Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 14:50:36 EDT From: Larry Horn Subject: ink pen A query related to the earlier extended discussion of Southern neutralization of non-low front vowels before /n/: Is it the impression of those of you from the relevant dialect area that the use of 'ink pen' for 'pen' is (a) a natural or standard designation, and (b) one that is motivated (consciously or unconsciously, synchronically or diachronically) by the avoidance of homonymy? That is, does the dialect area in which 'ink pen' is a standard locution coincide more or less with that in which 'pen' and 'pin' merge? (I'm referring to the spontaneous use of this collocation in discourse, not its appearance as a repair phenomenon a la 'two-L llamas'.) Thanks. --Larry