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"Egg-zit" polling...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:44 pm Reply with quote
bearr
 
Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Seattle, WA


Why do some people pronounce 'exit' as 'eggzit', instead of 'eksit'? They presumably don't refer to King Arthur's sword as 'eggscaliber', or disparage their 'eggs-husband' or 'eggs-wife'. Is this a regional thing, like 'playing cahds in the pahk', or is there some other explanation? Same question regarding 'nuk-u-lur' for 'nuk-leeur'. Ideas? Thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:09 pm Reply with quote
Brittny
 
Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Provo, UT


It has to do with ease of pronunciation. I wish I had a phonetics font that I could use here but I'll just have to spell it as best I can, bear with me. The consonants /ks/ are surrounded by the vowels /E/ and /I/. The consonants assimilate the voicing of the surrounding consonants turning the k -> g and the s ->z. It's a lot easier to continue voicing through the consonants rather than stopping the voicing and restarting it. However, in the other examples you gave the sounds are not surrounded by vowels, but rather come before voiceless consonants, therefore it's easier to keep the /ks/ true to themselves. I don't believe it is a regional phenomenon, I would think it would be fairly common pretty much anywhere but I haven't watched for it.

Nuclear is a completely different phenomenon. It's a simple case of juxtaposition of sounds based on misinterpretation as far as I can see. I know I've heard a better explanation and I'll definitely post it if I remember it.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Hey, Brittny, it's great to have an actual, bona-fide student of linguistics on this forum! Thanks for the response!

I agree that the "egg-zit" phenomenon really has very little to do with the "nu-cu-lar" pronunciation. Assimilation of voicing happens a WHOLE lot more frequently than most people are aware of. I'll bet most American English speakers, for example, are not even aware that such voicing assimilation happens in a word like "bottle" or "better."

But there you are. A [d] sound right in the middle of a word, spelled with two T's, even!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:38 pm Reply with quote
bearr
 
Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Seattle, WA


Thanks, Brittney, for the explanation. And Dave, I owe you a boddle of beer!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:46 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


And you know, as I was thinking further about this, it occurred to me that this is very much a US American pattern of speech.

Cockney English, for example, puts a glottal stop (the explosion of sound at the beginning of each syllable of "uh-oh") in the middle of both those words where the Ts are.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:10 am Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


This shows that ease of pronunciation, is a matter of what you are used to. I am sure a Brit will have to actually make an effort to say 'bedder' in stead of 'better'.
There are some words in Hebrew that I find particularly hard to pronounce, because of the combination of consonants. Take for example 'כבצן' which means 'beggar' and is pronounced as [kabtzan]. Try and say that without turning it into [gabdzan] or [kaptsan]. I really have to strain myself enormously.
The average Hebrew speaker on the other hand has a real problem with vowels in English. He can hardly hear the difference between 'to live' and 'to leave' or between 'bitch' and 'beach' and as a result finds it near impossible to pronounce it properly. So when an Israeli tells you he wants "to leave the life," with a grand smile, check it out. You may not have to worry about the height of the building after all.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:28 am Reply with quote
darkdesign
 
Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 11


Dave wrote:
And you know, as I was thinking further about this, it occurred to me that this is very much a US American pattern of speech.

Cockney English, for example, puts a glottal stop (the explosion of sound at the beginning of each syllable of "uh-oh") in the middle of both those words where the Ts are.


The hideous glottal stop has gone further than the sound of Bow bells, unfortunately, and seems to be part of Estuary English.

This is not a good thing.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:24 pm Reply with quote
tristanjay7
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 28
Location: Madison, WI


darkdesign wrote:
The hideous glottal stop ...


Are you kidding me?

Most English speakers will never ever an allophonic glottal in their speech, despite its prevalence.

American English words pronounced with a glottal stop: butler, antler, button, mutton, kitten, britain--basically any time when a [t] precedes a[n] or a non-syllabic [l] onset. (The Cockneys do it before syllabic [l] as in "bottle.")

Moreover, some dialects allow "g-deletion" in "-ing." So "hitting" becomes "hittin" and the velar nasal becomes a syllabic alveolar [n], and syllabic nasals cause [t]'s to become glottal stops. In short, any verb ending with a [t] will have a glottal stop if "g-deletion" occurs. Thus, hittin, spittin, shittin all sound like mitten in the middle.

A hideous, everyday sound.

Edit: Sorry for being an ass.


Last edited by tristanjay7 on Fri May 09, 2008 9:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: "Egg-zit" polling...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:32 pm Reply with quote
tristanjay7
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 28
Location: Madison, WI


bearr wrote:
Why do some people pronounce 'exit' as 'eggzit', instead of 'eksit'? They presumably don't refer to King Arthur's sword as 'eggscaliber'...


Easy answer: The [s] in excaliber precedes a [k] sound, and the cluster is pronounced (sk(aliber)). "zg" or "zk" clusters are not allowed at the onset of the English syllable.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 9:16 pm Reply with quote
tristanjay7
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 28
Location: Madison, WI


OR this is just a variation. I recently discovered that people say "abzurd" where I've said "absurd" my whole life. Turns out both are listed at dictionary.com .
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"Egg-zit" polling...
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