[Ads-l] thoughts on this idea? variant pronunciations in a dictionary receive individual etymologies

Tim Stewart timoteostewart1977 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 6 12:25:15 EST 2017


Indeed, John. Out of the 1,100 entries in my data set, I confess that this
"buddhagan" is the only one I have so far like this. I guesstimate I might
discover evidence to similarly treat maybe just 1 or 2 more terms. So we're
looking at about a couple tenths of a percent of entries susceptible to
this feature.

Tim


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On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 11:08 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> As an amateur, my reaction is that this would be a very interesting and
> useful feature, but I would not expect there typically to be sufficient
> information resources available for this to be carried out.
>
>
> John Baker
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Tim Stewart
> Sent: Thursday, January 5, 2017 9:59 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: thoughts on this idea? variant pronunciations in a dictionary
> receive individual etymologies
>
> I'm writing a dictionary of blend words, and each entry has an etymology
> that shows which parts of the source words became part of the blend. So the
> etymology of *brunch* looks like [BReakfast + lUNCH].
>
> I'm toying with an idea I don't think I've seen in a dictionary, and I'm
> curious what the ADS-L folks think about it. Suppose we have the word
> *buddhagan* which is a blend of the words *Buddhist* and *pagan*. The word
> *buddhagan* is pronounced by people either of two ways:
> (1) stress on first syllable and schwa after the /d/ sound; or
> (2) stress on second syllable and long /a/ vowel after the /d/ sound.
>
> Each pronunciation suggests a different way of analyzing the way the source
> words have been blended. With the first pronunciation, we would analyze the
> blend as the entire word *buddha* plus the syllable "gan" from "pagan".
> With the second pronunciation, we would analyze the blend as "buddh" plus
> the "agan". As you can see, the color of the /a/ vowel in the pronunciation
> indicates which source word contributed the "a". See text example below as
> well as a link to a screenshot from a PDF to illustrate how these two
> pronunciations and etymologies might be presented in a dictionary:
>
> (please pretend that capital E in the pronunciations means a schwa. and
> please pardon the terrible phonetic transcription---the ADS-L listerver
> butchers Unicode, doesn't it? otherwise I would have been glad to use
> Unicode)
>
>      BUDDHAGAN. noun. \'bu-dE-gEn\ [BUDDHA + paGAN] or \bu-`da-gEn\ [BUDDHa
> + pAGAN] A person who identifies with aspects of Buddhism and paganism.
>
> Link to high-res screenshot of this same example:
>
>
> https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/57894/ADS-L/entry%20for%
> 20buddhagan.png
>
> My questions...
>
> (1) Does it seem like a useful feature to provide each pronunciation with
> its own etymology if the analysis of the blend is different for each
> pronunciation? Any specific critiques or suggestions about this?
>
> (2) On a tangential note: How vital is it that a newly published dictionary
> intended for a scholarly and professional audience (let's say: comparative
> religions scholars; historians; journalists) use IPA for the
> pronunciations? At present I'm using the phonetic transcription scheme used
> in the Merriam-Webster family of dictionaries since I figure it's familiar
> to many readers, but I would like to gather some additional opinions and
> reactions on this.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Tim
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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