End of ADS-L Digest - 27 Nov 1993 to 28 Nov 1993 ************************************************ There are 12 messages totalling 501 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. egg-aig, and dialect diversity 2. Rock'n Roll (2) 3. egg-aig, and dialect diversi 4. Georgetown University Round Table 1994 5. th/dh (5) 6. Language variation 7. "Rock 'n Roll" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1993 08:45:28 -0500 From: "William A. Kretzschmar, Jr." Subject: Re: egg-aig, and dialect diversity For all afficionados of Wisconsin English out there, the front-vowel-raising-before-velar phenomenon has gotten some nice work from Christine Zeller at Penn. She gave an NWAVE paper on it Dennis, did your Thanksgiving turkey disagree with you? Why is it a bad thing to try to cooperate with a journalist? If Cathy didn't get the response you would have preferred when she queried the net, or if the journalist didn't draw the conclusion you prefer, why is that her fault? I think she acted in good faith and doesn't deserve a charge of uncollegiality. I think we need to question the assertion that some unspecified "media" is good at causing lexical change. Sure, some words get spread (or even initiated) by the media, but I am not sure that that is responsible for change in the existing lexicon, for loss or addition of everyday words. When was the last time you heard Tom Brokaw talk about cottage cheese and dragonflies? Ellen Johnson's diss. suggests that there is more variation than ever among such everyday words, though less of it than 50 years ago can be attributed (with statistical significance) to the categories we can track for LAMSAS (region, age, education, biological sex, race, urban/rural residence). Collapse of some word sets, like cottage cheese, is better attributed to a commercial term and cultural change (nobody makes c.c. except big dairies) or genetics and cultural change (development of stringless green beans) or progress and cultural change (loss of need for whiffletrees). Other word sets may well have been increased by the rise of public education, such as spread through reading of familiarity with standard terms like dragonfly or with out-of-region variants like seed/pit/stone to accompany local variants; this increase is a nice counterpoint to the homogenizing loss through education of nonstandard verb forms. Ellen's dissertation gives the first really good (i.e. 50-year real-time) evidence for talking about these things, though I think it can hardly be expected to answer all of the questions the evidence raises. ****************************************************************************** Bill Kretzschmar Phone: 706-542-2246 Dept. of English FAX: 706-542-2181 University of Georgia Internet: billk[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]hyde.park.uga.edu Athens, GA 30602-6205 Bitnet: wakjengl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uga