Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:58:52 -0400
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: Greasy et al.
Michael didn't mention the example which goes in the other direction -
'electricity' (which everybody knows has an /s/), but which some
Northerners render with a /z/. Is there a generalization (or trend) lurking
among these facts or not?
Dennis (always with an /s/) Preston (lo mismo)
We were talking about the "greasy line" the other day in class and the
questions came up of whether the same /s/ vs. /z/ contrast occurs medially
in other words and whether this might be regionally patterned as for
_greasy_. The following words were suggested as possibilities:
visa/Visa. I tend to hear the voiced fricative here in South
Carolina; is the voiceless alternative common in the North? Does
the Romance pronunciation with s influence its English pronunciation
Syracuse. Many folks I knew growing up (in Tennessee) and other
Southerners used the voiced fricate here. Network sportscasters
seem all to use the s.
breezy. I wouldn't have thought there was any variation here, but
I've noticed the pronunciation with s on national weather forecases,
as on the Weather Channel. Is this pronounced with s in the North,
perhaps by analogy with _greasy_?
I remember being told in graduate school that the greasy line pertained
to a once-off feature, but am not now so sure.
Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pilot.msu.edu