Geoffrey Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Tue Apr 6 15:18:02 UTC 2010

No, Amy (and others later) you're probably not fooling yourselves--you're hearing a tiny bit of stress if the second syllable retains its onset consonant (fudge.sick.le) as opposed to losing it and becoming a dactyl (fudg.i.cle).

In normal to casual style such single vowel middle syllables of dactyls (which are, by definition, reduced vowels) tend to elide--'fam'ly', 'ev'ry', and even in some more generalized environments ('edge.cation' for 'education'). (You can read about it in my textbook :-) )

There's a big fight among phonologists about whether this is a 'deletion' or not, and if so, whether it's rule governed or not, but what you're hearing is the difference between a 'throw-away' vowel in 'fudgicle' and one that's indispensible in 'fudgesicle'.

Anyway, so says this phonologist.


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

----- "Amy West" <medievalist at W-STS.COM> wrote:

> From: "Amy West" <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 10:28:41 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: Re: Popsicle
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Popsicle
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps I'm a freak, but I keep the /s/ and say it as fudge-sicle.
> And fudge-icle sounds really odd to me.
>  From the little that I understood of Damien Hall's analysis, I agree
> that there's reasons for folks to ellide the /s/. I don't do
> phonology/phonetics because I have a tin ear, but there seems to me
> to be a different quality to the /i/ between the pronunciation with
> the /s/ and the one without. Am I just fooling myself? (See mention
> of the tin ear above.)
> ---Amy West
> >Date:    Sun, 4 Apr 2010 17:26:44 -0400
> >From:    Paul Johnston <paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU>
> >Subject: Re: Popsicle
> >
> >I (and my parents)said that too!  Maybe Fudgicle is a Northeastern
> >thing.
> >
> >Paul Johnston
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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