Talk:1697: Intervocalic Fortition

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The idea, stated in the alt-text, that "meh" was created by writers of "The Simpsons", is incorrect. "The Simpsons", however, was responsible for widely popularizing it. See [1] and [2] Dubaaron (talk) 04:31, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Is it really saying that The Simpsons created the word? All it says is that it introduced the word, which does not seem to imply that it didn't exist before. If I introduce a friend of mine to another person, I most likely did not just create that other person, and there is no reason to believe that it should be any different for words.Mulan15262 (talk) 13:24, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't think that "writers on The Simpsons decided to mess with future linguists" means "writers of The Simpsons introduced the word". 14:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

"The" ends in a lax vowel, and it's the most ubiquitous word in the language, so that rule is wrong. 04:45, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I've always seen "lax vowel" referring to full (unreduced) vowels. When unstressed, the vowel in "the" is reduced (/ðə/), and when stressed it's tense (/ði:/). 05:08, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Furthermore, the lax vowel is only used if 'the' is followed by another syllable, and so the utterance will not be lax-vowel-final. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
How does that matter? The rule as stated was about the ending of words, not of utterances. Huttarl (talk) 19:21, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Rules exists in reality, not as statements made by mathematicians or Randall. The actual rule is English doesn't allow utterances to end in a lax vowel. 22:55, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
But isn't "meh" an utterance in and of itself, and therefore a violation of that rule anyway? 07:45, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Truth is, as a general rule in most languages phonotactic constraints don't apply to exclamations and onomatopoeia. The lax vowel constraint however has a historical reason (mostly lengthening of vowels in word final position) but makes very little sense synchronically now that (historical) "long" and "short" vowels are very different from each other, so it may be the case that the language is evolving to allow lax vowels in final position. By the way, if we express this rule using the term "lax vowels" then yes, we have to exclude /ə/ from lax vowels because it actually appears quite often in final position (even more so in non-rhotic varieties) in words such as coda, comma, Buddha, etc. 09:42, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
What the? That can't be right... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Questions. Is this happening in (American) English? is "adverb" becoming /adferb/. Any other examples?Zeimusu (talk) 05:55, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I scanned some 'v' words and didn't see much. A plural of dwarf discussion; similarly wharf splits into both wharfs and wharves. 'Halving' might benefit in the sense that the 'l' is silent so it sounds like 'having' and might be more clear as 'halfing'. I've also noticed a smattering of YouTubers writing "could of/should of" instead of contracting 'have', i.e, "could've/should've". Elvenivle (talk) 06:50, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
The pronunciation of both of and ’ve is /əv/. 13:35, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
No, I don't think this is really happening. 11:22, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
"Adverb" doesn't have an intervocalic "v". 14:21, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
No, but the prank as stated in the comic "V's in the middle of words" applies to "adverb". 15:34, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. 19:38, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, have added the comic you referenced, 1677: Contrails to the explanation. :-) --Kynde (talk) 07:46, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

It's quite surprising to see Randall misusing apostrophes to form plurals (i.e. V's and F's instead of the correct Vs and Fs).  – 19:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

That's one of those gray/grey areas where the "rules" for apostrophes aren't firmly in place. Typographically, the apostrophe is (often) used to form plurals of lower case letters ("i's" and "m's" for clarity over "is" and "ms") and this exception tends to get carried over to capital letters, numbers, and symbols though the need for insuring clarity is reduced. It becomes a matter for style manuals rather than grammar manuals: do you follow the exception -- or the exception to the exception? 21:07, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

If they can't see through such transparent trickery, they must not be very cunning linguists. 02:49, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

If one applies this pronunciation to the title of comic, it becomes "Interfocalic fortition". Could this have any real meaning in optics, between lenses and their foci? 03:30, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Maybe the mock German accent angle should be mentioned? EHusmark (talk) 07:34, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that in German and dutch the V is always pronounced as F. And the V sound only comes into these languages trough W, which is not called double U but double V. Since I'm not from either country I would prefer someone with more knowledge about this to make the note. But it seems relevant for the explanation to me... --Kynde (talk) 07:36, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I personally don't think it's really relevant, also given that it's not entirely true that "German and dutch the V is always pronounced as F". As for German, orthographical <v> is almost always pronounced [f] at the beginning of a word, but there are many loanwords that are exceptional in this respect, and in the middle of the word it is most often pronounced "v". As for Dutch, while many varieties have merged <v> and <f> into [f], standard Dutch has three distinct pronunciations for <f>, <v> and <w>. The last two in particular are both pronounced as "v-like" consonants: <v> is pronounced [v] and <w> is pronounced [ʋ], a sound which is kind of between English V and W, think of the way some people with a speech impediment or children may pronounce R in English. 09:42, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Someone has written as an example: "Luffing" instead of loving where it would be more correct to write lofing according to the rule of the comic... Any reason for this "error" or should it just be corrected? --Kynde (talk) 07:36, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

It's a (pseudo)phonemic transcription of how the word "loving" would be pronounced if the "v" were replaced by "f" in pronunciation. "loving" has a (relatively) idiosyncratic spelling, but it is actually pronounced as "luvving" /ˈlʌvɪŋ/, replacing the V with F in writing would produce a word that would be likely to be pronounced rather like "loafing" /ˈləʊfɪŋ/. 09:42, 23 June 2016 (UTC)