pronunciation of Lars

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Wed Jul 24 18:03:32 UTC 2002

At 10:31 AM 7/22/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>On Mon, 22 Jul 2002, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>#Actually, "Lars" with a devoiced final consonant is already a
>#modification from the Norwegian /sh/ (for "rs"), but, just like
>#Polish "rz" (which is simply /zh/, we don't seem to be able to resist
>#those /r/s, so we get two stages of modification /lash/ -> /lars/ ->
>Isn't that /sh/ actually a retroflex? Or is that only in Swedish?
>I think that the process you're positing is more complicated than
>necessary for most US speakers outside of the Norwegian settlement area
>in the upper Midwest. I *read* the name "Lars" in many sources long,
>long before I ever heard any authentic pronunciation of it, and the
>default English phonemic realization of that orthography is /larz/.
>Spelling pronunciation is the simplest explanation.
>-- Mark A. Mandel

I asked a linguistics student from Denmark (who has frequent contact with
Norwegians) about  /sh/ in "Lars," and he confirmed Mark's comment that
it's really a retroflex sound with /r/ coloring instead.  But the final
consonant is /s/, which is all I heard growing up around lots of Larses and
Larse/ons.  The change to /z/ still sounds strange to me, just as
pronouncing "Knute" without initial /kn/ does.

Beverly Olson Flanigan (40 years out of Minnesota but still a Viking)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list