Labov on vowel shifts

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Tue Aug 28 11:37:22 UTC 2012

On 8/28/12 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> That palatalization in British English, applying also to voiceless coronals, reminds me of Peter Trudgill relating how when he provides his first name to Americans their immediate reaction is sometimes to wonder why anyone would be named after a popular snack food of Italian origin.
> LH
The IT Crowd (British comedy show) had an episode where the female
character was dating a fellow and liked him very much until her
co-workers pointed out that his name, Peter File, sounded like
"pedophile" and then that's what she keeps hearing when she hears his
name. Moss, the nerdy co-worker, suggests that Peter should move to the
United States where they pronounce it ped-uh-file (short a, less stress)
as opposed to peed-ah-file.

(LH: pita? a popular snack food of Italian origin? isn't pita bread
Middle Eastern? or are you referring to something else that I am
ignorant of.)

---Amy West

The American Dialect Society -

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