Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 10:41:07 -0800


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


Peter McGraw

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR