Robot /ro.bit/

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sat Dec 29 13:33:32 UTC 2007


Both long and short Czech /o/ are very much at cardinal /o/. Goodwin
must have confused Czech with one of his other 7.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Barnhart <barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
>Subject:      Re: Robot /ro.bit/
>American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> writes:
>>Of course the early pronunciation may have been taken from Czech
>>(e.g., I think, "robotnik"), but since my ignorance of Czech
>>pronunciation is virtually total I cannot assess this possibility.
>My father (born 1900) as a young man in a community theater while a
>student at the University of Chicago played a role in R.U.R.  With a
>twinkle in his eye he would say that his part was to go off to repopulate
>the planet with humans.
>On-topic, he usually said something more like /RUB it/. I think his
>life-long friend Reason A. Goodwin (the word judge on Password and a
>teacher of Russian and speaker of some eight languages) advised him that
>that pronunciation was closer to the Czech.
>barnhart at
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society -

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