Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to Pronounce Brett Favre's Last Name

Sportscasters and fans alike, when talking about Brett Favre, pronounce his last name as "Far -Ve." But if you pause for a moment to look at the spelling, you will notice it does not seem to match up with the pronunciation. So how should his name be pronounced and is there a correct way?

Understand that when people pronounce Favre as "Far -Ve," it is a linguistic phenomenon called "metathesis." Metathesis occurs when two neighboring sounds in a word switch places.

Other examples of metathesis in English include "comfortable" pronounced as "comfterble," "spaghetti" pronounced as "pasghetti," and "asterisk" pronounced as "asteriks."

Metathesis is a controversial linguistic phenomenon. Some linguists believe metathesis is primarily the result of speech errors and childrens' talk, and is not a regular process. Other linguists believe metathesis can be a regularly occurring process of phonology that affects only a small number of words or forms in a particular language.

If the phenomenon of metathesis is removed from the phonological equation, the name Favre should be pronounced "Fav-Re."

Image credits.


Anonymous said...

Actually, it should be pronounced, in French, as "Fahv". The R is silent. For reference, the French surname "istre ", common in Louisiana, is pronounced "East". "Lourve" is "Loov". Getting the picture? Brett's immediate family is from Mississippi, where there are many fewer people of French descent than there are in south Louisiana. They tend to Anglicize or corrupt French names since they have a different accent than south Louisianians.

Anonymous said...

Double entendre is another good example. You wouldn't say onton dray any more than you'd say Loove ray for Louvre. You can't apply English rules to French names. The R is silent! Fahv

Anonymous said...

The R is not silent in Louvre it is just subtle. There are a million french words like this.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...