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Questions about Schwa and Stress and "y'all"

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Monday, October 15, 2001, 8:14
In a message dated 10/14/01 11:11:02 PM, steven@OLYWA.NET writes:

<< It's also how we almost always pronounce the "e" as in "the."    Oh, sure,

in melodramatic or high-fallutin' readings, we might say "THEE apple tree."

But in everyday speech, it's more like "thuh apple tree." >>

    That's funny; I had a discussion with a person about this.  See, I'd
never say "thuh apple tree" (something like [D@?&pL=tri]) because it's just
too damn difficult.  I also wouldn't say [D&pL=tri] because it just doesn't
sound right.  I always say [Di] before words that begin with vowels because
then you can just glide into the word, so you say , [Dij&pL=tri].  It's far
easier and more natural for me.

    On an older topic, over the past week or so I've been randomly saying
"y'all" to people in contexts that could only be interpreted as singular
(ex.: "Y'all need help?" to a short girl who was trying to get a pot down
from a tall, tall shelf--no one else was in the room, or even near it), and,
of course, no one had a problem with it; they all interpreted it as singular.
 But that wasn't the striking part.  What struck me was that the usage didn't
not even phase them; they didn't even blink, didn't laugh, didn't say, "Since
when am I a 'y'all'?" or something like that, they didn't even smile.  They
really just understood it as the singular.  I did this with about six or
seven separate people on five separate occasions, with lots of space in
between, in, as I said, contexts that could only possibly be determined as
singular.  Some of these people were from different parts of Southern
California, some from different parts of Northern California, and one was
from Illinois.  I'm going to keep the experiment going to see how it plays



Tristan Alexander McLeay <zsau@...>
Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>