Not plausible as cited, with comment:

2. Give me tens dollar.

But "give me ten dollar" is plausible. I have heard it, in

the form "gimme ten dollar", in New Orleans markets, at

midwestern farm auctions, and in Chicago Ebonics. In

face-to-face market settings where English was not the dominant

language, I can attest to hearing "gimme ten dollar" in Japan and

Korea, early 1950's; in Chicago's "Chinatown" many times over many

years; and in Mexico and Guatemala, 1990's.

7. 'pen' rhymes with 'bun'

"pin" and "bin", yes -- or "when" and "glen", yes. I hear

this as related to the "any, many, penny" set. In each of these

words, I expect (or would accept as "plausible") that the

first vowel will be a front vowel. Its placement ranges from

mid-high to somewhere around mid-middle, depending on regional

dialect. Rhyming 'pen' and 'bun' would lead me to expect to

hear the same speaker rhyming 'any' with 'honey', 'many' with

'money', and so on. I don't think I've ever heard anything like


9. 'thing' rhymes with 'bong'

'bang', or something close, yes. 'Eng' (as in Chang and Eng,

the once-famous Siamese twins), yes. 'king', yes. But how

would a speaker using the proposed thing-bong rhyme handle

the contrast between 'thing' and 'thong'?

10.'math' rhymes with 'cad'

I would find an UNvoiced final stop consonant plausible, but not

a voiced one: 'math' could rhyme with 'cat' but not with 'cad'.

The following is by way of an introduction:

Since I'm new to this list, I don't know if anyone here would have heard

of Henry Lee Smith's old radio (and early TV) program, "Where are you

from?" He would hand a card with twenty sets of diagnostic words

printed on it, and would ask someone from his audience to read the card.

He then would try to specify where in the U.S. the speaker had grown up,

and promised to locate most people within fifty miles. (The only items

I remember from the card are marry/merry/Mary and cot -- as opposed to

dog and caught.)

My normal speech is Midwestern Platform English. (That comes from

childhood and early adult voice training and "elocution lessons" for

both singing and acting.) When Haxey Smith tried to place me with his

"Where are you from" 20 questions, I played the game honestly -- and he

could only say that I came from somewhere in the middle Middle West,

possibly including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, northern

Missouri, northern Indiana, or Michigan. There are some diagnostic

items not on his list (including, e.g., my use of a specifically native

pronunciation of "Chicago") that would give me away if the corpus of my

speech under examination were fairly large. But my voice coaches were

too good, and Smith's list is just too short, to make identification

obvious in my normal speech.

I got into anthropology through an interest in linguistics. My mentors

were Norman McQuown, Eric P. Hamp, Raven McDavid, and Don Mauricio

Swadesh. (I cite Swadesh in his Mexican persona because that's where I

worked with him.) I also took linguistics courses from Joseph Greenberg,

Sol Sapporta, Isidore Dyen, and Sidney Lamb. I had the benefit of three

years of almost daily interchanges with George Trager when he took a

post-retirement appointment here at NIU.

Nowadays, I'm strictly an amateur in linguistics and dialectology. I am

a social anthropologist, with focus on kinship/social organization,

politics, social stratification, and intergroup (and interethnic)

relations. My fieldwork areas are Mexico, Central America, and urban

U.S. cultures.

-- mike salovesh salovesh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

anthropology department

northern illinois university PEACE !!!