LINGUIST List 9.683

Sun May 10 1998

Disc: Recent Change in English

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <martylinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Paul Johnston, Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English
  2. Larry Trask, Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English
  3. lexes, Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English

Message 1: Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English

Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 21:53:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paul Johnston <JOHNSTONPwmich.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English

To Marc Picard:
		There are a number of American dialects that raise
/Eg/ to /eg/ too--I think a lot of localized Western Michigan
varieties do, for one, and MANY in the Upper South, where there might
be diphthongization to /Eig/ for both EGG and VAGUE.
					Paul Johnston
					Western Michigan U.
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Message 2: Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 15:55:23 +0100 (BST)
From: Larry Trask <larrytcogs.susx.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English


Marc Picard writes, on `egg':
 
> I don't think this is the proper representation of this
> pronunciation. It's more like "ague" and "bague". When I have my
> students transcribe words like these, I always get a few that write
> /e:g/ for /Eg/, and so on. I've never heard Americans do this, and
> I've never been able to figure out exactly where in Canada this
> pronunciation is common.

I can testify that, in the western New York State accent I grew up
with, we pronounce `egg' and `leg' with the vowel of `day'. Just
these two: other words, like `beg' and `dreg', have the vowel of
`bed'. Of course, we're far enough north to share one or two
typically Canadian features -- notably a version of Canadian Raising
- but we do not have the `cot'/`caught' merger, which seems to be
universal in Canada.

Larry Trask
COGS
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH
UK

larrytcogs.susx.ac.uk
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Message 3: Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 13:08:05 -0400
From: lexes <lexesmindspring.com>
Subject: Re: 9.680, Disc: Recent changes in English

Am I alone in observing a rapid decline in the use of the indefinite
article, *an*, among educated native speakers of North American
English?
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