Non native speaker?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Oct 24 15:41:18 UTC 2002

At 11:04 AM -0400 10/24/02, David Bergdahl wrote:
>Now that the pair in custody are black males, where does that leave the NBC

The stepson, who's Jamaican, apparently wrote some of the letters,
using what are now (on CNN) described as references to Jamaican
locutions ("word is bond").  (There were also repetitions of *****, a
reference to a Jamaican reggae group of that name, I understand.)
Maybe this struck earlier analysts as Hispanic?  As for accent, hard
to reconcile.  Of course, there's the stepfather, John Muhammad (ne
Williams), US born and bred, a Gulf War vet, as well as the stepson,
either of whom could have been making the phone calls.  We'll know
more (or at least be told more), I suspect.


>--On Thursday, October 24, 2002 9:56 AM -0400 "THOMAS M. PAIKEDAY"
><t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA> wrote:
>>Last  night NBC Nightly News reported that it had been determined that the
>>sniper is a "native speaker" of English, probably a Caucasian, with an
>>accent suspected to be Hispanic. The above judgement seems to have been
>>based on the sniper's written rather than spoken English. There is a kind
>>of verba volant (words fly) quality to the spoken evidence. But a
>>recording may be available.
>"We are all New Yorkers"
>       --Dominique Moisi

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