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Re: Lenition

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 26, 2002, 5:17
On Tuesday, June 25, 2002, at 11:08 , John Cowan wrote:

> Ray Brown scripsit: > >> Maybe. But as American English seems to voice all intervocalic >> plosives, > > Eh? We still know the difference between ripping and ribbing, or > between locking and logging! It's only the /t/ vs. /d/ distinction > that's neutralized by making them into a voiced alveolar flap.
I guess the intervocalic allophones of /k/ and /p/ are partially voiced whereas /b/ and /d/ get full voicing. You may be able to detect the difference 'cos you've been brought up with it. Indeed, we Rightpondians can normally tell the difference when watching Mercan films, cartoons etc from the context. But when some unknown or unusual word occurs with one of these intervocalically, then it's not so easy. I remember many years ago in some cartoon series - I don't recall which it was now - there was a catch phrase and I was never sure whether it was "Heavens to Murgatroid" or "Heavens to Murkatroid" (the spelling of murgatroid ~ murkatroid is probably wrong - one must be). I eagerly await enlightenment on the correct phrase, the cartoon & the character who habitually said it :-) Ray.