Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 12:56:22 -0600

From: Katherine Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BGA.COM

Subject: Re: Da Bears

At 10:51 AM 12/13/94 -0600, salikoko mufwene wrote:

In Message Tue, 13 Dec 1994 09:51:20 -0600,

"Timothy C. Frazer" mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] writes:

By "flatter" sound did you mean like with the tongue raised and tensed,

like toward barred [I]? I would describe the low central [a] as "open"

rather than flat.

I may have a distorted perception as a non-native speaker, but in the

phrase "Dah Bulls," with which I am more familiar, the article sounds

somewhere between a schwa and [a]. (I don't remember whether I have seen

"dah" always spelled with "h".)

Yes, thank you. That's more or less where I'd put the sound, too. Sorry I

wasn't more clear before--I am obviously not an expert on phonetics.

I've been searching for a sound to compare it to, and the closest I've come

is that, um, guitar-noise Beavis & Butthead make when they're playing air

guitar. It has that nasal quality.

When I was visiting Chicago about three years ago, one of the papers ran a

column about the "dah Bears" phenomenon, which evidently many people there

were rather sensitive about. The writer located that particular "a" sound

combined with the final "s" (rather than [z]) as specific to one small area

of the city, but I can't recall where it was.

Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]