Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 09:09:03 -0400

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: "Atlanta"

Wayne's tale of Atlanta pronunciation reminds me of an old Hawai'i one.

Two tourists who have frequently been in Hawai'i argue if the correct

pronunciation is Ha[w]ai'i or Ha[v]ai'i. (I actually doubt if they dealt

with the glottal, but it's just the [v]-[w] possibility which is at stake


They agree to resolve the argument by an appeal to authority and confront

the first local-looking fellow they see and ask their question.

He responds with Ha[v]ai'i,

They say 'Thanks.'

He says 'You're velcome.'


[Sorry--I sent that last message before I was done]

Bethany Dumas writes:

When I moved to Knoxville (1974), my

UT students told me that I could say

either /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]lanta/ or /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]tlana? -- I could

say either "t" but not both.

It seems to me that the alternatives are [aetlaen(t)uh] or

[uh?laen(t)uh]--where [uh] = schwa, [?] = glottal stop, and the second [t]

is optional in either case.

There is some joking about a pronunciation that would be spelled

"Atalanta," but I've never actually heard anyone say the word this way

outside of a joking context.

For example: There was a church group on a bus going to Atlanta arguing

about whether the name of the city was pronounced as spelled or as

"Atalanta." To solve the dispute, the bus pulled into a Burger King where

representatives of the church group asked the person at the cash register,

"What's the name of this place?" The cashier replied, "Burger King."

Wayne Glowka

Professor of English

Director of Research and Graduate Student Services

Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA 31061


FAX: 912-454-0873

Office: Arts & Sciences 3-04


Dennis R. Preston

Department of Linguistics and Languages

Michigan State University

East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA


Office: (517)432-1235

Fax: (517)432-2736