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 ] --

Beth Simon,

I goofed and responded to your query about the pronunciation of Chicago

directly to you. I meant to post it on ads-l.


Tom Creswell

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Date: Monday, 24-Jun-96 11:52 AM

From: Thomas J. Creswell \ Internet: (creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

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

to a

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

the two

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


"a" sound.

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.

Tom Creswell

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