Non native speaker?

Lesa Dill lesa.dill at WKU.EDU
Fri Oct 25 13:34:50 UTC 2002

I heard last night that Dr. Moose was born in Lexington, KY, and then moved
around.  I don't know if that means his parents are native to Kentucky or not.


Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 1:57 PM -0400 10/23/02, Duane Campbell wrote:
> >According to published reports, the notes left by the sniper are in an
> >imperfect English indicating perhaps a non-native speaker. Yet the one
> >sentence they have released -- "Your children are not safe at any time or
> >in any place." (from memory) -- strikes me as a very well crafted
> >sentence. Not just lucid and free from error, but stylish.
> >
> >Any forensic linguists on the list? Is there such a thing as a forensic
> >linguist?
> Actually, there's a forensic linguistics list that some of us
> cross-subscribe to, and these questions have been discussed, with the
> overall sense that (based on past experience) it would be hasty to
> conclude anything about the actual nationality or native-speaker
> status of the sniper based on (what we've read about) his (the
> consensus is "his") messages.  (The motivating factor for suspecting
> non-native-status was the salutation "Dear Mr. Policeman" or whatever
> it was.)
> >
> >While I'm asking questions, Chief Moose (who is, incidentally, Dr. Moose)
> >replaces all of his "th" sounds with either a hard "D" (initial) or "F".
> >I have heard this from time to time, though usually not so pronounced,
> >including a classmate in 1950s rural Pennsylvania with a 100 percent
> >white school population. I had always assumed it was a minor speech
> >impediment (is there a new PC word for this?) or an ideomorph. Are there
> >dialects that include this shift?
> >
> [d] and [t] for /dh/ and /th/ are standard non-standard dialectal
> variants in certain northeast urban areas (NYC--where it's a
> shibboleth for "Brooklynese":  dese, dem, dose, Boston, etc.), New
> Orleans, U.P. of Michigan, and other areas with foreign substratum.
> I haven't been paying attention to Chief Moose's fricatives, so I'm
> not either agreeing or disagreeing with your assessment on that.  (I
> know he was formerly police chief in Portland, OR, but I don't know
> where he was from before that.)
> Larry

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