Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 09:56:50 -0400
From: "Dale F.Coye" CoyeCFAT[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Greasy et al.
In AS 69.3 I reported on the bizarre distribution of /s/ vs /z/ in the noun
houses. For me, and for most dictionaries both fricatives are /z/ but there
are many speakers who retain the /s/ of the singular, and a significant
number who make the medial fricative /z/ but the final one /s/. Some also
have medial and final /s/. All four variants occur in all parts of the
country. But it seems to me that I'm hearing a lot of devoicing or
half-voicing of final /z/ anyway, in all words- was, does.... Can anyone
comment on that?
Similar changes can be found in Joseph, which for me and I believe
historically has /z/, but is /s/ for many now here in NJ and elsewhere. Also
Moses for me is /z/ with final /s/, but some dicts. list it also with final
/z/. So for me Moses and roses do not rhyme.
Lynn notes that Syracuse is pronounced with the vowel of air locally, but
I grew up just outside the city and think that's a minority pronunciation,
perhaps used mostly by older speakers. It alwas has /s/ up there.