Kregg vs. Craig
Dennis R. Preston
preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri Jul 19 17:53:31 UTC 2002
Vowel conflaters (almost always laxers), having completed their work
before /r/, and well into it before /l/, are now moving on; pre /g/
appears to be their next stop on this road to perdition. The regional
distribution is not exactly known, but the process seems to be more
rampant in the urban East but productive in many other areas
(Mountain West, South) as well; the Midwest, in my opinion, lags in
dInIs (who, in his football days, always took the 'field,' not the 'filled')
>>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?
>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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