Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 19 14:28:28 UTC 2010

At 12:53 AM -0400 5/19/10, Baker, John M. wrote:
>  >From
>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
>    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?

Isn't that the standard description in e.g.
travel books for a low central unrounded vowel,
corresponding to [a]?  I thought "vowels are as
in Italian" was the conventional way of putting
it when a "default" is intended-- the
phonological equivalent of "tastes like chicken".
As far as the consequences for mispronunciation
go, I suppose not winning the primary to
determine whether she gets to try to retain her
seat may be considered a relatively severe


>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 -

The American Dialect Society -

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