[fIysh] (was: Elm)

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Thu May 31 22:36:48 UTC 2001

It is important to remember that I am suggesting a rule-ordering
difference between "simple" tensed (fronted, diphthongized) [fIysh]
and the putatively subsequent retraction of the onset to [I] or (even
[E]) under the influence of the Southern Shift.


>[fIysh] is the pronunciation I remember hearing from the locals in SW Ohio
>in the early 60s.  (When I returned to live in Yellow Springs in the late
>'70s, this dialect seemed to have disappeared from the area.  I didn't
>encounter it during the six years I lived there.  Maybe I would have if I
>had actually gone looking for it in rural areas.  But it wasn't restricted
>to rural areas in the 60s--I remember hearing it over the loudspeaker at
>the Dayton airport.  In a conversation about the local speech that took
>place during the later period, a local resident [who hailed originally from
>New York] insisted that the local pronunciation was [fiysh]).
>Come to think of it, I remember a high school teacher in Oregon using
>[fIysh]. I don't know where he was from, but probably not Oregon.
>Peter Mc.
>--On Wednesday, May 30, 2001 6:48 PM -0400 "Dennis R. Preston"
><preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU> wrote:
>>Now here's the next question for ordering. Can an /I/ derived from an
>>/E/ participate in (i.e., serve as a "feeder" for) the raising and
>>tensing of the Southern Shift? That is, can such an /I/ be realized
>>as something like [iy@]? There are other such wonderfful ordering
>>curiosities to examine. In some South Midland areas influenced by the
>>Southern Shift, mid and high lax vowels tense before palatal
>>continuants (especially /sh/) so that [fIsh] becomes [fiysh]. Now if
>>this is a feeder to the Southern Shift, we would expect a lowering
>>(at least of the onset) to [fIysh]. I'ma look at this too.
>>>>         Your pronunciation is half-way on the way to a wonderful one my
>>>>cousin from East Texas used, which gave validity to ordered phonological
>>>>rules: she pronounced it /Im/.
>>>>         Obviously [Elm] --> [E at m]  --> [Em]  --> [Im]
>>>>I've always assumed that she must have heard it originally as [Em] and
>>>>her internal vowel neutralization rule changed that to [Im].
>>>>         Rudy
>>>Dennis R. Preston
>>>Department of Linguistics and Languages
>>>Michigan State University
>>>East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
>>>preston at pilot.msu.edu
>>>Office: (517)353-0740
>>>Fax: (517)432-2736
>>Dennis R. Preston
>>Department of Linguistics and Languages
>>Michigan State University
>>East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
>>preston at pilot.msu.edu
>>Office: (517)353-0740
>>Fax: (517)432-2736
>                               Peter A. McGraw
>                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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

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