Baker, John M. JMB at STRADLEY.COM
Wed May 19 04:53:21 UTC 2010

1-4-105. Pronunciation of state name.

   Whereas, confusion of practice has arisen in the pronunciation of the name of our state and it is deemed important that the true pronunciation should be determined for use in oral official proceedings.        

   And, whereas, the matter has been thoroughly investigated by the State Historical Society and the Eclectic Society of Little Rock, which have agreed upon the correct pronunciation as derived from history and the early usage of the American immigrants.        

   Be it therefore resolved by both houses of the General Assembly, that the only true pronunciation of the name of the state, in the opinion of this body, is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final "s" silent, the "a" in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of "a" in "man" and the sounding of the terminal "s" is an innovation to be discouraged.        

History..Concurrent Resolution No. 4, Acts 1881, p. 216; C. & M. Dig., § 9181a; Pope's Dig., § 11867; A.S.A. 1947, § 5-102.
Note that, although there is indeed a state law on the pronunciation of the name, there are no penalties provided for its mispronunciation.
Can someone clarify what is meant by the Italian sound for the letter a?
John Baker


From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Barbara Need
Sent: Tue 5/18/2010 9:47 PM
Subject: Re: arKANsas

Yes, that was discussed on the list back in 2003!


Barbara Need

On 18 May 2010, at 6:19 PM, James Harbeck wrote:

> Barbara Need wrote:
>> I just heard Sen Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) pronounce the name of her
>> state arKANsas with the stress on the sedon syllable, and the final
>> s!
> Last I heard, there was actually a law against mispronouncing the
> state name on the books in Arkansas. Though if there is I don't think
> it's enforced much.

The American Dialect Society - <> 

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list