Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 14:52:53 -0500

From: Katherine Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BGA.COM

Subject: Re: wh- at ny- ews from Texas?

On Tue, 7 May 1996, Allan Metcalf wrote:

ADS member and cinema dialect coach Allyn Partin asks for information on the

following in current Texas adult speech. ("Adult" meaning "grown up," not

something else.) She wants to help certain actors sound Texan.

The answers to both these questions depend on what part of Texas the

person is from (or trying to sound like they're from), the character's

rural-ness or urban-ity, etc. That said--

1. Is there a distinction between wh- and w- ?

Last year a dialect coach told me that "texas" is one of the few places to

preserve this distinction. I was suspicious, but shortly afterwards began

to hear it in the speech of people with strong West Texas and South

Texas drawls. For whatever that's worth. I still don't hear it much in the

faster, more nasal East Texas speech.

2. Is there a [j] after the initial [n] in *news* etc?

This sounds more East Texas-y to me.

Sorry this obviously very informal. I once read the difference between

West and East Texas accents described in terms of two men then running for

Texas governor: Maaawk Whahht (Mark White) and Chim Maedix (Jim Maddox). The

latter is particularly _nasal_.

I guess it depends on whether the character is meant to sound like a classic

cowboy or Ross Perot.

Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]