Heard on local NE PA news

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 26 17:44:59 UTC 2010

At 3:39 PM +0000 1/26/10, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>A big trend I hear is the spelnountseeng (say it as it's spelled) of
>letter "s" at the end when it should be "z".  For instance "eyes" as
>"ice".  So I guess you're talking about that as well as the two
>common vowel choices for "vase".
>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
>see truespel.com phonetic spelling

A different but somewhat related point:

I don't know if this has been discussed here or elsewhere, but I
noticed a radio ad this morning promoting some upcoming game by
describing the teams involved as "powerhouses", with the
pronunciation /paw at rhausIz/.  I assume that this would only occur for
the metaphorical meaning here, and not for actual electrical power
stations/plants, which would always be /paw at rhauzIz/ for any speakers
who say /hauzIz/ for the plural (obviously the possessive or 3rd sg.
form would be /hausIz/).  I have the feeling that I would probably
devoice the s in "powerhouse" under the same (metaphorical)
circumstances the way the announcer did, although I could imaging
going either way on it.  This is subtler than the cases that have
been discussed involving exocentric compounds and similar expressions
("My children both have sweet ?tooths/??teeth") or zero-derivations
like "The wide receivers grandstanded/#grandstood again" vs.
"understood", "withstood",...).  (I know the classic example is "fly
out", but I've never shared Pinker's (or whoever's) conviction that
the past tense can only be "flied out", having heard "flew out" too

Arnold (or Ben), is there a Language Log posting on "powerhou[s]es"
or analogous cases?


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