[Ads-l] "Niger" or "Niger"?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 19 11:08:18 EDT 2017


Nigeria has more people but Niger is bigger.

Acc. to Wiki-P, a Nigerian of Niger is a "Nigerien" even in English.

 JL

On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> I guess pronouncing Niger to rhyme with Tiger, as in The Mikado, is no
> longer a preferred option.  Of course, since Gilbert also rhymed lily with
> die, it’s possible that standard usage was not his first consideration.
>
>
> John Baker
>
>
>
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:42 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: "Niger" or "Niger"?
>
> External Email - Think Before You Click
>
>
> > On Oct 19, 2017, at 10:06 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM<
> mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>> wrote:
> >
> > In my day, people said "NYE-jer." Nowadays, except for a courageous
> > journalist in the Rose Garden recently, they're all saying "Nee-ZHAIR."
> >
> > Sounds so much more sophisticated, _non_?
> >
> > When was the big switch? The Random House College Dictionary of 1982
> gives
> > only "NYE-jer." I first heard Nee-ZHAIR" in the early '80s.
> >
> > JL
> >
>
> Over the years, I’ve mostly heard Nee-ZHAIR (with varying attempts to
> reproduce a uvular [r]) in the not all that frequent mentions of the
> country I can remember. I assumed preserving the French stress pattern and
> the always popular /Z/ were partly used to distinguish it from its much
> larger and more frequently cited neighbor Nigeria. I see AHD5 gives Jon’s
> pronunciation and mine in that order.
>
> LH
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