Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 15:09:33 EDT
From: Douglas Bayer x3701 3NW dbayer[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YUKON.HQ.ILEAF.COM
Can anyone point me to a convincing explanation of reports
that some Massachussans "simultaneously" drop their r's
and yet add extraneoous hard-r's, like idear and Florider?
I used to notice it, but haven't noticed it in years.
An "outsider" reported hearing these as a child when she
moved here from the midwest, and wasn't convinced with
any of the following possibilites I floated:
1) Where the standard dialect has two allophones, the dialect
has one pronoounced halfway between, so an outsider always
hears the opposite.
(She said the difference was quite distinct.)
2) They may have retroflex and non-retroflex allophones for
different social registers. Again, outsiders notice the
-r's in endings they never curl themselves, but fail to
take notice of the reappearance of the same r's in their
(She thought they could mix them in the same sentences.)
3) They may have overcorrected based on contamination from
nearby dialects, perhaps for certain words associated with
the wider world --the "Lon-Gisland effect" (It's New Yorkers
and New Jerseyans, not Long-Islanders, who say Lon-Gisland.)
(She thought they were pure Massachuttans)