Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2012

Ask a Linguist

A friend recently (well, not that recently) tweeted about the use of "Läppi" [lɛpi] instead of "Laptop" in German and why some people prefer, considering that it has exactly as many syllables as "Laptop".
Now, how do you know you're a linguistics nerd? Right, you just can't resist the urge to answer this question.
So, apart from obvious aesthetic reasons, pronouncing "Läppi" is actually less effort than pronouncing "Laptop". Yes, they both consist of two syllables but "Läppi" has two advantages. First, the last syllable is an open one, meaning that there is no consonant at the end which makes it easier to pronounce. Secondly, in "Läppi", the first syllable ends with the same consonant that the second one starts with. Thus, there is no need to jump from [p] to [t]. This takes away another consonant. Generally, it is more effort for a speaker to pronounce a consonant than it is to pronounce a vowel. Also, pronouncing a consonant after another one is more difficult than after a vowel.
So there you go. Syllables aren't everything.

1 Kommentare:

Mila hat gesagt…

Love it :D

Linguistics for president, haha!

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