Another "$100 Misunderstanding" (1)

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Fri Aug 13 21:48:53 UTC 2004

I think I noted that it was my nonstandard speaking Milwaukee wife
who said puh-JAE-muh (rather than my correct pu-JA-muh. (Sorry for
returning to sarcastic crap about who's standard-nonstandard. Old
dog, new tricks, all that shit.)

What's odd about about a stress alternation bwteen the n. of
XN-vuh-lowp and the v. of xn_VEL-up? (I put an X for the vowels which
show regular I/E alternation before nasals, as is well known in all
southern and southern influenced speech, assuming that that is not
the point here.) In my case, for example, I have n. AHN-vuh-lowp and
v. In-VEL-uhp.


>On Aug 13, 2004, at 1:51 PM, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU>
>>Subject:      Re: Another "$100 Misunderstanding" (1)
>>Yes, I'm sure larry is right that there are right-minded, idiomatic
>>"shat" speakers (who are not "whoomers" at all).
>>It's funny how the vernacular forms of one variety speak strike
>>speakers of other varieties as posh (never funny how they strike
>>others as dull, dim-witted, etc...). I have, quite idiomatically and
>>from working-class input, an /a/ in the second syllable of "pajamas,"
>>for example, which my Milwaukee 'puh jae muh' speaking wife loves to
>>twit me about. Now that I think about it, she also likes to get on my
>>case about my /a/ in the first syllable of 'envelope.' Both strike
>>her as phony and/or posh (if one may use 'and/or' between 'phony' and
>dInIs, you say "puh jae muh" and dare admit it publicly? For shame!;-)
>However, I'm not sure how to characterize someone who thinks that
>there's something phony about the pronunciation, "on vuh lope," which
>is clearly the preferred - by me, any way - pronunciation.;-) BTW, my
>late stepfather, a native of Saint louis, though of Arkansas ancestry,
>made this odd distinction in his speech: noun = "IN veh lup"; verb =
>"in VEH lup." Of course, there's nothing of interest in his verb form.
>But I've always felt that he was the only English-speaker on earth or
>in Saint Louis, at least, to use that peculiar pronunciation of the
>noun. And it's also odd that he was able to resist all his life the
>pressure to to switch to one or the other of the "correct"
>>>At 12:49 PM -0400 8/13/04, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>>>>>Neither of these corresponds to  my 'shit' which is just like my
>>>>>'hit' - hit, hit, hit and shit, shit, shit.
>>>>PS: Like Wilson, I was also flabbergrasted by 'shat' and also use it
>>>>to poke fun, although I'm not sure at who (maybe at people who would
>>>>say "at whom"?).
>>>I've always had "shat" (for the preterit; not sure about the
>>>participle) but never regarded it as in the same category as "whom".
>>>It is a nice, strong verb, after all.  For those interested in other
>>>variants, see my "Spitten Image" paper, p. 44 of AS 79:1 for some
>>>19th c. cites on the participial form "shitten", including the
>>>evocative "shitten-end-up" ('upside-down'; 'having a foetid breath').
>>Dennis R. Preston
>>University Distinguished Professor
>>Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic,
>>         Asian and African Languages
>>Wells Hall A-740
>>Michigan State University
>>East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
>>Office: (517) 353-0740
>>Fax: (517) 432-2736

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic,
        Asian and African Languages
Wells Hall A-740
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office: (517) 353-0740
Fax: (517) 432-2736

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