words starting with "ex"

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Tue Jul 24 14:26:39 UTC 2007

This guy obviously does not understand free variation.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>

Date:         Mon, 23 Jul 2007 22:53:40
Subject:      Re: [ADS-L] words starting with "ex"

Something has been bugging me for a while now, and I feel I must
finally address it.

Your reliance on the audio-prons from the electronic MW Collegiate
(I'm assuming the 10th edition) as "evidence" is really bothering me.
I wasn't involved in their production, but I did work in the office
when that project was being done. The audio-prons done for the 10th
Collegiate were done under the direction of Brian Sietsema, the
MIT-trained linguist who was the pronunciation editor at the time.
The work was outsourced to professional voice talent, and when the
prons didn't meet his criteria, he re-did them himself. As you point
out, "they are faithful to the phonetic spelling," which I take to
mean the pronunciation as represented by the symbols. Yes, exactly.
The audio-prons are meant as a substitute for the pronunciation
guide, which is hard to decipher for some. These are not the only
prons possible, they do not represent all accents/dialects, they are
not examples from the wild to be used as "evidence." They are
intended to help the dictionary users for whom deciphering the
pronunciation guide is difficult and that's it.

---Amy West

>  >Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
>  >Subject:      words starting with "ex"
>  >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>Words starting with "ex"
>>There are 64 words in the top 5,000 words of English that start with "ex"
>>according to the word-count analysis of English media text by Collins
>>They are listed below.  Of interest is how the first sound of "ex" is
>>by the speakers in m-w.com.  They may say it with "short e" or "short i."
>>They are faithful to the phonetic spelling that m-w.com provides.
>>Without peeking at m-w.com, take the test.  Which words take which
>>pronunciations for "ex."  Do you think this is correct for American
>  >dialect?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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