Dialect awareness on commercial radio

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 20 18:40:57 UTC 2007

At 8:22 AM -0800 12/20/07, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Are they native speakers of Elvish or of Elfin? Are the two one
>language or two dialects? Is one name patronizing? Offensive?  Are
>special symbols needed for Elvish/ Elfin phonology?
>   Is Tolkien's fieldwork trustworthy?  Or is something else going on there?
>   Endless questions....
>   JL

I can only answer one you didn't ask:
Q: Did LH really intend to assign primary stress to the last syllable
in Elf #1's version of "caramel"?
A: No, he meant to assign secondary stress to that syllable, primary
to the antepenult.  We wouldn't want to misrepresent the Polarbear
dialect of North-Polish Elvic.


>Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: Laurence Horn
>Subject: Dialect awareness on commercial radio
>Wawa, a convenience store chain in the Northeast, is currently
>promoting their holiday special, chocolate caramel coffee. (They
>acknowledge it's "decadent", but their markets are in blue states,
>after all.) The commercial spots they're running for this promotion
>on the radio feature a song sung by their Merry Elves (no doubt
>earlier laid off by Keebler), which is interrupted by the following
>debate between two of the elves:
>Elf #1, soloing on last line of song: "...with chocolate and caramel
>Elf #2: "I think it's pronounced ['karm at l]."
>Elf #1: "It depends on what part of the North Pole you're from."
>Elf #2: "I grew up in the Toy District."
>Elf #1: "I was raised by polar bears."
>Elf #2: "Oh, *that* explains it."
>Get those dialectological field research proposals in to the NSF
>ASAP, before global warming!
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.
>Try it now.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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