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#177449 - 06/16/08 10:19 AM What happened to the L in salmon?
Issigri Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/16/08
Posts: 1
After reading the sherbert article on MSN I was wondering if anyone could explain the pronunciation of salmon. I'm from the south and like most Southerners I pronounce the L. Most of the time you can simply go by how a similar word is promounced. Example aunt, ant/aunt?, it's aunt obviously in spite of most southerners saying "ant". Unless you're from Boston you're going to pronounce the L in falcon. So what happened to pronouncing the L in salmon?

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#177462 - 06/16/08 11:51 AM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: Issigri]
twosleepy Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 876
Loc: western NY
Hmmm. Maybe there's a room where the silent letters go, next to the room with the letters that should be silent but get pronounced, are having a party. It is so ironic that people who are trying to sound well-educated will carefully pronounce "often" as off-ten when the "t" is actually silent; it rhymes with "soften" (which no one would pronounce soff-ten; at least I've never heard it!) So there you go; no answers, just more questions... :0)

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#177463 - 06/16/08 12:04 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: Issigri]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Salmon is one of those words, like perfect, where an etymological spelling has confused folks (no l there either). When it was borrowed into Middle English via Norman it was spelled and pronounced without the l: samoun. Later, people who knew some Latin realized that there should be an l in it (i.e., s;a,o, salmonis), and after that it's a hope, skip, and a jump to pronouncing the l. Likewise, perfect came into English as parfit, but after some etymologizing spellifiers got a hold of that one, we ended up, today, spelling and saying perfect. The sound of an l after a vowel and before another consonant is pronounced with secondary articulation (velarized), the so-called dark l (link).
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Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#177464 - 06/16/08 12:17 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: zmjezhd]
twosleepy Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 876
Loc: western NY
Interesting to note that in "salmonella" the "l" is always pronounced. Go figure...

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#177468 - 06/16/08 12:33 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: twosleepy]
Hydra Offline
addict

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 631
Speaking of such stuff, how many of you pronounce the r in iron?

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#177470 - 06/16/08 12:47 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: Hydra]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Speaking of such stuff, how many of you pronounce the r in iron?

Depends on what you mean by r. I pronounce iron as /ʔʌɪjɚn/ in casual speech or /ʔaɪjɚn/ in more formal speech. (This chart may help link.)
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#177471 - 06/16/08 12:47 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: Hydra]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
 Originally Posted By: Hydra
Speaking of such stuff, how many of you pronounce the r in iron?


I don't earn my keep like Ron Obvious.
_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#177477 - 06/16/08 01:00 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: Buffalo Shrdlu]
Hydra Offline
addict

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 631
^ I knew that was coming!

* light applause *

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#177478 - 06/16/08 01:04 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: Hydra]
Hydra Offline
addict

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 631
Where I hail from, iron sounds like ion. Hence, for a long time I misheard Leonard Cohen singing, "O mask of Aaron, I was there for you," and tried like a fool to chase up the obscure reference to this Aaron fellow and his mask.

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#177486 - 06/16/08 03:44 PM Re: What happened to the L in salmon? [Re: zmjezhd]
Myridon Offline
addict

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
I pronounce [i]iron as /ʔʌɪjɚn/ in casual speech ... (This chart may help link.)

No, doesn't help... using the chart, I get something like uhahihyan - I think I'd rather go back to the dancing architecture.

'Round these parts, it's pernounced eye urn.


Edited by Myridon (06/16/08 03:45 PM)

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