An informal term referring to the verbalized form of words specific to a language. Can also refer to particular individual's pronunciation, as in an accent or a pathology, or a specific speech event, as in a mispronunciation.

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83 views

Does Basque sound like Spanish, or vice versa?

I am always amazed by how similar both languages sound despite being very different in almost every other aspect. I suspect that this is a classical example of a Sprachbund, but I am interested in ...
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1answer
35 views

Concerning Semitic Pronunciation of Pharyngeal Letters

So a popular theory in the pronunciation of Hebrew is that "Biblical Hebrew" (or, at the very least, Hebrew up to the point to the fall of the Second Temple and well into the 8th century CE) had ...
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21 views

How close are pronunciations /ɕ/ and /x/?

I've noticed that some words starting with /ɕ/ in (Chinese) Mandarin become /x/ in some dialects. For example: 鞋 /ɕjɛ/ -> /xai/ 下 /ɕja/ -> /xa/ How close are /ɕ/ and /x/ pronunciation-wise? Does ...
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1answer
44 views

What are the IPA equivalents for the special characters used to transscribe indian words?

When I try to read an article related to India (in particular indo-aryan languages) certain special characters emerge which I do not know how to pronounciate. For instance: Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini ...
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32 views

Dictionary of English Dialects

I am working on simulating what changing the English orthography (s.t. it would be (more) transparent) would do to the reading process. A natural question that arises is: If the spelling is tailored ...
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1answer
46 views

Name of the Armenian people/language

I once knew an Armenian girl from Yerevan and she said the Armenian people are the Hy (pronounced like "Hi, how are you") and their language is Hy-idan. However, the wikipedia writes the name of the ...
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247 views

dear, ear, fear, gear, hear, near … why are bear/pear pronounced differently?

Some of you have helped me and my mum, so thank you for that. In class last week we were looking at pronunciation ... and something caught me out. Why are some words spelt very similar to multiple ...
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2answers
102 views

How to work with an IPA chart?

I am trying to learn French vowel sounds using this IPA chart. My question is about this chart. I use it for the first time and I am interested how comprehensive it is. Does a position at this chart ...
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1answer
49 views

Pronunciation software?

Do you know of any pronunciation or phonetics software that would be useful to ESL learners? I have read that software with spectrographs or xrays showing tongue placement are very effective. I am ...
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0answers
122 views

Is Spanish a relatively easy language for Japanese people to pronounce?

Is Spanish an easy language, compared to for example English, for native speakers of Japanese to pronounce? I've heard that pronunciation is similar between the two languages, with an assumption that ...
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2answers
99 views

A spectral analysis of Hebrew pronunciation, looking for source

I recently was shown this article that claims that the Hebrew alphabet, when viewed in what appears to be a spectrogram, the actual frequencies in which the letter hits creates a shape of the physical ...
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2answers
130 views

Were the so-called aspirates of PIE ever aspirated?

In the thread Is unvoiced & unaspirated a category of speech? it was pointed out to me, that the aspirates in Indic languages, notably Sanskrit, are from a truly phonetic perspective not ...
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1answer
107 views

How is an intervocalic “g” pronounced in Andean Spanish?

It seems that at least in the Andes, a lot of people say e.g. [awa] for "agua"[agwa]. What's the phonological rule behind this? Is it really [w]? Why did this happen in the first place?
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3answers
154 views

Languages where the prestige or standard variety is not “clear” or “distinct”?

When learning a language you generally want to have a teach with clear pronunciation. If you're planning to learn by immersion, if it's a language spoken in several places, you want to choose the ...
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0answers
59 views

Where do I get all the phonemes of RP English in audio?

I need an authoritative link or a standard which linguists use as a reference point (to compare). It would be not bad if someone knows more or less right phonemes (wav) links (with correct formants ...
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1answer
54 views

Software for pronunciation training with my own sound files [closed]

So, let's say I have several mp3 files with native speaker's pronunciation. What I need is playing one of them, pronounce after it and so on with the next sound pattern. Then play all the sequence and ...
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3answers
148 views

Are Mongolian “хан” and “хаан” the same word despite the usually important difference in vowel length?

I've just noticed that if you look in several English and Mongolian dictionaries that the Cyrillic Mongolian word "khan" is given as either "хан" with a short vowel, or "хаан" with a long vowel. (So ...
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1answer
165 views

How is Sanskrit “va” supposed to be pronounced?

I'm confused as to how I'm to pronounce Sanskrit's "v" letter. My teacher mostly pronounces it as a "w" in words such as "deva", "svara" or "dvipa" but invariably utters a "v" in syllables "vra" or ...
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1answer
60 views

Pronunciation Dictionary for Portuguese

Is there any comprehensive pronunciation dictionary for Portoguese language like CMU dictionary for English? Thanks.
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1answer
88 views

Arabic Diacritization List

I wonder if there is any academical resource on the diacritization of Arabic words. Almost all Arabic text is written without diacritics and it is quite challenging to learn all the words. Thanks in ...
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1answer
160 views

Characteristics of African American Vernacular English

The actor in this Youtube comedy video seems to be imitating African American Vernacular English (AAVE). I wonder how successful he is. The grammatical features seem to be pretty accurate: y'all as ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

What vowels are most likely to be deleted in European Portuguese?

Stepping off of the airplane in Lisbon, I could immediately hear that the pronunciation was much different from Brazilian Portuguese, which I am more accustomed to. The level of vowel deletion was ...
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1answer
465 views

Word-initial consonant clusters beginning with /s/ or /ʃ/, an Indo-European characteristic?

All the cases I've seen of a consonant /s/ (or similar pronunciations) at the beginning of a word occur in Indo-European languages. Can we say that this is a characteristic of this language family? ...
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2answers
824 views

Why is English spelling so inconsistent?

English spelling is in many respects not phonetic and there is often no one-to-one mapping between spelling and pronunication. E.g. 'a' is /ej/ or /ey/ instead of /a/ as in Albert 'c' is /s/ not ...
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161 views

How are these rolled “r”s pronounced?

I recently came upon a viral/funny Quebecois video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InMJopurNTE In it, the guy is pronouncing his "r"s (e.g. in gros, bras) very oddly. I can't reproduce this sound, ...
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119 views

How's Mango Languages Latin Pronunciation? [closed]

So through my library I've gained access to Mango Languages language courses and I've taken on learning Latin. When trying to keep my pronunciation as close to the examples as possible, though, I feel ...
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0answers
88 views

How is English stereotyped by non-native speakers? [closed]

It's possible to parody other languages by how they sound. Even if you don't know any words of that language you can make pretend speech which others will recognise as being that language. eg German ...
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0answers
201 views

Cellar door and Indo-European languages

Where I grew up (UK) there was a pub called The Drysalters. I always liked this name without having any idea what a drysalter was, or having any association or emotional connection to the pub itself. ...
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3answers
195 views

What prevents people from pronouncing 'nowhere' as 'now + here' instead of 'no + where'?

I'm an English student (English is not my native language) and I once encountered this word nowhere, but I first recognized it in that moment as now + here and I literally pronounced it so. Maybe my ...
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1answer
3k views

How can nasalized vowels in English be explained?

. . .Auntie *Ma*rge's present, see, it's here under. . . [audio source] In the audio above, [mɑː] sounds like this: [..m..] [......ɑː.....] ---- (time) ----> This sounds close to ...
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2answers
300 views

Why do people from a certain region sometimes have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds?

There is a word in Indian Bengali which is "sala", but in Banladesh Bengali it is pronounced as "Hala". The "s" becomes "h" in a Bangladeshi's tongue. Similarly "Tsunami" seems to be impossible to be ...
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1answer
285 views

Multimedia materials for pronunciation learning

I randomly found this terrific site that contains a good structured collection of images, animations and videos to show how a sound is articulated in the German, Spanish and American English ...
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313 views

Historical pronunciation of words in English

This isn't about sound change in general, but the changes that took place in the pronunciation of individual words. Does such a compilation exist? It would be interesting to know how divergent ...
4
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1answer
148 views

Bostonian Accent

While I am no linguist I do teach language as an element of culture to my middle-schoolers and as we are located near Boston, the "Pahk the Cah in Havahd Yahd" question often comes up. The kids want ...
4
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1answer
243 views

Criteria for separating Korean words

The rules for when whitespace is required/permitted in Korean are not obvious, but are not explicitly discussed in any grammars or textbooks I have access to. I can infer this much: Between ...
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3answers
1k views

Why don't the French pronounce consonants at the ends of words?

I am curious what could have caused the shift in pronunciation. I presume it must have occurred after the spelling of words was standardized. According to the History of French wikipedia article, this ...
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4answers
4k views

How to distinguish Korean “ㅔ” /e/ and “ㅐ” /ɛ/?

I've always had trouble with the distinction between the "e"-like vowels in European languages: /e/ vs /ɛ/. But pronouncing them the same has never caused me any problems. In fact I don't even know ...
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7answers
4k views

What characteristics are unique to English (or at least rare among language as a whole)?

After wondering about this today at work, I turned to the Internet. A short piece that focuses on pronunciation points toward "none". I've scoured ELU and Google (perhaps not as thoroughly or ...
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2answers
366 views

Esperanto Pronunciation jx and gx & c and s

I am looking to see if anyone can help me understand the difference between these similar sounds: ĝ & ĵ (gx & jx) c & s I have been told the gx is like the j in jail or the g in gem ...
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3answers
812 views

Are there any “simple” languages?

In all the languages I know, at least one of the following aspects is complex/difficult: Alphabet: Complex meaning a large alphabet like in Chinese. Pronunciation: Complex meaning that, for example, ...
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1answer
274 views

Is the concept of syllables pronunciation-relevant in languages with mora-based pronunciation?

Japanese pronunciation is mora-based (correct me if there is a better word), i.e. each mora is pronounced with equal length. Still I sometimes see the concept of syllables used, e.g. 疲労 /hirō/ ...
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3answers
497 views

Same sounds spelled more than one way

Why are there multiple ways for expressing the same sound? In English, for example, you can say "axe" or "aks," or when "c" sounds like "s" like in "face." This phenomenon exists in many different ...
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2answers
315 views

What is this phenomenon called, and is it the only occurrence?

Usually it's fairly easy to know the spelling of words in Italian, given the very close relation between that and pronunciation. But that's not always true. The word musulmano in Italian (which means ...
3
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2answers
184 views

What's going on when I hear people pronounce Georgian “ვ” like “w” instead of like “v” as it always seems to be defined?

The sixth letter of the Georgian alphabet is ვ and all the resources I have describe it as being like English v or IPA [v]. But especially in the common word ნახვამდის (goodbye) the ვ sounds a lot ...
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3answers
416 views

How exactly do the sounds of Arabic “ﻕ” and Georgian “ყ” differ?

The Arabic letter ﻕ and the Georgian letter ყ are often described as being similar, also they are both transliterated using q. ... the Georgian letter ყ is difficult for most Westerners to ...
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7answers
537 views

If similar phonemes are pronounced the same, will this be difficult to understand for a native speaker?

In French, phonemes like /e/ and /ɛ/ are so similar in sound. In English, phonemes like /o/ and /ɔ/ are just so similar too. Brief is that, in almost any language, there are phonemes which are very ...
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1answer
163 views

Are there different terms for when a language has two ways to spell a sound vs. two ways to pronounce a spelling?

In languages that don't have a perfect 1:1 mapping between sounds and letters in their written form there are two possibilities. In English "bow" and "bough" are two spellings with a single ...
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3answers
433 views

What's the term for correspondence between the written and the spoken form of a language?

Not all languages have the same degree of correspondence between the spoken and the written form. Saying correspondence, I'm referring to the equivalence between what we write in a certain language ...
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700 views

French conjugation, spoken vs written

French verbs are conjugated depending on the subject's person and number (ex. je parle, tu parles, il parle, etc.) However in spoken language most of these sound the same anyway because the end part ...
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2k views

Can you give me some tips on how to pronounce ejective consonants?

I'll be going back to the Republic of Georgia pretty soon and will try to learn the famously difficult language but last time I was there I couldn't distinguish or reproduce the ejectives. Everybody ...