Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

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5
votes
1answer
99 views

Why doesn't “appropriate” (adj) appropriate the pronunciation of “appropriate” (v.)?

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.): /...
3
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
101 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....
0
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 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: ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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/...
1
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0answers
80 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/...
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
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- ...
1
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2answers
100 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
135 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] ("...
2
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0answers
105 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
203 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/....
5
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
0
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1answer
95 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/,...
0
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1answer
116 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 ...
2
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0answers
69 views

Words Starting With the Vowel “I”

As a volunteer English teacher to newly landed to-be citizens of Canada, please bear with me, as I am trying to be as specific as possible, without being overtly wordy. The word of the day in Merriam-...
0
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1answer
102 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
1
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2answers
40 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 ...
0
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1answer
82 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
249 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 ...
2
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1answer
111 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 ...
1
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1answer
444 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 ...
0
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1answer
68 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
186 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...
1
vote
1answer
57 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
0
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0answers
71 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 ->...
0
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0answers
60 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"...
2
votes
0answers
44 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
345 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 /...
0
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0answers
154 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
269 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
96 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
146 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
votes
1answer
156 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
133 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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 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
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0answers
97 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
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
88 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
67 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
262 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
2answers
186 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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