Donald M. Lance
LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Nov 1 04:12:32 UTC 2001
'Ice cream' is a (two-word) compound noun, whereas 'police' and 'insurance' aren't.
lighthouse, housekeeper, lighthouse keeper, light house-keeper.
We're not consistent in when we run together these two-word compounds in writing.
I'm surprised no one before Don Billionbridges pointed out this fact today.
> This Canadian heard "GUI-tar" (short vowel "i")
> and "IN-surance" in northern Indiana in 1985 However,
> the speaker was a middle-aged gentleman of
> undetermined geographical upbringing, and his
> daughter, when I politely inquired as to his pronunciation,
> smirked at it.
> I might have thought that "ICE cream" wouldn't
> fall into the same category as "CE-ment" or
> "UM-brella" because it's not a morpheme, but
> rather a two-noun unit in which the first word
> modifies the second.
> Though by that reasoning we Canucks should be
> saying "NIAGARA Falls" instead of the opposite,
> "Niagara FALLS", which is how we say it.
> > The point remains that "ICE cream", even if not
> > the universal U.S. stress pattern, is a lot more general than
> > "CE-ment" or "UM-brella" (or my nominee, PO-lice), all of which may
> > (for all I know) be truly Southernisms.
More information about the Ads-l