43

There are always some people who are exceptions, but yes, native English speakers in general do clearly and easily distinguish these sounds. I'm not a linguist, but from what I've read and seen it tends to be fairly common that native speakers of a language will easily distinguish phonetic differences that affect meaning, while ignoring those that don't. I'...


22

English speakers distinguish these sounds almost perfectly. Certainly with well over 99% accuracy. As pointed out in another post here, any phonemes that create a difference in meaning in a language (in a substantial number of environments) will be clearly and reliably distinguished by native speakers. If you are a Japanese speaker planning to speak ...


21

𝑇𝐿;𝐷𝑅 'Lose' came from Old English (OE) word losian while 'loose' was taken from Old Norse around the thirteenth century. There was a process in OE through which s, f and th became voiced respectively to [z], [v] and [ð] when they occurred between voiced sounds i.e. between two vowels or a vowel and anther voiced sound. There was no phonemic contrast of ...


20

I would say that not only do most native speakers have no problem distinguishing them, but that they sound so different that the idea of mixing them is surprising and therefore somewhat comical (sometimes, unfortunately so, as in stereotypical mockery of Asian speakers). Short of speech impediment, no native speaker mixes these letters. Children sometimes ...


15

When we make a voiced sound, for example a vowel sound, our vocal cords vibrate. This gives the sound pitch. We can make voiced sounds with a high pitch or a low pitch. For this reason, you can sing a tune using a [z] sound. You cannot do this, for example, with an unvoiced sound like [s]. We don't vibrate our vocal folds for an [s] sound, so it has no ...


10

I don't think most native speakers experience any such difficulty; but the fact is, distinguishing phonemes is only a small part of understanding speech. Every speaker has his or her own way of pronouncing sounds; a good deal of our speech-processing faculty goes to "normalizing" these pronunciations. Speech is also full of interruptions, false starts, ...


10

"Loose" has probably always been pronounced with [s] - the Norse word that it was borrowed from is spelt with double "s". "Lose" has been pronounced with [z] at least since Old English. (Between vowels, OE "s" was pronounced [z]. I use square brackets here because the s/z distinction in OE wasn't phonemically ...


8

Try pronouncing two words, first "change" and then "do", with a little pause. Then practice saying them with a smaller and smaller pause, until you are saying "changedo". Then drop the "o".


8

TL;DR Replace the affricate [d͡ʒ] of 'changed' by [ʒ] and pronounce it [t͡ʃeɪnʒd]. [ʒ] is the sound at the end of the word garage, so it should be easier for you. Explanation English consonant clusters are usually difficult for learners and in [t͡ʃeɪnd͡ʒd] 'changed', we have a cluster of three consonants, including the affricate [d͡ʒ], which is a complex ...


6

Even though I'm not a native speaker, I can clearly hear the difference, it's much bigger than between, let's say U and Ü! PHYSICALLY L and R can't sound similar, as your tongue has completely different shape in each case! (note: sorry to English language teachers - I don't know the proper terminology) While "L" is pronounced with tip of your tongue ...


6

In elementary education (at least in California), /l/ and /r/ are actually something that some (i.e. many) children struggle to pronounce. Generally these children also have trouble distinguishing the phonemes, but don't have any trouble with distinguishing actual words, for which they rely on context. Creating situations where the children cannot rely on ...


6

With your nostrils clamped tightly shut with your fingers, it is impossible to sound the second syllable of "cotton" and "written": you will feel the pressure in your ears if you try. So yes, there is air coming out through the nose on the second syllable. Even if the word is pronounced rɪtn the nasal -n- still requires ventilation through the nose.


6

Generally, yes. But it's not an ability held solely by native English speakers. People with a first language that observes a difference between /l/ and /r/ tend to be able to grasp that difference more easily, and the /l/ and /r/ difference is observed in a number of non-English languages. Similarly, sounds that don't exist, or are far less common, in ...


5

There is such a tendency, but it varies in degree regionally, and the vowel involved will also have an effect on the degree of inarticulation. The lower the vowel before the nasal, the less articulate the dental. With high front vowels, e.g. hinted, the dental is likely to be articulated more forcefully than it would be with low back vowels, haunted. ...


5

Here are my thoughts as an American English speaker; I don't have references for this so some of it may be wrong. The pronunciation that sounds most natural to me is [mɛɾɚ], with /h/ omitted and the /t/ flapped and voiced. I would not be surprised to hear [mɛʔt̚hɚ] in slower or more deliberate speech. By [ʔt̚], I mean to indicate an unreleased voiceless ...


5

A /p/, /t/ or /k/ is aspirated when it is the first consonant of a stressed syllable, whether it is followed by a vowel or by a semivowel or liquid consonant. The words plane, pride, train, clue, crow all start with aspirated stops. As Araucaria's answer says, in a consonant cluster consisting of a syllable-initial voiceless stop phoneme + a consonant such ...


4

Assuming you mean "pronounce" rather than spell, since it all depends on sounds, here are some simple rules to follow. "c" is pronounced like "k" when it is not immediately followed by the letters "e", "i" or "y" Examples: Car, cat, cabin, curtail, curfew, curb, court, cool, mucus "c" is pronounced like "s" when it comes directly before "e" or "i" ...


4

The /t/ in heart will become a voiced tap in the string heart attack for many speakers of American Englishes. This means that the compound nouns heart attack and hard attack will be homophones. The /d/ in hard attack will also become a tap in this position for many speakers. Syllable final /t/ is liable to become a tap for such speakers when at the end of ...


4

The Original Poster has found an enormous typo/display problem in the Cambridge Dictionary. The type of British English described in the Cambridge Dictionary is Southern Standard British English. This variety of English is non-rhotic, which means that we only pronounce R when it occurs directly before a vowel sound. The correct pronunciation is /ʃɔː/, not /...


4

The rules for "a" vs "an" depend strictly on how the sentence would sound when spoken aloud. Since the parentheses don't silence the word, you ignore them when deciding which article to use. So the correct versions are "Does an (optionally) parenthesized word..." "Does a (parenthesized) word..." And the same rules apply with the pronunciations of "the". ...


4

This is normal, not peculiar to Ms. Swift. In speech th- is often assimilated to an immediately preceding continuant, not only with that but at the onset of any unstressed function word such as the, this, they, them.


3

I'm not a native speaker, but me and my many friends do speak English as a second language. It's not a problem for us when we are listening to a native speaker, but it's hard to distinguish L and R when a Korean or Japanese speaks. I remember we mistook a Korean song lyric "ring a ring a ring" for "ling a ling a ling". (song in question: https://www....


3

No. Most (but not all) of England and Wales (but not Scotland) is non-rhotic, which means that a final /r/ is never pronounced unless the word is followed in the same breath-group by a vowel-initial sound.


3

The only examples I can find after searching are proper nouns: The city of Quincy (/ˈkwɪnzi/ KWIN-zee) as mentioned in comments, and the highest mountain in Australia Mount Kosciuszko (/ˌkɒziˈʌskoʊ/). Standard (i.e. RP or GA) pronunciations of sacrifice and discern now use /s/.


3

Student doesn't sound like *[ˈsdjuːdn̩t] discharge ......................... *[dɪˈsd͡ʒɑːd͡ʒ] spy ................................... *[sbaɪ] describe ........................... *[dɪˈsgraɪb] system ............................. *[ˈsɪsdəm] school .............................. *[sguːl] you think they do because you're confusing the plosives in your native ...


3

I won't go into details, but here's a brief account of how consonants are arranged in consonant clusters: Phonotactics Every language has a unique set of rules called Phonotactic rules (or Phonotactic constraints) that govern the possible sequences of sounds in a particular language—that is, licit and illicit sequences of sounds. In other words, what sounds ...


3

They are different words spelled differently with different meanings. Hence they are pronounced differently.


2

The dictionaries are right in this case. "School" is pronounced as with a "k", not a "g", and "stay" is pronounced with a "t", not a "d". That said, everyone interested in (or puzzled about) this question should make those sounds over and over again (that is, say, "t- t- t- t-, d- d- d- d-, t- t- t- t-, d- d- d- d-..." and then say, "k- k- k- k-, g- g- g-, ...


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