Questions tagged [phonetics]

For questions about the sounds that make up the English language. If your question is about how to pronounce a certain word, use the [pronunciation] tag instead.

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Aspirated voiceless plosives after consonants at the end of words

It is my understanding that: Voiceless stops are aspirated at the beginning of a word, and at the beginning of a stressed syllable. Voiceless stops are unaspirated at the beginning of an unstressed ...
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1 answer
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How to use the IPA chart?

I've studied in English medium institutions all my life. However, now I'd like to brush up my intonation and pronunciation well before an IELTS exam. I've got the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)...
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1 answer
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Are there more than 44 phonemes in English?

I was using English words to teach Malayalam consonants when I noticed that Malayalam has separate characters for the alveolar and retroflex versions of the same consonant. But I also noticed that ...
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2 answers
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Is there a difference between the pronunciation in UK and the US for words with the same phonemes?

The word "run" has the same phonemes in the UK and US, but, when I heard their pronunciations from Cambridge Dictionary, I heard a great difference between both of them. I want to know: Do ...
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2 answers
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Does a voiceless consonant always become voiced when between 2 vowels?

In American English, it seems when a voiceless consonant is between 2 vowels, it usually becomes voiced. For example, the "t"s in "bottle" and "water" are pronounced as &...
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1 answer
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Phonemic vs. phonetic notation: /m/ in mass vs. symphony

Dictionaries such as ldoceonline.com use a phonemic notation for the two words spelled: mass and symphony, i.e. /mæs/ vs /ˈsɪmfəni/ But this is hardly the whole story: to me (a non-native) the two ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is the PER in Experience pronounced PEER or PIR? [duplicate]

In some dictionaries, the second i sound in experience is a short ɪ, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English /ɪkˈspɪriəns/ Merriam-Webster \ ik-'spir-ē-ən(t)s \ But googling "pronounce ...
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2 answers
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Can the "ee" sound be pronounced as "ay" in songs

I always though that sometimes in songs, words like "me" were sometimes pronounced like "may", as in the month, but I was never a 100% sure and thought it could just be my ears not ...
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0 answers
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Where do i put the suprasegmental to indicate the stressed syllable when transcribing in phonetics ipa

In the words: union, /ˈjunjən/ discussion /dɪˈskʌʃən/ banana /bəˈnænə/ puppet /ˈpʌpət/ and entertainment /ˌɛntərˈteɪnmənt/ when transcribed where do I put the suprasegmental ' to indicate the ...
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Have difficulty in pronouncing /g/

I noticed myself have this problem recently. When I pronounce /g/, I get a result like a mix of /g/ and /d/, is there any suggestions on how to train and improve this point? I can hear the sound ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Phonetics issues when linking the (th) sound with other consonant sounds

I can't link the end of the first word with the start of the second word in the examples below. For example, when trying to pronounce [this thing], my tongue tends to pronounce the (th) in (thing) as ...
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2 answers
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Which of the two different pronunciations of /z/ is correct?

When I was learning the English phonemes, I noticed that the phoneme represented by /z/ was pronounced significantly differently in the two tutorials I had purchased. I had thought that maybe one of ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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final letter "y", following a vowel, yet representing another syllable

Is there a word in English, in which the final letter "y", while following a vowel, would represent another syllable? For example, in the words "worry", "story", "...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Pronunciation of ‘deduce’ as duh-DOOS

When I look up some dictionaries, the pronunciation of the word 'deduce' is /dɪˈduːs/, but it is pronounced as duh·doos ([dəˈduːs]). Is there a rule when to pronounce the vowel /ɪ/ like that?
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3 answers
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Do native English speakers pronounce every final letter when speaking fast? [closed]

I came across situations where it looks like they don't pronounce the final letter of every word in a sentence? Personally, I feel that skipping the final letter somehow seems beautiful? What is the ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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Why 'TEFL" is pronounced with Schwa /tef.əl/ although it's an abbreviation? [closed]

Why 'TEFL" is pronounced with Schwa /tef.əl/ although it's an abbreviation? What is the logic behind this of insertion a schwa sound?
-1 votes
1 answer
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"Constructor" pronunciation debate [closed]

I have a debate with my friend on the pronunciation of “constructor” word that he claims there cannot be a pronunciation which is of IPA phonetic as following unlike mine that /ˈkɑn.stɹʌktəɹ/ of which ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does /ŋz/ at the end of the word sound [ŋgs] with a hard 'g'?

The combination ŋ + -s in words like things, songs, sings etc. Is there a hard 'g' sound between ŋ and the -s (/z/)?
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0 answers
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Does /eɪ/ sound make a slight 'y' sound in the word "DAY"?

I am really confused with this sound /eɪ/ It seems that it has a /j/ or 'aaaay' sound when it is at the end of the word like: Day - /deɪ/ pray - /preɪ/ Also with words like Played Some people (non-...
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1 answer
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What is the difference between /ɔ/ and /ɑ:/? [duplicate]

Why they write the word 'Call' as /kɑːl/ (Cambridge) And some others, they write it like /kɔl/ (Collins) So, are they the same in American English?
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2 answers
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can vs can't distinction, and can't followed by a vowel sound

Edit: I am talking about American English, particularly the one spoken in the Western United States I understood from this post that there are mainly these ways to distinguish between the two: the -...
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10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why do we write /-ɪŋ/ instead of /-iŋ/?

When pronouncing words like "thing", "sing", or any word ending in -ing, I say it and have heard it as "eeng", which would be transcribed as /iŋ/. However, every ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can a sound or phoneme be an affix?

I was thinking that a sound or phoneme might go on, after, or before a word like the sound 'oh' going after the word 'that' or 'game' which might make the words 'thatoh' or 'gameoh' So I thought or ...
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0 answers
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Assimilation of /v/ followed by /f/

How do English speakers pronounce "I've found"? Is it pronounced like /aiv faʊnd/ or /aif faʊnd/?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Pronunciation of 'pronunciation' with an intrusive T

According to the dictionaries, pronunciation is pronounced pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhn. However, do native English speakers really say [see] instead of [tsee] even when talking fast? For instance, I hear [...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to pronounce "used the" in the USA?

He changed the music style to fit trend and used the media as his new tragedy This above a line from a movie but what I heard instead of 'used the' was like 'use the'. So I wonder what's the right ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Segmental -> [sɛɡ|mɛnt"ə"l] Can I omit the "/ə/" sound?

segmental [sɛɡ|mɛntəl] Can I omit the /ə/ sound? Due to another dictionary's pronunciation [seɡˈmentl]
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1 vote
2 answers
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Are the phonemes [i] and [i:] "allophones" of the phoneme [ɪ] in General American?

Are the phonemes [i] and [iː] "allophones" of the phoneme [ɪ] in General American? Why does the phoneme [ɪ] sound like [i] or [iː] in some words? Example words: it x sink. The phoneme [ɪ] ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Why are there three pronunciations for the plural "-s"?

I know all the pronunciation rules for the plural -s endings. After a voiced sound, it is z, after an unvoiced one it is s, after s, sh, ch it is iz. In phonetic notation, respectively, /z/, /s/, /ɪz/....
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0 votes
1 answer
112 views

Why would the word "hooked" end with a "t" sound?

On the Cambridge dictionary website, if you search "hooked", the US IPA given is /hʊkt/. and if you click the audio button, it does indeed end with a "t" sound, I know the spelling ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does the word "discharge" sound more like /dɪstʃɑːʳdʒ/ or /dɪsdʒɑːʳdʒ/?

Does the word discharge sound more like /dɪstʃɑːʳdʒ/ or /dɪsdʒɑːʳdʒ/? How about exchange or disproportion? Do they sound more like /ɪkstʃeɪndʒ/ or /ɪksdʒeɪndʒ/? /dɪsprəpɔːʳʃən/ or /dɪsbrəpɔːʳʃən/? I ...
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is "threepenny" pronounced as THREP.NI?

First of all, "threepenny" is a British word meaning "costing or worth three pence". It's quite an uncommon word. If you haven't heard it before, I'm pretty sure you would ...
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3 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to pronounce "changed"?

When pronouncing the word changed, how to do that? It is giving me a hard time because of the G and D part. It is so difficult to pronounce. Can I skip the G and pronounce chaned or what is the ...
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42 votes
3 answers
26k views

Why is "iron" pronounced "EYE-URN" but not "EYE-RUN"?

I just noticed that the word iron is pronounced EYE-URN in standard Englishes instead of what the spelling suggests. I have always been pronouncing it "EYE-RUN" but I just checked its ...
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0 votes
2 answers
94 views

What are the subtle differences between all these phonemes regarding the letter or sound "a"?

I'm a Spanish native speaker and to me, all these phonemes sound quite similar. What are the little details that make these sounds different?
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3 answers
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On the meaning of YgUDuh by E.E. Cummings

I'm currently trying to understand E.E. Cummings Poem "YgUDuh": ygUDuh ydoan yunnuhstan ydoan o yunnuhstand dem yguduh ged yunnuhstan dem doidee yguduh ged riduh ydoan o nudn LISN bud LISN ...
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36 votes
4 answers
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Why is the t in "often" silent?

Cambridge online dictionary pronounces "often" without the "t" but also gives the pronunciation with the t. I checked in many other dictionaries but it is silent. UK: /ˈɒf.ən/ /ˈɒf....
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1 vote
1 answer
189 views

Are /s/ and /z/ really distinguishable at the end of a word?

I know /z/ is voiced and /s/ is not, but many times I heard /s/ when it should be /z/. For example, the word "yours", according to IPA, should be pronounced yourz /jɔːz/, but I almost always ...
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3 votes
2 answers
114 views

How to pronounce the "n" in "wasn't really..." fast?

When people say "wasn't really" really fast, does the tongue position for /n/ in "wasn't" exactly the same as an usual /n/? (like in this description.) I ask this question because ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Pronunciation of past participles of words that end with 'thed' (e.g. bathed)

How does one pronounce past participles in -thed, such as "clothed" and "bathed" in British English? Are there more than one correct pronunciation? A Cambridge dictionary said [-ðd]...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Which one is correct–ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒɪz or ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒɪs?

To me, it is expected to get /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒɪz/ for languages in the phonemic transcription though the last consonant is completely voiceless in the pronunciation of the speakers here. You can check it by ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does a following consonant cancel the preceding consonant?

According to a tutorial, we can link /d/ to /t/ or /t/ to /d/ in speech, for example, I need two kilos of shrimp. the /t/ sound in "two" cancels the /d/ sound in "need". She ...
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4 votes
1 answer
168 views

Expressing potayto-potahto, tomayto-tomahto correctly in writing

There's a saying expressing that the presented concepts are distinct without a difference. It's based on the pronunciation of potato and tomato. How would one go about writing that differnece in an ...
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1 answer
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How to tell the stress of a word and what do commas mean in IPA?

/ˌmiːdɪˈəʊkə/, /ˈmiːdɪˌəʊkə/ These two pronunciations differ only by apostrophe and comma. What do these signs mean and where can I listen to this difference? And another question about IPA - how can ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Teacher pronunciations — /ˈtiː.tʃə(r)/ and /ˈtiː.tʃɚ/

Why Cambridge English dictionary gives two pronunciations for "teacher" and Lexico gives only one? Teacher (CED): /ˈtiː.tʃər/ and /ˈtiː.tʃɚ/ Teacher (Lexico): Only /ˈtiːtʃə/ Does teacher ...
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is "don't you" pronounced "dontcha"?

When I watch movies sometimes I feel the pronunciation for don't is not /dəʊnt/ or /doʊnt/, instead it's something similar to /doʊntʃ/. For instance here: Don't you see I wonder is this something ...
0 votes
1 answer
534 views

Is the '/r/' sound 'alveolar' or 'palatal' or 'retroflex'? [closed]

In phonetic classification, Is the '/r/' sound 'alveolar' or 'palatal' or 'retroflex'?
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Which phonetic alphabet represents the this sound?

Which phonetic alphabets represents the sound of 'u' in words like 'truck'? My real name includes written 'sam' but it is read as 'sum'. So I want to know what could I write between s _ m to make it ...
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0 votes
2 answers
64 views

Is the word "Violet" sibilant?

I'm arguing with a guy about this. He says the T at the end is sibilant, and he pronounces it as "violets" I don't know English grammar well enough to be certain, but from my Googling, it doesn't ...
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The reading of the word

I'm interested in the next information. Is it possible to read the word 'via' ['vaɪə] like a latin variant ['vɪə] in English?
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