Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:25 pm UTC

They had "luxury" as /kʃ/ and "luxurious" as /gʒ/, which seems reasonable. I would say /ˈlʌɡʒəɹi/, but Wikipedia also lists /ˈlʌkʃəɹi/, and in my experience that's pretty common. But yeah, "crucifixion" would probably be a less ambiguous example.

And "tableaux" is pronounced exactly the same as "tableau." It's just the plural form, and the final x is silent. Compare "château/châteaux".

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby ThirdParty » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:I'm not sure I even know what a "xylem" is. I wonder why they didn't pick a less obscure word for their list, such as "xylophone" or "tableaux".
pogrmman wrote:Xylem and xylophone have the same x sound, but not tableaux (the x is silent, because French).
Liri wrote:I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, that the 'x' in 'tableaux' is silent. Not... "tabloze".
Eebster the Great wrote:And "tableaux" is pronounced exactly the same as "tableau." It's just the plural form, and the final x is silent.

Huh. I've always pronounced "tableaux" with a /z/ on the end...

Okay, I just looked up "tableaux" in a couple of dictionaries, and neither Merriam-Webster nor the American Heritage Dictionary even offer silent "x" as an option; they both say it's pronounced with a /z/. Collins says it's /z/ in American English but can be /z/ or silent in British English.

Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby pogrmman » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:43 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:I'm not sure I even know what a "xylem" is. I wonder why they didn't pick a less obscure word for their list, such as "xylophone" or "tableaux".
pogrmman wrote:Xylem and xylophone have the same x sound, but not tableaux (the x is silent, because French).
Liri wrote:I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, that the 'x' in 'tableaux' is silent. Not... "tabloze".
Eebster the Great wrote:And "tableaux" is pronounced exactly the same as "tableau." It's just the plural form, and the final x is silent.

Huh. I've always pronounced "tableaux" with a /z/ on the end...

Okay, I just looked up "tableaux" in a couple of dictionaries, and neither Merriam-Webster nor the American Heritage Dictionary even offer silent "x" as an option; they both say it's pronounced with a /z/. Collins says it's /z/ in American English but can be /z/ or silent in British English.

Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction.


That's weird -- I'm an American and have never pronounced it with anything. It's always been silent for me (and for most people I know).

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:47 pm UTC

I'm also American, and I believe Eebster is as well (could be wrong on that one). I, too, have never heard anyone pronounce it as a /z/, not even as a joke.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby ThirdParty » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:19 am UTC

Huh. How about other "-eau" words? Like, do y'all pronounce the /z/ at the end of the plurals of "bureau" and "plateau"?

(I do, but I also spell them with an "s", which I why I didn't use them as my example. Meanwhile, I could see leaving the "x" silent in "chateaux"; since one doesn't really encounter the word "chateau" outside of French place names, it makes sense to use the French pronunciation rather than the proper English one. I figured "tableau" was a good compromise: on the one hand, its plural is pretty uncontroversially spelled with an "x" rather than an "s"; on the other hand, insofar as the game of Klondike is at least as deeply embedded in American culture as Monopoly is, "tableau" is a word one encounters routinely in non-French contexts.)

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:37 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction.

"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?

Huh. How about other "-eau" words? Like, do y'all pronounce the /z/ at the end of the plurals of "bureau" and "plateau"?

I would pronounce those as standard English plurals, which is /z/, and spelled with an -s. I would not pronounce the x in anything ending in -eaux. And honestly I can't say if I've ever had to use tableau in the plural.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:05 am UTC

To be clear, if we tacked a standard English plural onto "tableau," while it would be spelled "tableaus," it would be pronounced the same as the listings form "tableaux" above. I would guess that's where it came from. It's not exactly a word that pops up very often. However, I can say that in the context I have said the word "châteaux," the x has been silent.

And yes, I am American. I have found some serious problems in the Collins dictionary's listings before. Check out their entry for "dice."

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby ThirdParty » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:22 am UTC

Derek wrote:honestly I can't say if I've ever had to use tableau in the plural.
What do you call the stacks of not-yet-played cards in solitaire games such as Klondike or FreeCell?

Eebster the Great wrote:I have found some serious problems in the Collins dictionary's listings before. Check out their entry for "dice."
What's wrong with it, exactly? Only two things really jumped out at me:

1. It says "dice" can be singular, whereas I'm inclined to say that the only correct singular form is "die". But this is just a descriptivism/prescriptivism issue.

2. It says "dice" can be used as a noun to refer to cubes of food; I don't think I've ever heard it used that way. I would say "dice the tomato and then put the diced tomato into the pot" rather than "cut the tomato into dice and then put the tomato dice into the pot". But I don't think I would consider the latter wrong--just weird.

In any case, OED, CALD, and M-W agree with it on both points. AHD agrees with me that "die" is the one true singular form, but possibly just because it's not updated as frequently. M-W and AHD both raise the possibility that the cubes of food can also be called "dices", which strikes me as even more bizarre than calling them "dice".

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:42 am UTC

Derek wrote:"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?
Not for me...
any pronouns
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:19 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:What do you call the stacks of not-yet-played cards in solitaire games such as Klondike or FreeCell?

Isn't the entire set of stacks one tableau? I mean it's related to "table", which suggests that the entire area should be the single tableau. And I'm not usually playing multiple solitaire games, so I have little occasion to use the plural.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby pogrmman » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:32 am UTC

Generally speaking, if I see a word ending in x, I tend to assume that it comes from French and that I probably shouldn’t pronounce the x.

Plateau and bureau are pluralized in the standard way, and pronounced just like any other word ending in an s.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:32 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Derek wrote:"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?
Not for me...

The verb "buffet" I certainly pronounce the 't'. For the self-serve meal I do not.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:43 am UTC

Liri wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
Derek wrote:"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?
Not for me...

The verb "buffet" I certainly pronounce the 't'. For the self-serve meal I do not.
OK, true. But I would have thought the verb had a "t" sound regardless of what kind of English you're speaking.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:57 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Liri wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
Derek wrote:"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?
Not for me...

The verb "buffet" I certainly pronounce the 't'. For the self-serve meal I do not.
OK, true. But I would have thought the verb had a "t" sound regardless of what kind of English you're speaking.

I figured everyone was on the same page about it, but I wanted to make sure.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby ThirdParty » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:09 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Derek wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction.

"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?
Not for me...
Oops. I guess that isn't a good example. How about "fillet" and "valet"?

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:18 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:Oops. I guess that isn't a good example. How about "fillet" and "valet"?
I pronounce the "t" in "fillet", but not "valet".
any pronouns
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby freezeblade » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:37 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:Oops. I guess that isn't a good example. How about "fillet" and "valet"?
I pronounce the "t" in "fillet", but not "valet".


So they don't rhyme in your accent? How interesting.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:33 pm UTC

No, fillet rhymes with billet or skillet.
I had no idea that it was pronounced differently in American accent.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:10 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:I have found some serious problems in the Collins dictionary's listings before. Check out their entry for "dice."
What's wrong with it, exactly? Only two things really jumped out at me:

1. It says "dice" can be singular . . .

It doesn't just say it "can" be singular, it claims that in modern English, it is THE singular, and the form "die" was only used in "old-fashioned English." Maybe that's true in England, but it's certainly not true in the U.S.

Xenomortis wrote:No, fillet rhymes with billet or skillet.
I had no idea that it was pronounced differently in American accent.

In America, "fillet" is frequently confused with the French "filet," as in "filet mignon," so it is usually pronounced that way when referring to cuts of meat or fish. Check out the chain restaurant "Chick Fil-A," which serves chicken fillets.

"Valet" is usually pronounced the same way in America and Great Britain, though the word was originally pronounced with a hard t and sometimes still is. But that pronunciation was already seen as dated even a century ago, as in Jeeves and Wooster.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:07 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
Derek wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction.

"Buffet" is pronounced with a t in Britain?
Not for me...
Oops. I guess that isn't a good example. How about "fillet" and "valet"?


Fillet always has a t for me, valet depends on context (the t is pronounced when talking about the servant e.g. Jeeves' job title, but in all other senses I drop the t)
my pronouns are they

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Fri May 11, 2018 10:16 pm UTC

Is the children's rhyme and clapping game "Patty Cake" (or perhaps "Paddy Cake") or "Pat-a-Cake"? I'd never heard of the latter until today, it seems like it may be somewhat more common in the UK based on Google n-grams.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Fri May 11, 2018 10:18 pm UTC

Definitely "pat-a-cake" in UK. I associate "patty-cake" with US.
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