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Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

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Syndrome: older pronunciation?

Recently, I was reading The Kenneth Williams Diaries, and in one entry he records correcting some pronouncing syndrome (rhyming with aerodrome) to rhyming with epitome. I cannot find this ...
William Crawford's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

How to correctly create a transition from a phrase to an unintelligible scream?

I'm trying to create a transition effect in a situation when a character suddenly finds himself falling, and his last word, which ends in '-y', is transitioning into an unintelligible scream. However, ...
Lav's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
234 views

Acoustic description of the realization [ɛə] of the North American raised /æ/

The Wikipedia article on /æ/ raising uses the transcription [ɛə] for a realization of the North American raised /æ/, as in the words ram and ran. I'm having trouble interpreting this transcription, ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
206 views

Pronouncing an /n/ ending with an extra schwa

I often hear American English speakers pronounce words ending in an /n/ sound with an extra schwa sound after it. One example: At the end of a sentence, the word's final N with a preceding vowel often ...
Qwert's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
3 answers
793 views

In IPA transcription, what is the difference between “ɪ”, "i", “i:”?

What is the difference between “ɪ”, "i", “i:”? Are these two same “ɪ”, "i" and won't be wrong if interchanged while transcripting? For example: Is it correct to write either /ʃɪp/ ...
Dia's user avatar
  • 29
10 votes
2 answers
7k views

Do "map" and "cat" rhyme?

Do the words map and cat rhyme? I'm of the opinion that they do because—even though they end with different sounds—the vowel sound is the same. Please help settle a debate between my children and me.
jlconlin's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
493 views

Do any speakers have contrastive vowel qualities for the NURSE and lettER sets?

John Wells’ lexical sets are usually useful classifications for determining differences in the realizations of vowels across English accents. Two of the sets are the NURSE set, referring to a stressed ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Rounding of the START and PALM vowels

I’m a younger speaker from Chicago with a relatively standard General American accent. I have noticed that the vowels in the words “start” and “palm” sound like they have some lip rounding in my ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
5 votes
1 answer
288 views

Possibility of a near-cure or peer-pure vowel merger in American English

I am a young speaker from Chicago with, I think, a relatively nonspecific General American accent. I’ve noticed something interesting with the vowels in the NEAR and CURE sets. These vowels can be ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
895 views

Pronunciation of “tour”

Is the following pronunciation of the word “tour” attested in any common dialect of British English? [tɔ˞] This is approximately how I, a native British English speaker, pronounce it. However, it’s ...
TheProseMix's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
409 views

Variants of the /æ/ sound?

This YouTube channel asserts that the /æ/ sound has four variants depending on the consonant that follows it; /æ/ in apple and /æ/ in mango should sound a bit different, for instance. https://www....
pharmine's user avatar
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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 ...
OKUMA's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
262 views

Did English have any alphabet or writing before it adopted Latin?

I wonder if the English language had any writing or script before the adoption of Latin. This question came about in a conversation I had with a friend about the writing of vowels in English. ...
Joe DiNottra's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Do some people pronounce "women" same as "woman"? [duplicate]

This is something i've noticed lately. Example 1, example 2 (1:10). (...i do not necessarily endorse these videos). I can clearly hear them say "all woman"/ "why do pregnant woman"....
jen sa's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
329 views

"man" vs. "men" pronunciation in American English

Here are 10 audio clips taken (more or less randomly) from a book narrated by a professional American narrator. In 5 of them, he is saying man, and in the other 5, men. Is it possible for a native ...
Danylo Mysak's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
241 views

Pronunciation of "I" vowel name in fast speech

I'm not a native english speaker. I was wondering what is the right way to pronunce the "I" (/aɪ/) vowel name in fast speech. Perhaps i'm confused, but sometimes i hear /a/. Like in the ...
David Barrios's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
544 views

True realization of /i/ in American English: Is it really [ɪi]?

I have read in different places that the latter glide-like realization is the only one that exists in American English. Is this a regional thing? If yes, would you say it occurs in western US English? ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
534 views

Why does "appropriate" (and also "duplicate", "deliberate" etc) have a different vowel in their adjective/noun and verb forms?

TL;DR There are adjectives/nouns--verb pairs in which the adjectives/nouns have weak vowel in the last syllable and the verb has strong for example: duplicate (adj): /ˈdjuːplɪkət/ duplicate (v.): /...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
348 views

Me vs My in East Midlands dialect [duplicate]

In the dialect I grew up with (1960's Leicestershire/East Midlands), I'd say "me", when I meant "my". For example: "That's me car." vs "That's my car." What ...
Barry's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
143 views

How do you pronounce, "pleurisy"?

According to Wiktionary, pleurisy is pronounced one of two ways: a) /ˈplʊəɹɪsi/ b) /ˈpljʊəɹɪsi/ I don't hear the /j/ sound when I say the word (in General American) - I hear it like this: https://www....
kanamekun's user avatar
  • 282
0 votes
1 answer
260 views

Does the word "pirate" use the /aɪɚ/ phoneme, or the /aɪɹ/ phoneme?

I'm making a list of all of the graphemes can be used to make the phoneme /aɪɚ/ in General American. -ire as in fire, wire, desire, sapphire, etc. -yre as in lyre, pyre, tyre, etc. I have questions ...
kanamekun's user avatar
  • 282
2 votes
1 answer
261 views

When is the "Short A" sound actually spelled with an AE?

I was reading a book on English spelling (Dictionary of the British English Spelling System, by Greg Brooks) and it mentioned that the Short A sound (æ) can be spelled using the following graphemes: ...
kanamekun's user avatar
  • 282
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did John Wells need three lexical sets--NORTH, FORCE and THOUGHT--for the same vowel /ɔː/?

The standard Lexical sets for English were introduced by professor John Wells which are widespread. Each lexical set represents a vowel present in a number of words, for example: the THOUGHT vowel /ɔː/...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
848 views

Why are "said" and "paid"/"laid" pronounced differently?

The words say, pay, lay are phonemically /seɪ/, /peɪ/ and /leɪ/ respectively (with the diphthong /eɪ/). Their past and past participles are respectively: /sɛd/ (or /sed/), /peɪd/ and /leɪd/. The past/...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
246 views

American accents where /æ/ becomes [eɪ] before /ŋ/. Does /æ/ become [eɪ] before /m/ and /n/ too?

I know that in Californian accent, /æ/ is sometimes realized as [eɪ] only before /ŋ/. So words like hang, bang, rang, sang, gang, which normally end with /æŋ/, end with [eɪŋ]. The reason why it ...
user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why is "archaic" pronounced uniquely? Is the sequence -ɪɪ- only found in this word?

Before looking this word up, I have always rhymed it with cake i.e. /ɑːˈkeɪk/. But when I looked it up, it was actually /ɑː(r)ˈkeɪɪk/ with the sequence of a similar vowel repeated consecutively: -ɪɪ- ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Is /ɜː/ realized as schwa [ə] in British English?

I have noticed that the vowel /ɜː/ (as in the RP pronunciation of "BIRD") sounds the same as the schwa [ə] (as in the pronunciation of "BUTTER" in RP). I assume the BIRD vowel is ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there any difference between a syllabic R /ɹ̩/ and r-colored vowel /ɚ/?

So I have seen that both of them can form a syllable on their own but I don't know the difference between them. /ɹ̩/ it is a syllabic R and can form a syllable on its own as in [ˈdɔːɾɹ̩] ("...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
432 views

Is the diphthong /aʊ/ generally realized as [ɑʊ] in British English?

I noticed that the diphthong /aʊ/ is pronounced by most British English speakers as [ɑʊ] (I may be inaccurate here). You can see the vowel /a/ on the vowel diagram below: I understand this diagram ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
993 views

Is "awe" pronounced as /ɔː/ or /ɑː/ in American English?

I have an American friend who pronounced the word "awe" with the same vowel as British people pronounce Thought: /ɔː/. But when I look up this word in dictionaries, they pronounce it as /ɑː/....
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “master” and “plaster” in Northern England

A pattern I've noticed in Northern England is that people of my age (born in the '90s) pronounce words like “master” and “plaster” with a short A (/a/), whereas anyone of my parents' generation (born ...
mudri's user avatar
  • 717
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why do Southerners pronounce "naked" differently?

I was watching a TV show and this guy from Tennessee pronounces naked as /'nekɪd/, without the diphthong /eɪ/ in the first syllable, and instead pronounced as a single /e/ vowel. Dictionary ...
Carly's user avatar
  • 49
0 votes
1 answer
337 views

Why does the diphthong /aʊ/ not occur before /k/, /m/, /p/, /b/, /g/ etc?

I have noticed that the diphthong /aʊ/ occurs before certain consonants. We have: /aʊd/ in loud /aʊt/ in out /aʊs/ in house /aʊn/ in town /aʊtʃ/ in pouch /aʊl/ in owl BUT, we don't have /aʊp/, /aʊb/,...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
427 views

Why does "broad" not rhyme with "boat"?

The word "broad" is pronounced /brɔːd/ (some US accents: /brɑːd/) instead of */brəʊd/. The spelling -OA- somehow suggests that these words are closely related and/or were pronounced the same ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
205 views

Words Starting With the Vowel "I" [closed]

The word of the day in Merriam-Webster's daily post was "Itinerant." Words that start with the letter "I" most often have a short, or informally, a soft vowel sound, if two ...
Campaigner8's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
389 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, and they do not answer my question, so it is not a duplicate: Why are the vowels in Christ and Christmas different? (and other strange diphthong ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
482 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
104 views

How to signal that a last letter vowel is long or short

As a Game Master I make up a lot of names for locations, objects, etc. I've always assumed you signalled it by placing a ´ over the last letter (like the City of Rohvanná), but recently I was told it ...
Hellspirit's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
445 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, ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
677 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 ...
Curious's user avatar
  • 47
2 votes
1 answer
568 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 ...
kay's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between [ɐ] and [ʌ]?

In a similar question which asks the difference between /ə/ and /ʌ/, I learned that /ʌ/ occurs in stressed syllables. Now there is another similar vowel sound: /ɐ/ which also occurs in stressed ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
155 views

What sound is /a/?

Is it similar to /ʌ/ or is it more like /ɔ/ or is it something different? I've seen it combined with /ʌ/ several times in different phonetic scripts. Are the 2 similar or where they just lumped ...
jastako's user avatar
  • 119
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

What is the difference between /ʌɪ/ and /aɪ/ in English?

Is there any difference between the two diphthongs in English IPA transcriptions? If I search a word in the Cambridge dictionary, it gives /aɪ/ for both UK English and US English. For example, the ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

What’s the rule for the sound of the letter A in the middle of three-letter words?

How do you actually pronounce A when it's in the middle of a 3 letter word like mac or rap? I hear many Americans say those words with a clear AAA sound, like the AA sound of the start of the word ...
shinzou's user avatar
  • 1,193
2 votes
1 answer
268 views

Does /ɛ/ have more than one sound?

As a non-native speaker, I hear /ɛ/ as two different sounds depending on the word. The first sound seems to occur in words such as bet and get and is closer to an /æ/ sound, while the second one ...
Fabrik's user avatar
  • 131
4 votes
1 answer
292 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
68 views

Verification of the sound heard for the last vowel of "Virginia" in the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

In this recording, at 3 min 18 s is found the name "Virginia" and my ear tells me that, for some reason or other, the a of this name is pronounced /e/ and not /ə/; shortly after that, in ...
LPH's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
105 views

Has anyone noted this phonetic variation in /ə/?

Schwa /ə/ is a phonetically variable sound. It may be [ɪ̈]-ish (or reportedly even [ɨ]-ish), depending on position and dialect, while oftentimes it is [ə] (or [ɘ] in New Zealand English), and for at ...
JMRD's user avatar
  • 19
0 votes
0 answers
84 views

What’s going on with "hot -> heat”? [duplicate]

I am looking for a particular linguistic term for this process of turning words like hot into words like heat. English has a bunch of pairs like these: Hot -> heat Whole -> heal (Folk)lore ->...
nastenka's user avatar

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