schwa insertion

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 31 14:49:31 UTC 2003

At 12:28 PM +1100 1/31/03, Steve Cornelius wrote:
>Peter McGraw's mention of "athaletic" reminds me that "triathalon" and its
>variants (e.g. "duathalon", "biathalon") are common around here. Do these
>occur in North America and UK too?
Yes, at least for "biath(a)lon", "decath(a)lon" and "pentath(a)lon"
and for this part of North America.  In fact much more common than
"ath(a)lete"/"ath(a)letic".  I suspect the frequency of "athlete"
blocks schwa insertion there, and the stress pattern of "athletic"
makes it less likely there (as well as the frequency factor).  In
"decath(a)lon" and its comrades, both the infrequency and the stress
pattern increase the likelihood of the (phonetically natural) schwa


P.S.  I imagine for "duath(a)lon" too, but I've never heard that one.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list