Doug Ewell wrote:
> Peter T. Daniels <grammatim at worldnet dot att dot net> wrote:
> > Syllables are _extremely_ important to writing systems.
> Apparently not in the English writing system :-) , for then if Hamtramck
> really is a three-syllable word, there should be a written vowel before
> the "c".
> > If there's no third syllable in the Michigan town, why isn't it
> > /h&mtr&Nk/?
> Would the /k/ necessarily change the /m/ to /N/? (I forgot the word for
> this type of change.)

Assimilation. Can you think of English words with a nasal other than /N/
before /k/ or /g/? Especially without a morpheme boundary intervening?
(The negative prefix may not assimilate in careful pronunciation, but in
fast speech it does.)

> Not that I pronounce "Hamtramck" all that often, living in California
> and all, but when I do it's about two and a half syllables. It
> certainly doesn't sound quite like "Hamtrammick" or "Hamtrammock."
> > People I know don't have trouble with Dvor^ák.
> Most people you know are probably fairly intelligent, educated, and
> thoughtful. They probably don't say "Eye-talian" and "Eye-rack" and
> "Sodom" Hussein, either.

You have a problem with Jimmy Carter's education?

As for Mr. Hussein's forename, "Sodom" is a fairly good approximation
for those unfamiliar with consonant length. If the middle consonant is a
Dad, then "Sodom" is better than Bush 41's "Saddm." (So if you can find
it written in Arabic script for me, I'll let you know.)
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...