Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 23:05:55 EST


Subject: Re: On Wisconsin!

FWIW, My wife's name is Holly and she complains that Minnesotans call her

[haeli]. A bit of an exageration, but not too far off. This fronted,

nasalised pronunciation seems to be age graded (with younger people

seeming to have the more fronted/nasalised version) and, I believe,

urban, altho I have not made enough tapes (I did a small study of this

feature in the summer of '94) of ruralites to make any conclusive


Ah yes, the Great Northern Vowel Shift. I've heard Bill Labov talk about it

for years, but my most memorable encounter was still my first, back in the

early 1960's in my undergraduate days at the University of

RIAAAENNN-ch'ster (that's supposed to be a highish front very nasalized

vowel)--the university/city east of Buffalo, where I spent one puzzling but

ultimately enlightening hour on a blind date with a young woman from the area

who seemed to be talking about salads and couldn't figure out what \I/ was

saying, since she meant SALads, you know, as opposed to liquids...