An investigation was made of factors that influence the choice of alternate stylistic pronunciations of words in five categories, each category consisting of an SP (Spelling Pronunciation) alternant and a less formal NSP (Non-SP) alternate; e.g., for round, SP [rawnd] versus NSP [rawn]. Each S first read aloud words-16 in each category-from flash cards as part of an ostensible learning task and then read through the same list of words under instructions to pronounce the words "clearly and accurately." A significantly higher number of SP pronunciations was found in the second task than in the first for all five categories. The frequency and status (a dimension ranging from casual to formal) of words were related to the choice between SP and NSP in two of the categories in both tasks, and Ss' speed of articulation was found to be minimally relevant in the same respect. A crucial structural difference-subphonemic versus phonemic alternation-which differentiates two of the categories from the others, played a central role in the interpretation of results.
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