There are terms Mahlo cardinal and mahloness used in set theory (a branch of mathematics). These terms originated from the name of Friedrich Paul Mahlo, a German mathematician. I've only ever seen them in print and never actually heard anybody saying them.

So, I'm interested to know how these terms are usually pronounced by mathematicians who are native English speakers. In particular, what exactly sounds correspond to letters ah in Mahlo and on which syllable the stress is placed? The pronunciation written in IPA or a link to an audio/video where I could listen to it would be very helpful. Thanks!

  • 3
    I would say that in mathematics it's fairly common to attempt to preserve the pronunciation in the original language when carrying it to English - e.g., Euler, Gauss - but of course, the difference in commonly used sounds between the languages causes some deterioration in the pronunciation. I would hazard a guess at mä-ˈlō (disclaimer: I don't know IPA; I copied these from mah-jong & hello), but without knowing the German pronunciation - and without having encountered this term before - I can't offer a concrete answer. Perhaps posting in math.SE or MO.SE may be more fruitful.
    – Pockets
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 6:03
  • 3
    It's a German name, so /'maːloː/. Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 11:07
  • Found this: pronouncekiwi.com/Mahlo%20cardinal Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


The IPA is [ˈmɑːlʌw] and rhymes with swallow , at least as pronounced in Standard American English.

  • If you're using rhyme, you should specify a dialect. I highly doubt that it rhymes with swallow as it's pronounced by all speakers in the USA, or in Australia, or the UK.
    – jimsug
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 22:16
  • I purposely chose swallow because it's pronounced the same, or close enough, in all varieties of English, as opposed to my first choice: hollow.
    – CocoPop
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 22:27
  • 3
    I'd say that these elicitations are different, and that using the British pronunciation of swallow would make the name rhyme with "hollow", which I'm sure is not what you want.
    – jimsug
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 22:31

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