Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Jul 3 23:25:08 UTC 1999


This is an interestingly different story. Perhaps the output can be got to
in both ways (as you suggest), but the crucial element would seem to have
to do with syllable boundaries at the beginning of the story. I'm betting
that most AE speakers' careful pronunciation will be /loof - TAN - suh/
(and that yours is an especially learned one, with the German morpheme
boundaries intact). A lot of learning is cool for morphology but can be
dangerous in phonoology (the "later" the phonology, the more dangerous,
perhaps particularly as regards "impossible" clusters).


PS: I won't even tell my early 60's going to Wisconsin for the first time
story in which both phonology and lexicon made it impossible for me to
understand a clerk who said "Do you want me to put it (i.e., my purchase)
in a bag?" It's perhaps poetic justice (whatever that is!) that I'm working
on the Northern Cities Shift now in my dotage.

>bethany asks how to get /fansa/ ([fans@] or [fanz@], surely?)  from
>LUFTHANSA.  i have a slightly different tale from dInIs's (which
>doesn't preclude us both from being, in some sense, right).
>my most careful english pronunciation of LUFTHANSA has a first
>syllable ending in [ft] and a second beginning with an [h].  the [h]
>disappears at the first opportunity, giving something that should be
>spelled LUFTANSA and has phonetic resyllabication, with the [t] moved
>into the second syllable and consequently aspirated.
>nevertheless, the [t] is still *phonologically* at the end of the
>first syllable, so it's part of an [ft] cluster, and a prime candidate
>for that famous t/d deletion.  giving something that should be spelled
>LUFANSA, also subject to phonetic resyllabication, with the [f] moved
>into the second syllable: [lU.fan.z@] (those of you with an [s]
>instead of a [z] in this word, just make the substitution here, and
>hereafter; i have a [z], maybe from my swiss genes).  this is, in
>fact, my everyday pronunciation of the word (in english).
>next, though a syllable-final [U] in an unstressed syllable is
>perfectly kosher in english (as in MUBARAK or BUKOWSKI), since it's an
>unstressed lax vowel it's fair game for vowel reduction, which gives
>[l at .fan.z@]. this is just a tad more casual/slouchy for me than the
>[lU...] version.
>*now* we have a schwa in a pretonic syllable, flanked by consonants -
>a prime candidate for phonetic shortening (as in BELIEVE, POLICE,
>COLUMBUS, POTATO), even to nothingness.  this would give [l.fan.z@],
>where that first syllable, [l], might have a super-short vowel after
>the [l], or might have a voiceless vowel after the [l] (anticipating
>the voicelessness of the [f]), or might be a short syllabic [l] - on
>its own, or devoiced in anticipation of the [f], or vocalized to a
>super-short [u] - or might not be articulated at all.
>i submit that bethany, or i, or most speakers of american english,
>would hear any one of *these* versions (including, of course,
>[fan.z@]) as FANSA.
>arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu, posting from the linguistic
>  institute at uiuc), who was struck uncomprehending by a sales
>  clerk who said [zOl/] (/ is rising final intonation, O is open o)
>  to him this very morning, several times, before he [the linguist]
>  understood that she [the clerk] was saying IS THAT ALL?

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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