Barbara Need nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Aug 10 02:44:47 UTC 2000

Would that it were so. I have seen some much BAD hyphenation in the
newspapers and books (even Harry Potter!), with biking, for example,
hyphenated between just about any two letters, or don't hyphenated between
the o and the n.

This is clearly a fourth method (hit-or-miss!).

Barbara Need

>Just an elaboration, when it comes to hypenating words, there are actually
>three methods in place. (none of this has to do with pronunciations, but I
>thought it might be edifying, or at least interesting.)
>Certain affixes are strictly morphological, like -ing; the syllable dot
>will always precede it. (jok*ing, kill*ing)
>Other affixes are broken phonologically.
>Still other affixes are broken either phonologcally or morphologically,
>depending on whether the root they attach to is itself the semantically
>related word (or would be if you added an e to it). [Thus guid*ance, but
>fi*nance, broken that way in the Big 4.] (I figured this 'rule' out by
>analyzing all the words in AHD that ended in -ance, looking for
>patterns. It was confusing at first, until I realized that in some
>cases, semantics does come into play: guidance can be seen as
>guide + ance, whereas that's not the case with finance. This was
>corroborated by other words.) What's more, the decision of whether to
>break consonant clusters (like rt or nd) depends on the affix they're
>attached to. Again, these guidelines of how to break words are based
>largely on the conventions set forth by typographers.
>Random House, Merriam-Webster, and American Heritage all show a similar
>pattern; Webster's New World hyphenation leans more toward the
>morphological (they're more inclined to keep clusters intact where the
>other 3 would split them).
>It's a fascinating thing, really.
>--- Steve K.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list