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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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Can American ‘bought’ sometimes sound like ‘bop’?

In American English, I’ve noticed that the word bought sometimes sounds like bop when followed by a word starting with a bilabial consonant, such as [p], [b], or [m]. For example, She bought me a car ...
AehkGuu's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
76 views

FLAP T has two versions?

everyone, my question is about the flap T. I'm not a native American English speaker, but I hear the difference between flap t in pretty (some natives pronounce it like the Spanish R, some like a soft ...
Plazma's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
39 views

American 'd' sound is sometimes retroflex? [duplicate]

In fast-paced American English speech, I've observed that the 'd' sound in certain words containing -rd- consonant clusters such as 'hurdle' and 'border' seems to be pronounced as a voiced retroflex ...
AehkGuu's user avatar
  • 315
0 votes
1 answer
163 views

Is there a common origin of the German and English "ch" and does English know the pronunciation of "ch" like in German "machen"

In German "ch" is pronounced in at least three different ways depending on context. It could be pronounced more like a K like in "Charakter" and in the two other forms which I ...
Niclas's user avatar
  • 103
10 votes
3 answers
690 views

Why is 'women' sometimes pronounced as 'woman'?

Some American speakers pronounce both 'woman' and 'women' as 'woman' (ˈwʊm.ən). Is this a recent pronunciation change? Where, why, and when did it originate? I specified the American accent because ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

T turning into what sounds like a trill in Irish English?

I have been recently watching a channel run by an Irish guy and he has many interesting speech quirks (like the fact he still pronounces "wh-" like <hw>). But the thing that puzzles me ...
Gabel Luc's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

Who distinguishes roll from role?

I pronounce roll with the same vowel as the word all. roll - [ɹɔɫ] all - [ɔɫ] But for role, I will often actually use the vowel in bowl role - [ɹɔuɫ] bowl - [bɔuɫ] However, when I encountered someone ...
iopq's user avatar
  • 131
4 votes
0 answers
121 views

Assimilation of /ʃ/ to [ɕ] before bunched [ɹ̈]

I noticed an odd phonetic phenomenon in my own speech that I initially assumed was widespread; then I asked @tchrist about it and he seemed to think it was highly unusual, which made me curious. IANAP ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 19.1k
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

What's the difference between ɔ & ɒ? [duplicate]

What is the difference between ɔ and ɒ? Would bɔl and bɒl both be "ball"? (I'm talking about in standard American English.) I saw this similar question but it hasn't had any answers for ...
jastako's user avatar
  • 119
-1 votes
1 answer
150 views

Is the 't' silent in the word "fasten"? Or is it the 'e'? [closed]

There are mixed answers online. Some say 't' is silent. Others say 'e' is silent. Dictionaries don't seem to give a consistent pronunciation for this word, so it's hard know what is correct.
des's user avatar
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-5 votes
1 answer
156 views

Do terms that end with 'mate' need to be clarified where people say 'mate'?

Do terms that end with 'mate' need to be clarified where people say 'mate'? Like while playing chess, if someone says "checkmate" in somewhere like England or Australia, is it assumed they ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
765 views

Merriam Webster vs Oxford Languages Dictionary phonetic transcriptions of 'man'

I've noticed that in MW words "now" and "man" have the same middle sound (ˈnau̇ vs ˈman), but in Oxford dictionary these two words have two different sounds (naʊ vs mæn). So which ...
ExP's user avatar
  • 9
5 votes
2 answers
158 views

Do "radiant" and "brilliant" rhyme for the purposes of poetry? Wiktionary says their transcriptions are /ˈɹeɪ.di.ənt/ and /ˈbɹɪljənt/

Is this a dialectal/idiolectal thing, where some merge /i/ and /j/, and others don't? I'm ESL and always thought they're merged until now.
capet99's user avatar
  • 59
2 votes
2 answers
234 views

Acoustic description of the realization [ɛə] of the North American raised /æ/

The Wikipedia article on /æ/ raising uses the transcription [ɛə] for a realization of the North American raised /æ/, as in the words ram and ran. I'm having trouble interpreting this transcription, ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
  • 5,401
7 votes
0 answers
356 views

Is there dialectal variation in the weak form of "on"?

This question is related, but not quite identical, to a previous one and to another similar one. In a recent video, phonetician Geoff Lindsey claimed that the words "off" and "on" ...
alphabet's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
646 views

How does one show in IPA that the first sound in "get" and "got" is different?

So one has that "get" /ɡɛt/ and "got" /ɡɒt/ are a minimal pair, for it's only the vocalic phoneme which distinguishes them. However, the first sound is not pronounced/articulated ...
DanielC's user avatar
  • 189
4 votes
1 answer
170 views

Why can "spider" and "cider" undergo Canadian raising in American English?

If I understand it correctly: Canadian raising is a phenomenon that, in many AmE speakers, alters the pronunciation of /aɪ/ before voiceless consonants. (The Canadians also have it in /aʊ/.) This ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 19.1k
-1 votes
1 answer
172 views

*an unitary operator* or *a unitary operator*

This is related to the question that I asked in English language and usage community: about whether there is a dialectal difference among the native English speakers in pronouncing the u of words like ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 231
1 vote
1 answer
250 views

Flapped r after th in English?

I have heard a few English speakers — native — say the word “three” with what sounds like a flapped r. This might include other words that begin with “thr”, but I can’t remember. It’s just been ...
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0 votes
0 answers
62 views

*an unitary operator* or *a unitary operator* [duplicate]

The rule that I usually use in such cases is that *an* precedes a vowel sound, while *a* is used before a consonant sound. I understand sound as different from letter - conventionally u would be ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 231
1 vote
0 answers
148 views

Gemination of plosives in final positions following a consonant

Whenever a plosive like p,t,k follows a consonant in the final position, it is always released or else it can't be heard at all. For example: lamp, act, thank, etc. Yet in the word lamppost, the first ...
Brack Bruno's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

How phonetically distinct in terms of quality (tongue gesture) are /ɜː/ and /ə/ in Received Pronunciation?

The English Wikipedia article on Received Pronunciation uses two particular vowel charts adapted from two sources, an article by Peter Roach titled British English: Received Pronunciation published in ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
  • 5,401
0 votes
3 answers
793 views

In IPA transcription, what is the difference between “ɪ”, "i", “i:”?

What is the difference between “ɪ”, "i", “i:”? Are these two same “ɪ”, "i" and won't be wrong if interchanged while transcripting? For example: Is it correct to write either /ʃɪp/ ...
Dia's user avatar
  • 29
6 votes
0 answers
166 views

How are /ɪ/ and /ʌ/ realised in the Nottingham (East Midlands) accent?

I've got a sample of a few words pronounced by a Nottingham accent representative: https://youtu.be/2fCSeDEZeVU My ear is far from perfect and this is why I'd like to ask for your help in this ...
musialmi's user avatar
  • 187
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

Is this intrusive r? "Arya Stark" pronounced as "Aryer Stark"

In Game of Thrones, season 4, ep.8 around 37:50, The Hound says: [...]and his travelling companion Arya Stark. He pronounces it like "Aryer Stark". It seems to be a similar concept as an ...
Zyx's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote
1 answer
186 views

Cot caught merger - /ɔɪ/ or /ɑɪ/ in boy, choice...?

Here is the pronunciation guide from Oxford American English dictionary: Some speakers only use the sound /ɔ/ when it is followed by /r/ (as in horse /hɔrs/) and use /ɑ/ in all other words that are ...
Nam N's user avatar
  • 75
10 votes
4 answers
493 views

Do any speakers have contrastive vowel qualities for the NURSE and lettER sets?

John Wells’ lexical sets are usually useful classifications for determining differences in the realizations of vowels across English accents. Two of the sets are the NURSE set, referring to a stressed ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
0 votes
1 answer
390 views

L-epenthesis in “both” and other words

I’m a younger speaker from Chicago with some version of a General American accent. I’ve noticed that a small number of words seem to have a nonstandard pronunciation with an inserted lateral sound, ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Rounding of the START and PALM vowels

I’m a younger speaker from Chicago with a relatively standard General American accent. I have noticed that the vowels in the words “start” and “palm” sound like they have some lip rounding in my ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
2 votes
1 answer
463 views

Pronunciation of “have to” as “haf to”

I’m a young speaker from Chicago. A colloquial phrase I hear and say often is “I have to _,” indicating an obligation to do something. However, I’ve noticed that “have” is pronounced in a nonstandard ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
0 votes
2 answers
673 views

When does n sounds like m? [duplicate]

I hear that native (american, but maybe others do too) English speakers sometimes change the sound /n/ for a /m/ in between words like "Conversation" and "Grandpa". Is there a rule ...
Darvid's user avatar
  • 3
1 vote
0 answers
215 views

How to explain to a five year old why certain words are spelled this way [closed]

My five-year-old is learning phonics. I give him spelling test time to time. I asked him to spell "Hair" and he spelled it as "Her" & then I told him this is incorrect spelling....
OpenStack's user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
1 answer
288 views

Possibility of a near-cure or peer-pure vowel merger in American English

I am a young speaker from Chicago with, I think, a relatively nonspecific General American accent. I’ve noticed something interesting with the vowels in the NEAR and CURE sets. These vowels can be ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
3 votes
2 answers
334 views

Do British and American English speakers pronounce /ɪ/ differently?

I'm not a native speaker of English, but I'm pretty fluent in Received Pronunciation. I've recently noticed that the way Americans make the sound /ɪ/ is different from the way I, and RP speakers in ...
Ahmad Nourallah's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

Phonetic similarity metrics

I am looking for similarity metrics based on IPA symbols in English. In other words, given two phonemes A and B (given in IPA format), I want to know how similar they are based on some metric, M. For ...
postnubilaphoebus's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
809 views

Pronunciation of ss as s and lack of sh?

I've been hearing some British and Irish actors and presenters pronounce ss like s instead of sh, so tissue sounds like tisyu rather than tishu for example. I also heard someone pronounce appreSEEate ...
otoarno's user avatar
  • 13
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

How many syllables do these rules say that ‘every’ has?

Edit note: As you’ll see from the linked-to post, I’m not expecting my code here to be anything like 100% accurate. I’m after a fast and dirty heuristic that will be correct most of the time. I’m ...
After_Sunset's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
233 views

When is it OK to pronounced a voiced th like a /d/ instead of a /ð/?

As I learned in Do native speakers really always pronounce the voiced th as a /ð/? native speakers sometimes pronounce the voiced th as a /d/ instead of a /ð/ like in the words "the", &...
tempdev nova's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
158 views

Do native speakers really always pronounce the voiced th as a /ð/? [closed]

In Can we pronounce the 'th' sound as a d? one answer explained that native speakers often don't pronounce the voiced th excactly like how it ideally should sound. What I have noticed over ...
tempdev nova's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
396 views

Phonetic symbols for Port are different: Webster Internet vs Webster paper

Phonetic symbols are different for the same word Port. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary on the Internet: port noun (1) \ ˈpȯrt \ Definition of port (Entry 1 of 10) 1: a place where ships may ride ...
imida k's user avatar
  • 253
5 votes
1 answer
624 views

Pronunciation: /ɪ/ becomes /ə/ in "William" or "Wilkinson"?

I sometimes hear words like "Willam" or "Wilkinson" pronounced like /'wəl-jəm/ or /'wəɫ̩-kən-sən/, rather than /'wɪɫ̩-jəm/ or /'wɪɫ̩-kən-sən/. In other words, the /wɪɫ̩/ cluster is ...
BehdadB's user avatar
  • 53
7 votes
1 answer
472 views

Why are "er”, "ar” and "or" often listed as R-colored vowels but "air”, "ear" and "oor/ure" are not? Are they vowels or vowel+consonant?

NOTE: I speak a rhotic variety of English. I am struggling with how to explain r-coloured vowels/vocalic R to teachers during a presentation on the phonemes of English. Many grapheme-phoneme lists ...
Colleen's user avatar
  • 71
1 vote
0 answers
67 views

What is/are the process(es) leading to the mispronunciation of the word "extra"?

I find that it is not uncommon for the word extra to be pronounced without the letter 'x' being enunciated such that it sounds like /ˈɛkʃᵗrə/ instead of /ˈɛkstrə/. That is the /s/ sound is substituted ...
peanutjelly's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
366 views

I pronounce initial R's with my upper teeth on the very bottom of my inside lower lip. Not rhotic. What's the IPA for this?

The Wikipedia page "Pronunciation of English /r/" doesn't mention an option for pronouncing R where the upper teeth are really, really at the bottom of the inside lower lip, practically ...
peisander's user avatar
  • 305
1 vote
1 answer
334 views

English words ending with -enk/-eng

Why aren’t words ending with -enk/-eng more common in Modern English?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
167 views

What are the two /r/ sounds explained in this video?

This guy says here there are two ways of "making the /r/ sound". His explanation lacks academic rigor and necessary phonetic details. He claims the first way is: "It's like a /l/, with ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
  • 1,172
3 votes
1 answer
203 views

Why is scissors /ˈsɪz.əz/ and not /ˈsɪz.ɜ:ʳz/?

I am an English teacher, but have not studied phonetics much. The sound əz is the same sound we find in "houses" "causes" "ages" "beaches". The dictionaries say ...
Jonathan Farningham's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
119 views

Does [ʌ] represent near-open central vowel in IPA system? [closed]

[ɐ] near-open central vowel [ʌ] open-mid back unrounded vowel Can I use [ʌ] to represent near-open central vowel sound in IPA system?
IEatMy Pizza's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
329 views

"man" vs. "men" pronunciation in American English

Here are 10 audio clips taken (more or less randomly) from a book narrated by a professional American narrator. In 5 of them, he is saying man, and in the other 5, men. Is it possible for a native ...
Danylo Mysak's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
241 views

Pronunciation of "I" vowel name in fast speech

I'm not a native english speaker. I was wondering what is the right way to pronunce the "I" (/aɪ/) vowel name in fast speech. Perhaps i'm confused, but sometimes i hear /a/. Like in the ...
David Barrios's user avatar

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