Friday, May 18, 2018

Remaining ER notes

These are outnumbered by the notes for the one other sound represented by the spelling *ER* (/ə/).

/ɜ:/ Notes

  1. adversarial
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel but the audio sample has  /ə/.
  2. advertisement
    Stress (in British English) is on the second syllable, but a possible American pronunciation has stress on the third syllable (with /ə/ in the second), and this pronunciation is not infrequent 
    among some speakers of British English.
  3. alternate
    This is the adjective, with stress on the second syllable, but see also /ə/ for the verb.
  4. berserk
    The second syllable has this sound. See also 
     /ə/.
  5. controversyAn alternative (and quite common) pronunciation has stress on the second syllable and /ə/ in third.
  6. dermatological
    Not in the Macmillan English Dictionary as a headword. The link is to the Collins English Dictionary entry for dermatology which includes this as a Derived form.
  7. deserved and deservedly
    The verb has two syllable, but the adverb has four.
  8. determinate
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel, but s
    eems to be introducing a nasal to the final syllable . This may be because the word determinate is much less common than its antonym (indeterminate); (The Britisn National Corpus has about half as many instances of determinate as of indeterminate , and in the Corpus of Contemporary American the weighting is nearly twice as marked.) The nearest soundalike (with /ə/ in the final syllable) is determinant. (more than twice as common in the Britisn National Corpus, three times as common in the Corpus of Contemporary American).
  9. ferment
    This is the noun, stressed on the first syllable. The verb has stress on the second syllable and /ə/ in the first.
  10. Germanic, hermaphrodite and hermeticThe Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel but the audio sample has  /ə/ (a common and perfectly acceptable alternative).
  11. inadvertentThe adjective is not included as a headword in Macmillan Engish Dictionary (although inadvertently is). The link is to the Collins Engish Dictionary.
  12. kerbside
    This escapes the exclusion of compounds because it is chiefly used metaphorically, with no reference to nearness to the kerb (as in "kerbside recycling" - which rarely if ever involves adjacency to the kerb).
  13. perfect
    This is the adjective. with stress on the first syllable. See also in the  /ə/ section. 
  14. perfumed
    The Macmillan Engish Dictionary gives this, with primary stress on the first syllable, for British English. In American English, the stress is on the second syllable (with /ə/ in the first syllable).
     
  15. permit and pervert
    This is the noun, with stress on the first syllable. See also the  /ə/  section for the verb, which is stressed on the second syllable.
  16. perseverance, persevere, and  persevering
    This sound is in the first syllable. For the sound in the third syllable, see the /iə/ section.
  17. servery
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also /ə/.
  18. superfluous. superlative, and superlatively
    This escapes the usual exclusion of words that start "super-" because neither *fluous  nor *lative is a free-standing word.; and besides the sound is not /ə/.
  19. vermicelli
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel but the audio sample is /eə/, an approximation to the Italian.
  20. vermouth
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel as does the audio sample, but another pronunciation (with stress on the second syllable and /ə/ in the first) is common. The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this pronunciation, with matching audio, calling it "American", but (confusingly, and presumably unintentionally) uses the same transcription.

/e/ Notes

  1. a posteriori
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel but the audio sample is /ɪə/. Both are used.
  2. beriberi
    Both -ers represent this sound.
  3. cerebral
    With this pronunciation, stress is on the first syllable. American English has stress on the second syllable, with /ə/ in the first (as in cerebrum). This pronunciation is becoming common in the UK.
  4. ferret
    Note that, unlike with many noun/verb pairs (for example ferment), the verb has the same pronunciation as the noun.
  5. herringbone
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds, because its chief use is as a metaphor that has little immediate relevance to fish.

/ɪə/ Notes

  1. adherence
    Except in words ending -ere[d],the Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this diphthong but the audio sample is /i:/ (throughout this section).
  2. arteriosclerosis
    This sound occurs in the first of the *er* syllables; for the second see e.
  3. deleterious
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this diphthong but the audio sample is /eə/. Both pronunciations are common.
  4. interfere, interference, and interfering
    This sound is in the third syllable; the sound /ə/ occurs in the second.
  5. materiel
    The final syllable uses the /e/ sound (unlike material which has /ə/). The Macmillan English Dictionary has this transcription, but the audio example is /ə/. Presumably this is an unintentional slip.
  6. perseverance, persevere, and persevering
    This sound is in the third syllable. For the sound in the first syllable, see the /ɜ:/ section.
  7. serotonin
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this diphthong but the audio sample  uses /e/ (a common alternative).

/ɪ/ Notes

  1. bereave
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not list the bare infinitive, only the participle. Others do (the link is to the Collins English Dictionary).
  2. derivative and erase
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound but the audio sample has a hint of /e/.
  3. erratic
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound but the audio sample has /e/ - a common pronunciation.
  4. ineradicable
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound but the audio sample has /ə/. Either is acceptable.

/eə/ Notes

  1. bolero
    This vowel is in the second syllable. An alternative pronunciation, with stress on the first syllable, has /ə/ in the second.
  2. ersatz
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this diphthong but the audio sample has /ɜ:/ - a common anglicization.
  3. werewolf
    This escapes the general exclusion of compounds because wer (in the sense man) is not a word in Modern English.

/ɑ:/ Notes

*ER* represents this sound in a dwindling number of words. For example, in the BBC Radio comedy series The Navy Lark recorded 1959-61, the rear end of a ship is called its /stɑ:n/, but I have only ever heard the /ɑ:/ pronunciation in that context 
  1. sergeant and sergeant-at-arms
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has no option with the -j- spelling for the word on its own, but other dictionaries do. The Macmillan English Dictionary does, though, for the derived phrase.

Notes for other sounds

  1. every
    The *er* is occasionally enunciated, in childish speech or in music or poetry, if scansion requires it.
  2. knobk[i]errie
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound but the audio sample /e/. The /i/ pronunciation presumably refers to the -ier- spelling.
  3. croupier and dossier
    While croupier has, in the Macmillan English Dictionary a single English pronunciation (/ə/), dossier has two (/ə/ and /eɪ/). The reason (if any) for this is not clear; in fact, in my experience, the /eɪ/ pronunciatrion is if anything more common in the case of croupier (perhaps because of its association with smart ‘continental‘ life-styles).

Friday, May 11, 2018

ER... What's the most common *ER* sound?

No prizes for guessing it's /ə/. Even after very many exclusions (to keep the job of compiling within bounds...
<quote_from_intro subject="exclusions">
[These lists exclude] [w]ords that end "*er", and their derivatives (such as coverage or considerable), which account in all for well over a half of "*er*" words; even without derivatives, such words account for a quarter of the *er* total (more than the total for all *ir* or *ur* words).
</quote_from_intro>
..., nearly half of all the words listed in #WVGTbook2 (to give the book its pet name) use the spelling *er* to represent the sound /ə/.

Here are the notes for this section.
  1. adversary
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription and audio sample both have this vowel  (with stress on the first syllable) but quite often stress is put (in a way disapproved of in some circles) on the second, with the sound /ɜ:/.
  2. afterward[s]
    This escapes the general exclusion of compounds because the "after-" is followed by a string that is not a free-standing word.
  3. alternate
    This is the verb, with stress on the first syllable, but see also the /ɜ:/ section for the adjective.
  4. barbershop
    Escapes two exclusions (words ending -er and compound words built using them) because the word is now used principally to refer to a kind of singing.
  5. berserk
    The first syllable has this sound. See also the /ɜ:/ section.
  6. ceramic[s] and cerise
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription and audio sample both have this vowel, but a pronunciation with an /ɪ/ pronunciation is common.
  7. certification
    Not in the Macmillan English Dictionary, except in the form self-certification. This is odd, as the  British National Corpus has only five occurrences of self-certification, as against more than 70 times as many occurrences of certification. The Corpus of Contemporary American has 1000 times that number.
  8. chatterbox
    This escapes the general exclusion of compound words because no box is involved.
  9. choleric
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has this, with stress on the first syllable. But some dictionaries - eg the Cambridge Dictionary - have /e/, with stress on the second syllable (but still, incidentally, /ɒ/ in the first, according to that dictionary - although /ə/ is also common).
  10. copperplate
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds because its most common use today is in calligraphy - and does not refer to a copper plate.
  11. coterie
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that in the second syllable the vowel is not /e/. That is, the e behaves like a "Magic E" (in producing the /əʊ/ in the first syllable), but goes on to represemt an /ə/ in the second.
  12. crackers
    This escapes the usual exclusion of derivatives of words ending -er because its use (except, of course, as a plural of cracker) is metaphorical.
  13. creamery
    This escapes the usual exclusion of derivatives of words ending -er because a "creamer" in this image (a jug) is no longer in use (except, perhaps, dialectally). Besides, the suffix is not "-y" but "ery"; see note 14.
  14. crockery
    This escapes the usual exclusion of derivatives of words ending -er because it is not derived from a non-existent *crocker. The suffix "-ery" usually means "place for, art of, condition of, quantity of". See further information from Etymonline here
  15. cutlery
    This escapes the usual exclusion of derivatives of words ending -er because a "cutler" is chiefly a tradesman of historical interest.
  16. deanery
    This looks as though it should be excluded as a derivative, but it is a derivative of dean rather than the (non-existent) *deaner.
  17. divers
    This is not the plural of the noun (which is excluded). It is an archaic determiner (meaning something like "various").
  18. dividers
    This is not excluded (as a word ending with an unstressed last syllable) since it is not the plural of the word "divider".
  19. elderberry
    This sound is in the second syllable. See also the /e/ section.
  20. enervate
    The bare infinitive is not included in the Macmillan English Dictionary. The link is to the Collins English Dictionary.
  21. evergreen
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds, because of its metaphorical use - with a meaning something like "commonly-held favorite"(for example "evergreen melodies")..
  22. ferment
    This is the noun, stressed on the first syllable. The verb has stress on the second syllable and /ə/ in the first.
  23. fisherman
    This escapes two general exclusions (compound words and derivatives of words ending -er) as fisher is a rather rare noun, not included in the Macmillan English Dictionary.
  24. geranium
    The Macmillan English Dictionary's transcription gives this sound (as does the audio sample),  but a pronunciation with an /ɪ/ pronunciation is common.
  25. gooseberry
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that this has neither the /u:/ of goose nor the /e/ of berry.
  26. heroics
    The Macmillan English Dictionary's transcribes this with a /ə/ , although the same dictionary gives the word heroic (the adjective) with an /ɪ/. This is surely accidental: either word can be pronounced with either vowel.
  27. huckleberry
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription uses /ə/ but the audio sample has /e/. Either vowel is possible.
  28. interfere, interference, and interfering
    This sound is in the second syllable; for the sound in the third, see the /ɪə/ section.
  29. knickerbockers
    Both -ers (in the second and in the fourth syllables) use this sound.
  30. liverish
    This escapes the exclusion of derivatives of words endng -er because the relation to the liver is largely metaphorical.
  31. liberation
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not list liberation; the link is to the Collins English Dictionary.
  32. midwifery
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that the vowel in the second syllable is /I/ (despite the /aɪ/ of the source noun midwife.
  33. miserable and monastery
    The Macmillan English Dictionary's transcription gives this sound, but the audio sample has only three syllables (a more common pronunciation [except in very formal contexts and in the speech of children]).
  34. overweening and overwhelm
    This escapes the general exclusion of words with *-er- prefixes because neither "ween" nor "whelm" exists in current British English as a standalone word.
  35. peremptory
    Some speakers stress the first syllable, with the sound /e/.
  36. perfect
    This is the verb. with stress on the second syllable. See also in the /ɜ:/ section.
  37. permit
    This is the verb, with stress on the second syllable. See also the  /ɜ:/ section for the noun.
  38. persimmon and pertain
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription uses /ə/ but the audio sample has a hint of /ɜ:/. Both are possible.
  39. pervert
    This is the verb, stressed on the second syllable. For the noun, stressed on the first syllable, see the /ɜ:/ section.
  40. pizzeria
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription uses /ə/ but the audio sample has a hint of /e/. Both pronunciations are common.
  41. raspberry
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note three things:
    • the "p" is silent
    • the "s" assimilates to the voicing of the /b/ (and so represents the /z/ sound)
    • "e" does not represent the /e/ sound
  42. rubberneck
    This escapes the general exclusion of compounds because the metaphorical verb does not refer to necks.
  43. saddlery
    This escapes the usual exclusion of derivatives from words that end -er because the role of saddler is almost extinct. Besides, see note 14.
  44. savagery, scenery, scullery, shrubbery and snobbery
    These escape the usual exclusion of derivatives from words that end -er because there is no such thing as a savager, a scener, a sculler, a shrubber or a snobber. In other words, they all escape that exclusion by simply not being a derivative of a non-existent noun.
  45. slippery
    This escapes the usual exclusion of derivatives from words that end -er because there is no such derivation (it does not mean "like a slipper").
  46. superficial and superstition
    These escape the usual exclusion of words that start super- because neither *ficial not *stition is a free-standing word.
  47. supervi[s|z]e
    This escapes the usual exclusion of words that start super- because *vise is not a free-standing word (in current British English).
  48. undercarriage
    This escapes the usual exclusion of words that start under- because the notion of a carriage is a long way from this aeronautical metaphor.
  49. undermine
    This escapes the usual exclusion of words that start under- because the idea of "cutting ground away" is largely metaphorical.
  50. understand, understanding, understudy and undertak[e|en|ing]
    These escape the usual exclusion of words that start under- because of the distance between their etymology and the idea of inferiority.
  51. underway
    This escapes the usual exclusion of words that start under- because the notion of "way" - meaning the making of progress, as in the nautical phrase "steerage way" (when a vessel is making enough progress for the rudder to have an appreciable effect) - is far from the word's current meaning.
  52. verruca
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription uses /ə/ but the audio sample has /ɜ:/.
  53. watermark
    This escapes the general exclusion of compound words because it refers to a process of papermaking that is a closed book for the most part to all but hobbyists and etymological dictionaries.
  54. westernize|d
    The Macmillan English Dictionary  does not list a spelling with -ise; but a few other dictionaries listed by Onelook do.
  55. wickerwork
    This escapes the general exclusion of compound words because wicker is not in regular use as a free-standing word.


    The illustration shows the decline as noted by in the Collins English Dictionary. In the last 50 years plotted (data runs out at 2008) usage declined by well over 70%
  56. withers
    This escapes the general exclusion of words deriving from words ending -er as wither and withers (part of a horse) are unrelated.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Curious Incident of the SatNav ...

... well, any time really. Here are the remaining notes for the *AR* chapter including a SatNav reference that I thought long and hard over (with vanity in the end overcoming common-sense :-)).

Notes for /æ/

  1. aristocrat
    The traditional British English pronunciation has the /æ/ vowel and stress on the first syllable). Probably because of the Disney film The Aristocats, the American English pronunciation (with /ə/ in the first syllable and stress on the second) is steadily growing in popularity.
  2. arriviste
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has primary stress on the last syllable (as in French) and secondary stress on the first. But audio puts primary stress on the first.
  3. barbaric
    This sound is in the second syllable. See also under /ɑ:/.
  4. Caribbean
    A pronunciation with stress on the second syllable and initial /ə/ is becoming common.
  5. garage
    A pronunciation with stress on the second syllable, given by many dictionaries as American, is increasingly common in British English.
  6. harakiri
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel but - as is commonly the case with foreign borrowings - a range of vowel sounds is possible (ranging from /ʌ/ to /ɑ:/ ). The Macmillan English Dictionary does have /æ/ , but has /i:/ in the second syllable (that is, the one written "ra").
  7. harassed and harassment
    This - more readily than the bare infinitive - often has stress on the second syllable and /ə/ in the first. For more about this alternation, see this blog.
  8. maraschino
    Note that the Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes this (accurately, in an Italian word) with /k/, but the audio has /ʃ/ The Macmillan English Dictionary gives no transcription for the collocation "maraschino cherry", but again the audio sample has /ʃ/. This rogue /ʃ/ is not uncommon in other Italian borrowings – for example, bruschetta.
  9. paragliding
    This is the sole representative of the many sports that combine a parachute with another pursuit.
Notes for /eə/
  1. Aryan
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel sound but the audio sample has /æ/.
  2. barbarian
    The second "ar" has this sound. See also /ɑ:/.
  3. bridgeware
    This evades the usual no-compounds rule (which excludes for example, chinaware) because it refers to an intangible sort of -ware. This is the sole representative of other such words (software, wetware, etc.)
  4. carefree
    This is the sole representative of words that use care (both as a prefix and as a suffix)
  5. cheeseparing
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages may want to note that the source of the verb is paring (a small amount cut off) and not sparing.
  6. contrary and contrariwise
    This pronunciation marks a particular usage. A more common meaning (but quite distinct) has primary stress on the first syllable, and /ə/. The Macmillan English Dictionary  gives only the /eə/ pronunciation for the word "contrariwise", which might seem a little perverse (some might say contrary). But the Collins English Dictionary gives "contrariwise" with primary stress on the first syllable and /ə/ in the second; the /eə/ pronunciation (strictly speaking, following the phonemic scheme always used in that dictionary, /ɛə/) is also given – with the sense "in a contrary way" (but their link does not make it clear which sense they mean). The adverb is rare enough for this lack of clarity not to have a serious impact for the student.
  7. harum-scarum
    This pronunciation occurs in both words.
  8. parliamentarian
    This sound is in the third syllable from last. See also above, /ɑ:/.
  9. prepared and preparedness
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that while the adjective has two syllables the abstract noun has four.
  10. rarefied
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that, unlike many other words with the spelling "*are+<suffix>" (such as barely, daresay  etc.), the written "e" represents a separate sound – /ɪ/. That is, the word has three syllables.
  11. veterinarian
    Note that although this word has six syllables (with the -ter- being fully enunciated the word veterinary (see under /ə/) may have either four or five (and sometimes even three: /vetənri:/).
Notes for /ᴐ:/
  1. That is [the text has averred that /wᴐ:/ CAN be represented by "w|wh|qu+ar"]  the condition is necessary, but not sufficient  – there are several counterexamples: square, wary, quarry, warrant....
  2. lukewarm
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words because the fossil "luke" that appears in it has no current life as a free-standing word.
  3. toward and towards
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that, unlike all other words of the form <direction-or-destination>+"ward[s]" (for example backward, downward, forward, homewardonward, upward, <compass-point>+"ward" or any other such word) this word has stress on the second syllable. Moreover, the first syllable, given by the Macmillan English Dictionary as /tə/, is sometimes heard as /tʊ/ and is sometimes dropped entirely. The Macmillan English Dictionary recognizes this reduced variant with a separate transcription and audio sample, but only for the first of the two words: /tɔ:(r)d/ but not  /tɔ:(r)dz/. It's not clear to me whether this has any basis in observed fact; I don't believe I've heard a person say /tɔ:(r)dz/, but my SatNav says it, and I have no reason to believe that the voiceover artist who recorded it was being intentionally perverse.
Notes for other sounds
  1. /ɒ/ – unwarranted
    Rarely used in the positive, unless the context is negative: example - "His intrusion was not warranted". (Note that a negative context need not involve a negative particle; consider, for example, "Such heavy-handed intervention was hardly warranted.")
  2. /ʌ/ – Bharat
    This escapes the general exclusion of loanwords used primarily in a non-UK English-speaking country as it offers an occasion to show two things: that the Macmillan English Dictionary contains many such words, and that the pronunciation of such words is always problematic - the Macmillan English Dictionary's transcription has this vowel but the audio example has /ɑ:/.
  3. Null (no sound) – secretary
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this three-syllable version as British English, and the American English version (with primary stress on the *AR* syllable) having the sound /e/. (In many other cases, a null pronunciation of an *AR* syllable is given as an alternative to  /ə/, but this is the only case I have found where no /ə/ option is given). The four-syllable version is becoming common in British English; indeed, many speakers of British English regard the three-syllable version as quaint and/or amusingly old-fashioned.
b

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The notes for words with *AR* representing /ə/

Here are the notes for *AR* => /ə/. Further to what I said previously about the greater need for notes when a vowel meets a sonorant, I've done some checking: there are 25  here and by comparison, in the digraphs book (which in due course will be relaunched as WVGT with Other Vowels) there are a total of 27 notes for all vowel sounds represented by all digraphs beginning with "a".

  1. arbitrary
    This sound is in the third syllable. For the sound in the first, see above (/ɑ:/).
  2. bastardized, militarized and notarized
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has no -ised version, though other dictionaries (for example, Collins English Dictionary) have.
  3. budgetary
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has this vowel, with the option of nothing, and the audio exemplifies this three-syllable version.
  4. carotid artery
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel sound but the audio sample has /æ/ (in the first word).
  5. charisma
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note the variation in charismatic - the second "a" becomes /æ/.
  6. comparable and comparably
    With this sound, primary stress is on the first syllable. But an increasiingly common version with stress on the second syllable has the sound /æ/.
  7. contemporary
    Both the -or- and the -ar- have this sound, and in colloquial speech they are often elided into a single /ər/.
  8. contrary
    See also under /eə/ (with a distinct meaning).
  9. corollary and coronary
    Note that these two have distinct stress patterns (although there is a tendency for the two to coalesce). The first has primary stress on the second syllable. The second has primary stress on the first syllable, and this is shown unequivocally in the Macmillan English Dictionary. But in many speakers of British English primary stress is on the first syllable in both.
  10. dullard
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has this vowel sound, but a version with /ɑ:/ is common.
  11. harassed and harassment
    The Macmillan English Dictionary recognizes this (increasingly common) as an alternative to the /æ/ pronunciation. For more about this alternation, see this blog
  12. kaross
    This borrowing from South African English is transcribed like this (with stress on the second syllable) in the Macmillan English Dictionary, but the audio sample has /æ/ and stress on the first).
  13. lanyard
    This escapes the usual exclusion for compond words, as the second syllable is not pronounced /jɑ:d/ and has nothing to do with boatyards or shipyards.
  14. margarine and margarita
    The second syllable has this sound. See also under /ɑ:/.
  15. necessarily
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has this, with stress on the first syllable, but a pronunciation with /e/ in the third syllable (also recognized by the Macmillan English Dictionary) is becoming increasingly common.
  16. ordinarily
    The Macmillan English Dictionary has this, with stress on the first syllable, but a pronunciation with /e/ in the third syllable (also recognized by the Macmillan English Dictionary) is becoming increasingly common. Sometimes, when stress is on this syllable, the sound is /æ/.
  17. parliamentary
    This sound is in the penultimate syllable. See also /ɑ:/.
  18. primarily and summarily
    With this vowel sound, primary stress is on the first syllable. A pronunciation with stress on the second syllable, which becomes /e/, is increasingly common.
  19. salaryman
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words as a salaryman is not just someone who earns a salary.
  20. sarsaparilla
    This sound is in the third syllable. See also under /ə/.
  21. scimitar
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this vowel sound but the audio sample has /ɑ:/ (which is common - in my experience, more common).
  22. tartar
    This sound is in the second syllable. See also under /ɑ:/.
  23. unparliamentary
    This sound is in the penultimate syllable. See also under /ɑ:/.
  24. veterinary
    Note that although this word may have either four or five (and sometimes even three: /vetənri:/ ) the word veterinarian (see under /eə/) has six syllables (with the letters -ter- being fully enunciated).
  25. vineyard
    This escapes the general exclusion of -yard compounds as it does not have the /ɑ:/ pronunciation.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

AR, that be right

Here are the notes for words where the letters "AR" represent the sound /ɑ:/. In the first volume of the series (already published as When Vowels Get Together, but which will in due course become the first volume in the WVGT series, being WVGT ... with other vowels) it was not necessary to break the notes down according to vowel sound (there were, for example, only seven notes in the AE section, for all sounds). But sonorants are turning out to be much more ... erm ...notiferous? notigerent? trivibunda?
  1. afar
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not include this word. The link is to the Collins English Dictionary.
  2. applecart
    This escapes the usual exclusion for compound words, because the word is only ever used in the collocation "upset the applecart" and is not necessarily a cart for apples (or, indeed, any kind of cart).
  3. arbitrary
    This sound is in the first syllable. For the sound in the first, see below (/ə/).
  4. archaeopteryx
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not have the American English spelling.
  5. archangel
    When "arch-" is used as a prefix (in English - so archvillain, archrival etc. but not archetype), the letters "ch" usually represent /tʃ/. In this case, though, the consonant sound is /k/.
  6. armchair
    This escapes the usual exclusions of compound words, because it is not a chair for arms - as in, for example, armrest.
  7. barbarian, barbaric, barbarism , and barbarous
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also under /eə/, /æ/, and //ə.
  8. cardio-
    This prefix is used in many medical and physiological terms.
  9. cartwheel
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words because, in its most common (metaphorical) use, it refers to an acrobatic movement that involves neither a cart nor a wheel.
  10. compartmentalize
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not have either compartmental or compartmentalise – though it does have compartmentalize with an audio sample marked as "British" (not that -ize spellings are necessarily unBritish [see this post for more details]).
  11. farthing
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that – unlike in the words anything or something  – the fricative is voiced.
  12. hardball
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds because (in British English) it is only used in the collocation "play hardball" (borrowed from American English).
  13. hardline
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds because it is used metaphorically (to mean "strict").
  14. lodestar
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words because the fossil "lode" that appears in it has no current life as a free-standing word.
  15. margarine and margarita
    The first syllable has this sound. See also under /ə/.
  16. marshmallow
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words because in it the word mallow has no relevance to the sweetmeat.
  17. narc
    An American English usage, not to be confused with nark (who is on the opposite side of the law).
  18. parliamentarian and parliamentary
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also /eə/.
  19. pockmark
    This escapes the general exclusion of compounds, as the word "pock" is rarely if ever used as a standalone word. And when it is, it is probably understood as a back-formation from the "compound".
  20. quark
    The Macmillan English Dictionary lists only the sub-atomic particle, and does not give the alternative pronunciation (with /
    ɔ:/). This may reflect the fact that when James Joyce used it in Finnegan's Wake the context suggested to Gell-Mann (discoverer of quarks) that it should rhyme with the name "Mark". However, apart from a name for a kind of cheese, this word is the only English word with the sound /wɑ:/ represented by  the /w/+"ar" spelling; in fact, the sound /wɑ:/ represented by any spelling, is not very common (discounting the dialectal twa, a few foreign borrowings such as bwana and suave, and the comic-book conventional representation of an unhappy baby – wah!) . This uniqueness might explain some peoples' (sub-conscious) preference for the alternative pronunciation.
  21. sarsaparilla
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also below /ə/.
  22. sidebar
    This escapes the usual exclusion for "-bar" compounds because of its metaphorical use to mean a separate channel of communication.
  23. tartar
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also below /ə/.
  24. Tartare Sauce
    This sound occurs in both syllables of the first word.
  25. unparliamentary
    This sound is in the second syllable. See also below /ə/.
b

Update: 2018.04.13.13:45 Added graphic, and added another neological candidate in red.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

All is well

Before Easter, I met a kink (something which should reside in a Kink Port?) in the progress of #WVGTbk2. Suddenly, without precedent and without  (meaningful) warning, the Kindle Direct Publishing site started responding to my submissions with this:

There was "a problem" – pretty scarey. I went to the Help page, which of course didn't do what it said on the ti...tle. There was a tab marked Community, where  I thought I might at least find fellow-sufferers. I described my problem, hit Send, and got ... another meaningless error-message.

At this point I took a breath. Perhaps the two errors were related. Maybe KDP was running on a skeleton staff over Easter, and some critical function was down (as they say, if avoiding the odious IT-speak about experiencing an outage...
<autobiographical_note>
A kindred spirit, when I formed part of a three-man crack team with the task of [tasked with – "Oh Christ! That ever this should be" in the words of the Ancient Mariner] bringing English to the Digital Equipment Company) explained that Outage was a typo  for Outrage.
</autobiographical_note>
 ...). So I just had to wait for a day or two and try again.

Which I did, but to no avail; I got the same error.

But all is now well. There was an internal XHTML error in the cross-references, caused by my effort at ensuring consistency (by using a clone of my *AL* chapter as a "starter" for my *AR* chapter, and then deleting the text). I didn't delete the IDs (which was the point of the exercise – except that I forgot to update the IDs to point to new stuff). The poor compiler got its wires hopelessly tangled.

So all things have in a beautiful way, as the Ancient Greeks used to say when they meant everything was OK – παντα καλως έχει  (give or take a diacritic, which we didn't do). Now it's a simple matter of writing the thing.

b


Monday, March 5, 2018

Ah, so that's it

After a good four months' interval (not that it marks a break – swan-like (cygnesque?) my legs were thrashing about below the surface) I now have something new to show: the Notes for the /ɑ:/ bit of the AR section
  1. applecart
    This escapes the usual exclusion for compound words, because the word is only ever used in the collocation "upset the applecart" and is not necessarily a cart for apples (or, indeed, any kind of cart).
  2. archaeopteryx
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not have the American English spelling.
  3. archangel
    When "arch-" is used as a prefix (in English - so archvillain, archrival etc. but not archetype), the letters "ch" usually represent /tʃ/. In this case, though, the consonant sound is /k/.
  4. archway
    "Arch", in this case, is not a prefix - if that were the case , one could expect to find statements like *"The M1 is the archway to drive from London to Edinburgh.
  5. armchair
    This escapes the usual exclusions of compound words, because it is not a chair for arms - as in, for example, armrest.
  6. barbarian, barbaric, barbarism , and barbarous
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also under /eə/, /æ/, and /ə/.
  7. cardio-
    This prefix is used in many medical and physiological terms.
  8. cartwheel
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound wordshttps://harmlessdrudgery.blogspot.com/2012/11/but-nobody-says-potahto.html because, in its most common (metaphorical) use, it refers to an acrobatic movement that involves neither a cart nor a wheel.
  9. compartmentalize
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not have either compartmental or compartmentalise – though it does have compartmentalize with an audio sample marked as "British" (not that -ize spellings are necessarily unBritish [see this post for more details]).
  10. farthing
    Students of English for Speakers of Other Languages should note that unlike in other nouns called "-thing" the fricative is voiced.
  11. hardball
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds because (in British English) it is only used in the collocation "play hardball" (borrowed from American English).
  12. hardline
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compounds because it is used metaphorically (to mean "strict").
  13. lodestar
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words because the fossil "lode" that appears in it has no current life as a free-standing word.
  14. margarine and margarita
    The first syllable has this sound. See also under /ə/.
  15. marshmallow
    This escapes the usual exclusion of compound words because in it the word mallow has no relevance to the sweetmeat.
  16. narc
    An American English usage, not to be confused with nark (who is on the opposite side of the law).
  17. parliamentarian and parliamentary
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also /eə/.
  18. pockmark
    This escapes the general exclusion of compounds, as the word "pock" is rarely if ever used as a standalone word. And when it is, it is probably understood as a back-formation from the "compound".
  19. [See PS]
  20. sarsaparilla
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also /ə/.
  21. sidebar
    This escapes the usual exclusion for "-bar" compounds because of its metaphorical use to mean a separate channel of communication.
  22. tartar
    This sound is in the first syllable. See also under /ə/.
  23. Tartare Sauce
    This sound occurs in both syllables.
  24. unparliamentary
    This sound is in the second syllable. See also under /ə/.

PS – I initially discounted quark as too specialized, but this thought is quite pleasing.
  1. quark
    The Macmillan English Dictionary lists only the sub-atomic particle, and does not give the alternative pronunciation (with /
    ɔ:/). This may reflect the fact that when James Joyce used it in Finnegan's Wake the context suggested to Gell-Mann (namer of quarks) that it should rhyme with the name "Mark". However, apart from a name for a kind of cheese, this word is the only English word  with the sound /wɑ:/ represented by  the "ar" spelling; in fact, the sound /wɑ:/ represented by any spelling, is not very common (discounting the dialectal twa, a few foreign borrowings such as bwana and suave, and the comic-book conventional representation of an unhappy baby – wah!) (discounting the dialectal twa and a few foreign borrowings such as bwana) . This uniqueness might explain some peoples' (sub-conscious) preference for the alternative pronunciation.
Update: 2018.03.13.16:00 – Added to PS in red.