A new pronunciation a-borning?

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Feb 7 14:03:51 UTC 2008

Wilson said:

> Heard in a local (Boston) TV-ad voice-over:
> INo-va-tive ['In@ v@ t at v]
> in place of INo-vay-tive ['In@ "vei t at v]

What was the ad for?  I ask because the variant you heard in it is (almost) the
standard British pronunciation of that word:  primary stress on the first
syllable, middle syllable with a schwa.  The only slight difference is that
most Brits would have [I], not schwa, in the final syllable.  If it was an ad
for a British or British-related product, they may have been trying for the
correct accent, as in a Jaguar [Jae.gju:.@] ad that I remember (cf also our
recent discussion of that word and related phenomena here).

I assume the whole voice-over wasn't in a British accent, or you'd have said.
There's one smoking-cessation product ad airing at least here in Philadelphia
where the voice-over is done by a Brit, though the product isn't British
(specifically) as far as I know.

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list