Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Aug 25 03:09:38 UTC 2005

>  >At 8:41 AM -0700 8/24/05, Peter A. McGraw wrote:
>>>As far as I remember, all the citations of this cavalry/Calvary confusion
>>>seem to involve use of the latter where the former is meant.
>>That's my sense too, and I suspect (without knowing enough
>>phonetics/phonology to support the suspicion) that "calvary" is
>>easier to say (at least for English speakers) in some relevant sense
>>than "cavalry".  That being said (as hesitantly as I could manage to
>>say it), I'm not sure there are such metatheses when no prior word of
>>the other form exists (e.g. with "calvacade"  for "cavalcade"),
>>although arguably the phonology between these pairs is different
>>enough to matter.
>>Some empirical data:  9930 googlits for "calvacade"...
>>but also 113 for "Cavaldos" (which sounds like it should refer to
>>apple brandy one sips on horseback)
>  ~~~~~~~~~~
>I wonder if this (cavalry/Calvary) is a case where literacy is part of what
>trips the tongue, that somehow the awareness of those letters (a,l,v,a  or
>a,v,a,l ...hmmmm, which is it?) is behind it.  Something similar happens
>with "integral" though in that case there is no "intregal" to change places

No, but there's "intricate", and again I think ease of articulation
is involved there.  I'm not sure literacy is a culprit; cf. kids and
their "pisghetti" and other such variants.


>those letters just seem to want to mix themselves up.  It would be
>interesting to know if the illiterate are better at keeping the sounds
>Just my WAG.
>A. Murie
>~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>

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