Re: English eth (was: Love Those Double Vowels)
|From:||Chris Burd <cburd@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 14, 2001, 23:38|
On Thu, 8 Nov 2001 10:05:05 -0500, John Cowan <jcowan@...>
>Generally speaking, the default realization of //T// in English
>is /T/, and you get /D/ only in three circumstances:
>1) Intervocalically in native words;
>2) Finally in native words that used to end in /@/, generally
> shown by a silent "e" in the orthography;
>3) Initially in closed-class words.
>So "ether" has /T/ because it is a borrowing, whereas "either" is
>native; "then" is closed-class, but "thin" is open-class;
>ditto for "thy"/"thigh".
The exception that proves the rule here is "thither", which is
prescriptively /'DID@r/ but more frequently /'TID@r/, since it's
too rare to be perceived as a closed-class word.
>For me, "with" is /wID/ when a vowel follows in close juncture, which
>makes it de facto intervocalic, but /wIT/ otherwise. Other people
>seem to use /wIT/ exclusively.
I think that British speaker (South English, anyway) perceive it as
/wiD/, which contradicts your generally convincing schema.
>In general, no newly introduced word contains /D/; I find that
>my wife, who can say "soothe" /suD/ quite perfectly, always
>pronounces "Gwynedd" with /T/.
Chris (temporarily de-lurking)