prince and prints

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 24 18:38:11 UTC 2010

What you hear as [t] in "prince" is a result of timing.  In
transitioning from the lowered velum, closed glottis, and alveolar
closure of /n/ to the raised velum, spread glottis, and less tight
alveolar closure of /s/, there is frequently a brief overlap during
which the velum is raised, the glottis is spread, and the alveolar
closure is tight, resulting in a transitory or epenthetic [t].  While
this does occur frequently, it's not inevitable, and words like
"prince" can be and are pronounced without the overlap, hence without
the [t].  The [t] is, in other words, an artifact of articulatory
processes, not part of the word itself.


On Sat, Apr 24, 2010 at 9:53 AM, Tom Zurinskas <truespel at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â prince and prints
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I recently saw "comeuppance" and its foespeleeng (phonetic spelling)
> Â /,kVm'Vp at ns/ Â - No /ts/ ending
> in it's
>  \(ˌ)kəm-ˈə-pən(t)s\  and I hear ~kummupents (a definite ~ts ending)
> Why is it that the ~ts is not recognized in some phonetic notation? Â For instance
> "prints" and "prince" rhyme  (i.e., "prints" ~prints and "prince" ~prints), but thefreedictionary drops the ~t and has prince as (prins) even though for the US and UK pronounciation as spoken on the site when clicked the ~t is evident before the ~s.
> ON that site this goes for:
> since (sins) - I hear for US and UK ~sints
> fence (fens) - I hear for US and UK ~fents
> dance (dans) - I hear for US ~dants and UK ~daants.
> I just can't understand how this error can exist; especially in light of the fact that in tradspeld English, when "n" is followed by "s" at the end of a word the "s" is spoken as ~z.
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
> see phonetic spelling
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