Another phenomenon of Saint Louis BE: Flap into Trill

Jocelyn Limpert jocelyn.limpert at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 2 00:39:51 UTC 2009

On 6/1/09, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Another phenomenon of Saint Louis BE: Flap into Trill
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> While browing hrough the iTunes holdings, I came a across a jam called
> S.T.L.O.U.I.S., by an unknown artist - i.e. the record label has lost
> track of or never knew his name . In his rap, everywhere that you
> would expect a flap, this guy replaces it with the sound spelled #rV-,
> -VrrV, or -VrC- in Spanish: hard liquor > harr(!) liquor (possibly
> some other phenomenon), gotta > gorra, shouda > shourra, better >
> berra, etc.
> Much else has changed, since my youth, there. A city that once had a
> population of nearly 900,000 now has a population just over 300,000.
> The rapper, as do all Saint Louis rappers that I've ever listened to,
> makes referernce to the intersection of Kingshighway [Blvd] and
> Natural Bridge [Rd], giving me the impression that this is now the
> center of black night life in Saint Louis. Not back in the day! I'm
> quite familiar with Kingshighway, up to a point. But I'd have to look
> on a map to find Natural Bridge.
> Kingshighway began as "el Camino real," when the area was under the
> control of Spain (cf., e.g. DeSoto, MO, and [San Juan de] Pelosi, MO.)
> But I have no idea how Natural Bridge came to get its name. There may
> have been a natural bridge in the area, but that area was then so far
> beyond the boundaries of the colored part of town that I was never
> motivated to concern myself with the solution to this conundrum.
> -Wilson
> –––
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -----
> -Mark Twain
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