arKANsas (P.S.)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 19 15:19:27 UTC 2010

At 10:51 AM -0400 5/19/10, Geoffrey Nathan wrote:
>But I don't see. The last 'a' of ArkansAs is a low back rounded
>vowel in my dialect (rhymes with 'law')--and a quick hallway check
>shows that it has the same vowel in Michigan (my dialect is a weird
>hybrid British/Canadian).
>Of course, for 'awe-droppers' it will continue to rhyme with 'law',
>but will now have the same vowel (mutatis the necessary mutandes,as
>Paul Kiparsky used to say, not followed by an /r/).
>That is, phonemically /ark at nsa/ for 'awe-droppers' and /ark at nsO/ for
>those of us with too many low vowels.

OK, I was thinking of my own "non-awe-dropper" rendering, in which
that vowel is rounded.  Point taken--but I'm pretty sure that
penultimate "a" is not as in Italian even for Arkansan "awe-droppers".


>Geoffrey S. Nathan
>Faculty Liaison, C&IT
>and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
>+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
>+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)
>----- "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>>  From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>  Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 10:31:00 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
>>  Subject: Re: arKANsas (P.S.)
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>  Subject:      Re: arKANsas (P.S.)
>>  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 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.
>>  Oops, I see what you're getting at.  Nobody pronounces the last two
>>  "a"s of Arkansas "with the Italian sound".  The first one, yes.
>>  Guess the legislators got carried away.
>>  LH
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society -
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