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16 votes

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

This is a well-written argument, but I think it's mistaken to conclude that they are the same phoneme; or, more to the point, I think this is a case that highlights a limit of phoneme/allophone ...
hunter's user avatar
  • 792
15 votes

Why isn't the American r considered a vowel?

Many phonologists do consider "r" in "girl" to be a vowel, I being one. There are many reasons for people to consider it to not be a vowel. First, in "rabbit", nobody ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
8 votes

What is the origin of counting "Mississippis"?

This style of counting is often used when the one counting aloud is in an adversarial relationship to other listeners. The addition of the "filler" word is, no doubt, at the request of the adversary ...
Mark D's user avatar
  • 446
8 votes

AmE feature related to American multiculturalism?

As a literal and general claim, I doubt the accuracy of that statement for any native speaker (words like family, camera, potato, supposed contain syllables that are frequently subject to elision in ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
7 votes

What is the story behind the pronunciation of Logic?

PIE isn't particularly relevant, because logic is a borrowed word, not a word that has been transmitted to English by inheritance from PIE. The Oxford English Dictionary's earliest citation for the ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
7 votes
Accepted

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

In Russian, the sequence is “rock, scissors, paper”: камень, ножницы, бумага (kámen’, nóžnitsy, bumága). The most obvious reason for this very sequence is that it makes a trochaic tetrameter verse,...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
7 votes
Accepted

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

Pejoration is when a once-neutral word picks up negative connotations over time. A word that is marked by its negative connotations can be called a dysphemism, as in the opposite of a euphemism. But I'...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
7 votes

The A sound in Ask and At

This is a difficulty with many English-specific transcription systems: they explain the notation using the author's particular dialect, but English dialects vary enormously in pronunciation. Americans ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
7 votes

Unexplained /ɪl/ /ɛl/ phenomenon in American English

"Ellinois-lowering" is not idiosyncratic, and it is or has been a feature of northern Illinois and southern "Wesconsin" (at least), though not a downtown Chicago feature. The ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
6 votes

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

[ə] and [ʌ] are allophones of a single phoneme. Schwa appears in an unstressed syllable and wedge appears in a stressed syllable. Because of this complementarity, it is not possible to find minimal ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
6 votes

American English speakers needing subtitles more often

My guess is that this is not a matter of the language, but rather of the sound quality. Most films come with the original audio in (American) English where the actors speak right during the acting ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
6 votes

Minimal Pairs Highlighting the Difference between American and British English

The problem is that "minimal pair" refers to two distinct words in one language signified by the choice of one vs. another sound. So minimal pairs are not what you want. You want a list of "same word"...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Does English have syllabic fricatives (allophonically)?

It is well documented that a schwa can be very reduced, and significantly decreased in duration so that it is under 20 msc. The amplitude of the vowel is significantly greater than that of preceding [...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
5 votes
Accepted

proper terms for tipper and dipper S articulation

The technical terms in articulatory phonetics for "tipper" and "dipper" are apical and laminal. They are both voiceless alveolar fricatives (IPA: [s]), but since "alveolar" only describes the passive ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,951
5 votes

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

Your question doesn't really have an answer. For me, there is a contrast between the weak form of just meaning recently, /dʒəst/, and the word just meaning fair, /dʒʌst/. I use the weak form of just ...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

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

Phonetically, I would say no. Here's a plot of this final vowel (taken from about 12.75 seconds into the linked video). It's not a great plot, since the recording quality I'm using isn't great, but ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
5 votes

The A sound in Ask and At

The presence of ask in the pronunciation key in question is either accounting for accents of both Northern and Southern England, where the word has the same vowel as at and arm, respectively, simply ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,951
5 votes

Do sentences have primary and secondary stresses?

No, this is a common misconception. When considering languages like English, it's a good idea to distinguish from the outset concepts such as 'stress' (in connected speech), 'accent', and 'nucleus' (...
Araucaria - him's user avatar
4 votes

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

For a minimal pair to contrast /ə/ and /ʌ/, how about: "subversion" meaning an act of subverting, and "subversion" as in version 1 subversion 1.2.
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 602
4 votes

What is the pronunciation of English word "feeling" in General American accent? The normal sound [ˈfilɪŋ] or add the "l" sound, [ˈfiɫ lɪŋ]?

The thing you call "double l" is more generally known as "dark l", and this topic has been researched (inconclusively) for decades. The classic study of the question is Sproat & Fujimura 1993 "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
4 votes

The ate-eight split?

In England the “Received Pronunciation” (RP) of “ate” is [ɛt], so it is not the same as “eight” [eit]. But the difference that you make, and that you perceive, is clearly based on the orthography: ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 24.3k
4 votes

The ate-eight split?

There are obscure British accents where words spelled with eigh like eight can have a different vowel from words spelled with "long a" like late or words spelled with ay/ai/ey/ei. This is not ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
4 votes

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

There was a large amount of movement of people back and forth across the international border while the US and Canada were being settled. Such movement tends to homogenize the dialects. Evidence for ...
Dan Tilque's user avatar
4 votes

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

In most dialects of American English, medial /t/ and /d/ are indistinguishable in most environments: both are realized as [ɾ]. Before a syllabic /n̩/, however, they remain distinct: /t/ becomes ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
4 votes

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

Both are dialects of the same language. It's impossible to establish which one is 'correct' scientifically. That's a matter of taste. The Received Pronunciation (a.k.a. standard British English) tends ...
Werner's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes

In spoken English, is there a clear preference for using contractions?

There is a clear dispreference for using contractions in term papers and journal publications, and a clear preference for using 'em in ordinary conversation. There's an extremely strong dispreference ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
3 votes

What is the story behind the pronunciation of Logic?

In multiple languages, including French, Old English, and Italian, /ɡ/ generally palatalizes to [dʒ] before a high vowel or palatal sound. This is where the "soft G" in English comes from. In this ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
3 votes

American English speakers needing subtitles more often

your America friends are having fun with you. Nobody does this, unless they have hearing problems, the soundtrack is muddy, or they're in a noisy environment like a bar. native speakers of American ...
mobileink's user avatar
  • 437
3 votes

Why is the word "Puyallup" difficult for most English speakers to pronounce?

Do you mean hard to pronounce after hearing how it's pronounced or after just seeing it written? If the latter, I must say as a Brit who's never seen that name before, I wonder how to break the word ...
David Garner's user avatar
3 votes

What is the cause of difference between British and American pronunciation?

Phonetic changes ("sound changes") are generally arbitrary (or done under the influence of other languages, but we'll just say arbitrary for now, at least on the surface, and definitely for our needs ...
Darkgamma's user avatar
  • 1,427

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