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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69 views

Stress in negative words and flap “d” in “don't”

I've learned that negative words like can't or don't are stressed in sentences. However, I've heard native speakers pronouncing phrases like I don't understand what's going on here, where don't is ...
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135 views

Does “d” weaken when it comes after “g” in word final position? [closed]

For example, in normal conversation, in words like engaged or encouraged, I notice that the d sounds really weak (almost unvoiced), especially when it comes before another consonant--as in We're very, ...
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920 views

Irregular penultimate stress in English words from classical sources

Wikipedia says about stress in Latinate English words: In words of three or more syllables, stress falls either on the penult or the antepenult (third from the end), according to these criteria: If ...
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866 views

What's the reason behind the “silent n”?

My impression is that the concept of a silent "n" is quite common in many different languages/linguistic families . What is the reason that the "silent n" is so common in language as opposed to other ...
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Could you tell which pictures, which depict how the vowel chart is positioned inside our mouth, are accurate?

Ok, we all know that the vowel chart diagram is drawn like this Wikipedia Ok, that is the model, but how the vowel chart is positioned inside our mouth or how the tongue in the reality is placed ...
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133 views

How do silent letters emphasise the syllable in 'physics'? [closed]

[Source:] Silent letters may help to put weight on a certain syllable, telling the reader to put more stress on the syllable (Compare physics to physiques). [...] In English, the IPA for 'physics' is ...
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747 views

How Mistakes in Pronunciation Happen for native Germans speaking English

In German the sound of 'w' in the English word "wallet" does not exist. As a result, it is difficult for native German speakers to speak it any indeed many say "vallet" instead, which is the typical ...
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1answer
4k views

Why is 'antipode' not pronounced like 'antipodes' without the final 's'? [closed]

After I verified the pronunciation of 'antipode' (/ˈantɪpəʊd/ ), I inexplicably decided to verify separately the pronunciation of 'antipodes ' (/anˈtɪpədiːz/ ) This twofold verification emerged ...
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0answers
160 views

Schwa syncope in “hundred”

My girlfriend noticed that I say when I pronounce a word like 'hundred' it sounds like I'm deleting the schwa sound in the final syllable and pronouncing the word mroe like, "hundrd". Does this fall ...
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Confused about vowel diagram (Vowel chart)! Can you clarify & explain how to read it?

Ok, here is the English vowel chart: I'm really confused, what do "front" "central", "back", "close(high)", "close-mid", "open-mid", "open (low)" mean? Ok, Here is what I understood, please correct ...
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Does changing the writing system for a language change the language?

Some languages change what writing system they use. For example, Old English used to use Anglo-Saxon runes but eventually used the Latin alphabet, and Mongolian in Mongolia uses the Mongolian Cyrillic ...
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222 views

The sound /Ur/ in English

I read in a book that there is a stressed version as well as an unstressed version of the sound "ər" The stressed one usually look like "ɜr" in dictionaries: hurt /'hɜrt/ her /'hɜr/ and the ...
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1answer
566 views

How do you learn how to pronounce names?

I want to learn to pronounce names without looking like an idiot. This includes having the ability to look at a name and discern its nationality, or looking at the pronunciation of a word (like as ...
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2answers
256 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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609 views

Phonology vs phonetics : /ʁɔz/ vs [ʁoz]

It's written on French Wikipedia that the noun “rose” is represented in phonology by /ʁɔz/ whereas Wiktionary is claiming that it should be /ʁoz/. In both case, the associated representation in common ...
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3answers
543 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
315 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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614 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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117 views

Oldest words for the seasons for which we have a confirmed pronunciation?

I'm aware that this is possibly very difficult to answer. What are the oldest known words for the seasons (as major, multi-month divisions of the year) for which we have reasonable scholarly assurance ...
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1answer
110 views

How to determine and listen to rarer pronunciations?

http://the-toast.net/2014/03/19/a-linguist-explains-british-accents-of-yore/2/ http://entertainment.time.com/2013/09/20/shakespeare-the-way-it-was-meant-to-be-spoken/ Corroborate the necessity of ...
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1answer
4k views

Why is “Shanghai” pronounced the way it is in English?

Most English-language news sources and people in America pronounce the name of the city (上海) with a long a sound as in "way" within the "shang (上)" syllable, but it's not pronounced that way in ...
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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?
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919 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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297 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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630 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
93 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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55 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
148 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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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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260 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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379 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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567 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 aspirates,...
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449 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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554 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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435 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
117 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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390 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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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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145 views

Pronunciation Dictionary for Portuguese

Is there any comprehensive pronunciation dictionary for Portoguese language like CMU dictionary for English? Thanks.
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291 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
485 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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434 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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2k 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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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 /c,...
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227 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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323 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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167 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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422 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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775 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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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 nasalized [ɑː]...