....the lion

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Mon Dec 30 19:14:06 UTC 2002

Schwa insertion is very normal and generally unnoticed by speakers.  Some
may monitor themselves and "correct" the pronunciation in certain
circumstances, but pronunciation is usually so deeply ingrained it's not a
big deal to the speaker--if a hearer raises eyebrows (as Mark did) or
repeats the word, maybe the user would change it, but probably not.  That's
why I was wondering who used the form, and whether there was a pause or
other reaction on the part of the hearer.

It's most definitely not "substandard" or "illiterate"; it represents a
normal phonological process, much like its opposite, elision, as in
"s'pose" or "gonna."

At 12:09 PM 12/30/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>How would you characterize this on a scale of usage, stsndard or
>substandard or informal or illiterate (a category I suggest for the
>speech of people who are not familiar with the icons of educated folk
>in a culture)?
>Happy New Year and best wishes,
>Barnhart at highlands.com

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