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Re: great lakes sound change

From:Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 21:31
On 11/23/05, Ph.D. <phil@...> wrote:
> Reilly Schlaier wrote: > > > > i watched a show about american english on PBS and > > they said that the great lakes area has an odd sound > > change. > > black > bleck > > block > black > > and > > boss > buss > > i was wondering if there were any other vowel shifts in > > this area or any other interesting dialects. > > > See information on the chain shift here: > > > > I've probably said this before: I used to work on the edge of > Detroit (for eleven years) and I still do most of my work in the > suburbs around Detroit. I've lived my entire fifty years within > fifty miles of Detroit. > > I'll take the experts' word on this chain shift, but I personally > have never heard any Detroit-area people speak in this way. > > --Ph. D. >
I've heard "hardness" to open vowels and to "r" (I don't know the SAMPA for the standard American "r") in the speech of some Detroiters (Detroitois?). I have heard the vowel shift that the OP describes in Chicago. Example: I once heard a Chicagoan asking a New Yorker (in Westchester County) the question "What's it on?" (meaning "What is it [a play the New Yorker had mentioned] about?"). Three times the Chicagoan asked and three times the New Yorker answered with the location. I stepped in and said "He's asking what the play is _on_...what it's about." New Yorker said "I thought he said 'where's it _at_". The flattened and broadened pronunciation of "on" was so strong in the ears of the New Yorker that it won out over other cues in the Chicagoan's utterance.