Benjamin Fortson fortson at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Dec 3 18:38:05 UTC 2001

A semi-related question: does anybody know anything about the
pronunciation of "defendant" with fully-realized ash (rather than schwa)
in the last syllable? I get the impression it's a Northeast (NYC?)
lawyer/police-speak feature, presumably a spelling-pronunciation in
origin. I only heard it for the first time a couple of years ago in "Night
Falls on Manhattan" (1997), but I'm guessing it's probably been around a
while. Is it limited to law-enforcement authorities and legal
professionals in certain regions, or...?

Ben Fortson

On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Philip E. Cleary wrote:

> Last night, I watched the WWI movie, "The Last (or Lost) Battalion," on A&E.
> One of the American soldiers pronounced "defense" as "DEE-fense."
> Is this pronunciation anachronistic? I was under the impression that
> "DEE-fense" dates back only a few decades and arose from the spondaic
> chanting of NY Giants fans.
> Phil Cleary

More information about the Ads-l mailing list