Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

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0answers
66 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 ->...
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42 views

Why is the ī sound in -ice words different from other words? [duplicate]

I'm thinking about words like "dice", "mice", "lyse", "thrice" etc. that all have the same phonetic pattern at the end of the word. Thinking about these words phonetically, I would imagine that the "i"...
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0answers
33 views

Does anyone know if there is a ‘ball-bowl’ merger in Australia?

I live in Australia, and I recently had a moment of confusion when talking with someone who had merged the words ball and bowl. They pronounced it something like /bɔl/. They said fall, small, wall, ...
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3answers
157 views

Reduction of diphthongs to short vowels (/waɪz/ -> /'wɪz.əd/)

I've noticed this phenomenon / process in many words where a diphthong (or a long vowel as well?) reduces to a short vowel when it's inflected. Consider the following examples: Pronounce /...
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58 views

English word to best represent the Dutch double A / [a] sound

My Dutch name is Maarten which has a double A inside of it, pronounced simply as [a]. It is often misspelled as Marteen. I guess that most persons will remember my name as Martin but with a double ...
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1answer
90 views

Why are river and sliver pronounced with a short vowel, but rover and slider pronounced with long vowels?

Why are river and sliver pronounced with a short vowel, but rover and slider pronounced with long vowels? Is it because the latter two examples are words made by attaching the -er suffix to an ...
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1answer
71 views

Finding Unstressed Schwa

In our country, we really don’t have the “unstressed schwa” How do I find this one? is there a technique? How do I find the unstressed schwa with these word? Thanks occur history curious actor ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between /ʊ/ and /ʌ/ in British English?

/ʌ/ cut, hut, bun, nothing, love, enough, flood, does /ʊ/ put, soot, foot, good, look, cook To me the ʌ is a more short, low front (unrounded?) vowel, but the vowel /ʊ/ which sounds like "uh" is a ...
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1answer
49 views

Use of the word 'an' before words that don't begin with a vowel

I've noticed this crop up with other non-vowel words and wondered what the story is with it, e.g.: As an SME, we're unfortunately not able to take the time to train on the job and would ask for at ...
2
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1answer
82 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 ...
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0answers
114 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 before a vowel. ...
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1answer
35 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?
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0answers
72 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 ...
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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. ...
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2answers
78 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 ...
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0answers
61 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 ...
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1answer
170 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 ...
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2answers
129 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 ...
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1answer
185 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 ...
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1answer
72 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
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2answers
255 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) . pool, ...
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3answers
566 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?
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2answers
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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" ...
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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.
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2answers
276 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 ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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0answers
121 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 ...
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0answers
118 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 ...
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0answers
158 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 ...
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4answers
926 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/ ...
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2answers
3k 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/?
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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 ...
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2answers
1k 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, ...
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1answer
749 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.
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0answers
258 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/ ...
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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/ ...
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2answers
535 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 [ ']...
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2answers
859 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, ...
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2answers
605 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, ...
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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"?
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2answers
254 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 ...
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1answer
724 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 ...
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7answers
30k 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?
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1answer
191 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" ...
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3answers
475 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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
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1answer
4k 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 - ...
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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:...
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1answer
295 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 ...
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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 ...

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