hock/hawk (again)

Matthew Gordon GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Jul 18 20:57:19 UTC 2002

My limited experience with Minnesotans suggests that younger speakers (under
30) are merged.

I'm curious about Millie's note that her family distinguish the sounds "about
90% of the time." This is a phonemic contrast - don't you either have to have
it or not? In the other 10% of the time, do they switch into a new phonology?
Or maybe it's lexically specific?

Millie Webb wrote:

> I cannot say I have NEVER noticed the hock/hawk thing sounding the same for
> some people, but I maintain that most of my family (I have seven siblings,
> ages 31 to 48, all married [some to non-Minnesotans], and four of them still
> living in the Cities, one in Rural MN), all of whom still distinguish the
> two sounds about ninety percent of the time ("misspeaks happen" obviously).
> Both of my parents use them both too, with my mom born and raised in St
> Paul, leaving for about ten years (Chicago and south-central Michigan), and
> returning for the next forty years.  My dad has lived in the Cities for
> those last forty years.

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