that costly "missing g"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Dec 23 00:59:21 UTC 2012

On 12/22/2012 7:26 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> ....
> --which wasn't a missing "g" at all, but an alveolar nasal where Pat Sajak insisted on a velar:
> Of course, in a-swimmin' and other instances of a- prefixing, it's virtually inevitable (as I think Wolfram or someone else has observed) that for modern speakers, at least in the U.S. the -in' pronunciation /In/ sounds much more natural (they're a-huntin', a-fishin', a-ridin') than the "correct" -ing /IN/ (they're a-hunting, a-fishing, a-riding).  Maybe a dialectologist can offer an amicus curiae brief on Ms. Durette's behalf over the "g" that went a-missin?

Who says /IN/ alone is correct? (Not I, although I think I would prefer
/IN/ here my modern self.)

Even if I personally considered /In/ or /@n/ absolutely wrong and
atrocious, I would not consider it acceptable to fault the contestant
for it if any respectable standard authority sanctions it.

And indeed MW3 (as respectable and standard as any in such a matter
IMHO) under "-ing" shows various pronunciations with /n/ as well as /N/,
with even-handed discussion.

But then that thing's not called the idiot box for nothing.

There is a current item on Languagelog.

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list