Fwd: phonological features; was What's in a Name? The Black Panthers in Israel
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 4 15:02:01 UTC 2008
At 11:36 PM -0400 7/3/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com>
>Date: Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 8:51 PM
>Subject: Re: phonological features; was What's in a Name? The Black
>Panthers in Israel
>To: Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com>
>On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 8:45 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>Sorry, Mark. "Old age is creepin' up on me. I'm not like I used to be."
>>> If I understand your question, I personally say:
>>> "Is this your [yowr] hat? this hat is yours [yowrz]."
>>> "You're [yuwr] the one."
>>> But *lots* of other people, especially Northern-white speakers, to my
>>> ear, say:
>>> "Is this your [yuwr] hat? This hat is yours [yuwrz]."
>>> "You're [yowr] the one."
>>> I was caught completely off-guard by this mirror-image pronunciation,
>>> when I first heard it used by my barracks-mates in the Army, and it
>>> used to drive me bleeping NUTS!
>>I pronounce "your(s)" and "you're" identically, so far as I can tell.
>Do you mean that there's a third way?:
>1) your(s) [yowr(z)]; you're [yuwr]
>2) your(s) [yuwr(z)]; you're [yowr]
>3) your(s) [yuwr(z); you're [yuwr] or your(s) [yowr(z)]; you're [yowr]
>>> But I should have known that it existed. Else, why would comic-strip
>>> hillbillies from places like "Dogpatch," Kentucky, be drawn as using,
>>> e.g., "yore," instead of "your," unless the author-artist, Al Capp
>>> (Alfred Gerald Caplin, of New Haven, CT), considered it to be
>>> non-standardly typical of backwoods speech? And he wouldn't have
>>> considered it to be hickishly non-standard, if he used it himself.
>>Perhaps as eye dialect, like "vittles" for the (British) standard
>>pronunciation of "victuals" when used by a lower->class or country
>>character (e.g., Sam Weller).
>Yes. But what I'm getting at is that I had no idea that "your(s)"
>[yowr(s)] was considered "lower class or country" by some speakers.
>>>From my at-that-time inexperienced point of view, Al Capp's spelling
>of "your(s)" as "yore(s)" in eye-dialect was completely mysterious,
>since it implied that there were speakers who didn't use "yore(s)" as
>the ordinary standard pronunciation and I didn't know of the existence
>of any such speakers till I was in my twenties.
It's hard to know what to conclude from eye-dialect spellings,
though, given the convention of using "wuz" for "was", presumably to
indicate that if there *were* a nonstandard pronunciation of "was",
the speaker would use it. And then there's "luv".
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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