[Ads-l] Heards -- "psychopa[Dz]"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 3 16:37:38 UTC 2015

On Jan 3, 2015, at 11:05 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 1/3/2015 02:58 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 10:45 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
>> > My pronunciation of "psychopaths" and "newspaper" is the
>> > opposite of Jon Lighter's
>> >
>> Eh?
> Wilson, if you re-read Jon's message, he wrote:
>> > I heard "psychopaths" pronounced as "psychopa[Dz]."
>> The way I've *always* said it. (That would be from the early '60s.)
>> "Noozpaper" from the '50s, though I'm pretty sure my grandparents (but not
>> my mother) preferred the / s /.
> I speak like his grandparents -- both words with / s /.  And I was raised at about the same time in about the same region (but perhaps not borough).
> Joel 
I was raised at about the same time in Manhattan.  I think I've always said "psychopa[Ts]" rather than "psychopa[Dz]", although I haven't done so all that often in an absolute sense (and I suppose the same holds for the now trendier "sociopa[Ts]".  But for the ones I actually say relatively frequently, "paths" and "newspaper", I think I've consistently wavered between voiced and voiceless.  Saying them to myself, both versions sound natural.  I suspect a spectrogram might also show something more like /nuzspep at r/ ("noozspaper") for the latter, with a transition from voiced to voiceless on the assimilating sibilant.  Definitely no diphthong for the "news" part, in any case--I remain an echt Noo Yawker on that.


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