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Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

5
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
32 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
62 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) . ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

An involved proof or a involved proof [duplicate]

Is it an involved proof or a involved proof? Involved begins with a vowel sound so it should be an, however an-in sounds wrong when I say it out loud. Why does it sound wrong and which one is correct?...
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
287 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
190 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
57 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
71 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
71 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
119 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
516 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/ ...
0
votes
0answers
249 views

Vowel length in American English

I could find many resources online about vowel length in English and in American English, but I got to say that although they're interesting, no one directly answers the question "what the length of ...
2
votes
2answers
903 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
1k 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
539 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
172 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
183 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
224 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
353 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
417 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
2k 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
193 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
372 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 ...
93
votes
7answers
27k 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
143 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
449 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
705 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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
0answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “current” and “currently”

What is the most common American pronunciation of "current"? online dictionaries seem to give different IPA pronunciations. Personally, although not American myself, I have always heard it pronounced ...
0
votes
1answer
954 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
205 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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
702 views

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

Why is country pronounced /ˈkʌntɹi/ and not /ˈkaʊntɹi/ ?
4
votes
1answer
37k 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?
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Source/regionality of pronunciation of “other” as [ɛðər]

It's very hard to search google for meaningful results about the word "other." I was watching a video online where a person (American English) pronounces "other" to rhyme with "tether". It reminded ...
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
0answers
296 views

Is “I” (as in lie, buy, try) not a natural vowel?

Looking through the audio samples of vowel sounds on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vowel#Audio_samples), none of them sound like "I." I can find A, E, O, and U though. Is the "I" sound ...
0
votes
1answer
231 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
2k 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
491 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 /...
1
vote
0answers
192 views

When sound is reduced, does how to identify syllables change?

I would like to ask how many syllables are counted in natives' minds in an occasion where reduction happens. When "and" is reduced into 'n', its syllable nucleus is lost, and, for example in this ...
0
votes
1answer
377 views

Why is “an” used for nouns that start with a vowel sound [closed]

When a noun starts with a vowel sound, one uses "an" instead of "a". That is reasonable since otherwise the vowels would get mixed. The question is why did they "pick" "an"? There are 21 consenants ...
0
votes
2answers
936 views

Pronunciation and transcription of the vowel in “fear”, “dear”, “near” etc

I wonder, words like fear, dear, near and so on have long e in pronunciation, and it should be transcribed as /i:/, but I've found it transcribed as short /ɪ/. Why is that?
11
votes
2answers
526 views

Did the non-standard pronunciation of “gold” as “goold” come from an Old English sound change?

John Walker in his Critical Pronunciation Dictionary (1791) transcribes the pronunciation of the word “gold” as go¹ld, or go²o²ld which in modern transcription equates to /goʊld/ or /guːld/. He ...
1
vote
1answer
788 views

Rule for the pronunciation of the letter O as /ʌ/ vs. /ɒ/

If the letter o in a word is pronounced as a monophthong, it will fall into two types: pronounced as /ʌ/ as in color ("/kʌlə/") pronounced as /ɒ/ as in lock ("/lɒk/") What I would like to ask is ...
3
votes
1answer
422 views

Vowel in “-ang” and “-ank” Words: Pronunciation and Dictionary Transcription

Has anyone found the vowel in "-ang" and "-ank" words transcribed differently than /æ/? The sound, to my ear, is not the same as the /æ/ sound in words like "ran." I hear the vowel as closer to /eI/ ...