Monday, November 5, 2012


I was driving home today and heard Rick Kogan interviewing Mike Daisey [ˈdiʲzi] on WBEZ about his current exhibit at the MCA in Chicago. During the interview they talked about monologues. Natural enough, since Daisey is a monlogist. And therein lies a tale.

I'm trying to figure out the Greek for it, so bear with me here. Here are the parts, with accents in place.
Which means that as a "native" Greek word might be something like:
With a pronunciation of something like:
Which brings us to English. We aren't going to pronounce that last [ɛːs] as it seems to have been lost for us English speakers. If it patterns like philologist—and I see no reason why it wouldn't—we would expect the accent to fall on the first lo.
And Kogan patterned monologist like that.
Daisey on the other hand said something else.
Now, I've never heard the word said before today. I knew exactly what Kogan meant the first time he said it. I knew that Daisey was using the same word when he said it differently too. Yet they both said it differently. Some background: Kogan is a white, Chicago native in his 60s. Though he doesn't have a college degree, he's been steeped in words via his parents and profession (or so the Wikipedia article would lead me to believe). Daisey on the other hand is a white, (presumably) East Coast native in his 30s. He apparently has a college degree from a small liberal-arts college (or so his Wikipedia article would lead me to believe).

Anyway I'm still not sure how to say monologist, though I'm strongly tempted by Kogan's pronunciation. It at least builds on the analogy of words I already know. Daisey maintains the /g/ as [g], which is no small appeal. All I know for sure is that the primary stress and secondary stress are separated by an unstressed syllable—like most polysyllabic English works. Oh well. Better than nothing.