Questions tagged [phonotactics]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
1 answer

Why are long e and o most prone to be diphthongised by English speakers?

As a teacher of languages, it has struck me how English vowels love not just diphthongs, but even triphthongs, and this tendency presents itself in how native English speakers generally tend to ...
Canned Man's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

Rule of English phonology that prevents /j/ and /w/ from occurring in the ends of syllables

I'm quite sure I've seen a rule in English phonology that says that /j/ (the "y" sound) and /w/ (the "w" sound) should not occur in the ends of English syllables, but I haven't had ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

Why are there so many restrictions on /ŋ/ in English?

In (GA, SSBE) English, the phoneme /ŋ/ (in ring) seems to have so many restrictions: it rarely occurs after /u:/, if at all: the only word that I have been able to find in which /ŋ/ occurs after /u:/ ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Does English allow /eɪʃ/ in the end of a syllable (in the same syllable)?

The sound /ʃ/ is almost always spelled with more than one letter i.e. with a digraph unlike, say, /p/ which is spelled with a single letter (pan, pen, pie). I have noticed a particular pattern: vowels ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers

Why do cer­tain con­so­nant clus­ters oc­cur only at the start of a syl­la­ble but oth­ers only at the end?

You may have no­ticed that in English, some con­so­nant clus­ters can oc­cur only at the start of an English word while other con­so­nant clus­ters can oc­cur only at the end. For ex­am­ple, the com­...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Voicing of sibilants before liquids, after voiced vowels?

I just ran across an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion from a friend about the voic­ing of sibi­lants in English. She was ask­ing why English speak­ers pro­nounce the word mus­lim as muZlim (with a voiced sibi­...
Greg Church's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Can a plosive consonant in a word be pronounced as an unreleased consonant?

ESL teachers always tell people to suppress the normal release of the consonant "p b k g t d" if it's at the end of a word and the next word also begins with a consonant. But what about words with a ...
Adrian GUO's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

What's an elegent way to describe a phrase that flows nicely because its vowels and consonants alternate?

What know ye of an elegant way to describe a word or phrase that either perfectly or close-to-perfectly alternates vowels and consonants, either in sound or spelling? Usage of such a word might ...
Jove's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
5 answers

Are there any English words starting with an "ny" sound? [closed]

Plenty of English words have an "ny" sound (/nj/) in the middle, like onion and canyon. Are there any American English words that start with this sound? My native-speaker intuition tells me this is ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 1,229
16 votes
5 answers

Are there any words in English pronounced with /e/ at the end?

In first-language English pronunciation (Australian, British, American, etc., not Indian, Malaysian, etc.) are there any words with the /e/ (or /ɛ/) sound in "bed" /bed/ at the end of a word? As a ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
  • 5,085
6 votes
3 answers

Dialect "rules" and the pronunciation of individual words

Consider an American actor who is tasked with mastering British Received Pronunciation for an upcoming role. If he has a talent for vocal mimicry, as many actors do, he should have no trouble picking ...
phenry's user avatar
  • 18.2k
3 votes
2 answers

Can vowels be combined in English without forming diphthongs?

Usually all combinations of vowels in English function as diphthongs. Are there any combinations of vowels in English that do not function as diphthongs? if there are no such examples - I would be ...
subic's user avatar
  • 47
12 votes
5 answers

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?
Elizabite's user avatar
  • 497
45 votes
4 answers

Why does "orange" rhyme with (almost) nothing in English?

Joel Spolsky asked what rhymes with orange. The official answer is, "Nothing," although a creative poet can get close by using half words, just the -nge part or resorting to place names and foreign ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar