....the lion

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 30 19:43:18 UTC 2002

Beverly writes:

>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."

Well, yes to all the above, BUT there's something more going on if
"Androcles" is pronounced so as to rhyme (as we've been saying) with
"broccolis".  There's also stress shift, suggesting that (unlike
schwa insertion in clusters like those in "fil[uh]m" or
"jewel[uh]ry", for example) this is in fact the result of someone
reading a word/name they've never actually heard pronounced rather
than a phonological process per se.

>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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