Will you grab – we’you grab

I was watching a film with subtitles, and the phrase: “Will you grab her blanket?” sounded like “We’you graber blanket”. I’m Ok with “graber”, but can we drop “l”-sound in “will you”? Answer In a comment, John Lawler wrote: Will you is virtually always contracted to /’wiyu/. In fact, will by itself is almost always … Read more

Pronunciation of “Makemake” versus “make”

“Makemake” is the name of a celestial object, a dwarf planet. The “i” in name “Makemake” is pronounced different than in the English word “make” meaning create*. It is pronounced as in “maki”, the sushi roll. So it sounds like the two words “maki maki” instead of “make make” as two words. Is that something … Read more

Why would “an mule” be used instead of “a mule”?

As generally agreed and as extensively discussed in this question, "an" should be used in place of the more common "a" where the following word begins with a vowel sound. I have just encountered for the first time an instance of the phrasing an mule in the book Why Chemical Reactions Happen (James Keeler and … Read more

Why do English-speaking children mispronounce “spaghetti” as “pasketti”?

At first glance, this might seem like a very stupid question, and in full honesty, it is. But get this. In Norwegian, spaghetti is the same word, and I don’t remember ever hearing any child ever say pasketti, or similar. However, Norwegian children are not better. I personally mispronounced Støvler (boots) as Stølver, and Klovn … Read more

Can an intrusive R appear within one word?

When the word ‘drawing’ is pronounced as /’drɔːrɪŋ/, is that R called intrusive? Is such pronunciation colloquial and unacceptable for formal address? Answer For people who use the term “intrusive r”, it refers to linking /r/ whenever it occurs in a context where the letter R isn’t written. It doesn’t make a difference whether it … 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