Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 17:05:25 -0500
From: "Thomas J. Creswell" creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CROWN.NET
Subject: Fwd: Re: Chicago pronc
-- [ From: Thomas J. Creswell * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --
I goofed and responded to your query about the pronunciation of Chicago
directly to you. I meant to post it on ads-l.
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Date: Monday, 24-Jun-96 11:52 AM
From: Thomas J. Creswell \ Internet: (creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]crown.net)
To: simon[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CVAX.IPFW.INDIANA.EDU \ Internet: (simon[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]cvax.ipfw.indiana.
Subject: Re: Chicago pronc
The pronunciation of _Chicago_ like that of many place names, is subject
number of variations.
1. The initial consonant cluster is either "ch" as in _chew_ or "sh" as
_shoo_. The first Mayor Daley (Richard J.) was a consistent "ch"
as were many working class people of Irish origin in his generation. For
instance, a Chicago cop would most likely be a "ch" pronouncer. Some of
descendants of this group preserve this initial sound.
2. The first syllable vowel may be either like the _i_ in _hit_, or a
3. The second syllable vowel varies from "open o" as in _law_ and a short
as in _cat_. In this syllable, many gradations occur, anything between
extremes. Old time native Chicagoans usually have the open o vowel,
they come from a northwest side neighborhood settled by Swedes and Germans
Long time residents, whether white, African American, or Hispanic have a
tendency to the _aw_ sound. Newer arrivals to the city tend toward the
4. The initial consonant of the second syllable is, in some
voiced, so that it sounds, in rapid speech like a hard g
rather than a k. The reason for this is obvious--preceding and following
5. The final vowel varies between a long o as in _so_ or _go_ and a schwa
sound. Again, the first Mayor Daley had the schwa sound for this vowel.
No. You are not alone in the "sh" initial consonant sound. I, and many
share it with you.
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