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THEORY: counterpick (was: Re: THEORY: picking nits)

From:Matt Pearson <mpearson@...>
Date:Monday, June 28, 1999, 6:27
Dirk Elzinga wrote:

>Actually, 'twoib' is not a possible English syllable. Consider: words >which begin with [tw] cannot have a round vowel following (we pronounce >'two' as [tu], after all, and get rid of that [w]), and the only >consonants allowed following the diphthongs [oi] and [aw] are alveolar; >they can never be of any other place of articulation. So 'twib' would be >a fine English word, or even 'toin', but never 'twoib'. [Caveat lector: >the forgoing information is my recollection of an English phonology >seminar I participated in about 3 years ago; counterexamples are >probable and welcome!]
Well, there's "oink", "boink", and "zoinks", which have [oi] followed by a velar nasal. Granted, "oink" is (allegedly) onomatopoetic and "boink" and "zoinks" are pretty slangy, but they're still valid English words. My suspicion is that if you were to poll native speakers on whether syllables like [broik] and [hoik] were possible English words or not, you'd get mixed results. They certainly sound like possible words to *me*. Similarly with [kroib] and [loib], where [oi] is followed by a bilabial (but I admit I can't think of any *real* words like this). Matt. ------------------------------------ Matt Pearson UCLA Linguistics Department 405 Hilgard Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543 ------------------------------------