HF$IBBO:LIYM (?) -- (Parenthesis)

G. Ross gfross at pacbell.net
Thu Sep 28 08:16:29 EDT 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Crick" <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 5:02 AM
Subject: Re: HF$IBBO:LIYM (?) -- (Parenthesis)

> On Tue 26 Sep 2000 (18:40:41 +0200), mc2499 at mclink.it wrote:

> > So, is there really no difference in pronunciation?
>  Well yes, there is. You put a glottal stop ('aleph or `ayin; or a Shewa)
>  between the last Sh of Bush and the first Sh of showed. The same thing
>  with the often spoken "Bus stop", which becomes "bus top" in lazy speech.

The primary difference between "bus stop" and "bus top" is that "bus stop"
is said (in standard American) with an UNaspirated [t] whereas "bus top" is
said with an aspirated [t].  It is a regularly occurring phonetic feature in
standard American that initial non-spirant voiceless stops are aspirated
(e.g., peach, take, Kate), whereas non-spirant voiceless stops that
immediately follow the voiceless spirant /s/ in the same "word" (a term I
will use here to simplify the discussion) are not aspirated, e.g., speech
(vs. peach), stake (vs. take), skate (vs. Kate).

On the phonemic level, descriptive linguists account for the difference in
pronunciation between "bus stop" and "bus top" by positing a phoneme termed
"juncture" and often represented as /+/.  Thus, we would represent the two
phrases phonemically as /b at stap/ (= "bus stop") and /b at s+tap/ (= "bus top")
[where /@/ denotes the mid central unrounded vowel and /a/ the low central
unrounded vowel].

I very much doubt that any native speaker of standard American English would
aspirate the [t] when saying "bus stop."  Nor would one lengthen the /s/.
One might pronounce "bus stop" as /b at s+stap/ , but only in a situation that
required extremely careful enunciation.  And I highly doubt that any native
speaker would use a glottal stop to separate the two words, e.g.,
[b at s?stap].  A slight pause suffices -- at least in my idiolect.

The standard American pronunciation of "bus stop" then is /b at stap/ and does
not indicate that the speaker is "lazy."  By the way, modern descriptive
linguists do not use derogatory terms to explain speech phenomena.

Gordon Ross

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