Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

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votes
1answer
59 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
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0answers
31 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
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2answers
39 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
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1answer
124 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
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1answer
42 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
87 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) . ...
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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
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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
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1answer
544 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
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2answers
199 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
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1answer
58 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
80 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
83 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
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0answers
123 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
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4answers
566 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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0answers
302 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
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2answers
1k 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
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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
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2answers
649 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
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1answer
230 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
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0answers
198 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
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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
267 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
413 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
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2answers
446 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
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2answers
3k 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
210 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
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1answer
404 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
28k 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
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1answer
152 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
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3answers
461 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
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1answer
789 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
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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 - ...
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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:...
1
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1answer
226 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 ...
7
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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 ...
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2answers
781 views

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

Why is country pronounced /ˈkʌntɹi/ and not /ˈkaʊntɹi/ ?
4
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1answer
41k 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?
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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/.
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1answer
281 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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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2answers
550 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 /...
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0answers
203 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
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1answer
385 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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
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2answers
574 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
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1answer
888 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
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1answer
456 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/ ...