Those of you who read Jack Windsor Lewis’s PhonetiBlog will already know that the English Phonetic Society of Japan has just published a festschrift in my honour. It comprises a double issue of their journal English Phonetics. Thank you, EPSJ!
Jack has already given you some idea of the contents of the volume, and I refer you to his posting.
He also tells you that if you wish to purchase a copy (post free) you will need to remit ¥4500 to Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank, Fujigaoka Branch # 252, SWIFT code: BOTKJPJT, account number 1698177, account holder’s name Eigo Onsei Gakkai. You’d need to tell them your name and postal (mailing) address, too, and what you are purchasing.
One of the many interesting articles to be found there is by my colleague Patricia Ashby, and is entitled ‘The l-vocalization trend in young London English speech — growing or declining?’. Her evidence is drawn from a fairly small sample (nine speakers, all from inner London, plus three non-London ‘controls’) reading a structured set of sentences exemplifying word-final l in various phonetic environments (pre-consonantally, pre-pausally, pre-vocalically). Nevertheless it demonstrates some important points.
• All the London subjects sometimes vocalize final l even before a following vowel, as in I’d like to ask that girl out […ɡɛo ˈæoʔ]; and
• in all phonetic environments male speakers were at least twice as likely to vocalize dark-l as female speakers.
In discussing the background history of earlier l-vocalizations in English, Patricia mentions the name of the Piccadilly Line tube station Arnos Grove. The etymology of the first part of this name is believed to be Arnold’s, via an intermediate stage Arnol’s.
What she does not discuss is the question of how the Arnos of Arnos Grove is pronounced today. Given its etymology, we might expect ˈɑːnəʊz. The omission of the possessive apostrophe need not surprise us in the name of a London tube station, given other apostrophe-free Underground names such as Canons Park, Barons Court, Carpenders Park, Golders Green and Colliers Wood.
But I confess that I have always said the name to myself as ˈɑːnɒs, making it parallel to chaos, ethos and non-possessive names such as Amos and Carlos. (Note to Americans: I know that for you these names are ˈeɪməs and ˈkɑːrloʊs respectively. But in BrE they’re ˈeɪmɒs, ˈkɑːlɒs.)
I wonder what other Londoners do. Does anyone call it ˈɑːnəʊz Grove? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that, but then it’s not a part of London I often go to.
I checked on Forvo and find that the speaker there clearly says ˈɑːnɒs. So I’m not alone.
_ _ _
I shall now be away until the end of the month. Next posting: 1 June.