Date: Mon, 28 Mar 1994 13:02:22 CST From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: Wisconsin accent In a recent posting I used the term 'General American' and later realized I should have put it in quotation marks or inverted commas lest dialectologists out there think I believe it's a real dialect. Kenyon began using the term in about the 4th edition of his book AMERICAN PRONUNCIATION, after Krapp and Mencken introduced it. In Kenyon & Knott's dictionary and in Kenyon's book they divided American English into 3 dialects: Northeastern (eastern New England and metro New York), Southern (Southern + South Midland below the Ohio) and General American. The term is useful for referring to rhotic varieties, but ah/aw merger and the Northern Cities Shift, as well as contemporary developments in MN and WI (cf new posting on Wisconsin speech) -- and all the LANCS and LAUM publications -- reduce the usefulness of the term. DMLance