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Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlearn
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Author:  StrangerCoug [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlearn

Are there any words that you know you tend to pronounce wrong (that can't be explained by a foreign accent) but do that way anyway out of habit?

Here are a few of mine:
  • The only one coming to my mind that isn't a place name: the English word "meme". I'm largely unused to /iːm/ being spelled <eme> at the end of a single-syllable word, so what often happens is that my brain wants to treat it as a borrowing of the French "même" and pronounce it the same way as "maim". (And that somehow doesn't stop me from treating "crème" as a spelling variant of "cream" in an English-language context despite not having trouble with it in a French-language context.)
  • I used to pronounce "Stromboli" with the stress on the second instead of the first syllable.
  • I'm inconsistent with the second syllable of "Melbourne". Sometimes I pronounce it right given my rhotic accent (i.e. like "burn"); sometimes I pronounce it like "born".
  • The annoying-as-hell "Edinburgh", which I originally thought was pronounced "Eden-berg".

Author:  linguoboy [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

My parents told me that when I was just learning to read, I said "Egypt" with a hard g.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Many, many, words. I learned a lot of my vocabulary through reading, rather than listening. I often used to get stress location wrong in Latinate words, and sometimes still do in Grecian, and I think I misread a few anglo-saxon not-what-you'd-expect vowel digraphs, though I can't remember any off-hand. I used to metathesise 'enmity' and 'inexorable'.

I continue to pronounce 'satiety' incorrectly as a point of principle, damnit...

Author:  Zaarin [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

I used to pronounce enigma as [ˈɛnɪgmə].

Author:  Tropylium [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Many, many words, ranging from expected spelling pronunciations (/ˈliːəˌpɑrd/, /Θeɪmz/) to L1 prosodic interference (descendant as /ˈdɛsənˌdænt/) to very roundabout analogical mixups with other languages (early as /jɑːrli/, by influence of earl as /jɑːrl/, by influence of Swedish jarl).

Author:  Sumelic [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

StrangerCoug wrote:
Are there any words that you know you tend to pronounce wrong (that can't be explained by a foreign accent) but do that way anyway out of habit?


Certainly. Well, whenever I come across one I try to eliminate the wrong pronunciation as quickly as possible, but I probably still have some.

StrangerCoug wrote:
[list][*]The only one coming to my mind that isn't a place name: the English word "meme". I'm largely unused to /iːm/ being spelled <eme> at the end of a single-syllable word, so what often happens is that my brain wants to treat it as a borrowing of the French "même" and pronounce it the same way as "maim".


At least it's not "maymay."

For me, a lot of linguistics terms: "velar" /ˈvɛlɚ/, "phonemic" /foʊˈnɛmɪk/, "rhotic" /ˈrɑtɪk/, "alveolar" /alviˈoʊlɚ/, "allophony" /ˈaləfoʊni/, "syncope" /ˈsɪŋkoʊp/, "diaeresis" /daɪəˈrɛsɪs/, "breve" /brɛv/.
A few miscellaneous others: "query" /ˈkwɛri/, "aqueous" /əˈkweɪəs/.

Author:  linguoboy [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Sumelic wrote:
For me, a lot of linguistics terms: "velar" /ˈvɛlɚ/,..."alveolar" /alviˈoʊlɚ/, "allophony" /ˈaləfoʊni/,... "breve" /brɛv/.

I still use these myself.

Author:  KathTheDragon [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

I used to say "epitome" /'ɛpɪtəʊm/, "advertisement" /'advətʌɪzmn̩t/, probably some others.

Author:  Vijay [ Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Whenever I see "meme," I read it out as [mɛm] in my head, because I think of French même, too. I also used to pronounce epitome ['ʔɛpɪtʰoʊm] and still pronounce advertisement [ˈʔæd̚vɹ̹tʰaɪzmn̩(t̚)] (or maybe I have glottal stops on both sides of the word).

Author:  Matrix [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

According to my mom, when I was tiny, I said "remote" like "merote".

Author:  CatDoom [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Sumelic wrote:
For me, a lot of linguistics terms: "velar" /ˈvɛlɚ/, "alveolar" /alviˈoʊlɚ/...


That's not how those are pronounced? >_>

I always make a mess of "palatalization" for some reason; I can't say I even have a standard pronunciation, because I usually say it one way and then correct myself, and then give up.

Author:  Pabappa [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

StrangerCoug wrote:
[*]I used to pronounce "Stromboli" with the stress on the second instead of the first syllable.

Im not surprised to learn that Ive been saying it wrong, but Ive never heard anyone say it right either, and i think if i started saying "STROM-boli" people'd think it was weird.


KathTheDragon wrote:
StrangerCoug wrote:
"Edinburgh", which I originally thought was pronounced "Eden-berg".

Welcome to the quagmire of British place names. How d'you think Leicester and Worcester are pronounced, without googling?

Worcester is probably fairly well known at least in the USA because we have Worcester Massachusetts.



Sal wrote:
I used to metathesise 'enmity' and 'inexorable'.
What was the 2nd one?

Sumelic wrote:
For me, a lot of linguistics terms: "velar" /ˈvɛlɚ/, "phonemic" /foʊˈnɛmɪk/, "rhotic" /ˈrɑtɪk/, "alveolar" /alviˈoʊlɚ/, "allophony" /ˈaləfoʊni/, "syncope" /ˈsɪŋkoʊp/, "diaeresis" /daɪəˈrɛsɪs/, "breve" /brɛv/.
I was wrong on "labial", "bilabial", "alveolar", and "velar". For the labial word family I just assumed it was a short 'a' because of the three-syllable vowel "table ----> tabular" rule.



Also I had trpuble with "u", in words like /spurious/, /puerperal/, etc warnting not to pronounce the /j/.

Author:  Nortaneous [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

I still have no idea how 'alveolar' is pronounced. With -jə-?

@Sal: IIRC Tocharian (maybe TA) had regular metathesis of -mn- to -nm-. This does not go over well with my aesthetic intuitions.

@Vijay: "Advertisement" *is* /ˈædvɚˌtaizmənt/. I don't know how else anyone would pronounce it.

Author:  Vijay [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Nortaneous wrote:
@Vijay: "Advertisement" *is* /ˈædvɚˌtaizmənt/.

I know. :D
Quote:
I don't know how else anyone would pronounce it.

Well, KathTheDragon is British IIUC, so she pronounces it differently now, but I just wanted to reassure her that her earlier pronunciation wasn't wrong per se, just Americanized. ;) :P

Author:  finlay [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Nortaneous wrote:
I still have no idea how 'alveolar' is pronounced. With -jə-?

@Sal: IIRC Tocharian (maybe TA) had regular metathesis of -mn- to -nm-. This does not go over well with my aesthetic intuitions.

@Vijay: "Advertisement" *is* /ˈædvɚˌtaizmənt/. I don't know how else anyone would pronounce it.

/ælˈvi.ələr/, if i remember correctly. it's been a while since i've heard anyone say it out loud. that said, i think the other way is also possible.

UK pronounciation of advertisement is /ədˈvərtɪsmənt/.

I still have to remind myself that no-one says cache as /keɪʃ/, and I took a long time to internalise /ɪˈθiri.əl/ for ethereal instead of /ˌɛðəˈriəl/, and for that matter /ˈiθər/ for ether instead of /ˈɛðər/.

Author:  StrangerCoug [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

KathTheDragon wrote:
StrangerCoug wrote:
"Edinburgh", which I originally thought was pronounced "Eden-berg".

Welcome to the quagmire of British place names. How d'you think Leicester and Worcester are pronounced, without googling?

/ˈlaɪ.ses.tɚ/ and /ˈwɚ.stɚ/ respectively (though I can see a /ˈwɚ.ses.tɚ/ mispronunciation).

CatDoom wrote:
I always make a mess of "palatalization" for some reason; I can't say I even have a standard pronunciation, because I usually say it one way and then correct myself, and then give up.

I keep wanting to pronounce the forms of the word on the second syllable in a linguistics context. Get me thinking about food, though, and I get it right.

finlay wrote:
I still have to remind myself that no-one says cache as /keɪʃ/, and I took a long time to internalise /ɪˈθiri.əl/ for ethereal instead of /ˌɛðəˈriəl/, and for that matter /ˈiθər/ for ether instead of /ˈɛðər/.

At least it's more forgivable than the /ˈkæˌʃeɪ/ I used to make.

And why didn't it occur to me that I used the British instead of the American pronunciation of "vitamin" as a kid until after I read through this thread?

Author:  finlay [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

No, lester and wuster

Author:  Viktor77 [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Oregon. No one from the Midwest or East Coast knows how to pronounce it correctly which is apparently a large source of humor for Oregonians. We are taught /'O`.rI.gan/ but it's actually /'O`.rI.gIn/ or even /'O`.gIn/ in informal speech. So I had to relearn that one.

"Meme" I also used to pronounce as French "même" but I've corrected that one since.

I had to correct my pronunciation of the Montana city Helena. I always said /h@.'leI.n@/ but it's actually /'hE5.lI.n@/.

I've never bothered to pronounce Edinburgh properly. I would probably botch most English place names though I have learned a few like Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and Leicestershire. But I'd probably still manage to botch them.

I decided to relearn some French pronunciations of Belgian place names so I didn't sound like I studied French in France. Both Bruxelles and Anvers (Antwerp) are pronounced differently by the French and by the Belgians and of course I learned the French variants. The French is /'bRyk.sEl/ and /'A~.vER/. The Belgian variants are /'bRy.sEl/ and /'A~.vERs/.

Author:  Zaarin [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Sumelic wrote:
"rhotic" /ˈrɑtɪk/, "diaeresis" /daɪəˈrɛsɪs/, "breve" /brɛv/.

...That's not how these are pronounced? :? I see my French lessons did not prepare me for English linguistic jargon...

Author:  Vijay [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

I also say [brɛv]. :P

Author:  Abi [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

I still find it hard to pronounce melee as anything other than [mi:li:].

Recently:

Melanin [məl.'ʌ.nɪn] > [me.'læn.nɪn] which makes its pronunciation in line with melanocyte and melanogenesis.

Author:  linguoboy [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Viktor77 wrote:
Oregon. No one from the Midwest or East Coast knows how to pronounce it correctly which is apparently a large source of humor for Oregonians. We are taught /'O`.rI.gan/ but it's actually /'O`.rI.gIn/ or even /'O`.gIn/ in informal speech. So I had to relearn that one.

I had to relearn Colorado and Nevada, both of which I pronounced with my LOT vowel rather than with the TRAP vowel.

It's thanks my Great Uncle Bill that I grew knowing how to say Louisville properly, but I had to reteach myself New Orleans. I still say Louisiana in four syllables because the trisyllabic pronunciation sounds a bit patronising from a Border Stater like me.

Viktor77 wrote:
I've never bothered to pronounce Edinburgh properly.

Not only do I, but I even trill the /r/. I know it's a veddy affected, but I just can't help myself.

Author:  Vijay [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

linguoboy wrote:
I had to relearn Colorado and Nevada, both of which I pronounced with my LOT vowel rather than with the TRAP vowel.

Wait, that's a thing for Colorado, too? Aw crap! :D
Quote:
I had to reteach myself New Orleans.

Me, too!
Quote:
I still say Louisiana in four syllables because the trisyllabic pronunciation sounds a bit patronising from a Border Stater like me.

I say it in five.

Author:  linguoboy [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

Vijay wrote:
I say it in five.

Me smart. Me can counting!

Author:  Zaarin [ Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Incorrect pronunciations you have (or have had) to unlea

linguoboy wrote:
Viktor77 wrote:
Oregon. No one from the Midwest or East Coast knows how to pronounce it correctly which is apparently a large source of humor for Oregonians. We are taught /'O`.rI.gan/ but it's actually /'O`.rI.gIn/ or even /'O`.gIn/ in informal speech. So I had to relearn that one.

I had to relearn Colorado and Nevada, both of which I pronounced with my LOT vowel rather than with the TRAP vowel.

It's thanks my Great Uncle Bill that I grew knowing how to say Louisville properly, but I had to reteach myself New Orleans. I still say Louisiana in four syllables because the trisyllabic pronunciation sounds a bit patronising from a Border Stater like me.

I've never heard "Colorado" pronounced with /æ/...I do have /æ/ in "Nevada." To this day I've never figured out the proper general populace pronunciation of "New Orleans," so as far as I'm concerned it's [ˈnu ˈoʊ̯ɹ̱ˁln̩z].

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