Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Use of 'Mummy' instead of 'Mommy' in Eastern Massachusetts?|
I recently began teaching in a small community on Cape Cod,
Massachusetts, and came to the surprising realization that all the
locals use the term ''mummy/mum'' (English variant) instead of
''mommy/mom'' (american variant); however, they all spell it
''mommy/mom,'' not with the ''u'' as British people do.
From my questions regarding the matter, it does not appear to be an
affect - many of the residents were surprised to learn that their
speech differed from other standard and regional American dialects.
Does anyone have an explanation for this?
I am not overly familiar with this feature, but it is plausible.
I would comment that dialects are not really distinct grammars, but bundles of
linguistic elements, some of which may cross national boundaries. Another I noticed
recently is the use of plural "yous" in parts of the U.S., Australia and apparently
A lot depends on where in Britain (or the world) a lot of settlers came from. It does
happen to be the case that many Puritan settlers in New England came from E Anglia
which is not too far from London.
You may also notice that many New Englanders and Southerners have also lost final /r/
like the British/Australians while final /r/ is preserved in Standard US and Canadian
English (preservation of final /r/ is actually an anomaly in English dialects).
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|