Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Mon Dec 3 19:03:54 UTC 2001

I first encountered this as a juror at the Essex County Court in Newark,
New Jersey.  The judge not only pronounced the final syllable with an
unreduced [ae], he gave it strong primary stress: "the dee-fen-DANT."  I'm
sure not only the judge used this pronunciation, but I can't say for sure
that EVERYBODY connected with the court used it.  This was certainly not
the everyday local pronunciation outside of court, and I strongly suspect
that even the judge would have slipped into the "normal" [di'fend at nt]
pronunciation outside of working hours.


--On Monday, December 3, 2001 1:53 PM +0800 Laurence Horn
<laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:

> 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.
> larry

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

More information about the Ads-l mailing list