Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34724

Still Needed:

$40276

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Query Details


Query Subject:   Onset [r] Deletion in English
Author:   Nancy Hall
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonology

Query:   Some English words are occasionally pronounced with deletion of an onset
[r]. Examples include the following (thanks to Maria Gouskova and Linda
Hall for pointing some of these out):

February -> Febuary (this is pretty much standard)
veterinarian -> vetinarian
Tristram Shandy -> Tristam Shandy
respiratory -> respitory
spectrogram -> spectogram
secretary -> secetary
extraordinary -> extodinary (Fiona Apple sings this in
''Extraordinary Machine'')

[A blogging Apple fan comments on this last one, ``For some reason I really
like her pronunciation of Extraordinary. It becomes ''extordinary'' because
no one on the planet can sing Extraordinary, it's a terrible word.''
(http://www.diaryofaband.com/2005/05/051005.html)]

Although this deletion seems to be sporadic, the examples above
share certain traits, suggesting there is a phonological basis for the
deletion. For example, each word contains more than one onset [r], and the
[r] that deletes is in a complex onset in a non-initial syllable. Usually
it's unstressed, and usually it precedes the other [r].

I would be grateful to anyone who can point out 1) any published or
unpublished work on onset [r] deletion; 2) any other examples of onset [r]
deletion that you may have noticed (whether or not they are similar to the
examples above). I will post a summary if there is sufficient interest.

--Nancy Hall
LL Issue: 17.2084
Date posted: 18-Jul-2006



Back

Sums main page