Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Apr 6 12:05:28 UTC 2010

Also a Texan (by birth and rearing), I concur precisely with Leslie's recollection about the adjacent stresses on the first two syllables of "Fudgesicle." I was aware of no other pronunciation until I married my wife (a Chicagoan), who does that funny [s]-less dactylic thing with the word.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 20:40:43 -0400
>From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> (on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 15:45:08 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Popsicle
>>From: Leslie Decker <leslie at familydecker.org>
>>To: djh514 at york.ac.uk
>>I think that it also makes a difference where the stress is in popsicle,
>>and, by analogy, fudgesicle.  I (central Texas), would never have said
>>'fudgicle,' and when I first read this message, I was going over in my head
>>how fudgicle and fudgesicle could even remotely sound the same.  It then hit
>>me that the stress may be POPsicle and FUDGE(s)icle, in which case I can
>>more easily understand the reduction.  Around here, we'd be more likely to
>>say POP SICle and FUDGE SICle, with more or less equal stress on the first
>>two syllables.
>Interesting.  It would never have occurred to me to pronounce (or
>hear) it any other way than with reduced stress on the "sicle" part,
>even more reduced than the way Arlo Guthrie pronounces "motorcycle"
>in his eponymous song:
>I don't want a pickle
>I just wanna ride on my motorsickle
>>On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 10:23 AM, Damien Hall <djh514 at york.ac.uk> wrote:
>>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>Poster:       Damien Hall <djh514 at YORK.AC.UK>
>>>Subject:      Popsicle
>>>Larry and Paul commented on the non-pronunciation of the /s/ in
>>>'Fudgesicle'. Possibly it is dialectal, but isn't the simplest explanation
>>>phonetic / phonological? It seems to me very likely that in a sequence of
>>>affricate /J/ + fricative /s/
>>>- which could be simplified to
>>>(/d/ +) voiced fricative /Z/ + fricative /s/
>>>one of the two will get elided, at least in fast speech. If you believe in
>>>the Obligatory Contour Principle (not saying I don't, but not everyone
>>>does!), that would be one way of describing it.
>>>That's the phonology, but in my view English phonetics make it almost
>>>inevitable that one of these two phonemes will be elided in fast speech.
>>>It's clear that English final voiced consonants are often / usually not
>>>really voiced if you look at them on a spectrogram: usually the only
>>>difference between 'sinch' and 'singe' is in the length of the vowel, which
>>>is longer before the notionally- / phonologically-voiced consonant in
>>>'singe', while both final consonants are voiceless. So for 'fudge' (though
>>>I haven't done the spectrogram to check). I would expect that the final
>>>consonant of 'fudge' would be [tS], the same as the final consonant of
>>>'futch'.* If this is so, then we have
>>>[S] + [s]
>>>in the middle of 'fudgesicle', and I think that, if you say it fast, even
>>>if you are saying both consonants, it's very difficult for the listener to
>>>tell. It therefore sounds like 'fudgicle', and it's a short step from it
>>>sounding like that to people actually making that their target
>>>pronunciation and spelling it accordingly.
>>>* I know that there's a little, ahem, fudging of the argument here, since
>>>the final consonant of 'fudge' isn't word-final in 'fudgesicle'; but isn't
>>>it likely that people analyse it as if it _were_ word-final, and therefore
>>>final devoicing applies (turning 'fudge' to 'futch'), since the 'fudge'
>>>syllable is only there in 'fudgesicle' because it is a word in its own
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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