The second syllable of "little, cattle, subtle"

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jun 21 01:49:59 UTC 2004

What you think of the following exchange?

-- Mark A. Mandel
[This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 20:17:59 -0400
From: Marc Picard <marcpicard at SYMPATICO.CA>
Reply-To: American Name Society <ANS-L at LISTSERV.BINGHAMTON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Back-formation

On Dimanche, juin 20, 2004, at 07:14  pm, Mark A. Mandel wrote:

> On Sat, 19 Jun 2004, MARC PICARD wrote:
> #
> #On Samedi, juin 19, 2004, at 02:16  am, MPI EVA Jakarta Field Station
> #wrote:
> #
> #> 'butl' with a syllabic 'l', I presume :)
> #
> #That would be impossible since the /t/ is flapped and flapping
> #absolutely requires a following vowel. The only syllabic consonant in
> #North American English is /n/. Notice the absence of flapping in
> #cotton, Latin, fatten as opposed to little, subtle, cattle.
> #
> #Marc Picard
> #
> I've been speaking North American English all my life -- over half a
> century
> -- and I say "little, subtle, cattle" with a syllabic /l/, laterally
> released from the /t/ as the second peak.

I guess that makes you one of a kind. Personally, I've never heard any
North American pronounce these words without a flap nor have I ever
seen what you describe reported in the literature. And I'm probably
older than you are.

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