Re: USAGE: Thorn vs Eth
|From:||Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 13, 2002, 2:25|
On Sat, 2002-07-13 at 12:07, Muke Tever wrote:
> From: "Nik Taylor" <fortytwo@...>
> >Nihil Sum wrote:
> >> You hear "fourteen" and "eighteen" as either /fo:rti:n/ , /eiti:n/ or as
> >> /fortti:n/ , /eitti:n/.
> >I never hear them with geminated /t/'s. I was unaware that gemination
> >existed at all in English except in obvious compounds like "book-keeper"
> >or "pen-knife", but even in those it's not that unusual to hear single
> Well, I know I have geminate /t/ in them. It is easier to tell as it does not
> turn into  as ordinary intervocalic /t/ does (compare "fourteen" with
> "sorting", "eighteen" with "Nadine"?)
I can't really do that test myself as as soon as I pay attention to how
I'm speaking, I won't tap intervocalic /t/s. I did the test
nevertheless, and apart from the fact that those pairs sound nothing
alike, the /t/s sound the same (and the /t/ and /d/ different).
> Of course, it really is just as much a compound as "book-keeper" or
> "pen-knife"... both "eight" and "teen" are words in common use.
Teen is a backformation and I doubt most people would think that
'eighteen' was a compound of 'eight' and 'teen', at least when giving
'teen' its currently most common definition.
> >And the spelling "eighteen" suggests that the single /t/ pronunciation
> >is very old.
> Well, we also have "eighth" with one <t> standing for /tT/ (at least in my
> speech). Google seems to have plenty enough hits for "eightteen" (and,
> dismayingly, "eightth"), but whether these are pronunciation spellings or
> is probably not easy to tell.
Well, the argument there is that /tT/ is spelt <th>; compare /tS/ being
<ch>. We just ran out of letters and so couldn't have a separate one.