Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1993 13:52:43 +22305606

From: "Ellen Johnson Faq. Filosofia y Hdes." ejohnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ABELLO.SECI.UCHILE.CL

Subject: pen/hail/half past

If 'half past' disappears, what will you say if you're not wearing a watch and

someone asks you the time? Not "half past a freckle", I guess.

I'm seeing something of a trend here in regard to pin/pen. Coincidentally

enough, I noticed the vowel /E/ in just such a context in my own speech about a

week before this topic came up. I attributed it to an influence from Spanish,

since neither 'tingo' nor 'tango' will pass for 'tengo' here. If others are

using it too, could it be a change from above passed on from more prestigious

regional dialects? By the way, the only native speakers I regularly talk to

here are from Syracuse.

At least my Southern accent is not going away altogether. I am reminded by

another posting that, for me, 'hail' has two syllables and 'hell' only one

because of the strongly diphthongized /e/ before /l/.

Ellen Johnson