Labov on vowel shifts

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 27 15:06:50 UTC 2012

On Aug 27, 2012, at 12:50 AM, W Brewer wrote:

> TZ wrote: <<<"do" and "dew" - can you hear the difference?">>>
> WG: <<<Yes.>>>
> WB: No. When first starting graduate school, I had a British landlady, who
> was very helpful in getting me settled in Los Angeles. One morning, at the
> breakfast table, she read me a notice in the local newspaper: “Oh, Warren.
> Here's something you might like. UCLA chess club. No Jews.” The item read
> <no dues>. I say <dues> --> [dews].
That palatalization in British English, applying also to voiceless coronals, reminds me of Peter Trudgill relating how when he provides his first name to Americans their immediate reaction is sometimes to wonder why anyone would be named after a popular snack food of Italian origin.


The American Dialect Society -

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