[Ads-l] Dropped plurals

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 16 20:30:44 EDT 2016

KWS:  << Some people find -sts unpleasant to pronounce. >>
WB:  Perhaps the <-sts> cluster is just awkward/embarrassing to pronounce;
cf. the "principle of ease of articulation", invoked to account for much
phonetic simplification/erosion. My favorite is <eight> + <-th>, where I
lose the first plosive <-t> reflected in the standard spelling <eighth>. So
there, KWS, you have phonetic change having been accepted in the spelling
bee. OTH,  <-sixths> (as in 5/6), carefully articulated, sounds almost
trisyllabic, unless slurred out as [five-six].

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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