Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

CHAT: Southernisms (was Re: Genitive relationships)

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 10, 1999, 23:48
Nik Taylor wrote:

> Tom Wier wrote: > > (1) [E] / [nasal] --> [I]; [&] / [nasal] --> [E] > Hmm, I say /k&n/, and I hear that as well, here in Florida (of course, > Florida, except in rural areas of the Panhandle, isn't all that Southern > to begin with), but as for [E] --> [I], that's definitely present in my > dialect.
Do you know the settlement patterns for Florida? Was it mostly by people from like South Carolina and Georgia? As for Texas, the situation is kinda confused, for a couple reasons: (a) Texas was originally settled by people from Missouri, who themselves spoke a dialect closer to that of Middle American (and therefore traditional Texan dialects tend not to be nonrhotic) (b) Texas is *big* (as we've already alluded to), and so West Texas dialects feature a lot of dialectal leveling with dialects of the Mountain regions. That /&/ -> [E] before nasals rule I think originates from there.
> > (2) final consonant cluster reduction: [lEft] --> [lEf] > I don't hear or say that either.
Well, it's really basilectal, and is rare anyways.
> > (3) [ai] --> [a:] > Is that actually used? I know that it's a stereotype of Southern > speach, but I don't think I've heard it before.
Oh, it sure is here. Especially by people out in the Hill Country it seems, and in the Llano Estacado.
> > (4) [l] / _p# or _f# --> [p] or [f]: [hElp] --> [hEp] > Again, something I've lever heard.
I've heard it in stereotypes before, but not in person.
> > (5) [l] / _k --> palatal lateral approximant > So that "elk" has a palatal lateral? Interesting, something I've never > heard.
I have a whole packet of such stuff from my sociolinguistics course (though the packet's main point was discussing features of AAVE). Perhaps I can mail you some of the stuff sometime.
> > (6) loss of [n], and nasalization on preceding vowel > I don't think I've heard a loss of [n], but the nasalization is a > near-universal feature of English, isn't it?
I have. I remember quite distinctly hearing some guy on the elevator once saying something, and then "Oh, [mE:~]!" Note of course that the [E] is still present. It kinda makes me wonder if the Cajuns of East Texas had anything to do with that... Nah, prolly not.
> > (8) [In] for -ing: nearly universal, as I suspect in many areas of the > > country (if not the world) > I have both [In] and [iN], with, of course, [In] being more common in > casual speach, and almost non-existent when using "scientific" words > (e.g., I'd probably never say analyzin')
Yeah, basically the same with me.
> > (9) _y'all_, of course, which can imply (for me at least) > > paucality, where some phrasal unit like _[Al@yAl]_ > > serves for more than that. > For me, "all y'all" implies totality, i.e., every one of y'all, just > like "all (of) us". However, I've never heard "y'all" being used > completely consistently. That is, "you" is still used for plural at > times, tho y'all is never used for singular. Perhaps the best example > is that stereotypical Southernism "y'all come back now, ya hear?", where > "ya" is used for plural in the second clause.
Funny thing, is that people who're not originally from the South, I've noticed, tend to exaggerate its usage when speaking. One girl I know whose family is from Buffalo, New York, uses _y'all_ *all the time*, even when she's being unfriendly ;-) (that's another thing, of course: use of _y'all_ indexes the speaker's desired familiarity with the listeners). ======================================================= Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." There's nothing particularly wrong with the proletariat. It's the hamburgers of the proletariat that I have a problem with. - Alfred Wallace ========================================================