Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 09:42:08 -0500

From: Ron Butters RonButters[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Re: "Hit" (was Appalacian [sic] languages)

Terry asks:

My question is, does the metathetical

pronunciation of "ask"

characteristic of AAVE preserve an

earlier form, or does it reflect a

contemporary performance transposition?

Since both ACSIAN and ASCIAN are found in Old English, my guess is that the

variation has always been there. My memory is that one finds both in 19th and

20th century British dialects--i.e., it appears to be widespread and common

throughout history. In ddition, of course, it could continue to be reinforced

by being continually "reinvented" in the child-language acquistion process.

In other words, Terry's question cannot be answered because the situation is

not an either/or one.

By the way (as Don Lance notes), AKS/ASK is not (I think) any more

characteristic of AAVE than of many other contemporary dialects of English.

As for D. Long's question about AST (pres.), this ils certainly common in

white speech in North Carolina. Will someone plese go check Orton and see if

it is found in English dialects as well?