Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 13:43:03 -0400 From: "William A. Kretzschmar, Jr." Subject: Re: Pronounciation of Oxymoron OK- and AWK- first syllables are possible for speakers who neutralize the distinction between *cot* and *caught*, as common in the West. Strong initial stress with no primary or secondary stress on the -mor- syllable is possible with American speakers as an alternate pronunciation in polysyllabic Latinate words; it is the rule for British speakers in words like laboratory and secretary, with syncopation of the penultimate syllable on which Americans would put secondary stress: Br SE-kre-try vs. Am SE-kre-TAR-y. I suppose somebody might even stress the the second syllable, ok-SIM-a-run, by analogy with such similarly unfamiliar words as pen-TAM-e-ter or de-KAM-er-on. I would judge the most frequent AM pronunciation to be OK(or AWK)-se-MOR-on, and will so report it for Oxford. Regards, Bill ****************************************************************************** Bill Kretzschmar Phone: 706-542-2246 Dept. of English (Park 317) FAX: 706-542-2181 University of Georgia Internet: billk[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Athens, GA 30602-6205 Atlas Web Page: