Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:43:08 -0500
From: Mike Salovesh
Subject: Re: pron question

Rima McKinzey wrote:
> Would any of you care to give me your opinion in an informal survey re the
> pronunciation of adverbial -ically? This would be in words like
> authentically, historically, optimistically, etc.
> Specifically (right), do you pronounce a schwa between the k and the lee?
> (I know, I'm not getting into IPA forms, but most e-mail programs don't
> support the fonts.)
> Thanks,
> Rima

My speech has no schwa there. Careful: my native English is "platform

In three of the four words you cite (authentically, optimistically, and
I have trouble accepting a possible back-formation. My dialect does not
use the words "authentical", "optimistical", or "specifically". I was
going to suggest that as the "cause" of my lack of schwa in the
indicated position.

Of course, that whole line of argument fails, even in my own dialect(s),
in the face of the fact that "historical" sounds like a perfectly normal
word to me.

Here's an experiment I can't resist: maybe the absence of that
particular feature in my vocabulary means that I might be inclined to
write "authenticly" or "optimisticly" or "specificly" without an A.
(The spelling checker in Netscape rejected those spellings,

Anybody else care to report on dialect differences and similarities that
might help Rima's survey? Go ahead, do it!

Please don't try to clutter up my mind with relevant facts. I've
already made up my mind about what the conclusion ought to say, and God
help the data that refuse to bend to my will. Rima, I gather, is much
more likely to report what she can back up through her contemporaneous
participation in the observation and your responses to her questions.

-- mike salovesh
anthropology department
northern illinois university PEACE !!!