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Questions tagged [phonetics]

Phonetics (pronounced /fəˈnɛtɪks/, from the Greek: φωνή, phōnē, 'sound, voice') is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign.

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Why do American speakers pronounce “the” as “/ðə/” before vowels?

I learned that we have to pronounce /ðə/ before consonants & /ði/ before vowels. For example, the /ðə/ car, but the /ði/ earth. But it seems that a lot of American people pronounce the /ðə/ ...
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The /ɪ/ sound vs the /i/ sound - exact difference?

What's the exact difference in the 'pi' sound between 'happiness' /ˈhæp.i.nəs/ and epicentre /ˈep.ɪ.sen.tər/ that prompts the Cambridge Dictionary compilers to use a diffrerent vowel code for each ...
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Is there a sentence that contains every English phoneme? [duplicate]

An example of a sentence with every letter of the alphabet is: "A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogs." Is there an example of a sentence which contains every English phoneme? I realize accents ...
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What was the pronunciation of the a in “trap” in early to mid Modern English in the UK?

I have often read that in Old and Middle English the "a" sound in words like "trap" was pronouned /a/. When it comes to modern English, Wikipedia suggests that this was raised to /æ/ in early Modern ...
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80 views

How do people actually pronounce “Orange”?

There are questions on ELU about the phonemic transcriptions of orange in both British and American English in dictionaries. However, this being a site for linguists and all that, I thought I would ...
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1answer
73 views

What happens to the /t/ in (it was) [closed]

What processes occur or are likely to occur? Is it assimilation? When focused on the /t/ in it. It was
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4answers
126 views

English minimal pair words by syllabification [closed]

Are there English minimal pairs created by different syllabification, specifically of lexical words?
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48 views

how do you pronounce a rolling “o” as in “so” or “no”?

I noticed that in New Zealand most people pronounce "o" at the end of "no" or "so" in a rather rolled manner - something closer to [our] instead of simple [ou]. For example, lady in this video does ...
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2answers
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Which diphthong takes place in 'desirous'?

The phonetic transcription for desirous (in its BrE pronunciation) can be written as [dɪˈzʌɪərəs]. I wonder which diphthong—ʌɪ or ɪə—takes place in this word? Maybe here we can see a kind of haplology?...
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What is the vowel length of rhotic schwa /ɚ/ when it occurs non-word finally?

I know that /ɚ/ is longest when it occurs at the end of a word, since it is occurring at the end of an open syllable, as in < rapture> [ræp̚tʃɚː]. What about when it occurs syllable finally in the ...
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Peculiar pronunciation of 'architecture'

Watching a footage from 1928-9 i noticed that the narrator pronounced architecture as ['a:tʃitektʃə] instead of the modern ['a:Kitektʃə]. Is this known to be the standard American pronunciation of ...
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Phoneticised alphabet letters [duplicate]

Do all letters of the English alphabet have phoneticised dictionary entries? I'm thinking of the word Vee for the letter V or Zed for the letter Z? For example is there an entry for H? Aitch?
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Do Americans pronounce “transient” as \ˈtran(t)-sh(ē-)ənt\?

Merriam-Webster pronounces "transient" as \ˈtran(t)-sh(ē-)ənt\. However, most Americans pronounce it as \ˈtran-zē-ənt\.
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Forensic Linguistics; 'Stupid people' or 'Stupid woman' - Do we know what Jeremy Corbyn said?

In the UK, some of the debates in the Houses of Parliament are televised. On 18th December 2018, Jeremy Corbyn was filmed muttering something—which was interpreted by a Twitter user as "stupid ...
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Is it true that t&d, p&b, k&g, s&z, … only differ by voiced vs. unvoiced

According to https://www.lawlessenglish.com/learn-english/pronunciation/consonants-voiced-unvoiced/ there are number of pairs of consonant sounds whose only difference is that one is voiced and the ...
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1answer
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Difference between /əʳ/ and /ɚ/

Consider the word 'future.' Cambridge Dictionary shows the transcriptions /ˈfjuːtʃəʳ/ and /ˈfjuːtʃɚ/. Are they different?
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Phonetic differences between ɑ and ɒ in English and American pronunciation standards

First, I should state I'm a native U.K. English speaker from the West Midlands. With 44 Phonemes present in English, I'm having trouble deciding when I should use ɑ and ɒ, from this website we can ...
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Are “phonics” and “Phoenician” related?

I was watching a history lecture recently, and the professor stated that after the Greek "dark ages," during which their previously used written language was lost and forgotten, a new written language ...
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2answers
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Pronunciation of “comedian” and “chameleon”

I can't figure out the difference in pronouncing "comedian" vs. "chameleon." I looked up their pronunciations in many dictionaries and audio sources, and practiced a lot, but my pronunciation still ...
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3answers
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Why are dictionary transcriptions contradictory for the phonetic representation of oranges?

I am a native U.K. speaker with a strong Midlands dialect, and I am very aware of other dialects and regional accents from around the world of English speakers, and I really enjoy this. I am a data ...
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1answer
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Best way to spell a made up word so that it is pronounced like the real word it's based on [closed]

In a situation where you want to turn a real English word like "tracker" into a made up word (eg. for business or website name purpose), is there a preferred way of spelling it to ensure readers ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Prounouncing the combination “-cy-”

Is there any word in the English language that contains the letter combination "-cy-" and pronounced with a hard 'c'? I find it strange that all the common use words are pronounced with a soft 'c' if ...
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1answer
57 views

How would changing the stress position in descriptive phrases change the meaning?

Usually in a phrase composed of an adjective followed by a noun, the noun gets the most stress, and in a phrasal verb like (go on, sit down, stand up) the preposition gets the most stress. However ...
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2answers
118 views

Word phonetics suggestion

Could any English speaker recommend me the best spelling for an 'invented' word that would be pronounced something like /ˈlɛvɪ/. As I'm no expert in phonetic symbols, those phonetic symbols are just ...
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0answers
129 views

Specific type of abbreviation in textese

I would like to know if there is preexisting metalanguage or a term to describe the following types of abbreviations often present in textese or SMS language: see → c, you → u, are → r, your → ur, ...
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678 views

What are the names of the two phonetic changes in this sentence?

I'm going to be teaching English to French high school students for another year in September, and they all have a hard time with my variety of English (they're used to hearing British English). ...
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5answers
526 views

How to write Spanish Vowel sounds into English?

Background I'm writing a novel with original character names, and I want to find the way of how to correctly write their names in English to keep the same pronunciation as they had had in Spanish. ...
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3answers
182 views

Are the 'esk' sound in grotesque and burlesque pronounced the same?

I'm watching episode 4, season 4 of Friends titled 'The One With The Embryos'. In this scene, Ross is testing Chandler and Joey against Monica and Rachel to see which team knows each other better. At ...
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0answers
52 views

Website where I could find words

Do you know any website where I could search a word by a sound from it's IPA transcription ( for instance like ə and get awesome, jonathan etc.). Thank you
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2answers
175 views

Difference in pronunciation: “cookie” and “kooky”

Is there any audible difference between this two words? Google Translate provides very similar transcriptions for them: cookie - ˈko͝okē kooky - ˈko͞okē
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1answer
265 views

Am I semi-rhotic?

I am back with another question about pronunciation. I noticed that I pronounce the "r" sound inconsistently when it follows a vowel. For example, in some words I do not sound it, but in others I do. ...
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1answer
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Why is “thank you” pronounced as /θaŋ kjuː/ (“thang-Q”)?

I would like to know how native speakers say “thank you”. Do they pronounce it /θaŋk juː/ or /θaŋ kjuː/? I am Asian and I was taught in school to say /θaŋ kjuː/ but teachers didn't explain the ...
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4answers
552 views

Why are “fun” and “hulk” phonetically transcribed with the same vowel but pronounced differently?

I see many words in English have the same phonetics but I don't know why they sound different. It means if we read the phonetics and pronounce, it will be wrong. Here are the examples. fun : /fʌn/ ...
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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?
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Why there are three different sounds for -ed?

Following this question on the pronunciation of the final -ed. What is the reason why there are three different pronunciations (/ɪd/, /t/ and /d/)? EDIT: I'm well aware that phonetic shifts exist, ...
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5answers
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Why are there 4 ambiguous phonetic symbols in IPA representations of English?

I'm interested in phonetics in order to speak as properly as possible. And here's the thing, there are four vowels with ambiguous symbols: The first problem is the sound [ɛ] like in dress: /drɛs/ ...
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3answers
806 views

Is “the” ever pronounced “knee”?

Does the pronunciation of "the" sometimes sound like "knee"? I have heard someone read it in a sentence sounded like 'knee'. The specific phrase was: pulling the extra layer of shirt off of her ...
3
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1answer
200 views

What's the lowered “single quote” lookalike marking in phonetic symbols

I understand that the normal "single quote" marking indicates stress, but what about the lowered one?
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1answer
58 views

Place of articulation of /t/ and /d/ in words like “part”, “cord”, “weird” in Standard AmE

What is the usual place of articulation of a final /t/ or /d/ after /r/? I am actually only interested in isolated environments when a word like "weird" falls at the end of an utterance (not followed ...
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2answers
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What is /iə/ in English?

I am confusing with phonetic symbols between /iə/ and /ɪə/. I know that /ɪə/ is a diphthong vowel, combining between /ɪ/ and schwa /ə/. But what is /iə/? Is it /i:/+/ə/? How different are they ...
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2answers
394 views

What is the phonetic term for consecutive sounded vowels?

I am interested for the term used when instances of two consecutive vowels sounds are in different syllables, such as: thrOUGHOUt, abbrevIAtion, immedIAte, barrIER, cOExist, promiscUIty, crEAte, ...
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2answers
108 views

How to describe the practice of using “am-pluh-fi-key-shun” to indicate it's pronouncation? [duplicate]

For instance, if we use [,æmplɪfɪ'keɪʃən] [,æmpləfə'keʃən] to indicate how to read "amplification", the practice is called phonetic notation or phonetic transcription, and the symbol is called ...
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103 views

Native English speakers don’t pronounce the ‘o’ vowel in the 1st syllable

Native English speakers don’t pronounce the ‘o’ vowel in the 1st syllable. It's pronounced as an 'ə' instead. Is this true? When I say "Today" I say /tuˈdeɪ/ , NOT /təˈdeɪ/. Is there a special ...
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1answer
283 views

how to differentiate the two mw phonetic symbol

This image is the differences of phonetic symbols between IPA (left), AHD (middle) and Merriam Webster (right): link to the table The two Merriam Webster phonetic symbols are the same, so how am I ...
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4answers
180 views

Easily recognizable spoken words

I'm looking for terms that describe easily recognizable spoken words. I think this could be in phonology/phonetics but I'm unsure where in particular as I have no formal background. I apologize if ...
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1answer
391 views

Is it common to vocalize syllabic L, but use dark L as a coda consonant after unreduced vowels?

This question is about words that end in a syllabic L like little /ˈlɪtl/ capital /ˈkæpɪtl/ able /ˈeɪbl/ bible /ˈbaɪbl/ syllable /ˈsɪləbl/ Question 1: Is it common for people who usually ...
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2answers
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Different /ə/ pronunciation at the end of a word; for example, in “phenomena”

Sorry for my English but I'm a self-taught beginner. That's why I had been looking at the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) with high hopes until I saw phenomenon’s plural form. In the singular, ...
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2answers
678 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 ...
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1answer
381 views

Why does /ɪ/ often sound like /ə/?

For example if you listen to the pronounciation for "seminar" on Oxfordlearner dictionary it sounds like an /ə/ to me. BrE /ˈsemɪnɑː(r) https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/...