1. In the previous lesson you saw that when <ll> is at the end of a free stem, an <a> right in front of it will spell a short <o> sound, as in ball, [bol]. But when the <ll> is in the middle of the stem, an <a> right in front of it will spell a short <a> sound, as in ballot, [ba´lət]. That's a neat little pattern, but there are a couple of misfits worth noticing:
According to the description, what vowel sound should the word shall have? [o] What vowel sound does shall have? [a]
The word wall fits the pattern because it has the short <o> sound, but longer words with <wa> in front of <ll> in them don't fit: According to the description, what sound should the letter <a> spell in swallow, wallow, wallet, wallop? [a]. What vowel sound do you hear in front of the <ll> in these words? [o]
2. There is a similar pattern for the spelling <oll>. Sometimes you hear a short <o>, but sometimes you hear a long <o>. Read the following words aloud, carefully. Mark the vowel sound in front of the <ll> as we have with troller. Again, if you are not sure how to pronounce any of them, look them up in the dictionary or ask for help:
2. Each of the twenty words contains a free stem plus a suffix. Analyze each one:
= Free Stem
= Free Stem
= folly+ i
3. When the <ll> is at the end of a free stem, does the <o> right in front of it spell along sound or a short sound? long. When the <ll> is in the middle of a free stem, does the <o> right in front of it spell along sound or a short sound? short
4. Be ready to talk about this: There is one common holdout to this pattern: doll. Why do we call it a holdout?
Word Histories. Polliwog “tadpole” was probably formed from two Old English elements: pol “head” and wiglen “Wiggle.” Over the centuries it has had many, sometimes odd spellings: polwygle, porwig(g)le, porriwiggle, purwiggy, pollywiggle, pollywoggle, polwigge, polewigge, po(o)lwig, polliwig, polly-wig, polliwog.
Rollicking “carefree, joyous” was probably formed by combining either roll or romp with frolic.
For more on the sounds of <o> before <ll>, see AES, pp. 101-02, 446.
Item 4. Doll is a holdout because the pattern would call for [o¯] rather than [o], as in poll and roll.
Word Histories. The third rather odd word in this lesson is bollix, which unfortunately is a “testicles”