Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 09:37:23 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: -head Dennis wonders, >While we are on Wisconsin (sorry about the -son spellings), have other >forced residents of the state noticed a funny syllable division there? My >divisions are very clearly 'wis-con-sin,' but I could swear to the fact >that nearly every Wisconsinite (there, Larry!) I've met divides it as >'wi-scon-sin.' The phonological motivation for this seems weak, but I >wonder if there is not some generalization lurking under it. _____________________________ While I'm not a Wisconsinite myself, I did live there for four years, but I can't now (if I ever could) come up with the relevant memories. Presumably the "c" would be less aspirated if Dennis is right than if the dictionary is; but then there seems to be some inconsistency in the latter: my Webster's gives "mis.take" in bold but (correctly) m[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]-STEYK in the pronunciation guide, where clearly there's been a shift of the [s] to the stressed syllable, deaspirating the [t] and opacifying the word-formation (mistake =/= mis + take, as opposed to e.g. 'mistime'). For the example under consideration, the crucial minimal pair would be (he said, donning his cheesehead in lieu of flak jacket): WisfuckinCONsin vs. WifuckinSCONsin but, as predicted by the theoretical literature, both are a lot less like likely that counterparts with the appropriate stress pattern, e.g. MassafuckinCHUsetts MinnefuckinSOta AlafuckinBAma --although not QUITE so unlikely as Michifuckingan. Larry P.S. On the spelling, Dennis was no doubt thinking of "esconson", 'a jamb shaft in the inside arris of a window jamb'. A natural mi-stake.