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Extra resources for A Mathematical Grammar of English

Example text

Hom-ed/, 111-011. Toward the beginning of the preceding chapter we touched briefly on the second problem that arises in connection with polysyllables, and here we must return to it in detail. At that point we said that any given English syllable had potential either for clarity, which we shall call the function or predicate K, or for obscurity, the negation of clarity, written ~ Κ or R . Using the WhiteheadRussell circumflex as before (page 27), "σ" for syllable, and ">-" for 'has the potential to become' we can write this very compactly (Y) }Ka>Ka^Ra\.

1 x! ν1! 91! a^ a1e εxe 9*6 a1^ a1^ 'B1£ θ1^ oc1« ^ε θχε ax9 νλβ — a*0 ccV vHf 9*0] All of these pronunciations of { I ) , and no doubt more, can be heard in the English-speaking world. Common sense may well ask whether, for the purpose of ordinary writing, is not more convenient than the accurate or "close" phonetic system introduced in the preceding chapter. The answer is that phonetic writing is used to record IDIOLECTAL, DIALECTAL, and WORD-ENVIRONMENTAL ALLOPHONES, the subject of the next section.

I t is true that vagueness in syllable boundaries is sometimes a trivial matter; (extra), for example, can be analyzed phonemically either as /εks'fcra/, 012*210, or as /ek-strθ/, 011-310. The dictionaries prefer the first analysis, doubtless on morphological grounds. 9 In other cases, different phonemic analysis yields different correspondence values for strings of phonemes identical except for syllable boundaries: /nait-ret/, 121*111, gives us 'night rate', while/nai'tret/, 120-211, gives us 'nitrate'; and similarly (homemade) vs.

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