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* Peter Clark said on 2002-10-22 20:22:05 +0200
> Quoting Dirk Elzinga <[log in to unmask]>:
> > The fact that many English speakers routinely delete the nasal in such
> > clusters gives support to the existence of such a tendency. Of course there
> > will be speakers who pronounce a full nasal; this doesn't mean that the
> > tendency isn't real (or "universal"), just that it's not active in that
> > variety of English.
>
> Thanks for clearing up what you meant by "universal tendency"; I got bogged
> down on the "universal" part which tends to get equated with
> Greenburg's "universals," which aren't really universal at all (for the most
> part) [..]

<rant>
That's because they are based on *statistics*. If something
happens more than 50% of the time it can be called a *statistical*
universal. Most things in life can be graded relatively to
something else on some scale or other, 100% or 0% of anything
is rare indeed.
</rant>


t., who can't stand people dividing the world only in halves