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587995.  Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:55 am Reply with quote

It certainly could be. Some sources reckon that "lighted" is more common in North America and "lit" in Britain, but I'm not actually sure I agree on that.

I discover that Fowler (i.e. Burchfield) prefers "lighted" as the adjective, unless there is another adjective being used with it in which case "lit". So, "a well lit room", but "a lighted match".

588004.  Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:09 am Reply with quote

lighted feels more like the present, and lit more like the past :/
Thas just my opinion of it.
I would use "lit" I feel, as "lighted" sounds like "I burnded my finger" :)

602979.  Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:20 am Reply with quote

My intuition about the -ed and -t forms is that these strong verbs are being drawn to conform with the weak verb form over time, and some of us are just in different phases of this process. I would use the -t form in most of the examples above, but I am also aware that I am hearing more variation nowadays than I was wont to hear in the past.

One example to show the difference in usage, however is a comparison of the sentences:
She burned with desire.
She burnt with desire.

They are not interchangeable!

602990.  Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:42 am Reply with quote

'Lighted upon' confuses things too much for me to say anything other than 'I lit a match' although I often hesitate when writing similar phrases.

Bizarrely I suspect I would always say 'a lit cigarette'* but might sometimes refer to 'a lighted match'@.

* perhaps because it has been lit and is still in use as a cigarette

@ perhaps because it was lit and is still alight; a lit match might not still be alight.

605889.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:32 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I doubt if there is any natural language which is utterly phonetic with no irregularities at all, but Croatian, Finnish, and Swahili are often mentioned as coming pretty close.

Bahasa Indonesia is also very phonetic with very few irregularities (the only ones I can think off the top of my head are |e| sounds and a few |c| sounds, otherwise almost all words sound the way they are written), and uses the standard 26-letter alphabet with no special characters. Bahasa Melayu of Malaysia is very similar.

605958.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:27 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I doubt if there is any natural language which is utterly phonetic with no irregularities at all, but Croatian, Finnish, and Swahili are often mentioned as coming pretty close.

Welsh is almost completely phonetic: the only fly in the ointment is the letter 'y', which has two different pronunciations depending on its place in the word ('ynys' [=island], for example, is pronounced 'unniss').

Some also refer to such diphthongs as 'ae', which are pronounced like the English 'aye' in monosyllabic words and something closer to 'ey' in longer ones, but this is a far subtler difference.

606044.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:58 pm Reply with quote

Is there a regular rule for which pronunciation value <y> will have at any given point? If so - and thus ynys would have to be "unniss", and you wouldn't need to know - then Welsh certainly would be rather close to being perfectly phonetic.

606138.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:55 pm Reply with quote

I've been thinking about this, and it does seem that 'y' is pronounced as 'uh' only in accented syllables of polysyllabic words, and 'ee' (or more correctly the short form found in 'pin' or 'him') otherwise.

However in particularly long words such as 'ysgrifenyddesau' (=secretaries), one finds the 'uh' pronunciation in all occurrences.

Looking closer at this particular word, we find that it's built up like this:

ysgrifen (writing) - uh.
ysgrifennu (to write) - uh.
ysgrifennydd (male secretary) - 1st - uh, 2nd -ee.
ysgrifenyddes (female secretary) - both - uh.
ysgrifenyddesau (female secretaries) - both - uh.

Taking it further:

cyn-ysgrifenyddesau (ex-secretaries [female]) - ee, uh, uh.

The basis of it all is where the stress is placed, but it's sometimes complicated by where the stress in the root-word was. The stress in Welsh is almost always on the penultimate syllable, so the 'y' in 'ysgrifennydd' is unaccented, and therefore pronounced as short 'ee', but when the word is extended by the female suffix to 'ysgrifenyddes' the 'y' becomes stressed, being on the penultimate syllable, and therefore changes to 'uh'.

However, it doesn't change back to 'ee' when the word is further extended (as in 'ysgrifenyddesau'); I believe this is because in very long words secondary stress comes into operation.

(BTW, the variation between single and double 'n' in the words is deliberate - the double n denotes a stressed syllable.)

606229.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:55 am Reply with quote

This just occurred to me -

The Welsh singer Stifyn Parri (Marius in the West End production of Les MisÚrables, 1987-89) was originally called Steven Parry. He changed the orthography of his name to what he considered to be Welsh phonetic spelling, but got it wrong.

"Parri" for "Parry" is no problem - quite apart from anything else, there are thousands of Parris out there.

"Stifyn" is quite another matter. For a start, the lack of a circumflex over the 'i' (Stţfyn) makes the sound of the name "Stivven", but the clincher is the use of the letter 'y' to represent the 'uh' sound of the second vowel. Yes, 'y' is pronounced 'uh' (see postings above), but never in the unaccented final syllable*. The upshot of all this is that he's universally known as 'Stiffin', which he may or may not appreciate.

*I've just thought of one exception to this - borrowings such as 'byrgyr' (for 'burger') do maintain the 'uh' sound in the second syllable; I can only conclude that that's because it's obvious what they are, whereas 'Stifyn' just looks like an English word and is therefore pronounced accordingly.

606244.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:48 am Reply with quote

The United States, IMHO, does not use English...but rather we speak American.

606280.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:27 am Reply with quote

Our linguistics lecturer has a very PC way of referring to Americans; it's: "native speakers of American English". Now that's good.

606476.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:42 am Reply with quote

Almost all languages have a few irregularities when it comes to borrowed words, and proper nouns in particular. And in fact, it's on borrowed words that most of the languages which are seen as perfectly phonetic break down.

Now then, "American". I've met people who want to describe the language of the USA thus, but it's not without difficulties. For a start, we people of Vancouver speak American rather than Canadian - but to make it even worse for the USians, some people in rural northern parts of the USA really speak Canadian. (Rural Minnesota is the most often cited, although the first rural Minnesotan who comes to mind is Bob Dylan and he doesn't. Then again, he hasn't actually lived in Hibbing for fifty years.)

606822.  Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:09 am Reply with quote

As long as Canadians spell their Center as Centre, they will be speaking Canadian.

What the Minnesotans speak is northern redneck. :-)

607315.  Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:26 pm Reply with quote

Actually Lukecash, in Canada the spelling is Centre - except when some city bureaucrat tries to save money (and fails) by buying ready-made signs from the US.

607532.  Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:50 am Reply with quote

Oh dear, has Edmonton done that as well?


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