Parent sneaking in.

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Warrior58d, Jan 24, 2011.

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  1. Warrior58d

    Warrior58d New Member

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    I must confess that I am not a trained teacher first if all so I am sorry for sneaking in. I am however a father that does help with homework and such and take a very active role in my son and daughters education. Recently I helped my son with a compound word excersise and two of our answers came back wrong and was wondering if anyone could shed light as to why. The two words in question are Sunday and noticeable. These were marked as not being compound. I dont understand why they aren't since Sunday Sun-day both seem to stand on their own and noticeable notice-able seem to as well. I can even use them all in a sentence. So why does anyone think these might have been marked wrong? Any help would be great. Oh and the reason I'm not asking the teacher direct is she just went out on maternity leave. Thanks in advance and please don't flog me too much for "sneaking in".
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You've noted that in a true compound word, the words can stand on their own. The key here is that that is the case in speaking as well: one distinctly HEARS each word in the compound blackboard, yes? But able as an independent word or free morpheme begins with a "long a" sound, as it does in able-bodied, whereas the -able in noticeable begins with the schwa sound and so is treated as a suffix - a bound morpheme - rather than as an independent word.

    The same goes for day in Sunday: in practice, most of us pronounce Sunday and Monday so that they rhyme, more or less, with "undie".
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Is that a regional thing? When I say "Sunday", it very clearly sounds like "Sun" and "day". The same goes for all the other days of the week.

    Perhaps I'm odd. Wouldn't be the first time I've heard that. :lol:
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, and welcome to A to Z, Warrior58d. You're by no means the only person in these parts whose resume doesn't include a teaching license.
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I want to add that I'm sure the teacher subbing for his teacher can also help you!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (Duck, everyone else: in responding to Caesar I'm going to get technical with language.)

    One of the features of English long vowels that you've doubtless noticed as a classicist is that they're not pure vowels. That is, the "long a" in the standard pronunciation of the word day sounds less like the vowel in Latin re 'thing, matter: ABLATIVE' (and I'm sorry I can't muster a macron) than it does the diphthong in a slightly sloppy pronunciation of rei 'thing, matter: DATIVE CASE'. But I'll venture that your unguarded pronunciation of the second syllable of Sunday is, at the very least, consistently shorter overall than your pronunciation of the word day in isolation (or, for that matter your pronunciation in the compound daytime): it's astonishing how much difference a few milliseconds can make in speech perception. What's more, in pronunciations of Sunday that retain a diphthong, it's pretty invariably the case that the component of the diphthong that corresponds to "long a" is, phonetically, closer to the lax vowel we hear in the word bet than it is to the true "long a".
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    TeacherGroupie, may I respectfully disagree? That's not the way I pronounce the days of the week! :2cents:
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This makes sense!! Thank you!
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    P.S. How much Latin do you know? Like, is it a working knowledge of the language, or is it more of an awareness of the language for the sake of linguistics?
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    YoungTeacherGuy, I'll warrant that you, like Caesar, still pronounce that second syllable differently than you do the word day in isolation. And if you hear someone pronounce Sunday to rhyme with "undie", you still know what's intended, yes?

    Caesar, I'm far from fluent in Latin, but it is a language I've actually studied. Though I blush to confess that I had to look up the declension of res: it's a loooooong time since high school.
     
  12. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Sunday is a compound word.

    Noticeable is not because of the 1st response to your question.

    "uhble" not Able you don't say noticeAble you say notice"uh" ble
     
  13. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    okay I don't teach English so I may be waaayyyy off base, but don't compound words have to be made up of two nouns?? :confused:

    Anyway, here's my non-English teaching parent take on those two words; compound words are not Proper nouns so that takes out Sunday; and compound words are made up of two nouns and notice and -able are not nouns.

    Please feel free to correct my very layman's view of English rules :lol:
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sunday started out life as a compound, but the reduction in the vowel that I noted above is evidence that it's been reanalyzed in the same fashion as the elements of breakfast (neither break nor fast is pronounced as it is in isolation, and explaining breakfast to learners as a compound is much likelier to elicit "Huh??" than "Oh! I get it!") This is similar to the process by which metaphors lose their punch and become cliches.

    (Language change marches on...)

    As to compounds involving only nouns, no. Read-write is a verb-verb compound; pickpocket is a compound of pick (verb) and pocket (noun). It's the case in current English, though, that compounds that are nouns tend to be formed from nouns or from derived nouns (if a word for 'someone who takes things from your pocket' were devised today, it would probably come out pocket-picker).
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    TG - can I say that I REMEMBER 2nd grade and covering compound words...and learning that breakfast is a compound and having that "Oh, I get it!" lightbulb moment! LOL! I had never understood the meaning of fast completely....and that just made it for me. Of course, we teach compound words in Pre-K nowadays, so the word fast isn't used at all in that context with this age group....

    And I thought that a hyphen automatically disqualified words from being compound, like read-write.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Some reputable sources distinguish compounds that are run together without hyphens from compounds that are hyphenated from compounds that involve two words without hyphens (but that are still clearly compounds in use or pronunciation or both).
     
  17. tortega

    tortega Rookie

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    And this is why I like math.:p
     
  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    WOW! I am really impressed with the expertise on this board!
     
  19. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I totally remember getting marked off on "breakfast" as a compound word!
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Showing my linguistic roots again, I am... would someone please pass the Nice 'n Easy?
     
  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    :spitwater:
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (TG sighs with satisfaction)
     
  23. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Ok my head hurts!! How do you explain Sunday to the second grader? Minus all the latin.
     
  24. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I would say that the two words in a compound word need to still retain their meaning as part of the word.

    In the word Sunday, while it was originally named after the sun, the actual day has nothing to do with the sun.

    However, I would likely refrain from putting that particular word on a grade two worksheet.
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    TG-If I ever have a language question, I am definitely coming to you! :)
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Same here...pronounced Sun day. And Mon day... Never have heard them rhyming with undie in any of my travels...and Ive lived in the South, in Cali, and in the NE...
     
  27. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Sunday should have been right. However noticeable is not.
     
  28. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    After reading the responses I am more confused now, than before...
     
  29. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Grammar is sooo not my thing, can't stand teaching, have no desire to really understand it. Yuck. But oddly enough, we are doing prefix, suffix, and root words right now.
    Able is one of those suffixes that we are talking about.
    Sunday on the other hand, like the previous poster, kinda confused now. I don't think that would be considered a compound word. it is a word all on its own. Like the example used earlier; blackboard. It becomes one word, but you are still talking about a board that is black. With Sunday, you seperate those two words and it doesn't carry the same meaning.
    As I have told some of my kids with prefixes and suffixes, sometimes it is just a coincidence that certain words have those letters in them that you think make it a prefix. Coincidences happen, I think that is the case with Sunday.
     
  30. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    but neither would butterfly. The 2 individual words do not have to have anything to do with the compound word itself.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The Latin was for Caesar's benefit, because I happen to know that Caesar's a Latinist. And all I'm arguing at the moment is that we find evidence that the word Sunday has stopped being fully a compound synchronically (that is, now, as opposed to in the past) in the fact that -day in Sunday is not pronounced the same as day on its own, or even in a phrase.

    In fact, consider these two phrases (and the boldface indicates that the word one is stressed):

    on Sunday
    on one day

    The phrases are pretty nearly identical in prosody, yes? That is, the intonation is more or less the same? (Prosody, as most of you smart elementary teachers know, is the component of fluency that has to do with the melody of a phrase or clause and with getting that melody to sound natural.)

    But if I were to use GarageBand to record one of you saying both phrases, and if I then "sampled" (I think that is the term) both phrases so that the last syllables were swapped, and if I then played the "sampled" phrases back to you, I guarantee you that each of you would notice that the resulting phrases would sound... odd. The one swapped into Sunday would sound too long and too strong, and the one swapped into this day would be too short.

    (At this point, I need a whole case of Nice 'n Easy. I think I'm going to go make dinner.)
     
  32. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    well the one thing I've learned about Sunday is.... to never go there when teaching compound words.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (chuckling)

    That's probably a good thing to learn, skittleroo.
     
  34. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I think Sunday is a compound word and the teacher marked it wrong by accident.

    I don't think noticeable is because "able" is being used as a suffix.

    I don't think Nice and Easy works. My hair is now stubbornly gray.

    I also don't think Warrior Parent will ever come back and ask a bunch of teachers their opinion about something. :)
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Hmmm...this is surely regional? I am certain I would "prove" this to be incorrect. I do find it interesting. :)
     
  36. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Put me in the club that says Sunday as sun day and not "sundie". However, I am one of those weird people who has a German accent and tends to pronounce words differently... more exact??
     
  37. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I agree with TG. As she says, the difference is extremely subtle. I would have said otherwise about two hours ago, but, I just spent about 15 minutes reading sentences involving the days of the week and just the word "day". When I said thing slowly and deliberately, I couldn't tell the difference, but when I spoke normally, just paying attention, the difference was there, even if it was slight. Then, being the incredible dork that I am, I had to try out this theory on an unsuspecting person. I buy stuff at this gas station that's on the corner a couple blocks from my apartment. The clerks know me, so I felt okay asking them for a favor. I wrote the sentence "One day, I will wake up late on a Sunday" and asked them to read it for me. I wished I'd recorded it, but both of the clerks, both with very different regional accents, both had subtle, but noticeable differences in the pronunciation of the word/syllable /day/.
     
  38. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    I would have accepted Sunday but not noticeable on a second grade paper.
    Compound words are just like compound sentences - both parts have to be able :) to stand alone. Sun and day do (at least when you don't go WAY over a second grader's head), but notice and -able don't. -able in this case is a suffix not the word "able."
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, cool, mm! We've got you doing linguistic fieldwork!
     
  40. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    :lol: tg. It was a whim, and it was fun. Just don't tell my old professors.
     
  41. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Though, Peachy, I will bet your favorite potation that your word day is slightly but perceptibly longer and has a slightly but perceptibly different vowel than does the second syllable of your word Sunday. And I'll win. (I never make bets I'm not likely to win.)

    That the "undie" pronunciation isn't very widespread, I'll cheerfully concede (though, golly, isn't there a poem about "Solomon Grundy / Born on Monday"?). But that there ARE recordable, audible, describable differences in the pronunciation, I'll even bet my grad-school education.
     
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