End of ADS-L Digest - 3 Dec 1995 to 4 Dec 1995 ********************************************** There are 26 messages totalling 577 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Great Northern Vowel Shi** (2) 2. On Wisconsin! (3) 3. lugen (5) 4. Bubblehead (2) 5. Familiar 6. I before E 7. -head 8. Pop & Soda (4) 9. Language and Intelligence (4) 10. 1995 Phrase of the year 11. Bublehead 12. pop and soda ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 00:35:23 -0500 From: TERRY IRONS Subject: Great Northern Vowel Shi** On Mon, 4 Dec 1995, Larry Horn wrote: > >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 > >statement. > > 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... > > --Larry > Now we have returned to a significant topic for consideration, pinheads and bubbleheads to be forgiven. What is it with all of this vowel shift shit? I think this list needs to engage itself in a serious discussion of Labov's hypothesis, rather than bowing down to that name as some god or something. He was simply somebody's student who lucked into a good situation, and so forth. I was sitting in the airport in Lexington, waiting for a plane and I eavesdropped on the perfect illustration of Mister Bill's famed NVS (read Northern Vowel Shift), when i heard this yankee guy say to some other guy, I lost my wallet in the bar last night. The concept of shift notwithstanding, the sentence is perfectly diagnostic for the crucial low vowels under consideration. Guess what went where. Perhaps I'll save it for some revelatory paper at some important conference. All of this rot and nonsense about vowel shifting buys into some major and yet unstated assumptions about the phonoloogy/phonetics of spoken Americn English. To say that a shift has occurred assumed that all speakers at some point participated in some basic system. I would suggest that some pronunciation patterns reflect not a change from this system but a persistence of some variety historically that the generative agenda, into which Mr. Bill buys wholsale, is not willing to acknowledge. I would include your friends, Larry, in this group. Terry (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]morehead-st.edu Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)