Why is the word “phonics” pronounced /ˈfɑnɪks/ instead of /ˈfoʊnɪks/?

Is there any etymological reason for this? Normally, an o in a stressed syllable followed by /n/ and a vowel would be pronounced /oʊ/. And phoneme is pronounced /ˈfoʊnim/. Why does the pronunciation of phonics change? Are there any other words in which this happens systematically? Answer It’s not related to etymology: the short vowel … Read more

Where in Ireland, if anywhere, at the time of James Joyce, would “hoe” and “whore” sound similar enough to pun?

Where in Ireland, if anywhere, at the time of James Joyce (1882 – 1941), would “hoe” and “whore” sound similar enough to pun? This question pertains to Does Joyce, in Finnegans Wake or Ulysses, link the sound form “hoe” to “whore”? from our sister site for Literature. The first issue is rhoticity. While most of … Read more

On the velar nasal /ŋ/ sound followed by /k/

I’m a non-native speaker and I have always pronounced all words with syllables ending in ‘n’ followed by a /k/ sound with the velar nasal /ŋ/. For example: think / increase (v+n) / income / incomplete. This was just acquired naturally without any intentional training. (I understand that words ending with ‘nk’ like ‘think’ do … Read more

Happy tensing after /l/

Happy tensing is claimed by Wikipedia to occur in General American and Australian English in words like “happy”, “money”, “valley” etc. Here’s an American lady saying “realy badly” as [ˈriɫɪ ˈbædɫɪ] at 1:07:53: https://youtu.be/4LWKWjMNaOs?t=4073 To my ear it’s nowhere near [i] as in “ease”, regardless of the length. And here’s an AmEn speaker with real … Read more

Why do American speakers pronounce “the” as “/ðə/” before vowels?

I learned that we have to pronounce /ðə/ before consonants & /ði/ before vowels. For example, the /ðə/ car, but the /ði/ earth. But it seems that a lot of American people pronounce the /ðə/ before vowels, for example the /ðə/ era. Are these native speakers pronouncing wrong? or it is a dialect or something? … Read more

“Extra W” sound in words

I’ve wonder that in some sentences, or words, even though phonetically you don’t have a ‘W’ sound, you can still hear some type of extra w’ sound. So for example. The phrase: “Do it”. /du ɪt/ will sound more like /du wɪt/ same with the verb= “doing” ˈduɪŋ becomes /ˈduwɪŋ/. Am I crazy? Hope you … Read more

Why the”n” in “Monday” and “Sunday” is pronounced sounding like “/ŋ/” rather than “/n/” displayed in the dictionary?

I look up some dictionaries the phonogram of “n” in these words are marked as “/n/”. But I just found the pronunciation sounds like “/ŋ/”. I don’t know why. Answer I think you are probably hearing /ŋ/ as a kind of auditory illusion. The sequence [ŋd] is phonetically possible, and it is possible for [nd] … Read more

Phonetic differences between ɑ and ɒ in English and American pronunciation standards

First, I should state I’m a native U.K. English speaker from the West Midlands. With 44 Phonemes present in English, I’m having trouble deciding when I should use ɑ and ɒ, from this website we can an example for ɑ with father. Both American and British pronounce this the same I believe. But on Collins … Read more