Kregg vs. Craig

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 19 17:38:13 UTC 2002

>Yesterday I noticed that my optometrist had taken on a new partner named
>Kregg Koons.  Aside from the obvious orthographic alliteration, the spelling
>of his first name reflects the pronunciation of Craig in Central Indiana,
>where the tense front mid vowel laxes, also in words like vague and Hague.
>I can't think of other words where I have the tense vowel before /g/, and I
>don't think it's very common.  I noticed twenty years ago that my children
>had this laxing, and many of my students have it as well.  Is this regional?
>What regions?
>Herb Stahlke

Funny--I was just listening to an audio book yesterday in which a
murdered character was identified by a friend as (what sounded like)
"Kregg" and, asked how it was spelled (it was a last name), the
friend responded "C-R-A-I-G".  I reflected that (although the story
was set in NYC) there must be another dialect area at work, since for
me there's a sharp distinction between lax "Kregg" or "Cregg" vs.
tense "Craig".  The latter rhymes with "vague", "plague", and "the
Hague", the former with "beg", "keg", "leg", "Greg", etc.


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