Questions tagged [phonology]

Technical questions about the sound patterns of English.

20 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Which words have historically had a final n only before a vowel?

In Modern English, the only word that has a final n only before a vowel is a/an: a face an eye In Middle English, there was the pair my/mine: my face mine eye Also, the was then before a vowel. ...
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40 views

AAVE deletion of alveolar stops before the ending -ing

They riding for us /ˈɹaɪjɪn/ I'd like to know whether whether it's represented somehow in writing. Secondly, what phonological process enable it?
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100 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 ...
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215 views

Were -y- and -g- pronounced similarly in Early Middle English?

[Etymonline:] Early Middle English pronunciations of -y- and -g- were not always distinct, and the word was confused in Middle English with various senses of Romanic-derived alloy and allege, ...
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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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436 views

Affricate variations in English: t͡s d͡z?

the T between vowels change to t͡s in some english speakers? Usually when I heard "What's, that's" or similar constructions, where the T come with S, I always consider like a t͡s, so I really don't ...
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75 views

Why are “said” and “paid”/“laid” pronounced differently?

The words say, pay, lay are phonemically /seɪ/, /peɪ/ and /leɪ/ respectively (with the diphthong /eɪ/). Their past and past participles are respectively: /sɛd/ (or /sed/), /peɪd/ and /leɪd/. The past/...
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51 views

Is there a word/term for how pleasant a word is to pronounce?

I am familiar with euphony and phonaesthetics, but these both seem to focus more on how pleasant a sound is to hear/perceive. I think there is a subtle difference between this and how pleasant it ...
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47 views

Why is the stressed form of “of” different in American English than in other English?

In UK English, of has the stressed pronunciation /ɒv/. In Australian English, it has the corresponding pronunciation /ɔv/. However, in US English, it is /ʌv/ instead of the corresponding /ɑv/. I get ...
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167 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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101 views

Could you help me solve this phonetic riddle?

From the position for normal breathing, you move your soft palate upwards and shut off the nasal cavity. Then you round your lips, leaving a rather close air passage there, and at the same time, you ...
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59 views

Chronology of the cot-caught merger

The cot-caught merger often coexists with the father-bother merger. Although it can be found in regions like Eastern New England, which lacks the second merger, the other dialects exhibiting the ...
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67 views

Was there any change from /u:/ to /ə/ (US: /ɚ/) in the history of English?

The /tʃ/ in the word "nature" is the result of palatalization (see this question). If I understand it correctly, the /t/ (nat) and and /j/ (ure) fused and produced /tʃ/. The letter U had the ...
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48 views

Merger of Early Modern English 'ir' with 'ur' and 'er'+'ear'

Before /r/, /ɪ/ merged with either /ʊ/ or /ɛ/, depending on context. After labials (plus clusters of labials and /l/) and alveolar stops (like in bird and dirt), the result was /ʊ/ (shown, among other ...
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39 views

pronunciation help. What does the simple /i/ means

The cambridge dictionary phonetics use phonetic symbol /i/ in addition to /I/ and /i:/ I assume they use the DJ phonetic transcription. The other source I read says that /i/ is the old spelling for /I/...
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71 views

The /z/ sound at the end of a word

ESL students, whose L1 is Spanish, have a hard time paying attention to the /z/ sound, especially in end position: please, eyes, surprise. Learners assume that what sounds at the end is the /s/ sound. ...
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50 views

Phonological process triggering <I'on't> for “I don't”

Mostly in AAVE, and mainly in the sentence "I'on't know", e.g. here, here, here, here, and even y'on't. However, I am not aware of which process triggered such a pronunciation. EDIT: A related ...
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54 views

Is there a frequency chart to see which phonemes can a letter represent?

Everything is in the title. For example, we know that the letter A has 9 sounds in RP; The short “a” as in at. /æ/ The long “a” as in ate. /eɪ/ It can be "silent" as in boat. /əʊ/ ...
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1answer
218 views

Number of syllables. Nuclear vs Linear. Is there a difference

I just looked up the syllable description of the words linear and nuclear. On that website, it says linear has 3 syllables and nuclear 2. This is despite the 'ear' of both words being pronounced the ...
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184 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 ...