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USAGE: pronunciation mimicry (was: rhotics)

From:J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...>
Date:Thursday, November 4, 2004, 18:35
On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 10:33:24 -0500, Sally Caves <scaves@...> wrote:

>From: "J. 'Mach' Wust" <j_mach_wust@...> > >> A most remarkable and seldom gift! I've known A Swiss German who told me >> that native speaker of Spanish had taken him for mentally challenged >> because of his lack of vocabulary. > >Ha! Yeah, that's the problem. You have some basic vocabulary and some >useful phrases, but you speak them well. Then no defenses to muster >against charges of idiocy. But I usually have some trace of an accent. I >prided myself, though, in Geneva in being able to hide my American >heritage. People usually asked me if I was from Britain or Germany. Had >to practice, then, on my plosives. > >Is mimicry of pronunciation that remarkable? I'm fairly good at accents, >too, but not flawless. A lot of Americans like to make fun of a southern >accent, assuming that it is monolithic and not multifarious and regional.
That kind of mimicry is not remarkable, but it is remarkable that somebody can so totally acquire a foreign language that even native speakers of the same region are cheated! gry@s: j. 'mach' wust <off-topic>
>>>Are you Swiss? Do you or have you live(d) in Switzerland? >> >> Yes, I do, I live in Berne and speak Bernese German. > >I had a very pleasant visit to Berne. We went in December of 1985. We >clocked the time it took for the signs to change from "sortie" to >"Ausfahrt" on the Autobahn. We fed carrots to the bears, all of them very >antic, and I took a picture of my friend next to a wall near the bear pit >that had graffiti written on it: Ba"r oder nicht Ba"r: das ist hier die >Frage. I have a picture here of store on a corner (a no entry sign on the >street). The building has a corner tower on it next to an arcade. Painted >on the cement wall is "Apotheke und Drogerie: Scheidegger," and above it is >a mural of customers dressed in seventeenth century clothing. IS THAT >STILL THERE?
I don't know. I've been in the old city and have had a look at the pharmacy I thought you were talking about, but it wasn't that one... By the way, the name "Scheidegger" is very Swiss, even in its spelling: The |gg|-digraph is only used in Switzerland for a fortis /k:/, which is represented by |(c)k| in standard German. Swiss German "der Egge" (corner/hill) corresponds to standard German "die Ecke/das Eck" (corner).
>I had no Schwiizertu"tsche, much less the Bernese German
In Bernese German, it'd be "Schwytzerdütsch"! ;) </off-topic>


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>