Heard on The Judges: St. Louis BE

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 5 12:39:40 UTC 2010

Have never noticed "hyar" in East TN white English (or any other kind).
"Hyur," however, is pretty  typical blue-collar speech.

On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:51 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Heard on The Judges: St. Louis BE
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> One day, two black couples from Saint Louis were on one of the shows.
> Sure enough, the -Vr sound spelled variously h-ere/h-ear, th-ere,
> -air, etc, was uniformly pronounced [^r], "hurr, thurr, and urrwhurr,"
> as the song says.
> It reminds me of the old "whar, thar" etc. horse-opers pronunciations
> - currently used in the supposed(? I have no idea) North-Georgia
> hill-country dialect used in the animated cartoon, "Squidbillies"
> (available on YouTube, together with "The Boondoocks" for BE, if
> anyone cares) except that the equivalent of "hya(i)r" - "hyurr" -
> appears not to occur in BE.
> Later, two more such couples appeared and they did *not* use what The
> Boston Globe called "the St. Louis drawl." Instead, they used pretty
> much what I recall as the StL middle-class BE of my youth.
> I assume that, as was the case back in the day, StL continues to have
> at least two distinct, local dialects, both obviously very r-ful. of
> BE.
> R-fulness can be hard to track in BE. The same person may say
> something like, "_There_ he was, right _wheh_ I tolt[sic] him to be."
> OTOH, "yew is / y'all a(re)" seems to be creeping toward universality
> in working-class BE speech.
> --
> -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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