Questions tagged [american-english]

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

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0 answers
126 views

Why no apostrophe in the possessive "it"? [migrated]

Why, when you are talking about something belonging to "it" does "it" not get an apostrophe before the "s"? For example, "The dog ate its food" - the food ...
0 votes
1 answer
238 views

Claim that the american r sound is actually [ʁ] out west

This quora answer by Kit di Pomi (and if you browse his other answers he uses a similar uvular transcription) claims that: [ʀ] isn’t used anywhere off-stage as far as I know, typically American ...
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

Do sentences have primary and secondary stresses?

I know that stress can shift in an English phrase or sentence to emphasize the words that mean more specifically what the speaker wishes to express, however I'm talking about the general stress where ...
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Variations of [aɪ] in English

I'm learning IPA and am surprised that some standard American English sounds which seem subtly different to me are all recorded as [aɪ]. Consider the phrase "I like the night", which I ...
4 votes
1 answer
706 views

AmE feature related to American multiculturalism?

I speak with a (General) American accent. Native non-American English speakers sometimes tell me that "you pronounce every single syllable in every word." I've also stumbled upon very ...
0 votes
3 answers
190 views

The A sound in Ask and At

I was reading a book on rhetoric today and it had the following table of pronounciation: The thing I find confusing about this table is that I pronounce the A in "ask" and "at" ...
2 votes
1 answer
92 views

What is the term for words that were once polite and became impolite?

Sort of the opposite of a euphemism but not exactly -- I am thinking how the word "lady" when used to address an adult, female stranger seems to have a negative connotation as in "...
0 votes
0 answers
79 views

What are the sounds that define the r-controlled vowels?

For all the r-colored vowels like ɑr, ɔr, ɛr, and ɪr, I keep hearing this extra vowel sound in between the vowel and the r. This isn’t the case for ər/ɜr since this just sounds like the r sound to me, ...
4 votes
1 answer
240 views

In English are there any rules to prefer the word order "rock, paper, scissors" to name the game?

Reading some buzzfeed article I saw someone claiming that in their part of the world they say "paper, scissors, rock" As the article mentions, this seems crazy wrong to most Americans and to ...
5 votes
0 answers
107 views

The negative in "Sophie ate all her strawberries and so didn't Amelia"

New England speakers often use a negative form such as so didn't where others would use the positive, as in Sophie ate all her strawberries and so didn't Amelia. Since this usage may confuse a speaker ...
2 votes
1 answer
168 views

What is the best book to learn about the linguistics features of American English (particularly phonology and phonetics) in detail?

I have a fairly good understanding of the IPA, Chain Shifts, variations within dialects but I still have troubles with lots of phonological ideas like devoicing, weird consonantal clusters tongue ...
1 vote
2 answers
200 views

In English the suffix sometimes changes the stress pattern of the rest of the word. Is English the only language with this system?

TELephone, telePHONic, teLEphony. PHOTograph, photoGRAphic,photOgraphy. biOLogy, bioLOGical. The suffix changes the stress pattern of the rest of the word. Is English the only language with this ...
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

Connection between “wiseguy” and the Cantonese slang 古惑仔

"Wiseguy" can mean a made man in the mafia or a smart ass who acts like they are smarter than others. What I find interesting is that the Cantonese/Chinese slang term 古惑仔(Gu Wac Zai) has ...
4 votes
1 answer
14k 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?
3 votes
1 answer
319 views

Does the southern pronunciation of Jenny have a triphthong in it?

You know when Forrest Gump yells Jenny's name and it sounds like "Jenneay". I'm wondering if there actually is a triphthong at the end there, or of it is a figment of my imagination. I ...
1 vote
1 answer
144 views

What are the official names of the various accents in the United States?

What I'm meaning to ask is: What are the technical names for things like the Southern Accent, California accent (or Western, if that's what it is), etc.? I assume that regional accent differences have ...
2 votes
0 answers
88 views

What happened to American Southern Midlands?

About a decade ago discovered the dominant dialect area of my hometown (Tulsa, Oklahoma) was considered to be "(American) Southern Midlands", or "Southern Midlands American English"...
-3 votes
2 answers
149 views

is american English wrong because i heard people said the British is correct? [closed]

i heard that american English is wrong according to British people and people who use non american English? so is British English correct?
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Which online sources provide narrow transcriptions for English?

I've tried a dozen of online English dictionaries, and all of them give broad transcriptions. So it's impossible to tell from them, for example, how many aspirated "p"s there are in "appropriate". ...
1 vote
0 answers
819 views

Aspiration of p, t, k in English

I'm trying to figure out when exactly p, t, k should be aspirated in (American) English. Here's what I found here: Voiceless stops are aspirated at the beginning of a word, and at the beginning ...
26 votes
8 answers
6k views

American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes? (schwa vs. chevron)

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. ...
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Where are some of the biggest freely available English 1 on 1 conversation corpuses that are in plain text preferably?

I'm looking for a free, preferably plain text, 1 on 1 English casual conversation (such as texting back and forth) corpus that requires little to no preprocessing (finding and replacing characters). ...
1 vote
1 answer
83 views

Familiarity with any/innie merger in American English?

It was recently pointed out to me that I pronounce “any” ( and the related anything, anymore, etc.) as /ˈɪn.i/ instead of /ɛn.i/. Does anyone know a regional variation of American English that has ...
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

help with the sounds of words [closed]

when we concentrate on articulars sounds we don't think about how people listening to those sounds. How to decide are rounded or unrounded vowels and which are tense or lax vowels? and what clues are ...
0 votes
0 answers
71 views

Slip of the tongue

Just now, I had a slip of the tongue which resulted in a silly grammatical error. I said "if I had, I would not commented on it". I added "have" afterwards. My question is "do natives make such ...
0 votes
1 answer
140 views

Why did Oftentimes not become standard English outside of the US

I had never heard anyone use "oftentimes" as a word until I watched an American in a youtube video about 5 years ago. I am confident that where I am in Australia and in the UK that it wouldn't be ...
2 votes
2 answers
317 views

Can medial /t/ and /d/ before syllabic /n/ be distinguished easily?

Addendum (0:00am, June 27th, JST): After reading Draconis' answer, I did a little more research and added my findings below the horizontal line. Can medial /t/ and /d/ before syllabic /n/ be easily ...
4 votes
1 answer
204 views

Where does Texan English derive its l-vocalization?

My English teacher grew up in Texas and unsurprisingly her native dialect is Texan English. I noticed that when intervocalic /l/ is followed by /i/, the /l/ is elided and /y/ takes its place. For ...
4 votes
2 answers
541 views

Why did Canadian English remain so close to standard U.S English?

TV Stereotypes about exaggerated Canadian accents not withstanding, to me Canadian English sounds identical to standard U.S English. I can't tell English speaking Canadians from Americans with ...
2 votes
1 answer
176 views

Does anyone have a link to the American Local News Corpus V1.0?

I found a paper http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~anni/papers/alnc_lrec14.pdf that has made this epic text corpus of over 1 billion words available somewhere, but I can't find it anywhere online. The paper says ...
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

In need of a simple book on English phonology - recommendations? [closed]

SPE of Chomsky and Halle entails far more than I can handle.
1 vote
2 answers
185 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
767 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.
4 votes
1 answer
518 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 phonemic inventory. While one may have the most vowels and another the most consonants, I would like to ...
0 votes
1 answer
160 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?
1 vote
1 answer
313 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
184 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
98 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] ?
3 votes
3 answers
511 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:...
1 vote
3 answers
377 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
91 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
317 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
61 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
27 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 ...
16 votes
2 answers
1k 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. ...
-1 votes
2 answers
482 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.
0 votes
0 answers
85 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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
726 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
409 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
182 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 ...