Local pronunciations

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Oct 27 17:22:43 UTC 2005

At 12:31 PM -0400 10/27/05, Wilson Gray wrote:
>On 10/26/05, Damien Hall <halldj at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
>  > I can add the following to the growing collection of local
>pronunciations of
>>  placenames which differ from that of the ur-placename:
>>  - berLIN, Germany, but BERlin, CT and NH (cf also the
>>stress-placement in the
>>  phrases 'berLIN' (the city in Germany) but 'BERlin WALL')
>>  - Newark, NJ = NEWark, like the English town, but Newark, DE =
>>newARK, with two
>>  primary stresses, as if it were still two words
>>  - all the Welsh place-names in Greater Philadelphia, which are pronounced as
>>  they would be if they were of English-language origin:  here the
>>difference is
>>  not one of stress but one of segment, so 'Gwynedd' has a /d/ at
>>the end in PA
>>  but an /eth/ (voiced interdental fricative) at the end in Wales;
>>Bala Cynwyd
>>  has completely different vowels in PA from those it has in Wales;  and of
>>  course the famous Bryn Mawr, PA = /brIn ma:r/, but Bryn Mawr in
>>Welsh = /brUn
>>  maeUr/ or similar, I think.
>>  Damien Hall
>>  University of Pennsylvania
>There's also a BERlin in Massachusetts. Perhaps, if not for the wars,
>BERlin would have  become the standard U.S. English pronunciation of
>the name of the capital of Germany, since the BERlin WALL rule also
>applies to yield BERlin, GERmany.
>-Wilson Gray

I think there's a difference.  "BERlin GERmany"/"BERlin WALL" is an
instance of the rhythm rule, but the city's name in isolation is
still BerLIN.  But the Connecticut suburb of Hartford (and I assume
the other U.S. Berlins) is BERlin in isolation, not just in the
context of the BERlin TURNpike.  (Similarly for fourTEEN vs. FOURteen


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