Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 15:01:06 -0600 From: "Timothy C. Frazer" Subject: Re: The ADS crystal ball On Wed, 7 Dec 1994, salikoko mufwene wrote: > I have been wondering why very few American dialectologists have been > engaged by conjectures on the development of AAVE by offering reflections on > the genesis of other varieties of American English. By now it seems more > and more obvious that the cluster of varieties called American English have > resulted from language contact. While there have been several isolated > replies to the scholarship on the genesis of AAVE, replies which typically > claim the British origin of several features, I am surprised that no > serious attempt has been made to account for the transmission of these > features and their reorganization (not necessarily with features from the > same dialectal source in the British Isles) into American English. I'm sure there are some varieties within Inalnd Northern which may be the result of contact. Many of the features that Mike Linn finds in the Duluth area are obviously the result of a large original population which was largely non-English speaking. Among these are the familar th --> /d/, /t/, various consonant cluster reductions, ellipses like "Do you wanna go Detroit?" (I don't think all the features Mike mentions are confined to the Iron Range). I suspect that throughout Minnesota and maybe parts of Wisconsin, there's some contact effect on vowels (less diphthonging in /o/, for example), and on intonation patterns. Maybe the whole "Northern Cities Vowel Shift" is due to language contact. (But why did Emerson find it in Ithaca in 1890?). Of course, JL Dillard does a lot of that, although as I recall his books like "All American English" seem pretty much restricted to lexicon. But he doesn't seem to believe in dialects. Tim