Wed Jul 10 20:01:11 UTC 2002

        Yes, it did sound a lot like "hock" when he pronounced "Muncie Hawk Shop."  I don't think there's any merger of the words here, though, just of the pronunciation.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: Beverly Flanigan [mailto:flanigan at ohio.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 3:56 PM
To: American Dialect Society
Cc: Baker, John
Subject: Re: hawk/hock

Did you ask the owner to pronounce the name of the shop? He may say [hak]
(with 'short o') for both words even if he has the lexical distinction. I
have a similar example somewhere in my files, where "hawk" seems to be the
clear intention but "hock" is on the sign (or in the ad); in this case the
two words seem to have merged along with the vowels.

On the other hand, in southern and SE Ohio (all the way to Pittsburgh) the
opposite conflation will occur, with both vowels going to [O](or 'open o').
(I should say "almost," since the merged vowel is not quite that far back.)
Newcomers to our area who hear the name of our local river may thus spell
it "Hawking" instead of "Hocking." When I myself was new, a neighbor asked
my son if he liked to play "hawkey," and we didn't know what he was talking
about for some time.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list