toponymic query

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Nov 12 19:58:31 UTC 2003

I had the following query from a "Fresh Air" listener; can anyone
help this correspondent? I very much doubt if the word he's looking
for exists, but then I'm a stranger to the far reaches of toponymic

Geoff Nunberg

>You may not be the right person to
>answer this question, but perhaps you know a person or type of person or a
>Web-based group of people who could answer it.  I have run out of all my own
>ideas for finding the answer.  The word-types at Syracuse University and
>LeMoyne College don't know what I'm talking about.
>What kind of scholar would be able to tell me the word for which the
>definition is "the special pronunciation of a proper noun, often a city
>name, used by the people who live there, separating the natives of a place
>from outsiders."?  An example is Cairo, Illinois, which is pronounced
>KAY-ROW by its citizens, and usually mispronounced "KEYE-ROW" by outsiders.

>I'm going crazy here, so I presumed to ask you for help.  Yours truly, Prof.
>S. P.  Webster

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