schwa insertion

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Jan 30 16:28:32 UTC 2003

A woman of my family's acquaintance used to complain of her "Arthuritis."
The folk etymological possibilities are even more transparent here, of
course, but since the phenomenon crops up fairly frequently, and
"athaletic," e.g., has no folk etymological explanation I can think of, I
wonder if both folk etymological and phonological factors aren't sometimes
at work.

--On Wednesday, January 29, 2003 5:31 PM -0800 Peter Richardson
<prichard at> wrote:

> Some weeks ago there was discussion of schwa insertion. The other day I
> was in a local auto parts store, gabbing with an older (i.e. older than I
> am) employee who came up with "agonostic--you know, doesn't believe or
> whatever." A nice way to ease the transition from g to n. Is there any
> "igganore" or "sigganature" out there? Or is this just likely
> contamination from _agony_ (ergo the misery of the nonbeliever)?
> Peter R.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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