I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 14 15:03:09 UTC 2006

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

I think the Sunday rhyme--with [ey] (or, for Tom Z's benefit, "long
a")--is far more likely; there are all those other songs with such
pronunciations as "Lusitan-i-ay", "Californ-Eye-Ay", and even "Til we
get to Buffalo-Eye-Ay", so "Cana-DAY" seems plausible enough as a
kind of disingenuous musical orthographic pronunciation if not an
actual one.


>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 14:58:46 -0800
>>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>>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
>>   JL
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list