LINGUIST List 7.703

Thu May 16 1996

Sum: Warsh-Warshington

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <>


  1. Susan Meredith Burt, Sum:warsh-Warshington

Message 1: Sum:warsh-Warshington

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 08:22:33 MDT
From: Susan Meredith Burt <burtVAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU>
Subject: Sum:warsh-Warshington
hello, Linguists!

Way back in February I posted a query about the pronunciation of 'wash' as
'warsh,' asking whether this was locatable to any particular region of the
US. I received several replies, and would like to use this message to
thank the repliers, belatedly, and to summarize what they said.

In short, 'warsh' pronunication has been attested in older speakers in
Providence, Rhode Island ( Karl Teeter), St. Louis, MO (John M. Jeep),
older speakers in Nebraska (Paul Kingsbury), "around Chicago," Joliet, IL,
and "maybe central Indiana (Don Davis), older speakers in the Bay area of
California (D. Andrews), Pittsburgh (Gregory Grefenstette), and the Ottawa
Valley in Ontario (Marina McDougall).

Marina McDougall included the words of a song she has heard Ontario
children sing:

> Oh the sun shines down on Mrs. Porter
> For she's a snorter
> And so's her dorter
> Oh she warshed her hands in dirty warter
> So they orter
> Be pretty clean.

I certainly cannot find anything regional in these replies! On the other
hand, several folks mentioned that this pronunciation was characteristic of
older speakers, so perhaps that is the variable we should be looking at.

Janet Bing referred me to John Harris's *English Sound Structure,* where
this issue is discussed, but I must confess I have not pursued that
reference yet.

If there is further interest in this, please contact me at my summer email

My apologies for taking so long to post this, my thanks to all who replied.
I will try to reproduce their email addresses here.


Janet Bing <>
 Gregory Grefenstette <>
"Donald T. Davis" <> (Paul Kingsbury) (John M. Jeep)
 Karl Teeter <>
"D. Andrews" <>

Susan Meredith Burt
During the academic year:
Department of English
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh WI 54901 USA

During January, June, July and August:
602 Normal Avenue
Normal, IL 61761
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