occasional observations on English pronunciation features, phonetics, teaching and learning
Monday, 27 May 2013
credit: LOL phonology at facebook
Adding a sound segment to a word without changing its meaning is one of the many English passtimes. English speakers add a vowel (as in /fɪləm/ for film) or 'stretch' a hamster by calling it /hæmpstə/. This insertion process is often called epenthesis. Some academics use instead the terms anaptyxis (adding a vowel, the so-called svarabhakti vowel, between consonants) and excrescence (adding a consonant between consonants). If you add a sound segment word-initially (e.g. Latin status became Spanish estado), we call this prosthesis or prothesis; glueing a sound to the end is called paragoge. Would the change from among to amongst be an example (with -st being an old genitival ending)? Can anyone out there come up with an English word exemplifying present-day pro(s)thesis?
BTW: You get the pun in the blog title, don't you?