The changes just keep on coming.

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri Oct 21 12:11:11 UTC 2005

From:    "Peter A. McGraw" <pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU>

> On the topic of observed language evolution, though a totally
> different example:

> There are a number of Indian-derived place names around the Northwest
> that are (or were, in the good old days when people spoke correctly)
> pronounced with a final -aw.  The only examples that come to mind at
> the moment are Yakima, Washington, and the Umpqua River in Oregon,
> but there are others. I first noticed, to my annoyance, that
> transplants who had moved here to become local TV newscasters were
> pronouncing these names with a zero-stressed schwa on the end instead
> of the "correct" secondary-stressed -aw.

Just to make sure i understand what you're saying, with your "-aw", do
you mean [a] or [open-o]? I'm guessing the former, but i wanted to check.

Somewhat-unrelated personal history on orthographic <aw>: The
(University of) Georgia Bulldogs get cheered on by the shout "Go
Dawgs!", the <aw> being pronounced, of course, with an [open-o].

Provo (Utah) High School's mascot is also the Bulldogs. I always found
it incredibly disconcerting (when i worked at Brigham Young
University, the main entrance to which is pretty much right next to the
high school's playing field) to see "Go Dawgs!" painted on the side of
the school, which i knew was pronounced with an [a].

It just always seemed *wrong* to me--in my nicely ordered little
orthographic world, <aw> is always [open-o], and [a] is <ah>--it
*should* have been "Go Dahgs!". I couldn't ever get the
cot-caught-merged folk out there to understand what i was going on about
when it came up, though.


David Bowie                               
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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