Staunton, VA

Tue Dec 5 18:56:29 UTC 2000

My family is divided by this change.  My oldest son, now 31, has
the contrast, and my daughter, 25, has only /a/.  My oldest son
attended a high school on the north side of Muncie, in a
predominantly Northern/Northern Midlands area.  After he
graduated, the high school was closed and my daughter went to
Muncie Central, which draws also from Southern Midlands and
Southern.  There's river running east-west through town that is
the dialect divide.  The south side is fairly heavily from Eastern
Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee, brought in by the Ball family to
make jars in the late 19th c.

Herb Stahlke

>>> preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU 12/05/00 07:53AM >>>

Be careful of the "Midwest" in your "continued unrounding." Many
North areas (MI, IL, WI, etc...) which many would call the
preserve the distinction (i.e., otto and auto are quite
distinct). The loss
is also very recent in South Midlands areas. I have it +50 but my
hillbilly relatives -30 don't.


>{AU} is a renaissance spelling for "open o" as is {for} as
distinct from
>{far}.  The development of "short o" in the 17th-century is of
>unrounding.  The example of words like {drop} {stop} {strop} &c.
>lost their rounding (the last being respelled > {strap} as well)
>well help us out with Staunton.  If the town's name originally
had a
>rounded vowel and pronounced STAWN-t'n and the vowel become
unround with
>other words that sounded like it--despite their different
>histories--then STAHN-t'n is the result.  Compare {Washington},
>{orange}, {sorry} or {Florida} with either a round or an unround
>In the US only the east preserves round vowels and only in
>circumstances, before /r/ or /g/ or {ng} and voiceless
fricatives; the
>unrounding which began in England continues in the midwest and
west, so
>that {law} = {la}, {auto} = {otto}, &c
>-- db
>David Bergdahl                 einstein at     tel:
>                               home page:

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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