Flashback to my first quarter of grad school.

We take turns buying snacks with a $40 budget in my department. It was my turn that week. I bought a lot of snacks. An older grad student comments on all the snacks, and I mention that I found a couple coupons, so I was able to get more snacks than usual.

His response?

“That’s some wicked palatalization you got there!”

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Teaching Intro to Linguistics is probably one of the most challenging but fun things I’ve done in a long time. Usually I can answer any question my students come up with, but once in a while they stump me.

Case in point: the other day, one of my students asked if we new phonemes ever get discovered and the IPA chart gets updated. More »

The other day, I was teaching my Intro to Linguistics students about vowelless words. Words like word and bird and church in English don’t actually have any vowels. The R in those words acts like a vowel. And syllables at the ends of words like baker, author, little, bottle and apple are just an L or an R: there’s no vowels in those syllables. These Ls and Rs that act like vowels are called syllabic consonants. This means that some words, like turtle don’t have any vowels at all! The first part of turtle (turt) is kinda like bird or church: just a R instead of a vowel. And the second part is like the second syllable in bottle or apple: just an L. By extension, this means that Squirtle has no vowels!

Given my last three posts, apparently all I blog about is linguistics and video games…