City Names

Aaron E. Drews aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Mon Dec 6 19:42:39 UTC 1999

On Mon, 6 Dec 1999, David Bowie wrote:

}[1] FTR, his last name is [bo.i], mine is [bu.i]. To drag this back on-topic
}for the list, i've been told that there's a north-south difference on the
}island containing Scotland and England (is there a name for that island) for
}my last name, where in the north it's [bu.i] and in the south it's [bo.i],
}but i haven't been able to verify this.

The name of the island is Great Britain (and it includes Wales, too)...
just Britain for short.  There's really no such thing as a unified
"British English".  Phonology, lexicon, and some morphology, syntax and
semantics differ quite a lot between each of the countries of
England, Scotland, and Wales.  (And if the not-so-famous David Bowie was
being sarcastic, I do apologize).

In Scotland, I've also heard [baU.i] (or [b^u+.i], to be more precise) for
the rock star, and I get laughed at for saying American [bo.i].


Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
aaron at                  Departments of English Language and       Theoretical & Applied  Linguistics


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