Forteh: UK pronunciation

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Jan 8 20:30:58 UTC 2009

Are there any words spoken by a majority of the public in the US that
end in an open "e"? It didn't even occur to me to consider such a
difference, but yes, I intended "for tay."

For the threads, search on "forte." BB

On Jan 8, 2009, at 9:09 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 11:32 AM +0000 1/8/09, Damien Hall wrote:
>> Benjamin Barrett said:
>> 'As has been discussed here before, the forteh pronunciation is
>> apparently
>> considered standard by most Americans.'
>> I'm loath to rehash old discussions that are already in the
>> archives, but I
>> can't remember this one, nor can I find it by searching the
>> archives (I'm
>> sure it exists, but it's difficult to know what search-term to use;
>> I used
>> 'forteh' and only came up with the present discussion.
> It might have been in threads discussing the "fortay" or "for-tay"
> pronunciation (vs. "fort").  I'm not sure I'd have used "forteh",
> which looks as though it should end with an open /E/ sound.  It's
> really a question of bisyllabicity vs. mono-.  I grew up mostly
> hearing "fortay" and at some point I consciously switched to "fort"
> once I realized it was a French loan and not an Italian, Spanish, or
> Latin one.  I hear both in the U.S., but usually the bisyllabic
> version.
> LH
> P.S.  I tend not to pronounce it at all unless I'm reading someone
> else's prose, because it's not quite a homonym with "fort", having
> more of a pronounced final -t, while the one in the defensive (or, in
> this season, snow) building is unreleased.
>> Anyway: this opinion about the standard pronunciation of _forte_ for
>> Americans would make sense given (what I consider as) the tendency
>> of AmE
>> to nativise pronunciation of Romance loan-words much less than BrE
>> does. I
>> have a certain amount of actual evidence that that's the tendency,
>> too,
>> from an experiment I did on two-syllable words a while back.
>> So now it becomes clear what my point is: as a speaker of BrE (and
>> now back
>> in England, too, at least for the time being), I pronounce this word
>> 'fortay'. I can't remember hearing any other pronunciation from
>> other BrE
>> speakers, either. I haven't seen 'The Duchess': does any of the
>> single-nationality British actors use the word and, if they do, how
>> do they
>> pronounce it?
>> Damien

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list