Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 00:04:10 -0600 From: Charles F Juengling Subject: Re: On Wisconsin! On Tue, 5 Dec 1995, Dennis R. Preston wrote: > 'bIuhg.' I've never heard this pronunciation for 'bag' here in MN. The usual pronunciation here is [be:g] (It's a scream to hear a bunch of Minnesota kids say the the "Pledge of Allegiance" to the [fle:g]!). When my oldest son was in first grade, one of his spelling words was 'bag'. When the teacher, a MN-sotan, pronounced the word, he naturally wrote , which is what he heard her say. So, his perfect score was dashed because of dialect interference. What's really interesting, tho, is that when my wife and I asked the teacher about this at parent/teacher conference, the teacher could hear no difference between her pronunciation [beg] and ours [baeg]! Fritz Juengling 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 >