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Consonant clusters

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  • Patrick Dunn
    Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course English), while
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
      Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters
      (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course English),
      while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some other
      process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
      word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English? Why does
      English assimilate the /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"?

      I understand the broad strokes of phonological processes. But what
      preserves, in the sense of historical linguistics, consonant clusters?

      And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
      language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would be
      really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that universal?

      One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
      encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps in
      Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
      there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?

      --
      Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
      order from Finishing Line
      Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
      and
      Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
    • Larry Sulky
      English assimilates /n/ to [m] in hypnotize ? News to me. Been speaking American English since learning to speak and I ve never done that and never heard
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
        English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been speaking
        American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and never
        heard anybody do that.

        On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:

        > Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters
        > (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course English),
        > while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some other
        > process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
        > word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English? Why does
        > English assimilate the /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"?
        >
        > I understand the broad strokes of phonological processes. But what
        > preserves, in the sense of historical linguistics, consonant clusters?
        >
        > And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
        > language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would be
        > really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that universal?
        >
        > One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
        > encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps in
        > Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
        > there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?
        >
        > --
        > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
        > order from Finishing Line
        > Press<
        > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
        > and
        > Amazon<
        > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
        > >.
        >



        --
        *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I
        can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
      • Patrick Dunn
        You ve never heard anyone say hypmotize? Really? I, on the other hand, have. ... -- Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
          You've never heard anyone say "hypmotize?" Really?

          I, on the other hand, have.




          On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:

          > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been speaking
          > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and never
          > heard anybody do that.
          >
          > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters
          > > (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course
          > English),
          > > while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some other
          > > process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
          > > word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English? Why does
          > > English assimilate the /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"?
          > >
          > > I understand the broad strokes of phonological processes. But what
          > > preserves, in the sense of historical linguistics, consonant clusters?
          > >
          > > And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
          > > language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would be
          > > really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that
          > universal?
          > >
          > > One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
          > > encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps
          > in
          > > Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
          > > there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?
          > >
          > > --
          > > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
          > > order from Finishing Line
          > > Press<
          > > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
          > > and
          > > Amazon<
          > >
          > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
          > > >.
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > --
          > *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I
          > can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
          >



          --
          Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
          order from Finishing Line
          Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
          and
          Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
        • Larry Sulky
          Really. They may have done so, but I never ever heard it as such, and have never pronounced it that way myself. Never even occurred to me to do so, though from
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
            Really. They may have done so, but I never ever heard it as such, and have
            never pronounced it that way myself. Never even occurred to me to do so,
            though from now on I'll never be able to say the word without thinking of
            it. :-)

            Do you pronounce it that way yourself, Patrick? If so, what's your 'lect?
            Mine's approximately American Broadcast English, with some acquired
            Canadian influences. ---L

            On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:

            > You've never heard anyone say "hypmotize?" Really?
            >
            > I, on the other hand, have.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:
            >
            > > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been speaking
            > > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and
            > never
            > > heard anybody do that.
            > >
            > > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters
            > > > (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course
            > > English),
            > > > while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some
            > other
            > > > process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
            > > > word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English? Why does
            > > > English assimilate the /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"?
            > > >
            > > > I understand the broad strokes of phonological processes. But what
            > > > preserves, in the sense of historical linguistics, consonant clusters?
            > > >
            > > > And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
            > > > language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would be
            > > > really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that
            > > universal?
            > > >
            > > > One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
            > > > encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps
            > > in
            > > > Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
            > > > there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?
            > > >
            > > > --
            > > > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available
            > for
            > > > order from Finishing Line
            > > > Press<
            > > > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
            > > > and
            > > > Amazon<
            > > >
            > >
            > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
            > > > >.
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --
            > > *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I
            > > can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > --
            > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
            > order from Finishing Line
            > Press<
            > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
            > and
            > Amazon<
            > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
            > >.
            >



            --
            *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I
            can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
          • Patrick Dunn
            No, I don t. I grew up speaking Midwestern English (you know, where the capital of America is Warshington, ) but became bidialectical in college with SAE.
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
              No, I don't. I grew up speaking Midwestern English (you know, where the
              capital of America is "Warshington,") but became bidialectical in college
              with SAE.

              However, a google search for "hypmotize" turns up 87,400 hits. A quick
              scan of the first page shows that some are jokes, but that shows that it's
              a common enough pronunciation to be joked about. Others are misspellings
              that seem sincere.

              But, anyway, how 'bout them consonant clusters?



              On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:04 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:

              > Really. They may have done so, but I never ever heard it as such, and have
              > never pronounced it that way myself. Never even occurred to me to do so,
              > though from now on I'll never be able to say the word without thinking of
              > it. :-)
              >
              > Do you pronounce it that way yourself, Patrick? If so, what's your 'lect?
              > Mine's approximately American Broadcast English, with some acquired
              > Canadian influences. ---L
              >
              > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:
              >
              > > You've never heard anyone say "hypmotize?" Really?
              > >
              > > I, on the other hand, have.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been
              > speaking
              > > > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and
              > > never
              > > > heard anybody do that.
              > > >
              > > > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...>
              > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > > Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant
              > clusters
              > > > > (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course
              > > > English),
              > > > > while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some
              > > other
              > > > > process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
              > > > > word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English? Why
              > does
              > > > > English assimilate the /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"?
              > > > >
              > > > > I understand the broad strokes of phonological processes. But what
              > > > > preserves, in the sense of historical linguistics, consonant
              > clusters?
              > > > >
              > > > > And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
              > > > > language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would
              > be
              > > > > really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that
              > > > universal?
              > > > >
              > > > > One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
              > > > > encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So
              > perhaps
              > > > in
              > > > > Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the
              > consonants,
              > > > > there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that
              > true?
              > > > >
              > > > > --
              > > > > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available
              > > for
              > > > > order from Finishing Line
              > > > > Press<
              > > > >
              > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
              > > > > and
              > > > > Amazon<
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
              > > > > >.
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --
              > > > *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day
              > I
              > > > can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --
              > > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
              > > order from Finishing Line
              > > Press<
              > > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
              > > and
              > > Amazon<
              > >
              > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
              > > >.
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              > --
              > *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I
              > can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
              >



              --
              Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
              order from Finishing Line
              Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
              and
              Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
            • Zach Wellstood
              liyaá lhí ! In this vein, I ve been wondering HOW Salishan phonology like in Nuxalk could be stable. Or even just how it is diachronically feasible.
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                liyaá' lhí'!

                In this vein, I've been wondering HOW Salishan phonology like in Nuxalk
                could be stable. Or even just how it is diachronically feasible.

                Consonant clusters on steroids.

                Zach
                On Dec 29, 2012 7:33 PM, "Patrick Dunn" <pwdunn@...> wrote:

                > No, I don't. I grew up speaking Midwestern English (you know, where the
                > capital of America is "Warshington,") but became bidialectical in college
                > with SAE.
                >
                > However, a google search for "hypmotize" turns up 87,400 hits. A quick
                > scan of the first page shows that some are jokes, but that shows that it's
                > a common enough pronunciation to be joked about. Others are misspellings
                > that seem sincere.
                >
                > But, anyway, how 'bout them consonant clusters?
                >
                >
                >
                > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:04 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Really. They may have done so, but I never ever heard it as such, and
                > have
                > > never pronounced it that way myself. Never even occurred to me to do so,
                > > though from now on I'll never be able to say the word without thinking of
                > > it. :-)
                > >
                > > Do you pronounce it that way yourself, Patrick? If so, what's your 'lect?
                > > Mine's approximately American Broadcast English, with some acquired
                > > Canadian influences. ---L
                > >
                > > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > > You've never heard anyone say "hypmotize?" Really?
                > > >
                > > > I, on the other hand, have.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...>
                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been
                > > speaking
                > > > > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and
                > > > never
                > > > > heard anybody do that.
                > > > >
                > > > > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...>
                > > wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > > Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant
                > > clusters
                > > > > > (Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course
                > > > > English),
                > > > > > while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some
                > > > other
                > > > > > process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
                > > > > > word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English? Why
                > > does
                > > > > > English assimilate the /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I understand the broad strokes of phonological processes. But what
                > > > > > preserves, in the sense of historical linguistics, consonant
                > > clusters?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
                > > > > > language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would
                > > be
                > > > > > really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that
                > > > > universal?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of
                > information
                > > > > > encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So
                > > perhaps
                > > > > in
                > > > > > Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the
                > > consonants,
                > > > > > there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that
                > > true?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > --
                > > > > > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now
                > available
                > > > for
                > > > > > order from Finishing Line
                > > > > > Press<
                > > > > >
                > > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                > > > > > and
                > > > > > Amazon<
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
                > > > > > >.
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > --
                > > > > *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet
                > day
                > > I
                > > > > can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
                > > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --
                > > > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available
                > for
                > > > order from Finishing Line
                > > > Press<
                > > > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                > > > and
                > > > Amazon<
                > > >
                > >
                > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
                > > > >.
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --
                > > *Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I
                > > can hear her breathing. -- Arundhati Roy*
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > --
                > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                > order from Finishing Line
                > Press<
                > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                > and
                > Amazon<
                > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
                > >.
                >
              • MorphemeAddict
                I ve never heard hypmotize either, but it s so close, I m not sure I d notice. stevo
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                  I've never heard "hypmotize" either, but it's so close, I'm not sure I'd
                  notice.

                  stevo

                  On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:

                  > You've never heard anyone say "hypmotize?" Really?
                  >
                  > I, on the other hand, have.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Ph. D.
                  ... The Midwest covers a very large area. I ve always lived near where Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana meet. I assure you, no one around here adds extra r s. I
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                    Patrick Dunn wrote:
                    > No, I don't. I grew up speaking Midwestern English (you know, where the
                    > capital of America is "Warshington,") but became bidialectical in college
                    > with SAE.
                    >
                    > However, a google search for "hypmotize" turns up 87,400 hits. A quick
                    > scan of the first page shows that some are jokes, but that shows that it's
                    > a common enough pronunciation to be joked about. Others are misspellings
                    > that seem sincere.
                    >
                    > But, anyway, how 'bout them consonant clusters?

                    The Midwest covers a very large area. I've always
                    lived near where Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana meet.
                    I assure you, no one around here adds extra "r"s. I
                    thought that was a Texas thing.

                    On the other hand, I have heard "hypmotize." I don't
                    say that myself, but I hear it often enough. I'd say it's
                    about 50/50 around here.

                    --Ph. D.
                  • Gary Shannon
                    I agree. I ve never heard hypmotize . To my ears it sounds like something a child would say, like pusgetti for spaghetti . Cute, coming from a kid, but
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                      I agree. I've never heard "hypmotize". To my ears it sounds like
                      something a child would say, like "pusgetti" for "spaghetti". Cute,
                      coming from a kid, but very wrong.

                      (FWIW: Learn to speak in Western Michigan, grew up in Los Angeles,
                      Lived in rural Oregon for the last 35 years or so.)

                      --gary

                      On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:
                      > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been speaking
                      > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and never
                      > heard anybody do that.
                      >
                    • Patrick Dunn
                      The pronunciation of hypnotize is entirely secondary to the original question, and I regret using it as an example. ... -- Second Person, a chapbook of
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                        The pronunciation of "hypnotize" is entirely secondary to the original
                        question, and I regret using it as an example.


                        On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

                        > I agree. I've never heard "hypmotize". To my ears it sounds like
                        > something a child would say, like "pusgetti" for "spaghetti". Cute,
                        > coming from a kid, but very wrong.
                        >
                        > (FWIW: Learn to speak in Western Michigan, grew up in Los Angeles,
                        > Lived in rural Oregon for the last 35 years or so.)
                        >
                        > --gary
                        >
                        > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:
                        > > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been speaking
                        > > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and
                        > never
                        > > heard anybody do that.
                        > >
                        >



                        --
                        Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                        order from Finishing Line
                        Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                        and
                        Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
                      • Adam Walker
                        I feel sorry for you, Patrick. The tiniest throw away comment can spawn YAEPT. Unfortunately, once that happens, the thread is practically irredeemable. Your
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                          I feel sorry for you, Patrick. The tiniest throw away comment can
                          spawn YAEPT. Unfortunately, once that happens, the thread is
                          practically irredeemable. Your original question is almost sure to be
                          ignored while the thread grows to gargantuan proportions.

                          Adam who has been there

                          On 12/29/12, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:
                          > The pronunciation of "hypnotize" is entirely secondary to the original
                          > question, and I regret using it as an example.
                          >
                          >
                          > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >> I agree. I've never heard "hypmotize". To my ears it sounds like
                          >> something a child would say, like "pusgetti" for "spaghetti". Cute,
                          >> coming from a kid, but very wrong.
                          >>
                          >> (FWIW: Learn to speak in Western Michigan, grew up in Los Angeles,
                          >> Lived in rural Oregon for the last 35 years or so.)
                          >>
                          >> --gary
                          >>
                          >> On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...>
                          >> wrote:
                          >> > English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been
                          >> > speaking
                          >> > American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and
                          >> never
                          >> > heard anybody do that.
                          >> >
                          >>
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --
                          > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                          > order from Finishing Line
                          > Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                          > and
                          > Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
                          >
                        • Alex Fink
                          Let me try to draw this back on track. ... I doubt anyone will be able to give many answers to this that are satisfyingly non-circular. Initial [pt-] is legal
                          Message 12 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                            Let me try to draw this back on track.

                            On Sat, 29 Dec 2012 17:12:04 -0600, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:

                            >Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters
                            >(Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course English),
                            >while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some other
                            >process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
                            >word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English?

                            I doubt anyone will be able to give many answers to this that are satisfyingly non-circular. Initial [pt-] is legal in Greek because it was created (most recently by pj > pc > pt), and hasn't been gotten rid of since; it's illegal in English because it was gotten rid of (IE contained some), and hasn't been created since.

                            In view of the question of loanword adaptation, which you seem to be getting at, this is maybe a bit facile, as for instance despite English's rejection of Greek [pt-], it doesn't reject the originally equally invalid [sf-]. I don't know what triggers that either: one can say things like that [sf-] was legitimised by the existing [s]+obstruent clusters, but that's post hoc and I wouldn't've known how to predict it, nor how to predict that [pt-] would resolve to [t-] and not [p@t-] or anything else. My own suspicion is that the key thing will be the nature of the phonetic cues which speakers use to recognise contrasts, which is something that (IME) doesn't get documented in detail very much.

                            I've seen some theoretical work attempting to account for it, the great numerical majority of it pertaining to optimality theory. But I don't believe in optimality theory (at least certainly not in its full breadth), because both it seems subject to near-unfalsifiability in its broader extensions and it explicitly disclaims relation to actual mental processes (first we generate an infinite set of candidates? really?)

                            In any case, probably in _written_ borrowings all bets are off. Despite an earlier thread on it I stìll have no clue why Greek initial [ks-] voices in English, when the by rights 100% parallel [ps-] doesn't.

                            >And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
                            >language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would be
                            >really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that universal?

                            Actually it would rather more likely become [pt]; voice assimilation is usually anticipatory, and consonants releasing into a resonant usually assimilate less readily than those not. That'll be a pretty frequent change.

                            >One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
                            >encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps in
                            >Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
                            >there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?

                            The effect is true: Semitic observably has very few conditioned consonant changes for a family of its size and breadth. Information content, which here means root distinctness, is probably not a significant reason for that, though: there have been plenty of _unconditioned_ mergers of consonants, which wreak equal or greater damage on root distinctness. No, the reason I think Semitic points to is analogical pressure. Every Semitic consonant cluster, except those in purely affixal or closed-class material, is subject to an alternation with a form without the cluster. In view of the alternation, the original values of the consonants are likely to get restored if there is a conditioned change -- or really, are likely to be continuously kept restored against conditioned change. The pressure is especially great because the consonant sequence is all you have to go on for root recognisability in Semitic -- unlike in, say, SAE, where remnant ablaut etc. notwithstanding, roots usually contain a whole contiguous recognisable syllable which doesn't get altered much except a bit around the edges.

                            Summary: one way clusters can be preserved is that morphological transparency of a juncture can undo, or ward off, conditioned sound change.

                            Alex
                          • Leonardo Castro
                            ... I wonder if there is a similar explanation for vowe change. It seems that something as The Great Vowel Shift would be impossible in Italian and Japanese.
                            Message 13 of 18 , Dec 30, 2012
                              2012/12/30 Alex Fink <000024@...>:
                              >>One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
                              >>encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps in
                              >>Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
                              >>there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?
                              >
                              > The effect is true: Semitic observably has very few conditioned consonant changes for a family of its size and breadth.

                              I wonder if there is a similar explanation for vowe change. It seems
                              that something as "The Great Vowel Shift" would be impossible in
                              Italian and Japanese.
                            • J. M. DeSantis
                              Patrick, As Adam and a few others have stated, I do feel bad this question got off topic. If I had any knowledge on the subject, I would certainly pass it
                              Message 14 of 18 , Dec 30, 2012
                                Patrick,

                                As Adam and a few others have stated, I do feel bad this question got
                                off topic. If I had any knowledge on the subject, I would certainly pass
                                it along your way, without any trouble. And, at risk of adding one more
                                unrelated message to a topic that has not stayed on topic this whole
                                time, I find this is too often the case with the List; people
                                criticising and analysing your question rather than answering it.
                                Strange for a list that was, in part, set up to assist people in their
                                linguistic pursuits. This "hypmotize" thing is one of the worst examples
                                I've seen.

                                People might not like what I've said, and truly it's not everyone on
                                this list who is guilty (indeed there are some very helpful people on
                                the list), but, well, there it is.

                                Sincerely,
                                J. M. DeSantis
                                Writer - Illustrator

                                Official Website: jmdesantis.com <http://www.jmdesantis.com>
                                On 12/29/2012 11:38 PM, Patrick Dunn wrote:
                                > The pronunciation of "hypnotize" is entirely secondary to the original
                                > question, and I regret using it as an example.
                                >
                                >
                                > On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >> I agree. I've never heard "hypmotize". To my ears it sounds like
                                >> something a child would say, like "pusgetti" for "spaghetti". Cute,
                                >> coming from a kid, but very wrong.
                                >>
                                >> (FWIW: Learn to speak in Western Michigan, grew up in Los Angeles,
                                >> Lived in rural Oregon for the last 35 years or so.)
                                >>
                                >> --gary
                                >>
                                >> On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM, Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:
                                >>> English assimilates /n/ to [m] in "hypnotize"? News to me. Been speaking
                                >>> American English since learning to speak and I've never done that and
                                >> never
                                >>> heard anybody do that.
                                >>>
                                >
                                >
                              • Patrick Dunn
                                ... I m not familiar with optimality theory. I m really weak on phonology (and syntax too) because they don t get much use in stylistics. ... Man, I da
                                Message 15 of 18 , Dec 30, 2012
                                  On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:41 AM, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:

                                  >
                                  > I've seen some theoretical work attempting to account for it, the great
                                  > numerical majority of it pertaining to optimality theory. But I don't
                                  > believe in optimality theory (at least certainly not in its full breadth),
                                  > because both it seems subject to near-unfalsifiability in its broader
                                  > extensions and it explicitly disclaims relation to actual mental processes
                                  > (first we generate an infinite set of candidates? really?)
                                  >

                                  I'm not familiar with optimality theory. I'm really weak on phonology (and
                                  syntax too) because they don't get much use in stylistics.

                                  >
                                  > Actually it would rather more likely become [pt]; voice assimilation is
                                  > usually anticipatory, and consonants releasing into a resonant usually
                                  > assimilate less readily than those not. That'll be a pretty frequent
                                  > change.
                                  >

                                  Man, I'da thought that voicing would carry forward, not be anticipatory.
                                  Interesting and useful to know.


                                  >
                                  > >One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
                                  > >encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps in
                                  > >Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
                                  > >there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?
                                  >
                                  > The effect is true: Semitic observably has very few conditioned consonant
                                  > changes for a family of its size and breadth. Information content, which
                                  > here means root distinctness, is probably not a significant reason for
                                  > that, though: there have been plenty of _unconditioned_ mergers of
                                  > consonants, which wreak equal or greater damage on root distinctness. No,
                                  > the reason I think Semitic points to is analogical pressure. Every Semitic
                                  > consonant cluster, except those in purely affixal or closed-class material,
                                  > is subject to an alternation with a form without the cluster. In view of
                                  > the alternation, the original values of the consonants are likely to get
                                  > restored if there is a conditioned change -- or really, are likely to be
                                  > continuously kept restored against conditioned change. The pressure is
                                  > especially great because the consonant sequence is all you have to go on
                                  > for root recognisability in Semitic -- unlike in, say, SAE, where remnant
                                  > ablaut etc. notwithstanding, roots usually contain a whole contiguous
                                  > recognisable syllable which doesn't get altered much except a bit around
                                  > the edges.
                                  >
                                  > Summary: one way clusters can be preserved is that morphological
                                  > transparency of a juncture can undo, or ward off, conditioned sound change.


                                  Aha! So in Georgian with its crazy consonant clusters, those clusters
                                  exist partially because some of those consonants are individual morphemes.
                                  That would, I think, also explain the Salish clusters, wouldn't it?

                                  And so I'd tend to think that synthetic languages would, in general, be
                                  more tolerant of consonant clusters than analytic languages. And when I
                                  think about analytic languages (Chinese, Vietnamese, Hawai'ian), it seems
                                  to hold true. Of course, I'm probably cherry picking there.




                                  --
                                  Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                                  order from Finishing Line
                                  Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                                  and
                                  Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
                                • Larry Sulky
                                  ... In Russian, assimilation, whether to voiced or to unvoiced, is regressive; opposite of English, roughly speaking.
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Dec 30, 2012
                                    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:

                                    > On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:41 AM, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Man, I'da thought that voicing would carry forward, not be anticipatory.
                                    > Interesting and useful to know.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    In Russian, assimilation, whether to voiced or to unvoiced, is regressive;
                                    opposite of English, roughly speaking.
                                  • Benct Philip Jonsson
                                    In Swedish voice assimilation is always devoicing in both directions. Granted Swedish lenis stops are actually voiced only between two vowels or a vowel and a
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jan 1, 2013
                                      In Swedish voice assimilation is always devoicing in both directions.
                                      Granted Swedish lenis stops are actually voiced only between two vowels or
                                      a vowel and a sonorant but in compounds like _fotboll bakdel utgång_
                                      'soccer, back part/butt, exit' the assimilation is to the point that the
                                      second stop is aspirated!

                                      As for morphological salience counteracting cluster simplification it is
                                      probably not altogether uncommon. However it is not universal. The Swedish
                                      word _väst-kust-sk-t_ 'west-coast-ish-N.SG' is famous as a case of a
                                      monster final cluster and there are two morpheme boundaries in the cluster,
                                      but the word is actually normally pronounced ['v\Es:k8s:kt] although it now
                                      occurs to me that all three morphemes are preserved at least in reduced
                                      form.

                                      I guess syllable timing vs. stress timing might have a lot to do with
                                      clusters being preserved in some languages but lost in others. It should be
                                      noted however that Modern Greek has restructured all old stop + stop
                                      clusters into fricative + stop, although stop + stop have been reintroduced
                                      in loans from Ancient Greek.

                                      As for Greek /ks/- becoming /z/- in English it may be because something
                                      looking like _x_ was used as an abbreviation for final /Vuz/ in Old French.
                                      When the diphthongs that /u/ was part of monophthongized _x_ was perceived
                                      as a spelling for /z/, so I guess _x-_ /z/ is a case of mistaken graphemic
                                      identity.

                                      /bpj

                                      Den söndagen den 30:e december 2012 skrev Alex Fink<000024@...>:

                                      > Let me try to draw this back on track.
                                      >
                                      > On Sat, 29 Dec 2012 17:12:04 -0600, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...<javascript:;>>
                                      > wrote:
                                      >
                                      > >Lots of natlangs obviously allow some wild and crazy consonant clusters
                                      > >(Georgian, as the prototype example, but also Greek and of course
                                      > English),
                                      > >while others simplify them through deletion or assimilation or some other
                                      > >process. I don't know, though, what triggers this. What makes
                                      > >word-initial /pt-/ okay in Greek, but simplified in English?
                                      >
                                      > I doubt anyone will be able to give many answers to this that are
                                      > satisfyingly non-circular. Initial [pt-] is legal in Greek because it was
                                      > created (most recently by pj > pc > pt), and hasn't been gotten rid of
                                      > since; it's illegal in English because it was gotten rid of (IE contained
                                      > some), and hasn't been created since.
                                      >
                                      > In view of the question of loanword adaptation, which you seem to be
                                      > getting at, this is maybe a bit facile, as for instance despite English's
                                      > rejection of Greek [pt-], it doesn't reject the originally equally invalid
                                      > [sf-]. I don't know what triggers that either: one can say things like
                                      > that [sf-] was legitimised by the existing [s]+obstruent clusters, but
                                      > that's post hoc and I wouldn't've known how to predict it, nor how to
                                      > predict that [pt-] would resolve to [t-] and not [p@t-] or anything else.
                                      > My own suspicion is that the key thing will be the nature of the phonetic
                                      > cues which speakers use to recognise contrasts, which is something that
                                      > (IME) doesn't get documented in detail very much.
                                      >
                                      > I've seen some theoretical work attempting to account for it, the great
                                      > numerical majority of it pertaining to optimality theory. But I don't
                                      > believe in optimality theory (at least certainly not in its full breadth),
                                      > because both it seems subject to near-unfalsifiability in its broader
                                      > extensions and it explicitly disclaims relation to actual mental processes
                                      > (first we generate an infinite set of candidates? really?)
                                      >
                                      > In any case, probably in _written_ borrowings all bets are off. Despite
                                      > an earlier thread on it I stìll have no clue why Greek initial [ks-] voices
                                      > in English, when the by rights 100% parallel [ps-] doesn't.
                                      >
                                      > >And are there consonant clusters that are *really* unlikely in any
                                      > >language? It seems that a voiced-unvoiced sequence like [bt] would be
                                      > >really unstable and probably therefore become [bd], but is that universal?
                                      >
                                      > Actually it would rather more likely become [pt]; voice assimilation is
                                      > usually anticipatory, and consonants releasing into a resonant usually
                                      > assimilate less readily than those not. That'll be a pretty frequent
                                      > change.
                                      >
                                      > >One thing that occurs to me is that if there is a lot of information
                                      > >encoded in the consonant, it's more likely to be preserved. So perhaps in
                                      > >Semitic languages where a lot of the semantics hangs on the consonants,
                                      > >there'd be less assimilation of adjacent consonants. But is that true?
                                      >
                                      > The effect is true: Semitic observably has very few conditioned consonant
                                      > changes for a family of its size and breadth. Information content, which
                                      > here means root distinctness, is probably not a significant reason for
                                      > that, though: there have been plenty of _unconditioned_ mergers of
                                      > consonants, which wreak equal or greater damage on root distinctness. No,
                                      > the reason I think Semitic points to is analogical pressure. Every Semitic
                                      > consonant cluster, except those in purely affixal or closed-class material,
                                      > is subject to an alternation with a form without the cluster. In view of
                                      > the alternation, the original values of the consonants are likely to get
                                      > restored if there is a conditioned change -- or really, are likely to be
                                      > continuously kept restored against conditioned change. The pressure is
                                      > especially great because the consonant sequence is all you have to go on
                                      > for root recognisability in Semitic -- unlike in, say, SAE, where remnant
                                      > ablaut etc. notwithstanding, roots usually contain a whole contiguous
                                      > recognisable syllable which doesn't get altered much except a bit around
                                      > the edges.
                                      >
                                      > Summary: one way clusters can be preserved is that morphological
                                      > transparency of a juncture can undo, or ward off, conditioned sound change.
                                      >
                                      > Alex
                                      >
                                    • R A Brown
                                      On 01/01/2013 16:54, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote: [snip] ... No - nothing to do with it. It is simply the modern English habit of dropping initial plosive at
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jan 2, 2013
                                        On 01/01/2013 16:54, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
                                        [snip]
                                        >
                                        > As for Greek /ks/- becoming /z/- in English it may be
                                        > because something looking like _x_ was used as an
                                        > abbreviation for final /Vuz/ in Old French.

                                        No - nothing to do with it.

                                        It is simply the modern English habit of dropping initial
                                        plosive at the beginning of 'awkward' compounds. I guess
                                        the habit began when native initial /kn/ changed to /n/ kin
                                        early modern English.

                                        Also to talk about initial Greek /ks/ becoming /z/ in
                                        English is IMHO misleading. Initial Greek ξ which was
                                        transcribed as _x_ that has become pronounced as /z/; and
                                        it's nothing more mysterious than the change of early modern
                                        English /gz/ --> current modern English /z/

                                        [snip]
                                        >>
                                        >> On Sat, 29 Dec 2012 17:12:04 -0600, Patrick Dunn
                                        >> wrote:
                                        >>
                                        [snip]

                                        >> In any case, probably in _written_ borrowings all bets
                                        >> are off. Despite an earlier thread on it I stìll have
                                        >> no clue why Greek initial [ks-] voices in English,
                                        >> when the by rights 100% parallel [ps-] doesn't.

                                        Strictly speaking, it doesn't. No Englishman (or English
                                        women) ever heard ancient Greek pronounced as ancient Greeks
                                        pronounced it. So to talk about a Greek sound shifting to
                                        something else in English is not very accurate.

                                        What we have here is simply a spelling pronunciation. Greek
                                        ψ was transcribed in Latin by _ps_ and continues to be so
                                        transcribed in English. Apart from the digraph _ph_,
                                        English _p_ is always either [p] or [pʰ], so initial _ps_
                                        got pronounced in early modern English as /ps/, and still
                                        pronounced that way in French till the present day.

                                        But ξ was transcribed not as _cs_ (and certainly not _ks_),
                                        but as _x_. It was then pronounced just as English (or
                                        French) pronounced Latin _x_, which, like the Latin _s_, got
                                        voiced between two vowels, i.e. /gz/. Of course, initial
                                        _x_ does not occur in Latin, but it was only a short step to
                                        general that _x_ before a vowel is /gz/, hence initial x- =
                                        /gz/. This was still the pronunciation being taught for
                                        ancient Greek when I learnt the language in the 1950s, and
                                        it is still the way that initial x- is pronounced in modern
                                        French.

                                        Thus all we have in current modern English is a
                                        simplification of early modern English pronunciation, i.e.
                                        /ps/ --> /s/
                                        /gz/ --> /z/

                                        ... with nothing to do with actual ancient Greek
                                        pronunciation, but spelling pronunciations based on
                                        contemporary pronunciations of Latin! ;)

                                        --
                                        Ray
                                        ==================================
                                        http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                                        ==================================
                                        There ant no place like Sussex,
                                        Until ye goos above,
                                        For Sussex will be Sussex,
                                        And Sussex won't be druv!
                                        [W. Victor Cook]
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