Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 10:47:49 CST


Subject: Re: TV and dialect

I don't think this is necessarily an example of the media having

influence on dialect, but I am curious about what would seem to me to

be a spreading pronunciation change that I have become aware of by

listening to the media. I have noticed that many radio announcers,

especially on NPR, are now pronouncing words such as _tour_ as is

they rhymed with _lore_ rather than _lure_. The same is true for all

the derivatives: _tourist_, _ detour_, etc. I don't know if this is by

analogy to other forms such as _four_, _gourd_, etc. or if this is

simply a case of accent coaching to conform to a perceived

prestige pronunciation or if all these announcers belong to a dialect

group where this is prevelant. I am suspicious that there is some

prestige factor involved, partly because there is an American tendancy,

as opposed to the British, to retain more elements of the original

pronunciation of borrowings from French (I posted something about that

a few weeks ago on this list). So the spread of the more assimilated version

looks suspiciously like a prestige-driven innovation.

Has this struck anyone else as being curious, or am I suffering from a

dialectal blind-spot on this?

Mike Picone

University of Alabama