Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 10:52:34 -0400 From: "David Bergdahl (614) 593-2783" Subject: Re: variation in unstressed vowels RE: Dan Coyle's request for more info on Ohio In some apparently standard dialects (used by radio &tv announcers, politicians) a word like has an elongated /o/ with main stress on the initial syllable and a secondary stress on [fIs^] and [*l] with low stress. This pronunciation has become standard in the last 25 yrs., I would guess, or at least become more prominent. My intuition (for what it's worth) is that pronunciations with schwa are heard as "slurvian" and to be avoided, hence the strange stress situation of a primary followed by a secondary rather than an unstressed syllable. Another plausible explantion is that it's one of the words affected by front-shifting of stress, as in The Columbus DISpatch, POlice, MOtel, &c. Some speakers may have level stress in : each syllable equally stressed, as if it were French. A non-standard (although used by former Gov. Rhodes, from Appalachian Jackson, OH) pronunciation with unstressed /o/ or schwa initially has [i] as the stressed vowel, popularly spelled of-FEESH-al. But that, I think, is the result of the change in syllable boundary with the loss of the final vowel when the [l] became syllabic. Since [I] doesn't appear in open syllables, it was raised to [i]. . . or, at least, that's my theory. I moved into southern Ohio in 1968 from Syracuse in upstate NY, but I grew up on Long Island, N.Y. in a suburb on NY, so the pronunciations I'm describing are "foreign" to my ears since they're neither my native pronunciations nor the "standard." Hope this helps. ______________________________________________________ David Bergdahl BERGDAHL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU Associate Professor of English Language and Literature Ohio University / Athens fax: (614) 593-2818 ______________________________________________________