pronunciation encountered

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 30 19:09:34 UTC 2008

At 10:04 AM -0800 12/30/08, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>On Dec 30, 2008, at 9:53 AM, David Barnhart wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
>>Subject:      pronunciation encountered
>>Last evening I had dinner at a relative's house.  Never met her or her
>>family before.  They all seemed surprised at my unfamiliarity with
>>pronounced as . ok ZIM uhr uhn
>>Anyone ever heard this?  It must be a spelling pronunciation, with
>>em PHA
>>sis on the wrong sy LAH bull.  I didn't hear anyone there say the word
>>film-as one or two syllables.
>new to me.  but i had a crisis of self-confidence and went to check
>the OED.  both pronunciations have primary accent on the third syllable.
Beat me to the punch--I was sure this would turn out to be an
officially received secondary pronunciation, based on other Greek
words, but evidently not.  (Does anyone know how it would be stressed
in Greek?)  Maybe David's relatives were thinking of Cimarron.
Actually, it appears that there is someone named (I hope
pseudonymously) "Ox Cimarron" who's quite active on the Q
and A site.  That would correspond to the above pronunciation of
"oxymoron" except for a secondarily stressed /a/ on the final
syllable as opposed to the destressed schwa David reports.  If I were
going to stress "oxymoron" on the antepenult, that's how I'd do it.


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