Linguist names

How often does this come up? You encounter a name of a linguist that you need to say out loud, and you have no idea how to say it. The goal of this page is collect some names that have presented this sort of problem either for me or for other linguists.

People who are linked without comment have included IPA transcriptions of their name pronunciations on their websites. NB: If people pronounce your name differently from how you’d like it to be pronounced, or if you’ve ever been asked how to pronounce your name, that’s a hint that you should put that information on your website. It is more likely to reach the target audience if it’s on your site than on mine. Roman Jakobson–you’re off the hook on this one.

Transcription notes:

  • the bias is towards anglicized pronunciations here, with some sloppiness in whether vowels are reduced. The focus is on stress placement and non-obvious consonant and vowel qualities, or vowels you might think are silent that aren’t.
  • I offer neither explanation nor apology for my inconsistent use of [r] vs. [ɹ] vs. [ɚ].
  • I mark stresses before the stressed vowels because life is too short to try to figure out the syllabification in some of these names.
  • In a few names, there is a dorsal fricative. I decided to leave that as [x] in the transcriptions, as many American linguists seem comfortable with approximating it. If you are not one of them, my prescriptive suggestion would be to substitute [h]; to my ears it sounds like the next best thing. Maybe a [k] if Ident[place]>>Ident[continuant] for you.

If you have a request or a correction, send me an email!


A

John Alderete: [ɑldərˈɛɾi] not [ɑldərɛt]

Scott AnderBois: [ˈændɚbwɑ]

Amalia Arvaniti: [amalˈia arvanˈiti]

B

William Badecker: [b’eɪɾəkɚ]

Eric Baković

Alicia Beckford Wassink: [əlˈisiə] not [əlˈiʃə].

Gašper Beguš: [gˈaʃpɚ bˈɛɡuʃ]

Stefan Benus (Štefan Beňuš)

Christina Bethin: [bətˈin] not [bˈɛθən]

Claire Bowern: [bˈoʊɚn]

David Bowie: [bˈu.i], like the town in Maryland not like the singer

Adrian Brasoveanu: [braʃovˈanu]

Marisa Brook: [mərˈisə]

Mary Bucholtz: [bˈʌkəlts]

Rachel Burdin

C

Pavel Caha: [tsˈɑhə] or [sˈɑhə], not [kɑhə] or [tʃahə]

Dustin Chacón: [tʃakˈon] not [ʃ…]

Vincent Chanethom

Ioana Chitoran: [ioˈɑnə kitsorˈɑn]

Catherine Chvany: [tʃvˈɑni]; Hypocoristic: [kˈatʲə]. Read more here.

Andries Coetzee

Uriel Cohen Priva: [ˈuriəl kˈoʊən prˈivə] not [juriəl]!

Ailís Cournane

Meg Cychosz

Patricia Cukor-Avila: [sˈukɚ ˈævɪlə]

D

Derek Denis: [ˈdɛnɪs]

Katherine Demuth: [dˈiməθ]

Karthik Durvasula

E

Masha (Maria) Esipova

F

Donka Farkas: [fˈɑrkɑʃ]

Matthew Faytak: [fˈeɪtˌæk]

Paul Foulkes: [faʊks]

Kathryn (Katie) Franich: [frˈænək]

Joseph Fruehwald: [dʒˈoʊsɨf frˈuːwɔld]

G

Adamantios Gafos: [adamˈɑntios gˈɑfəs] (or [ɣˈafos]). Hypocoristic: Diamandis [dˌiəməndˈis]

Anna Grabovac: [grˈɑbovak]

Vera Gribanova: [vˈɛrə ɡribˈɑnəvə]

John Gumperz: [ˈɡʌmpəɹz] [source]

H

Liliane Haegeman: [hˈɑxəmən] not [heɪɡə…]

Boris Harizanov: [bˈoris harizˈanov]

Stephanie Harves: [hˈɑrvəs] not [hˈɑrvz]

J

Roman Jakobson: [jəkabsˈon] or [jˈɑkəbsən], not [dʒeɪkəbsən]

Gaja Jarosz

Peter Jurgec: [jˈurgəts]

K

René Kager: [kˈɑxɚ] not [keɪdʒɚ]!

Roni Katzir: [rˈɔni kətsˈir]

Abigail Kaun: [kɑn]

Jaklin Kornfilt: [ʒaklˈin kˈɔrnfɪlt]

Jelena Krivokapić: [jɛlɛnə krivokapitʃ] — need stress info!

L

William Labov: [ləbˈoʊv] (since people immediately started arguing with me on this, I’m including a citation to a source; 2006, Journal of English Linguistics 34:4)

Terry Langendoen: [lˈæŋɡəndən]

Beth Levin: [ləvˈin] (note stress location and vowel quality)

Erez Levon: [ˈɛɹɛz ˈlɛvɑn] not [əˈɹɛz ləˈvon]

Mark Liberman: [lˈɪbɚmən] not [lˈibɚmən]

Anna (Ania) Łubowicz: [wubˈovitʃ]

M

Sally McConnell-Ginet: [ʒɪˈne]

K.P. Mohanan: [mˈoʊhanan] not [moʊhˈænən]!

Marcin Morzyczki

N

Naomi Nagy: [nˈeɪɡi]

Savithry Namboodiripad

Luiza Newlin-Łukowicz: [luˈiza nˈɛvlin wukˈovitʃ]

Máire Ní Chiosáin: [mˈɑrə nˈi kisˈɑn]

Yining Nie

Jennifer Nycz

O

Cemil Orhan Orgun: [dʒemˈil orhˈan orɡˈun]

P

Katya Pertsova: [pertsˈovə] not [pˈertsəvə]

Janet Pierrehumbert: [pieɹhˈʌmbɚt]

Omer Preminger: [ˈoʊmɚ prˈɛməndʒɚ]; [ŋɡ] in German or Hebrew

R

Ezer Rasin

Yulia Rodina: [jˈuliə rˈodinə]

Nicholas Rolle

Amanda Rysling

S

Elizabeth Sagey: [sˈeɪdʒi] not [seɪɡi]

Gillian Sankoff: [gˈɪliən sˈæŋkˌɑf] not [dʒɪliən]

Philippe Schlenker: [filˈip ʃlɛnkˈɛr] (note, final stresses in both)

James Scobbie: [skˈɑbi] not [skoʊbi]

Márton Sóskuthy: [ʃˈoʃkuti]

Michal Starke: [mˈixal ʃtˈarkə]

Patrycja Strycharczuk: [patrˈitsjə strixˈartʃək] or [stri{h|k}ˈartʃək] (Polish: [patrˈɨtsja strɨxˈarʈʂuk])

Anna Szabolcsi: [ˈænə sˈɑboltʃi] (note, not [ɑnə])

Benedikt Szmrecsanyi

T

Sali Tagliamonte: [tˌæɡliəmˈɑnti]

Meredith Tamminga: [tˈæmɪŋɡə] not [təmˈɪŋɡə]

Anne-Michelle Tessier: [tˈɛsiˌeɪ] not [tɛsiɚ]

One Tlale Boyer: [ˈone tˈɑle bˈojɚ]

Peter Trudgill: [tɹˈʌdɡˌɪl] not [tɹʌdʒɪl]

V

Ljuba Veselinova: [liˈubə veselˈinəvə]

W

Gert Webelhuth: [vˈe:bəlhˌut]

Y

Charles Yang: [jɑŋ], not [jæŋ]/[jeŋ]

Z

Draga Zec: [drˈɑɡə zˈɛts]

Erik Zyman

Elizabeth Zsiga: [zˈigə]

Kie Zuraw: [kˈaɪ zˈurˌɑ] not [zurˈaʊ]

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Laurel MacKenzie, who supplied many transcriptions and suggestions. Thanks also (in no particular order and without links, sorry) to Tricia Irwin, Wayles Browne, Steven Franks, Michael Becker, Ailís Cournane, Greg Guy, Lisa Davidson, Anna Szabolcsi, and Emily Gasser for suggestions and transcription verification.

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