Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 11:44:13 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: New York vowels Interesting posting from Barry Popik. A journalist reporting on a presentation to the Acoustical Society of America!!?? Well,.... The University of Missouri boasts of the first (true) and best (I really don't know) school of journalism in the world. MU J-students systematically avoid both linguistics and cliches like the plague. So the Metro Gnome who wrote the cutsie NYPost piece on New Yawk vowels is in good company. I'm not even mildly tempted to comment on most of the piece, but one item piqued my curiosity. Or should I say peaked or peeked? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> > Linguists have long marveled at how New Yorkers add extra sounds--called >back vowels--into words like "talk" or "dog," which we pronounce "tawahk" and >"dawahg." > In the so-called Standard American English, those words are pronounced >with a single vowel sound, "ah" (as in "tahk") and "aw" (as in "dawg"). >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Being an unrepentant speaker of a version of South Midland American, I've often wondered whether people who "tahk" (considered "standard" by Metro Gnome) also tick. An examination of 'talk' and 'dog' in PEAS is an interesting exercise. I don't think I'll suggest that Metro Gnome waste any of his (Gersh Kuntzman, I assume is a male name) valuabe time or synaptic energy by looking into a few "facts," but a good exercise for linguistics students is an examination of the entire set of low back vowels as they vary throughout the Atlantic States. PEAS = The Pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States, by Hans Kurath and Raven I. McDavid, University of Michigan Press, 1961. Does "marveled" accurately characterize what Bill Labov has been doing for more than a generation, apparently with little notice taken by gnomish practitioners of journalistic cutsieness? DMLance