End of ADS-L Digest - 26 Apr 1998 to 27 Apr 1998


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To: Recipients of ADS-L digests

ADS-L Digest - 25 Apr 1998 to 26 Apr 1998 98-04-27 00:00:52
There are 2 messages totalling 72 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Thole story (2)


Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 17:26:55 -0400
From: Beverly Flanigan
Subject: Re: Thole story

Rather than fetching for "the old" > thole/t'ole, you might want to
consider the fact that even today many South Midland speakers (and South?)
add a liquid after the back vowels, both finally and intrusively before a
following vowel. I have students at Ohio University who say "Grandmawl"
(open O plus /l/) regularly in both linking and final positions. One
recently said she doesn't speak "Appalachian" English but her "grandmawl"
does. (Another example is 'drawling' for 'drawing,' equivalent to
intrusive /r/ in 'drawring'.) I assume the parenthetic "(tow mule?)" was
in the transcript itself? If so, it may be acknowledging the above
pronunciation, esp. since the concomitant 'a-riding' suggests SoMid/South
speech. The meaning refers to the mule pulling a canal flatboat, I would

The reverse process may be operating in the second citation, with the /l/
of 'bolts' vocalized. This is common in the Philadelphia/Baltimore area;
how far South it extends would be better known by Don Lance, Michael
Montgomery and others, I suspect. (I don't hear it in southern Ohio.) But
this assumes the word is 'bolts,' of course.

At 01:26 AM 4/25/98 +0200, you wrote:
>In the recording of an African American born circa 1855-1860, I have the
>expression "one man a-riding tole mule" (tow mule?). I think he's
>actually saying t'ole mule. Can anyone confirm that "thole" (of a horse
>or other draft animal) can mean "lead", "leading"?
>Also (for any Civil War experts out there) this speaker refers to
>cannons and wagons with /bo:ts/ on them passing through Jasper, TX. He's
>either saying "bolts" or "boats". Does anyone know if the unionest
>forces carted boats around East Texas on wagons at the close of the War?
>David Sutcliffe