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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Phonemes or allophones? how to chose the underlying structure? [migrated]

In our coursebook, introducing phonology by David Odden, one of the exercise questions asks us to decide if the obstruents of Thai are phonemes or allophones. My teacher says they are allophones but ...
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IPA, Accents, and dictionaries, British and American Phonetics [duplicate]

As a non native english speaker, I'm trying to work on my accent. I've taken a lot of bad habits so I'm trying to go back to the fundamentals meaning learning phonetics. But they seem very imprecise ...
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174 views

On the pronunciation of 's' in 'dislike' (/s/ vs /z/)

With a bit of a surprise I have recently learnt that most(all?) native English speakers pronounce the 's' in dislike (and similar words with the dis- prefix) as /s/, not /z/. However, the /z/ ...
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Is there such a thing as Intrusive-L (as opposed to Intrusive-R)?

Most of us have heard plenty of examples of the so-called Intrusive-R. It is a feature of non-rhotic dialects, including British RP and some New England dialects. It occurs between two vowels that are ...
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1answer
43 views

Difference in articulation (or voiceness?) of /z/ between Ame and RP?

I have observed some differences between Americans and British people when pronouncing /z/ in almost any word. But I don't know exactly what is the difference, I would describe it as Ame /z/ being ...
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What is the most common allophone of r after θ in British English, like in [θri:]?

I ask because post-alveolar r could not be used after dental θ. My intuition tells me that it should be alveolar r, but I have not found on the Internet any confirmation for it.
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Is there a specific term for those words that are phoneticised letters of the English alphabet?

This post Phoneticised alphabet letters refers to "initialisms," a term that describes a word that has been formed by phoneticizing a set of initials that is in common usage, such as "emcee" or "...
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Do /ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ diphthongs actually exist in General American as phonemes?

The Handbook of English Pronunciation. (Marnie Reed, John Levis referring to J.C. Wells) Аs the pronunciation of most speakers is rhotic, there are no centring diphthongs, because the vowels /ɪə,...
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3answers
145 views

Example words with ɛ: + difference between ɛ: and ɛ [closed]

I've just started studying phonetics and phonology of English and I'm currently trying to find words with the vowel ɛ: as examples for a homework. Also, is there a difference between ɛ: and ɛ, as in, ...
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Flapped pronunciation of / l /

I've noticed lately the flapped realization of /l/ in AmE, as in the sentence "It's solo" from the song Solo (Clean Bandit feat. Demi Lovato). What are the causes behind this pronunciation?
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Can /æ/ raising produce homophones in American English?

Can words like "bend" and "band" merge in AmEn? I always thought they should not but here's a confusing example: https://youtu.be/_C0mc7ZOMF4 To my ear this gentleman pronounces "bend" as [bɛənd] and ...
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I dont understand ‘Stressed schwa’ [duplicate]

how can a ‘stressed schwa’ exist? In ‘Applied English Phonology 3rd edition’ (page 85), ‘herder’ is the example of the stressed schwa and it is manifested as ‘3’(with r-coloring tail). As I’ve seen so ...
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'Direction' Pronunciation [duplicate]

There are two ways to pronounce the word 'direction'. dɪˈrɛkʃ(ə)n and dʌɪˈrɛkʃ(ə)n Is one American and one British? If yes, please confirm which is which. If not, what's the difference in usage?
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I am looking for a reverse API tool

I'm looking for a tool for write the sound of the word (phonetic) and have all the words that have that sound. It's very usefull when people don't use the good sounds or to know what a native speaker ...
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1answer
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Happy tensing after /l/

Happy tensing is claimed by Wikipedia to occur in General American and Australian English in words like "happy", "money", "valley" etc. Here's an American lady saying "realy badly" as [ˈriɫɪ ˈbædɫɪ] ...
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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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1answer
150 views

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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1answer
156 views

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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1answer
177 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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4answers
256 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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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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1answer
116 views

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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1answer
62 views

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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1answer
179 views

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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842 views

Difference between /əʳ/ and /ɚ/

Consider the word 'future.' Cambridge Dictionary shows the transcriptions /ˈfjuːtʃəʳ/ and /ˈfjuːtʃɚ/. Are they different?
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1answer
172 views

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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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
169 views

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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165 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 ...
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1answer
163 views

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
70 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
214 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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131 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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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
640 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
255 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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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
283 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
350 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
2k views

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
772 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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1answer
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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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674 views

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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