Questions tagged [vowels]

Vowels sounds in English.

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1answer
116 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 ...
4
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1answer
184 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? ...
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3answers
2k views

Why are we supposed to say the “a” as an “e” in “any” and “many”?

I speak Australian English, but I seem to pronounce the words many and anything differently from how the vast majority of people here do so. I pronounce it using an a sound rather than an e sound ...
9
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1answer
257 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.): /...
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2answers
85 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 ...
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2answers
107 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....
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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 ...
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1answer
99 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/,...
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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/...
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1answer
99 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: ...
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0answers
84 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/...
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1answer
2k views

Why is the word “bread” pronounced “bred”?

Why does it have an A in the word if you don't pronounce it? It's pronounced with a short e (/ε/) and I want to know why. Why?
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2answers
279 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
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1answer
89 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
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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- ...
2
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3answers
364 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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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. ...
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1answer
119 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 ...
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0answers
113 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 ...
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2answers
103 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 ...
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1answer
483 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 ...
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2answers
158 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] ("...
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2answers
186 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 ...
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1answer
220 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/....
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4answers
9k views

Online rhyme dictionary/rhyming resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)

Anyone know of an online rhyming dictionary or rhyme resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)? RhymeZone.com doesn't have such an option.
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1answer
202 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 ...
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0answers
70 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-...
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104 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 ...
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7answers
9k views

How can I practice differentiating between the /æ/ and /ɛ/ sounds in English phonology?

For a non-native English speaker like me, it's always been hard to sound /æ/ and /ɛ/ differently. For example, "salary" and "celery" are two words that I tend to pronounce ...
4
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1answer
144 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
83 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, ...
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2answers
9k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
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1answer
698 views

Is /æ/ sound always same?

I have an issue with /æ/ sound. There is no such vowel sound in my native language, which is Russian, so it's quite problematic for me to master this sound. The main problem is I can't even HEAR it as ...
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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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1answer
315 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
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1answer
2k views

discerning /æ/ and /e/ sounds

As I am a foreigner, I have great difficulty differentiating the sounds /æ/ and /e/ . When spoken softly, it becomes almost impossible for me to discern the sounds. Such as this one from movie ...
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2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of Bank, Tank, etc.: Bay-nk, Ray-nk or Baen-k or Raen-k?

What is the standard US pronunciation for words such as the following: Bank Rank At least in my dialect of US English (Inland Northern), the following seem like close transcriptions: Bank: bay-nk ...
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1answer
900 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/ ...
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6answers
11k views

Pronunciation of vowel in vague as [æ] instead of [eɪ]

I have a friend who pronounces the vowel in plague, vague, and bagel as [æ] instead of the standard [eɪ] (so plague rhymes with flag, for instance). Interestingly, he apparently can't tell the ...
5
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1answer
246 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
119 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 ...
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4answers
4k views

Why do written English vowels differ from other Latin-based orthographies?

Written English vowels differ from other Latin-based orthographies. Consider what the written vowels in the romance languages represent. Also, for example, consider this simple comparison between a ...
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1answer
254 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of words starting with “a”

I am not a native speaker, and I try to pronounce words as correct possible. I am confused with this group of words: apprehend, application (pronounced with æ) approve, appraisal, appreciation (...
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2answers
2k views

Why do we pronounce a long second vowel in “decide”, but a short second vowel in “decision”?

The "i" in decide is pronounced [aɪ], whereas the first "i" in decision is pronounced [ɪ], at least in American English. The same with pairs like collide/collision, divide/division, etc., despite the ...
3
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2answers
418 views

Is there a name/term for “multiplied vowels”?

For example if somebody is saying: "Ooooooh myyyyyyy Gooooood" or if they realize something and go "Ooooooh!" or Darth Vader's "NOOOOOOO!", usually all of these extra vowels aren't included in the ...
4
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8answers
13k views

Why is “go” spelled with the same vowel as “do” and “to” since it is pronounced differently?

These two-letter words ending in -o are pronounced with the vowel /oʊ/: bo, go ho, jo, lo, no, so, and yo whereas do and to are pronounced with the vowel /uː/. Is there an explanation for the ...

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