I saw the parenthesized material in a verbal book.

  1. VANGUARD (VAN-gahrd)
  2. ADEPT (uh-DEPT)
  3. SATURATED (SACH-uh-RAY-tid)

I guess the material belongs to a type of marking for pronunciation. Can anyone tell me how to understand this type of marking? Thank you.

  • It's a kind of "eye-dialect" for popular use (as opposed to IPA, as used by linguists and such). With your examples, they're also using CAPITALS to indicate "stressed" syllables (given more emphasis, enunciated more forcefully). Nov 12, 2020 at 16:28

1 Answer 1



The parenthesised sequences of alphabet are called the 'phonetic spellings' of the words. It shows how you would pronounce a particular word. The capitalised parts are the 'stressed' syllables of the words. 'Stress' (or 'accent') is relative emphasis or prominence given to a certain syllable in a word i.e. that syllable is the strong syllable in the word. For example, the first syllable in the word 'English' is stressed—ING-glish.

  • 1
    But of course the word adept can be either a noun or an adjective - and like so many English words, which part of speech the word represents depends on which syllable gets the stress. Nov 12, 2020 at 16:30
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica: That's an important point! However, I explained the example provided by the OP.
    – Void
    Nov 12, 2020 at 16:33
  • Well, there's a bit of a chicken-and-egg issue here. If the example is supposed to help people understand what "eye-dialect" means, it's not exactly helpful to illustrate it with the word adept (which could be either noun = /ˈadɛpt/ or adjective = /əˈdɛpt,ˈ, unless and until you understand how the eye-dialect rendition disambiguates). Nov 12, 2020 at 16:45
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica: Is it better now? I don't know phonetic spelling
    – Void
    Nov 12, 2020 at 16:47
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    Oh! I didn't mean to pressure you into changing your actual answer text (which I thought was fine, so I upvoted as soon as I read it). Just remarking that adept probably wasn't the best choice for an "illustrative" word in OP's (TEFL?) book. But yeah - there's no mistaking where the stress goes in INglish (but I'm in two minds as to whether the capitalised part should include G - I don't know eye-dialect any more than I know IPA! :) Nov 12, 2020 at 17:00

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