Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 14:35:18 -0500 From: Mark Mandel Subject: Merzouri Donald M. Lance enlightens me: >>> 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'. <<< Aha! Thank you. Now all is clear... or at least clearer than ternip and tater stew. With or without crackers. I haven't heard a stressed r-less mid vowel in any US dialect I would call southern. I'm not a dialectologist, so I take my ignorance for granted when dealing with those who are or who have relevant experience, such as the respected netizens of this List. In trying to hear [t'3n[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]p] in my mind's ear, all I could come up with was "Yankee"! Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : Personal home page: