"The _hopper_"

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Mon Jun 25 13:11:49 UTC 2012

These are two unrelated phenomena. The 'hopper' discussion was prompted by the distinctive pronunciation of the vowel in the stressed syllable. In Boston (as in many areas) the traditional short-o vowel (of LOT) is merged with the traditional "open-o" vowel (of THOUGHT). The merged vowel is usually rounded in eastern New England, so that 'hopper' sounds like "hawper" (unlike across the West).

Also in Boston, as in most r-less regions, you can hear "intrusive r" as in "the idear of it" or "lawr and order". This is simply the introduction of a non-etymological /r/ at the end of a word when the next word begins with a vowel. This pattern is motivated by the same rule governing when the final /r/ in words that have them historically is pronounced. Thus the /r/ in 'car' is dropped in, e.g., "car by the house," but pronounced in "car in the garage"; ditto for 'idea' except that this word didn't historically have an /r/.

-Matt Gordon
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Victor Steinbok [aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:02 PM
Subject: Re: "The _hopper_"

If we're talking about Boston accents, how is this different from
regular overcompensation in words like "idea[r]"?


On 6/24/2012 11:09 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
> Are we talking about the DISH Satellite TV commercial, where all the
> accents are clearly from Boston??
> DanG
> On Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 11:06 PM, Paul Johnston <paul.johnston at wmich.edu>wrote:
>> the "hopper

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list