Date: Sun, 5 Mar 1995 18:30:11 CST


Subject: Re: subject blooper

Yes, people do say the -s in "Ozarks" when it's part of a name. I've

heard it. But I haven't had an opportunity to determine whether the

name-correctors have "incorrected" the names of the geographical features.

"The Ozarks" is really a plateau rather than a range of mountains, though

there are some very steep slopes in the Ozarks where some geological

uplifting and subsequent erosion have made the terrain what it now is.

A question that I posed but has not been addressed by others is whether

some of the early maps could reflect archaisms in the dialects of the

cartographers. My knowledge of French phonological history (with

diachronic variation) is virtually nil, so I wouldn't feel comfortable

even specuating about particulars. Mike Picone's reference to the

practice of adding a "plural" -s to abbreviations of the names of tribes/

nations/groups of people is much appreciated, supporting my (implicit if

not stated) point that the -s in "Ozarks" is not simply a matter of a plural

marker. How would one know whether a mapmaker of yore was adding an -s

because he said it or because he was following a standard orthographic

practice? As Picone's examples show, some orthograpic practices reflect

grammar as well as phonology. DMLance