Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 19:15:19 -0500
From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Subject: Re: Of Cats and Eye Dialect
Re eye dialect: I do consider spellings like "whut" and "wuz" eye dialect,
even though they're artificial in that the spelling doesn't really represent
(to me) a different pronunciation.
To me, that's a definition of eye dialect, and I think thats what it is
Now I understand what you were talking about when you said you had sent
this before reading my p.s. I got your second posting before this one,
for some reason.
That is also the definition of eye dialect to me. I should have said
"because" instead of "even though." I keep telling myself that one of
these days I should start reading things I've written before sending them.
But I bet I won't... That would take away part of the fun of e-life.
On the question raised by somebody else (Don Lance, I think -- I've been
out of town all day and raced through e-mail when I got home) about whether
"whut" is really eye dialect for people with h-less "what," I say yes.
Keeping part of the standard spelling doesn't prevent it from being eye
dialect, IMHO. Moving too far away from the standard spelling makes reading
too difficult -- especially for those of us who say and hear a clear /hw/.
I think I might have mentioned on the list before that I stood and stared
at a handwritten sign on a shop window in Memphis one time, trying to figure
out what it was saying because the letter Y was supposed to represent the
word "Why" (I figured out finally). To me, Y does not sound at all like
--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu)