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English eth (was: Love Those Double Vowels)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Thursday, November 8, 2001, 15:02
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".

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.

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/.

Not to perambulate             || John Cowan <jcowan@...>
    the corridors               ||
during the hours of repose     ||
    in the boots of ascension.  \\ Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel


Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
And Rosta <a.rosta@...>