Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 22 13:08:42 UTC 2007

At 7:45 AM -0400 5/22/07, Charles Doyle wrote:
>Of course, we find syllabic schwa insertion (or retention) in
>participles like "grappling," "babbling," and "grumbling," but those
>are explainable (partly, at least) by the pronunciation of the base
>forms. There seems to be no tendency to pronounce "complexity" as
>"comp(@)lexity" or "complete" as "comp(@)lete."

Note the stress patterns:  the epenthesis is evidently associated
with a stressed syllable coming up after the cluster.  Arnold can
probably direct us to relevant research on this.

(I don't think "nuclear" > "nucular" below is an instance of
epenthesis--as we've discussed, it's more likely a morphological
(analogical) reanalysis prompted by the myriad of -'Vcular forms and
the near-absence of parallel adjectival formations in -'Vclear beyond


>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 12:30:05 -0400
>>From: James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
>>Subject: Re: "parap(@)legic"
>>>I know I also insert a vowel sound there. But now that I know it's
>>>naughty, I will continue to do so :)
>>Are you aware of other places in your dialect (or idiolect?) where
>>you similarly insert a schwa between [p] and [l]? That is, is there
>>a documentable transformation pattern?
>>I wonder whether this particular one isn't lurking the background
>>formany English speakers, given that it's quite common to say
>>"puh-leeze" as an emphatic form of "please." I would guess that
>>it's coming from the aspiration of the [p]. But how far does that
>>go? Could we, in response to "The bride will wear plaid," say
>>"puh-lad?!" How about with [k] -- I don't think I normally hear
>>"kuh-lose the door!" On the other hand, the [k] and [l] are often
>>separated in "nuclear".
>>Thoughts on a general pattern?
>>James Harbeck.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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