift would probably be just an historical curiosity if it weren't for the fact that the first printing press opened in London in 1476, right in the middle of the shift! Before ...


19

The answer is that it depends on what purpose you have in assigning it, or what set of rules you are following. From the point of view of phonetics, the first thing to realise is that letters are not vowels or consonants: they represent sounds which may be vowels or consonants (and in the case of "y" possibly both). The next point is that bifurcation into ...


18

Sh has entries in the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb, a noun and an interjection. The letters S and H do not constitute a diphthong. Rather, they represent the consonant /ʃ/. Word is difficult to define satisfactorily, but it is determined as much by its syntactical function as by its form and meaning. The definition in ‘The Cambridge Encyclopedia of ...


16

The spelling change from 'y' in Middle English to 'i' in Modern English in such words as wife or time is actually a consequence of the phenomenon known as the Great Vowel Shift. In wikipedia's chart you can follow the path for the sound now in time in the leftmost column. And the corresponding IPA steps are summarised as follows: Middle English [iː] ...


12

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, while there are some cases in which I and Y can be used to represent the same sound, it is not always the case. They write that there are three situations in which a Y is used: About the middle of the 13th century y began to be used to represent the voiced palatal spirant /j/ , taking the place of the character ȝ ...


12

Certainly the i in words like bite and fright represents an /aɪ/ diphthong. Phonemically, I come up with these: /aɪ/ as in price, my, high, flight, mice /aʊ/ as in mouth, now, trout /eɪ/ as in face, date, day, they, grey, pain, reign /ɔɪ/ as in choice, boy, hoist /oʊ/ as in goat, toe, tow, soul, rope, cold /juː/ as in cute, few, dew, ewe /jə/ as in onion, ...


11

Occasionally -sm does the same thing: chasm, schism, etc. As I pronounce them, these are all two-syllable words. Having said that, I would question your premise that "all English syllables have a vowel sound". There are in fact a great many English syllables which don't have any vowel sound at all, but rather have a syllabic consonant: button ...


11

The most obvious giveaway of a New Zealand accent (as opposed to Australian) is pronouncing the "i" in "fish" further back, so it's almost a "u" ... for example, "fush and chups", which is not done anywhere else in the world. (in IPA, the ɪ moves almost halfway backwards to ʊ, so fish is pronounced fʊʃ instead of fɪʃ). For the same reason a New Zealander ...


11

This is an alternation referred to as Trisyllabic laxing in English phonology literature. Consult the Wikipedia page for further examples. The process predates the Great Vowel Shift, which concerned only long vowels. So vowels which were made lax and short by trisyllabic laxing were effectively "shielded" from sound change.


10

According to Wikipedia, The name "Nevada" comes from the Spanish Nevada [neˈβaða], meaning "snow-covered", after the Sierra Nevada ("snow-covered mountains") mountain range. Nevadans normally pronounce the second syllable of their state name using the /æ/ vowel of "bad". Many from outside the Western United States pronounce it with the /ɑː/ vowel of ...


9

Yet another edit: The schwa symbols reported in your image are slightly different from the one I know and the reason is that they denote the Rhotic version of the schwa sound, especially present in American English. The symbol is ɚ and it appears in words such as better. This is not the only variant but it was the one related to your question. They are ...


9

I wasn’t aware of the floatation spelling, or that it was found in American English. The OED has only flotation, but with this note: The spelling flotation is not etymologically justifiable, but is more common in use, probably because it disguises the hybrid formation, so that the word appears more conformable to the general analogy of scientific terms. ...


9

(BTW, you really should never just say “the” dictionaries. State your references.) You should use bazaar with two a’s. Most people would read bazar as a spelling mistake. The OED reports that the bizarre bazar spelling was used during the 17th through 19th centuries, but that early in the 19th century (1816) bazaar began to be used instead, and the ...


9

English vowels have a large amount of variation between accents and individual speakers. Even among speakers who pronounce cot and caught differently, gone and on may be pronounced either way. Gone and on do not belong to any lexical set, but the closest one for me is cloth. So it’s generally pronounced /gɑn/, and that’s the pronunciation I would prefer if ...


8

Note that dictionaries document the (current, at the time of going to press) usage of language, they aren't authoritative. 'Correct' is what is in common usage and largely understood to be correct, even if that contradicts a dictionary (in which case the dictionary is probably out-of-date). So, as RegDwight has already answered, either zeros or zeroes is ...


8

(See Semivowels in English and When is Y a vowel? for relevant info) The sounds represented by the letter 'w' in English spelling are somewhat intermediate between consonants and vowels. Sometimes it is closer to a consonant (namely a semivowel or glide because even though 'w' doesn't result in a substantive occlusion in the airstream, there is a ...


8

Debatable but there is a list on Wikipedia which seems to classify these based on dialect Rhotic dialects, such as in Canada and the United States, have many words such as bird, learn, girl, church, worst, which some phoneticians analyze as having no vowels, only a syllabic consonant, [ɹ̩]. However, others analyze these words instead as having a ...


8

First, it's "shwa". It's a Hebrew word, not a German one, so there's no reason for SCH. Second, it's both a phone [ə] in IPA, and a phoneme /ə/ in English. As a phone, it's got the sound of the final vowel in German Danke, of the first vowel in French Le Mans, or the first vowel in English the man. There is no shwa in Spanish or Italian. Third, as a ...


8

Summary Answer Here are the chances of each letter being followed by a vowel (defined to be [aeiouy]), a consonant, or a hyphen taking from the OED list described below, and with rounding: a: C= 90%, V= 7%, -= 1% b: C= 32%, V= 65%, -= 1% c: C= 40%, V= 59%, -= 0% d: C= 17%, V= 77%, -= 4% e: C= 79%, V= 14%, -= 5% f: C= 31%, V= 68%, -= 1% g: C= 35%, V= 57%, ...


7

Americans don't pronounce them exactly the same. However, some American dialects change the pronunciation of /æ/ before /l/ in a way that I believe makes it sound more like /ɛ/ to foreigners. In fact, in a few New Zealand and Australian dialects, these vowels become identical before /l/; see salary-celery merger; this merger would indeed also merge Allen ...


7

The letter e in English commonly makes two different sounds: The "long" e is [i] in IPA, and is found in words such as keep, bean, read, and compete. It's generally spelled with a digraph such as ee, ea, or eo, or is indicated by a final silent e in the word. The "short" e is [ɛ] in IPA, and is found in words such as bet and left. It's generally spelled ...


7

Unfortunately, there is no good rule - children struggle with this when learning to write. There are a few rules of thumb that hold in most cases, though: Diphthongs (ou, ie, ei, eu, ...) are long (accOUnt), unless they're unstressed and turn into a schwa (succOUr) Single vowels (a, e, i, o, u) are short before double consonants (AttAck) Single vowels are ...


7

It's English it's called an underdot. It is a diacritical mark much as acute accents and umlauts are. In Unicode it is referred to as "dot below". In Vietnamese, it's used to represent a particular tone, as Vietnamese is a tonal language where tone affects meaning and so it is good to reflect it in spelling. Note that in ị the underdot is considered a ...


7

From OED: x, v. Pronunciation: /ɛks/ Forms: Pa. tense x-ed, x'd. trans. To supply with x's in place of types that are wanting. rare—1. 1849 E. A. Poe X-ing a Paragrab in Wks. (1856) IV. 265 ‘I shell have to x this ere paragrab,’ said he to himself, as he read it over... So x it he did, unflinchingly, and to press it went x-ed. I'm sure there ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible