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Re: English eth (was: Love Those Double Vowels)

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Thursday, November 8, 2001, 15:14
From: "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".
What about the borrowed words that end in [IDm=], like rhythm, logarithm, algorithm....?
> 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/.
I can probably support that... when I first read JRRT's LOTR I read "mathom" as ["m&Tm=], although I discovered later that the dictionary says it should rhyme with "fathom". *Muke!