Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 07:39:16 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: On Wisconsin! Aw shucks Larry. You think you had it tough. Imagine me arriving late at night in Medicine, Wi - SKAHN - sin from Loovuhl, KY some time about 1963. I went into a small market, half asleep, and picked up only a few things. At the checkout counter, a clerk asked if I wanted these few things in a 'bIuhg.' What the hell could she be talking ab out? My fist contact with the Northern Cities Shift (no 'Great' in its title, by the way). I was double-confused, in fact, since, even after retrieving the lexical item 'bag,' I was aware that I was more used to 'sack' (of course) for grocieries and used 'bag' much more frequently for a testicles-container. Can we have some more stories of phonological cross-dialectal misunderstanding? I love 'em. Dennis >>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