Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 23:17:50 -0600


Subject: Re: I've done my best to read the table Donald M. Lance posted,

Thanks, Mark Mandel. I wondered how the spaces would survive cyberspace and convolutions

of fibero ptics going in and out of dossed apples and blue unixes. I composed the table in Eudora

and assumed it was friendly with whatever everyone else was using. Sorry about my naivete.

I'll try something else:


LANE (Linguistic Atlas of New England) = 183

LAMSAS (Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States) = 534

**barred-i (high central vowel)

LANE = 181

LAMSAS = 416

**upgliding high central vowel

LANE = 14


**dotted-i (high front tense vowel; what's used now)

LANE = 13

LAMSAS = none

**vowel of 'bet'

LANE = 3

LAMSAS = none

**vowel of 'bite'

LANE = 2

LAMSAS = none

**no vowel (2 syllable = 'Mizurr')

LANE = 3


o ('Mizuro')

LANE = 1

LAMSAS = none

What seems to have happened is at some point between here and there, hither and yon, my Hard

Returns disappeared and text wrap interacted with multiple spaces and inserted 's to make a

jumble. I suffered the same fate when Barry Popik posted a msg of great value to me about

'Show Me'. I asked him to re-post it and he did, with a lagnaippe or pilo'n (or whatever you call

something extra for nothing). I shouldn't oughta did that, cause I shoulda knowed better, from

experience. Thanks, Mark. Hope you can follow my vertical table that is one item deep.

I might could have taken time to look up my figures on LAGS (Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf

States), but that would have complicated things because the LAGS system of phonetic/phonemic

notation isn't an exact match of LANE and LAMSAS. I could have added figures from LAUM

(Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest), but Harold Allen just had a binary count: dotted-i vs

schwa. You'll just hafta wait till my article comes out in however long it takes to get it into


An interesting question to pursue is the forward-shifting of this unstressed vowel in 20th-century

American English, many dialects thereof, but not all at the same time. LAGS data are from

speakers who were born about a generation and a half later than LANE and LAMSAS, with

LAMSAS about half a generation later than LANE.

The first vowel also has interesting dialectal variation, schwa versus 'bit' or high central vowel.

But that one isn't as interesting to me as the final vowel. There's also a lot of variation in the

-ou- from one dialect area to another, as well as what's happening now with 'sure' rhyming with

'fir' in Valley Talk and in the speech of lots of other young 'uns.