In a recent article in ET 109 Michael Bulley (2012: 35) presents ‘the permutations for monosyllables in common use in standard British English having the phonetic pattern: single consonant + short vowel + single consonant’, using the OED as his source for data. While acknowledging the usefulness of Bulley's tables for pedagogical purposes, I wish to offer a very distinct answer to the question why certain words are missing from the contemporary English lexicon although they could have occurred as possible words.
(Online publication May 17 2012)
DANIEL HUBER holds a PhD in English linguistics from ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary. He qualified to teach in French higher education in 2009. He now works at Université de Toulouse 2–Le Mirail where he teaches English phonology and linguistics. His main fields of interest include English and theoretical phonology and historical linguistics. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 David Crystal, a member of our editorial board, recently sent in a note pointing out an earlier account by Denyse Rockey (Phonetic Lexicon, London: Heyden, 1973), which is highlighted in chapter 28 of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language by David Crystal (2nd ed. CUP, 1997).