Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 10:06:00 EDT
From: "Dennis.Preston" 22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: you
In-Reply-To: The letter of Wednesday, 10 August 1994 7:39pm ET
The article of mine Tom Clark refers to is Dennis Preston, 1986, The Li'l
Abner syndrome. American Speech 60,4:328-336. Those who might want to pursue
this issue further might have a look at my 'Ritin' fowklower daun 'rong:
folklorists failures in phonology. Journal of American Folklore 95,377:304-26
(1982) and a following discussion between E. Fine and me in the same journal
(1983) 96,381:321-30 (Fine, In defense of literary dialect) and 330-39
(Preston, Mowr bad spellun').
That eye-dialect may differ for speakers of different dialects seems, to me, t
o be a minor issue. I doubt if 'wuz' spellers really have different vowels in
mind when they employ it. I still buy into the idea that such spellings simply
belittle the caricatured speaker, usually in the direction of illiteracy
and/or lack of intelligence. That is one of the reasons I so vigorously oppose
the use of such 'respellings' in discourse, folklore, ethnography and other
fields which represent the actual speech of respondents. If the pronunciation
is important, I believe a phonetic transcription (of appropriate 'narrowness')
is the only reasonable solution.
Belletristic practice is another matter, and I have nothing to contribute to
what writers who want to make a certain impression on readers should (or
should not) do.
22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msu.edu