Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 16:26:25 -0600
From: Samuel Jones smjones1[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Subject: Re: Do REAL Texicans Say wh=[hw] & news=[njuz]?
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.
I am originally from Oklahoma, but I lived and taught in the eastern part
of Texas for about 5 years, although I also spent a considerable amout of
time in and around Brownwood, Texas--"West"-Central Texas, after my parents
1. Is there a distinction between wh- and w- ?
During the years I lived in eastern-southern Oklahoma, there was a CLEAR
distinction made. In those years I taught in East Texas, some 45
years ago!, the same CLEAR distinction between [hw] & [w] was also made.
Along Texas' southern coastal plain, I sensed that this difference was NOT
always observed, although this is nothing more than my impression. I
suspect that usage varies widely within the state, depending to some
extent on the language traditions and characteristics of both original
settlers and of those who subsequently settled throughout the different
areas of the state, even creating linguistics pockets. The "Piney Woods"
of East Texas are far different from the "twang" of Abilene or from the
somewhat softer, easier vowels of a place like Temple, Texas.
2. Is there a [j] after the initial [n] in *news* etc?
I found the transitory "i" = IPA [j] to be broadly distributed throughout
the North, the Central and the Eastern parts of Texas, as in [njuz] or
[njuz-pe-pr]. It is also found in suit=[sjut] & [sjut-kes].
There is in many Southern areas a perhaps slightly less clear but still
easily-distinguishable [j] in a word like shoes=[shjuz].
She is not e-connected, so I will note your answers and pass them on. Or, if
you care to phone her directly (some of you know her), it's 818/361-0898.
- Allan Metcalf, ADS executive secretary
DR. SAMUEL M. JONES INTERNET: smjones1[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]facstaff.wisc.edu
Prof. of Music & Latin American Studies TELNET: samjones[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]macc.wisc.edu
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