I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 14 14:30:32 UTC 2006

There's no historical justiification AFAIK for / I / in the syllable -day.  / i  / seems unlikely for 1746. "Canada" could have / i / in theory, but the probably wouldn't rhyme.And since "Lusitania" in the Arnold poem has to have [ e ] or something close to it to rhyme,
  / 'kAn at di / would be irrelevant to it and just make everything murkier and more complicated.

  Than usual.


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Charles Doyle
Subject: Re: I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

Unless "lackaday" and "Canada" were both pronounced with final /i/ or /I/, like "holiday" in some dialects and "Sunday" (etc.) in most?


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 14:58:46 -0800
>From: Jonathan Lighter
>Subject: Re: I say "Lusitan-i-ay"
>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.
> JL

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