Bananals in Bristol.

Back in 2009 I posted excerpts from the Wikipedia article on West Country dialects, including this:

In the Bristol area, a terminal “a” (realised as [aw], c.f. Albert as “Awbert”, cinema as “cinemaw”) is often perceived to be followed by an intrusive “l”. Hence the old joke about the three Bristolian sisters Evil, Idle and Normal — i.e., Eva, Ida, and Norma. Also the name “Bristol” itself (originally Bridgestowe, variously spelt).

I wrote then, “Unfortunately, as the Masters of Wiki say in a box at the top of the page, ‘This does not cite its references or sources,’ and I imagine it is not devoid of misstatements”; now, thanks to Paul (thanks, Paul!), I can present an essay by the linguist Chi Luu that opens with the same joke about “Evil,” “Idle,” and “Normal” and proceeds to discuss the topic with actual references (and links to audio clips):

The local Bristolian accent is notorious for a linguistic quirk known as intrusive-l, where some speakers seem unable to help themselves from adding a so-called dark “l” to syllables and words ending in certain neutral vowels—even going so far as to change the historical name of their city. It’s been suggested that appending an “l” at the end of a syllable was seen as more “correct” and thus started appearing in all sorts of places as speakers overcompensated, hypercorrecting words that never had an “l” to begin with.

Words like “areal” (area), “ideal” (idea), “pianol” (piano), “drawling” (drawing) and even the odd “bananal” (banana) have been noted. “Mango” becomes a homophone of “mangle” and “tango” sounds just like “tangle”. Check out this recording from the British Library Sounds collection for a few examples […]

To many, this might seem ever so slightly weird. Why add an “l” so randomly? […] Though it may be a little difficult to detect consistently, on the whole, there’s a well-documented sound change happening here. Once as a humble research assistant, I spent a summer cooped up in a dark room listening to countless strangers repeat words containing a syllable-final “l”, such as “milk” (which can sound more like “miwk”), “palm” (“paam”), “children” (“chiwdren”), “bottle” (“bottu”) and “cool” (“coo”). These words all contain just the right environment for the “l” to be replaced by some pod-person in the form of a vowelish sound that most people might still hear as an “l”. You may even be doing it yourself. Surprisingly, it’s found virtually everywhere…and it’s spreading. Sociolinguistic studies have shown that this emerging sound change, called l-vocalization, is widespread in dialects of English, from regions across the UK, Australia, New Zealand and yes, even the US, where it’s been observed all over, from California to Appalachia to Pennsylvania.

[…] But increasingly, l-vocalization is moving unnoticed into standard dialects of English, including British Received Pronunciation (RP), such that John Wells, an expert on accents of English, predicts that “it seems likely that it will become entirely standard in English over the course of the next century.”

She goes on to do an equally good job with intrusive-r; I recommend the whole thing.

Comments

  1. We noticed after we returned to Maryland having resided in Germany and Japan for a total of four years that our daughter was beginning to sound like a Baltimore local saying she would “drawl a picture” or tell us about something she “sawl.”

  2. Is “palm” a good example to use? Are there common pronunciations that include an /l/ sound? The OED doesn’t list it, so non-pronunciation of /l/ seems to have predominated for a fair while now.

    Then “palm” (and related) may be interesting as an *older* example of a similar shift, but not as part of this shift in progress.

  3. badgeradmirer says:

    Bristol iirc has final /@/ -> /O/, and indeed /Vl/ -> /Vw/, /VU/, etc is well documented in many dialects. Considering the first quote, I’m tempted to say that the “intrusive l” is by no means an l but rather a regular vowel change. I remember some parody of a dialect speaker with initial /hV/ -> /V/ and intial /V/-> /hV/, which seemed rather unlikely to reflect any single speaker, but maybe a continuum of hypercorrection and such, and it seems similarly possible to me that some bristol speakers may be hypercorrecting for /Vl/ -> /Vw/ and applying it to final vowels as well.

  4. My wife (born 1943 in North Carolina) has an explicit /l/ in palm, but that has to be a relic pronunciation, maybe a spelling pronunciation. I agree that John Wells wouldn’t have chosen PALM as the keyword for its lexical set if it was /l/-colored.

  5. We noticed after we returned to Maryland having resided in Germany and Japan for a total of four years that our daughter was beginning to sound like a Baltimore local saying she would “drawl a picture” or tell us about something she “sawl.”

    Ah, the old Maryland draw’…

    Re PALM: I’m pretty sure I just say “paam”, “caam” (calm), “baam in Gilead” etc. but I do distinguish between “barmy” (like PALM) and “balmy” (with l-colored vowel). I see from Wiktionary that this makes no sense at all, etymologically speaking, since (1) the direct ancestor of “balm” is “baume”, with the /l/ long gone, and (2) “barmy” is “probably an alteration of balmy” anyway.

  6. “Bananals” sounds like aldehydic components of the stench of bananas.

  7. Jennifer Hay and Andrea Sudbury’s 2005 study of New Zealand speakers suggests that the loss of “r” in a dialect is strongly tied to this appearance of “r” popping up in unexpected places. Perhaps you can’t have one without the other?

    Is there something new about this? As a non-rhotic speaker, it’s clear to me what has happened without doing a study.

    1. /r/ disappeared from pronunciation before consonants and before zero.

    E.g., /start/ became /sta:t/, /mʌðər/ became /mʌðə/, etc.

    2. /r/ was still pronounced before vowels, including word-final position when the following word started with a vowel.

    E.g., /ræt/ was still /ræt/, /mʌðər əv/ was still /mʌðər əv/, etc.

    3. The pronunciation /mʌðə/ became the default form of the word — speakers lost any consciousness of there being an /r/ in /mʌðə/.

    4. The /r/ in /mʌðər əv/ was then reinterpreted as a ‘linking r’ between words ending in vowels and words beginning with vowels. E.g., /mʌðə + r + əv/

    5. The linking /r/ was generalised to words without a final /r/ because, as I said above, there is NO LONGER ANY CONSCIOUSNESS of the word ‘mother’ ending in an /r/. To the non-rhotic speaker, /mʌðə/ is not perceived as being any different from /aidi:ə/ in terms of the pronunciation of the end of the word.

    6. There is no linking /r/ in certain environments, notably at the end of words ending in /i:/, where the linking sound is /j/ (e.g., /ði: + j + end/), or at the end of words ending in /oʊ/, where the linking sound is /w/ (e.g., /fɒloʊ + w + ət/) — although it’s hard to say whether these are regarded as ‘linking semi-vowels’ or simply as ‘sound transitions’.

    So yes, “you can’t have one without the other”.

    Since the mechanism is so crystal clear for intrusive /r/, I would have been interested to see how it applies to intrusive /l/. Instead, we get this completely unenlightening paragraph:

    Under the right conditions, this phenomena can be seen with l-vocalization and the intrusive-l as well. Gick in fact shows that the intrusive-l isn’t unique to Bristol. Overlapping with some of those regions in the US that happen to have strong l-vocalization, there’s ample data showing that intrusive-l is alive and well. “The intrusive l is a surprisingly widespread phenomenon, showing patterns similar to those seen in intrusive r. Its use has been primarily identified with working class and rural dialects in Pennsylvania, Delaware and other areas of the northeastern United States, though it has been reported in all other regions of the country except the Northwest.”

    Given that the author seems to have zero understanding of how intrusive /r/ developed, I don’t suppose it’s surprising that she throws the two together as being somehow “similar” without any kind of evidence at all, except that “it’s widespread” and “has been primarily identified with working class and rural dialects”.

  8. There’s a significant chunk of Americans (mostly in the Midwest and South?) who pronounce the “-alm” words with /l/, but as far as I know this is unknown in Britain.

  9. I also pronounce “-alm” words with a distinctly l-colored vowel. 1948, West Virginia.

    The only example of truly intrusive /l/ I know of in my dialect is “ideal” for “idea,” which has probably been influenced by the word “ideal.” I mentioned this in conversation in London in 1995 and had an interesting exchange with a Bristol native.

  10. Bathrobe: Absolutely right about how loss of coda /r/ leads to intrusive /r/; what was once a lexical feature of certain words has become an automatic phonological process, even leaking into the pronunciation of other languages. John Wells has a lovely post describing how the choir he belongs to sang a line from La Traviata as ne scopra[r] il nuovo dì with an English intrusive /r/!

    This isn’t the only way non-rhotic speech can go, to be sure. There are fully non-rhotic varieties of English, notably AAVE, in which there is no linking /r/, intrusive or otherwise, and hiatus reigns supreme: door is always [doʊ] even when a vowel follows. At one time, teachers of RP to speakers with other accents instructed their students to make linking /r/ only where it had existed etymologically, but I don’t know how successful this could possibly have been.

    Lastly, where rhotic speech is under pressure from non-rhotic speech, strange intrusive /r/s can appear. The Scottish (rhotic) phonetician Jim Scobbie reports that he says Chica[r]go, unau[r]thorized, thea[r]tre, idea[r], inau[r]gural, evidently by unconscious analogies like /stɑːt/ : /start/ :: /ʃɪkɑːgəʊ/ : /ʃɪkargoʊ/. Something similar must account for lexicalized idea[r] in the speech of some otherwise fully rhotic Americans. (Even full rhotics dissimilate away the first /r/ in some /r…r/ sequences like Feb[j]uary, lib[]ary, sec[]etary, where the ending is /ɛri ~ eɪri/, though this is stigmatized and lexically and individually variable — I have the first two but not the third.)

  11. Yeah, the practice in British dictionaries even today seems to be to add a superscript r on the ends of words that had an etymological /r/. But given the near universality of intrusive r in today’s Britain, it seems to me that it’s no more useful to do this than to mark the horse-hoarse or witch-which distinctions.

    Something similar must account for lexicalized idea[r] in the speech of some otherwise fully rhotic Americans.

    Idea, I think, may be a special case by virtue of its being smoothed from /aɪˈdiːə/ to /aɪˈdɪə/ in non-rhotic speech. When a non-rhotic speaker switches to rhoticity, their word-final /ɑː/, /ə/ and /ɔː/ can be rhoticized or not as the etymology calls for it, but /ɪə/ can only convert to a rhotic vowel.

  12. today’s Britain

    Well. Today’s England and Wales. But I agree about the uselessness of a merely etymological mark in the phonetic rendering: the spelling does that already!

    idea

    What about the proper names Judea, Medea? They never become hyperrhotic that I know of. Do they resist smoothing as well? (The name of Tyler Perry’s character Madea [sic] is a smoothed and derhoticized version of my dear.)

  13. ə de vivre says:

    The name of Tyler Perry’s character Madea [sic] is a smoothed and derhoticized version of my dear

    Geeze, this is like when I found out that Eeyore was supposed to sound like a donkey braying or that neither “Burma” nor “Myanmar” are supposed to have an “r” in them. Ye Olde Wikipedia says Tyler Perry’s from New Orleans, so I’m willing to believe pretty much anything about his accent.

  14. I don’t know about l-vocalization as an “emerging sound change”. If memory serves, there are l-less spellings of words like walk, talk etc. dating from the late Middle Ages.

  15. David Eddyshaw says:

    I lived in Bristol for years in the 1970’s and can attest from abundant first-hand experience that the final l thing is perfectly real.

    Calling it “intrusive l” is begging the question. There seems to me to be no good reason to link the phenomenon with intrusive r at all, and considerable difficulties in the way of coming up with a halfway coherent account of why it should be. For example, almost all English-of-England is both non-rhotic and has “vocalised” l; why would the phenomenon be confined to Bristol? Also the timescales are probably all wrong given the fair antiquity of the Bristol l thing.

  16. David Eddyshaw says:

    There’s also the fact that, well, it isn’t actually “intrusive”, being found before pause and before consonants. A lovely pair of Bristols!

  17. marie-lucie says:

    I had never heard of a phenomenon like the Briston one, but the opposite l > w is very well attested in Romance. In French it is responsible for the plural of cheval ‘horse’ being chevaux (silent x) (and similarly other words with the same endings). In French the change happened before consonant (as in English walk, talk, but in some Occitan it also happend word-finally, hence for instance prouençau (where au = [aw]) corresponding to French provençal. Within Occitan you have a dialectal difference eg prov. ostau, others ostal ‘house’ (using a standardized spelling).

    Phonetically there are two kinds of /l/, called light and dark, which depend on the position of the tongue. For light l (as in most French) the bulk of the tongue is in the front of the mouth and there is no resonance at the back, unlike the dark variety during which there is a much lower-pitched resonant component at the back. Dark l is most compatible with a perceived resemblance with [w]. British English (or at least the prestige versions) is supposed to have allophonic variation between the two l‘s, but American English mostly uses the dark variety.

  18. I took “intrusive” as meaning simply that the l was intruding where it wasn’t historically justified/expected.

  19. J. W. Brewer says:

    I can’t recall ever hearing the so-called “intrusive l” in Delaware, but I haven’t lived there for many decades now. His citation goes to Gick 1999, who cites only unpublished fieldwork no earlier than 1991 by himself and others and gives no Delaware-specific examples (depending on where his “south-central Pennsylvania” example was collected it might or might not be reasonably close by – I can’t say I have an intuition of exactly how far away from the Delaware state line southeastern Pa. might be thought by any given researcher to turn into south-central). I myself natively pronounce the /l/ in “palm,” which a footnote in the Gick piece says is common in Philadelphia, but the same footnote says it’s also common there to pronounce the /l/ in “talk,” which I don’t do, and often discussions about Philadelphia usage are unhelpfully vague as to whether the feature under discussion is part of a certain distinctive dialect generally not found too far outside the city limits (and only in some neighborhoods within them) or a is broader areal feature relevant to the speech of those who grew up in the Delaware Valley within some larger radius (about 25 miles for me) of Philly proper.

  20. J. W. Brewer says:

    Although here http://web.haskins.yale.edu/Reprints/HL1274C.pdf is a more detailed treatment by Gick (in 2002), claiming that some speakers with intrusive /l/ in e.g. York Co. Pa. and Harford Co. Md. are self-conscious about it and don’t use it when speaking to outsiders unless an extra-clever fieldworker figures out how to get them off their guard. He cites an unpublished 1993 conference presentation by Corey Miller (then a grad student at Penn, now a researched at U. Md. – College Park) for Delaware data, but it sounds like the data may come from in-depth study of a single speaker (middle-aged, female, living about 15 miles from where I grew up). Of course, I can’t say I never heard anything noteworthy about /l/ in the speech of peers and others growing up, but I can say with confidence that e.g. my 8th-grade English teacher who had a certain set of prescriptivist hobbyhorses re stigmatized features of non-elite local pronunciation didn’t have any /l/-related ones.

  21. Walk, talk, chalk, all, fall is a much older /l/-vocalization, not a general one but due to the influence of /w/ in the onset. When /(wa-/ became /wau-/ > /wɔ/ as in war, any following /l/ was simply dropped without affecting the quality of the preceding vowel; by analogy /(C)al-/ became /(C)au/ > /(C)ɔ/. Many words have partly undone this change, like half, which is /hæf/ or /hɑːf/ depending on later sound changes, or were too late, too long, or too learned to be affected by it, like wallet, alcohol.

  22. John, what makes you say it’s specifically to do with w-, rather than being a regular change [al.] > [au.]?

  23. One odd case for me is “almond”: although I say all the other “-alm” words with /ɑːm/, I say /ˈɒːlmənd/, assigning it to the “walk-and-talk” class. (The Sorkin class?) I was surprised when I learned that the standard pronunciation is /ˈɑːmənd/, since I had never associated it with the others.

  24. Does any dialect of English pronounce the ell in Holmes, as anything stronger than an approximant?

  25. The same, of course, happened to /ɔl/ > /ɔul/ > /ɔu/ (merging with the GOAT set) if /k/ or a nasal followed, as in folk, yolk, holm, Holmes. Spellings like foke can be found ca. 1400, and modern coke (fuel) goes back to ME colk. See also Malcolm, Lincoln, with a reduced unstressed vowel, and miscellaneous other cases like Holborn.

  26. What makes you say

    My dim and uncitable recollection that it started with /wa-/ words first, including /wal-/ words, and then spread to arbitrary /(C)al-/ words.

    Holmes

    Except by faint report, I know no Holmes but Sherlock, and I naturally give him a spelling pronunciation. This may be why what were called Holmesians in England were and are Sherlockians in These States (though the term has spread eastward): the former term would suggest /hoʊlˈmiziənz/ to the American eye.

  27. By the way, palm (both the plant and the palm of the hand) is of course a Latin loan (< PIE *pĺ̥h₂mah₂, but it used to have an exact cognate in Germanic: *fulmō > OE folm. Its last atteststion is about 1150, when it meant the sole of the foot. Had it survived, it would be now homophonous with foam.

  28. My dim and uncitable recollection that it started with /wa-/ words first, including /wal-/ words, and then spread to arbitrary /(C)al-/ words.

    I don’t think so. It happened mainly before /k/ (walk, talk, balk, stalk) and /f, v, m/ (half, calves, palm). Before a labial, the diphthong was smoothed, leaving a long “ah” vowel. In some cases the loss was earlier than the GVS, hence Ralph (as in Ralph Fiennes).

  29. One really crazy case is the pronunciation of the River Aln (Northumberland) /ˈæl(ə)n/ and the derived placenames Alnwick (Awnewick 1496, now /ˈænɪk/) and Alnmouth /ˈæl(ə)nməθ, -ˌmaʊθ/, plus the traditional variant /eɪl-/, with /l/ kept but /n/ lost. Alnham, from the same river, is locally Yeldom in the traditional South Durham dialect, spelt Aledome in the 17th c. (/n/ > /d/ by dissimilation).

  30. Oops, sorry, Northumbrian, not South Durham.

  31. Holmesians

    Or /hoʊlˈmiʒənz/, more likely

    I don’t think so

    Counterexamples, at least in my accent: wall, water, walrus, waltz

  32. Examples before /k/: ba(u)lk, ca(u)lk, ca(u)lkin, chalk, falcon, Falklands, Faulkner, stalk, talk, walk.

    Examples before /m, f, v/: almond, alms, balm, calf, calve, calm, Chalmers, half, halm, halve, malm, malmsey, Malmesbury, palm, psalm, qualm, Ralph, salmon, salve ‘soothe’.

    Befoer /n/: Alnwick, shan’t

    Of course in some of them the /l/ has been reintroduced to match the spelling, like in many other instances of formerly vocalised /l/. Note that e.g. the orthographic l in soldier and solder is artificial, and the former was pronounced “sojer” even in the most prestigious sociolects of English until the 19th century.

  33. In all of the US, I think, L is dropped from “solder” and the O became short, but not “older” or “colder”, although the L is dropped in the south. But I think other English-speaking countries do rhyme “solder” with “colder”.

    An interesting example of southern L-dropping is Little Richard’s version of The Girl Can’t Help It, where the backup chorus sings “Can’t help it, the girl can’t help it”, while Little Richard equally clearly sings “The girl cain’t he’p it”.

    I was brought up to pronounce the L in “calm”, “balmy”, etc., but I’m not sure I really do. I would go for an L in “Holmes” too. It might have been an attempt to introduce a spelling pronunciation. Some of my teachers also insisted on the WH in “which”, which I never got, although my wife says it naturally.

    Dropping the L in “wolf”, “calculate”, etc., is something I associate with the upper midwest, but that’s just my experience.

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed intrusive L, but intrusive R frequently.

  34. When I first came to Australia I was perplexed by the name of a kid in my class – /dænjəɔw/. Until I saw it in writing: Daniel.

    Incidentally, you can here more and more of /r/ > /j/ in “February” /febjuəri/ here in Perth even on TV.

  35. This may be why what were called Holmesians in England were and are Sherlockians in These States (though the term has spread eastward): the former term would suggest /hoʊlˈmiziənz/ to the American eye.

    I sat in on a college class in which the teacher — a philosophy professor, mind you — used /hɒbiːʒən/ for Hobbesian (the adjectival form of Hobbes).

  36. There was an unmusical Persian[*]
    With a curious sort of perversion:
        He thought that the part
        That was words was by Art,
    And he thought that the tunes were Gilbertian.
            —Isaac Asimov

    [*] Introduced solely for the sake of the rhyme, I assure you.

  37. @ John Cowan

    1. Judea, Medea

    “Judear is a place in Palestine” — OK

    “Take Medear off the map” — OK

    The use of /r/ here is automatic in colloquial register. The main problem is that places like this don’t come up very often in everyday conversation. People who talk about them are likely to be more aware of etymological origins.

    2. When a non-rhotic speaker switches to rhoticity, their word-final /ɑː/, /ə/ and /ɔː/ can be rhoticized or not as the etymology calls for

    For non-rhotic speakers, the normal tendency is to add an ‘r’. This can, of course, be influenced by education.

    For /ɑː/, A spar is a place to relax in hot water and have a massage — OK

    For /ɔː/, Law and order is the classic example, which rhymes with Lore and order.

    3. There are cases where even /oʊ/ is converted to schwa and an /r/ added in WORD-INTERNAL linking.

    For example, /fɒlərən ɒn/ for ‘following on’. Needless to say, this isn’t regarded as a particularly sophisticated pronunciation, but it certainly exists in Australia. Also /hɒlərən aʊt/ for ‘hollering out’.

    4. I’d like to stress again that for a non-rhotic speaker, post-vocalic ‘r’s’ used in spelling are the same as any of the other mysteries of English spelling. ‘Ore’, ‘or’, ‘oar’, and ‘awe’ are all just perceived as different ways of spelling the same sound. Similarly for ‘pour’, ‘pore’, ‘poor’, and ‘paw’. Of course some more sophisticated speakers will make an attempt to differentiate ‘poor’ from the others, and students of ‘Speech and Drama’ will be taught that ‘paw’ doesn’t have an ‘r’ and can’t be linked using an ‘r’, but for the average speaker these words are all homonyms. The ‘r’ is just another freak of spelling.

  38. For my last comment, sorry, I can’t speak on behalf of all non-rhotic speakers, but I can speak for Australian non-rhotic speakers, at least in the older generation.

  39. “Judear is a place in Palestine” — OK

    “Take Medear off the map” — OK

    Sure. I wasn’t asking if they have a linking /r/, I was asking if they are smoothed (two syllables) or not (three syllables). Idea is smoothed in RP and related accents, but not in American English normally.

  40. Sorry, I missed your point!

    In Australian English ‘idea’ is commonly smoothed to two syllables — just as ‘beer’ and ‘ear’ are commonly smoothed to one. I’m not sure how to characterise the vowel. I think it’s centred from /e:/.

  41. I’d like to stress again that for a non-rhotic speaker, post-vocalic ‘r’s’ used in spelling are the same as any of the other mysteries of English spelling. ‘Ore’, ‘or’, ‘oar’, and ‘awe’ are all just perceived as different ways of spelling the same sound.

    Sadly, I’ve seen many lay linguistic discussions descend into total chaos as the result of this issue. An English or Australian participant will offer a naive phonetic respelling using ar or er, the Americans will be baffled by the apparent presence of an inexplicable /r/ sound, and the former party will be baffled by their bafflement. Almost invariably, neither side is capable of making the simple logical leap necessary to resolve the issue. (Don’t you guys know that Americans say all their R’s? Don’t you other guys know that English people don’t?)

    For example, I once saw a discussion about dialectal pronunciation quirks, and some poor British guy asked why it was that Americans tend to pronounce “parmesan” as “parmejarn”. I immediately knew what he meant – he was referring to the common American use of /ʒ/ rather than /z/ in that word – but he was met with nothing but derisive incredulity from all my compatriots. I tried offering a defense, but it was buried in the avalanche of hostile replies.

    Or for another example, the Yoruba-named British band (and singer) Sade, pronounced /ʃɑːˈdeɪ/, whose producers put “Pronounced Shar-day” on their record notes – causing a generation of Americans to mispronounce it.

  42. And Judea/Medea, do they rhyme with idea, or do they remain unsmoothed as “sophisticated” words?

  43. marie-lucie says:

    JC: Holmesians : /hoʊlˈmiʒənz/, more likely

    LH: a philosophy professor, mind you — used /hɒbiːʒən/ for Hobbesian (the adjectival form of Hobbes).

    Why not? Philosophers know Cartesian as the adjectival form of Descartes.

    Descartes’s name was (very late) Latinized as Cartesius, hence the adjective Cartesianus, at a time when scholarly communication across borders was done in Latin and names had to be adapted. I wonder if the Latinization would have been the same in an earlier period, since the final -s in the French name is a plural suffix, which Latin speakers of the Roman period would have omitted in deriving the adjective.

  44. marie-lucie says:

    … and in Latinizing the name itself.

  45. marie-lucie says:

    Lazar: why it was that Americans tend to pronounce “parmesan” as “parmejarn”

    Regarding the consonant before the stress: no doubt because they start from the Italian parmigiano rather than the French parmesan.

  46. @ John Cowan

    Judea/Medea would remain unsmoothed. Although if they should ever enter the common vocabulary of the Great Unwashed, I’m sure they wouldn’t be immune to smoothing…

  47. Why not? Philosophers know Cartesian as the adjectival form of Descartes.

    Why not? Because it’s wrong! I also knew an English teacher who thought George Eliot was a man; you might say “Why not? George is usually a man’s name,” and that would be a kind and generous thought, but he’s a teacher, he should know better!

  48. A bit late for this particular topic, but I’ve read the late Cardinal Cushing of Boston used to intone “Osannar in excelsis.”

  49. Re: Jud(a)ea, Medea.

    John Wells gives disyllabic /ʤuˈdɪə, məˈdɪə/ as his first choice for both names in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary.

  50. J. W. Brewer says:

    I think of the pronunciation hat deprecates as the standard one for “Hobbesian.” So much so that I had to think for a moment before I could make an educated guess as to what he might prefer. Apart from the analogy to Cartesian, I would note that Thomas Hobson (alleged namesake of “Hobson’s choice”) tends to get muddled up with Thomas Hobbes, so a pronunciation of “Hobbesian” that sounds maximally unlike Hobson has some advantages when it comes to disambiguation.

  51. Too, Hobbes was a compatriot of Rhodes …

  52. There are also two obsolete variants, Hobbian and (the rarest of ’em all) Hobbish. I suppose they could be interpreted as a byforms of Hobbitish by modern readers.

  53. What about Bayesian and Keynesian?

  54. I say /ˈbeɪziən/ (quite often) and I would say /ˈkeɪnziən/ (if I had to discuss Keynesian economics).

  55. marie-lucie says:

    Why not? Philosophers know Cartesian as the adjectival form of Descartes.

    My question was intended to be humorous or sarcastic.

    I had not thought of Rhodesian and others.

  56. I once heard an artist described on television as having a sense of the grotesque that was “positively Goyish.”

  57. marie-lucie says:

    “positively Goyish.”

    I guess you can’t even use a Spanish-like form: goyesque (from goyesco/goyesca) would be almost as bad (“almost”, because -esque is not fully assimilated in English, I think). Goya-esque ?

  58. –esque has some productivity in English – for example, most major film directors yield a good number of ghits if you search for [surname]esque. Goyaesque could work on the precedent of the well-established adjective Kafkaesque (which also takes us back to the topic of word-internal intrusive r).

  59. marie-lucie says:

    Lazar: I agree there is some productivity for -esque, but my impression is that it is restricted to a fairly specialized, arty and sophisticated vocabulary, unlike -ish which is quite basic. Indeed -ish goes back to Proto-Germanic, but -esque is a borrowing from French, itself an adaptation of Italian -esco/-esca borrowed a few centuries ago, eg It pittoresco borrowed as Fr pittoresque. On the other hand English reformed the word on an etymological basis as picturesque. Even if -esque and -ish might have the same PIE origin, they have had quite different histories.

    Kafkaesque : Perhaps I have never heard this word (as opposed to reading it), so I am surprised to learn that it might have a “word-internal intrusive r”. Is that a common pronunciation? Just British? If not, how else is it pronounced?

  60. In the US it’s generally [ˌkʰɑfkəˈ(ʔ)ɛsk], but if I’m not mistaken it’s usually [ˌkʰæfkəˈɹɛsk] in England. (In fact it’s mentioned here along with Goyaesque.) I can’t recall hearing anyone with a Boston or New York accent say it, but I’d hazard a guess that they’d use the intrusive r too.

  61. Yep, I’d expect an intrusive r in a trad-Aus “kafkaesque” too.

  62. I have always said /kinz/ and /kinziən/, by analogy with Milton Keynes /kinz/, but I see by WP that that’s wrong. This is a split: the original village of Milton Keynes < Middletown of de Cahaignes, the original name of which Keynes is a modern form.

    I think I hear Woody Allen saying Kafkaesque with hiatus (no intrusive /r) in my head, but I could be quite wrong. Anyway, maybe it’s Diane Keaton (from LA) who says it.

  63. Goya

    A Basque name, a fact which should not be allowed to spoil this joke:

    A man did well in business, and celebrated his wealth by buying a Rubens. Then he got even richer, sold the Rubens, and bought a Goya ….

  64. For Goya I would have said Goyesque, but I can’t swear I’ve seen it in English; I’m probably thinking of the Spanish. On consideration Goyaesque seems better.

    And I don’t think anyone has mentioned Borgesian, pronounced (IIRC) “Borjeezian” even by people who can pronounce “Borges.” The Spanish is borgiano.

  65. Is the hope for a more Spanish (or Argentinian) pronunciation of Borgesian quixotic?

  66. Alon Lischinsky says:

    In all fairness, Borges is originally a Portuguese surname, and in that language it’s pronounced with /ʒ/ (though the term on which it’s based has since evolved to burguês /buɾˈgeʃ/).

  67. So Borges himself believed, in which case it would be cognate to and synonymous with bourgeois, ultimately from Germanic burg. But there is also Catalan burgès of the same meaning, and there are a number of places in Catalonia with Borges itself in their names. The city of Bourges in Central France is also a possible source of the surname: it’s not clear if this is yet another cognate, or derived from the tribe of the Bituriges, who lived in and around Avaricum/Bourges in pre-Roman times.

  68. marie-lucie says:

    Bourges

    The traditional view (the only one I know) is that the word derives from the name of the local Bituriges. This view seems to me to be correct.

    Many names of French towns and cities derive from the names of the Celtic tribes who lived there at the time of the Roman conquest, rather than the names of their towns. For instance, Paris is named after the Parisii tribe, even though the city continues a Gaulish village named Lutetia. Similarly the Bituriges lived in and around the town of Avaricum, but that name did not survive. (All the Gaulish names are known by their Latinized forms). Note that the names thus derived have survived in plural form.

    French bourgeois derives from le bourg, a borrowing from Germanic burg denoting a fortified town or village. The French word is still used to refer to a very small town, a hub in a rural area, providing access to businesses and local administration. This is the origin of bourgeois, which refers to a town dweller as opposed to a rural one.

    The word bourg occurs in the names of many old French towns, for instance Beaubourg, Bourg-le-Roi ‘the king’s burg, Bourg-la-Reine ‘the queen’s burg, Bourg-en-Bresse ‘burg in Bresse’ (a region in Central France; the g here is pronounced [k]), and others. This corresponds to German burg and English borough. (Strasbourg near the German border is the French transcription of an Alsatian name, Alsatian being a German dialect; the German name is “Strassburg”, where ss here is from sz, written with a special character). Note that bourg in all those names (as in the German and English ones) is always singular and with some modifier added.

    So the name of the city of Bourges is much more compatible with a Gaulish origin than a Germanic one.

    As for the name of the writer, possibly of Catalan origin, I am not competent to give an opinion.

  69. marie-lucie says:

    The t in Bituriges would have disappeared through intervocalic weakening, a general rule in the evolution of French from Latin.

  70. The traditional view (the only one I know) is that the word derives from the name of the local Bituriges. This view seems to me to be correct.

    Same here.

  71. Alon Lischinsky says:

    @John Cowan: Catalan borges is simply the plural of borja ‘rancho; hut’, an unlikely source for a surname (more likely would be the demonym borgenc).

    Burgès could work as a source, though to the best of my knowledge it’s always been spelled with ⟨u⟩ — and in any case it still has /ʒ/ 🙂

  72. marie-lucie says:

    Alon: Catalan borges is simply the plural of borja ‘rancho; hut’, an unlikely source for a surname

    I don’t see why this would be unlikely: like many old surnames it would refer to the place where a family lived: in this case, where there was a group of such constructions. In French and Italian such names usually start with a version of de ‘of’, as in Fr Deschamps ‘of the fields’, It Del Monte ‘of the mountain’. etc. When I was a student there was an English prof called Las Vergnas which I suspect was a Catalan name, and a classmate called Vergnes which was either the same Catalan noun or a French adaptation of it.

    Catalan is very close to some Occitan dialects, one of which was my maternal grandparents’ native language. Unfortunately I only learned a smattering of it, but when I see written Catalan I find much that is familiar. When I saw borja I immediately thought of a fragment of a song I remember, in which there is a parallelism between [borio] and the word meaning ‘house’. I had been led to believe that [borio] meant ‘field’, but it seems to me more likely that it is a cognate of borja (final unstressed a has become [o] in almost all Occitan varieties).

    borg(u)es : I think it is unlikely that a word without the u would acquire it. In Spanish and in French, the sequence gu before a front vowel indicates a “hard g” while the lack of u indicates a different sound, in French a palatal fricative, in Old Spanish the same sound, later evolving into the current velar fricative also written j. In either of he two languages there is no way that an original sequence ge would change in such a way as to require inserting u for a spelling adjustment. The reason for such a spelling change could only be because the meaning of the word burges or borges (perhaps having become obsolete, or because it was a ‘foreign” word) was reinterpreted by confusion with the better known word burgués ‘bourgeois’.

  73. marie-lucie says:

    Ah, I had not thought of looking for an Occitan dictionary. Here is a digest from the Tresor dou Félibrige, an older dictionary with a conservative, French-inspired spelling.

    BORI, BORIO from Lat boria, boaria ‘stable for oxen’. High Languedoc dialect: ‘farm, rural estate’, Provence ‘hovel, hut’.

    In Gascogne this word is a compoment of many family names, eg Laborio, Laborie, Bory, Les Bories.

    I think that’s the cognate of Cat borja/borges.

  74. Catalan borges is simply the plural of borja ‘rancho; hut’, an unlikely source for a surname (more likely would be the demonym borgenc).

    I think Rodrigo Borja/Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) might have demurred.

  75. “know no Holmes but Sherlock”

    What about the Oliver Wendells? I’ve never heard their names pronounced without the L.

  76. Katie Holmes, anyone?

  77. I’m pretty sure that in Australia at least she’s “Katie Homes.”

    Also, re the adjectival form of “Borges,” my pronunciation is “Borhesian” (rhymes with four-syllable UK-style pronunciation of “Cartesian”). I doubt I picked that one up on the mean streets of suburban Melbourne though.

  78. @Rodger C: Borja is a reasonably common (though not frequent) Aragonese/Catalonian surname; I haven’t met any Borges in my years in Barcelona, though.

    It’s not entirely impossible that it could exist; other habitational surnames do occur in the plural (e.g., Molins is far more common than Molí, and Camps/Camp stand in a similar relation), so I should perhaps tone down my initial assertion, but until I find any attested Catalonian Borges I’ll remain doubtful.

  79. Question for the Australians in the thread, somewhat related to what Bathrobe was talking about above.

    One of my friends who has a garden variety rhotic American accent but who spent several months in Australia always pronounces Melbourne without the r: something like MEL-bun. This for some reason really bugs me: he wouldn’t say Edinburgh with a trilled r or talk about the famous prime minister Chuchill, so why MEL-bun? But I was just wondering how an Australian would react to this pronunciation if it came from an American: would it sound totally normal? a little bit weird? like the speaker was trying too hard to be Australian?

    Does anyone else have any other examples of rhotic speakers adopting conspicuously non-rhotic pronunciations of Australian or English proper names? To me it seems quite unusual.

  80. Hmm, I guess actually “MEL-bun” could be ambiguous when we’re comparing words across different accents. What I meant was (copying from Wikipedia): /ˈmɛlbən/

  81. One of my friends who has a garden variety rhotic American accent but who spent several months in Australia always pronounces Melbourne without the r: something like MEL-bun.

    Couldn’t it be that he just picked it up from hearing it constantly around him? It doesn’t require the kind of special effort that using a trilled r for Edinburgh would; it strikes me as more like coming back from a stay in New Orleans saying “N’Awlinz” (or, for that matter, coming back from Edinburgh saying it with -boro instead of the -burg Americans often use).

  82. Well, in my Northeast-to-mid-Atlantic American accent I would pronounce Holborn (which is a tube station and a neighborhood) as Hole-burn. But when I am in London I say Hoe-bin. If I were to say Hole-burn, people would say, “What’s that? Oh, Hoe-bin!”

  83. Speaking as an ex-Melburnian, it might sound a little odd to me in the context of an otherwise unremarkably rhotic US accent. But I wouldn’t assume they were “trying too hard” or anything like that. (If I were thinking along those lines, my hypothesis would probably be that they adopted it to stop Melburnians making fun of their rhotic pronunciation of the city’s name.)

    I think the “Edinburgh” example that languagehat raises is worth thinking about, too. Your friend might be interpreting “MEL-bun” as an idiosyncratic pronunciation that has come completely adrift from its spelling rather than a non-rhotic pronunciation of the word as spelled. In that case, adopting “MEL-bun” would be as natural as adopting “Edinboro” rather than insisting on keeping the rhyme with “iceberg” after learning that this is not considered correct.

  84. Exactly, and well put.

  85. Sarah McConnell of the “With Good Reason” radio show always pronounces Norfolk as something like /ˈnɔfək/, which never sounds right to me coming from a rhotic speaker (as she is). I say /ˈnɔrfək/, and it’s what I’d expect from other rhotic speakers. But maybe she’s doing as Matt says and considers the missing /r/ to be like the missing /l/, just a irregular noncorrespondence between spelling and pronunciation, rather than a dialectal difference in rendering phonemes.

  86. Not sure if you’re talking about Norfolk, VA or Norfolk in England, but in Virginia the local pronunciation doesn’t have an r, even for rhotic local speakers. You can hear it repeatedly in this video.

  87. Matt, languagehat: Y’all are are most likely right. I’m definitely not trying to claim that my peevery in this case is rational, but it still bugs me.

    Mildly related: I love this video where an English kid in America tries to pronounce mall (“marl”), which he decides is a word you can only say with an American accent.

  88. Trond Engen says:

    Hat: coming back from Edinburgh saying it with -boro

    Anything can be boroughed in a bilingual context.

  89. matematichica says:

    My experience with Melburnians was that rhotic vs nonrhotic pronunciation went unremarked on in a person with a rhotic accent, but not reducing the vowel in “bourne” to a schwa was perceived as somewhat grating. (I wasn’t there long, though, and a friend who spent several years there has adopted the non-rhotic pronunciation, just as Will’s friend did.)

  90. marie-lucie says:

    When I was perhaps 12 years old, I learned from my English teacher that Edinburgh was pronounced “Edinbruh”. I remember it very well because it sounded so different from what the spelling led us to infer.

  91. Will, it was Norfolk, Virginia. I guess I wasn’t local enough when I lived in Hampton or in Yorktown. I never lived in Norfolk itself.

  92. As matematichica said, “Mel-bourne” sounds grating when each syllable is spelt out clearly. An American who persisted in this pronunciation could only be regarded as deliberately trying to maintain his Americanness. But dropping the ‘r’ is not de rigueur. The American pronunciation of Brisbane as “Briz-bane” /brɪzbein/ is also grating since the local pronunciation is “Brizben” /brɪzbən/.

    I think that picking up the local pronunciation of place names is one of the first things that happens when you live in a place. For a Queenslander, it’s normal to pronounce Newcastle as /nju:kæsl/, but since my family lived near there for a number of years during my childhood the entire family switched to the local version /nju:ka:sl/. (The word ‘castle’ shifted with it.)

    I don’t believe that aversion to out-of-town pronunciations is exclusive to Australia. I’ve seen Americans complain of British people mispronouncing American place names. If I remember rightly, Nevada, Los Angeles and possibly Alabama are examples.

    Strangely, some local pronunciations are more easily adopted than others. /ælə’bæmə/ is easy to adopt instead of /ælə’ba:mə/, but /nə’væ:də/ sounds affected compared to /nə’va:də/, probably because long /æ:/ is not used in RPA or Australian English, and I suspect I would personally feel some resistance to adopting it if I was living there.

  93. matematichica says:

    Aversion to out-of-town pronunciation is certainly not a uniquely Aussie trait! Oregonians are not best-pleased with pronunciations that emphasis the “gon” part of their state name, either.

  94. @Bathrobe: I don’t understand what you mean about /æ:/ in Nevada. That’s not a phoneme in AmEng (or at least, not in western AmEng).

  95. George Gibbard says:

    An Australian linguist told me he did have a length contrast /æ/ : /æː/, exemplified in the sentence “I b[æ]gs (=claim) the b[æː]gs”.

  96. George Gibbard says:

    But I might have it backwards which word was which, come to think of it.

  97. Keith Ivey: I was too definitive when I said that the r-less pronunciation is the local pronunciation. You can definitely hear both in the Norfolk City Council video I linked. The mayor clearly and consistently uses the r-less variety, though, so that must count for something. I’ve spent a little time in Newport News, but am definitely not an expert on the local Virginia speech, which is why I checked youtube before posting 🙂

    Bathrobe: Many (most?) Americans pronounce Nevada with a long ah sound, which apparently displeases the real Nevadans, but they’re probably used to hearing it. /ælə’ba:mə/ on the other hand, sounds exotic.

  98. Jonathan D says:

    As several Australians have already pointed out, the stressed second syllable in the typical US pronunciation of Melbourne really is grating/discouraged. When someone has that ‘corrected’, I’d imagine it’s not that unusual for the ‘r’ to disappear as well. It’d be more interesting if someone came back saying /ˈmælbən/, as so many locals do these days.

    I tend to pronounce Newcastle (Tyne) and Newcastle (Hunter) differently, but only since spending a few years in the UK, but I’m surprised to hear that Queenslanders use the æ version. For some reason I thought within Australia that was restricted to Victoria.

  99. By the way, how should I be saying “Queensland” – /ǝ/ or /æ/?

  100. Just remembered hearing ‘both’ pronounced as ‘bolth’, [bol̞ˠ͡θ], by U.S. speakers.

  101. Length is not phonemic in AmE except at a very abstract level in which the KIT vowel is /i/ and the FLEECE vowel is /iː/, assuming that for some reason you prefer an abstract phonology with length to one with quality. Actual length, however, follows a modified Scottish Vowel Length Rule, rather than being locked to the identity (= quality) of the vowel as in RP, or truly phonemic as in AusE cup [kap] vs. carp [kaːp].

    The cases in which LAD-BAD split on vowel length outside the U.S. (not just in Australia, but in the UK too) are represented in AmE by [æ] vs [eɪ], as in the noun and verb can respectively. This is not always and everywhere phonemic, however, In my dialect, for example, it is a sociolinguistic variable, with pure [æ] as my native TRAP vowel, and [eɪ] before nasals but [æ] elsewhere as my partial adaptation to a NYC accent.

  102. @ Lazar and will

    I don’t understand what you mean about /æ:/ in Nevada. That’s not a phoneme in AmEng (or at least, not in western AmEng).

    Many (most?) Americans pronounce Nevada with a long ah sound, which apparently displeases the real Nevadans

    I guess that’s where I got my misinterpretation from. So do Nevadans have /æ:/ as a phoneme? Or is it just natural lengthening?

    @ Lazar

    By the way, how should I be saying “Queensland” – /ǝ/ or /æ/?

    ‘Queensland’ can be pronounced either way, /ǝ/ or /æ/.

    @ George Gibbard

    An Australian linguist told me he did have a length contrast /æ/ : /æː/, exemplified in the sentence “I b[æ]gs (=claim) the b[æː]gs”.

    I’ve never heard this. For me, the “bags” in “I bags” is pronounced the same as the “bags” in “my bags”.

    Australian English does have the length variation between /bæt/ and /bæːd/ or /bæk/ and /bæːk/, which is apparently not universal in the English-speaking world. “Had” is, however, pronounced /hæd/.

    @ Jonathan D

    Queenslanders do indeed say /æ/. It always caused me problems when we sang our childish ditty:

    “I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal”. I wasn’t sure what a rascal was, and I certainly wasn’t sure if rhyming it with ‘castle’ as /ræskǝl/ was right.

  103. Oops, second one should have been /bæːg/.

  104. George Gibbard says:

    Australian English does have the length variation between /bæt/ and /bæːd/ or /bæk/ and /bæː[g]/, which is apparently not universal in the English-speaking world. “Had” is, however, pronounced /hæd/.

    I (Michigan) have this too, though no phonemic opposition. It also goes into “Canadian raising”, which I think to some extent characterizes most US accents too: for me write [ɹɐjt] : ride [ɹajd] (this also happens in Scotland). But it’s claimed Australians have real phonemic vowel length (which I don’t), and that Australian “bud” and “bard” differ only by length. Is this true? And does final consonant voicing affect length in, say, “butt”, “Bart”, “bud” and “bard”? Or is that confined to *[æ]?

  105. The Scottish vowel length rule is a bit different, though, being morphophonemic: ride and right both use [ɐɪ], but side [sɐɪd] and sighed [saɪd] are distinguished.

    I have Canadian raising myself, being from Massachusetts. My impression is that it’s common in many American dialects* and probably spreading, but not universal. For example, I’ve sometimes mistaken Californian writer and writing for rider and riding.

    *Especially if the definition extends to things like the lack of monophthongization of /aɪ/ before voiceless consonants in the coastal South.

  106. Australian English does have the length variation between /bæt/ and /bæːd/ or /bæk/ and /bæːk/, which is apparently not universal in the English-speaking world. “Had” is, however, pronounced /hæd/.

    My siblings and I found it hilarious when my mother (raised in Tasmania) pronounced the word “sad” /sæd/ instead of /sæːd/. (She did pronounce “bad” /bæːd/, though, so I don’t think it was a case of idiolect-wide ensmallening of the /æ/ vowel.) An Australia-wide survey of /æ/ length variations would probably turn up some interesting things.

  107. David Marjanović says:

    6. There is no linking /r/ in certain environments, notably at the end of words ending in /i:/, where the linking sound is /j/ (e.g., /ði: + j + end/), or at the end of words ending in /oʊ/, where the linking sound is /w/ (e.g., /fɒloʊ + w + ət/) — although it’s hard to say whether these are regarded as ‘linking semi-vowels’ or simply as ‘sound transitions’.

    Well, they’re not a linguistic universal; I find the linking [j] of some Englishes very noticeable, as much as 1990s written Croatian Vijagra and Koreja.

    I don’t know about l-vocalization as an “emerging sound change”. If memory serves, there are l-less spellings of words like walk, talk etc. dating from the late Middle Ages.

    But that’s specifically -al-. Milk in two syllables, or people as ~ [ˈpʰiːpʰoː], are more recent phenomena.

  108. “bud” and “bard” differ only by length. Is this true? And does final consonant voicing affect length in, say, “butt”, “Bart”, “bud” and “bard”? Or is that confined to *[æ]

    Yes, “bud” and “bard” differ only by length, but strangely I don’t think this is perceived as a length opposition by native speakers.

    Final consonant voicing doesn’t have a great impact on length in “butt” and “bud”, but it does in “Bart” and “bard”, as it does in “write” and “ride”, “rote” and “rode”, and (of course) “back” and “bag”. It’s less noticeable but marginally present in “cat” and “cad” (unlike “sat” and “sad”), “pot” and “pod”. There doesn’t appear to be a noticeable difference between “let” and “led” (“set” and “said”).

  109. Frank Gibbons says:

    I have six-year-old boy/girl twins, in the Boston area, where many speakers are non-rhotic and intrusive-r is common. My son uses intrusive-ell, saying things like “I sawl it”, “I’m drawling you a picture”. The daughter doesn’t. I’ve never heard anyone else do this – is he an early adopter of the next trend (I know it’s usually girls/women who drive linguistic trends).

  110. Since the historical /wa/ > /wɔ/ shift was mentioned: I just noticed that Steven Spielberg appears to say “war” as /wɑɹ/ rather than /wɔɹ/. For example, here, here or here. He doesn’t seem to use it for other members of HORSE as in a classic Missouri accent, though for what it’s worth wiki does show the distinguishing territory extending almost all the way to Cincinnati, where he’s from, so maybe it is indeed a remnant of the distinction.

  111. FWIW:

    My German last name ends in -rer and in my German pronunciation the second r is nearly silent with e reduced to schwa. I’ve had kids spell my name with -ral which I found completely baffling but it would fit in with the Bristolian accent, wouldn’t it? (Though these German kids had never been anywhere near Bristol)

  112. Jonathan D says:

    Now I’m reminded of the Queenslander I knew in primary school whose bag was something like /beɪg/. But there might be a vocabulary change confusing things there.

  113. David Marjanović says:

    My German last name ends in -rer and in my German pronunciation the second r is nearly silent with e reduced to schwa.

    In most German pronunciations, unstressed -er is just [ɐ].

  114. In most German pronunciations, unstressed -er is just [ɐ].

    Well, the more common misspelling of my last name ends in -ra. With most well-known German -er surnames like Müller, Schneider etc. people know how to spell them and wouldn’t think of spelling these with an -a at the end. My own pronunciation of my name – especially when introducing myself – doesn’t end in [ɐ] – partly to avoid the spelling problem, but neither do I specifically sound out the second -r, so yes, the -ra misspelling is to be expected, it is just the -ral that threw me!

  115. Melburnians are going through a “salary/celery” merger. So, they tell us they live in /mæ:lbən/, while the rest of Australia knows it’s really /melbən/.

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