LINGUIST List 5.468

Thu 21 Apr 1994

Qs: Es/esh; Arabic; Spanish in US; Sanskrit

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Directory

  1. Dan Alford, Q: New es/esh alternation in American English?
  2. , Computational Analysis of Arabic
  3. TONY MATTINA, Percent of speakers of Spanish in NA by 2000
  4. , Classification of Compound Words in Sanskrit

Message 1: Q: New es/esh alternation in American English?

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 1994 21:35:01 Q: New es/esh alternation in American English?
From: Dan Alford <dalfords1.csuhayward.edu>
Subject: Q: New es/esh alternation in American English?

Is it just me -- is it just that I haven't really been paying attention to
actual American English phonetics for the past 25 years since my UCLA
linguistics training, or could it actually be that there has been some weird
pronunciation shift going on in the United States around certain [st]
clusters during the past two or three years? I am constantly hearing the
following substitutions of esh for [s] and esh+t for [st], both on tv and on the
 streets, in the following kinds of words, where 'S' stands for "esh";
notice that there is *usually* an 'r' nearby, usually after but sometimes
before, and then a few cases where no 'r' is involved at all:

 adminiStration, Structure, conStruction, obStruction, deStroy
 Street, Strictly, , Strike, underStand, induStry, realiStic,
 reStaurant, chemiStry

 Straight (Bryant Gumble)
 ekStra (Pam Moore, Bay Area newscaster)
 reStrain (Lt. Worf, Star Trek: Next Generation)
 bookStore, Strong(er), Stripe, moonStruck (Jay Leno)

 weirder: deScribe, reSpect, anniverSary, State

I also note with interest that certain other clusters do/might not
alternate in the same way: ?juSt; ?linguiStics; ?intereSt; ?subStitution;
?cluSter; ?conStantly. However, it may just be that I have not yet heard
these pronunciations.

So this alternation seems to occur initially and medially but *perhaps*
not finally, and is likely to occur as assimilation to a nearby retroflex --
except that's obviously not the only environment it occurs in. Thus far I
have not been able to see/hear any obvious dialectal/regional similarities
among those who have this alternant pronunciation, but I have the sense
that it is Southern, even though the Boston Jay Leno does it. Holly Hunter,
who is (?) from the South, does this all the time, as does Christian Slater,
who is quite prolific at this (one of my students sees him as a chief
promulgator of this quirk ("She's doing Christian Slater"), supposedly tied to
 the tongue-numbing effects of a certain intoxicant, and therefore to
'cool-ness' or whatever the current term is). If so, perhaps we should be
talking here about (Drug-) Altered States of Language.

Has anyone else noticed this? Listen for it if you haven't heard it yet. Does
anyone have any idea how old this alternation is? Why is/should such a
shift be happening (silly question)? If the response warrants it, I'll post a
summary at a later date. Thanks!

 -- Moonhawk (%->)
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Message 2: Computational Analysis of Arabic

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 94 14:38:16 CEComputational Analysis of Arabic
From: <LACINAPLPUAM11.BITNET>
Subject: Computational Analysis of Arabic

I'd like to contact the persons who are interested in:

 1) computational analysis of Arabic morphology
 2) Automatic Arabic - English translation?

 Dr. Jerzy Lacina
 A. Mickiewicz University
 Dept. of Middle and Near Eastern Studies
 Poznan - Poland
 e-mail: LACINAPLPUAM11
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Message 3: Percent of speakers of Spanish in NA by 2000

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 1994 11:39:59 -Percent of speakers of Spanish in NA by 2000
From: TONY MATTINA <AMATTINAokcins.okanagan.bc.ca>
Subject: Percent of speakers of Spanish in NA by 2000

 I have been asked a question I need help answering:
 What is the projected percentage of the population of North America
that by the year 2000 will speak Spanish.
 The individual who asked is a journalist and would like as much
pertinent detail as possible.
 Thanks for the help.
Tony Mattina
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Message 4: Classification of Compound Words in Sanskrit

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 1994 19:48 GMTClassification of Compound Words in Sanskrit
From: <BJKEEGANvax1.tcd.ie>
Subject: Classification of Compound Words in Sanskrit


 I would like to know from anyone of work done on the system of
 classification of compound words by Panini and other Sanskrit
 grammarians.At the moment I am trying to judge the position of
 these classifications in a range of compound typologies.

 Brian J. Keegan
 Trinity College,Dublin.
 BJKeeganvax1.tcd.ie
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