Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 10:41:07 -0800
From: Peter McGraw pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CALVIN.LINFIELD.EDU
Subject: Re: On Wisconsin!
On Mon, 4 Dec 1995 flanigan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU wrote:
As a Minnesotan, and a (lapsed) Lutheran at that, I've always said
"wi-scon-sin," as do my Wisconsin relatives and two recent graduate
students from that state. Hence my surprise (on the NP only) when an
interviewee in "American Tongues" said that "people from Wis-con-sin
all sound like Norwegians." But, unlike Beth, I never heard an open
'o' in the middle syllable (only [kan]), even though I and my
generation of Minnesotans still distinguish between 'ah' and 'aw'.
BTW, since the name is from an American Indian language, perhaps
someone knows whether the original had an initial consonant cluster in
the second syllable or, as Larry Horn suggests, the [s] has shifted to
the stressed syllable.
As a West Coaster studying in Madison, I was immediately struck by the
difference between the locals' and my pronunciation of "Wisconsin",
principally by the different syllable division. (I've always found it a
great example for enabling students to "hear" juncture.) But
an open o was definitely not part of it. Rather, the locals' /a/ was
slightly fronted and raised, and nasalized, in comparison to my