Re: What do you call it
|From:||Roger Mills <romilly@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, February 27, 2003, 5:12|
Sarah Marie Parker-Allen wrote:
Subject: What do you call it
> When a single word has two alternate pronunciations, amongst the same
> population (that is, each and every person would say it either way,freely),
> depending on context or a desire to make it rhyme?
In cases where it truly doesn't matter, and there are no conditioning
factors whatever-- free variation. The most common ex. is _economic_ and
its derivatives: [E]conomic ~ [i]conomic. At least in Amer.Engl. there is
no right/wrong-- we may say one, followed by the other a few sentences
later. Maybe _diesel_ with an /s/ or /z/ is another. There aren't many.
>I see this with "the"
> all the time -- when someone says it normally, it *usually* rhymes withthe
> vowel in "sun." But, quite often, people switch it to rhyming with "see"...
A little different. Their occurence is generally conditioned, though, true,
it's often ignored--
"thuh" before consonants (the president, the fool)
"thee" before vowels (the apple, the ichthyologist), including foreign words
pronounced more or less correctly-- the hors d'oeuvres [DiOr'd@rvz] (I did
say "more or less"!!!-- it's the silent h that counts anyway).
The "before vowel" rule can be violated if you insert a glottal stop-- thuh
?eagle, thuh ?elephant.
And the consonant rule can be violated for emphasis:
"A Bentley is _thee_ car nowadays"
In singing, it could be that "thee" predominates because [i] produces a
nicer sound than [@].