72 votes

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

As an American Southerner, I had a good laugh when I read this. Depending on where you're from, this could either be incredibly easy or nigh impossible to pronounce. Look at the words 'didn't' and ...
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51 votes
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How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

I'd say this contraction of "you all would not have" as three syllables: [ˈjɔːɫ.ᵈn̩.tɘ̆v]. [ˈjɔːɫ] is y'all, a contraction of you all that serves as the plural of you in Dixie-influenced dialects of ...
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22 votes

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

I think most native English speakers would have similar troubles. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Also, different people will say this different ways: somebody from Virginia (like me) will say it ...
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21 votes

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

In the South the phrase "Y'all would not have . . . " would most commonly be pronounced "Yaw woot nuh" with woot rhyming with foot. "Y'all would not have done that" = "Yaw woot nuh dun nat."
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19 votes
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Why doesn't English employ an H in front of Ares?

Hermes and Ares are reasonable representations in the Latin alphabet of the sounds of the Greek names. The /h/ sound is absent from classical Greek spellings of words which contained it (like Hermes) ...
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10 votes
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Are there many -tion words that sound like 'vision'?

I've read through all of the words beginning with a through c in WS2's very useful list of -tion words, and so far I've found that the vast majority of the words in the -tion family carry a sh sound ...
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8 votes

/ð/ → /d/ shift in English

The voiced dental fricative [ð] and the voiced coronal plosive [d] are similar sounds, but they did contrast in Old English. However, [ð] did not contrast with the equivalent voiceless fricative [θ], ...
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8 votes

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

If the uncontracted expression starts as "you all would not have ..." the natural progression would be "y'all woudn't have" /jal wødnt hæv/ (with syllabic 'n'). This is exceedingly formal. "y'all ...
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7 votes

Why "house" /haʊs/, but "houses" /ˈhaʊzɪz/? "s" changes to "z"?

The /z/ in /ˈhaʊzɪz/ was caused by voicing assimilation, which historically applied in a fairly automatic way to fricative sounds in English. The sound [z] is the voiced counterpart of [s], and in Old ...
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7 votes

'Travel' - Place of articulation of /t/

A canonical /t/ is indeed alveolar. However, when a /t/ precedes an /r/, the /t/ moves back in anticipation of the /r/, which has a post-alveolar articulation. When this happens, the articulation of ...
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7 votes
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Why do dictionaries transcribe the nasal in 'think' and 'language' with /ŋ/, yet 'input' and 'inbox' with /n/, not /m/?

The standard basic phonemic analysis that I am most familiar with is that the words "think, tinker, language, English" contain the phoneme /ŋ/. I have see some more theoretically complex ...
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7 votes
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/z/ + /ð/ = /zdð/?

I haven't found any sources that indicate something special about this particular environment. A stop-like realization of /ð/ as something like [d̪] or [d̪ð] is a common allophone in a number of ...
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6 votes

L in the middle of a word: dark l or light l?

In the American English I'm familiar with, and as Mitch says above in a comment, light versus dark l depends on where the syllable boundary is. In the onset of a syllable (before the vowel, i.e.), it'...
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6 votes
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Is there a word spelled with a silent B at the start?

There are English words that start with the letter B in spelling but that don't start with the "B sound" /b/ in speech, but not very many, and none of them is very common. An example is bdellium, from ...
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6 votes
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Why does the diphthong /aʊ/ not occur before /k/, /m/, /p/, /b/, /g/ etc?

I actually wrote a long post about this topic on the Linguistics SE site: you can see it at Why English is missing some phoneme sequences (/aʊv/ or /aʊp/). Incidentally, trauma is only pronounced with ...
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5 votes
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L in the middle of a word: dark l or light l?

In Southern Standard British English (RP), /l/ is always dark unless followed be a vowel (sound). When followed by a vowel it's always clear. In the middle of the words delete delegate and silly, the /...
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5 votes
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TH sound, is it continuant or stop?

In standard English, 'th' is always a dental fricative, a non-stopping, continuous movement of air between the tip of the tongue right and the bottom of the top teeth. It is almost exactly the lisp ...
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5 votes

Is "question" pronounced with an "s" or with an "sh" sound?

John Lawler wrote in a comment: It's quite normal for the /s/ in an /stʃ/ cluster to anticipate the upcoming palatal affricate by being palatalized itself to /ʃtʃ/. Consonant clusters reduce and ...
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Is "question" pronounced with an "s" or with an "sh" sound?

The consonant sequence /st͡ʃ/ in this word, and others, can indeed be replaced in pronunciation by something like [ʃt͡ʃ] as the result of assimilation. (I don't know if it would be correct to analyze ...
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5 votes
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What happens phonetically in "words that"?

Briefly (because stuff like this happens whenever words meet up in speech, which is to say in every sentence), the phonemics of words that (occurring in a phrase, where words is stressed and that is ...
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5 votes
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On the velar nasal /ŋ/ sound followed by /k/

As mentioned in the comments, this previous question has overlap with yours: Why do dictionaries transcribe the nasal in 'think' and 'language' with /ŋ/, yet 'input' and '...
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4 votes

Are there many -tion words that sound like 'vision'?

This seems to have been a change in the last hundred years or so. Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary from 1828, has "shun" and not "zhun", as does Webster's 1892 High School Dictionary (available via ...
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4 votes

About pronouncing the 's' in plural nouns

As far as I know, there are no notable groups of speakers that don't follow this rule phonologically: pens and pence, tens and tense have different pronunciations for all speakers with typical accents....
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4 votes

'Travel' - Place of articulation of /t/

In American English, after obstruent [t] or [d], an [r] assimilates to become an obstruent also. (An obstruent is a consonant which obstructs the flow of air enough to make it naturally voiceless, ...
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4 votes

Why is there a double "ll" in "bell"?

A handful of English consonant letters are often doubled when they come after a single vowel at the end of a word, especially in single-syllable words, or words that are stressed on the last syllable. ...
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4 votes

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

I didn't find this expression in any other dictionary, but the actual phrase that was contracted would go through these steps: You all did not have Y'all did not have Y'all didn't have Y'all didn'...
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