Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 11 15:17:47 UTC 2009

On May 11, 2009, at 7:30 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:

>> ...
> I actually thought it was a breve when I first
> looked at the Dat Nguyen entry, and thus didn't
> process it as a tone indicator.  But a caron it
> is, a term with which I had also been entirely
> unfamiliar.
> This "caron" has penult stress I assume, as
> opposed to actress Leslie or b-baller Butler,
> both of whom stress their final (albeit quite
> different) syllables.
suggests that "caron" is a portmanteau of "caret" and "macron", which
would in
turn suggest that its stress pattern is 1 2, with /a/ in the final

but John Wells --
revised.htm#caron -- says:

The term ‘caron’, however, is wrapped in mystery. Incredibly, it seems
to appear
in no current dictionary of English, not even the OED. Yet it is the
term used
without discussion for this diacritic in as authoritative and
influential a source as
The Unicode Standard (1991, 2000).


the discussion at
is also inconclusive about the origins of the term, though several
are suggested.

also used by some as the name of one of the four tone marks for
Mandarin in
Hanyu Pinyin: macron, acute, caron, grave.

there are all sorts of sites listing diacritical marks, some of which
use the name
"caron", but so far i haven't found one that tells you how to
*pronounce* the
term.  (the wikipedia helpfully tells you how to pronounce "hacek" but
is silent
on "caron".  the hacek -- the diacritic -- seems to have been an
invention of
Jan Hus, by the way.)

>  Wonder if Leslie Caron
> ever played a hat-check girl.


The American Dialect Society -

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