Wow! "Sixths" definitely fits the bill. It was so obvious, and unlike "texts" it is a completely native word. I suppose what I meant in the original question was four consecutive obstruent phonemes--no nasals or liquids.
I think the "t" and "s" in "texts" are separate sounds in this instance, but I can see that they could be considered a single affricate.
If "glimpsed" and "jinxed" are used as nouns, then there are a couple of rather awkwardly contrived but still legitimate possessives that also have four consecutive obstruent phonemes: "The jinxed's thoughts were obliviously optimistic."
Thanks for the comments and thanks to sarra for the additional words.
Sorry I didn't check back after my post for 6 days.
I don't think it sounds grammatically atrocious if your native dialect permits double modals. Something I hear in the Northeast U.S. that I am pretty sure is ungrammatical in every other English dialect is "a quarter of." The first time I ever heard the phrase was on an episode of "The Jeffersons" and I assumed it meant 15 minutes after the previous hour--which is what it seems to mean, logically. When I moved to New York I found out that it means 15 minutes before the hour, which is what in most dialects is referred to as "a quarter to" or "a quarter 'til." To anybody not from the Northeast U.S., "a quarter of" might sound grammatically atrocious, or at least bewildering.
I mean four consecutive consonant phonemes (excluding liquids, like r, l, and w) if you spelled the word in IPA. Texts has ksts. "Strengths" has two consonants plus a liquid at the beginning and three consonant sounds at the end. The four letters at the beginning of "schmooze" actually represent only two phonemes. Aside from "Hoechst's" and maybe some similar possessives of words that are originally foreign, I don't think there's another word in English with four consonant sounds in a row in the same syllable.
It's not redundant or repetitive. "I might could" means "maybe I could" or "possibly I could" or "I don't know whether I could or not" or "perhaps I could" or "maybe I would be able to" or "given the right circumstances I could." It may sound odd if you're not from the South or from Scotland, but it's a useful construction and it might even spread to other parts of the English-speaking world in much the same way that the way the use of "already" after the imperative has spread from certain ethnic dialects of New York City.
Oct 24, 2007
Comments for jeff
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