Breaking doubled consonants into syllables

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Aug 26 21:29:44 UTC 2012

OK, Wilson, Ben, and Larry have given me the "other"
cases.  Summarizing for myself:

(1)  Some situations are doubling to affect pronunciation (to
distinguish two words; e.g. hopping vs. hoping).  For such words, in
speech the consonant is (usually? or always?) not spoken in each syllable.

(2)  Other situations are doubling because of an affix (e.g.
unnatural, immodest) or because two separate words are combined (e.g.
bookcase).  For such words, in speech the consonant is (usually)
spoken in each syllable.

Correct? Or as close as any rule can get for English?

Larry, somehow for me "innocent" doesn't fit in your list of
"un#natural or non#native, but not in im+modest or in+nocent or
ir+relevant".  In each of the others I (think I) pronounce the
consonant also at the beginning of the second syllable, but for
"innocent" I (definitely?) do not.


At 8/26/2012 04:59 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Any cases of compounding like these, where each word contributes its
>own consonant, do retain their pronunciation except sometimes in
>fast speech. (I can imagine "bookcase" either with or without a
>double /kk/, for example.)
>On Aug 26, 2012, at 4:37 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> > Does the example of "bookkeeping" and related words help? There
> aren't many words in English with geminates, but they do exist.
> >
> > Benjamin Barrett
> > Seattle, WA
> >
> > On Aug 26, 2012, at 11:20 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> >
> >> Is there a general rule about breaking English words with doubled
> >> consonants into syllables, either in speaking or in writing?  For
> >> example, "canning" would be spelled and pronounced "can-ning", with
> >> an N sound beginning the second syllable.
> >>
> >> My speech says such a rule is not applicable to speaking.  For
> >> example, I don't say "stop-ping" but rather -- I think --
> >> "sto-pping".  (For my "canning" I can't tell.)
> >>
> >> But I assume it applies to writing.  Are their counter-examples?
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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