Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sun Jun 23 23:15:54 UTC 2002

Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>>Class or register?
>>The different pronunciations may have more to do with socio-economic levels
>>than geography.  In New York, anyway, you typically heard news reporters,
>>e.g., saying "root." When I worked in the Post Office in Queens in the 1970s,
>>on the other hand, the mail carriers universally refrred to their delivery
>>routes as "routs."

My gut feeling is that it's class. I know that, growing up in the New York
area, I heard both pronunciations in what, had I heard the term in high
school, would have been the same register.

But, while we're at it, let's not discount the idea of lexicalization in
process. Arguably, "route" in "postal route" is a different lexeme than
"route" in "route 22". Not that postal workers in Queens would have had any
reason to talk about Route 22 in Westchester and further north...


Alice Faber                                             faber at
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

More information about the Ads-l mailing list