Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bald/Bore

Here is a typo that has a phonological explanation. Lamenting that many drivers do not know how to maintain their cars, the reader comments: And I have [observed that] that [some/many] drivers don’t change their tyres even though the tyres were bore (Straits Times website, 1 October 2009).

Quite obviously, the writer meant the tyres were bald. What’s interesting is that he may simply have been typing what he heard in his head — and evidently he pronounces bald and bore alike.

But how does bald /bɔ:ld/ become bore /bɔ:/? First, /d/ is lost through the process of final-consonant simplification. Next, syllable-final dark /l/ is deleted. Both are well-known features of Singapore English phonology.

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