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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203
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5answers
24k views

Are “whores” and “horse” homophones?

I’m Spanish but sometimes see TV shows in English. My question is whether the words horse and whores sound exactly the same, because in many English language TV shows it seems like they are, which ...
8
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2answers
2k views

When does realisation of velar nasal /ŋ/ as alveolar nasal [n] happen along with tensing of the preceding vowel (/ɪ/ to [i])?

I have observed some English speakers in North America who seem to produce this assimilation in words like "running" /ˈrʌnɪŋ/ (as /ˈrʌnin/) or "winning" /ˈwɪnɪŋ/ (as /ˈwɪnin/). I'm specifically ...
35
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11answers
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What is it called when words are deliberately spelled incorrectly but pronunciation is kept unchanged?

For example, Night -> Nite Through -> Thru The -> Da Though -> Tho Nite even appears in some dictionaries as having the same meaning as night. What is it called when words are ...
13
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4answers
6k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, that'...
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1answer
2k views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Why is /e/ generally transcribed as 'ay'?

I’ve seen pretty often in phonetic transcriptions for English speakers who weren’t familiar with the IPA the phoneme /e/ or /ɛ/ transcribed as ay: Here "lejos" (/'le.xos/) is transcribed as lay-hoss1....
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2answers
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Reform of English writing? [closed]

As is commonly known, English is quite notorious for having a writing system that is far removed from the actual way it is most commonly pronounced. I understand that there are important historical ...
3
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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 ...
2
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3answers
1k views

/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 ...
5
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3answers
28k views

Pronunciation of “i” in the words like “direct”, “organization”, etc

I'm a nonnative speaker of English and I've always been unsure about the pronunciation of "i" inside words like direct, organization, etc. I was thinking that it's a matter of choice between American ...
3
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1answer
203 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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3answers
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Should 'g' followed by 'e' and 'i' be pronounced with a soft or hard g? [closed]

In English, words with a 'g' followed by a front vowel (e, i, y) can be pronounced with a soft g or a hard g: Words with Germanic roots are usually pronounced with a hard g: gear, get, gift, give ...
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2answers
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What is the pronounciation of “the” before the vowel “e”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce the vowel in the article "the" when used before "evil"? (American English)
148
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2answers
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Why are the vowels in Christ and Christmas different? (and other strange diphthong behaviour)

Why are certain words pronounced with diphthongs on their own but with monophthongs in compounds? For example: Words pronounced with diphthongs on their own: Michael, Christ, wise, drive Their ...
13
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2answers
125k views

What is the difference between “phonetic” and “phonemic”?

I've read several descriptions but I still don't understand. From what I can gather, the main (or only) difference is phonemics is not concerned with "nondistinctive elements" but I don't know what ...
17
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2answers
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What did we gain in return for the loss of phonemic vowel length from Old English?

In Old English, vowel length was phonemic, but stress and certain kinds of consonant voicing were not. In Modern English, that situation is reversed: vowel length is no longer phonemic, but stress ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Are there any “-nk-” or “-nc-” words in English where there isn't a “ng” before the “k” sound?

In words like think and lank, we actually seem to be saying "thing-k" and "lang-k." Can anyone thing-k of any words or rules for sound use where this doesn't happen?
4
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2answers
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Are what-cha and arent-cha examples of elision?

Are these words examples of elision? What effect do they create? If a child says them what does this suggest about their language development? Thanks for any help!!
3
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2answers
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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 ...
0
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3answers
2k views

When we will use soft and hard sound in 'c'? [closed]

Sometimes we use the soft sound, and sometimes the hard – but why? Is there any rule?
6
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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 ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is there any word with two consecutive monophthongs whose symbols could be combined to a diphthong? [closed]

For example, ɔ and ɪ in one word one after another. Note that I talking about a situation where the symbols could be combined as written l, not the sounds. IPA does not have explicit different written ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Are there many -tion words that sound like 'vision'?

Usually -tion words, such as motion, education, and lotion, end with a -shn sound. But equation ends with a sound rhyming with vision. Are there many more? What might some of them be? And if the ...
5
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3answers
1k views

/ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ as phonemes?

From what I understand on phonetics/phonology, /ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ can simply be considered as allophones of /ɪr/, /er/, /ʊr/, but most traditional dictionaries treat them as distinct phonemes. Is that ...
3
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1answer
5k views

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 ...
16
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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 ...
6
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3answers
4k views

L in the middle of a word: dark l or light l?

I find it easy to pronounce words like full (/fʊl/, dark l) and light (/laɪt/, light l), but when the letter l appears in the middle of a word, things become tricky. I can hear different ...
11
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4answers
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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-...
4
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5answers
12k views

Is there a term for the silent letters in a word?

Such letters are employed in spelling but are not pronounced, and English offers a wealth of examples more than any other language . most final "b's" preceded by "m" (dumb, climb, thumb, etc) most "k'...
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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-...
2
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4answers
566 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
501 views

AmE Phonetics: < I don't n-> /aʊn/ [closed]

Cut to the chase: While listening to the record 2.0 Boys by Slaughterhouse I've noticed that Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden pronounce such sequence of sounds — namely "I don't know" around 1:55 and "...
12
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2answers
709 views

Describing the phonetic interaction between the F and the T in often

In the word often, the labiodental non-sibilant fricative f precedes the alveolar stop t, which is then followed by the vowel e. The Oxford Dictionaries Online offers two accepted pronunciations: /...
2
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0answers
85 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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3answers
288 views

Pronunciation of Mid-Word American English T + D

I'm a native speaker of American English but have a very muddy sounding voice that I'm trying to improve. In my pronunciation the mid-word t/d sound, as in buddy, sweater, or under, is particularly ...
14
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5answers
723 views

Regarding the “i” in “think” vs “bit”

This is a phonetics question. I am teaching English as a Second Language. In phonetics, we all know the "i" in "think" is a "short i" sound. Additionally, the "i" in "bit" is a "short i" sound. ...
6
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2answers
6k views

phonetics vs. phonology [closed]

I'm reading an article about phonetics and phonology, and it clamis that they are different. But I can't locate where the difference is located. Referring to my dictionary, I can see: Phonetics: ...
6
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2answers
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Onomatopoeia Across Languages

Every language has its stock of onomatopoeic expressions, but they vary across nationalities and cultures. For example, the American “bow wow” (a rapper’s name) has its Japanese equivalent in “wan-...
3
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1answer
79 views

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?
2
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1answer
1k views

discerning /æ/ and /e/ sounds

As I am a foreigner, I have great difficulty differentiating the sounds /æ/ and /e/ . When spoken softly, it becomes almost impossible for me to discern the sounds. Such as this one from movie ...
2
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3answers
17k views

Do “here” and “hear” have the same phonetic transcription in the same country?

Is there any accent that makes a distinction when pronuncing “here” and “hear”? From Wiktionary: Here (UK) /hɪə(ɹ)/ (US) /hɪɹ/ Hear (UK) /hɪə(ɹ)/ (US) IPA: /hiːɹ/ So, according to that, US ...
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1answer
2k views

Are [ɪ] and [i] are allophones of the same phoneme in English? [closed]

I am leaning towards no, but would like confirmation and perhaps an example to illustrate.
1
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0answers
608 views

Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters

I like tongue twisters. Five fine vine weevils (plays with W, F and V) Six sick stick insects (plays with S, ST, KT, K and T) Gran crams clams into clean clam cans (plays with R and L and also ...
0
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2answers
109 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 ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Pronunciation and transcription of the vowel in “fear”, “dear”, “near” etc

I wonder, words like fear, dear, near and so on have long e in pronunciation, and it should be transcribed as /i:/, but I've found it transcribed as short /ɪ/. Why is that?
0
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1answer
337 views

What phonetic alphabet is used here?

Can someone tell me what phonetic alphabet is used here? Also, how is this word pronounced? Update: This is a scientific term from a 1976 National Bureau of Standards manual. The original word is ...
0
votes
2answers
702 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 ...
0
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2answers
531 views

Pronounciation of w at the end of a word - and what does ʊ mean?

I noticed that when I pronounce words like Show or fellow I seem to drop the w and just say Sho or Fello. My countries English is similar to British English. I wonder if that is normal or if maybe I ...