[Ads-l] Q: M silent in MN?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 3 19:34:02 UTC 2015

On Jan 3, 2015, at 2:19 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 1/3/2015 11:25 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> On Jan 3, 2015, at 10:51 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> > At 1/3/2015 02:03 AM, W Brewer wrote:
>> >
>> >> What homework is JB wanting us to do for him now?
>> >
>> > OK, I'll confess.
>> >
>> > I really couldn't think of "mn" words silencing the M last night, only several (contra Larry's hypothesis)
>> Au contraire.  My hypothesis concerned all and only *initial* clusters; final ones work both ways ("damn" vs. "impugn").
> My apology -- I didn't realize you were speaking of initial clusters.  However, I think GN would have been a less convincing example than the MN of mnemonic.  And can I assert that in "whi-nny" / "whi-mnam" the MN is an initial cluster (of a syllable)?
Not sure how syllable boundaries work.  Typically, each syllable gets one consonant (ignoring # boundaries as with progressive/gerunding -ing):

gnostic /n/ vs. agnostic /g-n/
mnemonic /n/ vs. amnesia /m-n/
knowledge /n/ vs. acknowledge /k-n/

and of course for terminal clusters, mutatis mutandis
damn /m/ vs. damnation /m-n/  (but damning /m/)
sign /n/ vs. signature /g-n/ (but signing /n/)
paradigm /m/ vs. paradigmatic /g-m/


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