Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996 09:11:30 -0600

From: Salikoko Mufwene s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UCHICAGO.EDU

Subject: Z-Tejas: Querying with a Foreign Accent

This is a revision of my earlier posting in which I mistakenly

substituted the phonetic symbol [x] for the letter "j" in the English

rendition of the sound. Hope you see the other funny part of the story now.

One evening in Las Vegas, a group of us linguists were looking for a

restaurant called "Z-Tejas". After a while we decided to stop and ask for

more information. I approached a doorman in front of one of the casinos and

asked whether he knew where Z-Tejas was. He said it was upstairs. I could

not contain my surprise and observed that we had been told that it was on

Flamingo Street--this Casino was on a different street. He replied: "Didn't

you ask for the Steakhouse?" I knew I probably do not say "the" natively,

but I did not know I could not say "house" natively either. Well, we finally

rode a cab to Z-Tejas and started our dinner very amused not only by the

incident but also by the fact that the definite article at the beginning of

several entrees on the menu was represented by "Z". One also asks for


Have a nice Sunday.



Salikoko S. Mufwene s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

University of Chicago (312)702-8531

Department of Linguistics Fax: (312)834-0924

1010 East 59th Street

Chicago, IL 60637, USA