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zompist bboard • View topic - Occurrence of spelling pronunciations

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:07 pm 
Sanci
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:04 am 
Sumerul
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:26 am 
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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:54 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:58 pm 
Smeric
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I say both of those with a /t/. I also say thistle with a /t/ because I learned the word from reading rather than speaking.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:35 pm 
Boardlord
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Here's an alternative theory: people say what they've heard. If the people around you say [ɔftn̩], you (may) say it too. (I don't rule out a spelling pronunciation, but we shouldn't resort to this explanation if "saying what other people say" covers it.)

I'm skeptical that people are doing amateur etymology in their heads. Who actually says "oft" out loud? Who encounters it in print without long having learned and spoken the word "often"? When you learn "signal", do you go back and add a [g] to "sign"?

(As for fasten, it's true that "fast" meaning "firm" is obsolete— but "hold fast" and "stand fast" are still quite current. Although I wouldn't expect anyone to link these with "fasten"!)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:04 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:46 pm 
Avisaru
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One interesting case where it doesn't seem that the use of /-stl/ for "-stle" could be due to influence from a related word ending in /-st/ is "pestle" (unsurprisingly, it's not etymologically related to "pest", and I doubt that a significant number of speakers think of the words as being related).

The pronunciation with /-sl/ exists, and made a blog post where he indicates that he personally prefers /-sl/ and thinks of the /-stl/ variant as a spelling-pronunciation, but describes "pestle" as an exception to the usual pattern and says that it is only rarely pronounced without a /t/.

Even if it is a spelling-pronunciation, /ˈpɛstl/ is not a particularly recent one at any rate, as it is the only form listed in Walker's (1791), which does not transcribe /t/ in words like "castle".

The OED says it comes from "< Anglo-Norman and Middle French pestel (c1180 in Old French; also in Anglo-Norman as pestle and in Old French as pestal ; now regional)" and that it has been spelled in English with a vowel letter between the "t" and "l" (e.g. "pestelle", "pestel", pistoll"). This seems to suggest that it may have been pronounced with stress on the second syllable early on. A late commenter on the Wells blog post brings up the etymology and argues that it means that the /t/ pronunciation is the "correct" one.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:56 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = , ACS / ICS = , GDV = , SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:49 pm 
Sanno
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