Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
1answer
51 views

American English: Gliding of the long “ee” sound: [i] to [ɪi]

I have noticed that Americans have (broadly speaking) two ways of pronouncing the long "ee" vowel as in "fleece". A simple [i] that ends with the same quality it starts with: listen to user ...
3
votes
0answers
90 views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
34 views

Why we say an SSA when it is Software Statement Assertion in long term? [duplicate]

We say obtain a Software Statement Assertion but when it is abbreviated as SSA, we say an SSA. Can someone explain why?
1
vote
0answers
67 views

My pronunciation of “ul” in pull, culture, multiple - a mid back rounded vowel?

I've puzzled over my pronunciation of "ul" in words like pull, culture, adult and multiple. The dictionary says it should be /ʌ/. I heard a Canadian teacher pronounce "culture" /'kol tʃɘr/. My ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why doesn't English employ an H in front of Ares?

While watching the movie The Martian, a question arose regarding the name Ares: Greek Gods were metaphrased into Latin when Romans took over. Ares (from the Greek Άρης) was now named Mars, and so on. ...
1
vote
2answers
33 views

How to call a so-called helper spelling to help reading a word?

Using words below as example: team /tiːm/ head /ˈhed/ eat /ēt/ The common syllable ea sound cannot always be pronounced consistently the same sound in English language. It differs per word. That's ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

“An Universal Etymological English Dictionary”. Why “An Universal”?

My question is not about the general usage of a/an, so, I believe, it is not a duplicate one. It is specifically about the title of the dictionary An Universal Etymological English Dictionary ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

schwa before /r/

Right now, Wikipedia gives the pronunciation of Sirius as /ˈsɪriəs/, but in the past I've seen editors insist on /ˈsɪəriəs/. I take this to mean that it should sound like seer, which I at least ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Pronunciation of the word antisemitic [duplicate]

There seems to be two ways to pronounce antisemitic. I have always pronounced the syllable "sem" to rhyme with "them". I notice that many Americans make it rhyme with "him" and the following syllable "...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

Ambiguous spelling of extended vowel sound

It seems common practice in informal written English (and possibly other languages) to represent emphasised, slow or drawn-out speech by repeating vowels in words: I was sooooo drunk How could a ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

What was the pronunciation of the a in “trap” in early to mid Modern English in the UK?

I have often read that in Old and Middle English the "a" sound in words like "trap" was pronouned /a/. When it comes to modern English, Wikipedia suggests that this was raised to /æ/ in early Modern ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

How do you spell short vowel sounds?

Newbie here. If I wanted to spell out the sounds short vowels make, would these be accurate? a - ah, e - eh, i - ee, o - ou, u - uh
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Pronunciation: vowels before dark L (Any accent)

To native speakers of English, how do you compare a vowel before a dark L and one without a dark L. Example words: gold, goal, sold, soul, hole, hold, bowl, bold go, so, ho, bow(noun) . ...
2
votes
3answers
413 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?
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Scottish, English, why not *Walish?

As the title question asks, and particularly in light of the Old English word wælisc apparently used to refer to "Welsh", when, why, and how did the English adjective meaning "of or relating to Wales" ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

“Y” as a vowel in a name

Can the letter "y" be used to represent the "ee" sound in the middle of a name, like it is at the end of baby, lady or Lacy. What I mean is, is it okay to spell Khaleesi as Khalysi etc.
7
votes
2answers
255 views

Why do I have a different vowel in “scarf” than I have in “scarves”, and how come nobody talks about this?

So in my opinion, scarves is pronounced as the dictionary has it: with a Short O or /a/. But I believe that scarf and other "ar" words that are followed by voiceless consonants, are not actually ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

“A NNN REIT” or “an NNN REIT” [duplicate]

I would think it's "a NNN REIT" in this case, despite the vowel sound, because this would typically be read as "a triple-net REIT" by those with domain knowledge. The person I consulted with said NNN ...
1
vote
0answers
103 views

Why “idea-R-of” in Australia

I am not native english speaker English is my 2nd Language When I moved to Australia I noticed people here adding the letter R in between words that ends with vowel and the other that starts with ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

Different pronunciations of “-ead”/“-ed”/“-aid” words

I find that American/British English dialects tend to pronounce words like "bed", "red", "dead", "bred", "said", etc. with the exact same vowel sound: the IPA ɛ vowel (- and so this question may seem ...
2
votes
0answers
140 views

Are there American English dialects which distinguish /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ but not /ɑ/ and /ɔ/?

I relied on the Logic of English (LoE) phonograms to give myself a better understanding of English pronunciation since the spelling gives me a hard time (even as native speaker), but I noticed that ...
2
votes
4answers
777 views

Why are “fun” and “hulk” phonetically transcribed with the same vowel but pronounced differently?

I see many words in English have the same phonetics but I don't know why they sound different. It means if we read the phonetics and pronounce, it will be wrong. Here are the examples. fun : /fʌn/ ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there words other than “friend” where “ie” is pronounced as /ɛ/ (“short e”)?

Are there any words in English other than friend where the spelling "ie" corresponds to the "short e" sound /ɛ/?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Difference between /æ/ and /ɛ/

I can see that several questions (1, 2) have already been asked about this, but I would like to ask specifically in the context of Russian phonetics. Russian is my native language, but I'm fluent in ...
2
votes
2answers
958 views

Is there a hidden [y] vowel sound in /u:/?

My native language is Danish, with its gigantic number of vowel sounds, and this undoubtedly affects how I hear English vowels. However, one phenomenon in English has bothered me for many years, ...
1
vote
1answer
593 views

Why is the spelling of “company” different from the pronunciation?

My students regularly pronounce the word "company" with [o] in the first syllable. Why do we pronounce [ʌ] in this syllable? but write "o"? Thank you.
2
votes
0answers
246 views

caught-cot merger: can “lawyer” sound like “lier”?

"law" is pronounced as /lɑ/ if you speak with the caught-cot merger, so, logic suggests "lawyer" should sound like /lɑjɚ/, as "lawyer" is basically "law" + "yer" For me, the difference between /lɑjɚ/ ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Why are there 4 ambiguous phonetic symbols in IPA representations of English?

I'm interested in phonetics in order to speak as properly as possible. And here's the thing, there are four vowels with ambiguous symbols: The first problem is the sound [ɛ] like in dress: /drɛs/ ...
0
votes
2answers
403 views

Do syllables only contain one vowel? Also Some questions on word stress

For this word: ○ recommend ○/ˌrekəˈmend/ 1) /rekə/ is the first syllable. Does it contain two vowels? ■ e is a vowel ■ ə is a vowel I thought syllables can only contain one vowel? 2) the [ ']...
2
votes
2answers
638 views

What is the phonetic term for consecutive sounded vowels?

I am interested for the term used when instances of two consecutive vowels sounds are in different syllables, such as: thrOUGHOUt, abbrevIAtion, immedIAte, barrIER, cOExist, promiscUIty, crEAte, ...
3
votes
2answers
545 views

Different /ə/ pronunciation at the end of a word; for example, in “phenomena”

Sorry for my English but I'm a self-taught beginner. That's why I had been looking at the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) with high hopes until I saw phenomenon’s plural form. In the singular, ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Words starting with vowel “Y”? [closed]

Are there words starting with the letter "y" pronounced as a vowel sound and can be proceded with "an"?
0
votes
2answers
244 views

“a” vs “an” before parenthesis: which indefinite article should I use when adding parentheses before the subject? [duplicate]

I want to write a remark in parenthesis between an indefinite article and the rest of the subject. If I didn't write this clarification then using the "a" article would be correct; however for the ...
1
vote
1answer
561 views

Why is the “o’ in “clover”, “cove” and “over’ pronounced differently in “cover”?

Etymonline tells me that cover is derived from Old French and Late Latin. mid-12c., from Old French covrir (12c., Modern French couvrir) "to cover, protect, conceal, dissemble," from Late Latin ...
97
votes
7answers
29k views

Why is Nike pronounced “naikee” and not “naik”?

A word ending with e usually doesn't have a vowel at the end like bike and strike, so why is Nike different?
3
votes
1answer
174 views

What's the history of the English letter “Y” as a “sometimes vowel”?

Wondering when and why historically the Anglo-Saxon letter "Y" became a (part-time) vowel substitute for the letter "I", leading to "gymnasium" instead of "gimnasium" or "cyanide" instead of "cianide" ...
6
votes
3answers
468 views

Can “on” be reduced?

According to Wiktionary page on "on" word , the pronunciation of "on" is either /ɔn/ or /ɑn/ depending if you have the cot-cought merger or not. usually, if a word has a reduced form, it's stated ...
7
votes
1answer
945 views

Yod coalescence across words - only with “you(r(s))”?

I'm asking specifically about Yod* coalescence when connecting two words together. Some very (neat) phenomenon in American English is to "fuse" you/r/s when the word ends in t/d/z: I was thinking ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

/ɑ/ vs /ʌ/ pronunciation

I've realized I don't actually understand the difference between ɑ and ʌ completely. Background: I'm a Hebrew speaker. for me, the ʌ is pretty much the short Hebrew Kamatz sound (Bet with kamatz - ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

unstressed syllable in the middle of the word = always schwa sound?

I've noticed a pattern about pronunciation of words in American English - an unstressed syllable in the middle of the word tends to have a schwa sound regardless of the actual written letter. examples:...
1
vote
1answer
275 views

Why didn't the pronunciation of “boor” change in a similar way to “poor”?

I have a South African colleague who pronounces "poor" as pooeur and I find it fairly humorous given I never hear it pronounced that way. Of course, pooeur, at some stage, would have been the general ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Do Americans who have the cot–caught merger pronounce 'all', 'tall', 'Paul', etc. with the same vowel quality as 'lot'?

Do American English speakers who pronounce cot and caught as [kʰɑt] pronounce all, tall, Paul, etc. with the same vowel quality? If my subjective experience is anything to go by, I feel like I've ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between /ʌ/ and /ə/ in English IPA

If someone who is a linguistics expert could explain this to me in a way I can understand, I'd really appreciate it. I get that /ʌ/ is used on stressed vowels and /ə/ on reduced vowels, but they sound ...
-1
votes
2answers
941 views

Why is “country” not pronounced like “count-tree”?

Why is country pronounced /ˈkʌntɹi/ and not /ˈkaʊntɹi/ ?
4
votes
2answers
55k views

Why is the plural form of piano “pianos” and not “pianoes”?

The rule says that if a singular noun ends in consonant + "o" then the plural form will be consonant + "oes". e.g. tomato => tomatoes. Then, why this rule does not apply to piano?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the pronunciation of æ? [duplicate]

I've been scouring the internet for this and I'm pretty sure it's an /ɛ/ or /ei/ but I've also seen it pronounced as a long /i/ (as in beat) or as a weird /aeo/.
0
votes
1answer
450 views

Where did the pronunciation of “knowledge” as “now-ledge” come from?

My father, was an educated, scholarly American gentleman raised in Colorado. He spoke, read and wrote in English and German, and could read and write in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. He always pronounced ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

in a SMB environment <or> in an SMB environment [duplicate]

SMB stands for small to midsize business. If I was using 'SMB' on my resume, what would be more appropriate to use before 'SMB'. in a SMB environment or in an SMB environment How do I know how the ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Should the word A or An be used for this statement? [duplicate]

I am trying to create a letter and before hand I need to know rather or not to use a or an for a specific sentence. I know that U is a vowel, but because of the way the sentence sounds I re-framed ...
1
vote
2answers
773 views

What effect do neighboring vowel-letters have on the pronunciation of the letters “sc” in a word?

Consider these words, with standard pronunciations from Oxford Dictionaries Online using in the worldwide-standard International Phonetic Alphabet: conscious, pronounced /ˈkɒnʃəs/ eschew, pronounced /...