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American English Spelling

Detailed Table of Contents

On this page

ANALYSIS 

TACTICS 

PROCEDURES 

CORRESPONDENCES 

 

Preface  xxv 

Notes on Usage  xxxi

  

ANALYSIS   1 

Chapter 1. Spelling as System   1 

1.1 Introduction 3 

1.2 The Systematicity of American Spelling  4 

1.2.1 Performance and Code  4 

1.2.2 Self-regulation and Self-reorganization  5 

1.3 Spelling Rules 9 

1.4 Unity, Variety, and Analogy 10 

1.5 Demands and Contentions 12 

1.5.1 The Phonetic Demand 13 

1.5.2 The Semantic Demand 14 

1.5.3 The Etymological Demand 17 

1.5.4 Standardization and the Growing Visual Bias 21 

1.5.4.1 Spelling Pronunciations 22 

1.5.4.2 The Public Uses of Writing 24 

1.6 The Principle of Preferred Regularity 25 

1.7 Well-formed and Ill-formed Spellings 26 

1.8 Accepted, Unaccepted, and Unrecorded Spellings 27 

1.9 Goals of This Description 29 

1.9.1 Minimum and Maximum Simplicities 29 

1.9.2 System-centered versus Use-centered Descriptions 30 

  

Chapter 2. The Explication of Written Words  12

2.1 The Theory of Explication 32 

2.2 The Explication of Elements 33 

2.2.1 Elements and Morphemes 33 

2.2.2 Prefixes, Bases, and Suffixes 33 

2.2.3 Meaning and Content 35 

2.2.4 Stems 35 

2.2.5 Free and Bound Elements 36 

2.2.6 Primes 36 

2.2.7 Terminative and Nonterminative Elements 37 

2.3 The Explication of Sets 39 

2.3.1 The Set [+sume, sumpt+] 39 

2.3.2 The Set [tend, tense, tent] 41 

2.3.3 The Set [verse, vert] 42 

2.3.4 Immediate and Mediate Explicata 44 

2.3.5 Sets and Connate Groups 45 

2.3.6 Nonterminative Suffixes 46 

2.4 The Explication of Particles 47 

2.4.1 The Linking Particles 47 

2.4.2 The Initial Particle 48 

2.5 Explication versus Other Lexical Analyses 49 

2.5.1 Explication versus Etymological Analysis 50 

2.5.2 Explication versus Generative Analysis 51 

2.6 On Orthographic Concepts 52 

2.6.1 Silent Letters 54 

2.7 Problems and Questions 55 

2.7.1 The Explication of Form and Content 55 

2.7.2 Element and Particle Boundaries 56 

2.7:3 The Rule of Syllabicity 59 

2.7.3.1 Lexical Simplification 61 

2.7.4 Merging 61 

2.7.4.1 Subelemental Patterning 62 

2.7.5 Two Examples of Explication 63 

2.7.5.1 The Set [gym, gymn+, gymnasi+] 63 

2.7.5.2 The Set [ly+, lyse, +lyte] 64 

2.8 Summary 66 

  

TACTICS  67

Chapter 3. Sequences and Distributions  69 

3.1 Tactics and Tactical Patterns 69 

3.2 Consonant Sequence Rules 71 

3.2.1 Digraphs, Clusters, and Concatenations 71 

3.2.1.1 Digraphs 71 

3.2.1.2 Clusters 72 

3.2.1.3 Concatenations 73 

3.2.2 The Mixed Voicing Rule 73 

3.2.2.1 Voicing in Clusters 74 

3.2.2.2 Voicing in Concatenations 75 

3.2.3 The Initial Doublet Rule 76 

3.2.4 Final Doublet Constraints 76 

3.2.5 The Triplet Rule 77 

3.2.6 Doublets within Larger Clusters and Concatenations 77 

3.2.6.1 Holdouts 79 

3.3 Vowel Sequence Rules 81 

3.3.1 The Vowel Doublet Rule 81 

3.4 Distribution Rules 82 

3.4.1 The Final s Rule 82 

3.4.1.1 Holdouts 82 

3.4.2 The Final z Rule 83 

3.4.3 The Tactics of y and i 84 

3.4.3.1 The y-to-i Rule 86 

3.4.3.2 Holdouts 86 

3.5 The Short Word Rule 87 

3.5.1 Holdouts 89 

3.6 Summary 89 

  

Chapter 4. String Patterns and Rules  90 

4.1 On the Term String 90 

4.2 The Minor Strings 91 

4.2.1 The V.V Rule 91 

4.2.2 The VC# Rule 93 

4.2.3 The Ve# Rule 94 

4.3 The Major Strings 96 

4.3.1 The VCC/VCV Contrast 96 

4.3.2 A Short History of the VCC/VCV Contrast 97 

4.3.2.1 The Development of Silent Final e 99 

4.3.2.2 Latin "Position" and VCV/VCC 99 

4.3.3 The VCC Pattern 100 

4.3.3.1 Holdouts 101 

4.3.4 The VCV Pattern 107 

4.3.4.1 The VCV Pattern in Monosyllables 107 

4.3.4.2 Consonant Digraphs in VCV Strings 108 

  

Chapter 5. Suffix Rules  112 

5.1 Introduction to the Shortening Rules 112 

5.2 The Suffix -ity Rule 112 

5.2.1 Introduction to the Rule 112 

5.2.2 Holdouts 114 

5.2.2.1 Long u114 

5.2.2.2 V.V 115 

5.2.3 The Final Rule 115 

5.3 The Suffix -ic Rule 115 

5.3.1 Introduction to the Rule 115 

5.3.2 Holdouts 116 

5.3.3 The Final Rule 118 

5.4 The Suffix -ion Rule 118 

5.4.1 Introduction to the Rule 118 

5.4.2 Holdouts 119 

5.4.3 The Final Rule 119 

5.5 The Suffix -it Rule 120 

5.6 The Suffix -id Rule 120 

5.6.1 Holdouts 120 

5.6.2 A Second -id 121 

5.6.3 The Final Rule 121 

5.7 The Suffix -ish2 Rule 121 

5.7.1 Holdout 122 

5.7.2 The Final Rule 122 

5.8 The Suffix -ule Rule 122 

  

Chapter 6. VCV in Disyllables  123 

6.1 Introduction 123 

6.2 Iambs and Trochees 123 

6.3 Regular VCV Trochees 124 

6.3.1 Summary 126 

6.4 The Nonregular VCV Trochees 127 

6.4.1 The Stress Frontshift Rule 127 

6.4.2 The Consonant v in VCV Strings 128 

6.4.3 Further VCV Holdouts 129 

6.4.3.1 Holdouts to the Stress Frontshift Rule 129 

6.5 Summary 130 

  

Chapter 7. The Third Syllable Rule  131 

7.1 Instances of the Rule 131 

7.1.1 The Old English Third Syllable Rule 133 

7.2 Preemptors of the Third Syllable Rule 134 

7.2.1 Long u 134 

7.2.2 V.V 135 

7.2.3 The Strong VCVV String 135 

7.3 A Special Instance of the Third Syllable Rule 138 

7.4 The Third Syllable Rule and Conservative Analogy 139 

7.5 Some Tentative Conclusions 141

  

PROCEDURES  143 

Chapter 8. Silent Final e and Its Deletion Rule  145

8.1 The Functions of Silent Final e 145 

8.1.1 Marking Long Vowels 145 

8.1.2 Marking Soft c and Soft g 146 

8.1.3 Marking Voiced th 147 

8.1.4 Insulating Nonterminative Letters 147 

8.1.5 Silent Final e and the Short Word Rule 148 

8.1.6 Fossil e's 148 

8.1.6.1 French Fossil e's 148 

8.1.6.2 Native Fossil e's 149 

8.1.7 Some Special Cases 149 

8.1.7.1 The Ending le 149 

8.1.7.2 The Suffix -ate and De-stressing 151 

8.1.7.3 The Suffix -ile 152 

8.1.7.4 The Suffix -ine 152 

8.1.7.5 The Suffix -ure 153 

8.1.7.6 The Suffix -ite 154 

8.2 Silent Final eDeletion 154 

8.2.1 Holdouts 156 

8.3 Silent Final e Deletion in Ve# Strings 157 

8.4 Suffixes Starting with Consonants 158 

8.5 The Logic of Silent Final e Deletion 159 

  

Chapter 9. The Twinning Rule  161 

9.1 Introduction to Twinning 161 

9.2 Instances of the Rule 162 

9.3 An Extended Example: +fer Words 168 

9.4 Apparent Nonregular Twinnings 170 

9.4.1 Nonterminative Bound Bases 170 

9.4.2 Suffix Rules 172 

9.4.3 Stress-waver 173 

9.5 Holdouts to the Twinning Rule 174 

9.5.1 Nonregular Twinnings 174 

9.5.2 Nonregular Nontwinnings 174 

9.6 The Final Form of the Twinning Rule 175 

  

Chapter 10. Assimilated Prefixes  177 

10.1 Introduction to Assimilation 177 

10.2 The Prefix com- 178 

10.2.1 The Assimilations 178 

10.2.2, The Productive Prefix co- 179 

10.2.3 Holdouts 180 

10.3 The Prefix ex- 181 

10.3.1 The Assimilations 181 

10.3.2 Holdouts 182 

10.3.3 Some "Converted" ex-'s 182 

10.4 The Prefix sub- 183 

10.4.1 The Assimilations 183 

10.4.2 Simple Addition in Recent sub- Words 185 

10.4.3 Two Unusual sub-'s 186 

10.5 The Prefixes in-1 and in-2 186 

10.5.1 The Coform en- 187 

10.6 The Prefix ad- 188 

10.6.1 The Influence of the FulI Assimilation of ad- 191 

10.6.2 Some Only Apparent ad-'s 192 

10.6.3 Lost ad-'s 193 

10.6.4 Summary 193 

10.7 The Prefix dis- 193 

10.7.1 Lost and Apparent dis-'s 194 

10.8 The Prefix ob- 195 

10.9 The Prefix ab- 196 

10.10 The Prefix syn- 197 

  

CORRESPONDENCES  199 

Chapter 11. The Sounds and Letters of English  101

11.1 The Sounds 201 

11.1.1 Phones, Phonemes, Morphophones 201 

11.1.2 English Morphophones 203 

11.2 The Letters 207 

11.2.1 The English Alphabet 207 

11.2.1.1 The Roman Influence 207 

11.2.1.2 The Runic Influence 209 

11.2.2 Consonant Digraphs 209 

11.3 Vowels and Consonants 210 

  

Chapter 12. Short a, /a/  113 

12.1 Historical Sources 213 

12.2 The Major Spelling of /a/ 214 

12.2.1 /a/ = a 214 

12.3 Holdouts to the /a/ = a Correspondence 215 

  

Chapter 13. Short e, /e/   117 

13.1 Introduction 217 

13.2 Historical Sources 217 

13.3 The Major Spellings of /e/ 217 

13.3.1 /e/ = e 217 

13.3.2 /e/ = ea 219 

13.4 The Minor Spellings of /e/ 220 

13.4.1 /e/ = ai, ay 220 

13.4.2 /e/ = ie, ei 220 

13.4.3 /e/ = u 221 

13.4.4 /e/ = eo 221 

13.4.5 /e/ = ae 221 

  

Chapter 14. Short i, /i/  122 

14.1 Historical Sources 222 

14.2 Stressed and Unstressed /i/ 222 

14.3 The Major Spellings of /i/ 223 

14.3.1 /i/ = 223 

14.3.2 /i/ = y 226 

14.4 The Minor Spellings of /i/ 228 

14.4.1 /i/ = 228 

14.4.2 /i/ = 228 

14.4.3 /i/ = u 228 

14.4.4 /i/ = ee, ea 229 

14.4.5 /i/ = ei, ie 229 

14.4.6 /i/ = ui 229 

  

Chapter 15. The Short o's, /ä/ and /dotted o/  231 

15.1 Introduction 231 

15.2 The Spellings of /ä/ 231 

15.2.1 The Major Spellings of /ä/ 232 

15.2.1.1 /ä/ = a 232 

15.2.1.2 /ä/ = o 233 

15.2.2 The Minor Spellings of /ä/ 235 

15.2.2.1 /ä/ = ow 235 

15.2.2.2 /ä/ = ah 235 

15.2.2.3 /ä/ = e 235 

15.3 The Spellings of /dotted o/ 236 

15.3.1 The Major Spellings of /dotted o/ 236 

15.3.1.1 /dotted o/ = aw 236 

15.3.1.2 /dotted o/ = au 237 

15.3.2 The Minor Spellings of /dotted o/ 238 

15.3.2.1 /dotted o/ = 238 

15.3.2.2 /dotted o/ = a 239 

15.3.2.3 /dotted o/ = ou 239 

15.3.2.4 /dotted o/ = oa 240 

  

Chapter 16. High Short u, /dotted u/  141 

16.1 Introduction 241 

16.2 Historical Sources 241 

16.3 The Major Spellings of /dotted u/ 242 

16.3.1 /dotted u/ = oo 242 

16.3.2 /dotted u/ = u 242 

16.4 The Minor Spellings of /dotted u/ 243 

16.4.1 /dotted u/ = ou 243  

16.4.2 /dotted u/ = o 243 

16.5 The Spellings of /dotted u/ Summarized 243 

  

Chapter 17. Low Short u, /u/  144 

17.1 The Major Spellings of /u/ 244 

17.1.1 /u/ = u 244 

17.1.2 /u/ = o 245 

17.2 The Minor Spellings of /u/ 247 

17.2.1 /u/ = oo 247 

17.2.2 /u/ = ou 247 

  

Chapter 18. Long a, /a/  149

18.1 Historical Sources 249 

18.1.1 Middle English Long a 249 

18.1.2 Two Middle English Diphthongs 250 

18.1.3 From Middle to American English 250 

18.2 The Major Spellings of /a/ 251 

18.2.1 /a/ = a 251 

18.2.2 /a/ = ai, ay 252 

18.2.3 Summary 254 

18.3 The Minor Spellings of /a/ 254 

18.3.1 /a/ = ei, ey 254 

18.3.2 /a/ = eigh, aigh 255 

18.3.3 /a/ = ea 256 

18.3.4 /a/ = et 256 

18.3.5 /a/ = e, ee 256 

18.3.6 /a/ = ae, ao, au 257 

  

Chapter 19. Long e, /e/  158 

19.1 Historical Sources 258 

19:2 The Major Spellings of /e/ 260 

19.2.1 /e/ = e 260 

19.2.2 /e/ = y 262 

19.2.3 /e/ = i 262 

19.2.4 /e/ = ea, ee 264 

19.3 The Minor Spellings of /e/ 267 

19.3.1 /e/ = ie, ei 267 

19.3.2 /e/ = ey 268 

19.3.3 /e/ = ae, oe 268 

19.3.4 /e/ = eo 270 

19.3.5 /e/ = agh, ah 270 

19.3.6 /e/ = ay 270 

  

Chapter 20. Long i, /i/  171 

20.1 Historical Sources 271 

20.2 The Major Spellings of /i/ 272 

20.2.1 /i/ = i 272 

20.2.2 /i/ = y 276 

20.3 The Minor Spellings of /i/ 278 

20.3.1 /i/ = ie 278 

20.3.2 /i/ = ei 278 

20.3.3 /i/ = eigh 278 

20.3.4 /i/ = ai 279 

20.3.5 /i/ = ay 279 

20.3.6 /i/ = ey 279 

20.3.7 /i/ = uy 279 

20.3.8 /i/ = oy 279 

  

Chapter 21. Long o, /o/  180

21.1 Historical Sources 280 

21.2 The Major Spellings of /o/ 281 

21.2.1 /o/ = o 281 

21.2.2 /o/ = oa 284 

21.2.3 /o/ = ow 284 

21.3 The Minor Spellings of /o/ 285 

21.3.1 /o/ = ou, ough 285 

21.3.2 /o/ = eau, au 286 

21.3.3 /o/ = oo, oh, ew, eo 286 

21.4 The Spellings of /o/ Summarized 287 

  

Chapter 22. The Simple Long u, /u/  188 

22.1 Introduction 288 

22.2 Historical Sources 288 

22.3 The Major Spellings of /u/ 289 

22.3.1 /u/ = oo 289 

22.3.2 /u/ = u 290 

22.3.2.1 The Correspondence /u/ = u and the Third Syllable Rule 291 

22.3.3 The Major Spellings of /u/ Summarized 291 

22.4 The Minor Spellings of /u/ 291 

22.4.1 /u/ = o 291 

22.4.2 /u/ = oe 293 

22.4.3 /u/ = ou 293 

22.4.4 /u/ = ew 295 

22.4.5 /u/ = eu 295 

22.4.6 /u/ = ui 296 

22.4.7 /u/ = uo, uh, w 296 

  

Chapter 23. The Complex Long u, /yu/  197 

23.1 The Distribution of /yu/ and /u/ 297 

23.1.1 Initial /yu/ 297 

23.1.2 /yu/ after Labials and Velars 297 

23.1.3 /yu/ after Liquids 298 

23.1.4 /yu/ after Fricatives 298 

23.1.5 /yu/ and /u/ after Dentals 299 

23.2 The Spellings of /yu/ 299 

23.2.1 /yu/ = u 299 

23.2.2 /yu/ = ew 299 

23.2.3 /yu/ = eu 300 

23.2.4 Other Spellings of /yu/ 300 

  

Chapter 24. The Diphthongs, /dotted oi/ and /adotted u301 

24.1 On Diphthongs 301 

24.2 The Spellings of /dotted oi/ 301 

24.2.1 The Major Spellings of /dotted oi/ 302 

24.2.1.1 /dotted oi/ = oy in Final Position 302 

24.2.1.2 Initial and Medial /dotted oi/ = oi 302 

24.2.1.3 Holdouts, Apparent and Real 302 

24.2.2 The Minor Spellings of /dotted oi/ 303 

24.3 The Spellings of /adotted u/ 303 

24.3.1 The Major Spellings of /adotted u/ 303 

24.3.1.1 /adotted u/ = ow in Final Position 304 

24.3.1.2 /adotted u/ = ow before Vowels 304 

24.3.1.3 /adotted u/ = ow before l and Final n 305 

24.3.1.4 /adotted u/ before /d/ and /z/ 305 

24.3.1.5 /adotted u/ = ou 305 

24.3.2 The Minor Spellings of /adotted u/ 306 

  

Chapter 25. Vowels before /r/  107 

25.1 /r/ Coloring 307 

25.2 The /âr/ Field 308 

25.2.1 The Major Spellings of /âr/ 308 

25.2.1.1 /âr/ = arV#, arVV 308 

25.2.1.2 /âr/ = arVC, arr 309 

25.2.1.3 /âr/ = err; erVC 310 

25.2.1.4 The Major Spellings of /âr/ Summarized 310 

25.2.2 The Minor Spellings of /âr/ 310 

25.3 The /ôr/ Field 311 

25.3.1 The Major Spellings of /ôr/ 311 

25.3.1.1 /ôr/ = orr; orVC 311 

25.3.1.2 /ôr/ = or#, orC 312 

25.3.1.3 /ôr/ = warC, war# 313 

25.3.1.4 /ôr/ = orVV, orV# 313 

25.3.1.5 /ôr/ = arC, ar# 314 

25.3.1.6 The Major Spellings of /ôr/ Summarized 314 

25.3.2 The Minor Spellings of /ôr/   114 

25.4 The /êr/ Field 315 

25.4.1 The Major Spellings of /êr/ 316 

25.4.1.1 /êr/ = erVV, erV# 316 

25.4.1.2 /êr/ = irr; irVC, irVV .316 

25.4.2 The Minor Spellings of /êr/ 317 

25.4.2.1 /êr/ = eer 317 

25.4.2.2 /êr/ = ear 317 

25.4.2.3 /êr/ = ier 318 

25.4.2.4 Other Minor Spellings of /êr/ 318 

25.5 The Spellings of /ir/ 318 

25.5.1 The Major Spellings of /ir/ 319 

25.5.1.1 /ir/ = irV#, irV 319 

25.5.2 The Minor Spellings of /ir/ 319 

25.6 The Spellings of /dotted ur/ and /ydotted ur/ 320 

25.6.1 The Major Spellings of /dotted ur/ and /ydotted or/ 320 

25.6.1.1 /dotted or/ = urV 320 

25.6.1.2 /ydotted or/ = urV 320 

25.6.2 The Minor Spellings /dotted or/ and /ydotted or/ 321 

25.7 The /ur/ Convergence 321 

25.7.1 Historical Sources 321 

25.7.2 The Major Spellings /ur/ 323 

25.7.2.1 /wur/ = wor 323 

25.7.2.2 /ur/ = erC, er# 323 

25.7.2.3 /ur/= irC, ir# 324 

25.7.2.4 /ur/ = urC, ur# 324 

25.7.2.5 The Major Spellings of /ur/ Summarized 325 

25.7.3 The Minor Spellings of /ur/ 325 

  

Chapter 26. The Front Stops: /b/, /p/, /d/, and /t/   127 

26.1 Introduction 327 

26.2 The Spellings of /b/ 328 

26.2.1 Overview 328 

26.2.2 The Minor Spelling of /b/ 328 

26.2.3 The Major Spellings of /b/ 328 

26.2.3.1 The Major Spellings of /b/ Summarized 328  

26.2.3.2 /b/ = b at Simple Boundaries 330 

26.2.3.3 /b/ = b in Shortened VCV Strings 330 

26.2.3.4 /b/ = b in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 331 

26.2.3.5 /b/ = after Vowel Digraphs 331 

26.2.3.6 /b/ =after Long Vowels 331 

26.2.3.7 /b/ = bb at Complex Boundaries 332 

26.2.3.8 /b/ = bb after Short Vowels 332 

26.2.3.9 /b/ = bb between Short Vowels and le 333 

26.2.3.10 /b/ = b after Reduced Vowels 333 

26.3 The Spellings of /p/ 333 

26.3.1 Overview 333 

26.3.2 The Minor Spellings of /p/ 334 

26.3.3 The Major Spellings of /p/ 335 

26.3.3.1 /p/ = p at Simple Boundaries 335 

26.3.3.2 /p/ = p in Shortened VCV Strings 335 

26.3.3.3 /p/ = p in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 336 

26.3.3.4 /p/ = p after Vowel Digraphs 336 

26.3.3.5 /p/ = p after Long Vowels 336 

26.3.3.6 /p/ = pp at Complex Boundaries 336 

26.3.3.7 /p/ = pp after Short Vowels 337 

26.3.3.8 /p/ = pp between Short Vowels and le 331 

26.3.3.9 /p/ = after Reduced Vowels 337 

26.4 The Spellings of /d/ 337 

26.4.1 Overview 337 

26.4.1.1 The Flapped d 338 

26.4.2 The Minor Spellings of /d/ 338 

26.4.3 The Major Spellings of /d/ 339 

26.4.3.1 /d/ = d at Simple Boundaries 339 

26.4.3.2 /d/ = d in Shortened VCV Strings 340 

26.4.3.3 /d/ = d in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 340 

26.4.3.4 /d/ = d after Vowel Digraphs 340 

26.4.3.5 /d/ = after Long Vowels 341 

26.4.3.6 /d/ = dd at Complex Boundaries 341 

26.4.3.7 /d/ = dd after Short Vowels 341 

26.4.3.8 /d/ = dd between Short Vowels and le 342 

26.4.3.9 /d/ = d after Reduced Vowels 342 

26.5 The Spellings of /t/ 342 

26.5.1 Overview 342 

26.5.2 The Minor Spellings of /t/ 343 

26.5.3 The Major Spellings of /t/ 346 

26.5.3.1 /t/ = t at Simple Boundaries 346 

26.5.3.2 /t/ = t in Shortened VCV Strings 347 

26.5.3.3 /t/ = t in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 348 

26.5.3.4 /t/ = t after Vowel Digraphs 348 

26.5.3.5 /t/ = t after Long Vowels 348 

26.5.3.6 /t/ = tt at Complex Boundaries 349 

26.5.3.7 /t/ = tt after Short Vowels 349 

26.5.3.8 /t/ = tt between Short Vowels and le 349 

26.5.3.9 /t/ = t after Reduced Vowels 349 

  

Chapter 27. The Velar Stops, /g/ and /k/  150 

27.1 Introduction 350 

27.2 The Spellings of /g/ 350 

27.2.1 Overview 350 

27.2.2 Hard and Soft g, gu, and gg 350 

27.23 The Minor Spellings of /g/ 351 

27.2.4 The Major Spellings of /g/ 352 

27.2.4.1 /g/ = g at Simple Boundaries 352 

27.2.4.2 /g/ = g in Shortened VCV Strings 353 

27.2.4.3 /g/ = g in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 353 

27.2.4.4 /g/ = g after Vowel Digraphs 354 

27.2.4.5 /g/ =after Long Vowels 354 

27.2.4.6 /g/ = gg at Complex Boundaries 354 

27.2.4.7 /g/ = gg after Short Vowels 354 

27.2.4.8 /g/ = gg between Short Vowels and le 355 

27.2.4.9 /g/ = g after Reduced Vowels 355 

27.3 The Spellings of /k/ 355 

27.3.1 Historical Sources 355 

27.3.2 The Minor Spellings of /k/ 356 

27.3.2.1 /k/ = cc 356 

27.3.2.2 /k/ = kk 356 

27.3.2.3 /k/ = ch, cch 356 

27.3.2.4 /k/ = q, qu 358 

27.3.2.5 /k/ = cq, cqu 360 

27.3.2.6 /k/ = 360 

27.3.2.7 /k/ = lk 360 

27.3.2.8 /k/ = kh 361 

27.3.2.9 /k/ = sc 361 

27.3.2.10 /k/ = gh, kg 361 

27.3.3 The Major Spellings of /k/ 361 

27.3.3.1 The Major Spellings of /k/ Summarized 361 

27.3.3.2 /k/ = k before e, i, and y, but c before a, o, and u 362 

27.3.3.3 The Regular Settings for /k/ = k 362 

27.3.3.4 The Regular Settings for /k/ = c 364 

27.3.3.5 /k/ = c in Shortened VCV Strings 365 

27.3.3.6 /k/ = c after Reduced Vowels 366 

27.3.3.7 /k/ = c in the Cluster /kt/ 366 

27.3.3.8 The Spellings c and k in Other Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 366 

27.3.3.9 The Spelling ck Summarized 368 

27.3.3.10 /k/ = ck after Short Vowels 368 

27.3.3.11 Word-final /k/ = ck after a Stressed Short Vowel 369 

27.3.3.12 Sometimes Word-final /k/ = ck after Reduced Vowels 369 

27.3.3.13 /k/ = ck and the k-Insertion Rule 370 

27.3.3.14 The Cluster /ks/ 370 

  

Chapter 28. The Simple Fricatives /v/, /f/, /th/, /th/, and /h/  173 

28.1 The Spellings of /v/ 373 

28.1.1 Historical Sources 373 

28.1.2 The Minor Spellings of /v/ 375 

28.1.2.1 /v/ = vv 375 

28.1.2.2 /v/ = lv 376 

28.1.2.3 /v/ = f 376 

28.1.3 The Major Spelling of /v/ 376 

28.1.4 The Spellings of /v/ Summarized 377 

28.2 The Spellings of /f/ 377 

28.2.1 Historical Sources 377 

28.2.2 The Minor Spellings of /f/ 378 

28.2.2.1 /f/ = ph 378 

28.2.2.2 /f/ = pph 378 

28.2.2.3 /f/ = gh 379 

28.2.2.4 /f/ = lf 380 

28.2.2.5 /f/ =ft 380 

28.2.3 The Major Spellings of /f/ 380 

28.2.3.1 The Major Spellings of /f/ Summarized 380 

28.2.3.2 /f/ = ff in Word-final Position 381 

28.2.3.3 /f/ = f  at Simple Boundaries 381 

28.2.3.4 /f/ = f  in Shortened VCV Strings 382 

28.2.3.5 /f/ = f  in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 382 

28.2.3.6 /f/ = f after Vowel Digraphs 382 

28.2.3.7 /f/ = f after Long Vowels 382 

28.2.3.8 /f/ = ff at Complex Boundaries 383 

28.2.3.9 /f/ = ff after Short Vowels 383 

28.2.3.10 /f/ = ff between Short Vowels and le 384 

28.2.3.11 /f/ = f after Reduced Vowels 384 

28.3 Spelling /th/ and /th/ 384 

28.3.1 Historical Sources 384 

28.3.2 The Minor Spellings 385 

28.3.3 The Major Spelling 385 

28.3.3.1 /th/ = th 385 

28.3.3.2 /th/ = th 385 

28.4 The Spellings of /h/ 386 

28.4.1 /h/ = h 386 

28.4.2 /h/ = wh 387 

28.4.3 /hw/ = wh 388 

28.4.4 The Spellings of /h/ Summarized 389 

28.4.5 Silent h 389 

  

Chapter 29. The Simple Fricatives /z/ and /s/  191 

29.1 The Spellings of /z/ 391 

29.1.1 Historical Sources 391 

29.1.2 The Minor Spellings of /z/ 391 

29.1.3 The Major Spellings of /z/ 391 

29.1.3.1 z versus zz 392 

29.1.3.2 s versus ss 394 

29.1.3.3 zz versus ss 396 

29.1.3.4 z versus 396 

29.2 The Spellings of /s/ 397 

29.2.1 Historical Sources 397 

29.2.2 The Minor Spellings of /s/ 397 

29.2.2.1 /s/ = sc 397 

29.2.2.2 /s/ = ps 399 

29.2.2.3 Other Minor Spellings of /s/ 399 

29.2.3 The Major Spellings of /s/ 400 

29.2.3.1 /s/ = ss in Word-final Position after Short Vowels 401 

29.2.3.2 /s/ = s at Other Simple Boundaries 401 

29.2.3.3 /s/ = s in Shortened VCV Strings 402 

29.2.3.4 /s/ = s in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 402 

29.2.3.5 /s/ = s after Vowel Digraphs 402 

29.2.3.6 /s/ = s after Long Vowels 403 

29.2.3.7 /s/ = ss at Complex Boundaries 403 

29.2.3.8 /s/ = ss in VCC Strings 404 

29.2.3.9 /s/ = ss between Short Vowels and le 404 

29.2.3.10 /s/ = s after Reduced Vowels 404 

29.2.4 /s/ = c 405 

29.2.4.1 /s/ = c in Element-initial Position 405 

29.2.4.2 /s/ = c.in Element-medial Position 405 

29.2.4.3 /s/ = c in Element-final Position 406 

29.2.4.4 /s/ = c in Consonant Clusters 406 

  

Chapter 30. The Palatal Sibilants: /sh/, /ch/, /j/, and /zh/  107 

30.1 Introduction 407 

30.2 The Spellings of /sh/ 407 

30.2.1 The Minor Simple Spellings of /sh/: ch and sch 407 

30.2.2 The Major Simple Spelling of /sh/: sh 408 

30.2.3 The Palatalized Spellings of /sh/ 409 

30.2.3.1 /sh/ = t 410 

30.2.3.2 /sh/ = s 410 

30.2.3.3 /sh/ = ss 411 

30.2.3.4 /sh/ = sc 411 

30.2.3.5 /sh/ = 412 

30.3 The Spellings of /ch/  412 

30.3.1 The Minor Simple Spellings of /ch/ 412 

30.3.2 The Major Simple Spellings of /ch/: ch and tch 412 

30.3.2.1 /ch/ = tch Regularly in Word-final Position 413 

30.3.2.2 /ch/ = ch at Other Simple Boundaries 414 

30.3.2.3 /ch/ = ch in Shortened VCV Strings 414 

30.3.2.4 /ch/ = ch in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 414 

30.3.2.5 /ch/ = ch after Vowel Digraphs 415 

30.3.2.6 /ch/ = tch in VCC Strings 415 

30.3.2.7 /ch/ = ch after Reduced Vowels 415 

30.3.3 The Palatalized Spelling of /ch/: t 415 

30.4 The Spellings of /j/ 417 

30.4.1 Historical Sources 417 

30.4.2 The Minor Simple Spellings of /j/: dj and gg 418 

30.4.3 The Major Simple Spellings of /j/ 418 

30.4.3.1 /j/ = dg in Word-final Position 418 

30.4.3.2 /j/ = g at Other Simple Boundaries 419 

30.4.3.3 /j/ = g in Shortened VCV Strings 419 

30.4.3.4 /j/ = g in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 419 

30.4.3.5 /j/ = g after Vowel Digraphs 420 

30.4.3.6 /j/ = g after Long Vowels 420 

30.4.3.7 /j/ = dg in VCC Strings 420 

30.4.3.8 /j/ = g after Reduced Vowels 420 

30.4.3.9 The Correspondence /j/ = j 420 

30.4.4 The Palatalized Correspondence /j/ = d 421 

30.5 The Spellings of /zh/ 421 

30.5.1 Historical Sources 421 

30.5.2 The Simple Spellings of /zh/ 422 

30.5.2.1 /zh/ =422 

30.5.2.2 /zh/ = j 422 

30.5.3 The Palatalized Spellings of /zh/: s, z, and t 422 

  

Chapter 31. The Nasals: /m/, /n/, and /enj/  123 

31.1 Introduction 423 

31.2 The Spellings of /m/ 423 

31.2.1 The Minor Spellings of /m/ 423 

31.2.1.1 /m/ = mb 423 

31.2.1.2 /m/ = lm 424 

31.2.1.3 /m/ = mn 425 

31.2.1.4 /m/ = gm 425 

31.2.1.5 Other Minor Spellings of /m/ 426 

31.2.2 The Major Spellings of /m/ 426 

31.2.2.1 /m/ = m at Simple Boundaries 426 

31.2.2.2 /m/ = m in Shortened VCV Strings 427 

31.2.2.3 /m/ = m in Consonant Clusters and Concatenations 427 

31.2.2.4 /m/ = m after Vowel Digraphs and Long Vowels 428 

31.2.2.5 /m/ = mm at Complex Boundaries 428 

31.2.2.6 /m/ = mm in VCC Strings 429 

31.2.2.7 /m/ = m after Reduced Vowels 429 

31.3 The Spellings of /n/ 429 

31.3.1 The Minor Spellings of /n/ 430 

31.3.1.1 /n/ = kn 430 

31.3.1.2 /n/ = gn 430 

31.3.1.3 /n/ = pn 431 

31.3.1.4 Other Minor Spellings of /n/ 431 

31.3.2 The Major Spellings of /n/ 432 

31.3.2.1 /n/ = n at Simple Boundaries 432 

31.3.2.2 /n/ = n in Shortened VCV Strings 432 

31.3.2.3 /n/ = n in Consonant Clusters 433 

31.3.2.4 /n/ = n after Long Vowels and Vowel Digraphs 433 

31.3.2.5 /n/ = nn at Complex Boundaries 433 

31.3.2.6 /n/ = nn in VCC Strings 434 

31.3.2.7 /n/ = n after Reduced Vowels 434 

31.4 The Spellings of /enj/, "eng" 435 

31.4.1 Historical Sources 435 

31.4.2 /enj/ = n 436 

31.4.2.1 /enj/ = n before /k/ = 436 

31.4.2.2 /enj/ = n before /k/ = c 436 

31.4.2.3 /enj/ = n before /g/ = g 436 

31.4.2.4 /enj/ = n before /k/ = ch 436 

31.4.2.5 /enj/ = n before x 436 

31.4.2.6 /enj/ = n before qu 437 

31.4.3 /enj/ = ng 437 

31.4.4 Two Complications to the /enj/ Rule 438 

  

Chapter 32. The Liquids, /l/ and /r/  139 

32.1 Introduction 439 

32.2. The Spellings of /l/ 439 

32.2.1 The Minor Spellings of /l/ 439 

32.2.1.1 /l/ = sl 439 

32.2.1.2 /l/ = ln 440 

32.2.2 The Major Spellings of /l/ 440 

32.2.2.1 American Variants and the Emerging Pattern 440 

32.2.2.2 The Spellings l versus ll Summarized 441 

32.2.2.3 /l/ = l in Initial Position; 442 

32.2.2.4 /l/ = ll in Word-final Position 442 

32.2.2.5 /l/ = l in Word-final Position 444 

32.2.2.6 /l/ = l in Shortened VCV Strings 444 

32.2.2.7 /l/ = l in Consonant Clusters 445 

32.2.2.8 /l/ = l after long Vowels and Vowel Digraphs 445 

32.2.2.9 /l/ = ll at Complex Boundaries 446 

32.2.2.10 /l/ = ll in VCC Strings 447 

32.2.2.11 /l/ = l after Reduced Vowels 447 

32.3 The Spellings of /r/ 447 

32.3.1 The Minor Spellings of /r/ 448 

32.3.1.1 /r/ = wr 448 

32.3.1.2 /r/ = rh, rrh 448 

32.3.1.3 Other Minor Spellings of /r/ 449 

32.3.2 The Major Spellings of /r/ 450 

32.3.2.1 Variant Spellings with r and rr 450 

32.3.2.2 The Spellings r versus rr Summarized 450 

32.3.2.3 /r/ = r in Initial Position 451 

32.3.2.4 /r/ = r in Word-final Position 451 

32.3.2.5 /r/ = r in Shortened VCV Strings 451 

32.3.2.6 /r/ = r in Consonant Clusters 452 

32.3.2.7 /r/ = r after Long Vowels and Vowel Digraphs 453 

32.3.2.8 /r/ = rr at Complex Boundaries 453 

32.3.2.9 /r/ = rr in VCC Strings 454 

32.3.2.10 /r/ = r after Reduced Vowels 454 

  

Chapter 33. The Semivowels, /w/ and /y/  156 

33.1 Introduction 456 

33.2 The Spellings of /w/ 456 

33.2.1 The Minor Spellings of /w/ 456 

33.2.2 The Major Spellings of /w/ 457 

33.2.2.1 /w/ = u 457 

33.2.2.2 /w/ = w 458 

33.3 The Spellings of /y/ 459 

33.3.1 The Consonantal /y/ 459 

33.3.2 The Glide /y/ 459 

  

Chapter 34. Conclusion   461 

Bibliography  465 

Index of Words  475 

General Index  539 

 

Cummings, D. W. American English Spelling: An Informal Description, pp. xxv-xxix, vii-xxiv, 539-555. 1988 [Copyright Holder]. Reproduced with permission of The Johns Hopkins University Press (http://www.jhupbooks.com).

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