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
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
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
"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