Questions tagged [phonology]

For questions about English speech sounds, particularly English phonetics and phonemes.

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English phonology II

In response to the answers I've received for the question I asked, I want to know one more thing: [A letter which is not pronounced is called silent, such as 'l' in "talk". Two vowels occurring ...
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0answers
31 views

IPA natural classes, what makes a natural class?

What makes a natural class in phonology? Can we consider [k, x, q,χ] a natural class in phonology? I think it can because they are all dorsals. Is that true?
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0answers
40 views

What are the key phonetic differences between British English and Australian English?

Due to historic reasons, they are somewhat similar (for example, both British and Australian speakers usually pronounce 'a' in words like 'hat' as [a] instead of [æ] as Americans would do). However, ...
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1answer
31 views

French letters in English

The English language has a great amount of borrowings from French. But why aren't such letters as "ç"(façade) and "é"(café, protégé) changed if they don't exist in the English alphabet and there are "...
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2answers
36 views

Is this sentence ambiguous? 'Tom left directions for Sam to follow.'

I know that some sentences can have different meanings when speaking them with different intonations. But in this sentence, 'Tom left directions for Sam to follow', could have different meaning? ...
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1answer
37 views

What is the meaning of suprasegmental phoneme?

What is the meaning of suprasegmental phoneme? Is it related to suprasegmental features? If it is a kind of phoneme, what characteristics it owns?
6
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1answer
297 views

Anyone succeeded to teach/recognize the difference in L and R listening wise?

I'm Japanese clueless about the difference in between the sound of L and R in the most case. I thought I should just give up, but it's too much obstacle to just ignore. (It's painful to remember ...
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1answer
87 views

Pronunciation in British v. American English

Why are words like privacy pronounced like ˈprɪv.ə.si in British and ˈpraɪ.və.si in American (short vowel in the first case, long in the latter one)? I read that determining whether a vowel is short ...
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2answers
186 views

The pronunciation of /t/ in British and American English

I am a non-native learner of English. This is the "yod-dropping" issue, when it comes to pronouncing words with letter ''T'', is it ok to pronounce some words British style and others American? Like: ...
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1answer
95 views

breath and breathe?

what is the phonological change that caused the voicing alternation / difference between the words breath and breathe? word-final devoicing intervocalic voicing
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3answers
1k views

Do native English speakers always pronounce `th` correctly?

I’m currently trying to learn correct pronunciation of th phonemes (/θ/, /ð/) since with my th-fronting I can’t pronounce words like thorough or thief. Basically every online lesson states that I ...
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1answer
1k views

Is Google Translate transcription scheme of English words suitable?

They use indications of long vowels and in general very appealing compared to weird IPA. On the other hand, their transcription of Russian is wrong and I would say, unsuitable. For instance, in their ...
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2answers
1k views

Fruit vs. Build vs. Ruin vs. Guide - Difference in pronunciation

The words "fruit", "build", "guide", and "ruin" sound very differently. In most cases the phonogram "ui" is a long [oo], but not in the words "build", "guide", and "ruin". Why?
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2answers
708 views

Sounds - why does laughter not rhyme with daughter?

They are identical in all but their first letter, but they don't rhyme at all. Is it just sound shifts over time, or some other reason?
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11answers
10k views

Do native speakers distinguish well the pronunciations of “L” and “R”?

Sometimes I have a problem in distinguishing "L" and "R" in spoken English. I wonder if native speakers distinguish well the pronunciations of "L" and "R". For example, how about "leave" and "reave" ...
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1answer
262 views

Phonograms and Spelling (Optical, Optimal, etc.)

I am reading a book which contains phonogram rules for English spelling. For the multiple letter phonogram sound of -ti, it says -tall /sh/ used only at the beginning of any syllable after the ...
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2answers
1k views

Two vowels together: “Go out” and “Go upstairs”

Is go outside correct? and also "go upstairs.". Since two vowels are followed by each other, eg., o then after this it's o again. How is that?
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1answer
121 views

Why is 'a' hard in 'sapid', but soft in 'sapient' and 'sapour'?

sapid : [British English] /ˈsapɪd/ sapient : BrE /ˈseɪpiənt/ ; NAmE /ˈseɪpiənt/ sapour : /ˈseɪpɔː(r)/ /-pə(r)/ To wit, what explains the difference in pronunciation, between /a/ (eg, sapid)...
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1answer
17k views

Type of Assimilation

So, assimilation may be of three degrees: complete, partial and intermediate. But I don't understand the difference between intermediate and complete assimilation. For example what’s [wɒts] is a ...
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4answers
7k views

Is the French J sound used in common English words

I've come across this French name Jacques and the first letter of this name is not pronounced in standard way with English names which starts with the same letter. As far as I know, in English the ...
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1answer
52 views

What is the difference between the -able that attaches to nouns and the -able that attaches to verbs?

Ie: marriageable vs acceptable honourable vs agreeable Are there any differences in the way this suffix functions?
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3answers
300 views

What is the difference between the pronunciation of “a” and “e” in a closed syllable?

What is the difference between the pronunciation of "a" and "e" in a closed syllable? For instance, between the words than and then? I was told the first should be pronounced with [æ], and the second ...