Consonant Cluster Simplification is widespread

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Fri Sep 5 18:33:57 UTC 2008

Consonant Cluster Simplification is found in all varieties of American 
English, especially Southern and South Midland (as well as AAVE). In other varieties 
it occurs variably but in low amounts, the highest frequency being in 
environments before a word that begins with the same or similar consonant as C2. For 
example, for most Americans, SAND DOLLAR becomes SAN' DOLLAR, FEND DOGS AWAY 
becomes FEN' DOGS AWAY, BREAST DOCTOR becomes BREAS' DOCTOR, etc. But you will 
also hear, e.g., WRIST WATCH becomes WRIS' WATCH. Some words are particularly 
susceptible to CCS, e.g., AND becomes AN'. Of course, this sort of CCR could 
arguably be seen as a part of the larger sandhi-reduction of homorganic stops 
across word boundaries, e.g., DOG CATCHER becomes DO' CATCHER.

What Arnold meant by "t/d deletion" is not clear: "t deletion" takes place 
when "n't" becomes "n'", but "d deletion" is simply a part of CCS. Unless I'm 
mistaken, there is no such thing as "t/d deletion" as such, so it could not very 
well be "widespread."

In a message dated 9/4/08 10:50:33 PM, strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM writes:

> On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 9:09 PM,  <RonButters at> wrote:
> ... But then you started talking about final consonant cluster
> simplification, in a variety which I have never heard.  But that makes
> sense now too after having taken a look at the index to Fromkin &
> Rodman's book (damn Google books snippet view being no help), I see
> that this CCS is a feature of AAVE.  My experiences with AAVE are
> mostly limited to my growing up in Cincinnati, OH, in the 70s, and
> what I heard every day on the subway, etc. when I lived in NYC several
> years ago.  So while t/d deletion is very widespread (appearing in
> most English dialects), CCS is not, which accounts for my not being
> aware of it.  (I've also not read much about AAVE.)
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
> My Manchu studies blog:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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