80

TL;DR Your friend is incorrect. It's not *tpelf with p, but tƿelf with ƿ—Wynn—which was the Old English (OE) letter to represent the phoneme /w/. So twelve was tƿelf 1. Twenty was tƿēntiȝ 2. Two was tƿā 3. Historical prelude to W The letter that looks like a P is actually: Ƿ (ƿ) It's called Wynn which was a runic letter in Old English alphabet for the ...


24

Assumption is directly derived from Latin assumptionem which does have a P, so it also has a P. Assume on the other hand is derived from Latin assumere, which didn't have a P. Other similar examples include presume/presumption and consume/consumption Edit* Articulatory reasons for the P The epenthetic P is probably inserted for articulatory reasons. ...


23

TL;DR The reason why the ⟨th⟩ in posthumous is pronounced /t͡ʃ/ (ch) is the coalescence/assimilation1 of the t and the following u. Explanation 'Posthumous' is made up of the prefix post- and humous. Post ends in a /t/ and the ⟨h⟩ in humous is silent so it starts with a u which is basically /juː/ (the same as the u in 'cue'). We could say that humous starts ...


16

Void's answer give the immediate explanation: English does it because Latin does it. Edit - and now also explains the phonetic reason. But there is a more general answer behind this. It's a phenomenon called epenthesis (not a very good article, but it gives the idea): where a sound comes to be inserted between two other sounds, just because it starts ...


11

For "FAQ", Oxford (Lexico) gives only /ɛfeɪˈkjuː/ - which is what I say and also the only version I remember hearing. This is true of both the UK and US editions of Lexico. Merriam-Webster gives /fæk/ first, with /ɛfeɪˈkjuː/ second. (I have converted M-W's pronunciations to IPA for ease of reference.) "FAQs" is thus /ɛfeɪˈkjuːz/ or /...


11

'Post' is a common prefix in English, from the Latin for 'last' which to us essentially means 'after'. The English 'posthumous' literally means after burial. For the full etymology of the word from Latin, see this reference. Some words that use this prefix are not compound words but hyphenated, for example, 'post-mortem' (an examination after one's death). ...


5

Preliminaries Rhotic & non-rhotic accents: A rhotic accent is one in which the R is pronounced in all contexts (i.e. beginning, middle and end of a word). General American English is rhotic. Non-rhotic accent, by contrast, is one in which the R is only pronounced when it precedes a vowel. Standard Southern British English is non-rhotic. Hiatus: It's the ...


5

Every language has a fixed set of rules called 'Phonotactic rules' that govern the licit and illicit sequences of sounds in syllables. A sequence of sounds that is allowed in one language may not be allowed in another language, for instance, the cluster /pn-/ is phonotactically well-formed in Greek, but ill-formed in English, that's why the /p/ in pneumonia ...


4

𝑇𝐿;𝐷𝑅 'Wind' (n) and 'wind' (v) had the same vowel in Old English. Both had a short vowel /i/ which was lengthened in Late OE due to a sound change triggered by consonant clusters like /nd, ld, mb, rd/ etc. The vowel in 'wind' (n) got shortened in the seventeenth century for some reasons. The short and long vowels in 'child' and 'children' can also be ...


3

English place names can be difficult to pronounce. Names ending in -cester Almost all -cester's are pronounced /stə(r)/ (ste(r)): Alcester → /ˈɒlstə/ or /ˈɔːlstə/ Gloucester → /ˈɡlɒstə(r)/ Worcester → /ˈwʊstə(r)/ Bicester → /ˈbɪstə(r)/ Towcester → /ˈtəʊstə(r)/ Leicester → /ˈlestə(r)/ Exception: The only exception I can think of is Cirencester, where the -...


3

Interestingly, forty is spelt differently from four and fourteen. There are good phonological explanations for this quirk. IIRC, at the close of the middle English period, forty had a diphthong [ou] which in Early Modern English merged with [o:]. [o:] was developed from middle English [ɔ:]. At that time, forty had two syllables due to which [o:] was ...


3

The verb "to live" has a short /ɪ/ sound. It is the same sound as in "sit" (and not the same as in seat or in site) The noun "a life" and the plural "many lives" has the dipthong /aɪ/ It is the same sound as in "site". Cats have nine lives (/laɪvz/) He lives in Boston (/lɪvz/)


3

Regarding "know," you will notice certain patterns in English pronunciation that allow you to make a good guess at a word's pronunciation even if you've never encountered the word before. For example, I think the combination kn- at the beginning of a word is always pronounced as "n-" (silent K) in English words. Examples: know, knew, ...


2

In friends, most if not all native English speakers definitely have a /d/ sound. It's just that the /d/ is unreleased ([d̚]), so it's barely perceptible. Unreleased means that the airflow blocked for the /d/ at the alveolar ridge remains there and is not released like a normal /d/. So you hear frenz.


2

Cambridge English Dictionary lists three pronunciation for 'is': strong /ɪz/ weak /z/ /s/ The usual pronunciation of 'is' is /ɪz/, but as your dictionary says, it can assimilate to [ɪs] before an unvoiced sound. There's a tendency to make nearby sounds more similar to each other, so when 'is' is followed by another word beginning with an unvoiced sound, ...


2

No one has mentioned the real difference between the vowel of lunch and that of balloon so far. In most--if not all--accents of English, the first syllable of balloon is unstressed while lunch is stressed. The vowel in the first syllable of balloon is /ə/ (schwa) while that in lunch /ʌ/ (it varies from accent to accent, though). /ə/ almost always occurs in ...


2

English is... an extremely inconsistent language! It's the result of many different languages coming together and developing over time, and we never had an official standardisation to "tidy up" the issues. US English has made some attempts to modernise spelling and make it more consistent, but it's still light-years away from something like Spanish,...


2

They didn't both come from the same word. Their entries at Etymonline show two different sources. The change in the pronunciation of the noun from long (like 'find') to short (like 'pinned') is comparatively recent. According to Etymonline: [wind] shifted to a short vowel 18c., probably from influence of windy, where the short vowel is natural. A sad loss ...


2

There are no hard and fast rules for the pronunciation of -ate endings that I'm aware of, but here's a general rule of thumb that you can stick to: Monosyllables that end in -ate are almost always pronounced /-eɪt/, for example, mate, fate, rate, sate, date, gate, hate, late etc. Disyllables: Verbs ending in -ate are usually pronounced /-eɪt/ as in hesitate,...


1

In general voice transcription systems will have trouble with acronyms, especially well-known acronyms which are pronounced phonetically by some but not all people. For acronyms or technical jargon which you use frequently you may want to check if the tool you are using has a feature to add terms.


1

Short answer Some people pronounce Don't be as dombe because the t is sometimes deleted and the n is assimilated to an m in anticipation of the following b. Explanation In Don't be, the /t/ is flanked by two consonants (/n/ and /b/) and in normal or casual speech, some people tend to drop some consonants (such as /t/ and /d/) when they come between two other ...


1

You have it the wrong way around. It's not "add an e to a word and it will lengthen the preceding vowel". The history is rather complicated, but I'll try to simplify it. The silent e that you see in words like bide, ride, side etc wasn't always silent; it was pronounced /ə/ (schwa) in middle English. When it went silent, it lengthened the vowel in ...


1

In modern English, a big No. In Old English and Middle English, Yes! The past/past participles of regular verbs were all pronounced /-ɪd/ (or maybe /-ɨd/) until modern English. As far as I know, Shakespeare has used both forms (/-ɪd/ and /-d/), but the vowel was then lost and the final /d/ merged into the preceding consonant. That's why we say /beɪðd/ not /...


1

(weirdly I couldn't find this with google or youtube) Try searching for pronunciation of pfft You will find it in several online dictionaries (and YT). pfft The odd thing is that the pronunciation in those dictionaries doesn't sound anything like how I always imagined the sound. I agree with the description by @Lambie - maybe the dictionaries are wrong.


1

As Colin Fine said in the comments beneath the question, words that end with -nce are prone to epenthesis. Most people tend to insert an epenthetic stop between Nasal + Fricative sequences The reason is because the air comes out through the nose while articulating a nasal and as the nasal changes to a fricative—an oral consonant—the airflow must be switched ...


1

Both are common and correct. The pronunciation, especially that of vowels, varies from dialect to dialect; however in contemporary RP, it's usually pronounced [wɛːɹɪz] (or [weːɹɪz]). In British English, /e/ is halfway between [e] and [ɛ], but then again, it depends on the speaker.


1

She'd always wanted to go to Thailand In this recording, the speaker is pronouncing the T, but is kind of reduced, as JamesK's answer says. He wanted that job so badly he was willing to kill for it. In this one, there's neither a glottal stop, nor a flap (as the other answers suggest). It's a case where Americans usually drop the T entirely. In most--if ...


1

It's simple elision of the alveolar triconsonantal cluster in the Early Modern English (EModE). Lots of cluster simplifications took place in EModE. One of them was the reduction of triconsonantal cluster in handsome and wednzday. The spelling retained the d, however. This can be verified at Irregularities in Modern English by W. Hansen and Hans Frede and ...


1

The vowel of 'laugh' (/ɑː/) is supposed to be a bit longer and more open than that of 'love' in Oxford English. By 'longer', I mean the duration of the vowel, but vowel length isn't that important. 'Open' means your mouth is more open for articulating this vowel. The vowel of 'love' /ʌ/ is lax and a tiny bit closer than /ɑ/, meaning your mouth isn't fully ...


1

I feel the opposite actually. /ɪ/ as a symbol to show the sound we hear in "it". /i/ as a symbol to show the sound we hear at the end of happy. /iː/ as a symbol to show the sound we hear in fleece, and to show how British Received Pronunciation often asks its speakers to pronounce vowels longer. This way is much clearer to differentiate sounds.


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