Orange, forest, etc.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 31 15:09:22 UTC 2007

At 1:22 AM -0500 12/31/07, Paul Johnston wrote:
>Someone mentioned orange, forest, and all those historical short o + r
>+ V cases.  Does anyone know what exactly the pattern is for this
>group in the Northeast?  I have the CAUGHT vowel here, but I suspect
>it's not really native to me, though those are the usual forms in
>Morristown, New Jersey (which has the CAUGHT vowel for natives) where
>I went to high school.  My NYC-born parents had /A/ = COT here, as
>does my NYC-born older sister, and I think that I probably did when I
>was a real little kid in Monroe, New York where I was born.  I always
>thought that the open o forms were Midland intruders, like fronted /
>o/ or fronted /u/  or [aeu] in OUT, which are fairly common in
>Northwest and North Central New Jersey, but not so much in Orange
>County (with COT, by natives), N ew York.  Is there change going on
>Paul Johnston

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, /a/ is
native in these for me (NYC until 1957, Long
Island 1957-61), but I consciously switched
(inconsistently) to open-o when I went to college
in Rochester and got ridiculed for my
pronunciation of "moral", "orange", and
especially "corridor".  That's consistent with
your sense that "the open o forms were Midland
intruders".  I don't know if the situation has
changed since; the /a/ is more N.Y. Metro area
than general Northeast, though, and the /a/
variable may well be shrinking (or dying?).  (I
don't here it around here in New Haven, and
neither my kids (born in the early 1980s) nor my
wife (moved from NYC to Western CT in 1947 at age
3) have /a/ for these.)  I'm still proud to be a
"Mary/merry/marry" distinguisher, but I've thrown
in the towel on /ar/.


>On Dec 27, 2007, at 5:27 PM, Dennis Preston wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Dennis Preston <preston at MSU.EDU>
>>Subject:      Re: /w/-/hw/ again
>>Has there ever been a pronunciation of "who" with /hw/?
>>>--------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>Poster:       "Philip E. Cleary" <philipcleary at RCN.COM>
>>>Subject:      /w/-/hw/ again
>>>  From a recent column about a legendary Boston politician:
>>><Freddieís greatest moment came during his Parkman House hearings,
>>>he exposed Mayor Whiteís profligate spending at his palatial home
>>>from home.
>>>ìWho ate at the Parkman House?î Freddie thundered, his unlit cigar
>>>clenched in his teeth. ìH-W-O-H - who?î>
>>>Phil Cleary
>>>The American Dialect Society -
>>Dennis R. Preston
>>University Distinguished Professor
>>Department of English
>>Morrill Hall 15-C
>>Michigan State University
>>East Lansing, MI 48864 USA
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list