stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
A while back (five years ago? Cripes.) I noticed an oddity about the pronunciation of the word "suspect" in the movie "The Kennel Murder Case": the cast pronounced it with stress on the second syllable, rather than the first. This is contrary to a general tendency, in English, to give short nouns first-syllable stress and short verbs second. I also brought it up on the American Dialect Society mailing list, where the discussion was interesting but inconclusive.

Yesterday, the issue came up on ADS-L again, and this time someone pointed to a 2016 podcast featuring John McWhorter, who explains what was going on and much more besides:
http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2016/08/how_pronunciation_changes_as_terms_go_from_new_to_mainstream.html

The relevant part begins around the 5:00 mark.

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