Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Nov 1 15:18:16 UTC 2001

Lynne Murphy wrote:

> --On Wednesday, October 31, 2001 2:28 pm +0800 Laurence Horn
> <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
> > Isn't everyone (at least in this country) an ICE-cream speaker?  To
> > join CE-ment and UM-brella, you could trade in your ICE-cream for
> > PO-lice.
> The UK is ice-CREAM, but as a north eastern USer, I say ICE-cream.

Is the stress still on CREAM in "ice cream cone" in British English?  And are you thinking
of RP, or of other lects in Jolly Ol'?

Since 'ice cream' is a semi-phrasal unit rather than a lexicalized compound like
'blackguard' or 'blackboard' it participates in variations in pitch and stress that
distinguish British and American intonation patterns.  Dennis Preston's posting on
Southern prefix-deletability clarifies a lot, but nothing clarifies everything.

hypothetical dialogue, with speaker not receiving responses from listener:
"Did you say you want some ice cream?" (pitch focus and pitch rise on 'cream' in Br but
pitch focus on 'ice' and pitch rise on 'cream' in Am)
"Did you say you want an ice cream cone?" (pitch focus on 'cone' in both Br & Am if focus
is contrastive: 'cone, not cup')
"Or a cup of ice cream?" (pitch focus on 'cup' in both Br and Am, with level or falling
pitch on 'cream')


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