Kaisers-lautern or Kaiser-slau[gh]tern?

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jun 19 04:06:42 UTC 2006

On 6/18/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> >On Sun, 2006-06-18 at 15:11 -0400, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> >>  Is it Kaisers-lautern ["au" as in allow, as I was taught in junior
> >>  high], or Kaiser-slautern [as in slaughter] as the ABC announcer at
> >>  the World Cup has been vocalizing?  And what does "lautern" mean?
> >
> >As Leonard Cohen already said,
> I think that was Jerry Cohen who said it on the list earlier today,
> unless you're remembering a Leonard Cohen song I'm not familiar with
> (he did have a couple of albums I missed in the late 90s) addressing
> the matter...

It did make me briefly wonder if Suzanne was actually the wife of
Emperor Frederick, and she was taking you down to her place on the
river Lauter...

> >  the name can be taken apart as
> >Kaisers-lautern. The S is a linking element ("Fugenelement" in German),
> >something that is extremely frequent between the two parts of a
> >compound. Many German speakers erroneously analyze the S as the mark of
> >a genitive or possessive (because it does often make sense to read a
> >noun of the form AsB as A's B). As for -lautern, Wikipedia is helpful:
> >
> >----
> >Kaiserslautern received its name from the favorite hunting retreat of
> >Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa who ruled the Holy Roman Empire
> >from 1155 until 1190. The Lauter was then an important river that made
> >the old section of Kaiserslautern an island in medieval times.
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiserslautern
> >----

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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