the spoken sounds of ing/ink and ang/ank

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 3 00:28:04 UTC 2008

At 4:34 PM -0400 6/2/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
>Oh boy. I've never heard of such a bad case of graphophonism.
>m a m
>On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 3:02 PM, Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at> wrote:
>>  I listened to your comments and pronunciations, and I disagree that
>>  you have IPA [i] in "sing" or "sink."  It is well known among
>>  phoneticians that a final velar nasal will raise a lax high front
>>  vowel slightly, but not to the extent of making it a tense vowel, and
>>  you don't pronounce it with a tense vowel.  What surprised me though
>>  was that you pronounce all "-ing" forms with a final voiced velar
>>  stop, including in "singer," which you say does not have it.  There
>>  are dialects, most notably Long Island, that pronounce a [g] after
>>  final [©Ø], but I'm not sure that yours is that Long Island dialect.

Also, at least stereotypically, the [g] after [N] 
only shows up at syllable boundaries, so that 
"Long Island" comes out as "Lung Guy-land", 
"singer" rhymes with "finger", etc.  But "long" 
and "sing" would still be [lON] and [sIN], not 
[lONg] and [sINg]. So at least goes the 
shibboleth, and also my memory of this particular 
feature of the dialect.

(Long Beach [L.I.] High School '61)

>  > What surprised me even more was that when you were demonstrating the
>>  lax [?] of "sin" as you think it might sound before [©Ø], you were
>>  saying an alveolar nasal [n] followed by a voiced velar stop [g], a
>>  combination that simply doesn't occur in syllable-final position in
>>  English.  In other words, [s?ng] is not a possible word in English.
>>  Herb
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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