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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Aug 31, 2016, 09:03 AM

11. Panic grips newsreaders as they have to learn how to pronounce the latest Icelandic volcano

News reports have been flying around over the past 24 hours of increased seismic activity near the South Iceland volcano of Katla.

Newsreaders across the globe are heaving a sigh of relief in advance that, when Katla erupts, they won’t have to torture their tongue with the likes of Grímsvötn, Bárđarbunga or – eek! – Eyjafjallajökull.

‘At least we can all pronounce Katla!’ seems to be the optimistic buzz on social media at the moment. But can you really?
The word involves a linguistic feature known as pre-aspiration, in this case affecting the consonant group ‘tl’. In simple terms, an ‘h’ sound should be inserted before the ‘tl’ – it’s not (kat-la), but (kaHt-la).


Their real test will be the glacier at the volcano:

Considerable seismic activity has continued under Mýrdalsjökull glacier today, after strong quakes – the strongest in decades – in the early hours of this morning.

Following tremors of magnitude 4.5 and 4.6 earlier today, the South Iceland glacier – which covers the mighty Katla volcano – saw another significant quake, of magnitude 3.3, just after 3pm this afternoon, local time, according to Iceland national broadcaster RÚV (link in Icelandic).

“It is not a question of whether Katla will erupt, but when,” warns Kristín Jónsdóttir, Earthquake Hazards Coordinator at the Icelandic Met Office.

“We mustn’t forget that Katla is a very active volcano. Looking back, there have been sixteen known eruptions since Iceland was settled,” she said, speaking on Icelandic radio today.


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