(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

Was the Ancient Greek pitch accent lexically contrastive?
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Post by Sequor »

LinguoFranco wrote: 11 Jun 2021 15:46Was the Ancient Greek pitch accent lexically contrastive?
Yes, it's not only inflectional, e.g. τόμος 'a slice', τομός 'sharp, cutting', ἄρα 'therefore', ἆρα '(particle for yes/no questions)', ἀρά 'prayer', σκευή 'attire, dress', σκεύη 'implements, utensils' (plural of σκεῦος), λιθοτόμος 'for cutting stones', λιθότομος 'sth cut on a stone'.
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Post by clawgrip »

Khemehekis wrote: 10 Jun 2021 20:39
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 10 Jun 2021 17:54 I notice this too with names beginning with "Mc". Many people say what to my ears sounds like /mɪk/, as in "MickDonalds" (even the parody name "SickDonalds" reflects that pronunciation). I seem to say /mək/ or as close to it as I can. I'm not saying I'm better, I'm just noticing /ɪ/ in places where I don't say it. Do you come across these pronunciations as well?
People turn Mc- into "Mickey D's" instead of "Mackey D's", so clearly the /ɪ/ in Mc- is there.
People call it "Macca's" in Australia.
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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

This is the first I'm hearing that "half-assed" may come from a malapropism of "haphazard". Any consensus in the linguistic community about this phrase's origin?
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Post by Khemehekis »

clawgrip wrote: 17 Jun 2021 05:58
Khemehekis wrote: 10 Jun 2021 20:39
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 10 Jun 2021 17:54 I notice this too with names beginning with "Mc". Many people say what to my ears sounds like /mɪk/, as in "MickDonalds" (even the parody name "SickDonalds" reflects that pronunciation). I seem to say /mək/ or as close to it as I can. I'm not saying I'm better, I'm just noticing /ɪ/ in places where I don't say it. Do you come across these pronunciations as well?
People turn Mc- into "Mickey D's" instead of "Mackey D's", so clearly the /ɪ/ in Mc- is there.
People call it "Macca's" in Australia.
Interesting. I know the short form is Makudo in Japan, which is short for Makudonarudo.
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Post by clawgrip »

In most of Japan it's Makku. They only call it Makudo in Kansai.
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Post by Khemehekis »

clawgrip wrote: 18 Jun 2021 05:18 In most of Japan it's Makku. They only call it Makudo in Kansai.
Really? Well, I guess I know where my Japanese teacher was from then!
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Post by Khemehekis »

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 18 Jun 2021 02:14 This is the first I'm hearing that "half-assed" may come from a malapropism of "haphazard". Any consensus in the linguistic community about this phrase's origin?
According to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/half-assed, this theory is agreed upon by the Online Etymology Dictionary.
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Post by Salmoneus »

Creyeditor wrote: 10 Jun 2021 22:45
Khemehekis wrote: 10 Jun 2021 20:39
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 10 Jun 2021 17:54 I notice this too with names beginning with "Mc". Many people say what to my ears sounds like /mɪk/, as in "MickDonalds" (even the parody name "SickDonalds" reflects that pronunciation). I seem to say /mək/ or as close to it as I can. I'm not saying I'm better, I'm just noticing /ɪ/ in places where I don't say it. Do you come across these pronunciations as well?
People turn Mc- into "Mickey D's" instead of "Mackey D's", so clearly the /ɪ/ in Mc- is there.
In Germany people often use /mɛkəs/. Whatever that means.
I assume that it means that Germans have borrowed the nickname "Macca's", with /{/. English /{/ is then traditionally borrowed as /E/ in German (does that still happen?).

[fwiw, I don't know if I've ever heard 'Mickey D' - I don't tend to spend much time with McDonalds enthusiasts - but it would make no sense to me as a phonemic reduction - 'Mc' has /@/, not /I/, at least in modern SSBE (I don't know about RP). That said, it could still occur as a nickname simply because 'Micky' is already a name, and 'Mackey' isn't (well it is, but it's not a common first name), so this could be understandable playfulness and analogy.]
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Post by ixals »

Salmoneus wrote: 18 Jun 2021 14:01
Creyeditor wrote: 10 Jun 2021 22:45
Khemehekis wrote: 10 Jun 2021 20:39
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 10 Jun 2021 17:54 I notice this too with names beginning with "Mc". Many people say what to my ears sounds like /mɪk/, as in "MickDonalds" (even the parody name "SickDonalds" reflects that pronunciation). I seem to say /mək/ or as close to it as I can. I'm not saying I'm better, I'm just noticing /ɪ/ in places where I don't say it. Do you come across these pronunciations as well?
People turn Mc- into "Mickey D's" instead of "Mackey D's", so clearly the /ɪ/ in Mc- is there.
In Germany people often use /mɛkəs/. Whatever that means.
I assume that it means that Germans have borrowed the nickname "Macca's", with /{/. English /{/ is then traditionally borrowed as /E/ in German (does that still happen?).
I've googled it but there doesn't seem to be anything on whether German got it from Macca's or not. Only questions on how to write it (Mäckes, Meckes, Mäcces, Mecces, MC's). Is Macca's only used in Australia or do other countries call it like that as well? It would be weird if we borrowed it from Australian English. Otherwise I could see it being from MC's, just with a schwa added, maybe to divide the MC and the 's?

And /{/ is still borrowed as /E(:)/, yeah.
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Post by All4Ɇn »

Spoiler:
Salmoneus wrote: 10 Jun 2021 23:56Yes, a great many people have noticed this. It's called "the weak vowel merger". It's also sometimes called the "Roses/Rosa's merger" or the like, after its most famous minimal pair; another clear minimal pair (that is merged in these dialects) consists of the famous 20th century names, "Lenin" vs "Lennon".

Most speakers have this merger. In many dialects, it's not universal (particularly among older speakers); however, it's only systematically resisted in England, in RP-influenced 'colonial' English dialects (Caribbean, African, Indian Englishes), and in Southern US English. Contrariwise, it's the norm in all other US dialects, in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and to a lesser extent Scotland.

However, there is one complication: in the US, the merger is usually in favour of /I/, but in the rest of the world it is usually in favour of /@/.

Wikipedia says that it's also increasingly common in SSBE. I'm not sure about that in my experience; for me (an SSBE speaker, albeit of a rather 'posh' or 'old-fashioned' sociolect) the distinction is very clear, and while I wouldn't be surprised by someone being confused by a minimal pair in allegro speech, I would expect them to understand the difference, and articulate which one they intended, in careful speech.
It's funny I was just reading this whole conversation and wasn't really sure how I myself dealt with these phonemes. I was just now listening to the radio when an ad came on and used the phrase "fire up your senses" but I got extremely confused as I heard "fire up your census". For me these two words would be pronounced <senses> /sɪnt͡sɪz/ and <census> /sɪnt͡səs/. The ad pronounced <senses> instead as /sɛnt͡səz/ leading to confusion on my end.
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Post by Khemehekis »

I just googled "Mickey D's" and found this online listicle apropos to our conversation:

https://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonal ... es-2016-12

Can anyone picture, say, Avril Lavigne or Justin Bieber saying "McDick's"? McDick's is a telling name, because it has not one but two /ɪk/s.

FWIW, in the nineties, an article in my high school newspaper was discussing racism and racist stereotypes on TV commercials, and observed that in commercials, "African-Americans refer to McDonald's as 'Mickey D's', while White boys stick to the real title". If the McDonald's commercials of the time (some of which I remember) were a reflection of demographic trends, maybe the shortening "Mickey D's" originated in the urban African-American community, among young people, and spread afterwards (as in, throughout the nineties)?
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Post by Xonen »

Salmoneus wrote: 18 Jun 2021 14:01[fwiw, I don't know if I've ever heard 'Mickey D' - I don't tend to spend much time with McDonalds enthusiasts - but it would make no sense to me as a phonemic reduction - 'Mc' has /@/, not /I/, at least in modern SSBE (I don't know about RP). That said, it could still occur as a nickname simply because 'Micky' is already a name, and 'Mackey' isn't (well it is, but it's not a common first name), so this could be understandable playfulness and analogy.]
Besides, Mickey is associated with another American megacorporation known for feeding the world truly unhealthy amounts of bland, overprocessed junk, so it's quite a natural analogy... [¬.¬] But there does seem to be a tendency in some varieties of American English for /ə/ to be raised towards /ɪ/, perhaps especially in pretonic syllables, so I guess that could have had an effect as well. Obviously, though, "Mc" or "Mac" has /æ/ when stressed (as in Macintosh, McEnany or, indeed, Big Mac), so it's not really surprising that most of these McNicknames have /æ/, or whatever the language in question uses as a substitute for it.
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