Word susceptibility to phoneme changes

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 16 21:41:56 UTC 2012

At least half the words on a typical text page in US English are susceptible to regional phoneme swaps or drops (accent or other shifts).   See http://screenr.com/BVH7   A link to copy the text is at http://justpaste.it/englishswapsdrops .  No one region would have all these affects.

The data show the vulnerability of words to various phoneme swaps or drops according to word frequency across US accents as related to word frequency (Collins Cobuild database).  This does not include word mergers like "gonna" (dropped i, g and t) "wanna" (dropped t) or "gimme" (dropped v) etc.  See http://tinyurl.com/divertingdialects  for a map of regionally shifting US dialects.  There are more phoneme affects listed there.

The data in the table aren't representative per item, because if a word were flagged for one affect it was not counted for a second.  So if "mother" were counted for a "th" to "d" swap it wasn't counted for an "ending r" drop.  To get an actual count by item another analysis need be done.

Tom Zurinskas, Conn 20 yrs, Tenn 3, NJ 33, now Fl 9.
See how English spelling links to sounds at http://justpaste.it/ayk

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

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