"The _hopper_"

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Mon Jun 25 03:06:36 UTC 2012

Dear Wilson,
Yes.  The problem isn't just the length.  It's the backness, which is too far back for any NYC person's hop, which is front to central.  I hear at least one of the speakers have a full-blown [A@], which could only be "harper".  And yet everything else, including the voice quality, is NYC.  Someone should fire that dialect coach.  They don't have [hA at p@] for "hopper" in any other non-rhotic dialect either, do they?  What is it in that kind of New Orleanian that sounds somewhat like Brooklyn?

Paul Johnston
On Jun 24, 2012, at 9:20 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "The _hopper_"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I assume that everyone else has also seen the TV ad for some form of
> fast-food product called the "hopper." If it wasn't for the fact that
> the word is spelled out, I'd swear that the speakers were saying "the
> *harper.*" Do any other r-less / arrhotic speakers also get this
> impression? IMO, the vowel is much too long not to entrain a vocalized
> /r/. Of course,
> Youneverknow. YMMV.
> --
> -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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