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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46 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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pronunciation of “yeah”

I have always pronounced "yeah" as /yε/, i.e. as "yes" without the last sound. Recently a friend told me he pronounces it /yæ/, i.e. it rhymes with "nah." This came as a shock to me. Even worse, ...
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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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24 views

'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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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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Is there a word where `w` can not be replaced? [migrated]

The below list of word pairs are phonetically similar - Water - vaater World - Vorld Win - Vin Worn - Vorn It seems like every W vord can be replaced by a corresponding V word. Is there a ...
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33 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
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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
85 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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American refusal of the IPA: why?

Are there any historical or political reasons for the rather consistent refusal of the International Phonetic Alphabet on the part of American academics? Did Mark Twain's home-made-English-spelling-...
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29 views

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
127 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
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How do you pronounce (r) in British English?

For example, we have - car /kɑː(r)/ - or /ɔː(r)/ I thought the brackets means you delete it - i.e. non rhotic - but now I see the phonetic spelling of words like "hard" which don't include the r ...
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2answers
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How do you pronounce these Greek letters in English dictionary definitions?

Dictionary definitions for the English language usually have the word spelled out in Greek letters to indicate how the word is pronounced phonetically. Examples highlighted: What are these Greek ...
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0answers
86 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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Does English really have triphthongs?

Does English really have triphthongs? EDIT/TDLR: It appears that quite a few people have misunderstood this question. In a nutshell, it is asking why many sources, even scholarly ones, claim that the ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
74 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
141 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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4answers
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How to position the tip of the tongue when pronouncing /s/ & /z/?

This website says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip of the tongue should be close to the upper backside of the top front teeth. But this video says, when making /s/ & /z/ sound, the tip ...
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2answers
51 views

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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3answers
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/ə/ in a stressed syllable?

According to this description of the English phonotactics, the schwa /ə/ doesn't occur in stressed syllables. But Cambridge Dictionary Onlines, Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and Longman ...
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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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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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2answers
298 views

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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4answers
951 views

Whence came the different varieties of the “long i” diphthong?

What is the origin of “long long i” before voiced consonants (the [ai] of wide, while, & tribe) versus “short long i” before unvoiced consonants (the [ʌi] of white, wife, & wipe)? When did ...
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1answer
48 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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1answer
162 views

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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129 views

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
780 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
98 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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2answers
450 views

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 double G: soft “gg” versus hard “gg”

When I was a student, I was taught double G is normally hard, as in "agglomerate", "aggregate", "foggy", "aggressive", "dagger", "trigger", "niggard", "doggerel", etc, the exceptions being "exaggerate"...
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1answer
2k views

How is the word “saw” pronounced in the US, specifically, New York?

English is my second language, therefore I have trouble grasping certain words phonetically. When I speak with my co-workers, sometimes and almost always, they pronounce the word saw as sawr, like, ...
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2answers
146 views

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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1answer
64 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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5answers
545 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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2answers
127 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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2answers
3k views

Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position

It seems to me that both /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ become voiceless (or almost) when they occur in word final position. Is this true? Examples: age, wage, courage, judge garage, sabotage, collage, mirage Does ...
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3answers
12k views

What is the proper way to mark a letter stressed in a name?

I have a friend named Chloe (pronounced Clo-ee). She writes her name using an accent mark over the e. A friend of ours thinks that the accent mark means unstressed, so that her name is pronounced Clo-...
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4answers
4k views

Why is /sɪ/ pronounced differently in “six” /sɪks/ and “sit” /sɪt/?

six /sɪks/ and sit /sɪt/ Why do they have the same phonetic symbol /sɪ/, if /sɪ/ is pronounced differently in those two words? The main focus in my question isn't the difference in pronunciation ...
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1answer
92 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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5answers
59k views

Is there a definitive spelling for the shortened version of “as per usual”?

A shortened version of the phrase “as per usual” is now used as slang when referring to something that is typical or expected, often in an exaggerated or hyperbolic manner. For example: Bill: Mike ...
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1answer
58 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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5answers
26k views

Confusion about how to pronounce the “dark L” consonant sound

"Dark L" is "L" at the end of the word or after a vowel sound. Example: ball, pull. "Light L" is "L" at the beginning or before a vowel sound. Example: light, love. There are 4 explanations of how ...
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1answer
7k views

Two types of sound for letter L?

Consider two words, for example, lot and all. The phonetic symbol of l in the two words are the same, which makes me wonder why the sound of l in the first is considered to be the same as in the ...
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2answers
125 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
130 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, ...