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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Lenition revisited
Author: Laurie Bauer
Institution: Victoria University of Wellington
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: The definition of lenition remains problematic, with several competing and at times incompatible definitions being current. What is more, some of these definitions seem to lead to paradoxes. In this paper, some of these paradoxes are considered, and a revised definition of lenition is suggested which, while being compatible with the spirit of earlier definitions, arguably avoids the problems to which those other definitions give rise. The relationship of lenition to assimilation is considered, as is the relationship between lenition and position. An argument is made that position, while important in determining where lenition might occur in individual cases, is not in itself causally linked with the processes of lenition. The question of whether strength can be equated with resistance to change is also considered, and answered in the negative.


This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 44, Issue 3.

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