Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 17:44:57 -0400

From: "Bethany K. Dumas, U of Tennessee" dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UTKVX.UTK.EDU

Subject: More Texan-y Confessions

[The ff-ing data are self-reported by a Caucasion female, aged 59, who was

born in Corpus Christi, TX, and spent her formative years (well, the

first ones) in southeast Texas.]

Now that you know about "wash rag," you might as well know about /hw-/

and /s, t, d, n + glide/:

1. /hw-/

I am a native speaker of /hw-/, though I have learned to style-shift in

recent decades. My mother (80, southeast TX) speaks /hw-/ and does not


I once heard Gary Underwood (is he still in Austin?) say that he did not

understand the Mickey Mouse Theme Song until he took a linguistics course

from Harold Allen at Minn. Gary grew up in Clay County, ARK (the "white

delta") and when he heard /wai/ he heard "Y" NOT "why."

2. /s, t, d, n + glide/

I am also a native speaker of /s, t, d, n + glide/, as in student,

tune, dew, and news. But even as a child, I could (and did) say, "Put up

your /duks/," and I have style-shifted ever since I went to Chicago:

On that trip to Chicago when I got the idea for the ling autobiography

from RIM, I also astounded a roomful of linguists and linguistic students

at IIT when I said the word /nyuz/. I don't think anyone in the room

except me had ever heard anyone actually pronounce the glide in that

context except as an exercise in a linguistics class. Larry Davis was there,

I think, but I'm not sure who else.

However, I do not have an affricate in such words as tulip, and that's

not uncommon in East Tennessee.

Boyd, you wanna prompt me while I plan my ling autobiography? The time

line will take a while to construct, but there's lots of stuff to report.

So am I a "classic cowboy or Ross Perot"? I don't think so -- more like

Molly Ivins, who reminds me of my cousin Patsy (southeast TX, about five

years older than me). But I don't know where Molly is from.

Now I'll hush and go grade papers.


Bethany K. Dumas, J.D., Ph.D. | Applied Linguistics, Language & Law

Dep't of English, UT, Knoxville | EMAIL: dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

415 McClung Tower | (423) 974-6965 | FAX (423) 974-6926

Knoxville, TN 37996-0430 | See Webpage at