Geoffrey S. Nathan an6993 at WAYNE.EDU
Wed Jan 3 16:22:50 UTC 2007

Wilson wrote:

 > BTW, speaking of Canada, what happened with the thread re the proper
 > pronunciation of "Toronto"? Did anyone contact our colleague, Geoff
 > Nathan. about it? He's the one who taught me how to say it: "Tronna,"
 > IIRC. We were floormates at the LSA's institute at Buffalo in 1971.

Wilson, you're not only giving away your age, you're betraying mine
too.  God, thirty-five years!

'Toronto' is frequently pronounced [c-wedge ran schwa], particularly in
less-stressed environments, such as in 'Toronto Maple Leafs'.
Occasionally editorial sports cartoonists have been known to write
'Chrawna' (remember that all Canadians have the ah-oh merger).  This was
true thirty-six years ago and I doubt it's changed much.
Back when we believed in rule-ordering this was an argument for
lexically-defined exceptions ('tyrannasaurus' is frequently pronounced
[traen schwa...] but the /t/ can't be palatalized, so it's
counter-feeding, whereas 'Toronto' has the unmarked, feeding order.
Now that we have sliding constraints it's trickier--I once even gave a
paper (unfortunately not published anywhere) on how OT might need
additional mechanisms to deal with it.  They still don't have a way to
deal with optional processes elegantly.


Geoffrey S. Nathan <geoffnathan at>

Faculty Liaison, Computing and Information Technology,<p>
and Associate Professor of English, Linguistics Program<p>
Phone Numbers (313) 577-1259 or (313) 577-8621<p>
Wayne State University<p>
Detroit, MI, 48202

The American Dialect Society -

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