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Joined: August 12, 2010
Comments posted: 737
Votes received: 106

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Questions Submitted

Five eggs is too many

June 30, 2013

Recent Comments

@WW I must own up, all these years so focussed on when to use an article or not, i've never bothered much with the pron thereof. I often have heftier matters on my mind, like struggling with the audiobook of Zhivago and thinking that Pasternak's characterization of women really doesn't stack up, although I can't find a forum where this is discussed.:{

jayles April 7, 2014, 12:37pm

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@WW Troilius and Cressida : Oon ere it herde, at tothir out it wente" Book 4, line 434.
The parsons tale: Of worldly shame? certes, an horrible homicide
The Knight's Tale : With bowe in honde, right as an hunteresse
My take on "a" is that it is a weak form of "an" (one), so the pron just varies over time and place. Much the same as "the" is by word-roots just a "weak" form of "this/that" as they all stem from the same roots, and again in today's English the pron is much a matter of upbringing and taste.

jayles April 7, 2014, 10:18am

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As 'a' is but a short form of 'an', itself a variant of 'one', and all one and the same in OE/ME it may not be worthwhile starting WWIII over this.

jayles April 6, 2014, 4:25pm

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@AnWulf Yes, freme. Seems to come up as frame with slight meaning change too :

I just balked at putting "behoof" as a tellable word as in :
"the drawbacks outweigh the behoofs" (or behooves, clip, clop!)

jayles April 3, 2014, 6:39pm

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@HS You are mistaken in your deductions. I just never watch cricket at all, TV or live, alhough "footie" is another matter. The pron just does not bother me - not even "chintz" for "chance" - there are after all more weighty matters in life - (global warming and nuclear waste spring to mind) - and having worked in an Aussie-owned multinational one learns to go with the flow if you wish to fit in and keep your job.

Debut is interesting as "dayboo" is actually closer to the French pronunciation I think (my French is very poor), - evidement le pronunciation en Australie est superieur.

In practice I think the footie commentators at the World Cup did qute a good job in getting out all those names like Ma'a Nonu at speed, whether or not the pron was good.

What exactly is the "correct" pron for Nepal?

jayles March 29, 2014, 6:59pm

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I sit corrected - although the notion that someone's pron could be "superior" is perhaps inherently flawed.

jayles March 29, 2014, 4:07pm

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Just one more thing: in my life I encounter various Sanskrit terminology almost every day, and I'm pretty sure the pron is anglicized, but so what if we are in an "officially-English" speaking country: words like Ahimsa, Ardha Chandrasana, Supta Baddha Konasana, Sukhasana, Surya Namaskara, Veerasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana. These are very much part of my normal daily "English" word-bank. Some show spikes over the last decade or so on Ngrams, and numerous hits on Google. Quite whether they are "English" words yet is a moot point.

jayles March 29, 2014, 4:00pm

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Perhaps I should outline one technique which over time tends to improve pronunciation awareness. Basically one needs to force the situation where the listener doesn't just gloss over or pretend to understand the badly pronounced bits; but instead interrupts with "what?", thus forcing a correction. I arrange this in class by getting students of different nationalities to explain stuff (like news articles) to each other, by demanding the listener take notes so that they can later re-explain it all to yet-another student - a sort of Chinese whispers approach. This does up their pronunciation skills, but you need heaps of it, hours and hours to imbed the (hopefully improved) output, and all the time the teacher needs to "hot" correct.
And lastly, try learning to say Uttar Pradesh properly yourself.

jayles March 29, 2014, 3:13pm

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"trailing scwa." SB trailing schwa - as in "You speak-e to my wif-e; I kill-e you"

jayles March 29, 2014, 2:52pm

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As a matter of fact, over the past few years I have had several students from India and Ceylon, some with Gujurati as their first tongue, some with Tamil, and other "Indian" languages. Generally they need to pass and IELTS English test with a score of at least 7.5 (minimum 7.0) in order to work professionally as a nurse or whatever or proceed with a Masters. One major hurdle is to develop an accent that will get them at least 7.0 in the speaking test. Often in class I am going "Pardon? What?" because I don't immediately understand, so to my mind there is an issue.
Against this I freely acknowledge that there are probably far, far more people speaking English on a daily basis in Indian than there are in England, Canada, and other dominions put together, so one can hardly insist that "English-as-she-is-spoke" is the norm; it is just a matter of what the examiners will accept and that is not altogether clear either.
As for correcting an "Indian" accent, well, that's just as difficult as any other, be it Japanese, Chinese,Vietnamese,Thai or whatever. The L1 habits are hard to break. Even if (as one student asserts) they practice in front of the mirror every day before breakfast, they slide back in the heat of a conversation. My own view is that once you are past your teens, you are pushing shit uphill to master "foreign" pronunciation features. For myself I find a palatalized Russian "R" between two vowels very difficult despite decades of practice.
So the aim is not to produce a 100% Oxbridge accent, simply to hit some of the most confusing features and focus on those. Usually this comes down to "th", "w" and sometimes "L vs R", but essentially every L1 potentially brings a new set of issues. So with Koreans work on "F vs P", "V vs B" all the time; with Mandarin and Cantonese, focus on enunciating the final consonant, almost Sicilian style with a trailing scwa.
Frankly I haven't yet sussed out what to focus on with Gujurati-speakers and it's been three or four years now, so unless you've got some fantastic solution (pray tell), I think correcting is a waste of time; unless of course they ask for it. Despite all this right now I have just five days left to help someone with a strong Gujurati accent before they take their exam. HELP! I sense yet another failure in my life looming.
Finally on a politically correct note: The British Raj => the British occupation; The Indian Mutiny => the first revolution; curry is NOT a word in any of the languages native to the the sub-continent; the people of India were in fact civilized and had been so for thousands of years, even before the British arrived.

jayles March 29, 2014, 2:49pm

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@HS Given the PC world in which we live, one would try not to give offence, which usually means pronouncing these things as close a possible to the original. In your case let people with mana be your guide.

jayles March 28, 2014, 2:38pm

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@AnWulf Thanks. All I could find was "frame" but that seems well and truly dead in the meaning of benefit.

jayles March 25, 2014, 2:37pm

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@WW you meant "@Jasper" ?

jayles March 20, 2014, 2:17pm

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@Jasper yes; using "Q" to mean "question word" doesn't really work. Perhaps just better to start with a question mark like:
?SVO = Who hit the teacher?
?OxSV = Who did the teacher hit?
?TxSVO = When did the teacher hit you?

The other mnemonic I have used on occasion are "C" for comment,cause,and concession words/phrases:

"Evidently, she picked him up at the airport." => C,SVO'P where ' marks where the separable phrasal verb particle goes.

[It's really just something to write on the board when teaching so KIS to get the point across]

jayles March 20, 2014, 1:31am

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@WW BTW I've never really sorted out how to write up ;
"Who hit the teacher?"
"Who did the teacher hit?"

jayles March 19, 2014, 3:13pm

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@WW Confirmed. Or just write it up as SxMV[OPT] if sts don't know 'pp' already. The point here is one could say:
"She walked her dog quickly down the street at dusk" => SV[OMPT] ;
or "She quickly walked her dog ..." SMV[OPT]
ie manner is often has two 'normal' positions,
but "NEVER split VO" (unless...blah blah)

The site mentioned is quite right; however personally I strive to avoid explaining complement/object and direct/indirect-object distinctions, although the latter should be easy enough in Europe with its dative-case-equipped languages. The bogey though is often languages like Russian and Hungarian that don't use the verb 'be' in the present, and Chinese with its 'adjectival verbs'.

If English were a bit more sysematic (like V2 German), things would be easier!

jayles March 19, 2014, 2:58pm

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So they really do have kerbs in Oz? Just in the settlements?

jayles March 18, 2014, 1:38pm

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Benefit: what was the middle English word for this?
In wills and conveyancing the phrase " to the use and behoof of someone" was standard usage until 20th century; but nowadays using "behoof" outside the word-string "for his/her/their own behoof" sounds strange.

What is the link to behoove/behove and were these doing-words erstly used in 1st and 2nd person and not hedged-in to the impersonal word-string "it behoves us all"?

jayles March 18, 2014, 1:33pm

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Also you need to change the timespan to 1800 to 2008 to get ADP results

jayles March 14, 2014, 9:48am

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@HS+J a bit criyptic, yes; mea culpa. Go to:

copy and paste in :

Monday_*,_ADP_ Monday,monday_*

and you will get a graph breaking down the book usage of monday by part of speech.
_ADP_ stands for adposition ie prepostion or postposition -see "About Ngram Viewer

jayles March 14, 2014, 9:46am

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