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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78 views

This RP accent makes me confused and mad

I'm trying to choose between RP and my current conventional accents/pronunciations. For already two weeks I've been looking for some proves that RP is worth something and it's well-accepted everywhere....
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How is /ɑ:/ realized in British English: [ɑː] or more relaxed than [ɑː]?

I know that /ɑː/ is open back unrounded vowel and is found a lot in British English. It is the vowel in bath, father, bar, car etc in British English. In American English, this vowel is found in bar, ...
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What is the name of the category that describes all the ways a number can be read?

Written numbers can be read aloud in multiple different ways: Nominal numbers can be read by pronouncing each digit individually: "My phone number is 123456" read as "one, two, three......
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Is there any rule for determining which is the more preferable pronunciation for a word with different pronunciation

"Association" is pronounced as either /əˌsəʊsiˈeɪʃ(ə)n/ Or /əˌsoʊʃiˈeɪʃən/ What I am focusing on in this example is the middle sound /ʃ/ -sh- which is made with ⟨ci⟩. Something came to my ...
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Why is “that” unaccented in some sentences like “We knew that the next day would be difficult.” and not in others?

I don't understand why in some words, the word "that" is accented, such as in "it isn’t that urgent." and not in "We knew that the next day would be difficult". Could ...
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How shall the word “biology” be interpreted, if no English word can start with two stressed syllables?

I am little confused over this matter; the teacher has stated that no English word can start with two stressed syllables and that you understand a syllable is stressed when it's not reduced to a schwa ...
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2answers
987 views

The strange pronunciations of “assume”

Just a curious question: Why is "assume" pronounced so funny by many native speakers? I can't think of any other word where "ss" is pronounced like that. A bit hard to explain via ...
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Birth of a universe vs birth of an universe [duplicate]

Which is the correct usage from the following two sentences? Birth of a universe Birth of an universe
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Is the P aspirated in “PR” combination in stressed syllable?

In English the P is generally aspirated (produced with a strong burst of air) when it comes in the start of a stressed syllable. For example, the P in "pin" is aspirated (produced with a ...
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How were 'eyes' and '-ies' pronounced in Shakespeare's times? [duplicate]

Reading through 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' I've noticed that Shakespeare repeatedly rhymed 'eyes' with some of the words ending with '-ies' (e.g. 'companies', 'qualities'). Obviously that means that ...
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Are English diphthongs nasalized before nasals?

I learned that vowels are often nasalized before nasals (Nasalization). It means that the velum is lowered when the vowel is produced in the mouth and most of the air comes out through nose. For ...
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110 views

What's the difference between /t̬/ and /ɾ/ in American English?

I have learned that the t between vowels in American English is usually an alveolar flap, represented by /ɾ/, which is the voiced counterpart of the usual /t/. Cambridge Online Dictionary gives /ˈbet̬....
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Merger of Early Modern English 'ir' with 'ur' and 'er'+'ear'

Before /r/, /ɪ/ merged with either /ʊ/ or /ɛ/, depending on context. After labials (plus clusters of labials and /l/) and alveolar stops (like in bird and dirt), the result was /ʊ/ (shown, among other ...
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Slight GOAT-fronting in GenAm

According to the Wikipedia page, GOAT in GenAm is realized as a slightly fronted [ö̞ʊ]. I have also heard some GenAm(-like) speakers produce that variant, though others produced a completely back ...
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176 views

Why is the sound 'air' in words like 'chair', 'pear' and 'where' considered a phoneme? Should it not be considered a blend of the sound? [closed]

We know that phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in speech, and that in the IPA, each character represents only one sound. Wouldn't 'air' be considered two sounds - the combination of the sound /...
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What sound is /a/?

Is it similar to /ʌ/ or is it more like /ɔ/ or is it something different? I've seen it combined with /ʌ/ several times in different phonetic scripts. Are the 2 similar or where they just lumped ...
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What is the difference between /ʌɪ/ and /aɪ/ in English?

Is there any difference between the two diphthongs in English IPA transcriptions? If I search a word in the Cambridge dictionary, it gives /aɪ/ for both UK English and US English. For example, the ...
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305 views

Why can't we geminate affricates in sentences when talking?

I read a book which said that if we link affricate sounds when talking, people would misunderstand the meaning of the sentence. But why? For example: "orange juice," the j sound should be ...
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Voicing of sibilants before liquids, after voiced vowels?

I just ran across an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion from a friend about the voic­ing of sibi­lants in English. She was ask­ing why English speak­ers pro­nounce the word mus­lim as muZlim (with a voiced sibi­...
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pronunciation help. What does the simple /i/ means

The cambridge dictionary phonetics use phonetic symbol /i/ in addition to /I/ and /i:/ I assume they use the DJ phonetic transcription. The other source I read says that /i/ is the old spelling for /I/...
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Has anyone noted this phonetic variation in /ə/?

Schwa /ə/ is a phonetically variable sound. It may be [ɪ̈]-ish (or reportedly even [ɨ]-ish), depending on position and dialect, while oftentimes it is [ə] (or [ɘ] in New Zealand English), and for at ...
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/ʃ/ or /s/ with the termination -ciate? Both realizations occur, but when?

I have noticed that among the several words that have the termination -ciate (or derivatives of these) sometimes the pronunciation of the 'c' is /ʃ/ and sometimes /s/. That is, sometimes ...
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how is /p/ pronunced in responsibility [duplicate]

In Cambridge dictionary, the pronunciation of responsibility is /rɪˌspɑːn.səˈbɪl.ə.t̬i/, but I am pretty sure p is not pronounced /p/, at least not the same way as /p/ in peach. So what is happening ...
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Pronunciation of /jɪr/ and /i:r/ in American accent

In American accent, is /jɪr/ and /i:r/ pronounced the same? I'm also wondering whether or not we could replace /ɪ/ by /i:/ in the first transcription so it becomes /ji:r/?
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124 views

Pronunciation of seer. Is the CMU dictionary wrong

I was looking at how "eer" is usually pronounced and I used the CMU pronouncing dictionary (American accent). I saw that most of the time (around 95%) "ee" before "r" is ...
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1answer
202 views

What sound do non-native speakers tend to produce when they mispronounce /f/ and/or /v/ in English? [closed]

In other words, when someone natively speaks a language that doesn't include /f/ or /v/, and they try to pronounce those sounds in English but don't entirely succeed, what sound do they end up ...
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Enforce NOT to pronounce sh in a word

I have a word in the Arabic language that is transliterated into Mushib in English. It means Verbose. I need to enforce the pronunciation of this word to be Mus-Hib (Without pronouncing the sh sound) ...
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1answer
111 views

How would you transcribe and/or describe this vowel?

I'm analyzing the /æ/ vowel sound (also known as 'short A') found in words like cat, dad, or man. I am particularly interested in how that sound is realized in different dialects of American English ...
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3answers
389 views

Why don't we double the final consonant in the word cooking

SO here is the rule I find about doubling consonant if a word ends with a short vowel sound plus a consonant, and the stress is on the last syllable, then the final consonant is doubled if you add ...
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What is the correct pronunciation of “elytra”?

The word elytra refers to one of the anterior wings in beetles and some other insects that serve to protect the posterior pair of functional wings according to Merriam-Webster. The word is also ...
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Why do some words with similar meanings sound similar as well?

I just noticed while writing a few examples of similar words that uncannily sound like each other phonetically. Examples: An example is the similar words: “gleaming”, “glittering”, “glinting”, and “...
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Solve and resolve pronunciation

Solve starts with /s/ sound and when a prefix re- is added to it, it is pronounced with /z/ sound. Why does it happen? Solve -> /sɒlv/ Resolve -> /rɪˈzɒlv/
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4answers
914 views

What is the difference between /a/ and /æ/?

I don't quite understand the difference between /a/ and /æ/. Google gives the transcription for 'add' as /ad/, while Wiktionary returns /æd/. Are these sounds actually distinct or is this just two ...
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2answers
174 views

Is /l/ in “whole” dark or clear?

Is /l/ in 'whole' dark or clear? I know that a clear (palatalised) /l/ is in a prevocalic position; nonetheless, I also know that the dark /l/ (velarised) is usually at the end of words.
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Do native speakers palatalize these sounds

Do native speakers palatalize sounds like /t/ in front of /ɜ/ and /ɝ/ turn /tɝn/ torn /tɔɹn/ Is /t/ here the same sound?
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What is the difference between /ʊ/ and /ʌ/ in British English?

/ʌ/ cut, hut, bun, nothing, love, enough, flood, does /ʊ/ put, soot, foot, good, look, cook To me the ʌ is a more short, low front (unrounded?) vowel, but the vowel /ʊ/ which sounds like "uh" is a ...
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3answers
134 views

How is the 'ng' in any word pronounced?

I am familiar with the phonetic sound of 'ng' together ( I am sorry I don't have a phonetic keyboard) and that there is a special way to pronounce it but some, including me, pronounce both letters and ...
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43 views

Sound 'r' in English

Below you see a clip from the movie "Clockwork Orange". Starting from 2:00 we hear how an officer speaks: he pronounced sound 'r' in an unusual way: vary close to russian sound 'р' ( e.g. 'rings' ). ...
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Pronunciation: /sɪksθ/ /t/

How do you pronounce sixth time? For example: Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time. It's quite difficult to pronounce the /ksθ t/. Do you skip any sound in /ksθ/ /t/? If so, ...
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Do the DRESS vowel (/e/) and SQUARE vowel (/ɛː/) have the same vowel quality in contemporary RP?

I understand that the SQUARE vowel is now often realized as the long monophthong /ɛː/ instead of the traditional diphthong /eə/ in contemporary RP. Do /e/ from the DRESS vowel and /ɛː/ from the modern ...
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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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218 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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56 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
538 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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1answer
242 views

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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