Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 3 05:53:33 UTC 2001

At 1:38 PM -0500 12/3/01, Benjamin Fortson wrote:
>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
I've noticed that unreduced vowel on TV court shows too, e.g. A&E's
100 Centre Street.  It's as if the attorneys and judges want to make
sure the court reporter gets the spelling right.


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