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
294 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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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3answers
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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]...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Multimedia materials for pronunciation learning

I randomly found this terrific site that contains a good structured collection of images, animations and videos to show how a sound is articulated in the German, Spanish and American English languages....
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1answer
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Historical pronunciation of words in English

This isn't about sound change in general, but the changes that took place in the pronunciation of individual words. Does such a compilation exist? It would be interesting to know how divergent ...
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1answer
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Bostonian Accent

While I am no linguist I do teach language as an element of culture to my middle-schoolers and as we are located near Boston, the "Pahk the Cah in Havahd Yahd" question often comes up. The kids want ...
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1answer
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Criteria for separating Korean words

The rules for when whitespace is required/permitted in Korean are not obvious, but are not explicitly discussed in any grammars or textbooks I have access to. I can infer this much: Between ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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2answers
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Esperanto Pronunciation jx and gx & c and s

I am looking to see if anyone can help me understand the difference between these similar sounds: ĝ & ĵ (gx & jx) c & s I have been told the gx is like the j in jail or the g in gem &...
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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
515 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/ '...
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3answers
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Same sounds spelled more than one way

Why are there multiple ways for expressing the same sound? In English, for example, you can say "axe" or "aks," or when "c" sounds like "s" like in "face." This phenomenon exists in many different ...
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What is this phenomenon called, and is it the only occurrence?

Usually it's fairly easy to know the spelling of words in Italian, given the very close relation between that and pronunciation. But that's not always true. The word musulmano in Italian (which means ...
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What's going on when I hear people pronounce Georgian “ვ” like “w” instead of like “v” as it always seems to be defined?

The sixth letter of the Georgian alphabet is ვ and all the resources I have describe it as being like English v or IPA [v]. But especially in the common word ნახვამდის (goodbye) the ვ sounds a lot ...
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How exactly do the sounds of Arabic “ﻕ” and Georgian “ყ” differ?

The Arabic letter ﻕ and the Georgian letter ყ are often described as being similar, also they are both transliterated using q. ... the Georgian letter ყ is difficult for most Westerners to ...
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7answers
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If similar phonemes are pronounced the same, will this be difficult to understand for a native speaker?

In French, phonemes like /e/ and /ɛ/ are so similar in sound. In English, phonemes like /o/ and /ɔ/ are so similar too. Briefly, almost any language, contains phonemes which are very similar to each ...
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1answer
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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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3answers
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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 ...
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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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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...

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