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Re: Real language questions

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Monday, October 8, 2001, 4:40
>Ciege Engine wrote: >> >> [Im needing this information for school spelling team. >> help is most appreciated!] >> >> 1. How can the word protozoon be pronounced >> proh-toe-ZOE-an?
Or did you have in mind proh-toe-zoon? (rhyme with moon)? (a) it's a learned compound of Greek words; and as everyone ;-) ought to know, zoon was 2 syllables (b) it's sometimes written with a dieresis over one of the o's, I forget which-- protozöon or protozoön (probably the latter). Like coöperate or reënter, though that's a little old fashioned..... Another one for the team: dieresis is also spelled diaeresis. Otherwise Nik's reply has it right.
> >Presumably by analogy with other -an/-on words. Final -an or -on tend >to be pronounced with a schwa. Actually, unstressed vowels in general >have a tendency to become schwa ESPECIALLY in final syllables, so if one >pronounces that word as four syllables, it's pretty much inevitable that >the second part will be schwa. > >> 2. Why did modern englih drop the pronounced -ed > >We did? :-) We never dropped the -ed, just the vowel. :-) Well, some >speakers do drop the /d/, too. But at any rate, it's because it was >unstressed, the vowel became /@/, just like in rapid speech, people tend >to say /plis/ for "police"
Still survives in poetry (sometimes) and a few more or less commonly used forms-- learned (see above!), beloved, accursed. Again, a little old fashioned.


Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>