Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 09:16:14 -0500


Subject: Re: etaoin shrdlu

Wayne Glowka say,

I was once told by an English major from Chile that Chilean comedians

imitate the sounds of English (without using any English at all) by endless

repetition of fricatives, especially /s/. She did not specify which vowels

should go between the s's. Notably, she did not get the joke when someone

in class (me) imitated Spanish by making a lot of /k/ and trilled /r/

sounds; however, we were on common ground with a honking nasal imitation of


My friend Lucy Moreira, a romance linguist who just left Urbana to teach at

UGA, came back from Athens last month after house-hunting and did an

imitation of a southern accent that, despite her own Brazilian phones, was

both quite recognizable and not unlike my own feeble attempts to reproduce


Of course she also found out that anyone with a Hispanic accent trying to

rent in Athens is just plain out of luck. In the end she had to have

someone else rent for her. Welcome to America.



Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Department of English 217-333-2392

University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321

608 South Wright Street

Urbana, Illinois 61801