Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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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14
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3answers
6k 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 ...
11
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5answers
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In Turkish, how exactly does “ğ” affect the vowel it follows?

In Standard Turkish, "ğ" is explained as having no sound of its own but instead lengthens the previous vowel. So would "aa" and "ağ" sound alike? What about "â" and "ağa"? Can there sometimes be ...
13
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4answers
2k 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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6answers
3k views

Is there a voiced-unvoiced pair for R or L in any language?

Voiced and unvoiced consonant pairs exist for /z/ and /s/, /g/ and /k/, /b/ and /p/, and many others. But I've never heard it for /ɹ/ or /l/. I think it's totally possible to use the vocal cords for ...
7
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3answers
818 views

Do Linguists pronounce PIE roots

I'm assuming the original pronunciation of words in Proto-Indo-European is unknown. How do linguists talk about the reconstructed roots, do they just assume sounds close enough to english or do they ...
5
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3answers
1k views

What is the phonetic reason for the occurence Sun and Moon letters in Arabic?

In Arabic, letters (or more accurately phonemes) are categroised into two categories: Sun letter and Moon letter in regard to what happen if we add Al (the) to them. Moon letters don't cause any ...
5
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1answer
503 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/ '...
6
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1answer
306 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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2answers
180 views

Some questions on how I pronounce “l” [closed]

I hope you can help as I'm teaching English overseas and I want to teach the standard pronunciation to students. I have a South African accent but I am starting to get paranoid and wonder if I ...
69
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12answers
23k 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 ...
11
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6answers
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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 ...
17
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4answers
15k 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 ...
16
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3answers
3k 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 ...
8
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6answers
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Is the sound “ř” unique to Czech?

Czech has special sound which to me seems to be a voiced trilled r. It is written as "ř". Wikipedia describes it a different way: A raised alveolar trill, and uses the IPA notation [r̝]. Czech ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Where can I find a vowel analyzer app or program?

I'm looking for a smartphone app or computer program that will listen to me pronouncing a vowel and will tell me where exactly the vowel is located in the IPA vowel chart. Does anyone know of apps or ...
4
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1answer
453 views

Is /ɡ/ Germanic and /dʒ/ French in English ge-/gi- words?

I've recently noticed that in English words starting with "ge-" or "gi-", when the "g" is pronounced /ɡ/, they tend to be etymologically Germanic, while the words where the "g" is pronounced /dʒ/ tend ...
4
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4answers
247 views

Are there drawbacks for a language where every word starts with a consonant and ends with a vowel?

Would it be harder to pronounce or would it hinder the flow of speech? Would it make it harder to recognize where a word stops and where the next starts?
3
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2answers
15k views

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

In class last week we were looking at pronunciation ... and something caught me out. Why are some words spelt very similar to multiple others, yet pronounced so differently? Is it because of their ...
3
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1answer
158 views

N vs L in South Asian Languages

A little background first. My parents were debating whether lemon in bengali was pronounced nebu or lebu. So, I decided to do some research into this and found that in many South Asian languages words ...
2
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2answers
580 views

Trying to make sense of “…but voiced obstruents are not always voiced”

I came across the following phrase in a description of German pronunciation: The basic rule is that voiceless obstruents are always voiceless, but voiced obstruents are not always voiced. ...which ...
6
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3answers
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Dark L vs L Vocalisation

I am a bit confused about this. Question: Is this the main difference between L-vocalization and the Dark L? Vocalised L - The tip of the tongue DOES NOT touch the roof of the mouth. Dark L - The ...
3
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2answers
569 views

Ending a word in a stressed “h”

I am a native English speaker, and as far as I know, my language has no words that end in a stressed h sound. So, I'm creating a conlang, and I thought about putting one at the end of a word, but I ...
3
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3answers
578 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 ...
3
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1answer
167 views

Good audio resources for the ejective consonants

I think I understand the ejective consonants, but even after listening to the Wikipedia audio clips, I am not sure I would be able to distinguish them from the corresponding "regular" consonant, like ...
2
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1answer
193 views

Are Lana's “Yup!”s triphthongs?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Anunasika(Chandrabindu) in Vowels (Sanskrit)

Someone said Anunasika is like trying to say something entirely in nasal voice. So let’s say I want to pronounce a vowel ‘U’kara with Chandrabindu on top of it. I know it’s should be completely a ...
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4answers
298 views

Languages where numbers are read out in a mixed-up fashion

The German number system has the peculiarity that the ones are read out before the tens. For example: 634542 = Sechshundertvierunddreißigtausendfünfhundertvzweiundvierzig = "six hundred four-...
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4answers
184 views

Where can I find a list of pronunciation rules for different languages?

I'm finding stuff like this in every language, but it's all written in sentence form scattered all over the place. Is there a central database of this sort of stuff for each language, or a book of ...