David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Tue Jun 1 12:19:29 UTC 2004

From:    Damien Hall <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>


: From my reading, the name of Preakness (NJ) is a member of the small
: class of words (eg *great*, *break*) which were not included in the
: sound-change whereby <ea> came to be pronounced [i:];  according to
: my reading, Preakness, NJ is pronounced [preiknIs].

: But, twice in the last two days, I've heard National Public Radio
: announcers pronounce it [prikn at s] ([@] = schwa).  Is this
: widely-attested?  Could we be witnessing a change in the normative
: pronunciation?

Coming into this a bit late, but i thought it might be useful to toss out a
Maryland native's (b. 1970, grew up south of DC) take on this: Growing up, i
never, ever heard "Preakness" pronounced as anything other than [prikn at s].
(I use the transcription system where [i] is tense, [I] is lax.) I was more
than shocked to find out, in grad school, that the Preakness was "actually"
pronounced [prekn at s].

One time i did fieldwork in Southern Maryland a bit ago, i figured i'd see
if i was just weird, and i asked people how they pronounced the name of the
race. By far the most common answer? [pImlIko], after the town it's run
in--and that's among the relatively few who could come up with a name for
the race at all. Kind of fitting for the forgotten leg of the Triple Crown,

Now if people could just explain why the play "O Christmas tree" before the
Preakness starts...


(In fear someone takes that last bit seriously: Yes, i do know why. I'm a
native Marylander, remember? I'm *used* to cringing at my state's anthem.)

David Bowie                               
    Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
    house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
    chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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