Date: Wed, 8 May 1996 00:10:08 -0700


Subject: Stereotyping Texans

One might say, "Here we go again". There are of course many different kinds

of Texans, and all of the linguistic maps make clear that East Texas is

different from Central Texas is different from West Texas, and the Rio Grande

Valley, where the purest English is spoken, is a world unto itself. So,

who or what "sounds like a Texan"?

For this Texan, there is emphatically a /y/ after /t/, /d/, and /n/

before /uw/ in words like Tuesday, due, and news, but I was saddened to note

Jim Lehrer the other night saying /nuwz/ instead of /nyuwz/. A few years

back when I was at UT, I regularly polled classes on the /hw/:/w/ contrast,

and found it at about 50%. So half do and half don't, and all are Texans.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't have the distinction, though my mother

does. But then my greatest linguistic handicap at UT was not "sounding like

a Texan". So, is a puzzlement.