24

TLDR: we only write contrastive sounds (phonemes) in /slashes/. For instance, [t] and [k] contrast in English as in /tæp/ and /kæp/. [p] and [pʰ] don't contrast in English so we don't write them in slashes. Dictionaries use phonemic transcriptions, so they don't write pʰ. However, we write pʰ and p in slashes for languages that contrast them (like Chinese ...


13

It's unclear what you mean by ‘every final letter’ (and I wouldn't say every letter is dropped), but I'll start off by classifying English accents into two main categories: Rhotic accents: Rhotic accents are ones in which the R is pronounced in all positions (red, park, car; the R in all these words is pronounced). Most American and Canadian accents are ...


10

Dictionaries use phonemic transcriptions i.e. only contrastive sounds, not how native speakers actually speak. The word deduce is pronounced differently in both British and American English: American: /dɪˈduːs/ (di-DOOS) British: /dɪˈdjuːs/ (di-DYOOS) The first syllable of deduce is unstressed whereas the second one is stressed (i.e. the strongest syllable)...


7

I suspect you are from China, or another language for which the aspirated and unaspirated "p" are distinct. However in English these sounds are not distinct, and native speakers (other than a few people who have studied it) will not understand what you mean by "p makes a b sound". For me, a native speaker, there is no difference in the ...


7

'TEFL' has two possible pronunciations: [ˈtef.əl]: with a schwa [ˈtef.l̩]: with a syllabic1 L The reason Anglophones insert a schwa is because the tautosyllabic coda cluster2 */-fl/ is not found in English (Phonotactic Constraints) and native speakers are unfamiliar with that cluster so they insert a schwa there or make the L syllabic. If it were */tefl/ (...


5

There are a number of regional British accents which do not do this, in a variety of ways. This basically applies to consonants which are omitted, altered, or replaced with a glottal stop. Much of Britain will pronounce words ending with "ing" as "in"; so "I'm going out" becomes "I'm goin' out". (You'll often see it ...


5

My go-to source on the idiosyncrasies of English spelling has the following entry: English Pronunciation 1500 - 1700 by E J Dobson As the quoted entry says, the version with /ʃ/ arose as a dialectal pronunciation and then spread in other dialects. Dobson says that Cooper preferred the spelling licorish to liquorish which alludes to the fact that the latter ...


4

In standard accents of English (Southern Standard British English and General American), there isn't a hard g (/g/) between ŋ and the plural suffix -s (/-z/), so it's simply ŋz. But in some British accents such as West Midlands, some varieties of Scottish English (and presumably some American accents), people do pronounce the sequence ŋz as ŋgz.


3

The noun construct is pronounced /ˈkɒn.strʌkt/ in British English and /ˈkɑn.strʌkt/ in American English, but the verb construct is pronounced /kənˈstrʌkt/ in both. The agent noun constructor is derived not from the noun but from the verb construct (the suffix -or is chiefly attachable to verb bases) so it's pronounced /kənˈstrʌktə(r)/. I've never heard /...


2

First, you're starting out with the wrong idea, and you can't understand until you get rid of it. English speech sounds do NOT come from alphabet letters. You don't start with the letters -- you start with the sounds. Many of the sounds are centralized vowels -- "schwa sounds" -- because they're not stressed. But you can't tell which ones from ...


2

Apart from words ending in r, there are not many English words where the last letter is a single silent consonant. Many of those come from other languages, for example ballet, valet. Some words have a consonant combination where only one is sounded, eg lamb, crumb, rock. The final consonant combination ng (as in running) represents a single sound and it is ...


2

As pointed out in the comments, the /e/ is a different phoneme from the diphthong /eɪ/. A vowel can either be a monopthong or a diphthong. A monopthong is a vowel sound in which the speech organs remain in the same position throughout the production of the vowel sound (i.e. the vowel quality doesn't change). The /e/ in words like met, set, let etc., is a ...


2

In English, ⟨p, t, k⟩ are aspirated when they're at the start of a syllable (usually stressed), so the ⟨p⟩ in pie, pool, paper is aspirated. However, when the ⟨p⟩ is at the end of a syllable or preceded by an /s/, it's unaspirated so in words like map, spy, spin etc., it's unaspirated. As the OP pointed out, the ⟨p⟩ in apply is aspirated because it's at the ...


2

As a supplement to the (excellent) accepted answer: phonemic transcriptions tend to be simple, convenient and easier than what is called "phonetic" transcriptions. It is way better to transcribe the English phoneme as /p/ than /pʰ/. Moreover, the underlying form is [p], that is, without aspiration. Aspiration is an extra feature in English. Because ...


1

You're right; some American accents raise the vowel /æ/ to [ɛ] and even to [e] before a /g/: In New York, New Orleans and some Inland Northern American accents, /æ/ before /g/ is usually realised as [ɛə]. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, it's [eː~ej]. In Northern Mountain US and some Canadian accents it's [ɛː~ɛj] In some Southern American accents, it's [æ~æɛə] ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible