[Ads-l] Minimal pair for English /t ͡ʃ/ vs. /tʃ/

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 28 14:23:20 EDT 2017

> On Mar 28, 2017, at 1:29 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 12:41 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Can anyone suggest a good minimal pair for English /t͡ʃ/ and /tʃ/ besides
>> "catch it" and "cat shit", which has obvious non-phonological problems?

You’re probably not going to want “batch it” v. “bat shit”.

> If it was good enough for Bloomfield... (Supposedly it appears in an
> article he wrote on juncture -- perhaps Larry knows it. I've read that he
> masked the minimal pair as "catch it" and "that shirt”).

The first g-hit for “cat shit” + “catch it” + “Bloomfield” yields


But I notice I don’t give a source there.  (And no, it wasn’t pers. comm.)  

This 1993 exchange on Linguist List between Robin Craig Barr (another of my former Words students!) and Max Wheeler confirms Ben’s memory of the non-minimal disguise of the minimal pair as he notes above, with the appropriate citation (at least a paper title is provided):


I remember one or more of my undergraduate teachers insisting that Bloomfield did indeed cite the minimal pair in unexpurgated form in his lectures.  I’m not sure where his putative essay “On Juncture” might have appeared, and while there is a discussion of juncture phenomena in his 1933 _Language_, both my and our department library’s copies of the book seem to have vanished. 


> There's also "ratchet" vs. "rat shit", which is no good either, I suppose.
> In a sci.lang discussion some years ago, Nathan Sanders suggested "the
> catchy titles" vs. "the cat she titles". Or how about "nacho" vs. "not
> show", as blogged by Neal Whitman?
> https://literalminded.wordpress.com/2006/01/10/i-love-not-shows/
> --bgz
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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