Bre'r

Bill Smith wh5mith at MINDSPRING.COM
Wed Aug 15 17:52:12 UTC 2001


My eldest uncle was called [br@] by his siblings.  Strangely, when my
eldest aunt read "Uncle Remus" to us, she said "[brEr] Rabbit"!

At 10:37 AM 8/12/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Does anyone know if in Southern or African-American speech there are forms
>parallel to 'brother' rendered as 'bre'r'  (which apparently is meant to
>represent a schwa, /br@/) in words like 'mother' or 'other' and if not
>why?
>Is the voiced dental fricative usually /d/ between vowels (or would this be
>word final in a non-rhotic variety?) or lost?  e.g., Either, neither.   I was
>thinking about this because there are indications in Elizabethan verse that
>the fricative was either weakened or lost in this position.   Metrically
>these words are sometimes treated as a single syllable (c.f. ne'er, o'er for
>never, over) but in the case of either, etc. the words are never written with
>apostrophes (ei'er).
>
>Dale Coye
>The College of NJ

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