Mike Salovesh t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Fri Feb 4 10:01:35 UTC 2000

For some reason, this note got stuck and didn't get to ADS-L when I
wrote it. It's a little late, but what the heck . . .

> RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> I'm dubious that anything but phonology is very much as work here. It seems
> to me to go both ways (just like BIRD/BRID). I hear "pervention" as much as
> "prevention"; cf. also "pervaricate," "perliminary"--even "February" becomes
> "Feburary" as well as "Febuary."

There's a parallel in rural Mexican Spanish. For example, the standard
Spanish word "pobre", poor, often is pronounced as if it were spelled
"probe".  Word initial /p/ seems to act as a strange attractor or
strange repeller for any /r/ in the general neighborhood.  More
generally, funny things seem to happen when /r/ is the second element in
a consonant cluster. Witness, e.g., "Pegro" in place of "Pedro", etc.
FWIW, the tendency is particularly notable in areas where a substantial
part of the rural population is bilingual in Spanish and some indigenous

Given this parallel pattern in English and one form of Spanish, I agree
with Ron that phonology could have a lot to do with the English
alternation of performance/preformance.

-- mike salovesh       <salovesh at>      PEACE !!!

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