earlobe > earlope

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 4 01:04:56 UTC 2009

There might be something else happening here.  Final lenis obstruents
are partially or completely devoiced if there is no immediately
following voiced segment.  For most speakers the vowel length contrast
remains, so "seat" and "seed" will still contrast phonolgically.
However, for some speakers, the vowel can also shorten before the
devoiced lenis, in which case the contrast between the two words will
be lost.  I have a colleague, native speaker of AmE from Connecticut
raised and educated in the US, who regularly pronounces the suffix
-ese with short /i/ and final /s/, so that it would rhyme with
"peace."  I could see "earlobe" becoming "earlope" in the same low.


On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 3:00 PM, Victor<aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: earlobe > earlope
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Seems about as likely as being related to jackalope...
> There is a condition, actually, sometimes (always?) referred to as "lop
> ear". It's a pathology in humans, but a feature in lop-ear rabbits.
> Another candidate is "lop off". Under the circumstances, that might lead
> to "earlop" or "ear lop" instead. But of the 7700+ raw ghits, only a
> handful are relevant.
> http://www.justanswer.com/questions/4x0g-knot-right-ear
> The rest seem to be related to lop ear (above) or to a skateboarding
> maneuver. Of course, the vowel is dissimilar so it makes sense
>    VS-)
> Laurence Horn wrote:
>> Perceived relation to, or influence from, "elope"?
>> LH
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