Halloween pronunciation

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 1 14:19:05 UTC 2001

Well, I hear a lot of "Holloween" and also would expect to hear "All
Hollows' Eve", but this (New York/New England)  isn't really a
cot/caught merger area.  I think it's just a shift in these lexical
items, assimilating "hallow" to the more familiar "hollow", which I
do agree is basically a loss of transparency.  I also agree that the
usual pronunciation  around here of "Colorado", "Nevada", etc. with
the broad "ah" is a Spanishizing of the names--or, if you prefer, a
hyperforeignism, except that the state names really DO come from
Spanish, so our "ah" vowel is closer to the original than the
"proper" local [ae] pronunciation is.


At 8:54 PM -0500 11/1/01, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>This makes some sense, if you're a cot/caught merger; thus, 'hall' is
>extended to 'hallow,' again with no understanding, presumably, of the
>meaning of the word.  I'm sure there's no connection with the Spanishizing
>of the two states' names, which, someone wrote here a few years ago, seems
>to be an Eastern thing, right?  (Outsiders, as usual, get it wrong.)
>At 03:33 PM 11/1/01 -0800, you wrote:
>>I think it may be an analogy with 'hall' --and one of my students whom I
>>just quizzed gave that explanantion. Of course, the word comes from "All
>>Hallow E'en."  I don't think 'hallow' is pronounced as 'hollow.'  The
>>American Heritage Dictionary gives only your pronunciation.
>>I have also noticed in the news the pronunciations NevAHda and
>>ColorAHdo.  I never heard these pronunciations growing up and my mother,
>>aunts, and grandmother always said (and insisted upon) Colorado, rhyming
>>with 'bad'.  One of my students who is from Colorado insists on rhyming
>>with 'bad' and adds that 'everyone says that in Colorado.'

More information about the Ads-l mailing list