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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » It's a Silent "t" on the End of "Trait"!!! No? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: It's a Silent "t" on the End of "Trait"!!! No?
Jonathan Howard
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I pronounce it "tray". I used to pronounce it "trait" at first, then my father told me it's French - i.e., silent last consonant.

But some pronounce it "trait", from what I heard (it pronounced). (Half the words I know come from reading, so I wouldn't know too much before reading it.)

How do you pronounce it, and why?

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Pelegius
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I think the t is pronounced, as trait comes from Old French via Middle English, not from modern French. But I am not an expert on Linguistics.
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TomDavidson
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In English, the "t" is pronounced.
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Jonathan Howard
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Yet the OED mentions it pronounced "trei", US - "treit" (macrons on the "e"s).
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TomDavidson
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I said "English," not "snob."

Ask yourself how many English-speakers, even in England, pronounce the word "theatre" "tay-ah-truh." It's a pretty small number, and they're all jerks.

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Jonathan Howard
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So all those who spell the plural of "plateau" with an "x" and all those who say "antennae" also fall under that category?
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TomDavidson
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Not ALL of them, but certainly the ones who call attention to it.
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Jonathan Howard
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Quoth he the one who penance did and penance more will do: "and they're all jerks".
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Pelegius
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Actualy, antennŠ is, in English, only correct for those on beatles and such. For man made objects, it's antennas.
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TomDavidson
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Right. Anyone who pronounces "theatre" "tay-ah-truh" and claims to be speaking English is a jerk. Almost but not quite everyone who spells it "plateaux" is a jerk.
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sarcare
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I've never heard anyone pronounce Trait purposely without the T, but we told my little sister that there was a silent z in Ohau, when she kept asking over and over how to spell it.
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan Howard:
Yet the OED mentions it pronounced "trei", US - "treit" (macrons on the "e"s).

That's not what the OED online says; it has trei, treit and does not specify whether they are British or American. It also has the note "The pronunciation (trei), after mod. French, in the 19th c. considered in England the correct one, is becoming less general; in U.S. (treit) is the established one."

The real question is, why is this in the Discussions About Orson Scott Card forum? [Razz]

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vonk
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what? the beatles have antennaes?!
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Jonathan Howard
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The OED I have at home states that. So what if it's from 1953? [Razz]

Because I always get the wrong side... Don't you know? This must be thefourth thread in a row.

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Jonathan Howard
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The OED I have at home states that. So what if it's from 1953? [Razz]

Because I always get the wrong side... Don't you know? This must be the fourth thread in a row.

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Jonathan Howard
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quote:
what? the beatles have antennaes?!
Gollum! Antennaeses (or, being TomJerks - Antennaesen).
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Kristen
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In English, word-final /t/ is always pronounced, even if it loses some emphasis. 'Trait' may have originated from French, but we acclimated it to our repetoire of sounds over time, which is why we pronounce the last letter (just like how we say PariS not Pari).

Pronouncing theater as "The-A-tuh" is what iis called Hypercorrection which basically translates to sounding snooty and being well aware of it.

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Jon Boy
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Actually, hypercorrection is when you take a rule and apply it in situations where it doesn't belong in an effort to sound correct.

Hyperforeignization means pronouncing something more foreign than the foreigners do and being unaware of it.


Edited for correctness.

[ March 17, 2006, 01:31 AM: Message edited by: Jon Boy ]

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Noemon
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With me, anyway, whether or not the final "t" in "trait" is actually pronounced depends on whether or not the word is followed by anything else. If it is, I pronounce it. If it isn't, I don't release it, and my tongue lingers on my alveolar ridge.
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Jonathan Howard
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Isn't "trait" like "ballet"?
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dkw
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Not in any sense I can think of.
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Scott R
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Rather like 'bait.' Or 'gait' or 'wait,' even.
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Princess Leah
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quote:
Actualy, antennŠ is, in English, only correct for those on beatles and such.
I was going to try to find a picture of the silly hat that Paul wore when he played Pyramus, but I don't have time. So, take a moment to imagine. Please. For me.
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FlyingCow
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Just as an aside, in England, they pronounce the final T on "filet", too.

Which sounds very weird when someone in McDonalds orders a "fillett-o-fish" sandwich.

I asked why, and my English roommates said "fil-ay" is french, not english. Then they proceeded to call snow peas "mange tout".

Language is bizarre.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I said "English," not "snob."

Ask yourself how many English-speakers, even in England, pronounce the word "theatre" "tay-ah-truh." It's a pretty small number, and they're all jerks.

I quipped in class the other day, in response to somebody correcting a fellow student on the pronunciation of "Cornet," as Cor-neh: If we pronounced every borrowed word in its original form, we'd surely sound like total idiots "did he hear about the tsunami! (in a bad japanese accent)
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Just as an aside, in England, they pronounce the final T on "filet", too.


Here I think the original pronunciation is retained. I've never heard anyone say fil-let. Often original pronunciacions are retained for clarity or ease of use. Filet with a "t" is awkward, and too close to that other less appropriate english word "Filate" (sp?)
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
With me, anyway, whether or not the final "t" in "trait" is actually pronounced depends on whether or not the word is followed by anything else. If it is, I pronounce it. If it isn't, I don't release it, and my tongue lingers on my alveolar ridge.

WHAT???? So your talking about animals and someone says yes well look at those hairs on the snout and you say "Why, I never noticed that trai---"

The person your talking to looks around for a cafeteria and concludes that your completely bonkers.

HELLO EVERYONE???? If you pronounce "Trait" as "Tray", then how do you pronounce "TRAY"

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Jonathan Howard
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quote:
HELLO EVERYONE???? If you pronounce "Trait" as "Tray", then how do you pronounce "TRAY"
Tray.
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Noemon
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::sigh::

There is a difference between not releasing a consonant and not pronouncing it at all. My pronunciation of "trait" and "tray" are fairly distinct from one another. Even if they weren't, though, so what? Have you never heard of homophones?

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ClaudiaTherese
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Orincoro, I think it's the difference (broadly speaking) between "trait" with the final "t" just a clip off of the "tray" (i.e., the sound finishes instead of lingers) and "trait" with a fully pronounced final "t", more like "tray-tah".
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Jon Boy
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The typical American pronunciation of trait is /ʈɹeɪt̚/ (the diacritic on the final /t/ shows that the stop is unreleased), while tray is /ʈɹeɪ/. The (apparent) British pronunciation of trait is also /ʈɹeɪ/. It's a confusing world we live in.
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Jimbo the Clown
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I like living in the Midwest. We have very little in the way of an accent (we pronounce wash 'warsh' for some-unknown-to-god-reason and occasionally try (badly) to speak in ebonics), so we don't have to deal with crazy Brits who leave the 't' off of trait.

Still, I wonder. How do the Aussies pronounce it? After all, the Australian accent is cool enough that we should ALL model our English after theirs. Just a thought.

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
The typical American pronunciation of trait is /ʈɹeɪt̚/ (the diacritic on the final /t/ shows that the stop is unreleased), while tray is /ʈɹeɪ/. The (apparent) British pronunciation of trait is also /ʈɹeɪ/. It's a confusing world we live in.

You are not helping it get any less confusing, Jon Boy.
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Noemon
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Jimbo, everyone has an accent, including people from the midwest.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Orincoro, I think it's the difference (broadly speaking) between "trait" with the final "t" just a clip off of the "tray" (i.e., the sound finishes instead of lingers) and "trait" with a fully pronounced final "t", more like "tray-tah".

ah feel the powah, and the hand-uh, of fate-uh

CAN I GET AN AMEN???

If you recogniizzze this trait-uh in yo-selfuh, speak it out ya'll


This is ridiculous, if JH had meant "trait" was trait and not trat-uh, then he assuming people go around saying trait-UH? I don't think so.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
Jimbo, everyone has an accent, including people from the midwest.

Then why do the brits refer to American coastal English as non-accented. I've lived in London, and been told they don't think of American english as having a particular accent, but rather that they have an accent and we don't. Its wierd, but this is what I've heard.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
If you recogniizzze this trait-uh in yo-selfuh, speak it out ya'll


This is ridiculous, if JH had meant "trait" was trait and not trat-uh, then he assuming people go around saying trait-UH? I don't think so.

Ah. Seems we are talking at cross purposes. My apologies. [Smile]
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Noemon
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I don't really know what you were trying to say to CT, Orinoco. It came off as snarky, which I think was intended (although maybe not--I can't see anything that she said that would provoke someone to act like that toward her), but beyond that it's a bit muddled.

As for the British people you spoke with believing that Americans don't have an accent, I have no idea why they'd think that. They're wrong though.

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JemmyGrove
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It's either Eddie Murphy or Arsenio Hall, but I forget who played which parts.

Am I right? Am I close?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
I don't really know what you were trying to say to CT, Orinoco. It came off as snarky, which I think was intended (although maybe not--I can't see anything that she said that would provoke someone to act like that toward her), but beyond that it's a bit muddled.

Not being snarky, that's just my sense of humor. Don't worry. [Group Hug]
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Noemon
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[Smile] Glad to hear it!
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
The typical American pronunciation of trait is /ʈɹeɪt̚/ (the diacritic on the final /t/ shows that the stop is unreleased), while tray is /ʈɹeɪ/. The (apparent) British pronunciation of trait is also /ʈɹeɪ/. It's a confusing world we live in.

You are not helping it get any less confusing, Jon Boy.
It's not my fault you don't know IPA transcription. [Razz]
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Then why do the brits refer to American coastal English as non-accented. I've lived in London, and been told they don't think of American english as having a particular accent, but rather that they have an accent and we don't. Its wierd, but this is what I've heard.

I've never heard that before, and I'm inclined to disbelieve it. And even if they really think that, it doesn't mean that it's true. An accent is "a way of speaking typical of a particular group of people and especially of the natives or residents of a region" (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary). Since everyone who speaks has a way of speaking, everyone has an accent.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Then why do the brits refer to American coastal English as non-accented. I've lived in London, and been told they don't think of American english as having a particular accent, but rather that they have an accent and we don't. Its wierd, but this is what I've heard.

I've never heard that before, and I'm inclined to disbelieve it. And even if they really think that, it doesn't mean that it's true. An accent is "a way of speaking typical of a particular group of people and especially of the natives or residents of a region" (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary). Since everyone who speaks has a way of speaking, everyone has an accent.
Why does everybody in these word threads wip out the websters or the IPA and force everybody to read the quotation?

When I was in London, it wasn't as if we all sat around in the cafes with a nice cozy, heavy webster's 5th edition in our laps discussing the entries on "perspicacity." I'm repeating what people told me, and I suspect if i'd turned around on them with the dictionary reference, I wouldn't have had a very good time. Sheesh. [Roll Eyes]

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Noemon
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::nods:: It's terrible how some people let facts get in the way of a perfectly good opinion, isn't it?
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vonk
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was it H.S. Thompson who said "never let the truth get in the way of a good story"?
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Why does everybody in these word threads wip out the websters or the IPA and force everybody to read the quotation?

Perhaps it's because dictionaries are a good way to understand words. If you think that some people don't have accents, then you clearly don't know what accents really are.

Plus, it's not exactly like I taped your eyelids open and forced you to read it at gunpoint.

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Kristen
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quote:
It's not my fault you don't know IPA transcription.
In so many ways the world would be much easier if we all wrote in IPA (except for the obvious Latinized bias), but anyway, at the least it would make English MUCH easier to learn.

And that's really weird that they show the initial t as retroflex, which I don't hear, and I think emphasizes Orinoco's point as the best judge of proper pronounciation is fellow native speakers of your particular accent, not a dictionary composed and edited by academic elites.

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Jon Boy
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I was the one who showed the /t/ as retroflex, not the dictionary.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
::nods:: It's terrible how some people let facts get in the way of a perfectly good opinion, isn't it?

Obviously my point wasn't well taken, again.

I wasn't really interested in "the facts" whatever they are. Just relaying an interesting anecdote, which I am in fact sure no-one will buy, because I really didn't buy it either. This reminds me of when your telling a story in which someone mispronounces a word or makes some other logical error and the person (bless them) who your talking to stops you to "correct" the story. Then the story is ruined and in the course of explaining it you feel like a moron, and the person looks at you in a bland tone of voice and says: "oh that's nice, I guess you had to be there" [Grumble]

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