Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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Do prefixes change the prounciation of stem?

I know some words which have suffixes and these suffixes change the pronunciation of the stem. For example sociopath sociopathy (you can check the pronunciations and you will realize that there are a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Did the English place name "Frome" used to be pronounced as it is spelled?

The English town Frome is famously pronounced as "froom". The following is two stanzas from the dedication of G.K. Chesterton's poem Ballad of the White Horse, from 1911. Up through an ...
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4 answers
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What accent can I put on "u" to make it sound like "you"?

I have a made up name, "Bunar," and I want the u to sound like you, rather than oo. Is there an accent I can put above u to tell readers to pronounce it this way?
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-1 votes
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How to write "a" which have a lower note [closed]

In my name 'a' have a lower note and give a short sound. I am unable to figure out how to write my name in which a have a short and a lower note sound. Please somebody help me
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8 votes
1 answer
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Why does “revocable” have first-syllable stress?

Read the following “canonical” sets of related words, and notice the (uncontroversial) stress patterns: Renew, renewable, renewably Regret, regrettable, regrettably Repeat, repeatable, repeatably (...
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When is it OK to pronounced a voiced th like a /d/ instead of a /ð/?

As I learned in Do native speakers really always pronounce the voiced th as a /ð/? native speakers sometimes pronounce the voiced th as a /d/ instead of a /ð/ like in the words "the", &...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Do native speakers really always pronounce the voiced th as a /ð/? [closed]

In Can we pronounce the 'th' sound as a d? one answer explained that native speakers often don't pronounce the voiced th excactly like how it ideally should sound. What I have noticed over ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How do you pronounce RND (Research and Development)? [closed]

Apparently, RND is an acronym for Research and Development. I'm used to R&D. How do you pronounce RND? Would it be "are and dee", like the form I'm used to? Or would it be "are en ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Does any dialect merge "cold" and "culled"?

I'm a native American English speaker who pronounces cold/culled, colt/cult, and told/toad the same way (first word in each pair with weak L compared to Merriam-Webster). It only recently became clear ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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Example word that is a homograph and preposition

My research involves the study of word frequency in American English and the importance of context when connecting text representations to different speech representations. I would like to know if ...
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3 answers
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Do American pronounce "she looked at me" as "/ʃiː lʊkt æt mi/" or "/ʃiː lʊkd æt mi/"?

Although some people say that Flap T is used if the T is between 2 vowels as in "matter" /ˈmædər/. But I think that definition is not completed because if T stand before a stressed vowel, ...
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2 votes
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Is this pronunciation transcript understandable for people who know British English?

I wonder how to write down the pronunciation of words in English without using IPA. Sometimes on the internet I have seen something like this: It is pronounced like uh-aw-to-muh-tuh Or It is ...
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0 answers
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Is there a name for how some people pronounce their s slightly differently?

I've noticed how some people pronounce the s sound in words using their upper teeth teeth and lower lip (instead of the conventional mostly internal way). This makes it sound almost lispy. I don't ...
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How do you pronounce "How do you" quickly? [migrated]

It's easy to pronounce it when I speak slowly but it gets really hard when I try to speak quickly especially when it's accompanied by a long sentence.
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1 vote
2 answers
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How do you connect ending of word "Didn't" , with word "Do"?

I find it hard to pronounce these two words together quickly, so I thought I must be missing some sound or something that connects them. Thanks in advance.
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2 votes
1 answer
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What happens to 'l' in between words as in "Neal Evans"?

What happens to 'l' in between words? For example in "Neal Evans, is the extra /l/ sound extended to "Evans"? So that "Neal Evans" becomes /niːl levəns/ in British ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What could possibly cause the stress shift in adverbs ending in -arily compared to adjectives ending in -ary?

While adjectives ending in -ary (British English /əri/, American English /eri/) never have stress on the second last syllable (the /e/ in AmE, and obviously the /ə/ in BrE), their derivative adverbs ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the dialect feature in British English where "W" is pronounced as "Y"?

It is very rare but I've heard some people from Great Britain pronouncing it like that for some reason. For instance: He said "However" pronouncing it as "Hoyiever". He said "...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Pronunciation of 'Taxman'

Like Postman /ˈpəʊstmən/, Policeman /pəˈliːsmən/ and Fireman /faɪəmən/, one would assume that Taxman would also be pronounced with a schwa in the man. But this is not the case and it is pronounced /...
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2 answers
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The stress of the prefix 'inter-'

In some words, the stress is on the first syllable of inter, for stance, intercourse, interview, internet, interval. However, there are also some words, in which the stress is on the second syllable ...
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How was the è in past-tense verbs pronounced?

How would Shakespeare have pronounced damnèd for example? How about the end of Nurse's Song by Blake: The little ones leapèd, and shoutèd, and laugh'd And all the hills echoèd How would he have ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How to pronounce -est endings

Could you please confirm for me whether my understanding is correct about the pronunciation of the ending -est in superlative, for example: shortest, farthest, biggest,... -est is pronounced as /ɪst/ ...
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2 votes
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Is there a rule that describes vowel pronunciation changes in conjugated words? [duplicate]

I've noticed that sometimes when a word (generally a noun or adjective) gains or loses syllables, the pronunciation of the vowels will change. For example, horizon vs horizontal sociopath vs ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Schwa in Webster dictionary [closed]

Why there are too many sounds marked by schwa in Webster's dictionary and how to recognize the correct pronunciation? E.g.: Cup /kʌp/ in Oxford and \ˈkəp\ in Webster Notice /ˈnəʊtɪs/ in Oxford and \...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Why is Woodlesford pronounced the way it is?

Why is Woodlesford pronounced as Woo-dles-ford but not Wood-les-ford? Is there an "L" sound? Wikipedia says, "Widlesford, Wryd(e)lesford(e) and *wrīdels + ford", which confuse me ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Trouble pronouncing "queer" being myself a native British speaker [closed]

I'm a native British speaker from Bristol and for some reason I'm having real trouble pronouncing the word queer. Any ideas? I'm also fluent in German and for some reason I think I'm saying it with a ...
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1 vote
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"Be-all and end-all"?

There is the saying "Be-all and end-all", meaning a fundamental property of something. I noticed it is hard to pronounce because "and" and "end" sound the same. Is one &...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why do some words sound/feel more fake than others? Is there logic/psychology behind this phenomenon? [closed]

I was recently reading Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky poem and had the thought that some of the made-up words sounded more real than some real words. And looking at a list of words that are real but are ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Phonetic symbols for Port are different: Webster Internet vs Webster paper

Phonetic symbols are different for the same word Port. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary on the Internet: port noun (1) \ ˈpȯrt \ Definition of port (Entry 1 of 10) 1: a place where ships may ride ...
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Phonetic symbol - superscript h in Which [duplicate]

Q1) What is the meaning of the small h (superscript h) in the phonetic symbols of which shown in Collins? ʰwɪ̠tʃ the small h means 'complete silence' (= just ignore h) the small h means 'pronounce ...
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pronunciation of plural words ending in "-ses" derived from non-Greek language [duplicate]

I hear TV journalists pronounce plurals like "biases" and "processes" with the long e sound. Can you comment on this conflation of pronunciation?
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32 votes
5 answers
7k views

Where did the third syllable of the letter W in WD-40 go?

Today, I was taking a look at how to pronounce the name WD-40. A quick google search dropped me here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8SwN_qw3AA My Spanish ear is very new to the English language, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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When is the "t" pronounced in won’t, don’t, can’t?

I am a speaker of Canadian English. I have noticed that when people pronounce won’t, don’t, and can’t, often when speaking normally, they don’t release the “t”, as in connected speech. The standard ...
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7 votes
3 answers
759 views

Pronunciation of ‘-eru-’

I’ve just come across the word ‘glomerular’ and I’m genuinely irked by how difficult it is to pronounce the eru bit. It seems online that the r is omitted, turning it into more of a yuh sound. Does ...
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2 votes
1 answer
101 views

Why have some younger & (in particular) highly-educated Americans recently begun to pronounce -t- as -d- in words where glottal -t- is idiomatic?

I'm not talking about "bidder" for "bitter" or "sidding" for "sitting," or "ladder" for "latter," etc. I'm talking about "Manhaddan,&...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How is "composite" as a verb pronounced in British English?

I always pronounce "composite" as COM-posite when it is used as an adjective or a noun. But in some technical contexts as "alpha compositing" it is also used as a verb, and in this ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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American English region where "here" is pronounced "cheer"

On the Andy Griffith Show the characters from Mayberry (modeled on Mount Airy NC) pronounce "here" as "cheer". This can be heard at second 29 of Andy Griffith Football Story from ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is the at-sign in Instagram handles pronounced? [closed]

I realize that this question is likely factually unanswerable, but I am curious about opinions and argument for either option. Say I want to write at the end of an article that I want my reader to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is short /ɪ/ or long /i:/ being used for the pronunciation of "Mid" on Cambridge Online Dictionary

To my ears, the Cambridge dictionary pronounces the word "Mid" /mɪd/ really like /mi:d/ for British accent. So the long /i:/ is being used instead of the short /ɪ/. Compare: https://...
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5 votes
1 answer
558 views

Pronunciation: /ɪ/ becomes /ə/ in "William" or "Wilkinson"?

I sometimes hear words like "Willam" or "Wilkinson" pronounced like /'wəl-jəm/ or /'wəɫ̩-kən-sən/, rather than /'wɪɫ̩-jəm/ or /'wɪɫ̩-kən-sən/. In other words, the /wɪɫ̩/ cluster is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When did "vegetable" become "vetchtable"?

I was watching a video that referenced the "Major General Song" from The Pirates of Penzance in 1879, and I noticed that the writers clearly use vegetable as a 4-syllable word. The Wiki ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Present subordinate clause using "when" followed by a main clause in the past

Recently, I've listened to this version (on YouTube) of Led Zeppelin's song When the Levee Breaks. In this part of the song this guy sings "when the levee breaks, I had no place to stay", ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Word for the phenomenon of pronouncing the noun & verb (with like spelling) differently? [duplicate]

Some words are both nouns and verbs (or rather, there are words with like etymology and spelling but one is a noun and the other a verb) but in at least some standard dialects are pronounced ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Oxymoron pronunciation

I have a question about the pronunciation of the word 'oxymoron'. Some dictionaries it says the word should be pronounced as: ˌɑkˈsiˈmɔrɑn, with the 'EE', vowel. (For example The Free Dictionary) ...
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21 votes
3 answers
5k views

Where are the people writing "would of" from?

As a non-native speaker, I would never have guessed that this mistake was a thing before I read it on the web. Since it makes no grammatical sense, I can guess that it can only be seen in the writing ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Proper pronunciation of the word "polar"

Most websites/references online seem to indicate that polar (as in polar bear, or polar opposite) is pronounced with an "er" phonogram ending (as in "her"). However a phonetic ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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/ʊ/, /oʊ/, and /ʌ/ merged before /l/

I merge /ʊ/, /oʊ/, and /ʌ/ before /l/ to form /oʊ/. Soul, bull, and hull all rhyme for me. Is there any record of this merger in US English? Edit: Dull is in the same class (/ʌl/) as hull. I replaced ...
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3 votes
1 answer
109 views

Need to learn pronunciation terminology

I apologize in advance if I phrased my title incorrectly. I consider myself to be well-read, and usually don't have much need for asking how to pronounce something or define it. However, on rare ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why is semibreve commonly pronounced as ˈsɛm iˌbriv?

I am seeing this on some dictionary sites: / ˈsɛm iˌbriv, -ˌbrɛv / But, I've only heard it (in Anglophone musical contexts) as ˈsɛm iˌbriv. I wasn't aware about a cafe breve until yesterday. This ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How is "of " pronounced?

I was wondering why we pronounce the word of as ä in the phrase "piece of cake" and as ov in the phrase "part of life". What I've tried: After searching on the internet, I've ...
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