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Questions tagged [consonants]

Questions about English consonants.

2
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2answers
63 views

Pronunciation: vowels before dark L (Any accent)

To native speakers of English, how do you compare a vowel before a dark L and one without a dark L. Example words: gold, goal, sold, soul, hole, hold, bowl, bold go, so, ho, bow(noun) . ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

Is the first syllable of “acknowledge” pronounced with /g/ by any notable amount of speakers?

While I was trying to think of examples for an answer to Vun-Hugh Vaw's question about voicing voiceless consonants in American English, I considered the word "acknowledge", which I think I can ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Is the voicing voiceless consonants common in the US?

I don't know if I should trust my non-native ears, but I've heard a couple of people (Katie from CollegeHumor is the first one come to mind) who say "thank you" with a voiced "th" instead of the ...
0
votes
1answer
308 views

The pronunciation of “th” in “with” in British RP

I enjoy socialising with people! How do you pronounce “th” in “with”? It’s too confusing for me. When I looked it up in a dictionary, it was with a voiced sound like in "brother or the," but it ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Is there a word spelled with a silent B at the start?

My dad and I were playing a game in the car where we picked a letter and then each alternated saying a word that started with that letter. We did it with b, for example, it might go: Dad: bath me:...
0
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1answer
132 views

Glottal stop “t” in English pronunciation [duplicate]

I am a new learner concerning English sounds. Could someone help me? Does the letter t at the end of word but this word being connected with next one, is it also pronounced like a glottal stop? For ...
3
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1answer
79 views

What happens phonetically in “words that”?

Could you explain to me what happens from the linguist’s point of view when the sounds meet in the speech?
1
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1answer
140 views

Renaissance pronunciation of “thither”: θiðr or ðiðr?

I've seen the thread on voiced/unvoiced "thither," but it doesn't quite answer the question. It seems like maybe the word began falling out of regular speech right around the time initial "th" was ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

does the /d/ in the [nd] combo tend to be unreleased?

I'm asking about north-American English. In words like "refund", "band" and "diamond", is the /d/ is fully released (as an un-aspirated /d/), or stopped, like the /nt/ combo? (different can and ...
0
votes
2answers
637 views

Is the “ng” sound often pronounced simultaneously with the “n” sound?

Don't native speakers in some regions pronounce [ŋ] simultaneously with the [n] sound in order to connect it without releasing the "g"? For instance, can the word "singer" instead of sɪŋ·ər, be ...
0
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4answers
606 views

Are “mmm” and “hmm” the only words in the English language without vowel letters? [closed]

Somebody told me that "hmm" and "mmm" are the only words in the English language without a vowel. Is that true? If not, please provide counterexamples. No acronyms please. I am not looking for ...
0
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1answer
675 views

Silent consonants in words like lawn, dawn [closed]

Is it w or wn?I have no idea,kindly help me out? What about in words like rogue,does ue or u count as silent consonants although they are clearly vowels?
0
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3answers
1k views

Why is the word “folks” pronounced [foʊks]?

Why is the word folks sound like it’s pronounced [foʊks] rather than [fɔɫks]? It’s as though people are thinking it’s spelled fokes.
0
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0answers
113 views

American English - T in the end of a sentence

Here is a question that has bugged me a while. usually, when a sentence ends with a vowel and then the letter T, the T is (usually) pronounced as a pre-glottalized T*: your dog is fat - [jəɹ ...
7
votes
1answer
723 views

/z/ + /ð/ = /zdð/?

I was wondering what exactly happens when the common English speaker* pronounces /z/ and /ð/ right after, for example , the word - combo "is this ...". Honestly, for me it's almost impossible to ...
7
votes
1answer
707 views

Yod coalescence across words - only with “you(r(s))”?

I'm asking specifically about Yod* coalescence when connecting two words together. Some very (neat) phenomenon in American English is to "fuse" you/r/s when the word ends in t/d/z: I was thinking ...
5
votes
1answer
192 views

Blending Two Individual Words Together That Share the Same Consonant Cluster

I've noticed that this phenomenon is common in fast speech. I have searched and searched on the internet for the official name for this, but I cannot seem to find it. Here are some examples: With ...
7
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1answer
435 views

Why do dictionaries transcribe the nasal in 'think' and 'language' with /ŋ/, yet 'input' and 'inbox' with /n/, not /m/?

In English, coda nasals assimilate to the following consonant, so 'n' in "in mail" and "own goal" is pronounced with [m] and [ŋ] respectively, right? If so, then why do most dictionaries transcribe ...
-1
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0answers
54 views

Is the L in “belong” a dark L? [duplicate]

After Googling and reading some answers for questions about the pronunciation of dark L and light L in American English, I understand that if the L ends a syllable it's a dark L, if it starts a ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Can the /t/ and /v/ sounds be dropped in “what,” “that” and “of”? [closed]

Is it ok to drop the 't' sound in these example: wha that (what that) tha the (that the) & the 'v' (like in the the word 'of') sound matter o fact (mater of fact) of course, to a native ...
2
votes
1answer
476 views

About a consonant between 2 vowels, “/ˈteɪ·lər/” or “/ˈteɪl·ər/”?

I found this rule in dictionary. If a consonant is between 2 vowels, then a delimiter is put after the consonant if the previous vowel is strong & but a delimiter is not put after the consonant ...
1
vote
1answer
984 views

Why are “malign” and “malignant” pronounced differently? [duplicate]

Why are malign and malignant pronounced differently? What is the rule that separates that pattern from, say, sign and signage?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the pronunciation of 'th' as in think 'f' specific to a native speaker's variety of English?

I'm asking this because I heard two people say fink* instead of think & bof* instead of both: a non native university teacher of English and a native speaker of English. If it's not a speech ...
3
votes
1answer
483 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
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3answers
5k 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, ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Why isn't the ‘P’ in psychology pronounced? [duplicate]

Why is the initial letter of some of the words like pneumonia, and psychology not pronounced?
1
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1answer
751 views

What is it called when you use the same first consonant in different words - Example follows [duplicate]

I'm going blank here, so forgive me for what should be simple. The search engines weren't helpful. I tried to search. Example: The finicky felines finished their food. I'm drawing a serious blank ...
70
votes
9answers
18k views

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

According to Wikipedia, y’all’dn’t’ve is a valid contraction. I am having difficulty pronouncing the L-D-N-T-V consonant cluster, especially since there is no vowel at the end (silent E). Y’all’dn’t’...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there a double “ll” in “bell”?

I am trying to understand some of the idiosyncrasies of the English language. One is the use of double consonants. Why does the word bell have two letter L?
2
votes
2answers
783 views

Pronunciation of “to” as [tʃu:]

After doing some research, I have noticed I have been saying the word "to" as [tʃu:], while most dictionaries and sources say I should pronounce it as [tu:]. But I have the impression that "to" is not ...
3
votes
0answers
124 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
7k views

Why is “fridge” spelt with a 'd' but “refrigeration” spelt without one?

The question is in the title, why does the word, refrigeration not have a 'd' in it when fridge does?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “question” pronounced with an “s” or with an “sh” sound?

In all dictionaries the word question is pronounced /ˈkwɛst͡ʃən/, with the sound /t͡ʃ/ (like the ch in church) corresponding to the written ‹ti›. I wanted to know if any phonological change happens ...
3
votes
2answers
243 views

'Travel' - Place of articulation of /t/

What is a place of articulation which best fits the initial consonant of the word travel? It looks like the first sound is /t/ therefore it should be alveolar, but in the Longman pronunciation coach (...
3
votes
2answers
745 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

L in the middle of a word: dark l or light l?

I find it easy to pronounce words like full (/fʊl/, dark l) and light (/laɪt/, light l), but when the letter l appears in the middle of a word, things become tricky. I can hear different ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Why “house” /haʊs/, but “houses” /ˈhaʊzɪz/? “s” changes to “z”?

OK, "house" /haʊs/, but "houses" /ˈhaʊzɪz/ Source Why does "s" changes to "z"? I thought it should be /ˈhaʊsɪz/.
0
votes
1answer
1k views

how to pronounce “t's” sound, as in “it's” or “that's”

Currently I'm studying English pronunciation and having a hard time pronouncing the t's sound such as it's and that's. I thought that "t's" sounded the same as the "ch" sound but one of my friend said ...
3
votes
2answers
942 views

Pronunciation Deleting /t/ Between Consonants [duplicate]

When I pronounce the phrase: "Look, it's the first day. I don't wanna be late." I think that the /t/ in the words "first" and "don't" can be deleted. Am I right? I'm talking about casual speech. ...
-1
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2answers
6k views

unreleased final consonant sounds [closed]

At school I learned the unreleased final consonant sounds: b, d, d, k, p, t My first question is, what does unreleased mean in this context? My second question He played well and ran fast. ...
1
vote
2answers
276 views

Linking: Sibilant with Other Sibilants (was + starting) [duplicate]

I read in an American Accent book that there is no break between sibilants adjoining each other between words. For example, this phrase: I was starting to worry. The words was + starting sound ...
12
votes
1answer
39k views

When are 'tion', 'sion', and 'cion' used

I am confused when the spellings "tion", "sion", and "cion" are used in words that contain the "shun" sound. Are there any rules to help me understand when to use the correct spelling in a word?
6
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4answers
2k views

Are there many -tion words that sound like 'vision'?

Usually -tion words, such as motion, education, and lotion, end with a -shn sound. But equation ends with a sound rhyming with vision. Are there many more? What might some of them be? And if the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

TH sound, is it continuant or stop?

How do you all pronounce the TH sound when speaking fast? For example, I've learned to pronounce the TH sound like a continuant sound, for example the hard one: ð. I start doing a Z, so this Z go ...
4
votes
2answers
448 views

Do the words with non-palatalized pronunciation of g/c (“get”, “give”) always have a Germanic origin?

In English, ge/gi is sometimes pronounced as [ge]/[gi], but mostly as [dʒe]/[dʒi]. The second form is explained as palatalization in the topic What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

How to pronounce “gemænscipe”?

I'm not sure if Old English counts here, but I can't find the answer to this anywhere. How would one pronounce gemænscipe? I believe it's Old English for "community".
-1
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0answers
43 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". ...
1
vote
2answers
878 views

Why is the letter 'X' given importance in mathematics? [closed]

In mathematics the letter 'X' is always given importance over other letters. Why is it so?
78
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5answers
128k views

If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?

I understand that the letter "J" is relatively new — perhaps 400–500 years old. But since there has long been important names that begin with J, such as Jesus, Joshua, Justinian, etc., and which ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

/ð/ → /d/ shift in English

As a result of a /d/ → /ð/ shift, fæder became father, hider became hither and togædere became together, giving us our modern English forms. However, I know that murder and burden have archaic forms- ...