Questions tagged [pronunciation]

for questions about the sound, stress, or intonation of spoken words.

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0answers
32 views

How to pronounce “used the” in the USA? [migrated]

He changed the music style to fit trend and used the media as his new tragedy This above a line from a movie but what I heard instead of 'used the' was like 'use the'. So I wonder what's the right ...
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1answer
50 views

Why did the vowel in “Christ” become long in moving from old English to middle English?

I have read the following question and all the answers, it is not a duplicate: Why are the vowels in Christ and Christmas different? (and other strange diphthong behaviour) From wikitionary: From ...
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1answer
77 views

This RP accent makes me confused and mad

I'm trying to choose between RP and my current conventional accents/pronunciations. For already two weeks I've been looking for some proves that RP is worth something and it's well-accepted everywhere....
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1answer
99 views

Why are the vowels in “harmony”, “harmonic” and “harmonious” pronounced differently?

The "O" in all these words represents a different vowel: Harmony → /ˈhɑː.mə.ni/ Harmonic → /hɑːˈmɒn.ɪk/ Harmonious → /hɑːˈməʊ.ni.əs/ (UK pronunciations from Cambridge Dictionary) I know ...
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1answer
40 views

Ways of pronouncing the world 'circular'?

I naturally pronounce the word 'circular' as 'sik-u-lar' rather than 'ser-qu-ler' and I was wondering whether this was correct, and if correct where I had picked it up from?
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48 views

sə'bɔ:dɪneɪt - səˈbɔːdɪnɪt - səˈbɔːdɪnət - səˈbɔːdnɪt - Which pronunciation is correct?

I think it's the first time I'm so confused and lost. Some years ago when I was studying English I learnt the word "subordinate" pronounced as [səˈbɔːdnɪt]. Now I can see other three types ...
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1answer
61 views

How is /ɑ:/ realized in British English: [ɑː] or more relaxed than [ɑː]?

I know that /ɑː/ is open back unrounded vowel and is found a lot in British English. It is the vowel in bath, father, bar, car etc in British English. In American English, this vowel is found in bar, ...
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47 views

Do British English-speakers call American Lieutenants 'lef-tenants' or 'loo-tenants'?

In British English, the military (and police) rank of 'lieutenant' is pronounced 'lef-tenant'. In American English, it is 'loo-tenant' (approximately). Are these treated as two distinct pronunciations ...
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1answer
296 views

Was there a D to TH sound change in English?

I looked up the etymology of "father" and see what Etymology Dictionary says: Old English fæder "he who begets a child, nearest male ancestor;" It clearly says "fæder" ...
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42 views

How to pronounce /æ/ in American English? [duplicate]

This one is really hard for me because I feel like it has at least two pronunciations. Examples: bad /bæd/ where it sounds more like /ee/ practice /præktəs/ where it sounds more like /aa/ Can ...
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1answer
100 views

Did the accent in “without” shift from the first syllable to the second in the past?

To be sure, the line from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, written in 1591, reads: There is no world with-OUT Verona walls. However, a passage in John Milton's Paradise Lost, written in 1667, ...
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0answers
16 views

Can I say this: “How is traffic congestion that of a massive problem?” [migrated]

Are there any grammar mistakes in the sentence? Specifically, I'd like to know if it's in the correct order and if I can use "that of a" in it.
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2answers
156 views

Is the short-e pronounced as [e] or [ɛ] in standard English? [duplicate]

In many English dictionaries, I saw the phonetic symbol of short-e is /e/ such as in bed (/bed/). However, I'm taught that the pronunciation of that is /ɛ/. Which one is right in standard English? ...
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2answers
59 views

Spoken equivalent of … (ellipsis)?

When skipping part of the sentence or paragraph in a direct quote, it is common to use the ellipsis (...) There are two ways of misunderstanding a poem ... the other to praise it for qualities that ...
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2answers
134 views

Is there any rule for determining which is the more preferable pronunciation for a word with different pronunciation

"Association" is pronounced as either /əˌsəʊsiˈeɪʃ(ə)n/ Or /əˌsoʊʃiˈeɪʃən/ What I am focusing on in this example is the middle sound /ʃ/ -sh- which is made with ⟨ci⟩. Something came to my ...
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0answers
47 views

Should one pronounce THE [in this case, THEE] when the following word begins with a vowel and THA when the following words begin with a consonant [duplicate]

THEE Apple, THEE Engine, THEE Imbecile, THEE Orange, THEE uncle and THA...for all [most] words beginning with consonants
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1answer
199 views

Do Americans with PIN-PEN merger confuse “imminent” and “eminent”? [closed]

The PIN-PEN merger is a merger of the vowels /ɪ/ (KIT vowel) and /ɛ/ (DRESS vowel) before nasals [m n ŋ]. The resultant vowel is more raised and is closer to [ɪ]. Pin pen, him hem, kin ken are ...
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0answers
109 views

GROCERY or GROSHERY [duplicate]

I am from Minnesota and have always pronounced GROCERY as GROSH-RY. I teach grammar and pronunciation online, and I recently encountered much controversy regarding what is the correct or incorrect ...
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2answers
88 views

How do you pronounce “archmage”?

From Wikipedia: The term archmage is used in fantasy works as a title for a powerful magician or a leader of magicians. Should it be pronounced arch, ark, or some other way?
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3answers
372 views

Where is 'urinal' pronounced with a long 'i'?

The OED suggests both a short and a long 'i' are acceptable without assigning either to the UK or to the US: ur i nal — /ˈjʊərɪnəl/ and ur eye nal — /jʊəˈraɪnəl/ In my limited experience the only ...
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2answers
986 views

The strange pronunciations of “assume”

Just a curious question: Why is "assume" pronounced so funny by many native speakers? I can't think of any other word where "ss" is pronounced like that. A bit hard to explain via ...
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2answers
236 views

Where did “nightingale” get its second N from?

I noticed while searching the etymology of the word nightingale that it did not have the second N. The sources I checked only say intrusive N but don't explain it. Wikitionary: From Middle English ...
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1answer
118 views

Why is there this Intrusive /h/ in English accent?

This is more of an English accent particularity. I noticed in the way young persons are speaking these days, a thing that I find really annoying, a bit like the frying. The intrusive /h/ in lots of ...
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30 views

Difficulties pronouncing words which contain specific letters

I've noticed that I have difficulties pronouncing words contain letter "L" like "already" and "S" like "resources". Any suggestions on how to train and improve ...
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1answer
89 views

Why did “which” lose its L (it was “hwilch”)?

It appears that the word which originally had an L in its spelling as well as pronunciation. But its modern pronunciation doesn't have an L. Wikitionary has: From Middle English which, hwic, wilche, ...
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1answer
85 views

Pronunciation of /æ/, when it comes before /m/ or /n/

I believe when /æ/ comes before m or n , it’s pronounced [ɛə] instead of [æ], (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//%C3%A6/_raising) but is it always the case?For example, how about the main stress is not ...
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1answer
88 views

Is the P aspirated in “PR” combination in stressed syllable?

In English the P is generally aspirated (produced with a strong burst of air) when it comes in the start of a stressed syllable. For example, the P in "pin" is aspirated (produced with a ...
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4answers
5k views

Why did the F of “sneeze” and “snore” change to an S in English history?

The etymologies of "sneeze" and "snore" suggest that they were once pronounced with /f/. Here is what Wiktionary (from which all the following information also comes) says: From ...
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1answer
102 views

Pronunciation of the possessive form of singular nouns ending in “s”

First, let me point out that this is a non-native English learner asking this question. I know similar questions have been asked here (some of them found on this page), but (at least of those I saw) ...
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2answers
61 views

What accent is it? [closed]

Came across a video from someone on youtube. It's a cover of a song. I like his pronunciation. I'm not a native English speaker, so I wonder if anyone could place his accent. Where is it from? He ...
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2answers
128 views

Two 'x's in “anti-vaxxer”

I have always found myself impulsively and automatically spelling "anti-vaxxer" with two 'x's, and a Google search indicates that most other media sources did the same; however, I can't ...
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0answers
79 views

Opposition between the LOT vowel and the STRUT vowel

I've noticed that some UK accents have the LOT vowel in words like nothing, none or one, whereas others have the STRUT vowel. The Lexico and Cambridge online dictionaries only give the STRUT ...
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1answer
90 views

“/r/ + t + vowel” pronunciation in American English

T between two vowels in Gen American English (in stressed? or unstressed syllable?) is commonly pronounced as alveolar flap /ɾ/. Example words include better, water, butter, matter etc. The /r/ in Gen ...
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3answers
1k views

Why does “singer” have /ŋ/ and “longer” have /ŋg/?

The word "singer" is pronounced as /ˈsɪŋ.ər/ having /ŋ/ and not /ŋg/ in Standard Englishes. On the other hand, the word "longer" is pronounced as /ˈlɒŋɡər/ having /ŋɡ/ and not just ...
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59 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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1answer
87 views

Do American people put a glottal stop[ʔ] before explosive sounds?

I heard you put a glottal stop[ʔ] "before" explosive sounds such as T, D, K, G, P, and B in American English. Is it true? For example,(I used IPA for each word) class [ʔklæs], day [ʔdeɪ], ...
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1answer
85 views

How were 'eyes' and '-ies' pronounced in Shakespeare's times? [duplicate]

Reading through 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' I've noticed that Shakespeare repeatedly rhymed 'eyes' with some of the words ending with '-ies' (e.g. 'companies', 'qualities'). Obviously that means that ...
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1answer
51 views

Stress in the -ing form of verbs with initial-stress-derived nouns

It seems some verbs change the stressed syllable in the -ing form: proCESS -- PROcessing transPORT -- TRANsporting and some do not: diRECT -- diRECTing proVIDE -- proVIDing Is this related with ...
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84 views

Is “an historical” correct? [duplicate]

Why do some people say or write an historical but not an ham sandwich or an hint?
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1answer
299 views

Why is “tion” pronounced as “shun” but not “chun”?

I know English spelling never follows English pronunciation and I also know that English spelling is very irregular but there are reasons for such irregularities. This question is only asking about ...
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1answer
73 views

What is the correct, or at least most accepted/used pronunciation of “Celtic”? [duplicate]

I checked Cambridge dictionary, but it gives both pronunciations (with a 'k' and with a 'S' - sorry, I don't know phonetic symbols) as correct. However, for most words with more than one "correct&...
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2answers
214 views

In which US accent is “again” pronounced /əˈɡeɪn/ with the FACE vowel, not /əˈɡɛn/ with the DRESS vowel?

Most dictionaries provide the US pronunciation of “again” as /əˈɡɛn/ (uh-gen) with the DRESS vowel. This is the most common pronunciation in the USA. However, I think I might have also come across /...
3
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1answer
109 views

About /t/ glottalized before (schwa + n)

Why is it that /t/ is glottalized before (schwa + n) but flapped before (schwa + any other consonant)? Examples: button -> "buh-n" but not "budden". kitten -> "kih-n&...
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1answer
110 views

What's the difference between /t̬/ and /ɾ/ in American English?

I have learned that the t between vowels in American English is usually an alveolar flap, represented by /ɾ/, which is the voiced counterpart of the usual /t/. Cambridge Online Dictionary gives /ˈbet̬....
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1answer
54 views

“cinnamon and nutmeg” vs. “nutmeg and cinnamon”

I had a hunch that (at least in American usage) "cinnamon and nutmeg" was more common than "nutmeg and cinnamon". Sure enough, Google has 1.48M results vs. 829k results for these ...
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0answers
40 views

Is the second “t” silent in the word “twenty”? [duplicate]

I have always pronounced the word "twenty" as "twen·tee" and taught my daughter accordingly. But she told me that her pre-kindergarten teacher pronounced it as "twen·nee",...
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75 views

What does the term “liaison” amount to in the English language as regards the particular accent called Received Pronunciation?

In my study of the pronunciation of English (RP), the sources that I happened to use, means of information of a moment and forgotten or permanent ones such as the Longman Pronunciation dictionary (JC ...
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1answer
94 views

Which pronunciation and intonation is better or native-like? (two recordings of 20 seconds attached) [closed]

Community! Me and my sister decided to find out whose pronunciation/intonation is better. Can you please help us out? Recording 1 (vocaroo) Recording 2 (vocaroo)
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2answers
541 views

Why is the L silent in “walk” but not in “bulk”?

TL;DR Why is the letter L silent in walk, talk, calm, folk, half, chalk etc but not silent in bulk, hulk, milk, silk, bold, bald? Explanation of the question and Research: The letter L seems to be ...
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1answer
89 views

Damning (adjective) /ˈdæmnɪŋ/

The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary and OED accept /n/ as a secondary pronunciation /ˈdæmnɪŋ/ for the form damning (unlike for say condemning). Is the latter be the one used for the adjective, ...

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