Bob Fitzke fitzke at VOYAGER.NET
Sun Jul 4 17:49:50 UTC 1999

Dear Mr. Zwicky:

Can you recommend an entry level book that would help me understand the
analysis you were making in this posting? This isn't a put-on. I'm an old,
terminally curious. lawyer who simply is not familiar with this particular
form or system of language analysis.

Bob Fitzke

Arnold Zwicky wrote:

> 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?

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