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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2answers
167 views

/i:/ as in feet and /i/ as in city

Please explain the difference between /i:/ as in feet and /i/ as in city and very. I presume it sounds the same except that the 2nd one is shorter. Am I right?
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1answer
239 views

Glottal stops- comparative frequency among commonly spoken languages

I'm a brand new member who enjoys words and languages but I am not a trained linguist. Which common languages of the world, and families of languages, are considered the most glottal (most glottal ...
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vowels (unrounded or rounded)

i have a problem with vowels (which are rounded or unrounded vowels). Can you explain how to make a decide which is vowels? And which are tense or lax vowels? Maybe have some rules or instruction or ...
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56 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 ...
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4answers
190 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 ...
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Is American Sign Language phonetic?

In every spoken language I'm aware of, if you read a word you are unfamiliar with, you can generally work out how to pronounce the word from how it's written. You can sound it out. Is this kind of ...
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2answers
204 views

Why are the Egyptian and Hittite versions of Tutankhamun's name different?

The sacred writing of Egyptian king Tutankhamun's throne name is shown belong aside the same name as it appears in a letter written in cuneiform to his majesty from the king of the Hittites. The four ...
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3k views

Phonetic distortion when words are borrowed among languages

When languages borrow words from other languages, they sometimes deliberately distort words to make them phonetically easier to pronounce. For example, when Japanese speakers are taught the word "...
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5answers
698 views

Is voice really the only difference between [s] and [z]?

I have read some time ago that [z] is the voiced counterpart of [s], as [d]-[t], [g]-[k], [b]-[p] and [v]-[f]. For all pairs except the first, I was able to consciously perceive it by starting to ...
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178 views

Why is “convenient” pronounced with a long e?

Why is convenient/ce pronounced with a long e? (Sounds like veen to me) I would expect the ven in convenient to be pronounced as it is in oven , seven, venn diagram, vendor, venison, convent, ...
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109 views

Historical pronunciation of Hindi यह and वह

The Hindi 3rd person singular proximal and distal pronouns यह and वह are commonly pronounced [jeː] and [ʋoː], in contrast to the [hyper-correct?] pronunciations [jəɦ(ə)] and [ʋəɦ(ə)] one might expect ...
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1answer
166 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 ...
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1answer
438 views

Can someone explain the English 'W' sound?

I have found out that the English letter 'W', as in the word "weep", is classified as a voiced labiovelar approximant. To quote Wikipedia: Its place of articulation is labialized velar, which means ...
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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 ...
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How did שְׁלֹמֹה (shlomo) become Solomon?

According to Wiktionary, שלמה (pronounced /ʃloˈmo/ in Modern Hebrew) is the Hebrew version of Solomon. The pronunciation seems to follow reasonably well from the spelling, and as far as I can tell, it ...
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1answer
171 views

Are semivowels pronounced differently than vowels?

A vowel is a sound generated by an open vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords and without friction. A consonant is every sound that is not a vowel. These two concepts are very simple and ...
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145 views

minimal pairs for Portuguese

Does anyone know of a list of minimal pairs for pronunciation, preferably with audio files? So far the best I have found https://european-portuguese.info/minimalpairs but this is specific to European. ...
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3answers
673 views

Is the distinction between phoneme and allophone useful in language learning?

IPA purpose seems straightforward to me: map all the known ways to produce sounds using the mouth to symbols and, for a specific language standard/dialect, map the possible sounds of it to these ...
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1answer
849 views

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) words with IPA

Are there any resources that can show IPA pronounciation for each PIE word? Either with laryngeals or without laryngeals? Wikitionary gives me only small list Category:Proto-Indo-European terms with ...
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2answers
393 views

from ekwos to ippo : transition from kw to p in greek

I can't understand how the transition from kappa-digamma to pi-pi happened in the transition from ekwos (same etymology as latin equus) to ippo. I mean how did the prononciation change ? Because is ...
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1answer
91 views

Italian Pronunciation Lost in Translation or regional language difference?

Sometimes the "c" such as in Tortorice and Celente are pronounced as "s" which is not according Italian rules. Why?
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1answer
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Why do we write read for both present and past tense, but we pronounce them differently? [duplicate]

read verb \ ˈrēd \ read\ ˈred \ The words have the same spelling, but they are pronounced differently, and one of the words is pronounced exactly the same as a color’s name, “red,” yet its ...
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How does the Sankt Goar isogloss work?

The Sankt Goar line crosses the german town of Sankt Goar and separates the dialects that have t in words like wat and dat and the dialects that have s in the corresponding words was and das. Is this ...
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1answer
93 views

What is the term for the pronunciation change that occurs with overuse of a phrase or noun phrase?

I've noticed that when a phrase (particularly, a multi-word name) is used often, the way it's said changes slightly. For example, when talking about the television show "The Good Place", the way the ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
67 views

Does a surgery on your short tongue give you benefits on gaining the correct pronunciation in L2?

Sometimes I heard that L2 language learners make a surgery on their tongue in order to gain better pronunciation. Example: http://saundz.com/south-korea-tongue-operations-for-better-english-...
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598 views

Is wikipedia wrong when it speaks of the hebrew shwa not being pronounced ə?

Is wikipedia wrong when it suggests that the hebrew schwa/shva has never been pronounced as 'ə'? Looking at these two wikipedia links https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwa "The word schwa is from the ...
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4answers
920 views

Cause: [z] --> [s] at the end

Someone said that there is a sound beginning [z], turning into [s] at the end of words like cause. Maybe, this is just a recommendation on how to pronounce English consonants correctly, but if it is ...
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3answers
203 views

Why are two versions of a word written in the same IPA pronounced differently?

My question is to be applied on any language; why do I find for instance two versions of the same word written in the same IPA symbols pronounced differently, in case of different accents for example. ...
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5answers
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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
488 views

How are the palatal approximant and palatalization different in Slavic languages?

Russians seem to feel (e.g. the answers and comments to this question or this question or this one) that there is a large difference between sounds produced via palatalization (via interaction with ...
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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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1answer
164 views

Why is ⟨Г⟩ in Belarusian commonly Anglicised as ⟨h⟩, not ⟨g⟩?

The Cyrillic letter Ge (Г) is often Anglicised as ⟨g⟩. However, this depends on its pronunciation within each source language. Ge in Ukrainian is closest to the English /h/, and is therefore ...
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Online collection of the world languages' melodic patterns?

Every language has some very typical melodic patterns and I've been wondering is there some sort of a global repository collecting and comparing such patterns?
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1answer
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Why do I speak more accurately in English rather than my native language?

I have a diction/vocal issue from birth so I can not speak on the "right rhythm" of my tongue. My speech seems always slow and boring at my native language so that I have a huge difficult to verbally ...
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1answer
174 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 ...
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1answer
770 views

What the palatalized [ʲ] means

So I'm pretty sure I understand labialized [ʷ] and some of the other superscripts, but I don't fully understand palatalized [ʲ]. An example of palatalized is Abkhaz, Selkup, Bulgarian, and Yanesha. ...
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1answer
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How to do the Xhosa clicks

So this video explains clearly how to do the 3 Xhosa clicks at the same time as each vowel sound. The Wikipedia page also shows clearly how to produce those 3 clicks as well, independent of any vowel ...
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Why hebrew אמא pronounciation vary from the logic of אבא pronouciation?

Why does the pronunciation of 'ABA' ( אבא ) is straightforward, while the pronunciation of 'IMA' ( אמא ) is not ? Shouldn't it be pronunciated 'AMA' instead of 'IMA' ?
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Types of “stress” in language

Wondering what are all the different kinds of "stress" (so to speak) in any language. I just found out about Prosodic Stress which is pretty cool. I didn't take the test yesterday. (Somebody else ...
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5answers
990 views

Algorithm for figuring out the pronunciation of a word

Wondering how we pronounce words. I feel like I learned this when I was a kid in school with all the language rules, but now I can't remember. I am trying to think about how we pronounce words. How ...
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306 views

Detailed “quality” of /ð/

I've been learning and using English since I was 10. I have always been more or less aware of the /θ/ sound, but it wasn't until I got interested in IPA notation, when I realized English contrasts /ð/ ...
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2answers
149 views

Do Scandinavian languages have liaisons?

According to Wikipedia, Liaison (French pronunciation: ​[ljɛ.zɔ̃]) is the pronunciation of a latent word-final consonant immediately before a following vowel sound. Scandinavian languages like ...
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2answers
2k views

Arabic /R/ - correct pronunciation in Modern Standard Arabic

Arabic has many dialects, but in general the /R/ in Modern Standard Arabic is an alveolar trill (or is it not?) - like the Spanish perro - according to Wikipedia and it is also what I have heard from ...
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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 ...
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1answer
123 views

“split into” — putting the stress on the right syllable

I heard a non-native speaker of English saying something would be "split into". After a fraction of a second I realized that what was intended was "split in two". The difference appears to be that ...
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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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1answer
243 views

When does the “dark l” sound in English date back to?

There is no "dark l" sound in Proto-Germanic language and Proto-Indo-European language.
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4answers
874 views

What was the original pronunciation of 'ä' in German?

I always learnt it was pronounced the same as how 'e' is usually pronounced in German (in either its short or long forms respectively). But then the question is: why have a different letter for it? ...
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1answer
110 views

Is there vowel harmony in the way to pronounce re-?

Example: I noticed yesterday that in 'reheat' it is pronounced /i/ but in 'recollect' it is pronounced more like /ɛ/.