Does the final "a" drop out in words like "basically", "logically", etc, or should I pronounce it?
I've lived in the United States my entire life. In my experience, native speakers always pronounce these words as basicly and logicly. The pronunciation basical-ly sounds distinctly foreign; in fact, in my experience, I think that the pronunciation basical-ly is the most common pronunciation mistake that I ever hear.
In slow and careful speech, I could imagine someone saying logical-ly, but the pronunciation logicly seems more common even then.
The spellings of -al, -ly, and -ally are frustratingly inconsistent. In the following list, each word is presented as adjective - standard spelling of adverb - phonetic spelling of adverb:
- public - publicly - publicly
- basic - basically - basicly
- logical - logically - logicly
- internal - internally - internally
They are all correct, but the pronunciations 'basicly' and 'logicly' are far more common.