The usual stress pattern for two-word names is double stressing (main stress on the second word), as in ˌHenry ˈSmith, ˌMerton ˈPark, ˌLyme ˈRegis. This also applies to the Latin names of plants and animals: ˌQuercus ˈrobur, Diˌcentra specˈtabilis, ˌEquus ˈzebra, ˌPasser doˈmesticus.
But in cases such as Vulpes vulpes, Troglodytes troglodytes and Glis glis this usual pattern collides with the deep-seated Germanic principle of deaccenting repeated material. So do we keep double stressing, or do we deaccent the specific and shift the main stress onto the generic?
In the case of the edible dormouse, discussants on a recent television programme went for the single stressing, pronouncing it furthermore as if it were a single word, a common noun, a ˈɡlɪsɡlɪs. Furthermore they treated this word as invariant for number, like sheep (see screenshot above). —Well, you’d hardly expect them to know that the Latin plural of glīs is glīrēs. That’s strictly for us classicist showoffs.
What do we do when referring to people whose forename is identical with their surname? What stress pattern do we use for someone called Morris Morris or Graham Graham? Do we find such names awkward? No, I think we cope and give them the usual double stressing. Same with New York, New York. So why is Glis glis different?
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In a few days I shall be leaving for a visit to Japan and China. So this blog will be suspended now for the rest of November. Next posting: 3 Dec.