Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 20:24:08 -0600 From: mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU Subject: Re: retroflex r On Tue, 11 Jan 1994, Joseph C. Salmons wrote: > =Why is everybody so quiet this week? > = --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] > = > Well, maybe that's enough reason to ask an idle question: > What's the distribution, areal and/or social, of retroflex > vs. non-retroflex r in American English? Teaching in north > central Indiana, I hear both but don't see any obvious > pattern. > > joe salmons (salmons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] > I would guess that you are talking about /r/ after vowels. In the Inland North /r/ usually has a velar constriction. In western PA and I suspect in much of what some of called the "Midland" dialect area, that same /r/ is more strongly constricted; it is often retroflex (more or less apico-alveolar) with dorsovlear coarticulation. I would guess that in the lower midwest the strongly constricted version patterns along the the center of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; I would expect it to be more rural than urban, though that is only a guess. I have also heard the strongly contricted version in much South Midland speech. The feature is discussed in Kurath and McDavid, Pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States (UAP 1982), and in Frazer, Midland Illinois Dialect Patterns, PADS #73. Joe, are you in Indianapolis? If so, it's not surpirsing you hear both varieties. Tim Frazer