Questions tagged [phonology]

Technical questions about the sound patterns of English.

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37 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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36 views

counting syllables of Ambatofinandrahana [on hold]

How many syllables are there in the name "Ambatofinandrahana" ?
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2answers
200 views

Where in Ireland, if anywhere, at the time of James Joyce, would “hoe” and “whore” sound similar enough to pun?

Where in Ireland, if anywhere, at the time of James Joyce (1882 – 1941), would "hoe" and "whore" sound similar enough to pun? This question pertains to Does Joyce, in Finnegans Wake or Ulysses, ...
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0answers
25 views

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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1answer
76 views

On the velar nasal /ŋ/ sound followed by /k/

I'm a non-native speaker and I have always pronounced all words with syllables ending in 'n' followed by a /k/ sound with the velar nasal /ŋ/. For example: think / increase (v+n) / income / ...
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4answers
3k views

Spicket or spigot?

I recently was making a list and for the first time using a digital device, typed in what I grew up referring to an outdoor faucet 'spicket' as into my iPad. My mother grew up in Utah and my father ...
3
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1answer
64 views

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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1answer
32 views

a/an expected completion date? [duplicate]

Question is pretty self-explanatory. Either way, a date on a calendar is a date. When it becomes unexpected, it sounds right to me to say an unexpected date instead of a unexpected date. Same for when ...
10
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1answer
2k views

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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56 views

How should you pronounce the word “wolf ”?

If the dictionary’s IPA for the word wolf is /wʊlf/, then why do I sometimes hear people pronounce it /wolf/ instead of /wʊlf/? Aren’t /ʊ/ and /o/ different phonemes?
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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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0answers
208 views

Trump's pronunciation of “origins” as “oringes”

President Trump pronounced the word origins [ˈɔ:rɪʤɪnz] as oringes [ˈɔ:rɪnʤəz] in a meeting with NATO secretary general Stoltenberg at the White House on 3 April 2019. See this clip on Youtube. ...
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1answer
45 views

How often does assimilation take place?

I have a doubt question. Whenever native speakers speak, do they always assimilate? For example, for She has used you, might we hear any of these? ʃihæʒuːzdju ʃihæʒuːʒu ʃihæʒuːʤu ʃihæzjuːzdju ...
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4answers
139 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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0answers
44 views

Does the change of “y” to “ies” in plural form of words have a phonological explanation?

I've been looking for phonological rules or explanation for the change that occurs in -ies ending plural form but all I found was : When we have a vowel before "y" we add "s", such as "boys". When we ...
7
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2answers
343 views

The Newjersey Turnpike

In pronunciation of the name of the New Jersey Turnpike, there is no stress in either syllable of the word "Jersey," as though New Jersey were actually one word. Is this a common phenomenon that ...
8
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3answers
769 views

You becoming 'CHU' and 'JU'

I know for over a fact that the word "YOU" when the word before its a T or a 'D' sound it can change to a CH sound or a J sound, but I've ALWAYS wonder why does that happen? So, I want you= aɪ wɑnt ...
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2answers
2k views

“Extra W” sound in words

I've wonder that in some sentences, or words, even though phonetically you don't have a 'W' sound, you can still hear some type of extra w' sound. So for example. The phrase: "Do it". /du ɪt/ will ...
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1answer
120 views

Devoicing 'Voiced consonants' to their counterparts

So, lately I've been really interested in the 'DEVOICING 'Voiced Consonants to thei r counterparts'. I've been doing many studies painstakingly, so I would like to share it with you, and you can tell ...
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1answer
169 views

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
90 views

Why the“n” in “Monday” and “Sunday” is pronounced sounding like “/ŋ/” rather than “/n/” displayed in the dictionary?

I look up some dictionaries the phonogram of "n" in these words are marked as "/n/". But I just found the pronunciation sounds like "/ŋ/". I don't know why.
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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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3answers
1k views

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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2answers
261 views

Contraction “-'dn't” from formal English “would not”

Can "wouldn't" be reduced to the clitic -'dn't when attached to any other pronoun besides y'all, such as she'dn't or you'dn't? (Appearing for example in "y'all'dn't've" from formal English "you all ...
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2answers
188 views

When is word initial E pronounced /iː/ ? (as in 'Ego') [closed]

Words beginning with e usually be pronounced as /e/ or /ɪ /, for example: egg /eg/ effort /'efət/ explicit /ɪ k'splɪ sɪ t/ Very rarely, words are pronounced with /iː/, for example: epoch /'i:pɔk/ ...
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1answer
1k views

I gonna vs. I'm gonna

I live in Germany where I often hear 'I gonna' or 'you gonna', in effect treating 'gonna' as a main verb and missing out the copula 'to be'. AAE also has a 'zero' copula. Perhaps this clitic will be ...
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1answer
511 views

How long ago did Londoners start saying “f” instead of “th”?

Is there any evidence for how far back replacement of “th” with “f” goes in London (and environs) historically? (I’m talking about how some Londoners say “fanks” and “everyfing” etc.)
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2answers
686 views

What are the names of the two phonetic changes in this sentence?

I'm going to be teaching English to French high school students for another year in September, and they all have a hard time with my variety of English (they're used to hearing British English). ...
2
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1answer
244 views

Historical connections between “carnival” and “cannibalism”?

This may be a somewhat disturbing question, but as a non-native speaker, the word carnival seems very similar to a totally different word called cannibalism. I’m well aware of the difference between ...
2
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1answer
424 views

What is the real pronunciation of “postman”? [duplicate]

I can see that the word postman is pronounced as /pəʊs(t)mən/ commonly, where you can’t hear the vowel in the ‑man syllable. But sometimes it is pronounced /pəʊs(t)mæn/ — with a noticeable /æ/ vowel ...
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2answers
199 views

Why do I have a different vowel in “scarf” than I have in “scarves”, and how come nobody talks about this?

So in my opinion, scarves is pronounced as the dictionary has it: with a Short O or /a/. But I believe that scarf and other "ar" words that are followed by voiceless consonants, are not actually ...
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2answers
233 views

History of additional sounds introduced to English

Today I was curious about the rarity of the consonant cluster sr in the English language. I found a WordReference forum from 2006 that asked about the matter. The general response is that because ...
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3answers
199 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
56 views

In Broad White South African English, voiceless plosives tend to be unaspirated in all positions, which serves as a marker of this subvariety.[

I'm not sure what this sentence means. I think Voiceless plosive/Stop are /p/, /t/, and /k/. So do words ending with "t" - (like Hit, Sit, Last) - not have any air released at the end? In Korean ...
3
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1answer
276 views

Am I semi-rhotic?

I am back with another question about pronunciation. I noticed that I pronounce the "r" sound inconsistently when it follows a vowel. For example, in some words I do not sound it, but in others I do. ...
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2answers
212 views

Has there been any theory on the vowel /o/ that was inserted into words like “arrow”?

Words like tomorrow, sorrow, arrow, follow, borough contain /o/, as in the diphthong /oʊ/, which was /wə(n)/ in Middle English which was weakened from Old English /x/ or /ɣ/ + some sort of vowel. ...
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5answers
2k views

Does any native English word contain the 'ñ' sound?

I've seen that English dictionaries contain a number of Spanish-imported words that contain the character ñ, such as piñata, piña colada and jalapeño. You find the same sound in other languages, such ...
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3answers
467 views

Why there are three different sounds for -ed?

Following this question on the pronunciation of the final -ed. What is the reason why there are three different pronunciations (/ɪd/, /t/ and /d/)? EDIT: I'm well aware that phonetic shifts exist, ...
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1answer
65 views

Are /gz ɨz/ pronounced voiced in normal speech? Why are they described as voiced consonants?

As in "dogs" and the suffix "-es". I have learned later that the ending should be voiced, while everywhere I hear native speakers pronounce them voiceless. However, I followed the book and pronounce ...
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2answers
657 views

Is there a hidden [y] vowel sound in /u:/?

My native language is Danish, with its gigantic number of vowel sounds, and this undoubtedly affects how I hear English vowels. However, one phenomenon in English has bothered me for many years, ...
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2answers
707 views

number of syllables in GIRL

I (US Mid-West) definitely pronounce this as having two syllables, with a schwa between the R and the L. In fact, I find it difficult to make a consonant cluster of RL. This is contradicted but ...
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2answers
268 views

Do syllables only contain one vowel? Also Some questions on word stress

For this word: ○ recommend ○/ˌrekəˈmend/ 1) /rekə/ is the first syllable. Does it contain two vowels? ■ e is a vowel ■ ə is a vowel I thought syllables can only contain one vowel? 2) the [ ']...
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3answers
819 views

Is “the” ever pronounced “knee”?

Does the pronunciation of "the" sometimes sound like "knee"? I have heard someone read it in a sentence sounded like 'knee'. The specific phrase was: pulling the extra layer of shirt off of her ...
17
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2answers
3k views

What is /iə/ in English?

I am confusing with phonetic symbols between /iə/ and /ɪə/. I know that /ɪə/ is a diphthong vowel, combining between /ɪ/ and schwa /ə/. But what is /iə/? Is it /i:/+/ə/? How different are they ...
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2answers
104 views

Native English speakers don’t pronounce the ‘o’ vowel in the 1st syllable

Native English speakers don’t pronounce the ‘o’ vowel in the 1st syllable. It's pronounced as an 'ə' instead. Is this true? When I say "Today" I say /tuˈdeɪ/ , NOT /təˈdeɪ/. Is there a special ...
3
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4answers
187 views

Easily recognizable spoken words

I'm looking for terms that describe easily recognizable spoken words. I think this could be in phonology/phonetics but I'm unsure where in particular as I have no formal background. I apologize if ...
5
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1answer
410 views

Is it common to vocalize syllabic L, but use dark L as a coda consonant after unreduced vowels?

This question is about words that end in a syllabic L like little /ˈlɪtl/ capital /ˈkæpɪtl/ able /ˈeɪbl/ bible /ˈbaɪbl/ syllable /ˈsɪləbl/ Question 1: Is it common for people who usually ...
0
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1answer
388 views

Why does /ɪ/ often sound like /ə/?

For example if you listen to the pronounciation for "seminar" on Oxfordlearner dictionary it sounds like an /ə/ to me. BrE /ˈsemɪnɑː(r) https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/...
44
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4answers
5k views

Is D-glottalization a plausible explanation of ambiguity in Donald Trump interview with WSJ?

On Jan 11, The Wall Street Journal published an interview with President Trump that contained the following phrase: With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What’s the geographic distribution of different pronunciations of the word “experiment”?

ᴛʟᴅʀ: Which regions say the word experiment with its stressed syllable sounding like the word spare, and which regions say that word’s stressed syllable like the word spear? PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT ...