"Business takes Vi[z]a"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 19 01:34:24 UTC 2008

Very likely, the canonic pronunciation of Eliza / Liza had long been
established, even before Ms. Minelli's parents were born, all the way
back to whatever  minstrel(s) concocted the folksong, Eliza Jane,
'Liza Jane, Little 'Liza Jane, Liza Jane, Li'l Liza Jane, etc., etc.,
at least.


On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 11:26 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "Business takes Vi[z]a"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 8/18/2008 11:10 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>>On Aug 18, 2008, at 7:30 AM, Doug Harris wrote:
>>>Joel --
>>>Here ya go:
>>... a site that apparently provides a single "correct" pronunciation
>>for each word.
> Reminded me a bit of the audiologist's test:  "Now you will say
> ...".  (It doesn't use "cot" and "caught", I suppose, just "cat".)
>>    in this case, a 4-syllable "conservative"
>>pronunciation (that sticks close to the spelling, giving one vowel for
>>each vowel letter; and with stressed [I] rather than [i], perhaps by
>>trisyllabic laxing).  the two 4-syllable pronunciations sound old-
>>fashioned or british to me, but maybe that's just because i don't hear
>>them very often.
>>in the real world, there are four pronunciations, distributed socially
>>and geographically i don't know how.  all four are phonologically well-
>>formed for just about everyone, so they're all available.
> What does DARE say about "Alicia"?  (Probably nothing, but are there
> any similar common nouns?)  And surely there can be only one
> pronunciation for "Liza" since Ms. Minnelli came out.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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