Pronouncing drug names (w. note for Wilson)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 30 21:32:05 UTC 2008

At 4:17 PM -0500 1/30/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>I should have written "attracts *secondary* stress," since the change
>is from "Lindle" with zero stress on the second syllable to secondary
>stress on that syllable, so that "LIN d at l" > "LIN Dell," hence
>"Lindell" is pronounced with two clearly-stressed syllables, but main
>stress is retained as in the local white standard..
>As for what causes the two communities to pronounce these words
>differently in the first place, that's a strange question to come from
>the mouth of an Englishman. What causes cockneys not to speak RP?
>Besides, are you unaware of the after-effects of several centuries of
>slavery and segregation? And cockneys are as white as any other random
>Englishman, pravda?
>I figure that the pronunciation of spellings like "Liddell" as
>"Liddle" is what motivated my BrE-speaking German friend to misspell
>"Waddell" as "Waddle." For several dekkids, I thought that the
>['lIdl]-Scott dictionary was the [lI 'dEl]-Scott dictionary.
>It's interesting that such spellings can be problematic even for
>natives of the Mother Country.

I remember being surprised to learn that the family name of Alice
Liddell, of Alice in Wonderland fame, and therefore of her father
Henry--Dean Liddell of Christ Church in Oxford, was pronounced
"Little" and not "Lid-DELL" (I'm pretty sure I made the same wrong
guess about the classical lexicographer), and that this explains some
puns on the part of Dodgson/Carroll on the name.  (I forget which
puns.)  It's possible that it was Martin Gardner, of _The Annotated
Alice_, who disabused me of the "Lid-DELL" pronunciation.

--LH, who may have been misled (mayzled?) by the fact that he
attended high school on Lin-DELL Boulevard.

The American Dialect Society -

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