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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2answers
4k views

Detecting vibration in voiced and voiceless English sounds

I heard people saying that if you put your finger on your throat you would be able to feel voiced sound vibrates and voiceless sound doesn't. I tried it but both sounds seem the same to me. So did I ...
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3answers
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Does the [ɒ] in “not” sound different from the [ɒ] in “hot”?

I would like to know why the [ɒ] in not often sounds different (more rounded) than the [ɒ] in hot, father, or car in American English. I know that in British English the vowel in not is an [ɔ], but I'...
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3answers
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/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 ...
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2answers
497 views

'Travel' - Place of articulation of /t/

What is a place of articulation which best fits the initial consonant of the word travel? It looks like the first sound is /t/ therefore it should be alveolar, but in the Longman pronunciation coach (...
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2answers
986 views

“Hwyl” - Is the letter “Y” counted as a vowel in this case?

While reading the answers and comments of When is "Y" a vowel? I thought of a few other words that seem to have "w" as a vowel but am not sure. In addition to "cwm" there is also "crwth" and ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
249 views

How do you pronounce “I'm going to buy a cat tomorrow.”, in a natural sounding sentence. (in your accent)

I'm going to buy a cat tomorrow. Specifically, I'm asking those whose natural accent does not include glottal stopping for a post-vowel t. Are there two consecutive t sounds between cat and tomorrow,...
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How widespread is labialization of [ʃ] and [ʒ] in 'dish' and 'beige'?

I'm reading The Sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008), which is an introductory textbook in Japanese articulatory phonetics. The first chapter lays out some basic concepts in phonetics, and although the ...
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1answer
718 views

The pronunciation rules of words which begin 'Com-, Col-, Cor-' or 'Con-' [duplicate]

What is the standard rule, if there is one, for pronouncing words beginning with the prefixes com-, col-, cor-, con-? Very often these words have an /ɒ/ vowel, like in the word hot - in Gen American,...
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1answer
8k views

So, should “Thailand” be pronounced as /ˈtaɪ.lænd/ or /ˈθaɪ.lænd/? [closed]

OK, I searched on the Internet and found that online dictionaries give the following pronunciation of Thailand as /ˈtaɪ.lænd/. Cambridge English Dictionary says noun /ˈtaɪ.lænd/ Oxford ...
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How many phonemes are in the word “queen”?

I am in the process of digging into phonemes as a way to help teach our son to read. I don't remember ever having formal instruction on the role of phonemes in speech, and I am actually having a lot ...
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What is the difference between /ɚ/ (farmer /ˈfɑːr.mɚ/) & /ɝ/ (bird /bɝːd/)?

Ok, look at this vowel diagram of English language, you will see /ə/ & /ɜ/ are the central vowel. Both has the middle of the tongue raising in the middle of the mouth, except that /ə/ has to raise ...
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1answer
98 views

What is the correct transcription of 'wikinames'?

I thought that this is [ˌwiki'neimz], but do I really need to indicate primary stress, since names contains only one syllable?
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3answers
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Missing sound: final skt letters

I've noticed that many Americans in movies usually omit letter k when it falls between s and t sounds at the end of any word like in asked, tasked, Can we generalize that as a rule, so the word ...
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unreleased final consonant sounds [closed]

At school I learned the unreleased final consonant sounds: b, d, d, k, p, t My first question is, what does unreleased mean in this context? My second question He played well and ran fast. ...
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2answers
235 views

Is it optional to voice the final letter and linking sound?

I am learning English and I like to observe how people say it. Most of time, I hear "but I" as "buttai", "out of" as "outtof." In this case, the T is pronounced. However, I also hear when people ...
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1answer
497 views

Should I use the weak or the strong form in this sentence for the word “as”?

"Went straight up as if from a factory" <---- for the word "as" in this sentence should I say it like /æz/ or like /əz/ ?
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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: /...
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2answers
496 views

Dissimilation: 'taper' from 'papyrus'

I was researching the etymology of taper {verb} which motivated this question. Observe that Etymonline's entry for the verb just rechannels to that for the noun: taper (n.) Old English tapur, ...
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1answer
496 views

Word Stress Within the Phrase I'm expecting someone

I tried pronouncing the phrase: "I'm expecting someone". Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm ɪkspɛkt ɪŋ sʌmwʌn] I perceive some stress on the second syllable of expecting and the first syllable of ...
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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
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What are the types of the phoneme distribution? How to define them?

I was given a task to define the types of the phoneme distribution in these words: tea [tiː] – stay [steɪ] – try [traɪ] – twice [twaɪs] – little [ˈlɪtl] But I have no idea how to do that. Could ...
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306 views

Pronunciation of Who is it?

I heard the question "Who is it?" in a movie. [Person A] knocked on a door. [Person B] came to open the door, but before that he asks "Who is it?" This three syllables question can be pronounced ...
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Why is /k/ sometimes spelt with a C, and sometimes with a K? [closed]

This may sound silly. But I'm really confused why, when we pronounce (the phoneme) /k/, we sometimes spell it with a C and sometimes with a K (sometimes with CK). Why wasn't 'k' used instead, in such ...
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1answer
731 views

Pronunciation 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 ...
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1answer
10k 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 ...
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2answers
822 views

Fast speech and palatalization T+D

when the phrase "I understand you" is pronounced, does the palatalization happen in fast/connected speech? In other words, does the D+Y sounds more like a J sound as in Joke). Here's the way I ...
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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: / ...
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2answers
823 views

Do we need to put extra sound W or J in front of L in the case of /ei+L/ or /ee+L/ or /ai+L/ or /oo+L/ or /oi+L/ in American English?

Ok, let see the sale /seɪl/, that is from IPA but when speak American English, do we have to put /seɪ-jl/ (sound like sei jo) Similarly, feel /fiːl/ will become /fiː jl/ or mile /maɪl/ will become /...
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Word Stress Within a Sentence: Adjectives

I read this in American accent book: "Place full stress on an adjective if it's not followed by a noun. If it is followed by a noun, stress the noun more." For example I have this phrase: Have a ...
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0answers
794 views

Words Listed by Vowel Sound

I'm working on a libretto for a vocal composition which makes use of vowel formants. It's important that all of the singers can produce exactly the same vowel sound, so I'm using IPA symbols. I'm ...
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1answer
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Words Starting with Double Consonants [closed]

Double consonants often appear in the middle or at the end of a word like: kitty, Eiffel, thriller, brilliant bass, guess, basketball However, I wonder if there are any words (including ...
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1answer
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What is it called when a word is translated phonetically from a foreign language to English?

For example, the word "jihad." Translated, the word means "struggle" or "strive" and I am sure there are others. The word "jihad," is just taking the pronunciation of the word in the native tongue, ...
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How do I write a question that sounds like a statement?

Forgive me if the title is unclear. I am trying to understand how to write two questions, but with the latter question sounding like a statement. Examples: a) Should I go with option A, or option ...
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2answers
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What is the pronunciation of “the” before the vowel “e”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce the vowel in the article "the" when used before "evil"? (American English)
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1answer
184 views

/s/ in sin and /s/ in salt

It's clear that the pronunciation of /s/ in sin or cell is different from that in words like soul, sore, sardine etc. In Arabic there are two letters for the sound /s/: س like in sin and ص like in ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
466 views

Why is “I believe in woman” ok? Or isn't it? (from Slade's “My Oh My”)

This first line of the song is I believe in woman, my oh my. I'm not a native speaker, but that sounds odd to me. I'd either expect women (I believe in women [in general]) or some kind of determiner (...
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0answers
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Coalescence of /t/ and /r/ in 'train', 'tram', 'traffic' etc [duplicate]

Could we say that when saying the 'tr' in words like 'train', 'tram' etc, that the /t/ and /r/ often coalesce to make a sound which is more similar to 'tchr'? I myself definitely do this, but I have ...
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0answers
637 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 ...
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5answers
29k 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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2answers
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What happened to voiced velar fricative [ɣ] and velar approximant [ɰ] in English language?

The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in various spoken languages. Wikipedia says that it is not found in English today, but did exist in Old English.1 Why did this sound ...
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1answer
193 views

In English, can a whole syllable be aspirated?

Living in Merseyside, I've noticed a phonetic oddity that I can't find described anywhere [I did a Web search and found a transcript of Liverpool speech on a Liverpool University site, but no mention ...
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5answers
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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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0answers
412 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
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1answer
908 views

Why is the pronunciation of “th” in “thread” different from “python”? [closed]

I checked the pronunciation of th in thread and python in Google Translate. The sound of the th in thread is similar to t, but in python it instead sounds like s. However, in dictionaries (e.g. ...
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2answers
2k views

Aspiration in 'lecture'

Why in a word 'lecture' /k/ is unaspirated? Shouldn't it be weakly aspirated because of the fact that it's in unstressed syllable?
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1answer
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How to pronounce Louisville?

How would I phonetically spell the way locals pronounce Louisville? (Louisville, KY)
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0answers
446 views

Pronunciation of 'Con' words [duplicate]

Is there any rule for the pronunciation of 'Con' words like : Constant, Constraint, Constitute, Constituent etc. My confusion is with these sounds 'kɒn' and 'kən'. For Constiuent it is /...
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2answers
532 views

Prolong the sound of a word in writing

How do I prolong the sound of a word in writing, while maintaining its natural sound? I want to prolong the sound of these words: Doh Rei Mi Fah Sol If I write Doooooh, people might read ...

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