"nuptuals" for nuptials

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 3 18:58:10 UTC 2006

>On Feb 3, 2006, at 8:35 AM, sagehen wrote:
>>A short piece on NPR's Morning Edition today, regarding a trend toward
>>substituting charitable contributions for wedding presents, was
>>read with a
>>consistent pronunciation  "nuptual/s" for_nuptial/s_.
>>   It sounded familiar enough that I know I've heard it before. It
>>made me
>>wonder: is it regional or merely random, occasional confusion
>>influenced by
>>_factual, conceptual _, &c?
>it's pretty common.  another one to add to my file of morphological
>reanalyses (most of which i've posted about here: nucular, doctorial,
>overature, perculate/perculation/perculator, fellatiate, gal(l)iant,
In particular, the assimilation-to-a-better-attested-pattern, which
as we've discussed is plausibly the major factor in "nucular" (i.e.
the prevalence of words like "ocular", "spectacular", "circular",
etc., as against the extreme rarity of words like "nuclear",
"cochlear"), is relevant here:  "voluptuous", "unctuous", "punctual"
would have the pattern of "nuptual", while the "nuptial" pattern
(stressed root syllable with /^/ followed by -iSFX rather than -uSFX)
seems to be rarer.  That's my impression, anyway.  If that's right,
the vowel of the stem is relevant, so it's more the examples I just
cited than "factual" or "conceptual", since we do have "partial"
"substantial", and a lot of other "-ial"s to derive adjectives from
non-/^/ nouns.  (No, I realize that "nuptuals"/"nuptials" is a noun,


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