Doug Harris cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET
Thu Nov 8 15:43:27 UTC 2007

Charlie --
I think "realator" sorta falls into that category, in that it's a
perceived-as-different-spelling pronunciation or, in some cases,
what I'd call 'imitative pronunciation' -- saying what you've heard
others say, assuming it to be correct.
(It's amazing how 'popular' that ear-grating pronunciation is in
these parts -- meaning around central NY and NE PA.)
(the other) doug

Some 35 years ago a friend--a learned linguist who has since become eminent
in the field--heard me pronounce "height" with a theta at the end. He
hypothesized that mine was a "misspelling pronunciation"--that I had
visualized the word with the final "h" and "t" interchanged, and then
pronounced it accordingly.

In fact, of course, the /-T/ form of "height," like the /-T/ form of
"drought," has alternated with the /-t/ form for many centuries (in both
pronunciation and spelling). But I have, ever since that conversation, been
intrigued by the concept of "misspelling pronunciations." What might real
examples be? With most of the words that our students ubiquitously misspell,
like "occurrence" and "separate," pronunciation would not be affected (or,
rather, the misspelling is based on the phonology).


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list