Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed May 30 15:48:17 UTC 2007

On May 30, 2007, at 4:46 AM, Charlie Doyle wrote:

> This is kind of funny: Evidently (so I was told; I didn't
> remember), in addressing a folklore class recently, I had described
> the concept of a "tale type" as an abstraction for which we imagine
> a plot "denuded of stylistic details." Well, on an essay test,
> fully a fourth of my students echoed some version of that phrasing--
> and every one of them spelled the word as "denuted"!  Were they
> thinking (misspelled) "neutered"? Was I mumbling my allophones?

they're just spelling by ear.  you flap (certain) intervocalic t's
and d's.  so do they.  when they hear a flap in a word whose identity
they aren't sure of ("denuded" is a low-frequency word), they don't
know whether it represents a t or a d.  they probably go for t
because t is more frequent than d.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list