Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 09:31:04 -0500 From: Wayne Glowka Subject: Re: Sulking Over Silky Milk & Other Words of That Ilk >From: NAME: David Bergdahl > FUNC: English > TEL: (614) 593-2783 >To: MX%"ADS-L[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]"[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAX[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MRGATE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAX > >Am I wrong to take exception to the inclusion of words like in the >discussion of the loss of /l/? Is my historical linguistics outdated or didn't >Elizabethan English fill the "slot" left by the raising of "long open o" to /o/ >by converting {AL} and {AU/W} words like , , ? > >Margaret Schlauch. The English Language in Modern Times, p. 45: "au in Germanic >words, derived from a+w, remained a diphthong for a time, as in and >; >simplification occurred later to [long open o] by way of [open o diphthongized >to U]." > >Thomas Pyles, Origins & Development, 2nd ed., p. 189: "The of Middle >English >preconsonantal was lost after first becoming a vowel: thus Middle English > and fell together as , ultimately becoming [long open o](as in >, ) except befere , , and , where it became [long low >front >digraph] in such words as , , and ." > >So aren't we REALLY talking about the re-introduction of an /l/ from the >spelling analogous to disyllabic ? Basically, yes, but I wonder if it really ever disappeared in some dialects. How did Pyles and Schlauch arrive at these conclusions? One of the most disturbing classes I took at the Univ. of Texas was a Middle English dialects class. Every day we discovered that the dialect descriptions in our HEL class were very convenient (hell, and elaborate) fictions. I have a similar problem every day as I listen to people around me. Southerners all sounded the same to me until I lived around them. What they say and how they say it is a function of way too many variables--age, sex, class, experiences, education, race, etc. I think Henry Higgins was an out-and-out liar about his abilities to place a person within two streets of some place in London by speech alone. I defy him to do the same in Milledgeville. ********************************* So the list above ( , , and ) strikes me as very interesting. I get few students who put up much of an argument that has an /l/, a word that has also fallen together with the and group in British English. I've never tried having anyone transcribe , but I rarely hear anyone under sixty use the word. However, I wonder if anyone who uses it and does not pronounce the also has no /l/ in . Further, I never actually hear anyone say (like [s[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]m]), but I do hear [sam] and [salm], the latter with a clearly pronounced /l/. In fact, I say [salm]. I hear /l/ in a lot, but never hear pronounced one way or the other at all since and seem to be the preferred terms. If someone said [bami] I would not immediately know what that person was saying. Is it in _South Pacific_ in which there is a song that rhymes and ? When I first heard this rhyme, I thought it was a far-fetched joke since I'm neither r-less or l-less in these words. ********************************** Rhymes (discounting stress assignments) for me: psalm balm calm napalm (with /al/) Sal salvation salmonella (with /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]l/) Sam salmon (/[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]/ with no /l/) halve salve calve (/[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]/ with no /l/) half calf (/[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]/ with no /l/) walk talk baulk/balk caulk chalk (open-o with no /l/ but with an off-glide) milk silk ilk (with /l/) I have /l/ in , , and , but have heard the l-less varieties many, many times. This post is too long for me, Wayne Glowka Professor of English Director of Research and Graduate Student Services Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]