Pejorative - pronunciation

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orlando09

Senior Member
English (England)
Hi

Most people say this as puh -JOH-ruh-tiv, but one of my old university lecturers at a good English university used to say PEE-juh-ruh-tiv. Is it a variant, or just a quirk of hers, in your opinion?

Thanks.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi orlando09

    I'm sure I've heard this with the vowel sound of "hit" in the first syllable: is that how your former lecturer pronounced it, or was it more like "heat"?

    The OED has this, which seems to suggest a long vowel is possible for BrE:
    Brit. /pᵻˈdʒɒrətɪv/ , /ˈpiːdʒərətɪv/ , U.S. /pəˈdʒɔrədɪv/ , /ˈpɛdʒəˌreɪdɪv/ , /ˈpidʒəˌrədɪv/
     
    Last edited:

    orlando09

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I think it was like the sound in heat, but you both seem to have found that possibility listed - so, I guess, that's the answer - it's an alternative pronunciation. Thanks. In a way it seems to me maybe more logical, because it comes from Latin pejor, meaning worse plus suffixe - ative, and this version focusses more on the pejor bit rather than "jorative"
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Hmm, I'm not so sure about he Latin logic, orlando. If that were significant, we'd have to apply it to majority, minority, paternity, ... and a whole host of other words that have the stress on the second syllable.

    I've never heard pejorative with the stress other than on -jor-, but if some dictionaries list the other possibility I suppose it must exist.

    Ws:)
     
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