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Culture > Linguistics > Pronunciation

Now updated for CSW15. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

ablaut a variation in root vowel, as in sing, sang, song, sung, explained by former accentuation (aka gradation).
accent to pronounce with prominence.
affricate a consonant that begins as a PLOSIVE and ends as a FRICATIVE; (verb) to sound a consonant in that way.
affrication the act of making a sound AFFRICATIVE.
affricative (a sound) like an AFFRICATE.
allophone any of several speech sounds regarded as variants of a given PHONEME.
allophonic of or like an ALLOPHONE.
alveolar of a sound, pronounced with tongue and alveolus > ALVEOLARLY; (noun) a sound so pronounced > ALVEOLARS.
anaptyctic relating to ANAPTYXIS, the insertion of a vowel between two consonants for ease of pronunciation.
anaptyxis the insertion of a vowel between two consonants for ease of pronunciation > ANAPTYXES.
aphaeresis apheresis the taking away of a syllable at the beginning of a word > APHAERESES, APHERESES.
aphaeretic apheretic relating to APHAERESIS, the taking away of a syllable at the beginning of a word.
aphesis the loss of unaccented vowel at beginning of word, e.g. squire for esquire > APHESES. [Gk. aphesis, letting go].
aphetic relating to APHESIS, the loss of unaccented vowel at beginning of word > APHETICALLY.
aphetise aphetize to shorten by APHESIS.
aphonous without voice; voiceless; nonvocal.
aphony loss of voice or vocal utterance > APHONIES. Also APHONIA.
apocopate to cut off the end of a word.
apocope the omission of the last sound, syllable, or part of a word, e.g. mag for magazine, fab for fabulous.
apocopic relating to APOCOPE, the cutting off of the last sound or syllable of a word.
apophony variation in the root vowel of words to change meaning, aka ABLAUT.
asperate to make (a sound) rough or harsh.
aspirata a type of PLOSIVE > ASPIRATAE.
aspirate to pronounce the sound of h at the beginning of a word.
assibilate to pronounce with a hiss or sibilant.
assibilation speaking with a sibilant sound.
assonant a word or syllable that resembles another in sound.
assonate to correspond in sound.
betacism the pronunciation of the sound B as V.
bilabial a sound or consonant produced by both lips touching, for example p, b, m.
brei to speak with uvular r, especially in Afrikaans > BREIS, BREIING, BREID. Also BREY.
brey to speak with uvular r, especially in Afrikaans > BREYS, BREYING, BREYED. Also BREI.
brogueish broguish having a slight BROGUE.
broguery the use of an Irish accent.
burr the rough sound of r pronounced in the throat, as by many Northumberland people; a continual humming sound as of a machine; (verb) to speak with a burr.
cacoepistic relating to CACOEPY, incorrect pronunciation.
cacoepy incorrect pronunciation.
cacuminal (a sound) pronounced with the tongue-tip curled up towards the hard palate > CACUMINALS.
cerebral pronounced with the tongue-tip curled up towards the hard palate > CEREBRALLY; (noun) a cerebral consonant > CEREBRALS.
clitic a word not capable of being pronounced with full word stress but dependent on, and pronounced as though part of, the preceding or following word.
cliticise cliticize to pronounce as part of following or preceding word.
cockneyfy cocknify to make (an accent) COCKNEY i.e. a London dialect spoken in the East End.
consonant consistent with > CONSONANTLY; (noun) any speech sound other than a vowel.
continuant continuing; prolonged; sustained; as, a continuant sound.
correption shortening in pronunciation.
crackjaw (a word) hard to pronounce > CRACKJAWS.
crasis blending; the melding of two VOWELS into a DIPHTHONG > CRASES. [Gk. krasis, mixture].
dental a sound produced by applying the tongue to the teeth or gums > DENTALS, DENTALLY.
dentality use of the teeth in pronouncing words.
dentilingual (a sound) pronounced (as th) with tongue against teeth > DENTILINGUALS.
devocalise to make VOICELESS.
devoice to make VOICELESS.
diphthong a union of two vowels pronounced in one syllable.
disyllabic having two syllables.
disyllable a word with two syllables.
drawl to speak slowly with vowels greatly prolonged.
drawler one who drawls.
drawlingly in a drawling manner.
drawly in a drawling manner > DRAWLIER, DRAWLIEST.
eclipsis the omission of sounds or words in speech > ECLIPSISES.
ectasis the lengthening of a syllable from short to long > ECTASES.
ectatic relating to ECTASIS, the lengthening of a syllable from short to long.
ecthlipsis omitting one or more sounds in pronouncing a word.
eggcorn a malapropism or misspelling arising from similarity between the sound of the misspelled or misused word and the correct one in the accent of the person making the mistake.
egressive of speech sounds, pronounced with exhalation of breath; (noun) an egressive speech sound.
ejective a sound produced with air compressed above the closed glottis.
ejectively (adv.) EJECTIVE, of a sound produced with air compressed above the closed glottis.
emphatic uttered with emphasis; (noun) an emphatic consonant > EMPHATICS
emphatical uttered with emphasis.
emphaticalness the state of being EMPHATICAL.
enunciation the act of enunciating.
enunciatory relating to ENUNCIATION.
enunciate to pronounce distinctly.
epenthesis the insertion of an extra sound into a word, e.g. fillum for film > EPENTHESES.
epenthetic inserted in the body of a word; as, an epenthetic letter or sound.
etacism the pronunciation of eta as close e. Cf. ITACISM.
euphonia euphony an agreeable sound; a pleasing, easy pronunciation.
faucal faucial of or produced in the fauces, as are certain Semitic guttural sounds.
formant a component of a speech sound determining its particular quality.
fortis pronounced with tension and strong articulation (fortis consonants: f, p). [L. strong].
fricative produced by the forcing of air through a restricted passage, as with 'f''.
gradation another name for ABLAUT.
guttural a sound produced in the throat, or by the back of the tongue and the (soft) palate > GUTTURALS, GUTTURALLY.
haplologic showing HAPLOLOGY, the contraction of a word by the omission of one or more similar sounds or syllables.
haplology the contraction of a word by the omission of one or more similar sounds or syllables (as in mineralogy for mineralology or prob-ly for probably) > HAPLOLOGIES.
hirrient (a sound) roughly trilled > HIRRIENTS.
homophonous exhibiting HOMOPHONOUS, sameness of sound.
homophony sameness of sound > HOMOPHONIES.
homorganic articulated at the same point in the vocal tract as a consonant in a different class.
implodent an IMPLOSIVE sound.
implosion in the formation of voiceless stops, compression of enclosed air by simultaneous stoppage of the mouth parts and the glottis.
implosive of or relating to implosion > IMPLOSIVELY; (noun) an implosive consonant > IMPLOSIVES.
ingressive pronounced with inhalation rather than exhalation of breath.
interdental pronounced with the tip of the tongue between upper and lower teeth.
iotacism the conversion of other vowel sounds in Greek to iota > IOTACISMS.
itacism pronunciation of the Greek letter eta as the modern Greeks pronounce it, that is, like e in the English word be. Cf. ETACISM.
jawbreaker a word hard to pronounce. Cf. CRACKJAW.
jawbreaking difficult to pronounce.
jawbreakingly in a manner difficult to pronounce.
labdacism lambdacism a fault in speaking or in composition, which consists in too frequent use of the letter l, or in doubling it erroneously.
labial (a sound) pronounced with the lips > LABIALS, LABIALLY.
labialise labialize to pronounce with rounded lips
labialism the quality of being LABIAL.
labialize see LABIALISE.
labiodental (a sound) pronounced with lips and teeth, such as f.
labionasal (a sound) a sound produced with nose and closed lips.
labiovelar (a sound) produced by the lips and soft palate together, such as w.
lall to articulate R as L > LALLS, LALLING, LALLED.
lallation infant's talk, or speech similar to it; the pronunciation of r as l > LALLATIONS.
lambdacism see LABDACISM.
lenis a sound with little or no aspiration: b and d, compared to p and t > LENES. [L. lenis, soft].
lenite to undergo LENITION.
lenition a softening of articulation, common in Celtic languages > LENITIONS.
lingual pronounced with the tongue > LINGUALLY; (noun) a sound pronounced using the tongue > LINGUALS.
lisp to pronounce the letters S and Z imperfectly > LISPS, LISPING, LISPED.
lisper one who lisps > LISPERS.
lispingly (adv.) LISPING.
media 1. (Lat.) a voiced consonantal stop > MEDIAE. 2. a channel of communication > MEDIAS.
metanalysis incorrect placement of 'n' at the start of a word following an indefinite article > METANALYSES.
metathesis the transposition within a word of letters, sounds, or syllables, as in the change from Old English brid to modern English bird or in the confusion of modren for modern > METATHESES.
mispronounce to pronounce wrongly.
missound to sound wrongly; to utter or pronounce incorrectly.
monophthong two written vowels representing a single sound, e.g. oo, oa.
mouille of certain consonants, having a 'liquid' or softened sound.
nasal through the nose > NASALLY; (noun) a sound uttered through the nose > NASALS.
nasalise nasalize to make nasal in pronunciation; utter with a nasal sound
nasalism nasal pronunciation.
nasality the quality or state of being nasal.
nasalize see NASALISE.
nonrhotic denoting or speaking a dialect of English in which preconsonantal r's are not pronounced.
obstruent a sound characterized by obstruction of the airstream: a plosive, fricative, or affricate.
occlusive a consonantal sound produced with stoppage of breath.
orinasal (a sound) pronounced through both the mouth and nose > ORINASALS: ORINASALLY.
orthoepic orthoepical relating to ORTHOEPY, the study of correct pronunciation.
orthoepy the customary pronunciation of a language; the study thereof.
orthotone (a word) taking an accent in certain positions but not in others > ORTHOTONES.
orthotonic taking an accent in certain positions but not in others.
oxytone a word bearing an acute accent on the last syllable. [Gk. oxys, sharp + tonos, tone].
oxytonic like an oxytone.
palatal of or pertaining to the palate > PALATALLY; (noun) a sound made with the palate > PALATALS.
palatalise to make (a sound) PALATAL.
paragoge paragogue the addition of a sound to the end of a word.
paragogic relating to a PARAGOGE, the addition of a sound to the end of a word.
paralalia abnormality of speech sounds.
paralexia transposition of words or syllables in reading, due to brain damage.
paralexic relating to PARALEXIA, transposition of words or syllables in reading, due to brain damage.
paroxytone a word having an acute accent on the penultimate syllable.
phonal of or relating to the voice; as, phonal structure.
phonation the production of vocal sound.
phonatory relating to PHONATION, the production of vocal sound.
phoneme the smallest significant unit of sound in a language.
phonemic relating to a PHONEME > PHONEMICS.
phonetician a student of PHONETICS.
phonetics phonics the branch of linguistics that deals with pronunciation and speech production.
phonetism the science which treats of vocal sounds.
phonetist one versed in phonetics; a phonologist.
phonics see PHONETICS.
phonologist a student of PHONOLOGY, the branch of linguistics that deals with systems of sounds.
phonology the branch of linguistics that deals with systems of sounds.
plateasm a pronunciation with a wide mouth-opening, as in Doric Greek.
plosion the articulation of a plosive sound such as p in lop or d in adorn.
plosive an explosive (sound), as p.
pretonic denoting the syllable before the one bearing the primary stress in a word.
proclisis the pronunciation of a word as a proclitic.
prolate drawn out > PROLATELY; (verb) to lengthen out in utterance.
prolateness the state of being PROLATE.
pronounce to articulate one's words.
prothesis the development of an extra initial sound at the beginning of a word > PROTHESES.
prothetic of or pertaining to PROTHESIS, the development of an extra initial sound at the beginning of a word.
provection the carrying forward of a sound at the end of a word to the beginning of the next (as 'a newt' from original from 'an ewt').
psellism psellismus a defect in articulation or pronunciation > PSELLISMS, PSELLISMUSES.
resonant resounding, ringing > RESONANTLY; (noun) a liquid or nasal consonant > RESONANTS.
rhinolalia nasal speech.
rhotacise rhotacize to change to an r- sound, esp. from z.
rhotacism the excessive use or faulty pronunciation of the letter R.
rhotacist one whose speech shows RHOTACISM.
rhotacistic relating to RHOTACISM, the excessive use or faulty pronunciation of the letter R.
rhotacize see RHOTACISE.
rhotic r- pronouncing, as defining a dialect. [Gk. rho, the Greek R].
rhoticity the quality of being RHOTIC, r- pronouncing, as defining a dialect.
sandhi the modification of a sound of a word by its context, e.g. the difference in pronunciation of the in 'the house' and in 'the other house' > SANDHIS.
segholate segolate in Hebrew, a disyllabic noun form with a tone-long vowel in the first and a short seghol (vowel-point) in the second syllable.
semiconsonant a speech sound having the nature of both a vowel and a consonant.
semivocal of or relating to a semivowel.
semivowel a speech sound having the nature of both a vowel and a consonant.
sibilance sibilancy pronunciation with a hissing sound.
sibilate to pronounce (words) with, or produce, a hissing sound.
sigmatism repetition of the sigma sound.
sonance a sounding.
sonancy the quality of being SONANT.
sonant a voiced sound; a syllabic consonant.
sonantal sonantic of a sound, uttered with vibration of the vocal chords.
sonorant a voiced consonant regarded as a syllabic sound e.g. the n in sudden.
spirant (a sound) pronounced with friction of breath against part of mouth, as f or s.
spirated voiceless. N.B. no SPIRATE*.
subvocal of words formed in speech order in the mind with or without (inaudible) movements of the speech organs > SUBVOCALLY.
suctional as in suctional stop, a stop consonant in which the contact of the articulating organs is followed by an inrush of air.
superfix a recurrent pattern of stress in speech.
syllabic a syllabic sound; a unit of sound capable by itself of forming a syllable, or constituting the essential element of a syllable.
syllabify to divide into syllables.
syllabise syllabize to form or divide into syllables.
syllabism division into syllables.
syllabize see SYLLABISE.
syllable to utter or express in (or as in) syllables or articulate speech.
synaeresis syneresis the running together of vowels into a diphthong > SYNAERESES, SYNERESES.
synalepha synaloepha the melting of a final vowel or diphthong into the initial vowel or diphthong of the next word.
syncopal syncopic syncoptic of or showing SYNCOPE, the shortening a word by the omission of a sound, letter, or syllable from the middle of the word.
syncopate to shorten a word by cutting out its middle.
syncopic see SYNCOPAL.
syncoptic see SYNCOPAL.
syneresis see SYNAERESIS.
tautophony repetition of the same sound.
tenuis an unaspirated voiceless stop consonant, such as k, p or t > TENUES.
throat to utter or articulate in or from the throat; to express throatily > THROATS, THROATING, THROATED.
throaty of a voice, vocal sound, etc. produced or modified in the throat; guttural > THROATIER, THROATIEST; THROATILY.
toneme in a tone language, a phoneme that can be distinguished from another only by its tone intonation.
tonemic relating to a TONEME.
tonetic of or relating to tonal pronunciation or languages > TONETICS, TONETICALLY.
tonetics the study of pronunciation.
triphthong three vowel sounds pronounced as one.
trisyllabic having three syllables.
twang a nasal tone in speaking; (verb) to sound with a twang.
unround to articulate without rounding the lips.
unstress a syllable with relatively weak stress. N.B. this is not a verb: no UNSTRESSING*.
unstressed pronounced without stress, or with relatively weak stress.
unvoice to pronounce a voiced consonant without voice.
uptalk to speak with a rising inflection at the end of each sentence, as if asking a question.
uvular relating to the uvula > UVULARLY; (noun) a sound produced by use of the uvula > UVULARS.
velar of the velum, the pendulous soft palate; (noun) a consonant produced by the back of the tongue > VELARS.
velaric relating to a VELAR, a back consonant.
velarisation the pronunciation of a word with the back of the tongue touching the soft palate.
velarise velarize to articulate a sound by retracting the tongue toward the soft palate.
vibrant vibrating, resonant > VIBRANTLY; (noun) a sonant, a voiced sound; a syllabic consonant > VIBRANTS.
vocalic of or pertaining to vowel sounds > VOCALICALLY; (noun) a vowel sound > VOCALICS.
vocalise vocalize to form with the voice; to articulate
vocaliser vocalizer one who VOCALIZES.
vocule a slight vowel sound completing the articulation of certain consonants.
voice to sound with resonance of the vocal chords.
voiceless sounded without resonance of the vocal chords.
vowel a speech-sound produced by the unimpeded passage of the breath > VOWELLY; (verb) to articulate the words in singing > VOWELS, VOWELLING, VOWELLED.
vowelise vowelize to give the quality, sound, or office of a vowel to.
vowelless without vowels.
vowelly full of VOWELS.