Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Dec 3 19:05:41 UTC 2001

phil cleary:
 >Last night, I watched the WWI movie, "The Last (or Lost) Battalion,"
 >on A&E.  One of the American soldiers pronounced "defense" as

 >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.

in addition to the sports chants (do we really know that giants
fans were the source of DEfense in this context?), the forestressed
pronunciation has a long history as a variant in parts of the south
and south midlands, along with POlice, TENnessee, INsurance, and
a bunch of others.

is there a good survey of the words subject to this front-shifting,
with some indication of their geographical and social distribution?
(i suppose some account of the history would be too much to ask for.)

arnold (zwicky at

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