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Post Posted:: March 23rd, 2017, 10:41 pm 

Joined: June 24th, 2012, 10:28 pm
Posts: 1349
Location: Australia
Timothy Ferguson wrote:
My favourite odd pronunciation?

I've been doing a lot of naval history. The word "lieutenant". Now, many of you are going "Ah, I know that one, Americans say LOO-tenant and Brits say LEF-tenent".

In naval history, though, there's a third pronunciation. "let-ENANT"

I use it, much to the disappointment of everyone.



I thought you were in the right of it Timothy and (with the exception of poor Lord "Brougham") I value my life too much to challenge your pronunciations. From the Linguists List:

Quote:
Sooo..... we have two dialects, what appears to be a Marit]ime pronunciation, "lieutenant" and a nonMaritime form, "leftenant". American English uses the Maritime form. That is also the form closer to the French pronunciation, whence we can presume the English word to have been borrowed -- lieutenant [l'utnã]. So one might suppose the American~Maritime form to be the older and the [f] form to be newer. Also, the Yankee whalers, sailors, shipwrights, and merchants had more contact with mariners early in the colonial period than with soldiers.


Actually, I found the whole post fascinating - the theory is that the difference in the British naval and military pronunciations can be attributed to their having been borrowed from different Romance dialects or languages:

http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/message-details1.cfm?asklingid=200354833



Best,

Barbara


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Post Posted:: March 24th, 2017, 1:04 am 

Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
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Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)
... and going back a little in this discussion, "correct" pronunciation of a particular word can vary from place to place within a country. Oxford and Cambridge Universities both have a Magdalen College. One is pronounced "maudlin", one "MAG-dalen". I can never remember which belongs where, but, in general, how much effort should a reader put into finding out local pronunciations?

Peter

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Post Posted:: March 25th, 2017, 7:23 am 

Joined: February 16th, 2009, 5:30 am
Posts: 877
Thanks for this: from the same post, the guy says the third pronunciation is not dead. I'd heard of it as a sort of Australian linguistic fossil, but didn't know was still active in the British navy. I first became aware of it due to a description in the start of "1788" which was a professional recording of the Watkin Tench diaries. You could tell it was put there by Bolinda Audio precisely because they didn't want people writing in. 8)


"the pronunciation is always [letenənt] or something along that line -- not quite the [lu--] or [[l'u--] of the United States but certainly a lot more like the American pronunciation without the [f] than the Army pronunciation with it."

barbara2 wrote:

I thought you were in the right of it Timothy and (with the exception of poor Lord "Brougham") I value my life too much to challenge your pronunciations. From the Linguists List:

Quote:
Sooo..... we have two dialects, what appears to be a Marit]ime pronunciation, "lieutenant" and a nonMaritime form, "leftenant". American English uses the Maritime form. That is also the form closer to the French pronunciation, whence we can presume the English word to have been borrowed -- lieutenant [l'utnã]. So one might suppose the American~Maritime form to be the older and the [f] form to be newer. Also, the Yankee whalers, sailors, shipwrights, and merchants had more contact with mariners early in the colonial period than with soldiers.


Actually, I found the whole post fascinating - the theory is that the difference in the British naval and military pronunciations can be attributed to their having been borrowed from different Romance dialects or languages:

http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/message-details1.cfm?asklingid=200354833



Best,

Barbara

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Post Posted:: March 25th, 2017, 7:24 am 

Joined: February 16th, 2009, 5:30 am
Posts: 877
Peter Why wrote:
... and going back a little in this discussion, "correct" pronunciation of a particular word can vary from place to place within a country. Oxford and Cambridge Universities both have a Magdalen College. One is pronounced "maudlin", one "MAG-dalen". I can never remember which belongs where, but, in general, how much effort should a reader put into finding out local pronunciations?

Peter


I do regret that in my recording of Ned Kelly's Letter, I used the wrong pronunciation for Greta, a town where he was raised.

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Post Posted:: March 25th, 2017, 4:15 pm 

Joined: January 10th, 2017, 7:53 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Bay Area, California, USA
I agree with all that has been said here, and I also want to mention that having the pronunciation guide that is often put in the beginning of Dramatic Works is EXTREMELY helpful.

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Post Posted:: March 25th, 2017, 6:57 pm 
LibriVox Admin Team

Joined: April 3rd, 2008, 3:55 am
Posts: 27781
Location: Melbourne,Australia
It's not the total answer though. I emphasise different syllables in many words than most USA readers do.

Anne

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Post Posted:: March 25th, 2017, 7:15 pm 

Joined: January 10th, 2017, 7:53 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Bay Area, California, USA
yeah. I probably do different ones than my family does :P .
I actually really like listening to different accents, as long as they aren't to heavy (<- is that weird?) so I'm not complaining.

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