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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:04 pm 
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Location: Budapest
szigetva wrote:
ae: Albania, Albert, Balbus, Malthus, palp
o: Albany, Baltic, Malta, paltry

Did you get the pattern elsewhere? I'm not doubting, just asking.

I was looking for word-final al-s. Actually, my search expressions were:
spelling: al\b
transcription: &l\b and Ol\b They seemed to work (the only small problem was that 'p&l@tl was also a result for &l\b, maybe @ is interpreted as a word boundary :?: )

The cases above could be explained by saying that the (very roughly) alC->olC rule ceased to operate after some time and that's why it did not affect Albania, Albert etc. Montreal-Senegal-Nepal seem more tricky to me as I don't see what rule (past or present) operates/operated here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:09 pm 
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ae: Albania, Albert, Balbus, Malthus, palp
o: Albany, Baltic, Malta, paltry

Did you get the pattern elsewhere? I'm not doubting, just asking.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:26 pm 
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Location: Budapest
szigetva wrote:
I'm not sure the question makes sense. Why is bear pronounced as if it were spelt bare? And great as if grate? Or perhaps you're looking for an etymological answer.


Yes, I'm looking for an etymological answer: from a historical linguistic point of view, we 'know' why bear is pronounced as if it were spelt bare, and great as if grate (GVS etc).

Actually, I used to think there was a fairly reliable letter-to-sound rule that a 'written' al sequence in a stressed word final position was pronounced as ['&l] ('al#->[&l]), e.g. Al, cabal, canal, gal, hal, pal. Now I see (having searched the EPD), that there are a few cases where 'al#->[Ol]: some of these can be explained away (in a historical/letter-to-sound sense) as they were formally spelt with a ll (appal, enthral, withal). The remaining cases are Montreal, Nepal and Senegal [.m0ntrI'Ol, nI'pOl, .senI'gOl].


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:59 pm 
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I'm not sure the question makes sense. Why is bear pronounced as if it were spelt bare? And great as if grate? Or perhaps you're looking for an etymological answer.

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 Post subject: letter to sound paradoxes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:02 pm
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Location: Budapest
There are some quite nice letter-to-sound rules that describe how al sequences are pronounced in different environments, as anyone who took their phonology seminar last autumn can tell. :wink: Still, there are some striking exceptions. For example, why are the words Nepal and Senegal pronounced as if they were spelled Nepall and Senegall? Any ideas?


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