3

In English I'm accustomed to the incorrect irregular plural pronunciation used by many educated speakers for the words "processes" and "biases" to end in /siːz/ instead of /səz/ based on overextension from words of Greek origin.

But in a podcast I listened to last night with a person with a Scottish accent, I noticed that to my ear as a native speaker of Australian English he seemed to use this pronunciation for any plural that would normally end in /səz/. In particular he used this pronunciation for both "devices" and "use cases".

Is this just a common feature of Scottish pronunciation I'd never noticed before?

Or is it that some people have started to extend the /siːz/ pronunciation even further beyond just "biases" and "processes"?

Here's the podcast. Google's Ross McIlroy being interviewed on Software Engineering Daily in 2020.

11
  • Note: at time 1:47 (the speaker before then is not Scottish). Jun 27 at 9:50
  • 1
    In British accents generally, the last vowel would be /ɪ/, not /ə/. Mind you, that vowel in that Scottish speaker's "devices" ~3:25 did sound to be more like /i/ --- not as long as /i:/, but just as high and front.
    – Rosie F
    Jun 27 at 11:49
  • 2
    My first thought, was where is the Scottish accent? Note was added for clarity, and so readers/listeners can skip the first part. I did not expect to be admonished for that, or accused of stupidity. Jun 27 at 12:45
  • 1
    @WeatherVane Oh I'm very sorry if my comment came across as admonishing or accusing of stupidity. I probably didn't read your comment properly or just wanted to clarify for anyone who might read, I don't actually remember now. Anyway I apologize unreservedly. Jun 28 at 0:43
  • 1
    I'm not convinced that "educated" speakers use the long 'ee' for the plurals "processes" and "biases". That looks to me like an ignorant extension from the standard pronunciation of words like crises, axes (the plurals of crisis, axis). Jun 28 at 11:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.