Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 19:04:17 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: pragmatic change in progress? Arnold's post reminds me of two of the best hypercorrectios I ever heard, and, as Arnold will surely like, they are both Ohio State stories (but before Arnold's time, so I'm not sure how much of a codger he can clainm to be). (Only the first is relevant to the /hw/-/w/, but while I was on OSU hypercorrection, I just couldn't turn it loose.) Both were in graduate seminars. 1) A student was reading a list of words from some experiment he had done and apologized that the next word might be 'dirty' for some. He then went on to say /hwor/. Stupidly, I could not decode it for a bit. Finally I caught on. I don't exactly recall how the difficulty was resolved, but I know the other students didn't let him get away with it. (In short, Arnold is right; not all 'wh' spellings are pronounced /hw/. But hwo doesn't know that!) (While we are on this lexical item, however, does anybody know the approximate boundaries, geogrqphical, social, whatever, of the /hur/ ('hoor') as opposed to /hor/ ('hore') pronunciations? The first time I heard /hur/ I found it very foreign, but I'm a standard English speaker from Louisville. My impression was that the /hur/ forms were northern and eastern exclusively.) 2) The second one is my all-time favorite. A student was reading a list of example sentences, one of which was 'I took my dog out for a walk on its leash.' When he got to the last word he pronounced it /lIsh/. I said (crassly), 'Don't you mean leash /lish/?' He said 'Oh, I don't talk that way any more.' Then I realized (as, of course, I should have earlier just from the 'input data') that he was a high lax vowel tenser before /sh/ (the well-known 'feesh' and 'poosh' phenomenon, although the boundaries of this are a little fuzzy). It is not common in all of the South Midlands (or 'Upper South,' and I suspect that for younger speakers in many areas it is a status marker. DInIs >i agree with DInIs [preston] entirely. these occurrences of WHY >are entirely natural for me - hey, i'm three years older than >DInIS, so i'm even more of an old codger - *and* the discourse >WHY has /w/ while the interrogative WHY has /hw/. (not everything >spelled wh is pronounced with /hw/, even for folks like me who >hwinny. WHOA *never* has /hw/, in particular.) > >arnold (zwicky[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Dennis R. Preston Department of Linguistics and Languages Michigan State University East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Office: (517)353-0740 Fax: (517)432-2736