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Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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11
votes
5answers
25k views

A British pronunciation issue

Most dictionaries list the pronunciation of issue as /ˈɪʃuː/ (ĭsho͞o) in American English and /ˈɪs.juː/ (ĭsyo͞o) possibly alongside /ˈɪʃjuː/ (ĭshyo͞o) and /ˈɪʃuː/ in British English. One informal ...
10
votes
2answers
26k views

How did the pronunciation of the word “derby” evolve?

Brits say "dar-bee" for both the town and the race, but Americans pronounce it as it's spelled. Did Brits used to say "der-bee" too and that's why it's spelled that way but they changed over time? ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

Does anyone really say “SAYS” rather than “SEZ”?

I've just heard Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, at 10:13 here (about a quarter of the way through Prime Minister's Questions, UK Parliament, Thurs 27 Oct) saying... Amnesty International SAYS, ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Pronunciation Rule for “nt” in the Middle of Words

Is there a "rule" or pattern for the pronunciation of "nt" in the middle of words, followed by a vowel (or "er" sound)? Here's what I have so far: 1) "t" is often omitted in words like "wanted," "...
2
votes
4answers
150 views

Pronunciation of “only” as “one-ly”

I have been noticing some of my colleagues (primarily from India) pronouncing the word "only" as though it were "one-ly" or "wunly" (/ˈwʌnliː/). Is this a common pronunciation of the word? I don't ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do we say “archenemy” differently from “archangel” and “architecture”?

Like other words that start with "arch-", archenemy is partly derived from arkhi or arkhos from the Greek (Wikipedia), meaning chief. But why is it said differently, using a "ch" sound, from ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

“News that matter” or “News that matters”? [on hold]

I would like to ask which one is correct. This is for a slogan. I just cannot seem to understand which is the right one to use and why. Both sound fine to me, albeit the first one sounds better.
1
vote
2answers
128 views

Do /ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ diphthongs actually exist in General American as phonemes?

The Handbook of English Pronunciation. (Marnie Reed, John Levis referring to J.C. Wells) Аs the pronunciation of most speakers is rhotic, there are no centring diphthongs, because the vowels /ɪə,...
3
votes
4answers
190 views

Was /ˈsoʊldyər/ (rather than /ˈsoʊldʒər/) still common pronunciation in England in the late 1960s?

In at least two Rolling Stones songs, "Salt of the Earth" and "Dandelion", Mick Jagger pronounces the word "soldier" the "old" way, where "d" and "i" are still distinct and not fused into dʒ (the term ...
2
votes
2answers
455 views

Pronunciation of the letter “c” or “ce” in Australian English

In an Australian TV program the disease "encephalitis" was pronounced "enKephalitis." Is there a rule about the pronunciation of the letter "c" in Australian English?
10
votes
2answers
726 views

Why is Indian English usually rhotic?

It seems that speakers of Indian English generally speak with a rhotic accent, pronouncing an [r] in all cases where spelled, whereas a speaker of British English would leave it off in postvocalic ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Should /l/ sound be always pronounced completely?

Normally, your tongue should touch the roof of your mouth when you pronounce the /l/ sound. The light /l/ sound and some of the dark /l/ sound, such as 'look', 'cancel', can be pronounced easily. But ...
3
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Making the sound of 'th' in 'with'

What is the sound of TH in the word WITH? Is it made with the upper teeth in the bottom lips, or with the tongue between them? Is there any source of why there are such differences with this pair ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronouncing the “th” sound in American accent

First of all, I'm not a native speaker (I'm a Vietnamese) and I'm still learning English as my university major (using American accent, mostly) so I can't really say I'm as fluent as a native speaker. ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

pronunciation of climbing

I just heard on the following SNL skits, entitled "Mid-Day News" from the October 5, 2019 episode hosted by Phoebe Waller-Bridge: https://youtu.be/NGqtZmShIkw?t=254 and https://youtu.be/NGqtZmShIkw?...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the English pronunciation of “pain au chocolat”?

How do Brits and Americans pronounce pain au chocolat?
-1
votes
0answers
56 views

Can't understand how a guy pronunces “able to”

I can't get the idea behind his pronunciation like that. Can someone explain? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rXZs02YeM_nC6Zy2W7nCghmTb1xMEydD/view?usp=drivesdk
4
votes
6answers
13k views

How do you pronounce 'news'?

My coworker and I have been having this discussion for a day or two... What is the most correct way to pronounce 'new' or 'news' ? Does it rhyme with 'few' ? or 'snooze' ? Does 'new crew' rhyme? I ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Why do Americans pronounce “Noo York” the way they do? [duplicate]

I'm wondering if there is a historical explanation as to why the New in "New York" is pronounced /nu/ (as in "Noodles") rather than /nju/ (as in RP "New Year"). Has this always been the case? Or did ...
4
votes
1answer
333 views

Are differing pronunciations of “second” a regional difference?

According to Wiktionary the word "second" can be pronounced one of two ways in the US: /ˈsɛk.(ə)nd/ and /ˈsɛk.(ə)nt/ I've googled to try to find anything about the difference between these ...
23
votes
7answers
13k views

When do I pronounce a non-existent “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?

If I say two words consecutively, with the first ending in a vowel sound and the second starting with one, when is it correct to include a non-existent r between those two words? Examples from ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Will you grab - we'you grab [closed]

I was watching a film with subtitles, and the phrase: "Will you grab her blanket?" sounded like "We'you graber blanket". I'm Ok with "graber", but can we drop "l"-sound in "will you"?
1
vote
1answer
615 views

What's the difference between the AA (ɑ) and AO (ɔ) sound?

I'm working with the CMU pronunciation dictionary and I can't comfortably say I can understand what difference in sound they're trying to indicate by splitting AA and AO into different phonemes. ...
4
votes
1answer
834 views

When and where did * become “splat”?

I learned the asterisk character is the reason splatbooks are named such (from *books). However, I've been unable to find any specifics on who started pronouncing * as "splat". I know it's not very ...
14
votes
6answers
23k views

Why is “liquorice” pronounced (or spelt) so strangely?

Liquorice is pronounced ˈlɪkərɪʃ. But every other word I can think of ending with -ice is pronounced differently (such as police or rice). How did liquorice get such a strange pronunciation, or ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Reason behind Oxford Dictionaries's IPA transcription?

For some reason or another, I was looking at the Oxford Dictionaries definition for ailurophile (cat-lover). Then I noticed that, underneath its Pronunciation header, it gives the IPA transcript as ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“Finite” and “infinite”: another example?

Finite and infinite come from the same root word, but the prefix of the latter completely changes the pronunciation. Speaking English as a second-language and reading a lot more than I listen, it ...
34
votes
7answers
101k views

Why is the “ph” pronounced like a “v” in “Stephen”? Is this the only word like that?

While I know how my name is pronounced, I've run into many non-native english speakers who have stumbled over this unique exception to English. Even in the female name, "Stephanie", the ph is ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

How do you pronounce a D at the end of a word followed by a word starting with D?

Read these sentences? "The red door." "The blind date." "The mad dog." I would pronounce these as "The reddoor." and the "blinddate". Sort of pausing in the middle of the d with tongue pressed ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Why the does 'tu' get pronounced 'tyu' in British English?

Despite being a native Brit, I've always found it an oddity that words like "tutor", "tube", "tumour", and "duty" are pronounced as "tyutor", "tyube", "tyumour", and "duty" in British English. For me, ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Is it common to pause in the center of a word? why do people do that?

It sounds the man saying what you're about to see is the story of a young man whose name is Ben Underwood. when he was born at an early age he had cancer in both eyes and they had to be ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

What is the correct pronunciation for “forever”?

What is the correct pronunciation for the word "forever"? In this video I found it sounds like /fəˈevər/ but in dictionaries it is /fəˈrevər/. I believe there are many other examples like this word, ...
3
votes
6answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “lorry”, “worry” and “sorry”

I have always pronounced lorry as "lur-ee" (as if to rhyme with worry), for as long as I can remember. Everyone else I know pronounces it as "lor-ee" (as if to rhyme with sorry). Which one is ...
1
vote
1answer
580 views

Pronunciation of “inquiry” with first syllable stress?

I am an American and I always pronounce “inquiry” with second syllable stress. After hearing more and more Americans say it with first syllable stres, along with British people saying it the way I do,...
3
votes
5answers
599 views

Correct pronunciation of historic

Here in the UK I have observed an odd change in perhaps the last five years and I’m curious to learn whether we have drifted away from or arrived at the correct pronunciation. It seems that the “H” ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Pronunciation: the verb “use” versus the noun “use”

Compare pronunciations: "I want to use the bathroom" (yoos) "I made use of the bathroom." (yus) My poor attempt at creating a phonetically descriptive syntax is supposed to convey that, with the ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Pronunciation of “Makemake” versus “make”

"Makemake" is the name of a celestial object, a dwarf planet. The "i" in name "Makemake" is pronounced different than in the English word "make" meaning create*. It is pronounced as in "maki", the ...
2
votes
3answers
286 views

Are the words “Aural” and “Oral” homophones?

Are the words "Aural" and "Oral" usually pronounced the same? Does it vary by dialect? Are there strategies that people use to differentiate them when listening to spoken English?
0
votes
2answers
76 views

“margin” - pronunciation [closed]

I've just been corrected by one of my friends when I pronounced "margin" as /ˈmɑːɡɪn/. Indeed, I looked it up and dictionaries only give /ˈmɑːdʒɪn/. Does anybody really pronounce it the way I did it? ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

When you make a glottal stop in English, does the front of your tongue touch the roof of your mouth?

When you make a glottal stop (or a glottalized t/stop t) in English, does the front of your tongue touch the roof of your mouth? For example, the word "hit".
0
votes
1answer
62 views

When reading an English sentence containing a word with foreign origin, should one try to read it with pronounciation from the original language? [duplicate]

Say I am reading the following sentence: Tokyo has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. For the word Tokyo, if I happen to know how to pronounce it in Japanese (the pronunciation is similar ...
-1
votes
2answers
202 views

Word phonetics suggestion

Could any English speaker recommend me the best spelling for an 'invented' word that would be pronounced something like /ˈlɛvɪ/. As I'm no expert in phonetic symbols, those phonetic symbols are just ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Why do some Americans pronounce K and B after vowels sounds like G and P

For example, ‘speaker’ sounds like ‘speager’ and ‘Stop it’ sounds like ‘stob it’.
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How is “erm” pronounced in the UK, and why is it spelled that way?

I see the interjection "erm" written in internet forum posts fairly often, and I have occasionally seen it in British novels, in opinion pieces and articles on cultural topics in newspapers and ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning and etymology of “cod-French” accent?

Here's a passage referring to re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings: As you might expect, the English king, Harold Godwinson, comes across as an essentially decent chap, albeit weary and ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Is there normally a lexicalized loss of phonemic /d/ in the coda of “depends”?

According to a blog article by Steven Norman under the title “My 100 most mispronounced words in English”, the word depends should be /dɪˈpenz/ when “correctly” pronounced. Notice he provides for no ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Is forte pronounced “fort” or “for-tay”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce forte? Fort or for-tay?
35
votes
2answers
10k views

Why would “an mule” be used instead of “a mule”? [closed]

As generally agreed and as extensively discussed in this question, "an" should be used in place of the more common "a" where the following word begins with a vowel sound. I have just encountered for ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Send, sent; end, *ent?

The past tense of a number of verbs changes from -end to -ent: bend → bent lend → lent rend → rent send → sent spend → spent wend → went However, most do not, notably end. Granted, I say “I ent up” (...