Heard on local NE PA news

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 26 18:12:31 UTC 2010

At 12:02 PM -0600 1/26/10, Gordon, Matthew J. wrote:
>Do you really have /hausiz/ for the 3rd sg. verb form? That root has
>final /z/ for me (and the OED).

No, I don't really.  My mistake.  Even the base form of the verb
"(to) house" has a voiced "s" for me, and the 3rd singular has two.
My remark on the possessive "house's" stands, though--although the
possessive plural "houses'" has voicing.  But of course the real
question is about (metaphorical) "powerhou[s]es" (which are not
houses) vs. literal "powerhou[z]es" which works like "lighthouses",
"outhouses", etc.


>On 1/26/10 11:44 AM, "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>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?
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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