question on pronunciation in Jespersen
Gordon, Matthew J.
GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Nov 5 19:08:15 UTC 2003
My guess this is related to the traditional British (and American) pronunciation using the lax vowel [I] in words with unstressed final -y (e.g. happy, lucky). Wells, in _Accents of English_, describes the change to the tense vowel [i], which he memorably labels "HAPPY Tensing", as one that has taken place in both British and American English in the second half of the 20th cen.
From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Stahlke, Herbert F.W.
Sent: Wed 11/5/2003 12:24 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: question on pronunciation in Jespersen
In a section on the suffices -Vnce and -Vncy, Jespersen writes, "A good deal of vacillation between -nce and -ncy may partly be attributed to the fact that the plurals -nces and -ncies are identical in sound, e. g. inadvertences = inadvertencies, impertinences = impertinencies." I have never noticed. To me the pronunciations are distinct. Would this be a first-half of the 20th c. British pronunciation?
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