Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 14:37:32 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: folk/folklore What fun to hear that some students got a kick out of (rather than from) phonology for a change. But, to the point. No, us people (whoever we are, sounds like maybe we are the evil scientists) think that folk learn a lot of words as words (regardless of 'laws'). I am, for example, an 'aw' (as in 'caught') pronouncer of most 'o' words before 'g' ('hog,' 'log,' 'dog,' 'frog,' etc...), but a little introspection will show me that I have a bunch of exceptions ('cog,' 'togs,' 'bog'). In every case, the non-'aw' pronunciations are later-learned. I meant to suggest that word-level analyses may often mask a deeper rule; when the words are th only way to go, have at them. Dennis Preston >Unsure now of what I say in these words, I read all seventeen pages of this >exchange to my linguistics class this morning. Everyone got a big kick out >of Dennis' dissertation on phonology. > >My astute student (the one who asked the question) wanted me to reply to >Dennis' systematic phonology. She says that systematic phonology does not >explain why she pronounces the words differently. She asks, "Don't these >people ever think that you learn words from other people? You learn what >you hear. I heard "folks" [foks] and learned it that way. I heard >somebody else say [folkd[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ns] and [folklor]. That's why I say these words >differently." > >I tend to agree, fan of things like sound laws though I am. I learned >[foks] from other [foks]; I learned [folkd[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ns] and [folklore] from people >who did not do these things but who had some kind of tourist or academic or >preservationist interest in these things. People who are genuine >(unconscious) folkdancers do not say things like "Why don't y'all come over >and folkdance with us tonight? We'll spend some time sharing some >folklore. We might even kill a pig and salt it up for the winter in the >ways of the folk." > >The point, I guess, is that sound laws may not be consistent when borrowing >from other dialects (or languages) occurs. > >With an extended audience, > > >Wayne Glowka >Professor of English >Director of Research and Graduate Student Services >Georgia College >Milledgeville, GA 31061 >912-453-4222 >wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]