I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Dec 13 22:58:46 UTC 2006

Here's a nearly parallel case from the mid 18th C.

  Lucy Terry Prince (1730-1821) is known as "America's first black poet";  she was of the generation just preceding the better known Phyllis Wheatley (1753-84).  Her only known poem, written when she was fifteen or sixteen (and praised by a recent critic for its "radical use of direct speech") memorializes the victims of an Indian raid near Deerfield, Mass., in 1746. It comprises four eight-line rhyming stanzas. The final stanza is as follows:

  And had not her petticoats stopped her,
  The awful creatures had not catched her,
  Nor tommy hawked her on the head,
  And left her on the ground for dead.
  Young Samuel Allen, Oh lackaday!
  Was taken and carried to Canada.

  Though "stopped / catched" (most likely  / kaCt / ) prevents the argument from being quite airtight, surely / e / is the pronunciation intended.


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