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Questions tagged [american-english]

The variety of English used in the United States of America.

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1answer
64 views

Does English have syllabic fricatives (allophonically)?

When speaking rapidly, it doesn't seem that I make a schwa at all when saying a phrase like, say, "the bus." It seems like I'm saying [ð̩.bʌs]. Is this a documented phenomenon?
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1answer
44 views

Triggering emotions with language

Emotional responses to certain words is often argued to be a result of nurture(acquired through development), while emotional responses to Tone is largely attributable to nature(born with). Shouldn't ...
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0answers
50 views

Which dialect/ accent of English has the most/least sounds?

My accent is from New York City, yet I wonder which area has the most or least sounds in their phonetic syllabary. While one may have the most vowels and another the most consonants, I would like to ...
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1answer
67 views

proper terms for tipper and dipper S articulation

I just learned for the first time from a WIRED video about movie accents (at 4:30) that American English has multiple possible places of articulation for the "S" sound. I was able to find terms for ...
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2answers
68 views

What is the story behind the pronunciation of Logic? [closed]

The English pronunciation seems a peculiar to me, /lɑdʒɪk/, compared to the Greek λόγος, /ló.ɡos/ root, Latin legere carries the hard "g" with only the first vowel sounding different. English pulls ...
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2answers
47 views

What is the pronunciation of English word “feeling” in General American accent? The normal sound [ˈfilɪŋ] or add the “l” sound, [ˈfiɫ lɪŋ]?

What is the pronunciation of English word feeling in General American accent? The normal sound [ˈfilɪŋ] or double the "l" sound, [ˈfiɫ lɪŋ] ?
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3answers
159 views

The ate-eight split?

The words "ate" and "eight" are supposed to be homophones in English, yet in (thick) Hungarian, Dutch and Swedish accents, they are not homophones. As a native Hungarian-speaker, I will attest to this:...
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0answers
73 views

Impact of European languages on AmE modality and grammatical moods

American English Use subjunctive more than British English and also they heavily use modal verb "would". Grammatical moods like subjunctive in many European languages like German and Spanish are ...
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1answer
47 views

In spoken English, is there a clear preference for using contractions?

In spoken English, is there a clear preference for using contractions? Does it depend on the locale? I am mostly interested in Midwestern and Northeastern USA, but I would also care to know how it is ...
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0answers
21 views

References for Italian-American slang (cross-post from English Language & Usage)

This morning I have asked the following question on the English Language & Usage SE: As an Italian, I find the interaction between my language and the English language fascinating. One big ...
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2answers
223 views

Minimal Pairs Highlighting the Difference between American and British English

Does anyone have a list of minimal pairs, highlighting the difference between American and British English? Thanks.
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1answer
2k views

What is the origin of counting “Mississippis”?

The word "Mississippi" is often used in the United States as a filler in order to count seconds. Why is that particular word used and not another? What is its origin?
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0answers
48 views

increasing frequency of “echo answers”?

I believe in recent years people are more likely to answer questions by repeating the verb than by just saying e.g. "yes" or "yes I am" For example "Are you going out for lunch?" "I am." In my memory ...
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4answers
273 views

American English speakers needing subtitles more often

I often ask my American English native speaker friends this question: When watching a movie in American English, do you turn the subtitles on? Quite a lot of them say that they always do ("in ...
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6answers
2k views

American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes?

What case can be made for considering whether [ə] and [ʌ] are different phonemes or not in American English? Please note the focus is on standard American English. EDIT: i.e.: on General American. ...
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2answers
154 views

ə after vowels and dipthongs and pronunciation of æ

I'm having some practice with American English sounds and I don't understand why some native speakers seem to add a schwa after vowel sounds. For example the word cat is pronounced in this lesson on ...
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2answers
388 views

Why is the word “Puyallup” difficult for most English speakers to pronounce? [closed]

Why linguistically the word of the city of Puyallup is difficult for non Seattleites to pronounce? It only contains sounds found in English.
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0answers
131 views

Why doesn't English have contracted forms for past tense verbs?

In English, we contract things like "They are" to "They're." As far as I know, for indicative moods, this is only done for present and future tense verbs. Why is it not done for past tense (I know ...
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1answer
228 views

What is the cause of difference between British and American pronunciation?

I think it's pretty clear how such differences as high way or parking lot evolved, since these terms refer to the technology that didn't exist at the age of colonization. But how, do the present ...
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3answers
206 views

Where is American English not chosen as the dialect of English taught as a second language? [closed]

Apart from countries where English is taught as a second language only to immigrants and indigenous peoples (e.g. Australia), where is American English not chosen as the dialect taught when teaching ...
4
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2answers
557 views

“Cloth” lexical set: Is there a complete description of the possible conditioning environments?

This question is about speakers without the cot-caught merger (so, speakers who pronounce words such as “lot,” “cot,” “swat" with a distinct vowel from words such as “thought,” “caught,” “water.”) I’...
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1answer
267 views

What is the phonetic transcription of the name Jenna? [closed]

what is the IPA phonetic transcription of the female name Jenna? Is it ['dʒɛ nə], with stress on first syllable? I usually tend to use online dictionaries for pronunciation of words, but I couldn't ...
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0answers
57 views

Influences on the accent of Georgia (the American state)?

The accent of (most of) the American state of Georgia, as far as I know, lacks the drawl of most other Southern American accents. Instead, it is quicker and clipped. Does anyone know why? Does the ...
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2answers
82 views

North American English: R Muscles and Linguistic Description

I speak North American English. When I pronounce "R", the fleshy part under my chin inside my jawbone tends to move up. When I stress the "R", it really moves up and back. I think the back of my ...
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0answers
62 views

How were Rs recovered in AmE?

In British English, very often the Rs that are there in the written form of the word are not actually pronounced at all. How, then, could native speakers of early American English eventually recover ...
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2answers
605 views

Are American English and British English growing closer together or drifting further apart?

I'm mostly wondering about vocabulary (e.g. truck vs. lorry; apartment vs. flat) but I suppose I'd be interested to learn about pronunciation too. Intuitively I feel like this could go either way. ...
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2answers
196 views

Word reduction and American T before consonant

when I pronounce the phrase "It was good" in a context like this one: Person A: How was your day? Person B: It was good. I think that "was" is reduced to wəz (with a schwa sound). The only word ...
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3answers
286 views

Negation word and stress in English

in the phrase "It's funny", the stress is usually on the first syllable of the adjective: [ ɪts ˈfʌ ni ] But what happens when the negation "not" appears? [ ɪts nɑt ˈfʌ ni ] I'm quite sure the ...
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1answer
246 views

Consonants in the same tongue position

the phrase: "Sit down" phonetically looks like [sɪt daʊn]. The "t" and "d" are in the same tongue position. Can we drop the "t" in the first word in this situation in fast/casual speech? like this: [...
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2answers
381 views

Glide between the words “be” and “okay”

the phrase "It's gonna be okay" phonetically looks like: [ɪts gʌnə bɪ oʊkeɪ] There should be a glide (y) or (w) between the words "be" and "okay": ɪts gʌnə bɪ(y)oʊkeɪ, or ɪts gʌnə bɪ(w)oʊkeɪ I'm not ...
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1answer
763 views

What features distinguish the true diphthongs of English?

How are the true diphthongs of English distinguished from each other and other vowels with traditional distinctive features theory?
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1answer
113 views

why can't quotative “be like” be fronted?

Consider the following data (spoken American English): John said "I'll come." John was like "I'll come." What John said was: "I'll come." ?What John was like was: "I'll come." Does anyone have an ...
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4answers
3k views

Correct syllabification in (American) English

I need to figure out what the proper syllabification of words in American English is and why. PLEASE NOTE: I am interested in syllabification from a phonetic point of view, not in terms of hyphenation/...
3
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2answers
371 views

Am I a native English speaker? (born I Hungary, lived in US from age 3)

I'm not sure if I'm going to get any answers, but I am trying to find out whether I can qualify as a native english speaker. Here's my story: born in Hungary moved to US at age 3 spoke Hungarian ...
2
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1answer
263 views

What is the cause of the epenthetic ‘r’ in ‘warsh’?

Why does this ‘r’ appear only in ‘wash’ and ‘Washington’ without analogous examples? That is, why does this ‘r’ not also appear in similar constructions (like ‘posh’ (which is never pronounced ‘parsh’)...
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1answer
5k views

Stress rules in English adjective-noun combinations

In English adjective-noun combinations the noun commonly carries the main stress: a big HOUSE a beautiful DOG An exception to this rule are adjective-noun combinations that are treated as one unit, ...
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1answer
378 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 ...
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0answers
147 views

Different accent for different genders and age groups

Probably due to a desire to sound cute or otherwise I find teens (girls mostly) using an accent wherein they have to pout their lips a bit more in speaking while this may give them a more appealing ...
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1answer
2k views

Phonological vowel length in American English due to (t-)flapping

The following is a quote from a Wikipedia page on American English phonology and concerns flapping in American English: The flapping of intervocalic /t/ and /d/ to alveolar tap [ɾ] before ...
3
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0answers
294 views

What percentage of African Americans speak identifiable African American Vernacular English?

I'm looking for (reasonably) scientific statistics on the percentage of African Americans whose speech is sufficiently inflected with AAVE that their speech is identifiable as such. (It would be ...
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0answers
292 views

What are the allophones of /ɹ/ in General Western English?

What are the allophones of /ɹ/ in General Western English? By General Western English, I mean the dialect of English that is spoken by people raised in Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and other ...
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1answer
1k views

IPA transcription of the American English “bunched” /r/

There are 2 common articulations of /r/ and /r̩/ in American English, one retroflex, and the other dorsal. This phone is called the molar or bunched r. It can be described roughly as a back-palatal or ...
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8answers
6k views

Why do people singing in English sound like Americans?

This is just my observation, but it seems like Standard American English lacks any distinct accent when speaking. Listen to almost any person singing with an accent, and they sound like any American ...
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7answers
21k views

Is rhyming a uniquely English language construct?

I will freely admit that this question is based in ignorance of languages other than English (well, American). But do other languages have the concept of rhyming? Thinking back to my few Spanish ...
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3answers
856 views

Why does Pidgin come easier than Standard English?

I was born and raised in Hawaii and grew up speaking Pidgin. My parents are from Washington and California so at home I spoke [what I thought was] Standard English. I moved to the mainland when I was ...
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3answers
120 views

Is there a US/UK difference in interpretation/usage of “compound verb phrases” split by an embedded clause

Arising from discussion against “Against traffic” or “Against the traffic” on ELU, I wonder if anyone can give an authoritative opinion and/or supporting evidence for the proposition that Americans ...
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4answers
1k views

Why in English words is [o] followed by [ʊ]?

The close-mid back rounded vowel is, according to Wikipedia, "usually diphthongized to [oʊ]". Examples: row, also. In fact, in the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary I didn't see o ...