Eric commented here on a speech error made by President Bush in his State of the Union address, whereby the first word of the phrase drug trade was mispronounced as [ʤʌg]. As I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO last night, I happened to notice Maher make the same speech error when talking about the recent incident involving Rep. Patrick Kennedy:
What I love about this case, as I was mentioning in the monologue… This guy gets stopped. He says “I wasn’t drinking,” when, you know, I think he might have been. We have a waitress at a restaurant who said he was drinking earlier. The cops said they smelled liquor. But the all-purpose get out of free [sic] card in America is, “I was on prescription ju… drugs. Therefore, it’s OK. As long as I’m high on something from a company that made campaign contributions, I can crash my car. If I get high from what I had at Joe’s Bar and Grill, I can’t crash my car. But if I get it at Sav-On, I’m good.”
Here’s an audio clip. Below is a spectrogram of the sequence containing the error and the immediate self-correction:
Based on very informal measurements, the cluster seems to be just slightly longer than the affricate [ʤ]: 107 ms versus 105 ms. This is a trend similar to the difference Eric noted for Bush’s speech error. Of course, the usual caveats apply with respect to contextual differences, n=2, etc. At least it’s interesting to see another authentic example in which a phonological monosegment is somehow felt to be equivalent to a phonological cluster (possibly due to the phonetic similarity of affrication?).