[Ads-l] Another Brexit for the collection

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 28 20:51:13 UTC 2016

Yup, this time both the Leave and Remain sides are in mourning.  

On a related and more linguistic topic:

A colleague, Polly Jacobson, was wondering why we usually pronounce "Brexit" with a voiceless cluster (Brek-sit) on our side of the pond while those more directly affected usually go voiced (Breg-zit).  Another colleague had a theory almost as ingenious as it is absurd: 

"Most of the time I would say [ˈEk-sət] for the place the British so quaintly call the Way Out. For the verb meaning to leave (out of) a place, I would nearly always say [ˈEg-zət], and in the past tense, I would ALWAYS say [ˈEg-zətəd]. Brexit is a way out, and therefore [ˈbrEk-sət]."
[credit/blame to Jerry Sadock]

Seriously, though, assuming you share the initial judgments (actually I think I've heard both versions here), is there anything in general written about when words like "exit" (noun or verb), "exhaust", "exist" (only voiced?), and so on have voiced or voiceless clusters, and/or whether "Brexit" patterns like "exit"?  (Does it depend on whether "Brexit" is analyzed into two morphemes or taken as a single unit?)
(FWIW, there is at least one discussion online, but it's not completely systematic:


> On Jun 28, 2016, at 3:55 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> England 1, Iceland 2.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=CwICaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=37C7lqG617gVE8zaj_QtWmMAmLTPnzndkAndX9rLaB8&s=Rt8EZrJEqm9yp8oz7wxpsvHoxZOLhFQbgvBi-edX95Y&e= 

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

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