Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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/.
Cheers, Chris (temporarily de-lurking)