End of ADS-L Digest - 20 Nov 1997 to 21 Nov 1997 ************************************************ Subject: ADS-L Digest - 21 Nov 1997 to 22 Nov 1997 There are 21 messages totalling 920 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Merzouri 2. well and why 3. Appalachian Dialect (3) 4. Wedding Day poem 5. uh&duh (2) 6. pragmatic change in progress? (9) 7. Help needed in the Ukraine 8. "Black Fridays" of Finance 9. Why = hwy or wy? (A Tale of Two Regions) 10. Hookers; Lizards; Elephants; My boss ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 23:18:11 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: Merzouri Mark Mandel continues his query, more precisely this time: >I'm sorry, I didn't express my question -- or perhaps my doubt -- precisely > enough. All the other examples of "er" >from the text that you mention as evidence that it's intended to convey an > r-less schwa are UNSTRESSED. But the >first syllable of "turnip" (spelled as "ternup" in the text, IIRC) is >stressed, > unless we're talking about far different >changes than I thought we were. And I have trouble imagining a vowel in that > syllable that is any kind of match for >an r-less schwa. Maybe a diphthong with a palatal glide at the end, such as is > often transcribed "oi" ("da corner of >Toity-toid an' Toid"), but not an r-less schwa. In referring to stressed/unstressed, you're assuming that a dialect writer would adjust his/er spellings to differentiate on the basis of stress. Few writers have that sophisticated an understanding of linguistic processes. Consistency in the spelling counts more than niceties like level of syllable stress in literary dialect marking; they're after stereotyping, not accuracy. The sound in question isn't exactly the same as a schwa that you or I would produce, but a higher and tenser vowel like my Uncle Ed produced. And like many speakers of British dialects produce. The New York / New Orleans "oi" diphthong isn't likely to be used in Cracker speech, back in 1850 or now. Some "modified IPA" transcription systems have used both the wedge and a symbol like a 3 with rounded top to represent mid-central r-less vowels, and schwa and 3 with hooks to indicate r-ful mid-central vowels (unstressed and stressed, respectively). This hook-less 3 in stressed and unstressed versions is what I'm claiming the Cracker in the story used. I also would imagine the Cracker to have quite a "drawl," i.e., lengthening of these syllables so that these pronunciations were salient for his tormenter, along with the salience of his spellings 'ternups' and 'pertaters'. A side comment: where did the -er of 'taters' come from if not from a vernacular pronunciation similar to the Cracker's? The "oi" diphthnong you refer to in -Vr- nuclei is closer to [3I] than to [oI], at least to my ear, whether in NY or NO or AAVE dialects.